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and men are everywhere uniting their if they can do so by direct means, withefforts to do those things which must be out going to any trouble, and without done some way, but which they find they placing themselves under obligations to cannot do alone.
others. Often a lawyer would ask a
third party for these briefs, when he A Brief and Record Exchange
would not care to let the lawyer who
prepared them know that he was availThere are from 25,000 to 30,000 cases ing himself of his labors. decided by the appellate courts in the The printing of these briefs and recUnited States every year. In every one ords is spread out among almost all the of these cases a record and two briefs printers of the country. have to be printed. At a low estimate What we propose is the organization these cost on an average $50 in each of a brief and record exchange, in as case, totaling from $1,250,000 to $1,500,- large a territory as you feel able to or000 each year.
ganize, by which this printing will be These briefs are frequently of great brought into far fewer hands, and which value to any one interested pro or con will furnish facilities by which lawyers in the point of law involved. They are can obtain, on application, briefs and frequently the result of the collaboration records in any case for a reasonable of the ablest attorneys. They are almost time. necessary, in connection with the record, For illustration, we will suppose that in arriving at a true understanding of you are willing to undertake to organize many decisions. When a lawyer finds a single county. The first step is to sean opinion on which he relies as being lect a printer who is best equipped to do "on all fours" with a case in which he brief and record work, who is liked by is engaged, it will often happen that, the profession, and who will be willing if he can get the briefs and record, his to accede to your demands upon him if work will be done, or at least materially you succeed in effecting the organizalessened. They are as valuable to a law- tion. Make a contract with him by yer on one side of the case as the other. which, in consideration of your securing
While these briefs and records are for him all the brief and record printing public records as soon as filed, they can- of the members of the exchange, he will not be withdrawn, and lawyers cannot agree to pay you ten per cent. on all inspect them without going to the office gross receipts from brief and record of the clerk of the court, except in a printing, and print five extra copies of few large cities, where those for a single every order, for the use of the exchange. state are collected in a library. While The agreement should also secure to the a few extra copies are usually printed, printer the right to offer the privileges a lawyer would ordinarily find it difficult of the exchange exclusively in the terto obtain even part of the set belonging ritory covered. to the case, especially a few years after The next step is to approach the memthe decision. Lawyers will gladly em- bers of the profession, offering them the brace an opportunity to obtain them, ei- privileges of the exchange for a nominal ther to help them prepare their own fee, conditionally on their having all briefs, or for the purpose of seeing what their work of this character done at the other lawyers have been able to find in office of the printer with whom you have support of the other side of the question, contracted.
The exchange on its part will agree undertake to carry out this plan, that to maintain a central office, where all ultimately it would be possible to get the briefs and records are to be filed and them all together, and by organized efindexed, and to furnish them to mem- fort extend it to cover every state. This bers on application, with the condition would make each separate local exchange that they be returned. It will publish, of greater value, and it could offer privas occasion requires, a cumulative index ileges to its members which no lawyer of all cases in which briefs and records could afford to be without. A central can be furnished. It will also make en- organization could take charge of getdeavors to obtain briefs and records in ting out the cumulative index, and memother cases not furnished by the printer, bers could soon procure briefs in all the or gotten out prior to its organization, current cases and many other prior and to accumulate as rapidly as possible all briefs and records obtainable. If you think well of this plan, and It will also keep up an active canvass for undertake it, and will notify us, we will members, to the end that the co-opera- agree to put you into communication tive benefits may be brought to their with all others throughout the country maximum strength.
who are trying the plan. If you do not succeed in making a contract with a printer, this need not dis- Adjustment Bureau for Small Debtors courage you. In that case it will be necessary to solicit contracts for doing the Despite the well-known, though reprinting in the name of the exchange, markable, changes which have taken and you will have no trouble, with so place in the relations between debtors large an amount of printing, to sublet and creditors in general during the last it in such a way as to give you an equal fifty years, that which has taken place or a greater profit, and eventually a between the larger commercial debtors printer will be glad to come to your
and their creditors during the last twelve terms.
