Complete Bar Journal - Oklahoma Bar Association

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Volume 85
No. 29
Nov. 1, 2 014
Federalization of the Oklahoma Law License • Annual Meeting • Kick It Forward Program
Roger J. Dodd has active offices in Utah,
Georgia and Florida where he practices trial
work of all types. This includes personal
injury, wrongful death, criminal defense and
domestic relations. He is listed in Best
Lawyers for more than 20 years. He is one
of a handful of lawyers nationally who are
listed in Super Lawyers in more than one state
simultaneously. He has lectured and taught
lawyers and judges in all 50 states and
multiple foreign countries.
Designed for both civil and criminal lawyers.
For all program details and to register, log on
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma Bar Center
1901 N. Lincoln Blvd.
November 21
A New Understanding of Cross-Examination
Constructive Cross-Examination
The Only Three Rules of Cross-Examination
The Chapter Method of Cross-Examination
Cross Examination without Discovery
Page Preparation of Cross-Examination
Sequences of Cross-Examination
Loops, Double Loops, and Spontaneous Loops
Controlling the Runaway Witness
Seminar starts at 9 a.m. and adjourns at 2:50 p.m. Approved for 6 hours MCLE/ 1 Ethics. $250 for earlybird registrations with payment received at least four full business days prior to the seminar date; $275 for
registrations with payment received within four full business days of the seminar date. Texas credit for live
webcast only. Tuition for webcast varies from live program tuition.
OBA/CLE and OBA Professionalism Committee Present:
OBA Professionalism Symposium
Friday, Dec. 12 • 8 - 11:45 a.m.
Supreme Court Ceremonial Courtroom
2nd Floor
Hot breakfast included
Registration $75
Includes 3 hours MCLE ethics
8 - 8:30 a.m.
Registration and hot breakfast
8:30 - 8:45 a.m.
Opening by OBA President Renée DeMoss
Welcome by Chief Justice Tom Colbert
8:45 - 9 a.m.
Dean Joseph Harroz, Jr., OU College of Law
9 - 9:15 a.m.
Dean Valerie K. Couch, OCU School of Law
9:15 - 9:30 a.m.
Dean Janet K. Levit, TU College of Law
9:30 - 9:50 a.m.
William R. Grimm, Barrow & Grimm
9:50 - 10:10 a.m.
Chief Judge Deborah Barnes, Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
10:10 - 10:30 a.m.
10:30 - 10:50 a.m.
Senior United States District Judge Wayne E. Alley,
Western District of Oklahoma
10:50 - 11:30 a.m.
Panel discussion moderated by D. Kent Meyers of Crowe
& Dunlevy, panel members include Judge Alley, Judge Barnes,
Oklahoma House Rep. Emily Virgin and Frederick K. Slicker
of Slicker Law Firm
11:40 - TBA
Optional private tour of State Capitol
The OBA Standards of
Professionalism can be found at
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Navigating the Changing
Legal Profession
Editor: Melissa DeLacerda
pg. 2325
Kick it Forward
Nov. 1, 2014 • Vol. 85 • No. 29
2244 From the President
2293Editorial Calendar
2328 From the Executive Director
2329 Law Practice Tips
2332 OBA Board of Governors Actions
2335 Oklahoma Bar Foundation News
2338 Young Lawyers Division
2340 Calendar
2341 For Your Information
2343 Bench and Bar Briefs
2345 In Memoriam
2348 What’s Online
2352 The Back Page
2247 Adapting to Change in
Legal Education
y Valerie K. Couch, Joseph Harroz Jr. and
Janet K. Levit
pg. 2319
2257 Updating the Rules to Reflect
Changes in Technology
Licensing of
By Gina L. Hendryx
2261 The Legal Profession of the
21st Century: Can Oklahoma Lawyers
Meet the Challenges?
By Deirdre O. Dexter
2269 Practicing Law at the Speed of Light
By Jim Calloway
2275 Cybersecurity: It’s a Moving Target
By Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek
2281 Alternative Fees and Technology
By Mark A. Robertson
2289 The Impact of Social Media on the
Practice of Law
By Alison A. Cave and Renée DeMoss
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
2294 Annual Meeting
2319 The Federalization of the Oklahoma
Law License
By Kimber J. Palmer
2323 Spotlight Awards Emphasize
Work of Women Lawyers
2325 YLD Kick It Forward Program
2327 Committee Sign Up Form
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Practicing and Transitioning –
OBA Lawyers in the 21st Century
By Renée DeMoss
There is no denying the rapid pace of change in the practice of law. There is also no denying that many of the new technological tools of the trade present unique challenges to those lawyers
who have been practicing for many years.
No fear, however, for the almost 6,000 Oklahoma lawyers who are
currently over the age of 60 and the 4,000 more baby boomer lawyers,
age 50-59, who are also knocking on that door. The Oklahoma Bar
Association has plenty of resources to help our lawyers keep up with
the times.
Finally, the task force is undertaking
the very important job of researching
and putting in place programs to identify and respond to the needs of lawyers with age-related impairments.
Currently, most states have only informal identification methods, with lawyers sporadically reporting impaired
lawyers to regulatory authorities or to
lawyer assistance programs.
One key new resource is the Master Lawyers Section. With the secThe task force will explore methods
tion bylaws finalized, the requisite signatures gathered and the Board
to more systematically evaluate lawof Governors approval, the new section will make its debut at the
yers with age-related problems. For
2014 Annual Meeting in Tulsa, where the first secexample, North Carolina
tion meeting will be held and officers elected. Any
has developed a program
Oklahoma lawyer who is in good standing, and is
to recruit and train voleither age 60 or above or has practiced law for at
The new Master
unteers to recognize and
least 30 years, is eligible to join.
intervene when a lawyer
The Master Lawyers Section will concentrate on
appears to have such
will concentrate
lawyers in their “second season of service,” as they
issues. The OBA’s Lawtransition from full-time practice to pursue pro
yers Helping Lawyers
on lawyers in
bono and other service opportunities, through proprogram, with its configrams that utilize the knowledge and experience of
dential, non-threatening
their “second
these lawyers. Such sections in jurisdictions like
environment and access
season of
Florida, New York and New Mexico provide proto medical and other exgrams in technology, retirement financial planning,
perts, can potentially
closing or selling practices and matching senior
play a major role. Other
lawyers with new lawyers to provide advice on
methods employed by
matters such as client development.
state bar associations include confidential online assessment
Further, the Master Lawyers Section will work with the new Tranforms, 24-hour hotlines and increassition Task Force. Led by OBA Vice President
ing the ability of lawyers to recogSusan Shields and OBA Ethics Counsel Travis
nize potentially impaired colleagues
Pickens, this task force has been working on a
through online training videos and
Transitioning Guidebook, a succession planning
manual that will be available on the OBA website by the time of our November Annual MeetThe OBA Transitions Task Force
has a very important charge in creating and implementing programs for
This book will provide clear and concise
the early detection of lawyers demguidelines and forms in compliance with Oklaonstrating age-related issues. Not
homa law, to help OBA lawyers map out their
only will such programs developed
retirements and to ensure that all lawyers, parby the task force help OBA lawyers
ticularly those in solo and small firms, have
avoid potential ethics violations,
plans in place to protect their clients in the event
they will provide invaluable assisof disability or death. This includes designation
President DeMoss
tance to impaired lawyers, their staff
of a “Successor Lawyer” who would be willing
practices in Tulsa.
