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our profession would not today occupy the position it does as a
power in the world's civilization.

Some one has said that the ideals of man are the realities of
God. This much is certain: our ideas and ideals are the con-
trolling forces of our lives.

"We do not take possession of our ideas,

But are possessed of them;
They master us and force us into the arena,

Where, like gladiators, we must fight for them."

In Our Profession it is absolutely necessary, in order to gain
or keep a place in its ranks, that its members be not only "hearers
of the word, but doers." There is no place in our advancing
column for either the dreamer or the drone.

Many of the greatest names of history are the names of mem-
bers of Our Profession. Xor did they come to these heights of
greatness by chance.

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Annuai^ Banquet. Ill

"The heights by great men gained and kept.

Were not attained by sudden flight.
But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night."

But I desire for a moment to speak of the less eminent of
Our Profession. I want to pay tribute to the rank and file;
those whose ambition it is to excel, rather than to shine ; those
who come under the general and comprehensive term, — obscure.

The engineer down among the propelling machinery of the
great battleship is, in one sense of the word, obscure. His work
is done out of the sight of man and out of the sound of man's
applause. But trusting and obeying the signal of the pilot, his
is the hand that sends forward the mighty vessel to its goal of
triumphant victory.

So in every department of the world's work today are found
the obscure members of Our Profession, alert for the signals of
the Great Law-giver, for the guiding voices of reason and prece-
dent, yielding instant obedience and discharging at any sacrifice
the great duties resting upon them.

Ours is a loyal Profession. Every member is bound by the
most solemn oath to support the Constitution of the United
States and of his own State, and to faithfully discharge the
duties of an attorney and counselor according to the best of his
ability. And noble, indeed, are the duties enjoined by this
oath. He is bound to maintain the respect due to the courts of
justice and judicial officers. To counsel or maintain no action,
proceeding or defense that does not appear to him legal and just.
To employ such means only as are consistent with truth, and
never seek to mislead the judges by any artifice or false state-
ments. To maintain inviolate the confidence and, at any peril
to himself, preserve the secret of his client. To abstain from all
offensive personalities, and to advance no fact prejudicial to the
honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the
justice of the cause with which he is charged. Not to encourage
either the commencement or continuance of an action from any

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112 Iowa State Bar Association.

inotive of passion or interest. Xever to reject for any consider-
ation, personal to himself, the canse of the defenseless or

Churches have their creeds, parties their platforms. These
purport to state the foundation principles of the church or party.
But where can be found a code of morals more comprehensive or
more nearly embodying the teachings of the Great Master than
the one just called to your attention (

Permit me to urge in the interests not only of Our Profes-
sion, but of humanity, that we study more closely and adhere
more strictly to these golden rules of conduct.

It sliould be the purpose of every profession to make each
day a stepping stone to a higher and better life.

Great and beneficial is the influence exerted by Our Profes-
sion. It is great because useful. Xo man can be truly great
who is not truly useful. The same is true of a profession. Our
influence is like that of the light and the heat: Its blessings
fall impartially upon the just and the unjust. It seeks to over-
come evil with good. '* Instead of the thorn shall come up the
fir tree, and instead of the brier, the myrtle tree," as results of
this influence.

Our counsels are universal. Every mimicipal corporation
throughout the land has its law officer. So also in all the depart-
ments of commerce and of individual enterprise, the advice and
direction of the attorney and counselor is a potent and essential

Ours is a modest profession. A friend of mine when asked
to name the best lawyer in Iowa, replied that modesty forbade
that, but he would cheerfully name the second best.

The great charters and constitutions of the world are the
treasures which Our Profession has poured into the coffers of

A lawyer drafted the Declaration of Independence. This
document may well be compared to a sun in the moral firmament,

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Annual Banquet. 113

not only of this nation, but of the world, whose light and warmth
are enriching and beautifying the hearts and lives of all man-
kind. It has been suggested that this great document is at
present making a tour of the world.

