Governance & Membership
President's Message - December 2023
By Brian Hermanson
The year 2023 is coming to a close, and with it is the end of my term as OBA president. The time has flown by so fast, and this is my last president’s article for the Oklahoma Bar Journal. This is a good time to look back over the year and see all that has happened during my term as president.
There were several goals that I set forth at the beginning of this year. First and foremost, I wanted to emphasize the need for professionalism and civility in all things we do as attorneys. Our ethical standards demand that each of us meet high standards of professionalism in everything we do. With the help of the OBA Professionalism Committee under the outstanding leadership of OBA Vice President Ken Williams, the message of how important professionalism is in our daily activity has been shared with each of you. Not only has the committee shared lessons on professionalism, but they traveled the state speaking on the topic. They presented a CLE at the OBA Annual Meeting and kept the idea at the forefront of our thoughts.
We have also had presentations on the topic from the likes of retired Justice Steven W. Taylor, who presented an outstanding keynote speech during the recent OBA Annual Luncheon. During every Board of Governors meeting, we took time to have a presentation on professionalism, and I have also tried to spread the news in my president’s articles throughout the year.
Another goal was to have the OBA travel throughout the state and meet with local bar associations. We met with the Tri-County Bar Association in southeast Oklahoma as well as with the local associations in Cleveland, Kay, Muskogee and Oklahoma counties. We met with district attorneys from across the state as well as attended events in Bryan, Garfield, Pittsburg and Tulsa counties, along with many other locations across Oklahoma.
We tried to make access to the OBA easier by addressing the difficulty of persons with disabilities entering the building. Meetings were held, a plan has been developed, and we are hopeful that in 2024, there will be a new and improved access for everyone wanting to go to the Oklahoma Bar Center.
Of course, we attended meetings across the country representing our state bar and tried to bring back ideas that will help all of us improve our association. The work of the OBA never stops, and we are always trying to meet the needs of our membership.
Dormant committees were reenergized, and the new Animal Law Section was approved by the Board of Governors. We fought to ensure lawyers followed the Rules of Professional Conduct and that the public was aware of the wonderful things we, as lawyers, do to improve our communities and the state of Oklahoma. There were many other things done that are too numerous to mention.
And we were there for each of you to provide the guidance and support necessary for each of us to practice as attorneys in such a rough-and-tumble world. We must be ready at all times to protect our profession.
I have really enjoyed this year. I hope I leave the OBA better off at the end of my term. I hope you have felt that we were doing a good job for you – for indeed, the members of the association are whom we do this for. I would like to thank the Board of Governors for their steadfast commitment to serving the state bar. Also, a special thanks to Executive Director Janet Johnson and the OBA staff. Every day, this team does incredible work to ensure our organization continues to be relevant and responsive to every attorney's daily needs.
I still serve on the Board of Governors for another year as immediate past president. I hope I can assist 2024 President Miles Pringle during his upcoming term. I am confident he will do an outstanding job!
And finally, I say thank you. Thank you for trusting me with this incredible office. Thank you to those who said yes when I contacted you about your willingness to assist the association. Thank you for all you do that makes me proud to be an attorney in the state of Oklahoma. And thank you for your daily commitment to professionalism and civility as we enter the boardrooms and courtrooms every day. Each day, you make me proud to be an attorney.
Brian Hermanson serves as district attorney for the 8th District of Oklahoma.
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 94 Vol 10 (December 2023).
Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.