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recognize existing evils, not only to apprehend existing conditions, but to provide a remedy for those evils, and tribunals suitable to meet the emergencies which are now arising. We have had some instructive experience in Chicago this season. There was a general strike on the part of masons and carpenters and other similar associations. The pretext was a very feeble one, but the real trouble between contractors and workingmen organized on both sides, was a disagreement regarding the rights of the laborer. The result has been that building in Chicago during 1887 has not been twenty per cent. of what it would have been had these difficulties not existed. Thousands of contracts have been abandoned, millions of dollars have remained unemployed, and widespread disaster has been brought upon the laboring classes. After this had existed for several months we had an illustration of the virtues of arbitration in such matters. Judge Tuley, one of the Chancellors of the Superior Court of Cook County, by mutual request acted as judge arbitrator between the two contending parties, and, aided by a man chosen by each side, the Chancellor, clothed with equity and possessed of a good conscience, settled and fixed the rights and obligations of the parties, and conferred upon the parties an inestimable boon, especially upon the laboring class suffering by enforced idleness. Why may not this method of setting controversies be crystallized into a law of this nature ? Are there not indications that some tribunal of this character must be created to meet the exigencies of the present time?
Orlando B. Potter, of New York :
Mr. President, I confess that I sympathize very deeply with the sentiment of the resolution. But if we are to do anything in this direction it should be toward enlarging the powers of the court. I fear that taking the other course, on the recommendation of the American Bar Association, will be taken as an equivalent to an admission that the courts of this land, clothed with proper powers, are not adequate to settle all controversies. I have had some experience during
the last ten years as a considerable builder on myown account with these questions, and the suggestions made upon my right (Mr. Sanders') that it is always competent for parties having a controversy to call in any individual in whom they have confidence is right, and to carry out the determination thus made meets entirely my approval. If the purpose is to substitute the decision of an arbitrator in whom both parties have confidence for the decision of a court and enable the parties always to dispose of a question without going before it, it seems to me it fully covers the ground, but if more be necessary, if it be necessary to enlarge the jurisdictions of the court in order that they may be advised by competent advisers of the two parties, why, it seems to me it should be done in that direction rather than by creating a new tribunal or by an expression of this Association that we have to make some new court to meet this new class of cases. As a rule, these questions will always disappear and settle themselves if there is a right spirit manifested by both parties, if the real purpose is an honest settlement rather than a prolonged litigation or a noise over the country. Then, in my opiuion, a decision will be reached. I have found it so in more than half a dozen cases that have arisen in my own experience during the last five years where parties have threatened to stop my building operations, and have actually done so; mutual understanding opposition has at once disappeared, and there has been found nothing to quarrel about.
D. S. Troy, of Alabama :
I doubt, Mr. President, very much whether the creation of a court of arbitration will remove the evils that result from the conflict of capital and labor. It seems to me that something deeper than that must be done, that some device must be hit upon by which capital and labor may be placed in partnership; in other words, labor should be allowed to share in the profits of the business in which labor and capital are jointly engaged. But the question of arbitration will do some good in that direction. It is a step in the right direc
tion. But aside from that, Mr. President, I think that the power of arbitration ought to become a part of the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, of the jurisprudence of the United States, so to speak. We have in Alabama a statute authorizing arbitration in which the arbitrators are not sworn to try the matter in dispute according to the law and the evidence at all, but they are required to take an oath that they will hear the parties and the evidence and decide the cause according to the manifest justice and equity of the same. That, I think, relieves them from all the obligations of legal and equitable rules, legal proceedings, and equitable proceedings. They have no regard to anything that has gone before, nor have they any regard for anything in the future. They are absolutely cut loose from everything except to do right between these two disputants. Occasionally, at long intervals, it is true, but once in a while, a case comes along where nothing else in the world will fit. In the course of my practice in Alabama, I have on three or four occasions been engaged in controversies where there was no tribunal that would meet the want of the disputants like that arbitration would. There was an honest difference between the disputants on matters of law or fact. Sometimes it is one and sometimes the other, but generally on matters of facts, where nothing in the world but that sort of a tribunal would fully meet the demand, and in that class of cases it has been used with very great benefit, and I think by putting in that drop of a jurisprudence, that has gone on successively in another country for two or three thousand years into our jurisprudence, and giving the people the right to use it if they see proper, will do good. It is a move in the right direction. The affairs of mankind are not like those of the Creator, but they are one continued variation, while the rules of law and the rules of equity proceedings, the principles of law and the principles of equity, are more or less straight level. They are made by man, like the railroad, and it is impossible that those rules should be laid down so as to fit all possible cases
that naturally arise between man and man. And it is the wholesome principle that we should enibody into the jurisdiction of the United States, as we have into the jurisdiction of, I suppose, every State in the Union, this principle, this right conferred upon disputants to go before a tribunal in which the rules of law and the rules of equity will be thrust aside, and in which they will set up three Mandarins, as the Chinese would call them, who will adjudge the differences and give the sanction of law to the judgment then rendered.
