That "many of the most despicable legal tricks practiced in New York today are those attempted by young whippersnappers right out of Harvard who are members of big downtown law firms" was the contention of Justice W. J. A. Caffrey, of the Municipal Court, in a recent address before 400 members of the New York County Lawyers' Association at the Hotel Astor. Questioned at the conclusion of the meeting about his references to Harvard Law School graduates, Justice Caffrey explained that his remarks were directed principally against junior members of those "big downtown firms", and that he only intended to use Harvard as a "symbol of arrogance and conceit."
He averred that Harvard Law graduates were inclined to look down upon justices of the lower courts and treat them with "arrogance". "These young fellows come into court with cases which no one else in the big firms they represent wants to handle", said Justice Caffrey, "and have an idea they can lord it over the justices and court attendants. Then, if they receive a rebuke from the court for their manners or procedure, they report their grievances to the heads of their influential firms, who take the matter up with various judicial and political committees, and the justice is not given a break in the face of their complaints.
"These young fellows think they know it all. They think that because they are graduates of Harvard they know more than the justices of the municipal courts, and because they are associated with big downtown firms they are very superior people. I appeal to the partners of influential and important law firms to send the heads of their businesses to municipal court instead of turning over their less important cases to these young Harvard whippersnappers."