To celebrate its 75th anniversary, throughout 2003 the
Wisconsin Lawyer will include "From the Archives," a monthly
column devoted to lively snippets from past issues. Material is quoted
directly and attributed when the contributor is known. More in-depth
coverage of the magazine's publishing history will appear in September,
as part of the State Bar's 125th anniversary celebration this year.
Can you say 'Darwinism'?
Feb. 1935, at 54: "Circuit Judge George Grimm of Jefferson had his
Dodge car stolen from his garage Jan. 31 by three gunmen who broke into
the garage and took it. This happened after they had abandoned a car
belonging to Deputy Sheriff Harry O'Brien of Watertown and in which the
gunmen fled after a battle with the deputy at Ixonia earlier that
Honoring 150 years of law practice
May 1935, at 107: "The Manitowoc County Bar Association ... in April
honored three of its veteran members, each of whom has served more than
50 years continuously in the active practice of law. They were Judge
Emil Baensch, who was admitted to the bar in 1881; Judge A.P. Schenian,
who began law practice in 1882; and Herbert L. Markham, ..., whose first
legal activities [began in] 1883."
Attorney reports on Lindbergh baby kidnapping
Feb. 1935, at 47: "Aldred L. Godfrey, Elkhorn attorney, attended
several sessions of the [Bruno] Hauptmann trial in Flemington, New
Jersey, sending reports of the trial home to his friends."
Leave nothing to chance...
Aug. 1935, at 205: "Members of the Fond du Lac Bar met for a game of
softball. Judge L.E. Lurvey umpired but it seemed necessary to have a
board of appeals, which was comprised of Judge H.M. Fellenz, and
Attorneys E.P. Worthing, T.L. Doyle, and Frederick Foster. The lawyers
were divided into two teams, ... the reports are that both teams
Steep fines for drunk drivers
Aug. 1935, at 225: "Judge George Page, of Milwaukee municipal court,
recently inaugurated a movement which he hoped would lessen the number
of automobile drivers brought into his court on the charge of drunken
driving. He found eight drivers guilty of this offense and fined them
$100 and costs, warning them that a more severe penalty would be
forthcoming if they ever appeared before his court again on similar
The justices in their new robes. Seated, from left: Justice Chester
A. Fowler, Chief Justice Marvin B. Rosenberry, Justice Oscar M. Fritz.
Standing, from left: Justices George B. Nelson, Edward T. Fairchild,
John D. Wickhem, Joseph Martin. Photo by Julius C. Edelstein,
Supreme court justices don robes
Nov. 1935, at 240: "Wisconsin Supreme Court justices donned black
silk robes for the first time when they convened to hear the first
assignment on the Aug. 1935 calendar. The justices previously had been
accustomed to wear, while on the bench, a long black cut-a-way or Prince
Albert coat, with gray striped trousers. The robes add to the appearance
of the court a note of formality, dignity and decorum, which is
commensurate with the powers and importance of the court as one of the
three coordinate branches of the government and with the respect and
high place to which it is entitled in the minds of the public.
"There was in the minds of the justices, however, a more practical
reason for the adoption of robes. The style of apparel formerly worn by
them on the bench was suitable for neither office nor street wear, and
required much changing from one suit to another, taking valuable time.
The robes, on the other hand, are loose and comfortable and can be
easily slipped on and off over any kind of a business suit suitable for
street or office wear; and on hot days in summer, coat and vest can be
omitted with added comfort. Each judge furnishes his own robe."
Teeming labor issues
May 1935, at 119: U.W. Law School Dean Lloyd K. Garrison recently
"suggested increased unionization of labor and a plan for voluntary
arbitration of disputes as a means toward the advancement of industrial
peace in this country. Drawing on his experience as chair of the
National Labor Relations Board ..., he said, 'We are going to see a
fairly rapid growth of union organization in this country in the
future,' which predicates ... the problem of preventing strikes and the
breakdown of negotiations between employers and employees. As a solution
for it, he suggested a plan involving state councils composed of fair
minded employers and union leaders chosen from throughout the state who
could draw up a charter of industrial peace for labor and industry for
the state, providing voluntary arbitration of all labor disputes."
Dean Garrison, in a later address, declared that "compulsory
arbitration had proven a failure; that the interests of capital and
labor are the same, because one cannot exist without the other. He
believes that well run, bona fide, labor unions are helpful to the
employer in making his business a success; also that collective
bargaining should be encouraged, but the difficulties are to determine
what is a fair wage and what is the proper working week."
Menomonie's first woman attorney
Aug. 1935, at 217: "Miss Anne M. Jelik, who has been associated in
the law office of Willis E. Donley for the past three years, has become
the first woman attorney to practice law in Menomonie."
Membership records indicate growth
Aug. 1935, at 179: "The records of the secretary at the time of the
convention showed 1,581 active members, which includes 94 life members,
2 honorary members, and 4 out-of-state members. ... The records show a
net gain of approximately 81 members over the previous year."
Legal phraseology criticized
Feb. 1936, at 39: "Justice Chester A. Fowler declared he fell into
his 'worldwide' fame because of his recent 'and-or' decision, which
criticizes the use of 'and-or' in legal phraseology. One complimentary
letter about the decision included this jingle: 'A peculiar word is the
and-or, whose use implies lack of candor. Whenever it's used, it tends
to confuse, so I say to hell with the and-or.'"
DAs say office of coroner is useless
Feb. 1935, at 63: At the Wisconsin District Attorneys' Association
annual mid-year meeting, several DAs attacked the office of coroner as a
useless appendage of county legal machinery. "Leonard Schmitt of
Merrill, ..., led the discussion. They declared that inquests conducted
by coroners in many cases are of no help, that the coroners do not know
the rules of evidence or know evidence when they see it and that most of
them have no training for the post and have too much power.
"Neuman F. Baker, director of the Northwestern University detection
bureau, backed up the contention ... that the coroner is a useless
office which more often confuses than helps criminal investigations. He
spoke ... on the need for changes in administration methods in relation
to crime, declaring that in large centers politics and division of
responsibility work against solution of crimes and that in smaller
populated divisions the office is too much controlled by politics."