Courts & More Debuts
January 8, 2021
By John Morris Williams
We are trying something different at the OBA this year. For the past several years after we stopped printing the court opinions on paper, we continued to have the opinions formatted, so the digital version looked exactly the same as what we used to print. In order to continue that practice, the OBA retained the artist who formatted and put the print version together. This came at no small expense.
As we began building the 2021 budget, it became apparent the OBA would suffer some significant revenue losses due to the pandemic. One of the ways we could continue to provide the court opinions, with a cost savings, was to bring the publication of the digital court opinions publication totally in-house. By bringing the entire publication process in-house, it is hoped we can realize savings of approximately $40,000 a year. To achieve this end, we are launching a new publication called “Courts & More.” It is our intent to send a more condensed and user-friendly publication containing links to the opinions and other valuable information weekly. We will continue to print and publish 10 issues of the monthly Oklahoma Bar Journal with scholarly articles and other great content.
Our primary goal, as always, is to provide good member service and valuable information in a way that is most beneficial to OBA members.John Morris Williams, OBA Executive Director
In the past, we sent out an often rather large PDF digital publication that takes some time to download and required members to scroll through several pages to view the content. The new publication will be provided to members soon after opinions are released in a much shorter and user-friendly format. It is a work in progress, and it is our intent this year to explore and develop this new publication into something that is easy to navigate and reduces the number of emails the OBA is sending out. Thus, the title of the new publication is reflective of opinions and other information from the courts, plus other content that might otherwise have been sent out in separate emails.
Basically, the court portion of the new publication will contain a link to each of the new opinions every week and other information from the courts. Our vision is that members will receive a much shorter publication with links to all the published opinions and other items of interest. We know all of you are busy, and hopefully, this new format will allow you to quickly scan the content and select what information you wish to click on and fully review. The goal is to replace downloading a lengthy PDF file with a more condensed publication that is easy to review, similar to the eNews.
The publication deadlines will closely follow the weekly release of appellate court decisions. Although the information is readily available on OSCN.net, the new publication will continue to be a reminder and quick guide to the release of new opinions. It will also contain other information, such as links to CLE courses, classified ads and meeting reminders. A primary goal is to provide more of a one-stop source of information and eliminate some of the mass emailing by the CLE Department and others.
Obviously, this is a big change, and it will take some time for us to perfect and develop this new publication. During 2021, the OBA will be undertaking a review of its communication and marketing strategies. Therefore, it can be expected this new publication, as well as other OBA communications, may undergo continuing change. I asked for your patience and feedback as we undertake this new endeavor. While we have other stated goals, our primary goal, as always, is to provide good member service and valuable information in a way that is most beneficial to OBA members.
2020 gave us many learning opportunities. One of the things that happened when the entire world went digital and virtual is that our email boxes got fuller and fuller. As we move into 2021, we will strive to have the OBA be more targeted (fewer emails) and useful (stuff you need or want) in its communications. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that something different can also be better. I hope this is one of those instances.
On behalf of all of us at the OBA, I wish you a safe, happy and prosperous new year.