and families, and assure that OBA
to take over or help close a practice, and the
[email protected]
senior lawyers can continue to use
consideration of new Oklahoma rules or proce918-595-4800
and share their valuable wisdom and
dures as necessary.
legal experience.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Renée DeMoss, President, Tulsa
David A. Poarch Jr., President-Elect, Norman
Susan S. Shields, Vice-President, Oklahoma City
James T. Stuart, Immediate Past President, Shawnee
Deirdre O’Neil Dexter, Sand Springs
Robert D. Gifford II, Oklahoma City
Kimberly Hays, Tulsa
Douglas L. Jackson, Enid
John W. Kinslow, Lawton
Rickey J. Knighton, Norman
James R. Marshall, Shawnee
Nancy S. Parrott, Oklahoma City
Kevin T. Sain, Idabel
Bret A. Smith, Muskogee
Richard D. Stevens, Norman
Linda S. Thomas, Bartlesville
Kaleb Hennigh, Enid
Chairperson, OBA/Young Lawyers Division
BAR Center Staff
John Morris Williams, Executive Director;
Gina L. Hendryx, General Counsel; Jim Calloway,
Director of Management Assistance Program;
Craig D. Combs, Director of Administration;
Susan Damron Krug, Director of Educational
Programs; Beverly Petry Lewis, Administrator
MCLE Commission; Carol A. Manning, Director
of Communications; Travis Pickens, Ethics Counsel;
Robbin Watson, Director of Information Technology;
Jane McConnell, Coordinator Law-related Education;
Loraine Dillinder Farabow, Tommy Humphries,
Debbie Maddox, Katherine Ogden, Steve Sullins,
Assistant General Counsels; Tanner Condley,
Sharon Orth, William Thames and
Krystal Willis, Investigators
Manni Arzola, Debbie Brink, Laura Brown,
Abby Broyles, Emily Buchanan, Susan Carey,
Nickie Day, Dieadra Florence, Johnny Marie
Floyd, Matt Gayle, Brandon Haynie, Suzi Hendrix, Misty Hill, Debra Jenkins, Durrel Lattimore,
Heidi McComb, Renee Montgomery, Larry Quinn,
Lori Rasmussen, Wanda F. Reece, Tracy Sanders,
Mark Schneidewent, Jan Thompson &
Roberta Yarbrough
Editor in Chief, John Morris Williams; News &
Layout Editor, Carol A. Manning; Editor,
Melissa DeLacerda, Stillwater; Associate Editors:
Dietmar K. Caudle, Lawton; Emily Duensing,
Tulsa; Erin Means, Moore; Shannon Lee Prescott,
Okmulgee; Mark Ramsey, Claremore; Judge
Megan Simpson, Buffalo; Leslie Taylor, Ada;
Judge Allen J. Welch, Oklahoma City;
January Windrix, Poteau
events Calendar
OBA Government and Administrative Law Practice Section
meeting; 4 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City with teleconference;
Contact Scott Boughton 405-717-8957
OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers discussion group meeting; 6 p.m.;
Office of Tom Cummings, 701 NW 13th St., Oklahoma City; RSVP to
Kim Reber [email protected]
OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers discussion group meeting; 6 p.m.;
University of Tulsa College of Law, John Rogers Hall, 3120 E. 4th Pl.,
Rm. 206, Tulsa; RSVP to Kim Reber [email protected]
OBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section meeting; 12 p.m.;
Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City with OSU Tulsa, Tulsa; Contact
Jeffrey Love 405-286-9191
OBA Closed – Veteran’s Day observed
12-14 OBA Annual Meeting; Hyatt Regency, Tulsa; Contact Mark Schneidewent
OBA Bench and Bar Committee meeting; 12 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar
Center, Oklahoma City with OSU Tulsa, Tulsa; Contact Judge David Lewis
OBA Mock Trial Committee meeting; 5:30 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar Center,
Oklahoma City; Contact Judy Spencer 405-755-1066
OBA Clients’ Security Fund meeting; 2 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar Center,
Oklahoma City with OSU Tulsa Tulsa; Contact Micheal Salem 405-366-1234
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court; 5 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar Center,
Oklahoma City; Contact Donald Lynn Babb 405-235-1611
27-28 OBA Closed – Thanksgiving observed
OBA Government and Administrative Law Practice Section
meeting; 4 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City with teleconference;
Contact Scott Boughton 405-717-8957
OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers discussion group meeting; 6 p.m.;
Office of Tom Cummings, 701 NW 13th St., Oklahoma City; RSVP to
Kim Reber [email protected]
OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers discussion group meeting; 6 p.m.;
University of Tulsa College of Law, John Rogers Hall, 3120 E. 4th Pl.,
Rm. 206, Tulsa; RSVP to Kim Reber [email protected]
For more events go to
The Oklahoma Bar Association’s official website:
NOTICE of change of address (which must be
in writing and signed by the OBA member),
undeliverable copies, orders for subscriptions
or ads, news stories, articles and all mail items
should be sent to the Oklahoma Bar Association,
P.O. Box 53036, Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3036.
THE OKLAHOMA BAR JOURNAL is a publication of the Oklahoma Bar
Association. All rights reserved. Copyright© 2014
2008 Oklahoma Bar Association.
The design of the scales and the “Oklahoma Bar Association” encircling the
scales are trademarks of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Legal articles carried
in THE OKLAHOMA BAR JOURNAL are selected by the Board of Editors.
Oklahoma Bar Association 405-416-7000
Toll Free 800-522-8065 FAX 405-416-7001
Continuing Legal Education 405-416-7029
Ethics Counsel 405-416-7055
General Counsel 405-416-7007
Law-related Education 405-416-7005
Lawyers Helping Lawyers 800-364-7886
Mgmt. Assistance Program 405-416-7008
Mandatory CLE 405-416-7009
OBJ & Communications 405-416-7004
Board of Bar Examiners 405-416-7075
Oklahoma Bar Foundation 405-416-7070
The Oklahoma Bar Journal (ISSN 0030-1655) is published three times
a month in january, February, March, April, May, August, September, October, November and December and bimonthly in June and
July. by
by the
the Oklahoma
Oklahoma Bar Association, 1901 N. Lincoln Boulevard,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105. Periodicals postage paid at Oklahoma City, OK. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE OKLAHOMA
BAR ASSOCIATION, P.O. Box 53036, Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3036. Subscriptions are $60
$55 per year except for law students registered with the
Oklahoma Bar Association, who may subscribe for $25. Active member subscriptions are included as a portion of annual dues. Any
opinion expressed herein is that of the author and not necessarily that of the Oklahoma Bar Association, or the Oklahoma Bar
Journal Board of Editors.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Adapting to Change in
Legal Education
By Valerie K. Couch, Joseph Harroz Jr. and Janet K. Levit
his is an exciting time to be a law school dean. The push and
pull of tradition and innovation makes every day a challenge as we try to meet our responsibilities to our students
and our profession. We are working in a world undergoing exponential change every few years due to technology and globalization. And, in this rapidly changing context, we are striving to
answer an important practical question: What is the best way to
prepare our students for their future employment as a lawyer?
