New York Court of Appeals. Records and Briefs.: 75 NY2D 449, RECORD part 6, PEOPLE V DARBY


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NEW YORK FIELD CODES SERIES Volume I. The Code of Civil Procedure of the State of New-York (1850) Volume II. The Code of Criminal Procedure of the State of New York (1850) Volume III. The Civil Code of the State of New York (1865) Volume IV. The Penal Code of the State of New York (1865) Volume V. The Political Code of the State of New York (1860) ABOUT THE SERIES In 1847 the New York state legislature established two committees, one to "reduce into a written and systematic code the whole body of the law of this state," another to "revise, reform, simplify and abridge the rules and practice, pleadings, forms, and proceedings of the courts of record of this State." Both included David Dudley Field, a leading proponent of codification. These committees produced codes of civil and criminal procedure in 1850, a political code in 1860 and civil and penal codes in 1865. All of these were written for the most part by Field. Popularly known as the Field Codes, they were very influential, both in the United States and internationally. The magnitude of the results of his labors can scarcely be overestimated. It might not be universally conceded that he was the greatest of contemporary advocates or even jurists; but that he exerted a greater influence in modifying and simplifying the judicial systems of the United States and England than any other man of his time, will hardly be denied. The world over, wherever the prevailing jurisprudence has had its origin in the English common law, the form and manner of conducting litigations and transacting the business of the courts are due to the influence of David Dudley Field. David Dudley Field 1805-1894] was the leading American proponent of codification during the nineteenth century. Born in Haddam, Connecticut, he was the son of the Rev. David Dudley Field, a distinguished clergyman and author, and the brother of Cyrus Field, the financier who laid the first telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean, Stephen Field, chief justice of the California Supreme Court and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Henry Field, a notable clergyman and popular travel author. A graduate of Williams College, he settled in New York City, where he studied law, was admitted to the bar and rapidly won a high position in his profession. Originally a Free-Soil Democrat, he played an important role in the establishment of the Republican Party in New York and supported the Lincoln administration throughout the Civil War. He returned to the Democratic Party in 1876 and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from January to March 1877, filling the unexpired term of Smith Ely, who had been elected mayor of New York City.
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