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125 Years Ago March 1879: A bill in the Legislature proposed repeal of Chancery Act �76, which authorized deficiency decrees in foreclosure cases. It also would have forbidden a mortgage holder from suing on the bond once foreclosure was instituted. The Law Journal editors, calling the bill “a curious example of the effect of hard times on men’s notions as to the obligation of contracts,” were relieved that the state attorney general had already declared it unconstitutional. 100 Years Ago March 1904: Within three weeks after the reappointment of state Supreme Court Justice Bennett Van Syckel, 74, he tendered the governor his resignation. “To many of his friends the announcement is not a surprise, as it is now stated that, while he had a desire to be reappointed, he had no idea of serving through his eighth term,” the Law Journal editors wrote. Van Syckel had served for 35 years. 75 Years Ago March 1929: As motor vehicle traffic swelled and “good roads” were built to carry it, railroad grade crossings grew more dangerous. “During the past 29 years, 446 grade crossings have been eliminated … but nearly seven times as many remain,” wrote the Law Journal. “Some portion of the money now going into the State Highway System should be taken and expended for this necessary reform. [It is] of even greater importance to the people of the State that life should be protected than that more cement roads should be built.” 50 Years Ago March 4, 1954: Automobile insurance was not yet compulsory, but a statute establishing an unsatisfied claim and judgment fund for auto injuries would go into effect April 1, imposing annual charges of $1 on insured auto owners and $3 on uninsured owners. Some legislators, believing it unfair to tax responsible owners to subsidize reckless ones, were pushing a measure to require all licensed drivers to post an $11,000 surety, as a bond or insurance policy or in cash. 25 Years Ago March 1, 1979: Gov. Brendan Byrne, observing that Pennsylvania and New York firms were doing almost all New Jersey authorities’ bond work, asked Attorney General John Degnan to do something about it. “Only one New Jersey firm has been employed in this capacity,” Byrne noted. “I want to develop standards that will provide opportunity for New Jersey lawyers to act as bond counsel and maintain the reputation of New Jersey bonds as competitive, attractive and sound investments.”

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