Management Assistance Program

Become a Better Lawyer at the OBA 2020 Solo & Small Firm Conference

By Jim Calloway

Solo & Small Firm Conference

The Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant is the location for the 2020 OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference scheduled for June 18-20. There are many educational sessions to help you become a better lawyer.

Our special guests include nationally recognized experts on law office technology and cybersecurity Sharon Nelson and John Simek of Sensei Enterprises. They are both past ABA TECHSHOW chairs.

“Whizbang Cybersecurity Tips on Ebenezer Scrooge’s Budget” will be one of their presentations, which will focus on appropriate and affordable tools and techniques for solo and small firm lawyers. They will also present “Deep Fakes: False Evidence Coming Soon to a Courtroom Near You,” a program that may become more important for trial lawyers sooner than many may think.

Laura Mahr of Conscious Legal Minds of Asheville, North Carolina, will be another special guest. She will be coming to Oklahoma for the first time to present “Mindfulness for Lawyers: Building Resilience to Stress Using Mindfulness & Neuroscience.” Most lawyers have stresses and challenges in their day-to-day practices. She will demonstrate scientifically backed tools and techniques to assist lawyers with those stresses and challenges and help them with building personal resilience. On her website, consciouslegalminds.com, Ms. Mahr notes: Neuroscience research discovered that our brains have two operating modes: reactive and responsive. When we are in reactive mode, we think less clearly, are less articulate, and have difficulty concentrating and retaining information. When we are in responsive mode, our brains are fully “online,” making it easier to think, problem solve, be productive, and relate to others. Mindfulness helps us notice in which operating mode we are functioning and cues us to return to responsive mode if we notice we are in reactive mode.

We are welcoming back Chelsey Lambert, founder and CEO of Lex Tech Review. Her two presentations involve important topics for today’s lawyers – “Engineering the Client Experience” and “Digital Marketing: What’s Worth Paying For and What’s Not!” Those of you who heard Ms. Lambert’s high-energy presentations at last year’s conference know the audience is in for a treat!

Robert G. Spector, professor emeritus and Glenn R. Watson centennial chair in law at the OU College of Law, will be joining us again this year. He will grace us with his popular presentation titled “Recent Developments in Family Law” and will also cover “Dealing with Relocations and Custody Modifications.”

“Representing Tax-Exempt Organizations: Latent Pitfalls for the Unsuspecting Lawyer” is an important topic. Jeri Holmes of Nonprofit Solutions PC will be covering that subject, providing you with some great information to use the next time a local nonprofit asks for your assistance.

Interested in appellate practice tips? “COCA and the Chamber of Secrets: Mysteries of the Court of Civil Appeals Revealed” will be taught by Bevan G. Stockdell, staff attorney to Justice M. John Kane IV of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. She previously worked for the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.

Thomas Hosty believes that the most important trait a lawyer can use and develop is empathy, so he is going to show us how to become “The Empathetic Trial Lawyer.” He shared his thoughts about the subject with me and this is going to be a really great presentation.

We have sessions tailored toward the new or young lawyer like “The Basics of Business Organization (With Forms)” from Oklahoma City attorney Mark Robertson. Some of you may remember his standing-room-only program on LLC operating agreements at the 2018 conference.

Deborah Reheard, past OBA president and accomplished trial lawyer, will give us a program targeted to a most important skill set – “Intake and Analysis of the Criminal Law Case.” Young lawyers focusing on criminal defense practice will want to make sure to attend this program.

As most readers know, Sharon Nelson is my podcast teammate on the Digital Edge podcast. We have been encouraged by both the conference planning committee and our friends at The Legal Talk Network to do a live demonstration and recording of our podcast. At “Inside the Podcast – A Live Recording of Digital Edge Podcast,” we will talk about podcasting as a communication tool for lawyers and will have a special guest join us. A live demonstration – even typing the phrase makes me nervous! Come join us for the fun and the unexpected.

There are many more interesting educational programs including “Legislative Update – What Happened at the Capitol This Year” with Miles Pringle, “Tools and Techniques I Use in My Small Firm Bankruptcy Practice” with Jason Sansone and “Advising the Cannabis Client” with Evan King.


There will be great social and networking events. Since we are beginning the ‘20s again, we are paying homage to the Roaring ‘20s, so plan on attending our Great Gatsby-themed party on Friday night. More details on that to come. The Choctaw Casino Resort has many activities for you and your guests in addition to gaming including spas, swimming pools, a bowling alley, four first-run movie theaters and laser tag.

The last time we visited the Choctaw Casino Resort, it was one of our biggest conferences in terms of attendance during the last several years, so don’t delay in registering. You don’t want to miss out on this year’s educational activities and fun events. The conference website is www.okbar.org/solo, so check in frequently for updated information.

Reserve your room now for the conference at our special discounted rate by calling 800-788-2464. Refer to the room block name “OBA –Oklahoma Bar Association.” The room block discounted rate expires on June 2, or whenever the rooms are filled. There will also be a link on the conference website to reserve rooms online.

Mr. Calloway is OBA Management Assistance Program director and staff liaison to the Solo & Small Firm Conference Planning Committee, chaired by Charles R. Hogshead.


Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual Insurance Company

3000 Insurance Group

BancFirst Trust and Investment Management
Beyond Square One
Smart Start Inc.
Tabs3 Software
University of Tulsa College of Law

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar JournalMarch, 2020 — Vol. 91, No. 3

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