A lawyer guided the destinies of our nation through the
horrors of civil war. A lawyer is the great war governor of
Iowa today. A lawyer now directs, as commander-in-chief, the
urmies and navies of our nation, as these great forces of freedom
flash in the face of tyranny, oppression and wrong, the search
light of Christian civilization and liberty.

Finally, my brethren, let us not forget that "The Lord is our
judge ; the Lord is our law-giver ; the Lord is our King." "That
the pathway of the just is as the shining light which shines more
and more unto the perfect day."

Judge Wade : "That was a splendid speech, but it had some
disadvantages, compared with the next number on the pro-
gramme. The gentleman who was to respond to the next toast
is not present. (Applause).

"It seems that our friend, Mr. Gilliland, has invented some
sort of a contrivance by which he hopes to make us see ourselves
as others see us, or something of that sort. It is the second time
we have had him on the programme for an explanation or solu-
tion of this machine which he calls ^The Public Kodak.' But
there is some doubt in my mind whether our friend Gilliland
will ever get this perfected. If he ever does, it will be the great-
est invention of the age. He is not present and I have not filled
his place on the programme ; but I think next year he will be
ready to make a report.

"The next number on the programme was assigned to Judge
Waterman. You will notice by reading it that it is a matter
of considerable importance. 'The Supreme Court as it Is and
as it Used to Be.' It is, in fact, of so much importance that the
Judge finally decided that private interests required his pres-
ence somewhere else. At tho time he accepted the subject and

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114 Iowa State Bar Association.

the response he did not suppose that Judge Deemer or Judge
Kobinson or Judge Kinne would be here, but he found out that
they were coming, and coming in force, and he wrote me the
other day that he thought it would be impossible for him to
come. He is not here. I have, however, requested Judge Rob-
inson to take his place, not upon this subject, however, but to
make a few remarks upon some thoughts that misrht come to his
mind and be appropriate for the occasion.

"He has not had time to prepare a written speech ; has had
only about fifteen minutes notice. Of course, written speeches
are all right, but at times they are a disadvantage. A young
man who went out to make a speech on the opening of a bridge
in some new coimtry, had prepared a very beautiful speech, and
he had learned it very thoroughly, and he got upon the platform
and said: Tadies and Gentlemen, — A few years ago where
this beautiful structure now stands, this place was a howling
wilderness.' He says, ^It was a howling wilderness.' Tadies
and Gentlemen, — A few years ago where this beautiful struc-
ture now stands, this place was a howling wilderness — it was a
howling wilderness ;' and, he says, *I wish to God it was a howl-
ing wilderness still.'

"Now, the Judge will not be troubled with any speech that
he has learned I will guarantee you. Whatever he says is on
the spur of the moment."


By Judge G. S. Robinson.

Mr. President, Ladies and Oentlemeny — Possibly I can as
well respond to the toast assigned to' Judge Waterman as to any
other. , "Our Supreme Court as it Is," is a delicate topic for
me to consider, especially as I do not recognize in the audience
now before me anyone who has been winning any cases in that
court. (Laughtet).

If I were to express my real sentiments towards one mem-
ber of the court tonight, you might get an idea that the court

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Annuai, Banquet. 115

was not entirely harmonious ; but in his absence, I shall refrain
from saying anything about him, and refer to the latter part of
the toast, and that is "The Supreme Court as it Used to Be."

