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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1013
AUTHOR: William Howard Taft (1857–1930)
QUOTATION: It is important, of course, that controversies be settled right, but there are many civil questions which arise between individuals in which it is not so important the controversy be settled one way or another as that it be settled. Of course a settlement of a controversy on a fundamentally wrong principle of law is greatly to be deplored, but there must of necessity be many rules governing the relations between members of the same society that are more important in that their establishment creates a known rule of action than that they proceed on one principle or another. Delay works always for the man with the longest purse.
ATTRIBUTION: Chief Justice WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT, informal address to the judicial section of the American Bar Association, Cincinnati, Ohio, August 30, 1921.—“Adequate Machinery for Judicial Business,” American Bar Association Journal, September 1921, p. 453.