Page images
PDF
EPUB

for that purpose.

I commend to the attention of this Association an article written by one of the most prominent lawyers of Illinois, published in the American Law Review. We absolutely need some relief, and if any one can suggest anything more likely to afford that relief than the Torrens System, I wili join hands with him in recommending that to the Legislature. We simply recommend the system and let the committee of the Legislature attend to the details; it is their work, not our work; and any member of this body who has any particular matter to present to the Judiciary Committee of the Legislature can go there and present it. They have the time, they are not overburdened with work; let them do the work and present the bill as the wisdom of the committee of the Legislature of Virginia; and I am sure that those communities which desire this law will accept it gladly and willingly. What objection can any man see? We do not affect the city of Richmond. If the city of Richmond does not want this law, it need not have it; but if the city of Alexandria wants the system, under this law she can get it.

Mr. R. T. Barton: Mr. President, I have a suggestion to make, which I think might bring about some concurrence of action without much trouble. I asked Mr. Massie a question by which I did not intend to indicate that I was opposed to th: : system. I asked him how far a creditor would be protected under this system. He replied that the creditor would be as much protected as he is under the present laws. I think he is mistaken, because under the present system one

can refuse to trust a man who has overmortgaged his property. Of course, he runs the risk of trusting a man who is really overmortgaged, but has not put the deed on record. But we are not now considering the details of this proposed measure, and we cannot, even if the bill be drawn by the committee and brought before this body. We are not so constituted as to properly consider details ; this body only considers general principles. But I would not be satisfied to recommend any bill adopting the Torrens System without having some opportunity to criticise the details, not before this body, but before the body that enacts it

into law. It seems to me that the practical way is to recommit. this subject to the committee that has had charge of it; they are eminently fitted for it, and I believe that any bill they drew I would endorse without looking at it. I suggest now to recommit it to the committee, with instructions to draft and present to the Legislature a bill covering the whole ground, and to publish it, so that the members of the Association can call the attention of the Legislature to anything they object to. I believe by that we can accomplish our object and have it done all at once.

I believe that when a matter has been before this Association for four years, we might well take it for confessed; and I think it is rather late in the day to discuss the merits of a system which has been tried, the details of which alone might be subjects of discussion or objection, when we are not so constituted as to be able properly to consider details.

Mr. Johnson: I accept your amendment, subject to this: I want a statement from this Association commending the principles of the system.

Mr. Barton: Mr. President, it has been suggested that it is hardly practicable to get all of this committee together. Any action that any three of them may take I will follow blindly.

Mr. Barbour: Mr. President, I have no objection to the resolution offered by the gentleman from Winchester alone, but I do object to it with the addendum of the gentleman from Alexandria, because we are endorsing a pig in a bag—we do not know what we are endorsing.

Mr. John T. Harris: Mr. President, I think the Association understands what it is endorsing, which is the general principles of the Torrens System, and it ought to be submitted to the Legislature now, because a general revision of our laws will soon take place.

Mr. Willis B. Smith: Mr. President, it seems to me that the Legislature would very probably treat with contempt the action of this body, if we came before it with a proposition which is substantially, "We don't know anything about this

[ocr errors]

Torrens System; we think you are in the same fix, and we have sent several eminent lawyers and law professors to tell you about it.”

I went there with a committee of which Mr. Old, of Norfolk, was chairman. We went there with a welldigested bill, and nearly every proposition we presented to them from the Association in a decent shape they adopted. But if we go there and say to them that we met at the Hot Springs, and we didn't know anything much about the Torrens System, but that we sent a committee there to tell them they ought to adopt it, they will treat it very lightly.

Mr. Barbour: At the time I drew my resolution, I did not know there was a committee on the Torrens System. I would like my motion to be changed, so that it will name that committee.

Mr. Harris: Mr. President, I offer an amendment to the motion of the gentleman from Culpeper (Mr. Barbour), that the committee distribute this bill by the first of December.

Mr. Barbour: I have no objection to that amendment. I think it would be better for it to be circulated thirty days before the next meeting, instead of the first of December. I will suggest that my motion should read that it be published by the first of December, even though it is not distributed until thirty days before the next meeting. I will now read my substitute in its perfected form:

Resolved, That the Committee on the Torrens System be directed to draft a bill looking to the establishment of the Torrens System in Virginia, and report the same to the next meeting of this Association for its approval or disapproval. A majority of said committee is authorized to act, and as soon as its report is completed the Secretary is directed to have the same printed and a copy thereof sent to each member of the Association, not later than June 1st next.

Mr. Johnson: Mr. President, I now read my resolution as amended by Mr. Barton:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Virginia State Bar Association that the General Assembly of Virginia should enact

proper legislation for the establishment of the Torrens Land System in Virginia, or in such portions thereof as it may be deemed wise and appropriate at this time.

And the following committee, or a majority thereof-to-wit, Eugene C. Massie, Thomas C. Elder, R. L. Parrish, Frank W. Christian and W. M. Lile- are hereby appointed to draft the proposed legislation to be submitted to the Legislature, and to print and distribute said proposed legislation among the members of this Association prior to the 1st day of December, 1902.

The President: The question is upon the substitute offered by Mr. Barbour.

Mr. John T. Harris: I move that the substitute be laid on the table.

Carried.

The President: The question is now upon the original resolution of Mr. Johnson as amended by Mr. Barton.

On motion, the resolution of Mr. Johnson, as amended, was adopted.

The Association then took a recess to 8:30 P. M.

EVENING SESSION

Hot Springs of Virginia

WEDNESDAY, August 6th, 1902.

The Association was called to order by the President at 8:30 P. M.

Mr. R. B. Davis: I am requested by the Treasurer of the Association to call the attention of members again to the fact that a great many have not registered. It is absolutely essential that this be done, in order that he may make arrangements for the banquet to-morrow night.

There will be a meeting of the Executive Committee imme

diately upon the adjournment of this session, and we will be glad to have all the members elected at this meeting present.

The President: Ladies, and gentlemen of the Virginia State Bar Association, we shall have the great pleasure this evening of hearing a gentleman who needs no introduction to a Virginia audience. I dare say, indeed, that there is no portion of this great country where this gentleman would need an introduction. In the Old Dominion his name is a household word. I introduce the senior Senator from the State of Virginia, who was, until its adjournment, a distinguished member of the Constitutional Convention, the Hon. John W. Daniel. (Applause.)

Major Daniel then read his address. (See Appendix.)

Judge L. L. Lewis, Chairman of the Committee on Memorials, then presented the memorials on deceased members.

(See Memorials at end of Minutes.)

On motion, a recess was then taken to 10 o'clock A. M., Thursday, August 7th, 1902.

THIRD DAY

Hot Springs of Virginia

THURSDAY, August 7th, 1902.

The Association was called to order by the President at 10 o'clock A. M.

The President: Gentlemen of the Association, the Chairman of the Committee on Admissions wishes to make a report, and now he has an opportunity of doing so.

Col. Stickley read the final report of that committee. (See Report at end of Minutes.)

The President: I will assume, on behalf of the Association, to return the thanks of the body to our very efficient Chairman

« PreviousContinue »