During the fifty years of Iowa's statehood we have had, per-
haps, twenty-five members of the Supreme Court who have
retired from it. How many of you who are forty years of age
can give their names without much reflection? Among the
earlier members of the court we all know, by tradition, as well
as by examining the records, that one was a man of considerable
ability, Judge Joseph Williams; a man who served the State
well at its beginning and who has left a record of his work.
From this time until we had on the bench Judge Wright, Judge
Dillon, Judge Cole and Judge Beck, we had men of ability, men
who have left their impress upon the legal history of the State ;
and perhaps no men who attained a high standing will be as
readily thought of as those who constituted the court from that
time until about 1870. Perhaps at no time during the history
of the court has it had so much ability as when those four men
were members of it Judge Wright certainly all of us knew,
he has so recently left us. We know that his opinions were
strong, vigorous, clear, and models in their way. It may be of
interest to some of those present to know that one of the opin-
ions which he wrote involved a question of great importance to
the State and to him ; it was a question that excited universal
interest and one upon which he deliberated a great length of
time. It seemed to him inevitable that a conclusion which he
desired to avoid must logically be reached in the case. Finally,
he submitted the question to his wife, and she suggested a solu-
tion, which he adopted and thus reached the conclusion which
he sought and the decision was never questioned.

Judge Dillon we know, perhaps, best ; he is the best known,
at least in other States, not only from his work upon our bench ;
not only for the ability of his opinions, — for we rarely find that
it has been necessary to even question them in subsequent opin-

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IK) Iowa State Bar Association.

ions — ^bnt from his work as a Writer. We are all, I think, proud
of Judge Dillon, and glad to know that he commenced his judi-
cial life in our State.

Judge Cole was a man of marked ability, of marked clear-
ness in his work. He had, perhaps, no superior in his power to
express concisely just the facts he desired to state or the propo-
sition of law he desired to present.

Judge Beck, who recently retired after twenty-four years
of continuous service, was the subject of much criticism during
his term upon the bench ; but it is my opinion that his judicial
career had much which should be commended. His opinions are
vigorous and well written, and the influence of his work upon
the court and the judicial history of the State will be found to
be great and it will be the conclusion of the lawyers to come that
he filled one of the most important places ever filled by anyone
on the bench and at a most critical time in the judicial history
of our State; that while his impulses did at times carry him
too far, yet, with the conservative elements associated with him,
he did a remarkably good work. It is true that when not influ-
enced by his associates, as, for instance, in some of his dis-
senting opinions, he sometimes took extreme grounds which
could not be defended. A marked example of that kind is to
be found in perhaps the last dissenting opinion which he wrote,
in the case of McKee v, EaUroad Co. But, notwithstanding
these peculiarities, I think, as I have said that his service on
the bench will be regarded in times to come as one of great
importance to the State.

We have had, since his time, men who have left their impress
upon the work of the court and who will be remembered for
their ability. Judge Seevers was one of these ; a man of remark-
able power in getting at the exact question to be determined ;
sometimes, however, sacrificing clearness for directness.
Another was Judge Eothrock, who was never surpassed, perhaps,
bv anv member of the bench bv his ability to «tate in a

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Annuai< Banquet. 117

clear, concise language the very points he wished to express, the
very conclusion of the court, as to law or fact, and to reject
everything not material to the decision of the case. It is rare
that we find any immaterial matters in an opinion written by

iVnd later we have models of clearness of expression, of
forcible language, and of accuracy, in the opinions of Judge

Coming to the court as it now exists, while I cannot be
expected to say much about it, I may say this, that it is entirely
in sympathy with the purpose of this Association, entirely in
sympathy with every step which is taken by this Association, or
by the Bar of the State, in the direction of raising the standard
of the profession. It realizes that if it does any good work, it is
due to the ability and fidelity of the attorneys who present the
cases to the court for decision. It Realizes that without their
careful, conscientious help it would be almost helpless and over-
whelmed with the vast amount of business that reaches the court
for determination. It will hail with pleasure the day when your
«im will be acomplished, to weed from the profession all
unworthy members. When it will be considered as disreputable
for an attorney, in presenting his case in the Supreme Court, to
present it on an unfair abstract, to make statements in regard to
the record which the record does not sustain, — as it would be
for a witness to make false statements upon the witness stand.
It will hail with pleasure the time when the lawyers who pre-
sent their cases in that court, will have the courage and strength
to reject from their records and from their arguments all ref-
erence to immaterial matter, and thus permit the court to devote
its energies and time to the very controlling questions in the

And, in conclusion, that court will hope in the future, as it
has in the past, for the cordial sympathy and co-operation of
the Bar of the State, realizing that it must have them in order
to succeed. ( Applause. )

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118 Iowa State Bar Association.

