The Chicago Bar Association 150th Celebration

counsel for the accused. Kogan relates that the longer Black tried to secure coun sel, the more “indignant” he became that the defendants might go to trial without representation. Black went to see Circuit Court Judge Murray F. Tuley, a respected jurist. Black explained that the fee offered was very little and the jeopardy to his career was clear. He asked the judge for advice. The judge replied that since the men had offered a retainer to the extent of their ability, Black’s duty to the profession and to himself demanded that he accept the case and undertake the defense. Black acknowledged that he felt it was his duty and accepted the case. This was a coura geous commitment by a member of the Bar. Black recognized his duty to the pro fession and to the law, and he undertook the defense in the face of jeopardy to him self, his family, and his practice. The trial of the Haymarket Eight began on July 15, 1886, before Judge Joseph E. Gary. The prosecutor, Julius S. Grinnell, argued that even if the defendants did not throw the bomb, they were guilty of engaging in conspiracy against society and the rule of law. Black’s defense was based on lack of evidence. The defendants were found guilty; seven received death sen tences, and one received 15 years. A series of legal steps were taken to attempt to save the men from death. Governor Richard Oglesby commuted two of the defendants’ sentences to life in prison. Another defen dant took his own life. The remaining four were hanged in the Cook County jail yard. A CBA dinner in honor of Judge Gary revealed strong support for the judge’s actions against anarchy. Despite this, a reaction was growing against the outcome of the case. A petition for clemency for the remaining Haymarket Square defendants circulated, with prominent CBA mem bers among the signatories. The remain ing defendants were pardoned in 1892 by Governor John Peter Altgeld, who cited the conduct of the trial and the lack of evidence to prove guilt.

of children in the justice system. The CBA was asked to form a committee to survey the situation, headed by Harvey Hurd, an abolitionist and humanist concerned with child welfare. The CBA sponsored a bill, called An Act to Regulate the Treatment and Control of Dependent, Neglected, and Delinquent Children, which was signed into law on April 21, 1899. This law created the Cook County Juvenile Court, the first of its kind not only in the United States, but in the world. The 25th Anniversary of the CBA was celebrated with a banquet at the Palmer House, a gala event attended by most of the members – now numbering close to 700. Noted accomplishments of the first 25 years included the organization of the juvenile court; a committee to initiate action to disbar unworthy practitioners; a new state revenue statute; and a com mission to revise the code of practice and procedure to increase vigilance in law yers and judges. In 1897, the Association asked the Supreme Court to establish the State Board of Law Examiners. Two years later, a bill was passed, making the illegal practice of law a misdemeanor. The CBA’s first 25 years saw member ship grow from 42 in 1874 to around 700 in 1899. This growth attests to the benefits of an organized bar association in Chicago to maintain the standards of the legal profession, to foster an esprit de corps among Chicago’s lawyers, and to continue to serve the equal adminis tration of justice. By joining with other members of the bar, we find strength and wisdom to pursue justice, provide repre sentation, advocate for the unempowered, and uphold our duty to the law and to our community.

atmosphere. A prominent physician, Dr. Ernst Schmidt, organized a committee to secure representation for them. Schmidt was sympathetic to the plight of work ers but advocated against the use of force in securing labor reform. He approached William Perkins Black, a well-known citi zen with a promising legal career, to take on the defense of the Haymarket eight. Black initially declined, saying he did not have the criminal law experience nec essary to take the case. However, Schmidt explained that two other prominent law yers had already declined. Black ultimately promised to assist Schmidt in retaining Farwell Hall on Madison Street west of Clark, where the Association moved in 1875. Source: Kogan, Herman , The First Century: The Chicago Bar Association 1874-1974

Lynn Kopon, Kopon LLC, is a member of the CBA Record Editorial Board.

Special thanks to CBA Record Editorial Board Member Kathleen Dillon Narko for curating the personal member reflections included with this article on page 26.

Juvenile Court Created, 19th Century Closes

As the 19th Century ended, efforts were underway in Chicago to address the plight

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