Incredible! 1874 Supreme Court Tongue Lashing

Another memorable class with Prof. MJH when my jaw dropped upon reading Justice Miller’s opinion in a famous 1874 Supreme Court case about the balance between the purpose of the bankruptcy process versus what really goes on…….

Justice Miller writes….

“It is obviously one of the purposes of the Bankrupt law, that there should be a speedy disposition of the bankrupt’s assets.  This is only second in importance to securing equality of distribution……it is a wise policy, and if those who administer the law could be induced to act upon [the Codes] spirit, would do much to make the statute more acceptable than it is……….But instead of this, the inferior courts are filled with suits by or against [trustees], each of whom as soon as appointed retains an attorney, if property enough comes to his hands to pay one, and then instead of speedy sales, reasonable compromises, and efforts to adjust differences, the estate is wasted in profitless litigation, and the fee of the officers who execute the law.”  

I wish I could sarcastically ask Justice Miller — but how do you really feel?   This was in 1874…I gaze into the sky and wonder what he would think if he were to see the “suits” filed today (i.e. 547/548).  Smirk

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