Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 134, page(s) 706


George Emerson Beers was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, October 7, 1865, and died in Guilford, Connecticut, December 25, 1947. He was the son of the Reverend John Samuel Beers and the grandson of David B. Beers, a member of the Fairfield County bar. He was graduated from Trinity College in 1886, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Phi Societies and from which he received the degree of M. A. in 1889. He was graduated from Yale Law School, magna cum laude, in 1889, and he received the degree of M. L. in 1890 from the same institution.

Mr. Beers began the practice of law in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was part-time associate professor of law at the University of Tennessee. H came to New Haven in 1892 and there he was engaged in the active practice of his profession for fifty-five years, during the latter part of the time in partnership with his son, William L. Beers. From 1892 to 1912 he served as part-time professor in the Yale Law School, and many who subsequently became prominent members of the bar of this state and judges of its courts were his pupils during that period. In the midst of the active practice of his profession he continued his scholastic approach to the problems of the law. He edited a revision of Baldwin's Digest of the Connecticut Reports, was a consulting editor of the "American & English Encyclopedia of Law & Practice," and was the author of the "New England Edition of Stephen's Digest of the Law of Evidence" and "Notes on the Practice Act of Connecticut," as well as of frequent contributions to legal periodicals. From 1913 to 1923 Mr. Beers was compensation commissioner and made important contributions to the development of administrative procedure under the workmen's compensation law. He was one of the Connecticut commissioners on uniform state laws until 1940, when he was succeeded by his son, William L. Beers.

Mr. Beers was a lifelong member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, served on the vestry of his church and was active for many years in the affairs of the diocese of Connecticut.

A profound student of the law, with a keen intellect, great resourcefulness and untiring industry, Mr. Beers stood unquestionably for many years among the leaders of the bar of the state, whose esteem he enjoyed to an unusual degree. With one exception every volume of the Connecticut Reports from volume 70 to volume 134 contains one or more of the 194 cases which he argued before the Supreme Court, his last appearance before the court being the mouth before he died. He was thus engaged in active practice to the very end of his days, with unimpaired vigor of mind and body which entirely belied his years.

Mr. Beers married Margaret Lowry of Kentucky on August 17, 1892. She survives, together with four children, Henry S. Beers, William L. Beers, Mrs. Harold L. Chittenden and Josephine Wakeman Beers, nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.