Judge Wade : "The assembly will now enjoy a vocal solo
by Mrs. James E. Blythe, a slight change in the order of the
exercises ; 'Barbara Fritchie.' "

Judge Wade: "The next subject for response is 'The
Respected Judiciary.' Of course, we didn't put this in here
with the understanding that there was going to be any dispute
about that question, as to whether the judiciary of this State
is respected or not. The fact is, that of course while we have
the highest respect in this State, in some places they have not.
I noticed the other day while down in Kansas the Judge
adjourned court for fifteen minutes and said he would lick the
lawyer, who had in some way displeased His Honor, and would
then take up court again. He said he always made it a rule not
to fine a man for improper conduct ; that when a man would not
obey he would have to fight.

"I call to mind another case in which the jury were
instructed and sent out to consider the case, and after being out
for twenty-four hours the Judge sent for them and thev filed
into court. The Judge asked whether the disagreement was
upon a question of law or a question of fact. The foreman said
that it was upon a question of law. The Judge asked him to state
the proposition of law about which they differed, and he did so.
The Judge then told the jury that the question referred to by
the foreman was fully covered by the written instructions given
and that further instructions were unnecessary. Thereupon a
little Irishman upon the jury arose and said : 'That's the p'int,
yez 'onor that was troubling the jury, whether you knew phwat
the law was or not.'

"We will now listen to Hon. P. W. Burr, of Charles City^
on 'A Respected Judiciary.' "

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Ankuai, Banquet. 119


By Hon. P. W. Buer.

Mr. Toastmaster and Oentlemen of the Associaiion, — The
remarks which have been made by the eminent toastmaster in
reference to the impropriety, — ^not exactly impropriety, but the
misfortune which sometimes comes to a man because of having
his speech written out, his extemporaneous remarks prepared
some time before hand and committed to memory, incline me
to leave the speech which I have written out in my pocket. Now
I am impressed with the fact, however, that if I should do that,
I might feel, before I got through, as the gentleman did who
has been referred to, and wish that this was a howling wilder-
ness. And, on the other hand, I have sometimes felt, when gen-
tlemen about to address an audience of which I was a mem-
ber, held out a written speech, that I wished it was a howling
wilderness; and so I am, in a measure, between the devil and
the deep sea. (Applause.)

That a judiciary be respected it is necessary that it be respect-
able. This goes without saying. Standing in the presence of
so many men who are generously giving their time and talents
to the upbuilding and upholding of American jurisprudence,
and of this great Commonwealth, and thereby reflecting honor,
both upon themselves and upon the bench of Iowa, it would be
not only injudicious, but ungenerous and unfair to insinuate
that there is any lack of respectability among these gentlemen.
Nor do I refer to the judiciary of Iowa alone, but to that of each
of the States and of the entire United States.

The integrity of judiciary of this country has been our her-
itage; may it be our never ending glory. Indeed, the cry of
dishonesty has been so seldom heard in connection with the
making of judicial decisions, until recent years, that its echoes
have died away amid the firm abiding peaks and hills of hon-
esty, earnestness and unsullied honor.

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120 IOWA State Bar Association.

Wherever the American judiciary is known, or its history
understood, the personnel of the court has been without reproach,
and beyond suspicion. Of late years, there seems to me to be
a tendency to make attacks upon the judiciary as a whole, which
is really worthy of the attention of fair thinking lawyers, and
which is well worth their while to attempt to check, lest the
judicial system be so altered, and so shorn of power, that its best
friends won't recognize it, and it will be left like "a painted ship
upon a painted sea." Honest, fair criticism can do no harm.
Indeed, it is doubtful whether any system could be devised
which would do so much to keep the Judges right up to the work
in hand as the certainty that this work will be examined and
freely commented upon by their masters, the public. Xo
sweeter music comes to the ear of the faithful public servant,
than the well-earned commendation of those whom he honestly
and conscientiously serves; no punishment more severe than
the just condemnation of those whose interests he has not faith-
fully served. Every right thinking Judge desires to be well
thought of and well spoken of. Honest criticism must not be
discouraged. Of this I do not speak. I speak of that fault-find-
ing, carping spirit which freely and unhesitatingly accuses and
charges the judiciary with venality and favoritism wherever an
adverse decision is made.

