Field, David Dudley


Field, David Dudley

▪ American lawyer

born Feb. 13, 1805, Haddam, Conn., U.S.
died April 13, 1894, New York City
 U.S. lawyer whose advocacy of law codification had international influence. The “Field Code” of civil procedure, enacted by New York state in 1848, was subsequently adopted in whole or in part in many other U.S. states, in the federal court system, and in England, Ireland (both 1873), and several British overseas possessions, notably India. He was the brother of the financier Cyrus W. Field.

      After attending Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., Field was admitted to the bar in 1828 and practiced in New York City. In 1837 he began a campaign for reform of the New York judicial system. Ten years later the state legislature appointed him to a pleading and practice commission, which, with Field as chief draftsman, prepared a civil procedure code and later a code of criminal procedure. Next he was appointed chairman of a commission for codifying the entire body of New York law, substantive as well as procedural. Ultimately he was responsible for five “Field codes,” which were adopted completely by California (where his brother Stephen J. Field was then a state supreme court justice) but only in part by New York. He also prepared Draft Outlines of an International Code (1872).

      As a practicing attorney, Field had some clients who led him into dubious actions. He was nearly disbarred for his activities on behalf of the financiers Jay Gould (Gould, Jay) and James Fisk (Fisk, James) in their struggle with Cornelius Vanderbilt for control of the Erie Railroad (late 1860s). He also was counsel (1873–78) for the notorious New York City politician William Magear (“Boss”) Tweed (Tweed, William Magear).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • FIELD, DAVID DUDLEY —    an eminent American Jurist, born in Haddam, Connecticut; for 57 years a prominent member of the New York bar, during which time he brought about judiciary reforms, and drew up, under Government directions, political, civil, and penal codes;… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • David Dudley Field — David Dudley Field, zwischen 1865 und 1880 David Dudley Field (* 13. Februar 1805 in Haddam, Connecticut; † 13. April 1894 in New York) war ein amerikanischer Jurist. Auf ihn gehen verschiedene Gesetzesreformen zurück, die zu einer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • David Dudley Field I — (May 20, 1781 – April 15,1867) was an American Congregational clergyman and historical writer. He was born in East Guilford, now Madison, Connecticut on May 20, 1781, the son of Timothy Field, an officer during the American Revolution. He… …   Wikipedia

  • David Dudley Field II — For other uses, see David Field (disambiguation). David Field David Dudley Field II (February 13, 1805 – April 13, 1894) was an American lawyer and law reformer who made major contributions to the development of American civil procedure. His… …   Wikipedia

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  • field code of New York — The first code of civil procedure that established simplified rules for pleading an action before a court, which was proposed by DAVID DUDLEY FIELD in 1848 for the state of New York and enacted by the state legislature. Dictionary from West s… …   Law dictionary

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