West Virginia Law Review

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The subject matter of this address has not been before this association for many years and so far as the record discloses nothing effective concerning it has ever been accomplished. It relates solely to procedure and for the benefit of those who persistently cling to the archaic, those who are temperamentally opposed to change, those who oppose anything resembling an innovation, and those who worship common-law procedure, let me say that what I propose in no way changes our existing procedure but simply adds to it, and makes available to the practitioner of today, a remedy now available under federal law and the laws of most of the states. I refer to declaratory judgment procedure. Much has been written on this subject within the last two decades and hundreds of cases have been decided in that space of time. Within the scope of this paper, nothing more can be done than briefly to consider the nature of the procedure, the history of the movement and its present status in this country, some of the decisions, the adaptability of such procedure to our system of pleading and practice and its usefulness therein. In speaking on this subject I do so with some diffidence in the presence of our distinguished guest and honorary member, Professor Edson R. Sunderland of the Law School of the University of Michigan, who, as all of you know, is an outstanding authority on procedure of all kinds. I do not make any claim to originality or erudition in presenting this matter to you but do so in the hope that after proper study the remedy which is advocated may be adopted by the courts of this state.



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