Document Type


Publication Date



The common citizen who becomes victim of a wrong and seeks redress in the courts of America soon finds by bitter experience that it is better to bear those ills we have than go to law. The expense is more than the thing is worth. The result depends on who has the longest purse, the most endurance, and the shrewdest lawyer, and little on the merits of the case. When he gets to court he finds his remaining money is being spent, not in the trial of his case, but in deciding whether an absque hoc is a sine que non, or some similar piece of jugglery. And if in the end he is so fortunate as to succeed in this haphazard game of chance, he finds in settling that he who wins, loses; but, worse than that, he is disappointed even in his hope that the results of the affray will partly recoup his losses. For when he offers the court's judgment to prove his right he is solemnly informed that it amounts to nothing, because the notice of trial was too short, an affidavit or bond not according to statute, or some rule of the game violated. I have with some care examined the last volume of the American Annual Digest, and it appears that about three-fifths of the matter in the volume relates to procedure, evidence, and other rules of the game. This volume is a fair sample of the others. It is the same old story.