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President's Message

 Nov. 21, 2015
Judicial 'Reform' Study Foretells Future Legislative Actions
 Earlier this month, the Oklahoma House of Representatives scheduled several interim studies intended to address issues affecting all Oklahomans. No doubt, these studies foreshadow subjects that will be addressed in the upcoming session of the Legislature to commence in February 2016. Having said that, as lawyers we should pay particularly close attention to one interim study that was conducted — Interim Study H15-121 to address the professed need for “judicial reform.”
Oct. 17, 2015
The Challenging Future of the Legal Profession
To even the casual observer it is apparent that ours is a profession in transition moved by a variety of factors. As Yogi Berra so aptly put it, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” The rising costs of legal education, the undeniable effect of continually changing technology, the growing presence of unregulated alternative providers, the evolving expectations of clients and the irrefutable demographics signaling the impending exit of lawyers from the practice are all factors contributing to the future difficulties confronting the legal profession as we know it — not only in Oklahoma but across the nation. But the real question is how we, as a bar association, will confront these challenges.

September 12, 2015
Leadership to be Annual Meeting Focus
Among our peers, and even among nonlawyers, it is widely acknowledged that service and leadership are core values of the legal profession. Many of us can relate to the notion that service beyond self and a willingness to contribute to the greater good in some way pointed us in the direction of law school. As a result, the legal profession is well represented at all levels of leadership. In Oklahoma from the beginning, lawyers have served as governors, state legislators, judges, prosecutors, general counsel, law firm managing partners, heads of corporate, energy, banking, government and nonprofit organizations. And we continue to do so.

August 15, 2015
Tension Among Branches of Government Escalating
Fueled by politics, a remarkable level of hostility is continually directed at our judiciary today. Partisan fury fuels the rancor at both the state and federal level. Examples are widespread at all levels and on both sides of the aisle. Railing against the decision in Bush v. Gore, one Democratic U.S. senator accused the nation’s highest court of “installing” George W. Bush in the White House, labeling it “the most activist Supreme Court in history.”
May 16, 2015
Why Lawyers Carry the Duty to Perform Public Service
Pro bono publico (English: for the public good; usually shortened to pro bono) is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service. But what is it about lawyers that they have taken on this commitment to voluntarily act for the public good? Why us? And more to the point — other than by simply representing the less fortunate at no cost or paying someone else to do so, how might we fulfill this commitment? When I was recently asked to speak to a group of law students being recognized for their pro bono service, I found myself asking these questions. The answer, as it turns out, can be found in the unique role we play in society in promoting and preserving the rule of law.
April 18, 2015
Work Continues to Embrace Law Day Principles
In 1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed the first day of May as Law Day, U.S.A. Three years later, May 1 was designated Law Day, U.S.A. with the enactment of 36 U.S.C. §113, declaring it “a special day of celebration by the people of the United States in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life.”
March 14, 2015
Attorney-Legislators Deserve Thanks
Last month the Oklahoma Legislature reconvened as it does each February. A total of 149 elected representatives and senators took their respective seats in their respective chambers after filing more than 2,000 pieces of legislation to consider before they adjourn at the end of May — not to mention tackling the state’s near $7 billion budget while dealing with the impact of declining tax revenues resulting from falling oil prices. 

February 14, 2015
‘Great Charter’ Exhibit to Visit Capitol
As 2015 unfolds in the coming months, we all will be called upon to remember and reflect upon the importance of the rule of law as we collectively acknowledge three important anniversaries. Two of these events are uniquely significant to us as Oklahomans — the Oklahoma City bombing 20 years ago and the Supreme Court bribery scandal 50 years ago. 
January 17, 2015
Looking Ahead to 2015
I have worn many hats in my professional career — federal prosecutor, lawyer, judge, law school assistant dean, professor — but I am most proud of the one I wear now as president of the Oklahoma Bar Association. It is an honor to join the men and women who have served the members of our association over the past 110 years with such distinction.