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Do not misunderstand me; I do not believe that the judges have generally failed in the performance of their duties, or that the practice of the law has reached the low ebb that some of its critics assert. Law is and must be a progressive science; growing with our growth, and expanding with our needs. It rests largely with our profession to see to it that the law keeps step with the changes of society and civilization. One who has studied the changes of the law in the past cannot but believe that our profession has fairly borne its high responsibilities in this regard. The judges have come from the ranks of the profession. Fortunately for its honor, almost without exception the men placed in judicial office in the United States have been worthy of that great position, and have “borne with stainless hands the unstained sword of justice.”
COMPARATIVE LAW BUREAU
The Eighth Annual Meeting of the Comparative Law Bureau of the American Bar Association was held in the President's Suite, at the Hotel Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, August 18, 1915, at 1.40 P. M.
The Director, Simeon E. Baldwin, of Connecticut, presided.
The Treasurer's report was found to be in accord with the checks, orders and bank deposit book, all of which were produced by him, and his report was unanimously accepted.
The meeting was attended by many delegates of the corporate members and individuals, among whom was Professor William H. Taft, of New Haven, Connecticut, and Charles S. Lobingier, of the United States District Court, of Shanghai, China.
On motion, the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, held October 20, 1914, was dispensed with, they appearing at length in the last Annual Report of the American Bar Association. The Director then delivered his annual address.
(The address follows these minutes, page 886.) The Secretary read the annual report made by the Board of Managers of the Bureau to the American Bar Association, including the Treasurer's Report, and both were, on motion, approved, received and ordered to be filed.
On motion, duly carried, the Director appointed as a Nomination Committee to nominate officers for the ensuing year, W. 0. Hart, of Louisiana, and Charles S. Lobingier, of China. The committee, after retiring for consideration, returned and reported the following nominations:
For Director: Simeon E. Baldwin, of Connecticut.
For Managers: Frederick W. Lehmann, of Missouri; Andrew A. Bruce, of North Dakota, William W. Smithers, of Pennsylvania, Roscoe Pound, of Massachusetts; John H. Wigmore, of Illinois.
These respective nominees were thereupon unanimously elected for the ensuing year.
The Secretary announced that at a meeting of the Board of Managers held immediately before the general meeting of the Bureau, Axel Teisen, of Pennsylvania, was elected Assistant Secretary
The Secretary then submitted the report upon the work of the Bureau for the preceding year as follows: To the Director and Managers of the Comparative Law Bureau:
Your Secretary begs leave to report that the Annual Report of the Comparative Law Bureau to the American Bar Association has appeared in the July number of the American Bar Association JOURNAL, at page 455, and that extra copies are to be had at the office of the Secretary of the American Bar Association.
As reported therein, the Swiss Civil Code is now being offered for sale by the Boston Book Company.
The translation of the Argentine Civil Code is now in the hands of the printer. Mr. W. W. Smithers has retained personal charge of the revision and correction of the text, and the preparation of the index. It is hoped that the book will be published in the early Fall.
The Civil Code of Peru is still in the hands of the Revision Committee and Mr. W. W. Smithers, and it is hoped that this will be published in the Fall.
Your Secretary has in hand the manuscript for the following: 1. Las Siete Partidas, 2. The Laws of Ancient Castille, 3. The Criminal Code of Spain.
These three last translations have been made by Mr. S. P. Scott, of Hillsboro, Ohio, and have been donated by him to the Bureau.
The Boston Book Company, the official publishers of the Bureau, have requested your Secretary and Director not to have these translations of the ancient Spanish laws printed and published until that company had been able to recoup itself for the expense in the publication of the three publications of the Bureau now offered for sale, viz.
The Visigothic Code, by Scott;
That company finds that the demand for these publications of your Bureau has been disappointingly small. However, it believes that the Swiss Code and the Argentinian and Peruvian Codes will be in more popular demand, and that the sale of them will be sufficient to repay it for the outlays thus far made in the printing and publication of these works. As soon as this is accomplished, the company is quite ready and willing to go forward with the printing and publishing of the above-mentioned translations of the ancient Spanish law, and carry out fully the terms of the contract between that company and your Bureau.
Your Secretary submits that the position taken by the Boston Book Company in respect to this manner of the performance of their contract, is a reasonable one, and suggests, therefore, that the action of the Secretary and Director in acceding to this request of the Boston Book Company be approved.
Your Secretary begs to call your attention to the meeting of the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress, to be held in Washington, from December 27, 1915, to January 8, 1916, and the invitation extended by the officers of that Congress to our Bureau to send a delegate and alternate to represent the Bureau at this important Congress of the American Republics.
The VI Section of that Congress is devoted to international law, public law, and jurisprudence. This is a second meeting of the Pan-American Scientific Congress, the first having been held in Santiago, Chile, in 1908, with the Chilean Government as host. It would seem to be eminently proper that the Bureau accept the invitation to be represented at this Congress, and your Secretary would suggest that perhaps your Director, and Mr. Phanor J. Eder, Chairman of the Latin-American Committee of the Editorial Staff of your Bureau would be the proper members of the Bureau to represent it at this Congress.
Your Secretary greatly regrets his inability to be present at the meeting of the Comparative Law Bureau and its managers, to be held at Salt Lake City this year, but hopes that the meeting will be a successful one, and that the work of the Bureau will continue to go forward as it has in the past.
Your Secretary perhaps should add, that hereafter the BULLETIN, as such, of the Comparative Law Bureau, will appear in the April numbers of the American Bar Association JOURNAL, with perhaps the insertion of a few special articles from time to time in the other numbers of the JOURNAL. By this arrangement, the expense of the Bureau will be nominal as the large expense of publication and postage will be thereby shifted from the Bureau to the American Bar Association proper.
Your Secretary would respectfully ask that the Board of Managers approve a request for an appropriation from the American
Bar Association of $150 to cover the incidental and petty expenses of the Editorial Staff of the Comparative Law Bureau.
Secretary. The following remarks by way of comment upon the Secretary's Report were made by the Chairman, the Director, and Mr. Hart, of Louisiana:
The Chairman :
I would suggest that we supplement the Secretary's Report with the statement that the Chairman of the Committee on Publication of the American Bar Association has received a letter from Egypt, asking where they can get a copy of the Argentine Code which is being published, so that the sale of the volume will not be confined to this country alone.
Mr. Hart, of Louisiana:
Mr. Chairman, I desire to second that motion, and I believe that it is a very great honor which has come to this Bureau, in that the work which it is doing is extending so far. It shows that a great deal of interest is being taken in the work that we are doing not only in this country, but in foreign countries and it would seem to me that we should be greatly encouraged in the continuance of this work.
On motion, the Bureau adjourned.
W. THOMAS KEMP,
Secretary Pro Tem.