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"To elevate the standards and improve the conditions of the commercial law practice; to encourage honorable dealings among members and in the profession at large; to foster the feeling of fraternity and mutual confidence." This is the letter expressive of the spirit of our League, as declared by the constitution.
To actualize these objects, operative resolutions, from time to time, have been adopted. Educative in character and manifesting the wisdom of Conventions for the benefit of the entire membership.
To be specific. The League approved the uniform rate, after due notice, deliberation and debate. It did so to improve conditions and to encourage honorable dealings among members. The forwarder who sends his business on a lesser basis and the receiver who accepts it on such terms place themselves above the rule.
The League is a voluntary organization. It has inherent right to pass resolutions binding upon its entire membership. If it adopts a bad rule it should be repealed. If good, why should it not be obeyed?
F. P. V.
COMMERCIAL LAW LEAGUE OF AMERICA
Published Monthly by COMMERCIAL LAW LEAGUE OF AMERICA, 108 So. La Salle St., Chicago, Ill.
Spur to Self Help.
By the Chairman of the Membership Committee.
Every line should be read, pondered and acted upon.
We are just starting an attack upon lawyers who are not members of the League that will not cease until Convention Day at Cape May. We want the attack to come from all sides, thereby making capture certain. Please immediately go after a dozen of your friends and neighbors. Write them a strong letter on the advantages of membership and united action of commercial lawyers; tear a sample page out of your old schedule and enclose it with your letter (you will soon receive a new schedule bigger and better than ever); tell them about the Information Bureau, the Bulletin, etc. With the united action of all the members we could double or treble our membership in thirty days, which would mean the end of free reports and many other pests affecting the lawyers doing the commercial law business of this country, as we would then have represented in our membership practically every law firm carried in the leading law lists. In doing this we would earn and receive the everlasting gratitude of the reputable list publishers, as they don't want to continue the free reporting proposition. They are now in the position of having taken hold of something they cannot let go of. A good law list will sell to the business men without throwing in premium stamps or free reports. The question then between the business man and the law list publisher would be, "How good is your list?" not "How cheap or what preimums are you offering?"
A dozen letters from each member to his friends would make this possibility a reality to be celebrated at the Cape May Convention and every day thereafter.
Do It Now.
And you will never regret it, as your own personal benefit will extend through the balance of your life. It will save you time every day and time is money. Membership now costs you Five Dollars, and it is worth it, but with increased membership we can get results that are not now possible, giving additional value to your membership without additional cost.
We fancy that the Old Guard will charge us with an utter lack of the dignity becoming our profession. To them, we refer to our esteemed and respected president, who can be counted upon to keep the League in line with its code of professional ethics. It would be a poor code of ethics that would restrain our individual or united opposition of injustices practiced upon the profession and we fancy that at the Cape May reunion of the Old Guard they will unanimously agree that we have the courage to say what they but thought. Our League owes a duty to laymen and a duty to the legal fraternity as well. In the discharge of our duty to the laymen we have aided in the adoption of laws such as the Uniform Negotiable Instrument Law, the Uniform Bill of Lading Law, Sales in Bulk Law, and we should not further neglect the duty that we owe to the legal fraternity to eliminate impositions that for years have been practiced upon us, never losing sight of the faet that receiving attorneys, forwarding attorneys, list publishers and others composing our membership each have their grievances which call for our attention.
Where is there another profession or calling that submits to a practice calling upon them for free service such as free reports? The idea of free reports was founded upon the theory that business men would send their business to attorneys making the reports, but experience, as we all know, has proven the theory to be
erroneous. Unless the lawyers doing the commercial law business of this country join hands and throw off the old practices, least among which is the free reporting practice, they will be with us to be handed down to our posterity, absorbing more of our time and energy in one month than would be required, if we all would work, to increase our membership to a point where we could eliminate them.
There is no member of the League who, with the expenditure of very little time, could not secure two desirable new members in less than thirty days, and that done, the discharge of our duty to ourselves would very soon follow. Think of it seriously and earnestly—why, each member could better afford to pay the fee of two desirable new members just to get them started, than to allow action to be postponed sixty days.
