Governance & Membership

President's Message - May 2022

Sail On

By Jim Hicks

Jim Hicks - 2022 OBA President

As we sail across the seas of change, the unexpected can occur. The waters are not always calm. The winds are not always favorable. Our direction may be disrupted by unexpected challenges that cannot be overcome by staying the course. As a profession, we must work together and keep traveling into the future uncharted waters. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be subsiding and life is returning to “normal,” our profession and the delivery of legal services must not regress. Great strides in technical innovation were made over the past two years out of necessity. Now is not the time to return to outdated notions of providing legal services. Simply put, justice must continue forward with the great strides made via the integration of necessary technologies that enabled our citizens’ and our clients’ legal needs to be met during the pandemic.

The articles in this issue of the Oklahoma Bar Journal focus on the future of energy law and how emerging topics and trends are fundamentally changing energy law practices. The last several years have been transformative for our society, the environment and the way we practice law. COVID-19 and the growing frequency of intense weather events attributed to climate change have brought greater attention to the need for action by governments and companies as well as greater engagement by the public and NGOs. From remote work to the supply chain to regulatory changes and the growing role of corporate social responsibility, the past few years’ events have fundamentally changed how the nation does business, protects the environment and engages diverse stakeholders. In response, the practice of environmental, energy and resources law has been evolving as practitioners refocus their practices and innovate to better address their clients’ changing needs.

In order to help our members adjust to the reopening of normal life, the Solo & Small Firm Conference is back! After a two-year hiatus, it is bigger and better than ever. Mark your calendars for June 23-25 at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant. As always, the conference provides 12 hours of CLE. Every lawyer needs to understand basic e-discovery, and Brett Burney will teach a two-part session on e-discovery and how to collect, preserve and produce text messages from mobile devices. OU College of Law Professor Emeritus Robert Spector will address recent family law developments and how to deal with custody modifications. Other noted speakers will address resources available to entrepreneurs; technology innovations; cybersecurity; basics of estate planning and business formation and nuances of tax-exempt organizations. Not to be missed will be “This is BS! Burnout and Stress” with Scott Goode and Sheila Naifeh. Plus, bring your family to this beautiful resort and celebrate the summer! Leisure activities include a spa, amazing swimming pools, music venues, dining and arcade games. Register online at www.okbar.org/solo.

Finally, May will see the celebration of Law Day by the OBA and various county bar associations across the state. The theme “Toward A More Perfect Union: The Constitution In Times of Change” allows our profession to celebrate the Constitution as a dynamic document. As our nation’s history makes clear, it is neither a perfect nor exhaustive document. Legislation, court rulings, amendments, lawyers and “we the people” have built upon those original words across generations to adapt to modern life. That effort continues today as contemporary leaders and everyday citizens raise their voices as loud as ever to fulfill the promise of the Constitution. Defining and refining those words of the Constitution might be our oldest national tradition. Moreover, we continue to “sail on” with the self-evident truths that all men are created equal, are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights – that among those rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I hope to see you at the Choctaw Casino in June!



President Hicks practices in Tulsa.


(918) 584-1600


Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 5 (May 2022).