125 Years Ago
July 1888: A sampling of questions from the bar exam just given shows it was more concerned with English law than New Jersey law: (1) Into how many kinds may the municipal law of England be divided? (2) What are the primary and principal objects of the law of England? How are they subdivided? (3) What are private wrongs or civil injuries? How are they redressed by the laws of England? (4) What are matrimonial and testamentary injuries? In what courts of England cognizable?
100 Years Ago
July 1913: Two months after the 137th legislative sessions adjourned, the bench and bar were still without printed copies of the statutes approved. Nearly all of them took effect on the day of approval, and the Law Journal editors could figure no reason for the print delay. “Ignorance of the law excuses no man,” they wrote, “but certainly the state is not to be excused for refusing to give wisdom in place of ignorance.”
75 Years Ago
July 21, 1938: The Law Journal editors were chagrined at the “conspicuous absence” of New Jersey judges at national bar meetings, such as the American Bar Association convention held that week in Cleveland. “Lawyers like to see their judges at these meetings and to introduce them to lawyers and judges of other states,” the editors wrote, noting many judges from those other states attended. “It isn’t asking too much to expect a reciprocal feeling on the part of the members of our higher courts.”
50 Years Ago
July 25, 1963: The results of the State Bar Association’s economic survey showed New Jersey lawyers in 1962 had a median income of $14,000, comparing favorably to neighboring states. Maryland and New York (excluding Manhattan) had medians of $12,000. However, survey committee chairman Merritt Lane Jr. pointed out that by definition, half the lawyers in New Jersey were earning less than the median. He said the committee hoped to bring all experienced lawyers up to that level of income.
25 Years Ago
July 21, 1988: In the largest New Jersey law merger to date, Roseland’s Hannoch Weisman and Trenton’s Sterns, Herbert, Weinroth & Petrino amalgamated into a 128-lawyer firm, second only to 160-lawyer McCarter & English. The Trenton firm brought a government-relations and regulatory department, while Hannoch was strong in corporate and litigation practice. The merger lasted five years. The Sterns Herbert faction bolted in 1993 and the rest of Hannoch Weisman dissolved in 1999.