At the same time, we continue to address the
compelling existential question of all times for
all law schools: How can we best help our students become lawyers in the great traditions of
our profession, committed to access to justice
for all, courageous guardians of the Rule of
Law, knowledgeable about the needs of the
world, and endowed with the skills of sophisticated problem-solvers?
We are finding the answers to these questions by building strong partnerships with the
communities we serve. It’s a creative work in
progress — and well worth the effort.
Next time a law school dean asks you to be a
“partner” in the education of our future lawyers, now you will know what the dean is talking about. We need you as a partner — to provide our future lawyers with practical experience, to identify the competencies they need
for the jobs of the future, to help us measure
the effectiveness of our legal education program, and to usher our students as brothers
and sisters into our great profession, dedicated
to the values of service and leadership in our
communities. When a law school dean asks
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
you to be a partner in this great and necessary
enterprise, please say yes!
The recent, record decline in law school
applicants nationwide has created an unprecedented opportunity for law schools to better
prepare students. This article provides a quick
look into four ways law schools can improve.
Over the last few years, the legal profession
and legal education have experienced dramatic
change. After a period of substantial and successive growth, the number of law school
applicants nationwide has fallen by nearly 40
percent in the past 48 months. From 2010 to
2014, the number of applicants has declined
from 87,500 to 54,527.1
What caused this violent market reaction?
While the most recent data reveals those with a
law degree still out-earn those possessing
exclusively an undergraduate degree by twothirds and those with a master’s degree by onethird, skyrocketing tuition at many institutions
and a decrease in the highest paying entry-
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
level positions have led some to label law
schools as a bad investment. Over the past
several years, commentators, academics and
journalists have fueled the flames of criticism
of the state of legal education with works like
Richard Susskind’s The End of Lawyers? and
Brian Tamanaha’s Failing Law Schools as lead
The drop in applicants nationwide has been
so sweeping that all law schools have had to
assess the impact and take action. Even in the
typically insulated academic realm, market
forces will have their way and choosing to do
nothing differently amid this rapid change is
not a viable option.
The good news is that this crisis has created
fertile ground for innovation and positive
change. Many law schools are waking up, taking a hard look at what they have been doing
and why, and embracing the alterations that
must be made. The breadth of the change is
vast, including even those aspects of legal education that have been in a relatively static state
for almost 100 years — from the structure of the
overall curriculum (fixed first year with an
almost unguided second and third year) to the
limited types of classes traditionally offered (lecture using the casebook method and few clinical
Here are four ways that law schools can
change for the better.
Our students are arriving prepared as “digital natives,” and they will graduate into a
world that will assume they learned how to
leverage those skills as lawyers. We must integrate technology into all aspects of their education. Law schools must train students to
research, organize, create and present information online from the inception of their education. This is so because for the purposes of legal
research, paper is soon to be a dead medium
— publishers are pricing print out of existence
and the search capacity of digital offerings is
unmatched. The efficiencies and opportunity
provided through online applications is quickly moving from a competitive advantage to a
professional necessity.
We must use technology to reach students of
all different learning styles. Digitalization has
made course enhancement easy and affordable. While we may be assigning cases from
decades ago, students should be reading them
on a digital tablet and discussing them in
“flipped” classrooms where students review
the lecture material online before class and
spend their in-class time working to deepen
their understanding of the material. These
mechanisms more directly engage the student
in the learning experience. We should also use
technology to bring other perspectives into the
classroom in a dynamic way. Skype and other
digital vehicles facilitate expert commentary
and explanation with an efficiency never before
possible. As an example, the OU College of
Law has a semester-long course where our students work with students in law schools in
three other countries in a live virtual classroom
that helps all participants better understand
the legal rights of the native peoples of their
It is inescapable that technology is now central to the practice of law, impacting communications with clients, attorneys and the courts. It
has changed every aspect of the practice of law
including research, litigation techniques, dispute resolution, document creation and document management. Law schools should be
teaching our students to operate in a digital
environment from the first day of classes.
Law schools should provide more focused
and specialized curricular offerings to meet the
demands of a more specialized and competitive world. Traditionally, law schools set in
stone the first year curriculum and then
required only a few courses in the second and
third years. This has led to students selecting
their second and third year courses without
much structure or guidance. Today, law schools
should provide greater direction and focus to
our students in the development of their education and career. Our goal must be to create a
purposeful second and third year of law school
for our students to enhance their education
and to provide them with a competitive edge
in the marketplace.
Schools are beginning to offer J.D.-enhancing
certificates that provide a focused framework
to students in the selection of courses, a better
perspective on a concentration of law and a
more compelling personal story to tell prospective employers. Certificates enhance a student’s law school experience through a unique
blend of substantive legal knowledge, practical
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
application and exposure to the
field in a dynamic interdisciplinary learning environment.
Law schools are also offering
more joint degree programs,
like the J.D./M.B.A. and J.D./
M.P.H., which better prepare
students to work in specialized
settings in the business and
health care industries. Law students can be the direct beneficiaries of leveraging the expertise a comprehensive university
Many law schools have
responded to the travails of the
current economic environment
by expanding their degree offerings beyond
the traditional J.D. This approach has hazards
that must be carefully navigated. If managed
poorly, law schools can lose focus and dilute
their J.D. degree. If properly managed, law
schools can expand access to legal education,
increasing their expertise and enhancing strategic areas that make their J.D. experience
more valuable. Ultimately, pursuit of shortterm economic advantage must be balanced
against, and give way to, the impact to the J.D.
We should meet the market demand by offering new types of courses. For the past 100
years, the delivery of legal education has
remained essentially the same. The Socratic
Method using casebooks in a lecture format
followed by a comprehensive final exam has
dominated the curriculum. There have been
limited opportunities for clinic based, liveclient courses. Fueled partly by a growing
reluctance on the part of law firms to provide
practical, on-the-job training to new hires and
partly by the desire to help law students build
a portfolio of practice-ready skills, law schools
are beginning to find innovative ways to give
our students greater access to a broader range
of experiences.
While certain “skills” courses, like trial techniques, client counseling, legal research and
legal writing, have been an important part of
most law school curricula for some time, law
schools are beginning to explore how doctrinal
courses can be paired with practical elements
to create a wider range of “skills” or “how to”
courses. Simulations, or “practica” as they are
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
more broadly known in academia, provide a modern and
efficient vehicle for such courses. For example, one course at
the OU College of Law takes
students through the process of
acquiring a publicly traded
company. Students receive
hands on training in transaction
skills such as due diligence
investigation, client memo
drafting, negotiation of agreements, and the preparation of
SEC disclosure documents
while also learning about corporate law, securities law, contract law, natural resource law
and employment law in a real
world context. These courses give students
insights into the full range of activities related
to a business merger and expose students to
the key legal skills they must develop in the
practice area.
