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of the substantive law from the Code, leaving it substantially as it now stands as to subject-matter and arrangement. The Committee of Fifteen adopted a middle ground in this respect, and has advised such action, as to the Code, as in its opinion, is neither conservative nor radical, recommending a continuance of the procedure in its present form, with such changes as shall tend to its condensation and simplification, eliminating the substantive law, leaving the practice in inferior courts to be fixed by statute, enacting in a separate statute what is purely administrative and omitting matters obsolete by lapse of time.
Doubtless, very great improvement can be made in the Code by simplifying the language, stating in general terms the matter covering related topics, condensing the sections where it can be done without danger of raising questions of construction, and in cases where the construction is doubtful, making it clear by restating it.
The Committee, having decided upon the character of the consolidation of the statutes and the extent of the revision of the Code, had then to determine the question as to the manner in which this work should be be best best performed. Two views presented themselves. One, a plan by which this work should be done by voluntary labor on the part of members of the Bar. The other, the employment of experts who should take up the work under the direction and supervision of the State and receive a reasonable compensation. Much was said upon both sides of the question. The Committee, however, came to the conclusion that as the work of statutory consolidation had been going on since 1889, and was, in its
opinion, little more than one-half completed, it would be impracticable to complete it within a reasonable time by voluntary labor, and that it would be necessary to press forward the matter very rapidly in order to accomplish desired results within a reasonable time. There is, however, a very strong disinclination toward the creation of new commissions for carrying on any work on behalf of the State, and, this being recognized by the Committee, it was with some difficulty that a plan was arrived at which seemed likely to meet with the approval of the Legislature and the Bar. It was, therefore, decided that the most satisfactory method for the accomplishment of the work would be the creation of a board to consist of five of the leading lawyers of the State who should have the entire control of the matter, subject to the action of the Legislature, serving without compensation, and, while not expected to perform the actual work themselves, should have the authority and be provided with a sufficient fund by the State to carry on the work through such persons as it might select for that purpose - the Chairman of the Committee only to receive a moderate compensation for such services as he must necessarily perform by way of oversight, management and control of the work. It was believed that by this method the work would be most likely to be pushed rapidly to completion and most satisfactorily performed. A statute was prepared by the Committee Schedule "H"-upon the last page of its report, providing for the appointment of such a board to direct and control the revision, simplification, arrangement and consolidation of all the statutes of the State, general and perma
nent in their nature, which shall be in force on the Ist day of January, 1905.
I submit report of the Committee on Law Reform recommending the adoption of the report of the Committee of Fifteen for action by the Association.
To the New York State Bar Association:
The Committee on Law Reform reports as follows: At the last annual meeting, on motion of Mr. Field, it
"Resolved, That the Chairman of the Committee on Law Reform appoint a committee of such number as he deems advisable to act with the Committee on Law Reform in obtaining legislation furthering statutory and code revision, and that the committee so appointed be requested to obtain, so far as possible, for that purpose, the co-operation of other Associations and of the Bar generally."
Pursuant to this resolution, the Chairman requested a number of the leading members of the Association, whose names appear on page 462 of the said report for 1902, to act with the Committee on Law Reform, which committee was known as the "Committee of Fifty."
This auxiliary committee organized by the selection of William B. Hornblower as Chairman, with William P. Rudd as Chairman of the Executive Committee, and the Secretary of the Association as its Secretary, and thereafter acted jointly with the Committee on Law Reform, although separate and distinct meetings of the committees were had, and separate organizations maintained. The work accomplished, however, as set forth in this report, is the joint result of the efforts of the Committee on Law Reform and the Committee of Fifty selected under
the resolution of this Association, and in this report, which is made by the Committee on Law Reform, it is desired to express the obligation of this Committee, and of the Association, to the gentlemen constituting the Committee of Fifty for their efforts in aid of the accomplishment of the object set out in the resolution.
The Executive Committee of the Committee of Fifty, together with a selected committee from the Committee on Law Reform, took more immediate charge of the work provided for by the resolution. Meetings were held from time to time and consultations had, resulting in the presentation to the Legislature of the following provision which Governor Odell recommended to be and which was inserted in the annual Supply Bill:
Chapter 594, Laws 1902, which thereafter became a law: "For the necessary disbursements of a committee of not to exceed fifteen members, which the Governor is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint, whose duty it shall be to report to the next Legislature concerning the condition of the statutes and laws of this State, $1,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to be paid by the State Treasurer on the audit and certificate of the Comptroller."
Pursuant to this legislative provision, Governor Odell appointed the following members of the committee:
Alton B. Parker,
William H. Adams,
Samuel T. Maddox,
Frank H. Platt,
Celora E. Martin,
Judson S. Landon,
John C. Davies,
This committee entered upon its labors and has prepared and presented its report to the Legislature, a copy of which is hereto annexed, and is incorporated in and made part of this report, as indicating the result of the labors imposed upon your committee by virtue of the resolution referred to. This report has been quite fully referred to by the President of the Association who is a member of the committee, as was also the Chairman of this committee, and a majority of the members of the Committee of Fifteen so appointed.
Your committee has examined the recommendations. made by the Committee of Fifteen, and has only to add that it heartily concurs therein, and recommends to the Legislature the enactment of the statute proposed by that committee.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
January 21, 1903.
J. NEWTON FIERO,
REPORT OF COMMITTEE OF FIFTEEN.
To the Legislature:
The committee appointed to report to the Legislature concerning the condition of the statutes and laws of this State submits the following:
Chapter 594, Laws of 1902, contained this provision:
"For the necessary disbursements of a committee of not to exceed fifteen members, which the Governor is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint, whose duty it shall be to report to the next Legislature concerning the condition of the statutes and laws of this State, $1,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to be paid to the