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Mr. ROONEY. These justifications indicate that the request is in the amount of $3,769,000, which would be an increase of $273,300 over the amount appropriated for the Civil Division in the current fiscal year.
The increases are set forth at page 15–3 and would include the addition of 18 people to the payroll; 12 lawyers and 6 clerical.
Mr. Orrick, do you wish to make a general statement with regard to this?
Mr. ORRICK. I have no general statement to make at this time, Mr. Chairman. I have only been on the job for 3 weeks, since last February 6 to be accurate, and I do not think my observations based on that short period would be of great interest to the committee.
BIOGRAPHY OF W. H. ORRICK, JR.
The committee might be interested in my background.
I was born October 10, 1915, in San Francisco, and I went to law school at the University of California where I graduated in 1941 with an LL.B. degree. I graduated from Yale University with a B.A. degree in 1937, and I have been in private practice in California since 1941, with the exception of 412 years when I was in the Army.
In my former law firm we had 25 lawyers, and it is quite a change for me to be in the biggest civil law firm in the world.
Apropos of that, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that I am impressed by the caliber of the lawyers with whom I have dealt in the Civil Division, particularly my section chiefs and their assistants. I think the Government is fortunate to have the services of these gentlemen. I might also say that I am impressed by the volume of cases that the Civil Division handles as well as the variety of litigation in that firm.
I do not see how the number of lawyers we have there can handle that many cases involving over a billion dollars, as effectively as they do.
Mr. Rooney. Who is going to tell us why we could not cut this budget as it stands at the moment without increasing it by 10 percent?
Mr. ORRICK. May I take that burden on myself?
Mr. Rooney. Yes; but you certainly have not qualified yourself for it up to now--but go ahead.
Mr. ORRICK. I just wanted to make it clear that I have not been here very long and the budget was prepared a considerable length of time before I came.
NEED FOR ADDITIONAL ATTORNEYS
There are 12 additional lawyers requested in the budget to be put into 6 of the 10 sections. In the Court of Claims section, if the committee authorizes the additional 12 lawyers, it is proposed to put 3 lawyers to bring the number up to 40. I might here remark parenthetically that I have discussed this matter with Judge Jones, and he believes that the Court of Claims Section in the Civil Division should be brought up to 50 lawyers, and with this, I must say, on the basis of the caseload that the section now carries, I would agree, if we could get 10 lawyers more in addition to the 12 for which we are now asking.
Mr. ROONEY. In the Court of Claims Section?
Mr. ROONEY. Have not new cases received fallen off last year as compared with the 2 previous years?
Mr. ORRICK. Yes, sir; but the statement I base my statement on
Mr. Rooney. Did you not close last year—and when I say "you" I am not addressing you directly-is it not a fact that of cases closed, there were less cases closed last year than the year before?
Mr. ORRICK. That is true.
Let me state, if I may, that the lawyers in the Court of Claims Section of the Civil Division handled, according, to Judge Jones, about five-sixths of the Court of Claims calendar. These cases which are listed do not
Mr. Rooney. If you are getting less cases, why do you need more lawyers? That is hard to understand.
Mr. ORRICK. Mr. Chairman, of the cases that are pending there now, let us say on January 31 of this year, which I do know something about, there were 1,086 petitions but they involved 5,721 plaintiffs.
There are 160 multiple-plaintiff cases in that Division, and in my view, coming out of private practice, 1 lawyer per case is not able to handle that load.
I agree with Judge Jones' point on this.
However, I am only asking for three lawyers to be assigned to that Section because we need the other lawyers elsewhere.
Now, may I continue on the others?
Mr. ROONEY. This same falling off of business, insofar as new cases received and cases closed, is true in the Frauds Section; is it not?
Mr. ORRICK. The number of cases in the Frauds Section has fallen off, but they still
Mr. ROONEY. The number of cases closed in the Frauds Section has fallen off.
Mr. ORRICK. If the cases pending in the Frauds Section were tried successfully, the United States would recover about $33 million.
Mr. ROONEY. If your estimates are correct, you expect to have less cases closed in the Frauds Section than you closed in either 1958 or 1959; is that right?
