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to mention municipal elections. Every one of these is attended by controversies concerning the interpretation of these laws. These cases demand quick determination, which cannot be accomplished otherwise than in the appellate courts.

Progress Already Made Despite the great increase in the amount of legislation in the last fifteen years, it is well to point out that very much has been accomplished in actually facilitating and expediting the disposition of cases. We have not alone adopted the system of the District Courts of Appeal, one important matter in connection with which is the provision that practically all of the criminal matters are taken to those courts and not the Supreme Court, but there might also be mentioned the fact that the laws have been amended so that criminal procedure has been enormously expedited. Years ago it was often held up as a reproach to our civilization that we were much slower in disposing of cases than countries like England. As a matter of fact, now, where cases come up in the city of San Francisco, we will say, in the month of September, they may well be on the calendar of the appellate court here in the spring. It is not likely that they will be expedited to any greater extent, and it is possible that such a course is not desirable. It is in connection with civil cases that the delay occurs that we should consider tonight.

In addition to the instances mentioned, certain lines of procedure have been greatly facilitated. There has been an effort made to hasten the final determination of cases by expediting the hearings of motions for a new trial; and while this may result, at least for the present, in further congesting the calendars of the appellate courts, I believe in the long run it will work well.

I mention these facts because it is well to consider that the community and the legal profession have not altogether been asleep in regard to these questions. As a matter of fact, from my own experience, and I believe I express the opinion of many attorneys here, the administration of the law in this state is far less technical than it was fifteen or twenty years ago.

Precedence for Certain Cases Delays Others One of the incidents peculiar to the accumulation of appeals is the effect that the preference given to certain cases has in pushing back and retarding the hearing of ordinary matters. The laws provide that all cases in which the people of the state are parties—(this includes all criminal cases), and probate and election matters—are given precedence. These laws have been in effect for many years. In the last few years the public utilities act, which is known to most of us as the law that created the Railroad Commission, was passed. This provides that any cases coming before the appellate courts from the Railroad Commission shall be given preference to other cases. Lastly, the workmen's compensation act, which is a fruitful source of litigation, and probably will be for many years to come, and which, by the way, gives rise to many new controversies arising out of rights that had not prior to that time been recognized, has likewise greatly increased litigation. This law contains a provision that when any review is granted, the review is to be heard summarily, either in the Supreme Court or the District Court, as the case may be.

A number of cases are thus given a decided preference, and it is easy to see that the effect of this is that those causes which are commonplace, as distinguished from those preferred, are pushed further and further back.

Now, to illustrate: At the time the committee was considering the matter, there were over fifty-one proceedings in the Supreme Court under this workmen's compensation act, all of which were given precedence over any civil case, excepting only election cases; and one can readily see what effect that has on some of the ordinary cases, to which I will refer in a few moments.

The Accumulation of Cases At the time the committee considered this matter, the Clerk of the Supreme Court gave us a statement as to what the situation was in reference to cases then pending; and, leaving aside about one hundred and fifty cases that were then under submission for decision, the situation was about as follows: There are three districts in this state, the San Francisco district, the Los Angeles district, and the Sacramento district. There were unsubmitted from the San Francisco district 334, from the Los Angeles district 629, and the Sacramento district 129; criminal cases, 4; total, 1096, at that time. This was the situation about the last of March, 1916. All those who have been engaged in either hearing cases in the courts as judges, or practicing before the bar as attorneys, will realize, if they started in to decide a few cases, that they might well feel the task an easy one. If, however, they were confronted with the proposition of cleaning up a calendar that consists of 1096 cases, they would well shrink from the task, because those who are at all familiar with the matter know that, while many cases may be simple and easily disposed of, many are extremely complicated and difficult. The vast mass of legislation, in regard to public institutions, often necessitates an extremely careful examination and consideration of the laws themselves to ascertain what is actually to be considered before the very meat of the proposition can be approached.

Time Required by Appellate Courts The number of those cases will illustrate forcibly to most of us what this condition really means. In 1915 opinions were written by the judges of the Supreme Court of this state in 361 cases, which was an average for each judge of something over fifty. In the District Courts of Appeal there were written opinions in 553 cases, being slightly over sixty-one for each judge. It must not be assumed that this represents by any means all the work of the courts, because there is an enormous number of matters that take up the time of the court in which written opinions are never filed; for instance, many applications for extraordinary writs, such as may arise around election time, and matters of habeas corpus, as well as other matters which can readily be imagined take up an immense amount of time. I mention these figures to give you some idea of what we are confronted with.

