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 night."
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 trial
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 won."
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 charges."
Supreme court justices don robes
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, Madison.
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."