years actually staggers the belief of the The advantages to you under this plan people, otherwise intelligent, who are are greater than they may at first seem,
unfamiliar with the circumstances. and they may become of the greatest im
The most significant feature of this portance. There will be a certain profit change is the discrimination now made in the enterprise, small or large, depend between honest and dishonest debtors. ing on the territory in which
under- Help is extended to the one, while the take it. The work of management will other is finding it more and more diffibe slight, and there are practically no
cult to operate. expenses. You will have an extremely The chief agencies for helping the unvaluable working library, more valuable fortunate debtor of the class named are in some respects than any other in ex- the General Bankruptcy Act and the Adistence, right in your office. And your justment Bureaus organized in the princonnection with the exchange will con- cipal cities to affiliate with the local asnect you and your office with the best sociations of credit men, while other in your profession.
credit organizations, known as InvestiBut these are not all the possible ben- gation and Prosecution Bureaus, look ehits. It occurs to us, if a number of after the fraudulent cases. lawyers in different parts of the country It should be noted, also, as an encouraging circumstance, that these improve- vidual Debtor, as distinguished from the ments in conditions were brought about debtor engaged in business. It is a suitby the influence of the creditor class, able term, for circumstances have forced and that this class is still jealous in pro- him often to live an existence apart tecting and extending them.
from those of his kind. He is of the The one discouraging feature of the material which loan sharks feed on, and situation to the altruist is that the prin- out of which suicides are made. . The cipal motive back of these improved Individual Debtor is as necessary to the laws and improved methods has not retailer as the retailer is to the wholesprung from a higher desire than that of saler. He and those dependent on him gain. The greatest influence back of the are also just as important to the comreform has been the desire to save a munity. business-a customer. That there is a In the case of the big debtor of any man interested in the business, a home class, or the retailer in the commercial dependent upon it, and children whose world, when their burdens become too future may be influenced by its success heavy to carry longer, they can, under or failure, or by anything which may certain conditions, obtain relief in the happen to the man, is the last thing Bankruptcy Court, or the retailer can apthought of.
peal to the Adjustment Bureau. If he It was the class of creditors made up is merely unfortunate and not dishonest, of the manufacturers, the wholesalers, the Bureau will, as a usual thing, aftand the jobbers that stood for the Bank- er investigation, arrange a compromise ruptcy Act of 1898, and that has shaped with his creditors. There is little or no its amendments, and the same class trouble about it. The creditors recogwhich has made possible the work of the nize that this man, free from debt, to Adjustment Bureaus. The class of debt- start in business again, strengthened by ors which it has been designed to benefit his past experience, is worth far more is made up principally of the retailers, than a derelict on the business sea, and, and such requirements have been made further, if they do not accept the comas to amount of liabilities, number of position offered, some one creditor, more creditors, etc., that but few others have shrewd or more greedy than the rest, been able to comply with its provisions, will step in and get it all. where they have not been further deter- Something of this kind ought to be red by the fees and costs allowed by the easier to arrange in the case of the InBankruptcy Act, and the Adjustment dividual Debtor than in any other case. Bureaus are not interested in any other As a usual thing, all of his creditors are class.
right in the community where he lives. If, starting from a basis of pure com- They include a grocery or two, a meat mercialism, so much has been accom- market, a dry goods store, a shoe store, plished with such satisfactory results, one or more landlords and doctors, and why is it not possible to start from simi- maybe an undertaker. lar, if not higher, motives, and reach The debtor, for illustration, is a man equally extensive and more happy re- of thirty-five or forty-five years of age. sults among a class of men left entirely He has awakened to the fact that out of the foregoing calculations? through misfortune, poor judgment, or
We refer to the class which, for lack perhaps dissipation, he is now in debt of a better term, we will call the Indi- beyond any very encouraging hope of
squaring himself. He has a wife and ery opportunity, making it cost them small children. He is industrious, and three times the amount secured to apply has a trade or abilities which enable him on their debts, on account of court and to keep pretty steadily employed. He is officers' fees; it will send uniformed honest at heart, but cannot get ahead. collectors to dun them at their work or Perhaps he has borrowed, to stand off at their homes, and gaudily lettered aucreditors, and involved himself more tomobiles to stand in front of their housthan ever.