In this day and age questions of quasi-public character are
constantly before the courts for solution. Many of them are
thought by the politicians to be of vital interest to their respec-
tive parties ; and so it comes that, whatever the Judge decides
in this class of cases, he is subject to the unfair attack of those
against whose interests he has decided. One political party
wants the name of a candidate on the oiBcial ballot but once;
another wants it on in half a dozen places. The case is sub-
mitted to the court for decision, and when the decision comes,
the Judge receives such abuse from those he has decided against
that he is in doubt himself whether honest people ought to recog-

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Annual Banquet. 121

nize him on the street or not. The malignant cries of the
defeated are directed against the fair foundations of justice.

The people of a great State are convinced that the use of a
deleterious substance can be controlled by legislation and a
^change in the organic law is attempted ; it is not done as by law
provided ; the court of last resort so decides ; and to the everlast-
ing shame of one of the great political parties of the State of
Iowa, one Judge, at least, who had the courage to decide as he
thought the law was, went down in political defeat because he
so decided. Let me say right here, that had I been that man, I
would have gloried that I had the grace and courage to make
that decision, in the face of a coming convention, that, if a
sacrifice of that sort had to be made, I was the victim. Peace
hath its victories as well as war ; and, while we talk of Dewey,
Hobson and Sampson, let us not forget the heroes of peace, but
remember that the man, in whatever position, who manfully,
honestly and courageously does what he is called upon to do in
the face of possible disastrous consequences to himself, is a hero.

A great nation desires the imposition of an income tax. Its
law-making power passes the law. Great trusts and corporations
attack the law as unconstitutional. It has been sustained in
principle by the highest judicial tribunal of the country. That
same tribunal now declares the tax to be unconstitutional. What
abuse follows ! One might think the very foundations of the
Republic had fallen. And yet, where is the man who can sat-
isfy his own mind, beyond question, as to what the construction
of the clause of the Constitution in question should be and say,
unhesitatingly, what the decision should be ?

Evil disposed men, in large numbers, seek to interfere in
the property rights of others. There is no question about the
right of the court to restrain one individual from committing
such trespass. Ought there to be any question about the right
to restrain a multitude? Yet the Judge who attempts it is
denounced as an intriguer against the government. Great polit-

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122 Iowa State Bar Association.

ical parties in annual convention solemnly affirm that, in con-
tempt of law and rights of individuals, the judiciary ha&
attempted the government of the country. Who ever heard of
a Judge who wanted to govern the country from the bench ? If
he is a trial judge and governs his own court, he has usually
all the governing he wants to do. The attack upon the judiciary
was unfair. Thereby it was sought to secure a vote of want of
confidence in the judiciary of the people. And note how ground-
less was the charge, because it cannot be said that any decision has
been made by the Supreme Court of the United States wr^on the
question of injunction against so-called strikers that is not in
harmony with long years of precedent in equity practice.

Now, here comes the difficulty. In all these attacks upon
the judiciary as being in the way of the wishes of the people,,
there are some who get ideas and notions which are not eradi-
cated. They do not understand that the attacks are Pickwickian
in character, without any just foundation. They do not under-
stand that they are merely for effect. And so there comes a
growing tendency to curtail the power of the courts ; in fact, to
displace them ; to settle more questions by the will of the major-
ity. It is the glory of our system of jurisprudence that the weak
and the few have the same rights before the law as the many and
the strong; and so, while the majority may be trusted to do
right in the long run, yet it will not now, — and never will, —

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