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New Jersey was the State which, by the statute of 1915 and the case of In re Ungaro’s Will, began the current movement for the introduction of the declaratory judgment into American procedure. Appreciation of its beneficent effect is attested by the fact that thirty-one American jurisdictions have now adopted it as an aid in the solution of contested issues of law, before one party or the other has incurred the risk of loss or damage by acting upon his own interpretation of his rights under a contract, will, statute, or other legal instrument or relation. Its history in continental Europe is ancient, and its modern utility is exemplified by the fact that approximately two-thirds of the cases in equity decided by the High Court in England are actions for a declaration of rights. A somewhat similar record may be cited for other English-speaking jurisdictions, and on the continent the declaratory form of judicial relief has acquired wide vogue in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Some six hundred cases in the highest state courts, since 1921, mark the progress of the movement in the United States, where it has gained increasingly popular favor, especially in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
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contract, will, statute, Chancery, equity, Maltbie, privacy
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