Charles C. Lancaster, of the District of Columbia:
Mr. President, I cannot refrain from entering my strong protest against such an unusual proposition from a body of lawyers as is attempted here in this resolution. The idea of a body of lawyers admitting that the courts of the country and the legal profession are inadequate and unable to settle the controversies of the land is an unjust reflection. What does an arbitration mean? It means nothing less than a settlement of legal controversies among laymen and by lay
It very seldom occurs, I think, that any arbitration is settled by lawyers. When a merchant has a controversy with another merchant do they call in lawyers as arbitrators ? No, they want to get away from lawyers or they would go to the courts. Now, Mr. President, for this body, a representative body of the legal fraternity of this country, assembled as we are, to acknowledge that we are unable, as lawyers, to meet the demands of the people, I think is an astounding confession of weakness. I think we ought to repudiate that idea, that we ought to stamp it out here to-day. We are organized for the purpose of meeting the evils under which the courts and the profession are laboring; we are here for the purpose of rising up to the occasion; we are progressive and are not following the example of laymen, of men who are non-professional; we are not here to admit that we think it is very advisable when any of our clients have a legal proposition not to come to my office or to your office, but to go down here to a locksmith and a jeweler and get them to settle
the proposition ! Now, that is pretty much the proposition here. We know that the learned professions to-day are suffering, as it were, from that very thing. Why? Because laymen go into the court and find they cannot get a judgment or decision in perhaps some twelve to eighteen months. Now, that is a weakness of the profession. That is a difficulty that we are here to contend with, not to go on and admit our weakness and say we favor arbitration and think we are unable to cope with the legal difficulties of the times.
R. Wayne Parker, of New Jersey :
Mr. President, where parties want to arbitrate, where they admit there is an honest dispute on both sides, where they are willing to leave the settlement and practically the compromise of that dispute to some one man, so as to avoid difference between friends, whether they be employer or employed, arbitration exists. It can be used always. It is a method of avoiding the law. But where arbitration is ever providedprovided—I have never known it anything but a failure. Where you try by law or by arrangement to settle beforehand that what difficulties shall arise shall be submitted to arbitration, you have nothing; the selection of a man trusted by each you do not have, but instead you have two men distrusted by each party, and a third man that neither trust. You have, instead of trials by rule, trial without rule; either no trial and neglect, or else the most tremendous delays that ever afflicted justice-adjournment from day to day, from week to week, and month to month. I have seen them and been there. Instead of rules of evidence and law you have a decision that is, without appeal, and you have to submit to it. Now, no law that can be passed can provide that arbitration be compulsory. That is admitted. I don't know what this law is, and that is one reason I am going to vote against it—it has not been made plain here—but when they talk about arbitration for capital and labor, I know what the proposition has been. It has been the proposition on behalf of certain people in this country that all employ