Management Assistance Program on www.OKbar.org

Management Assistance Program

Just exactly what is the OBA-NET?

The OBA-NET is an online community of Oklahoma attorneys. It has been referred to as the online equivalent of the office water cooler or break room. It's a location to request advice, pass along tips, share a joke or funny story, give your opinion on a new piece of software you loved or hated. It’s a great place to get the latest hot news and, like the rest of the Internet, it is open 24 hours each day.

Do I need special software to use the OBA-NET?

No, just Internet access and your favorite web browser. Some functions of the OBA-NET, such as file uploading, do not work with older versions of the web browsers. You must have your browser set to accept cookies, however, and you may have to adjust your security settings to accept all content from www.detod.com.

What if I forget my OBA-NET username or password?

The front page where you log into OBA-NET has a “Forgot your password” option. It can be used to send this information to your official OBA email address on file with us. If you have not kept your email address current with us or you use the LawOklahoma.com web version of the email and cannot access it without your password, call us at 405-416-7008 or email the sysop link.

Who can access the OBA-NET?

We intend to allow access to the OBA-NET only to Oklahoma attorneys. Some rare exceptions may be granted on a case by case basis. (For example, everyone who attended previous Solo and Small Firm Conferences would no doubt vote in favor of New Hampshire attorney and computer guru Bruce Dorner.) But as a general rule, this will be an “Oklahoma lawyers only area,” where attorneys can share their thoughts, ideas and concerns without them becoming public.

What’s the difference between the OBA-NET and the OBA website?

Mainly that the OBA-NET is private and members only and largely fueled directly by our members. You will find discussion on almost any topic on the OBA-NET and you are free to start your own discussion threads. The OBA website contains a great deal of information for both lawyers and the public, but has no interactive discussion area.

How much does it cost to join the OBA-NET?

The OBA-NET is free.

Are there forms I can use in my law practice on the OBA-NET?

There are many files available for downloading including shareware programs, the Ethics At Your Fingertips freeware distributed by the OBA Legal Ethics Committee, many digital copies of the Bar Journal, briefs, forms and CLE materials submitted by members. There are certainly many legal forms available, including law office forms provided by the OBA Management Assistance Program. At this time there are not forms for every substantive area of the law. We hope our members will upload their own contributions to fill in the gaps. However, since these are form uploaded by individual OBA members, there is no warranty as to their contents or applicability. Caveat Emptor!

Are the forms "official" OBA forms?

Other than forms proscribed by statute there are no “official” OBA forms for pleadings. Every lawyer can upload forms to the OBA-NET as he or she chooses. This means there may be differences of opinions, interpretation or quality in the materials available online. Lawyers should only use forms from any source as a start for their own research and independent work.

Can I get advice on my cases from other lawyers on the OBA-NET?

You can, as long as you proceed carefully. Experience has taught that it is best to post hypothetical questions with some of the facts disguised and changed. You can get a good discussion started without compromising your position or information. Don’t forget that your opposing counsel or someone associated with him or her may also subscribe to the OBA-NET. In no event should you ever post client confidences to the OBA-NET or any other posting area on the Internet.

Why does the OBA-NET claim a copyright on messages posted to the OBA-NET?

This is done to foster more open discussions. The attorney maintains the right to reprint anything he or she posts on the OBA-NET. So if you and attorney “X” have a long series of postings that you later decide has commercial value and could be made into a major motion picture, you two jointly can proceed without asking permission from the OBA. However, in the past, one legal scholar stopped replying to messages on the old OBA-NET after learning that his off-the-cuff comments were being printed out and attached to briefs as purported legal authority. Others became concerned that their discussions could be reposted in inappropriate public forums. Many of us have posted things to the OBA-NET quickly that were not well thought out. Some users post provocative statements just to add to discussions. Many of us would not want to be quoted in those circumstances. The OBA-NET is a private club, so what you see there, leave it there.