Mr. ORRICK. If the estimates of my predecessor are correct, that is correct.
Mrs. English points out to me that we have fewer attorneys in that Section.
Mr. Rooney. What did you do, take attorneys away from the Frauds Section in 1960 as a result of falling off in new cases received and cases closed ?
Mr. ORRICK. I understand from Mrs. English we did; yes, sir. Mr. Rooney. Sow, you want these additional attorneys, even though your anticipated figures in 1961 and 1962 are going to be less than they were in 1958?
Mr. ORRICK. If you please, Mr. Chairman, we are not going to put any in the Frauds Section. We are going to put three in the Court of Claims Section; two in the General Litigation Section where there are additional cases resulting from a transfer of cases from the Antitrust Division, or so-called ICC cases, where there has been an increase in social security litigation, where there has been an increase in renegotiation litigation, and where there have been a number of civil actions brought for the enforcement of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.
We also wish to put two additional lawyers into the Patent Section where the complexity of the cases, as a result of technological changes, has greatly increased the work of the lawyers. We want to put two in the Government Claims Section. We want to put two in the Customs Section, and we want to bring the Appellate Section, which is one of our most important Sections, up to strength by adding one lawyer there.
Mr. Rooney. At page 15–16 of these justifications you refer to foreign litigation and your justifications say: *** The requested $100,000 for the budget year is the minimum which should be provided for fees of foreign counsel and other expenses of foreign litigation.
How does that jibe with the $45,000 entitled "Increase in Fees of Foreign Counsel” at page 15–3 of these justifications? You want to increase it from $55,000 to $100,000? Is that right, an increase of $15,000?
Mr. ORRICK. That is correct. I am informed that the estimate has been made on the basis of the increase in cases over the last 3 years.
I might add, parenthetically, that as of today there are some 282 cases pending in the Foreign Litigation Section, and I am not sure that that prediction is an accurate one, but that is the basis upon which I am informed it was made.
Mr. ROONEY. Thank you.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 1961.
RAMSEY CLARK, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL-DESIGNATE
Mr. Rooney. The committee will please come to order.
The next of the items under "Salaries and expenses, general legal activities,” is that for the Lands Division. The particulars appear under tab 16 of these justifications. We shall at this point insert in the record pages 16–1 through 16–17 thereof. (The pages referred to follow :)
LANDS DIVISION Appropriation, 1961.
$3, 421, 300 Estimate, 1962..
3, 695, 000 Increase
273, 700 The Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Lands Division supervises all suits and matters of a civil nature relating to lands and real property. This includes condemnation proceedings for the acquisition of property, actions to remove clouds and to quiet title, to recover possession, to recover damages, to de termine boundaries, to cancel patents, to set aside ad valorem taxes and tax sales, to establish and protect rights in minerals and in other natural resources, to establish and protect water rights, to defend actions for compensation for the claimed taking by the United States of land or any interest in land, and to defend actions seeking to establish an interest in real property adverse to the United States. The Lands Division also is charged with representing the interests of the United States in all civil litigation pertaining to Indians and Indian affairs, including the defense of Indian claims against the United States, whether in the Court of Claims or before the Indian Claims Commission. It defends officers of the United States, handles injunction and mandamus proceedings and litigation arising from contracts where those matters affect the rights of the United States in the use or title of its real property.
With certain exceptions specified by statute, the Lands Division passes upon the title to all lands acquired by the United States by direct purchase. Amount requested
The Lands Division will require an appropriation of $3,695,000 for the 1962 fiscal year for the compensation of personnel and other expenses. This is an increase of $273,700 over the amount available for the 1961 fiscal year.
The increase is required because of: 1. Cost of statutory provisions : Within-grade promotions (Ramspeck Act).
$21, 200 Personnel benefits..
1, 000 Savings due to 1 less compensable day in 1962.
$14, 700 2. Rising cost of appraisers, experts, etc.
273, 000 Details of request
This Division is requesting 244 positions for the 1962 fiscal year which is the same as for the 1960 and 1961 fiscal years. The net increase in the cost of this personnel is $14,700 and is due to statutory provisions such as Ramspeck increases and personnel benefits.