He would like above all es to embarrass them before their neighthings to pay every debt he owes, but he bors, stirring up in their hearts hatred realizes that his first debt is to his wife for their creditors and hatred for the and children. He knows that he can law. never get anything ahead, for the mo- The Adjustment Bureau will, on the ment he does creditors will grab it. He contrary, send the right kind of a man is considerably interested in exemption to investigate privately. If he finds the laws and the statute of limitations. If debtor is of the right stuff, temperate in he succeeds in saving anything, the only his habits, and possessed of a sensible way for him to give his family the ben- wife, he will talk with them frankly efit of it is to spend it on them at once, about the situation and explain the Bufor something, maybe, which they would reau's plans. If the debtor desires to be better off without, or he must secrete secure the aid of the Bureau he will give it. To be sure, he could divide up a its representative a list of all his credvery small amount among his creditors itors and a statement of how much he at the end of each month; but it is so can pay each month.. Armed with this small that he feels sure they will neither the Bureau will then approach the credappreciate it nor the sacrifice which itors and arrange the best composition made it possible. He wishes sometimes possible, payments to be made in such that he could get all his debts into one installments as the debtor can meet. big debt. Then he feels sure that he The Bureau will then enter into an could wipe it out in time, especially if agreement, evidenced by a certificate to the creditor was friendly, and allowed be issued to the debtor and his wife, by him to keep something out for sick and which the debtor obligates himself to accident and life insurance and a small pay a certain amount monthly (such payment on a home. Recognizing as his amount as he can spare over and above most important debt that to his wife and his reasonable necessities), which the children, what would he not give in ef- Bureau agrees to apply as follows: fort and sacrifice for a home!
1. Sick, accident, and life insurance There are many Individual Debtors premiums; or like this in every community. We do 2. A savings fund, under rules no not realize their number or value, for more onerous or restrictive than those they are inclined to keep out of sight, of savings banks, which fund may be and they grow more retiring constantly used as a loan fund among certificate as their debts increase.
holders; or What we propose is an Adjustment 3. A fuel fund, out of which fuel can Bureau to be operated specially for this be bought at the most advantageous seaclass. A collection agency will hound son of the year; or them; it will garnishee their pay at ev- 4. A child's school or college fund; or
5. A funeral fund; or
ordinarily pay soliciting and collecting 6. A payment on a lot or home in lieu agents, and this will yield some income, of rent; AND
without costing debtor anything either. 7. Balance proportionately to credi- In connection with the custodianship tors; or a combination of all or any of of certain funds the Bureau would be these features, it being understood that confined to the same sources of income No. 7 is obligatory in every case, while as would savings banks. In the beginthe others are optional.
ning it would doubtless be best to arUnder the plan there will be nothing range with a savings bank for handling obligatory on the Bureau in connection the funds in the nature of a special dewith debtor's debts except to apply the posit. payments he makes.
Debtor must be Likewise, in connection with the fealeft free so far as possible to continue ture for home buying, the Bureau at his payments from month to month as first can probably do better by forming he desires. No onerous forfeiture or an alliance with established real estate penalty should be attached to his failure
concerns now engaged in the business of to continue. The benefits to be derived selling homes on easy payments, securby him from a continuance can be and ing as liberal concessions as possible, should be made so attractive that he will
and an arrangement by which the conwillingly strive to secure them.
tract shall become paid up in case of If debtor defaults, no one will have debtor's death before it shall be paid in lost anything, excepting himself and full. family. His creditors will at least have We believe the foregoing is one of the secured something, and the Bureau will
most ingenious plans possible to devise have received enough to protect it from for a lawyer to adopt in establishing loss.
himself in practice, in many communiEvery method should be devised to ties. It is altruistic, and at the same keep debtor in absolute freedom and to time practical. An alliance between a give him a square deal. Men of this
lawyer undertaking the plan and real character will more often stick, if given
estate, banking, and insurance interests independence, and if they know they can would be advantageous, and it would withdraw at any time.
serve the lawyer as an auspicious introA plan should also be included in the
duction into these circles. nature of an employment bureau, so that
It will bring out the best there is in members need not long be thrown out of a man in the way of faculties for promowork.
tion and organization, and will draw to The Bureau's main source of income
the office clients having other business will be from commissions allowed by
to transact. creditors. It is possible that a nominal fee should also be charged debtor in the
Provident Loan Associations beginning as an earnest of good faith, and to protect the Bureau in case debtor Necessity, caused by the grievous opfails to pay his first installment after the pressions of usurious money loaners, has composition with his creditors has been brought about, in nearly every large city, arranged.
the organization of one of these proviThe insurance companies will gladly dent loan associations. In every case allow the Bureau the same fees they they are run on business principles, and