I have been exploring our minutes again and share some items that perhaps put some of our current concerns in focus;
125 years ago in 1893 the Annual Dinner was held immediately after the AGM at the Royal Hotel. Cost 7/6d [37 1/2p in new money] and the note confirms “Solicitors and their articled clerks, although not members of the society, are eligible to attend the dinner and they will be cordially welcomed by members”
A J Flint was in the chair but moved on to become treasurer handing on to J Potter esq with J H Powell as Vice.
Ever keen to protect solicitors sources of income, a note from 3rd March 1893 reports; “ that a practice generally exists in District Probate Registries, of Registrars and their clerks giving legal advice and unnecessary assistance in personal applications for grants and in preparing legacy and succession duty accounts, contrary to the rule to this effect and which this meeting thinks should be stopped”
In times of internet and digital information we may lament that at the same meeting the secretary was directed to “have some books in the library repaired”. The law moved more slowly then and it seems new editions of standard texts were not even an annual event.
100 years ago 1918 The committee was consumed with representations as to how County Court work should be grouped. The suggestion that Long Eaton be grouped with Ilkeston was strongly objected to. Long Eaton then had a population of 20,000. Stapleford 7,789 and Toton 176, although “a large Shell filling factory has been built at Chilwell and the population has increased considerably”. Some reluctantly felt that they would probably favour a grouping with Nottingham, “as the train journey is much shorter and the train service is much better than to Derby”
After discussion the committee resolved to oppose that suggestion as the balance of convenience reason was negated by the fact that a separate court was held at Long Eaton and so should be retained within the County in the same manner as it is for the Magistrates and other matters.
On 27th November 1918 under the heading “Demobilisation”, a letter was read from The Law Society in London asking the Society to name “3 really pivotal solicitors for immediate release”
It was resolved that the names of LE Simpson, SG Taylor and HM Clifford be submitted if agreeable to those parties.
Finally moving forward to 1922 the committee was concerned with Criminal Law, which it must be said is rarely mentioned in our records;
15th December 1922
“A letter received from the Justices Clerk requesting solicitors to robe in the Derby Borough Police Court and a letter stating the opinion of the Law Society was read and after discussion a vote was taken and the secretary instructed to inform the justices Clerk that this Society could not see their was to recommend its members to robe as the Derby Borough Police Court was the only Police Court in the county where this was done.”
And finally back to Regionalization! Faced with a suggestion that the Assizes be removed to Nottingham;
Resolved “that this meeting views with alarm and strongly protests against the suggestion to remove the assize for the County of Derby to Nottingham or elsewhere as in their opinion it will enormously increase the cost to litigants, witnesses and jurymen residing in the county”
I wonder what the committee of ’22 would make of the last 50 years relentless march towards regionalized crime centres.
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