Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/57

This page needs to be proofread.


The Green Bag

simplification and uniformity of the practice at law in the Federal Courts. It is expected that Congress will give the Supreme Court the necessary power, which it now lacks, to make such a system, available. It is hoped that upon the adoption of such a uniform system of simplified practice in the federal courts, many of the states will follow the example. In giving the gist of the new rules of equity practice and pleading promul gated by the United States Supreme Court, the Legal Intelligencer (Philadel phia) says: "A careful reading of these rules suggests that their purpose is to relieve causes in equity of unnecessary technicality, speed the cause to an issue and push it to trial and final decision at the earliest opportunity. Thus, Rule 18 provides that, unless otherwise pre scribed by statute or these rules, the technical forms of pleading in equity are abolished; Rule 19, inter alia, that the court in every stage of the proceed ing must disregard any error or defect which does not affect the substantial rights of the parties; Rule 46, that if the appellate court shall be of the opinion that evidence which has been excluded should have been admitted, it shall not reverse the decree unless it be clearly of the opinion that material prejudice will result from an affirm ance, in which event it shall direct such further steps as justice may require; Rule 22, that if at any time it appear that a suit commenced in equity should have been brought as an action on the law side of the court, it shall be trans ferred to the law side and be there pro ceeded with, with only such alterations in the pleading as shall be essential. . . . Taken as a whole, the rules show a dis tinct advance in methods of procedure in equity cases in the direction of sim plicity, expedition and economy."

Criminal Law and 'Procedure The trial of Mrs. Elsie Hobbs Ray mond, charged with the murder ofMattie Hackett, opened at Augusta, Me., Nov. 19, before Chief Justice Whitehouse. From thirty-six veniremen examined a panel was made up in an hour and twenty-four minutes. The jury brought in a verdict of acquittal Nov. 27, after less than two hours' deliberation. The trial of Burton W. Gibson, the New York lawyer charged with the murder of his client, Mrs. Rosa Menschik Szabo, opened at Goshen, N. Y., Nov. 18, one hundred and ninety talesmen being summoned, from which a panel was made up before the close of the first day's session of court. The evidence was all in on the fifth day, Friday, the jurors being allowed by Justice Tompkins to go home till Monday. The arguments of counsel were made on Monday, the case going to the jury in the afternoon. After over fifteen hours' deliberation, the jury reported that they could not agree and were discharged. The final vote stood nine for acquittal and three for conviction. "Gyp the Blood," "Whitey Lewis," "Lefty Louis" and "Dago Frank," the gunmen convicted of the murder of Herman Rosenthal in New York, were sentenced by Justice Goff Nov. 26 to die in the electric chair at Sing Sing dur ing the week of Jan. 6. The verdict was rendered by the jury after only an hour and ten minutes' deliberation, seven hours having been required for the Becker verdict. The prisoners were ably defended, and the fairness and celerity of Justice Goff's conduct of both this and the Becker trial have been widely commended. The trial of the four accomplices of Becker opened on Monday, the 11th, a jury being selected in two days, and sentence being pro-