I, as well as others in the section, have made some comparison of these figures with those that pertain to other courts, and I think that the amount of work accomplished by the courts here is substantially equal to most of the courts in the country. It is not easy to make a comparison, and it probably is not desirable. The reason I say it is not easy is that mere numbers in any one case do not amount to much, because one case, if it is troublesome, may involve more work than a dozen others; and in some states, where the statistics show a large number of cases are disposed of, they frequently have constitutional provisions under which more simple cases come before the appellate courts than this state.

The summary as to this condition that I have mentioned is, not exaggerating it in the slightest, that in any ordinary civil case the Supreme Court is about two years behind in its work, and that a transcript—meaning by that the record on appeal—which will be filed here today will not come up for argument for more than two years in the Supreme Court. To state the matter a little differently—if that transcript were filed today and the calendar is called twice in this district in the year, it would seem that in all human probability the case would not be reached for argument prior to January, 1919.

The Needy Litigant Suffers A question to be considered in reference to this condition is, upon whom does it bear most severely? If we eliminate the four criminal cases and take up the 1092 cases remaining, we find they are completely interwoven with every industry and situation in connection with the life of the state and its people. They come all the way from Imperial valley to the northern boundary of the state, and represent every form of controversy that can be imagined under the complicated laws that a modern civilization has enacted.

Criminal, probate and other cases are given precedence, but the ordinary case suffers. Take, for instance, one that often arises which is generally very irksome to the parties interested, and that is one of the personal injury cases. Here the plaintiff is confronted with the fact that he suffered some injury and he knows that he has to wait two years or more before his case can be heard. The great interests are not very much perturbed by this situation. The large corporation, having a thoroughly organized legal department, is able to meet this situation with equanimity. It is of little moment to it whether it has ten or twenty suits, because they move along as a matter of routine. When a case is reached on the calendar, it is argued and submitted. If the corporation is successful, all well and good; if it is unsuccessful, the judgment is paid with little concern to the powerful interests, because the whole thing moves along as a mere incident to corporate business. The question as to whether they are paying six per cent to a bank or seven per cent on a judgment is not momentous to a corporation that is taking advantage of a delay in dealing with a plaintiff who has not the means to wait, and where the situation itself tends to force a settlement. In the efforts made to collect some money with the idea of placing this amendment on the ballot, which movement the State Bar Association is furthering, we found that some of the more conservative interests took the position that "the present condition satisfies uswe are not interested in expediting litigation.” And one can readily see how that would be the case. Whether it is a railroad corporation or a large bank or a newspaper defendant, they rarely suffer by delay. If they do ultimately have to pay seven per cent interest, that is not a matter of serious concern to them. The situation presses most severely on those who are least able to bear it.

One bad effect that this situation produces, from the standard of the respect the people owe to their government, is this: When a man has such a claim as I have mentioned, he naturally talks about it, all the members of his family talk about it; they wonder why the case cannot be expedited. With loose tongues wagging, it is easy to see how in many cases people condemn the judicial system, and claim that the laws and conditions are against them, whereas in fact no one particularly is to blame. The condition is manifestly one that breeds discontent, and it is very desirable that it be remedied.

Far-Reaching Changes Needed I believe the present condition is not the result of any one thing in particular. It is not the result of design; but it is the result that comes because this is an expanding and growing community. It is reasonably certain that this state will soon have five million people, and when it does, the efforts that we are discussing here tonight, or those that are put forward in the next ten years, will in all probability not be sufficient to satisfy a community of that size.

The many lawyers of experience on the committee, as well as the judges who came before us and gave us the benefit of their experience, were of the opinion that our whole system of courts will probably be changed in the years that are to come. There are many reasons for believing that the present system, especially that respecting the Superior Courts, could be much improved on, and that it is probably desirable that many minor cases should never reach the appellate courts. But, on the other hand, it is a problem with which it is not by any means easy to deal. In the first place, many people skilled in the matter are entirely different in opinion. The state is vast, and the different communities often have widely divergent views. So the question possesses extreme difficulties. It is unlikely that in considering any very radical scheme the public would take enough interest in it to put it through at a time when a new constitution is not being considered. You will all remember that at the last election the people voted against calling a constitutional convention, and it is not likely that we will have one for some years, but it is altogether desirable that in the years to come the court system that we now have should be remodeled.

A Temporary Remedy Necessary I have referred briefly here to the history and to the present situation respecting our courts. Coming down now to the question as to what is to be done to expedite the hearing of cases, we are confronted with a condition and not a theory. Owing to the great increase in the business in the state, we are told by all the clerks of the appellate courts that the number of cases is increasing all the time, and this increase is likely to continue. The condition is likely to become more acute than it is at present.

At the meetings of the committee we took up and discussed the remedy. As the President of the Commonwealth Club pointed out tonight, while the Constitution of 1879 provides that by a two-thirds

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