Many law schools
have responded to
the travails of the
current economic
environment by
expanding their
degree offerings
beyond the
traditional J.D.
Law schools should, and now must, more
broadly embrace student opportunities for
experiential learning. In fact, this summer, the
ABA passed a new standard requiring law
schools to provide more “experiential” education opportunities to their students. Schools
must now provide six credit hours of experiential education to each student in one of the
following settings: live-client clinics, field
placements (like externships or internships),
or simulation courses (like client counseling
or negotiations).3 These experiential courses
must integrate doctrine and theory with multiple opportunities for performance of a skill
and opportunities for self-evaluation. This new
ABA requirement is a positive step for legal
education, but law schools should not simply
settle for the mandatory minimum. A commoditized, one-size-fits all plan is not best for
individual students. Schools should provide a
broader set of such offerings and integrate
them in a student’s specific academic career
plan in a way (and in a quantity) that best
serves the individual student.
The dramatic decline in applicants to law
schools will soon find a leveling point and we
are already seeing signs today that the most
talented students are beginning to apply in
greater numbers. But it would be a grave mistake for law schools to ride out the crisis until
they can go back to business as usual. The
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
decline was a reaction to law school business as
usual. The market was sending a clear message
that changes were needed, and in that message
providing insight into how law schools could
change for the better. Law schools that seize
the opportunity will ensure our graduates of
tomorrow, and the profession as whole, emerges better for it.
You teach yourselves the law, but I train your
minds. You come in here with a skull full of
mush; you leave thinking like a lawyer.4
In a recent seminar at the TU College of Law,
bright-eyed, overly-eager 1Ls were shown
some clips from The Paper Chase. In reality,
while today’s contracts classes bear some
resemblance to Kingsfield’s, law schools and
law professors must now teach students a
much broader range of skills. If every class
mimicked Kingsfield’s, then many of today’s
students would graduate unprepared to successfully navigate the legal market that they
must face.
This moment is both a challenging and
exciting time for legal education. The challenges are well-documented, impacting law
schools throughout the country: a shrinking
national pool of law school applicants, tighter
university budgets, tepid legal job market,
mounting student-debt loads, stagnant or
declining salaries, and technological innovation.5 These factors indicate that the current
downturn may have a structural as well as
cyclical component. Challenges breed opportunity and positive change, and TU Law, OU
Law and OCU Law have embraced this
moment to reformulate and refocus curricula
for the market our students face rather than the
now fictional market that Kingsfield’s students
For Oklahoma’s law schools, the urgency to
prepare “practice ready” graduates is real.
Graduate employment data for Oklahoma law
schools reveals: 1) the majority of graduates
enter private practice following graduation;
and 2) of those graduates who enter private
practice, the largest percentage work in firms
with 2-10 lawyers with an increasing number
of graduates entering practice as a solo practitioner.6 We know that new graduates who enter
private practice will likely have client interaction and court appearances very soon after
being licensed, and many may need to bring in
their own clients and run their own law office.
We have every reason to believe that these
trends will continue for our graduates. Only 2
percent of law firms are located in rural areas,
but one-fifth of the national population lives in
rural communities.7 The demand for smalltown attorneys is so strong that the Oklahoma
Bar Association launched a small-town-practice mentoring program earlier this year.8
Graduates who engage in rural practice will
undoubtedly work in solo or small law firms.
Smaller law offices can offer excellent training and fertile ground for mentorship. Yet,
these young lawyers inevitably will need to hit
the ground running on day one — they will not
have the “benefit” of second- and third-chairing trials — they will not necessarily receive
work and assignments from partners but will
be expected to bring in their own work — and
they will not get paid unless they send clients
bills or hire someone to send the bills (and perhaps collect on the bills). If graduates are to be
successful in this environment, law schools not
only must train students to “think like a lawyer”
but also must help students compile a comprehensive toolkit of skills, some quite familiar to
legal educators and some more foreign.
In 2008, two University of California–Berkeley
professors, Marjorie M. Shultz and Sheldon Zedeck, released an empirical study, funded by
the Law School Admissions Council, identifying those traits or skills that might best predict
success in law school and law practice independent of performance on the LSAT.9 The
results of this study identified “26 Lawyering
Effectiveness Factors” which they in turn
divided into eight umbrella categories.
1)Intellectual and cognitive (analysis and
reasoning, creativity/innovation, problem solving, practical judgment);
2)Research and information gathering
(researching the law, fact finding, questioning and interviewing);
3)Communications (influencing and advocating, writing, speaking, listening);
4)Planning and organizing (strategic planning, organizing and managing one’s
own work, organizing and managing others (staff/colleagues));
5)Conflict resolution (negotiation skills,
able to see the world though the eyes of
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
6)Client and business relations — entrepreneurship (networking and business
development, providing advice & counsel and building relationships with clients);
7)Working with others (developing relationships within the legal profession,
evaluation, development and mentoring);
8)Character (passion and engagement, diligence, integrity/honesty, stress management, community involvement and
service, self-development).10
These categories are a solid starting point for
the design of law school curricula and young
lawyer professional training.
In TU Law’s “Dean’s Seminar on the Legal
Profession,” these lawyer effectiveness factors
are shared with first-year students who are
told if they develop at least competency in all
of these 26 traits they will succeed in law
school and as lawyers, and, if they constantly
reinforce and strengthen these skills, they will
advance further than they ever imagined. Students are asked how they can take advantage
of their time in law school — with a tremendous array of classes, specialized programs,
extra-curricular opportunities and services —
to develop these skills.
Interestingly, part of the discussion centers
on taking classes that we associate more with
business schools than law schools — basic management, marketing, project management, risk
management, accounting and finance. More and
more, law schools are either offering these classes — accounting for lawyers, finance for lawyers, law firm management — or partnering
with their business schools to facilitate crosslisting of courses and joint degree programs.
The remainder of class discussion focuses on
the various ways to “practice” the skill. Traditional law classes and law exam writing, legal
writing classes, moot court and law journal, all
provide training in one or more of the “lawyering effectiveness factors.” However, offering
students the opportunity to serve and/or represent clients directly rises as the premier
opportunity to develop, hone and integrate the
menu of skills that enhance lawyer effectiveness. Indeed all law students, beginning in the
fall of 2016, will be required to successfully complete six hours of experiential learning courses,
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
which “must be a simulation course, a law
clinic, or a field placement.”11
Thus all law schools, including Oklahoma
law schools, are grappling with ways to accommodate practical skills training in live-client
environments, supervised by competent attorneys interested in a student’s success. Undeniably, legal clinics, directed by resident faculty,
are the gold standard for learning to practice
law. However, law clinics are costly to develop
and staff as small group instruction is considered the best instructional practice; most U.S.
law school clinics only accommodate 8-10 students per professor.12 With the fiscal pressures
on law schools and universities, it is improbable that legal clinics will be the sole, or even the
primary, vehicle to provide students with the
type of practical training that effective lawyering, and now the ABA, demands.
