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Newspaper Page Text
FATHER DOWNEY TELLS HIGHBROW LAWYERS
. THEY PREVENT POOR GETTING JUSTICE.
"You lawyers are responsible to the people. Give us more-justice and
less law.- I am sick-and tired of your pettifogging, which has so cluttered
up your court procedure -that it is almost impossible to get justice unless
you have as clever a lawyer as the man opposing you."4Father M. J.
Dorney, of 'St. Gabriel's,, to the Bar Association.
Two hundred of Chicago's high
brow lawyers received the , worst
shock of their lives at the dinner of
the Bar Association in the HotelLa
The" "dinner was supposed to be a
verypleasant affair, and it was un
til Father; Dorney took up a Rooser
veltian'i club and went after those
well-fed, well-satisfied lawyers.
ProfrPercyH.lJo'yhton-, of the Uni
versity of Chicago, .Dr. SVijliam E.
Quine, and Father DorneyVhad been
invited to the. dinner to talk! on "Law
yers as Others Seeus."
Needless- to remark, Boynton,
Quine and' Father Dorney were sup
posed to see.tbe lawyers very nicely.
"They were expected to be ;slightly
sarcastic; of." course but gentle in
their sarcasm.at that.
Prof. Boynton and Dr. Quine acted
up to expectations They made nice,
polite speeches, and any satire they
indulged in was ,'so- gentle it should
have bean wrapped in'cottqEuwool.
And then'' Father Dorney,' twhose
work among the, serfs of the Beef
Trust that "live bapk' p' the yards, Has
made his name ,'ahousehold one
throughtout Chicago, arose tb speak.
And even before he said anything,
an uncomfortable chill ran through
the room. wv ' ,
The priest stood there for a few
minuteV taking ,'in. his. prosperous
looldnir audience. Then lie raised orfe
hand and pointed-an "accusatory fin
ger at them. '
"Gentlemen of the law," began
Father-Dorney, "in the name of God
do soinething- tp remedy the rotten
aegsof the rulesr andf.procetiureHhat
prevents the administration of jus
tice. "You are to blame unless some
thing is done. You are treasonable
to your country unless something is x
done. For you lawyers are respon
sible to the people.
"Give us more justice and less law.
I am sick and tired of your'petti
fogging, which has so cluttered up ,
your court procedure that it is al
most impossible to get justice unless
you have as 'clever a lawyer as the
man opposing you.
-"And you know what that means.
It means that it is almost impossible
to get justice unless you have,, the
price to retain a good lawyer. It
means thai justice is out of reach
of the peopled
"Maybe you think I-speak harshly.
But Ihave a reason. I-Jiave just come
from hearing of .a case where a, poor
man was sent .to the penitentiary,
not because bet waB'"guilty,,but be
cause you lawyers so beclouded your
procedure that It was impossible for
this 'man to tell his plain, simple tale.
Had this been done he would have
"But your rules of evidence; as you
.call them, prevented him telling his
"You owe it to the people,, and you
'owe, it toyourselves, to see that. we
get more justice and Jess law.
"Our judges are hampered by the
legal procedure you have piled up and
"y7er and I speak 'for the plain
people can take care of riots and
crime all right tby ourselves. But-tfie
bench -and the bar must. see, 'that
justice- is properly administered.