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President's Message

A Different Kind of Resolution

2013: A Year of Service

By Jim Stuart

"My theme in 2013 will be Oklahoma lawyers giving back."

At the end of the day we’re all just stewards — of the rule of law, of our system of justice, of the independence of the judiciary — in the way we provide pro bono services to the young and less fortunate, in our own methods for self discipline and in the way we serve and give back to our communities. Stewardship has been described as “an ethic that embodies responsible planning and management of resources.”

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, I assumed the role as president of this bar association of approximately 17,000 members. I have been entrusted with the leadership of an association left to me in good condition, both in the quality of its member programs and its financial well being. Presidents before me have planned responsibly and managed our resources well. My goal is to continue that tradition, to be a good steward and somehow leave the association just a little better.

This will be a difficult task given the high level of service and leadership provided by my predecessor, Cathy Christensen, in 2012. My thanks to Cathy for her mentoring and friendship. We will have our challenges due in part to a graying membership, the need for technical updates and systems, the way we provide member services and how we provide legal services to the public. Who among us would have believed 35 years ago we’d be looking at e-filing in the district courts?


My theme in 2013 will be Oklahoma lawyers giving back. I have planned for a “day of service,” my goal being to include lawyers from all over the state, young and old, who will join together and participate in a day of service within their respective communities. Stay tuned for more details.

We will also highlight other methods of giving back, including the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, Lawyers Helping Lawyers and the Oklahoma Lawyers for America’s Heroes program. Expect our award-winning Young Lawyers Division to continue to excel under the leadership of its Chair Joe Vorndran. An exciting event will be an OBA CLE Alaskan cruise in late July. Join Kathy and me for a “cool” member experience. You’ll find details and registration online at

I look forward to these and other opportunities for stewardship and service but will need your help. Together we can make a difference. From the Stuart family to yours, I wish you good health and happiness in 2013.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- Jan 12 , 2013 --Vol.84, No. 2