You will note that we have not commented on the effect such action would have on the general adoption of the uniform minimum rates.
Help your State-help the C. L. L. A.-help your fellow members-help usfor by so doing you are certain to HELP YOURSELF.
Benj. F. Heaton, Chairman, Ft. Wayne, Ind.
H. S. Greene, Great Falls, Mont.
Henry N. Hurd, Claremont, New Hampshire.
Hugo Seaberg, Raton, New Mexico.
Franklin A. Wagner, New York, N. Y.
Mark W. Brown, Asheville, N. C.
Henry G. Middaugh, Devils Lake, No. Dak.
Wm. J. Fritsche, Toledo, Ohio.
Wm. M. P. Bowen, Providence, R. I.
E. Dean Fuller, Mexico City, Mexico.
Greetings from the Recording Secretary.
Frederic P. Vose,
President Commercial Law League of America,
I am in receipt of your favor asking me to write something for The Bulletin. I know of no better subject that should interest every member of the League, more than Get Together. The conventions of the League afford a golden opportunity to do this.
CHICAGO, January 7, 1913.
It is a good thing to know personally the man you are doing business with and with whom you would like to do business. At every convention' that has been held profitable business connections, valuable acquaintances, and many warm friendships have been made, as every member who has attended one or more of the conventions can testify. I have heard it remarked that friendship and business do not go well together. I take exceptions to that statement, as I know from personal experience that the many warm friendships I have made at the last fourteen conventions I have attended, has proven a great asset to my business, and I believe that every member that has been constant in his attendance at the meetings of the League can say the same.
Those who do not attend the conventions cannot realize what they are missing. I have read with much interest the article our worthy Vice President contributed to The Bulletin, and think it right to the point.
I think every member who attends the League meetings snould appoint himself a committee of one, to make the acquaintance of every other member. Perhaps the innate modesty of some might prevent them from doing this. They would better drop all false modesty and Get Together. I wish it might be possible for me to reach the ear of every member, that I might uncork my bottles of eloquence upon them in urging them, for their own good, to attend the next convention at Cape May.
Frederic P. Vose, Esq.,
Of course the benefits of non-attending members are numerous, but those who attend the conventions profit very materially through the acquaintance and friendships they form.
WILLIAM G. BYRON.
ABOUT LAW LISTS.
As the President of the Commercial Law League of America, we desire to suggest to you the following thought that has occurred to us, that may appeal to you. As we understand it, one of the purposes of the League is to be of some material benefit for its members, including the lawyer in the small towns. There is only a given amount of business going to each particular town. It would be much better if the business for that town could be concentrated over a few of the principal lists, rather than have it scattered over many lists. The attorney would save in representation fees.
Many people are induced to send out contracts to country attorneys, some of them simply in order to get the fee, with no honest intent of ever doing anything for the attorney. Others solicit the attorney and try to build up a list in opposition to the large ones. In nineteen cases out of twenty these utterly fail, and the attorney has wasted his money. Many collection agencies are now soliciting the attorneys for a representation fee in addition to the third that the attorney would pay them as forwarders. This last is simply a graft proposition. If attorneys could see this and confine their subscription fees to legitimate propositions they would not only save their money but they would not compel the law lists to enter into a breakneck competition that they are now engaged in in order to get business, and would enable them not to crowd the attorney for a continual increase of fee each year, or to crowd him into paying an excessive fee based on expectations. This last feature has been developed very fast during the past year, and we know of many instances where an attorney is simply furnishing money to competitors so that they can bid for business, and the result will be that the attorney will not receive an increased amount of business, but simply receive the same amount of business scattered over various lists at a greatly increased cost to him.
In the last analysis it is the commercial attorneys who govern all these factors, and if the matter could be put before them in the right light they would be converted and a great amount of good for all members of Commercial Law League of America would be done.
Yours very truly,