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LAW REFORM

PAPERS AND ADDRESSES

BY A

PRACTICING LAWYER

BY HENRY W. TAFT

LAW REFORM

OCCASIONAL PAPERS AND ADDRESSES

OP AN AMERICAN LAWYER

JAPAN AND THE Far East CONFERENCE

LAW REFORM

PAPERS AND ADDRESSES

BY A

PRACTICING LAWYER

tort

HENRY W. TAFT

OF THE NEW YORK BAR

NEW YORK

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1926
All rights reserved

Copyright, 1926,
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped.
Published March, 1926.

Printed in the United States of America by
THE FERRIS PRINTING COMPANY, NEW YORK,

Harlem
4-22-29
19539

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INTRODUCTION

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As

S A lawyer advances in years his zeal for forensic

contest tends to abate and he becomes less tolerant of technical obstacles to a prompt and simple disposition of legal controversies. His interest in measures to eliminate defects and anachronisms, particularly in court procedure, is more easily aroused, even though he is conscious that they may come to fruition only after he has passed beyond the reach of human law. From these generalizations some of my older colleagues at the bar who are devoted to the existing order because of its antiquity, may dissent; but the great majority would undoubtedly prefer that our law and the system by which it is administered should be so reformed that more effectively than at present it will assure to every citizen equal justice, cheaply and promptly administered.

My interest in the subject has been largely due to my membership of law reform committees of national, state and local bar associations, which have formulated many proposals for reforms. Some of these have been put into effect by legislation; more frequently, however, they have fallen the victim to legislative inertia. In the essays and addresses in this collection divers anomalies and defects of the law or its administration have been touched upon, but no attempt has been made to adumbrate a general scheme of reform; for to do that would be, in the words of Lord Justice Bowen "to lose oneself

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