Increasingly, law schools are developing an
alternative to the clinic experience through
externships. Externships allow students to
receive academic credit for working in a supervised capacity under a licensed attorney.
Through an externship, the supervising attorney develops an academic plan for the studentextern and trains the student through a variety
of hands-on experiences. Obviously, this is no
small service on the part of supervising attorneys, as we all know the value of time in the
legal profession. However, this model of training young attorneys is not a new concept to
American legal history. It was customary for
decades in the United States, and centuries
before in England, for lawyers to earn their
accreditation by apprenticeship under a seasoned attorney.
So it seems we have come somewhat full
circle in our profession. The valuable skills our
law students need are best learned in livepractice settings, requiring the supervision of a
dedicated and patient supervising attorney.
While I see this as a relatively new challenge as
a law school administrator, as a bar member
this is an incredibly exciting opportunity. Attorneys are truly in a position to control the
future of their profession by ensuring that the
next generation of lawyers is as prepared and
practice-ready as possible upon graduation.
I encourage each of you who read this article
to contact your closest law school, or your alma
mater, and offer to supervise a law student in
an externship. Although it will require commit-
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
ment of time and energy on your part, you are
truly “paying it forward” to your profession.
Law schools are changing. Dramatically. And
in classic chicken-and-egg fashion, new ABA
accrediting standards for law schools reflect a
shift toward an era of experimentation and
innovation as law schools respond to the rapidly changing realities of the legal market.
theory, skills and legal ethics, and it must
engage students in the performance of professional skills. A qualifying experiential course
must also provide multiple opportunities for
student performance and multiple opportunities for self-evaluation.
Most law schools, in varying degrees, have
already incorporated experiential learning into
their curricula, at least in elective components.
The new standard now requires that all law students obtain at least a minimum level of practical real-world experience before they graduate.
For decades, accredited law schools followed a stable model for traditional legal
education: one year of required doctrinal
courses (torts, contracts, property, criminal
law, civil and criminal procedure, constitutional law) followed by two years of mostly
advanced doctrinal courses (tax, securities,
corporations, energy law, family law, wills
and trusts, UCC, employment law, etc.), with
only limited opportunities for practical skills
development, real client contact, pro bono
service or experiential learning built within
the curriculum itself.
This summer, the ABA House of Delegates
endorsed a package of reforms that reflects a
significant shift in expectations. Outlined here
are some of the significant changes. And the
word to hold in mind as you consider the
changes is “partnership” — because the
dynamic and positive effect of these changes
will be to place legal education in strong interdisciplinary partnership with the community
— the legal community, the business community, the non-profit service community and
other university communities.
The professional skills contemplated by this
requirement include competencies such as
interviewing, counseling, negotiation, factdevelopment and analysis, trial practice, document drafting, conflict resolution, organization
and management of legal work, collaboration,
cultural competency and self-evaluation.16
This shift has already begun to shape the
future of legal education. The recent changes to
the ABA accrediting standards simply underscore the permanence of that shift and reflect
changes that are well underway at law schools
across the nation.13
Law students in accredited law schools will
now be required to take one or more experiential courses totaling at least six credit hours.14
An experiential course can be a simulation
course, a law clinic or a field placement such
as a supervised externship in a legal environment. To qualify for this requirement, the
work in the course must integrate doctrine,
A related change requires an accredited law
school to establish “learning outcomes” that
must, at a minimum, include competency in
knowledge and understanding of substantive
and procedural law; legal analysis and reasoning; legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context; exercise of proper professional and ethical
responsibilities to clients and the legal system;
and “other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of
the legal profession.”15
The new standard does not direct that a
school adopt a particular set of professional
skills or competencies to be achieved through
its program, but instead leaves that task to each
school in accordance with its mission. It would
be difficult for a school to accomplish this task
alone. Bar associations, alumni, practitioners,
adjunct professors, industry leaders and other
community resources will be crucial to the
important task of identifying competencies
needed to prepare students for particular
aspects of legal practice. Simulation courses
that track real-world transactions, negotiations, or other client-centered activities will
create powerful interdisciplinary learning
environments. Externships will require the
engagement of knowledgeable supervisory
partners in agencies, courts, governmental
units and non-profits. Clinics will require the
input of the community regarding the needs of
under-served populations and other resources
complimentary to the legal services provided.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Skilled clinical professors will supervise students in alliance with other non-profit or governmental providers, and sometimes the clinics
will be embedded in the community itself. The
community will be an important player in the
day-to-day lives of law students.
More and more, law schools will become
vitally engaged with community partners to
identify the knowledge and specific professional skills and competencies needed for the
legal jobs of the future.
Law schools will also be required to use
assessment methods to “measure” learning
outcomes. Under a new standard, schools
have an obligation to use assessment measures to provide feedback to students to
improve student learning.17 A law school is
required to use both formative assessments
(measured at points during a particular
course, for instance) and summative assessments (measured at the culmination of a
course, such as final examinations).
This new requirement to “measure learning
outcomes” will require a shift of resources and
emphasis in law school programs. There will be
less reliance on the “inputs” of LSAT scores and
undergraduate GPAs to measure the quality of a
school’s program and more reliance on multiple
assessments of student outcomes or “outputs.”
Tools of assessment may include student performance in capstone courses, student performance
in courses that assess a variety of skills and
knowledge, surveys of attorneys, judges and
alumni as well as continuing to use bar passage
and employment placement rates to measure
the quality and effectiveness of the legal education provided.18
Some law schools may have a steep learning
curve in developing assessment methods suitable for their programs, and the ABA contemplates a transition period as schools decide
how to meet this requirement. Law faculty and
deans will be required by the ABA standards to
conduct ongoing evaluations of the law school
program, student learning outcomes and
assessment methods, and then use that information to make appropriate changes to improve the program. In other words, law schools
will be required to spell out specifically what
they expect students to learn — including the
professional skills that can be developed in
experiential settings — and then establish
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
effective ways to measure how well the students learn.
Under the new standards, law schools will
have greater flexibility to offer distance learning opportunities. A distance education course
is defined as “one in which students are separated from the faculty member or each other
for more than one-third of the instruction and
the instruction involves the use of technology
to support regular and substantive interaction
among students and between the students and
the faculty member, either synchronously or
asynchronously.”19 Law schools may now permit students to take up to 15 credit hours of
distance courses, an increase from the current
12 credit hours. Further, the rule prohibiting a
law student from enrolling in more than four
credits of distance learning at a time has been
This change reflects the growing and persistent pressure on law schools to find ways to
make law school more affordable. Also, the
change permits schools to engage in more
experimentation to determine the value of distance learning for their particular programs
and faculty resources. Technological advances
and more sophisticated distance teaching
methods make these options more attractive as
schools move toward incorporating some distance learning into their curriculum. This relaxation of the prior rules will support and encourage law schools to enter into partnerships and
consortiums with each other — to share their
faculty resources and avoid duplication of
course offerings in highly specialized fields.