The only other increase requested for the 1962 fiscal year is $259,000 for the employment of appraisers, expert witnesses, ethnologists, historians, anthropologists, etc., in Indian claims, general litigation, and land acquisition cases. The appraisals in Indian claims cases, as well as the ethnological and historical studies which are required, involve great difficulty and expense because of the vast areas (usually millions of acres in a single case) and the early dates which govern the valuations (the bulk of them going back to the first half of the 19th century). In view of the action of the Commission in setting a 3-year calendar to expedite these cases, as explained before, it is estimated that these costs will increase materially during the next 3 fiscal years.
As shown by exhibit No. 2, the acquiring agencies estimate that they will refer for acquisition approximately 3,500 more tracts in each of the 1961 and 1962 fiscal years than were referred in the 1960 fiscal year. This larger volume will greatly increase the cost of appraisers and expert witnesses in land acquisition cases.
No increase is being requested for travel, communication, printing, and other uncontrollable expenses of litigation.
GENERAL STATEMENT Workload
A. Land acquisition: During the 1960 fiscal year, the Lands Division received 16,453 tracts of land for acquisition by either direct purchase or condemnation proceedings. This is 2,405 less than the 18,858 received during the 1959 fiscal year; however, it is over 5,000 more than were received during the 1955 fiscal year. Since July 1, 1953, the closing rate has steadily increased each year. During the 1960 fiscal year, the Division closed 17,876 tracts which is 4,132 more than were closed during the 1955 fiscal year. This involved the acquisition of 401,388 acres and 2,910 parcels of land. The cost of this land amounted to $128,209,884.82 which is an increase of approximately $20 million over the 1959 fiscal year and approximately $69 million over the 1957 fiscal year.
As of June 30, 1960, the number of tracts pending in condemnation cases and for direct purchase amounted to 38,423 which is 8,691 more than the number pending June 30, 1955 (29,732). During the past 6 fiscal years, 99,568 tracts have been received and 93,264 tracts have been closed. As of July 1, 1960, there were condemnation cases pending involving 27,608 tracts of land, affecting 1,593,480 acres, for which there remained on deposit in the courts $68,988,711.47.
In the 1960 fiscal year, the Division deposited $76,944,374.62 in the registries of the courts or an average of $295,939 for each working day of the fiscal year. The disbursements for the year amounted to $69,223,534.40 or an average of $266,244 for each working day. The amount of interest paid during the 1960 fiscal year on deficiency judgments in condemnation proceedings closed, other than by settlement, was $880,855,45 or an average of $3,388 for each working day.
There is attached as exhibit No. 1 a statement which shows for the fiscal years 1944 to 1960, inclusive, the tracts received, tracts closed, tracts pending as of June 30, acres acquired, parcels acquired, and cost of both parcels and acres. This exbibit reflects that the Division has for the last 5 fiscal years received an average of 17,642 tracts of land for acquisition. It also shows that the closing of tracts has steadily increased since the 1953 fiscal year and that more tracts were disposed of during the 1960 fiscal year than in any year since 1945, with the exception of the 1953 fiscal year. The Division closed more tracts than it received for the first time since the 1955 fiscal year. The cost of acres and parcels acquired in the 1960 fiscal year continued to increase and exceeded by several million dollars the cost of acquisitions in any fiscal year since 1945. The pending volume of work in the Land Acquisition Section was greater on June 30, 1960, than at any time since June 30, 1946, with the exception of June 30, 1959.
Exhibit No. 2 attached is a statement showing, as far as figures have been furnished by other agencies, the estimated amount of land to be acquired by the Government during the 1961 and 1962 fiscal years. It will be noted that the estimate specifies 39,483 tracts to be acquired by condemnation or direct purchase.
The unpredictability of estimates in previous fiscal years has hampered this Division in estimating funds required for the acquisition of land to such an extent that last fiscal year it was necessary to obtain a supplemental appropriation in the amount of $160,000. In addition it was necessary to postpone appraisals costing approximately $75,000 to the 1961 fiscal year.
The past low estimates of tracts to be received were called to the attention of the acquiring agencies and exhibit No. 2 reflects a more accurate picture of the