2023 Judicial Nominating Commission Election Results Announced

June 20, 2023

Oklahoma lawyers have elected two attorneys to serve as new members of the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission. Mary Quinn Cooper of Tulsa and Weldon W. Stout Jr. of Muskogee will each serve six-year terms on the 15-member commission, with terms expiring in 2029.

Ms. Cooper was elected to serve as the District 1 commissioner, which is composed of Creek and Tulsa counties. She is a shareholder at McAfee & Taft and co-leader of the firm’s Litigation Group. A 1986 graduate of the TU College of Law, she has tried more than 100 cases to verdict throughout her 37-year career. She is a frequent speaker locally and nationally on trial practice and has served as a faculty member for the Trial Academy at Stanford University. She is a member of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates) and past president of its Oklahoma chapter. She and her husband of 37 years, Frank, have three adult children.

Mr. Stout was the uncontested nominee to serve District 2, which is composed of 17 counties in the eastern and northeastern parts of the state. He was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 1974. He has seen the practice of law from the District Attorney’s Office, then 32 years in private practice followed by almost nine years as a judge. Prior to his appointment as a judge, he served on the Judicial Nominating Commission for several years and considers it one of the more important services attorneys can render to theirs communities and state. During his time in private practice, he also served on the OBA Board of Governors as well as the Victims Compensation Board.

The Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) consists of 15 unpaid volunteer members. Of the 15 members, only six members are lawyers. Lawyer commissioners are elected by their fellow OBA members, each representing one of six congressional districts across the state, as they were in 1967 when the commission was established.* They each serve a 6-year term. Elections are held each odd-numbered year for members from two districts.

About the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission

The Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) was established in 1967 by an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution. The JNC nominates the three most qualified candidates for appointment by the governor to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court of Civil Appeals, District and Associate District Judgeships (when vacancies occur outside the normal election process), and the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims. The JNC has jurisdiction to determine whether applicants for judicial office meet the relevant qualifications for the respective office.