The new standards require accredited law
schools to provide “substantial opportunities”
for students to participate in pro bono legal
services and law-related public service activities.21 Of course, most law schools already provide such opportunities and keep statistics of
the hours of pro bono service provided by their
students. It’s impressive how much law students at all three of Oklahoma’s law schools
contribute to pro bono and public interest
The ABA accreditation standards encourage
law students to perform 50 hours of pro bono
service while they are completing their legal
education. This standard, in addition to emphasizing the legal profession’s traditional value of
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
pro bono service, also reflects the shift toward
the value of real-world experience in becoming
a lawyer. The new standard will push law
schools to institutionalize their commitment to
both experiential learning and pro bono and
public interest service. This aspect of a high
quality legal education further contributes to
the fertile ground for law school-community
1. Law School Admissions Council, “End of Year Summary: ABA
Applicants, Applications, Admissions, Enrollment, LSATs, CAS”
(2014),; Law
School Admissions Council, “Three-Year Applicant Volume Graphs”
2. Richard E. Susskind, The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of
Legal Services (Oxford University Press, 2010); Brian Z. Tamanaha, Failing Law Schools (2012).
3. American Bar Association, “2014-2015 Standards and Rules of
Procedure for Approval of Law Schools” (2014), available at www.
4. The Paper Chase (20th Century Fox 1973).
5. Susskind, Id.; Lincoln Caplan, “An Existential Crisis for Law
Schools,” New York Times, July 14, 2012.
6. ABA Standard 509 Required Disclosures:
Ui9lwE;; www.
7. Ethan Bronner, “No Lawyer for Miles, So One Rural State Offers
Pay,” New York Times (April 8, 2013).
8. Julie A. Evans, OBA Law Schools Committee (2014).
9. Marjorie Maguire Shultz and Sheldon Zedeck, Final Report - Identification, Development, and Validation of Predictors for Successful Lawyering, SSRN-id1353554 (2008).
10. Id. at 26-27.
11. Standard 303, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions
to the Bar, Revised Standards for Approval of Law Schools (August
12. David A. Santacroce and Robert R. Kuehn, “Report on the 20072008 Survey,” page 14, Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (2008).
13. The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
is tasked by the U.S. Department of Education with the accreditation
of law schools in the United States. The section began a comprehensive
review of the law school accreditation standards in 2008. The Council
of the Section of Legal Education established final revisions to the
proposed standards, subject to approval by the ABA House of Delegates. On Aug. 11, 2014, the ABA House of Delegates approved the set
of reforms. The revised standards may be found at the ABA website,, in the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar under News and Announcements.
14. See Standard 303(a)(3).
15. See Standard 302(d).
16. See Standard 302, Interpretation 302-1.
17. See Standard 314.
18. See Standard 315 and Interpretation 315-1.
19. Standard 306(a).
20. See Standard 306(e).
21. See Standard 303(b)(2).
About The AuthorS
Valerie Couch has served as
dean of the OCU School of Law
since 2012. For 13 years, she
served as a federal magistrate judge
in the Western District of Oklahoma. Prior to her service on the
federal bench, she was in private
practice for 16 years. She has
served as president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Oklahoma City Chapter, and the William J. Holloway Jr. American Inn of
Joseph Harroz Jr. has served of
dean of the OU College of Law
and director of the OU Law Center since 2010, having served the
university in various capacities
since 1994. He is also currently
university vice president, and he
teaches in the area of employment
law. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University
Law Center. While in Washington D.C., he served as
legislative director and legal counsel to then-U.S. Sen.
David L. Boren.
Janet K. Levit has served as
dean of the TU College of Law
since 2007. She frequently writes
and lectures about issues related to
international finance and international human rights. She earned
her J.D. in 1994 from the Yale Law
School, M.A. in international
relations in 1994 from Yale University and an A.B.,
magna cum laude, in 1990 from the Woodrow Wilson
School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
“ R E G I N A B U I LT A
Right now in science, Regina’s 6th
grade class is designing bridges.
She hopes to be the project
engineer, and dreams of a career
in chemical engineering.
But her favorite bridge was built
on her very first day at Holland
Hall, two years ago, when she
transferred from another school.
“I was at my locker and couldn’t
do the combination, and a girl
named Julie ran up, gave me a
hug and showed me how to do
the lock – then introduced me to
all her friends. She’s still one of
my best friends today. Everybody
was really nice and made the
adjustment so easy.”
– Regina S.,
Holland Hall Sixth Grader
Build a new bridge today. Contact
Olivia Martin, Director of Admission, at
(918) 481-1111.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Updating the Rules to Reflect
Changes in Technology
By Gina L. Hendryx
awyers have an obligation to provide competent and diligent representation to their clients. This means the lawyer
must apply the “legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and
preparation reasonable necessary for the representation.”1 Furthermore, “a lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and
promptness in representing a client.”2
Lawyers have historically learned that when
faced with a novel area of law or a representation involving unfamiliar legal issues, we can
satisfy the competency requirement through
necessary study or by associating with competent counsel. To diligently represent a client, the lawyer should fulfill obligations to a
client within a reasonable time and not neglect
the matter or the client. A lawyer’s failure to
meet deadlines is a classic example of a violation of Rule 1.3.
“Competent” representation has long been
associated with familiarity of substantive law
and procedural rules. With the legal field implementing more technology resources and
outsourcing more projects, the “competent”
lawyer’s responsibilities will expand beyond
principles of law and rules of the court. The
American Bar Association has adopted several
amendments to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules) which reflect the
wide range of technologies used or likely to be
used in the near future by lawyers. The OBA’s
Rules of Professional Conduct Committee has
studied these changes and made recommendaVol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
tions to be presented to the OBA Board of Governors regarding adoption of same. Ultimately,
any changes to the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct (Oklahoma Rules) will be
determined by the Oklahoma Supreme Court
and codified at 12 O.S. Ch.1, App. 3-A.
The ABA amendments begin with Rule 1.0,
Terminology. Section (n) defines the word
“writing” as it is used in the Model Rules. Writing has been defined to include email. It was
determined that the definition of “writing”
should be updated in light of changes in technology. The ABA commission charged with
studying these rules determined that the current definition was not sufficiently expansive
given the wide range of methods that lawyers
use when memorializing an agreement. Therefore, “email” was replaced with the words
“electronic communications” to be included in
the definition of a “writing.” The Oklahoma
committee has recommended adoption of this
change to Rule 1.0(n).
