125 Years Ago

August 1888: In Ayers v. Ayers, a husband suing for divorce moved to strike the allegations of adultery in the wife’s answer on the ground that they were “not designated with sufficient accuracy as to time, place and circumstances.” The wife’s lawyer asked for more time so that she could refresh her recollection. Vice Chancellor Abraham Van Fleet struck the allegations as too vague but gave the wife leave “to amend her answer as soon as she was more definitely informed as to the facts.”

100 Years Ago

August 1913: Everett Wheeler, a New York lawyer and legislator, asked the N.J. State Bar Association, at its annual meeting in Atlantic City, for its assistance when the question of appointment of judges should come up at New York State’s constitutional convention planned for 1915. He praised the New Jersey system of appointed judges as far superior to New York’s method of election by popular vote. (Wheeler authored the legislation that consolidated the five boroughs of New York in 1897.)

75 Years Ago

August 25, 1938: New Jersey’s eight seats in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates gave it the strongest representation of any state. They were filled by outgoing ABA president Arthur Vanderbilt of Newark; delegation chairman and future (1962-63) ABA president Sylvester Smith Jr. of Phillipsburg; newly elected delegates William Evans of Paterson and Lionel Kristeller of Newark; and four State Bar Association-designated members: William Boyle of Camden, Robert Carey of Jersey City, L. Stanley Ford of Hackensack and a fourth one not yet named.

50 Years Ago

August 29, 1963: Yale University would be the site of graduation exercises for the first class of lawyer trainees for the U.S. Peace Corps, with Director R. Sargent Shriver presiding. The group was made up of 26 attorneys, seven of whom were married and whose wives were to accompany them overseas. Jules Pagano, director of the Division of Professional and Technical Affairs, called the team the “best recruited project” the Peace Corps had yet undertaken. Their destinations were not reported.

25 Years Ago

August 25, 1988: New Jersey lawyers were cold to a proposal by the state Supreme Court Committee on Masters and Hearing Officers for appointment of “judicial adjuncts” — comparable to federal court magistrates — to help clear and avoid case backlogs. Opponents were concerned about introducing another layer of bureaucracy, staffed by lawyers of unknown ability who would take over a good amount of judicial decision making and possibly diminish the quality of the judiciary in the state.