Lawyers are charged with the responsibility
to keep abreast of changes in the law and its
practice. The ABA amendments now include
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
staying current on the “benefits
and risk associated with relevant
technology.” The Oklahoma committee has recommended adoption
of this language to Comment [6] of
Rule 1.1. To maintain competence
in the practice, lawyers are encouraged to engage in continued study
and education. Maintaining competence may very well require
knowledge of e-discovery, online
filing, electronic document retention policies, etc. If you intend to
practice in areas where there are
potential technology issues, you
must understand some. Failure to
do so may be a violation of your duty to competently represent your client.
has increased
the risk that
information may
be inadvertently
Communicating with your clients has drastically changed since the days of rotary dial
telephones and carbon paper copied letters.
Rule 1.4 of both the Model Rules and the Oklahoma Rules states that lawyer shall keep the
client reasonably informed about the status of
the matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information. Comment [4] to
this rule states that “[c]lient telephone calls
should be promptly returned or acknowledged.” The ABA commission replaced that
admonition with the following language, “A
lawyer should promptly respond to or acknowledge client communications.” The new language more accurately describes a lawyer’s
obligations in light of the increasing number of
ways in which clients use technology to communicate with lawyers. The Oklahoma committee has recommended adoption of this language to Comment [4] of Oklahoma Rule 1.4.
Technology has increased the risk that confidential information may be inadvertently disclosed. Model Rule and Oklahoma Rule 4.4 (b)
provide that should a lawyer receive documents that they know or reasonably should
know were sent inadvertently, they must notify
the sender. The ABA commission determined
that the word “documents” was insufficient to
cover the various kinds of information that may be inadvertently
divulged. Confidential information is stored in emails, on flash
drives and embedded in electronic
documents. The amendment to
Rule 4.4 (b) makes it clear that the
rule extends to all documents or
electronically stored information.
The Oklahoma committee has recommended adoption of the
amendments to Rule 4.4.
Recommended changes will be
vetted by the OBA’s Board of Governors and, if accepted by that
board, referred to the Oklahoma
Supreme Court for consideration. If and when
any amendments are approved by the court,
OBA members will be given notice via traditional means of delivery, i.e. the Oklahoma Bar
Journal and through electronic technology. The
OBA recognizes its responsibility to provide
current, up-to-date information to its members
and embraces technology as one of the many
means of keeping our members current on
changes to rules of practice.
1. Oklahoma Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1.
2. Oklahoma Rule of Professional Conduct 1.3.
Ms. Hendryx is OBA general counsel.
About The Author
Gina Hendryx is the general
counsel for the Oklahoma Bar
Association. A licensed attorney for 30 years, she received
her J.D. and B.S. degrees from
OCU. She supervises a staff of
15 and serves as the association’s
chief disciplinary counsel. She
works with the Professional Responsibility Commission and serves as a liaison to
the OBA Board of Governors, OBA committees, the
courts, and other local and national entities concerning lawyer ethics issues.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
OBA Criminal Law Section Luncheon
and Annual Meeting
Mayo Hotel, 115 West 5th Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma
November 12, 2014 • Noon – 1:30 p.m.
$20 for CLS members • $35 for non CLS members
Including cost of 2015 yearly dues and luncheon
Main speaker: Seattle attorney Carol Hepburn
Currently, Ms. Hepburn is one of only a few lawyers who are leading a national effort
in the U.S. to recover substantial damages for victims of child pornography. Her
client is the subject of one of the most widely distributed series identified to date.
Carol was recently featured discussing this case on KING 5 Seattle news: Victim in
Child Porn Videos Now Seeking Justice and in the ABA Journal article, “Pricing
Amy: Should Those Who Download Child Pornography Pay the Victims?”
Also speaking: Danny Oliver
State Adjutant of the Disabled American Veterans
He will speak about the Battle Buddies program, a national model for providing
mentoring assistance to incarcerated veterans who are released from prison.
We will be honoring Suzanne McClain Atwood, Executive Coordinator of
the DAC and Bob Ravitz, Oklahoma County Chief Public Defender for their
efforts in founding and sustaining the Criminal Law Section. Luncheon also
honors those receiving the Section’s Professional Advocacy Awards.
Eight pairs of
tickets to a NBA
OKC Thunder
game will be
given as
door prizes.
Must be present
to win!
Registration form due Nov. 7
Registration open to all OBA members and guests, whether or not members of the section.
PLEASE register on or before November 7, so that adequate luncheon plates are provided.
First name ________________________________________ Last name _____________________________________________________________
City ________________________________________________________________________________ state ______ zip_____________________
Email _____________________________________________________ Phone ____________________________ OBA Number _______________
Registration (check appropriate box)
[ ] $20 for section members and guests of section members
[ ] $35 for non-section member of OBA (includes $15 section dues and 2015 enrollment)
Payment (select one): [ ] Check
[ ] Cash
[ ] Visa
[ ] Mastercard
$________________ Total
Card number _______________________________________________________ Exp. ___________________
Signature (required) __________________________________________________________________________
Remit form and payments to Tracy Sanders, membership coordinator • OBA, PO Box 53036, Oklahoma City, OK 73152; or fax to 405-416-7001
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Legal Profession of the
21st Century:
Can Oklahoma Lawyers Meet the Challenges?
By Deirdre O. Dexter
n the world of law, it certainly can’t be disputed that “the
times they are a-changin’.”1 Dramatic changes are occurring
rapidly in the way legal services are provided. Even prior to
the economic downturn in 2008, lawyers and law firms were
beginning to experience change as corporate clients demanded
detailed budgets and information regarding legal services performed and results achieved. The full impact of the downturn is
now behind us, but the “more services for less cost” demand
remains, and is now an expectation of all clients — whether that
client is an individual seeking a divorce, or is a corporation seeking to enforce a multi-million dollar contract.
At the same time, many believe our justice
system has failed to provide legal services to
those in need, and the demand for better access
to services for that underserved population is
receiving increased attention.
This client demand of more for less, and the
well-founded demand for a better way to provide legal services to low- and middle-income
individuals, has had a profound impact on the
cost and delivery of legal services and has led
to the public’s increased reliance on “self help”
solutions to solve legal issues. It has, in fact,
opened the door to new entities like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and other online businesses who profit by claiming to provide more
affordable services to potential legal clients.
This, in turn, creates major pressure for lawyers to change how we do business — both to
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
provide access to justice to those in need and to
survive in today’s business climate.2
Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Supreme
Court adopted rules creating the Oklahoma
Access to Justice Commission, which will be
codified at Part XI of the Oklahoma Supreme
Court Rules.3 In the rules, the court directs the
commission to “develop and implement policy
initiatives designed to expand access to and
enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income” Oklahomans.4 Although
the court focuses on providing increased civil
legal services to low income individuals, it cannot be denied that the access to justice issue
goes well beyond those who fall within this
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
A recent study funded by the American Bar
Foundation (ABF study) found not only that 80
percent of those classified as “low income”5
encountered at least one civil justice situation6
during 2013, but also that more than 60 percent
of those considered “middle income”7 and
“high income”8 encountered a civil justice situation in 2013.9 The study thus debunks the
assumption that individuals who fall within
the middle- and high-income categories recognize their legal issues, and have the resources
to hire an attorney to represent them. Not surprisingly, the ABF study found that the cost of
legal services was a predominant reason why
more people do not turn to lawyers for help
with their legal issues.10 Further, the study
revealed that across all income levels, nearly 50
percent of those responding did not seek legal
assistance, and even those who did seek assistance rarely went to attorneys.11 Instead, they
turned to “self help” methods.12
New online services claim to bridge the gap
between those who need help preparing certain legal documents, and the high cost of legal
services to provide them. Since 2001, LegalZoom and others have capitalized on the fact
that many people are a) willing to engage in
“self help,” b) do not see document preparation as a “legal” issue and/or c) believe they
cannot afford legal services.
As Internet use has grown, the use of such
alternative providers has also grown exponentially. For example, a simple Internet search for
“will” pulls up a number of sites which will
provide customized documents, based on
information input by the individual. This service is typically much cheaper than hiring a
lawyer to prepare a will and, depending on the
service, may be free.13
Assistance provided by these companies
ranges from the incorporation of a business to
the creation of a last will and testament. LegalZoom charges a flat rate, based on the services
selected, and Rocket Lawyer has a seven-day
free trial of its subscription services, during
which time the documents are free. They cover
preparation of documents and may include
consultation with an attorney.
An important issue is whether what these
companies do and what they will do in the
future crosses the line into the unauthorized
practice of law. LegalZoom, in fact, has faced
several lawsuits alleging that it has engaged in
the unauthorized practice of law since it began
providing services in 2001.
The unauthorized practice of law as it relates
to LegalZoom is based on how the process
works. Generally, a customer who wishes to
use a LegalZoom document selects the type of
document desired, and then answers online
questions posed by the program. Those answers are put into a “template” used by LegalZoom to create the final document. According
to LegalZoom, other than inserting the customer’s information into the template, the language of the template is static, and does not
change based on the information provided by
the customer.14 Likewise, according to LegalZoom, while an individual does proofread the
template to check for any errors, it is not providing legal advice or services.
While LegalZoom and others characterize
their services as filling in a “template” and
analogize them to pre-printed legal forms,
questions exist regarding the extent to which
LegalZoom and other online providers bump up
against unauthorized practice. For example,
more than one online user has submitted a form
and received a follow-up call from someone at
LegalZoom regarding what action the users
should take on the matter going forward.15
A recent situation in Oklahoma involved a
customer who attempted to use LegalZoom to
create a limited liability company. After checking the Oklahoma Secretary of State website to
verify that the name chosen for the new entity
was not in use, the individual used LegalZoom
to set up the LLC. A few days later he received
a call from a customer service representative at
LegalZoom advising that one of the words
used in the new entity’s name was already in
use by two other companies registered in Oklahoma, and suggested that the name could be
rejected by the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s
office. This may be legal advice, or it may be
part of the “proofreading” admittedly done by
LegalZoom. While that is a question reserved
for the courts, it does raise questions regarding
the manner in which LegalZoom, as well as
other online document providers, deal with
their customers.
In fact, LegalZoom has settled a number of
the lawsuits filed against it.16 It recently, however, received a favorable ruling from the
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
South Carolina Supreme Court, to the effect
that the manner in which it does business with
its customers does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law.17 While the South Carolina
ruling gave LegalZoom cause to celebrate, a
Superior Court judge in North Carolina, less
than two weeks after the South Carolina ruling,
refused to rule on whether Legal Zoom’s activities amounted to the unauthorized practice of
law, and required the parties to provide it with
a more extensive factual record.18
For now, at least, there has been no final
determination that LegalZoom and similar
entities have engaged in the unauthorized
practice of law, which means they can and will
continue to prepare and provide legal documents to Oklahoma citizens. So what does that
mean for lawyers in Oklahoma?
First, it may dramatically impact lawyers who make a living
by preparing wills and trusts,
assisting clients to form limited
liability companies and prepare
other corporate documents, and
providing other document-intensive legal services that can be
achieved by utilizing the document preparation software provided by LegalZoom.
A lawyer could also include an intake form
on his or her website that the client could fill
out for a template, much like LegalZoom, but
with the benefit of having a lawyer review the
document. The lawyer could then determine
what additional information is needed in order
to protect the client’s interests.
Finally, it is important for lawyers to recognize that changes in how clients are purchasing
legal services and engaging legal professionals
are not limited to the preparation of legal documents by LegalZoom-type entities.
Consider the comprehensive list of “New
Law” tools and sites one legal blogger, Jordan
Furlong, has recently published.20 Mr. Furlong
uses the term “New Law” to
describe “any model, process, or
tool that represents a significantly
different approach to the creation
or provision of legal services than
what the legal profession traditionally has employed.” Within
two overall categories, first,
“Applying Technology to the Performance of Legal Tasks,” and
second, “Aligning Human Talent
with Legal Tasks,” Mr. Furlong
lists an extensive number of
sources, just a few of which are
listed in the side bar.
To remain
Oklahoma lawyers
must look for new
ways to reach
legal service
Indeed, competing in this
“new” legal market has become
increasingly difficult for lawyers
practicing law in the traditional
way. Clients are rejecting the concept of hourly billing and demanding greater cost savings and efficiency,
including the use of technology and alternative
service providers. This “decomposing and
alternative sourcing,” as it is termed by Richard Susskind,19 will require lawyers to determine which tasks in a particular project truly
require the knowledge and expertise of a lawyer, and which tasks can be outsourced to save
time and expense. Lawyers must create sustainable cost advantages through their own use
of technology and new processes.
There are several ways to do this. Lawyers,
for example, can encourage consumers using
online document services like LegalZoom to
utilize the lawyer’s services to review the documents that are created, at a reduced or even
free cost, in order to ensure that the client’s
interests and intent are, in fact, protected and
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
reflected in the document. In the event errors
are found which must be corrected, this can
also be done for a regular or reduced fee.
To remain competitive, Oklahoma lawyers must look for new
ways to reach legal service consumers, and emphasize the value and professionalism that lawyers bring to this ever more
crowded legal market. Consumers need to
know that there are many situations where an
online service is not the right tool, and that a
lawyer’s ethics, expertise, professionalism,
integrity and reliability are necessities.
Finding ways to compete is not the only
issue facing lawyers with respect to new legal
service entities. Issues related to lawyer independence, competence and ethics, all of which
are designed to protect the public in dealing
with legal issues, must be considered. It is
imperative that the public be protected.
Currently, protection comes through lawyer
self-governance, something that is unavailable
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Tools to Help Lawyers Do Legal Work
• CaseText – “Judicial opinions and
statutes are annotated with analysis by
prominent law professors and attorneys at
leading firms, giving you unique insight.
And everything is 100 percent free.”
• ClearAccessIP – “Serving the patent
marketplace by lowering transactions
and streamlining data management
at the prosecution level.”
Tools to Help Clients Resolve Disputes
• Fair Outcomes – “Provides parties
involved in disputes or difficult negotiations
with access to newly developed proprietary
systems that allow fair and equitable
outcomes to be achieved with remarkable
• Fixed – “The easiest way to fix a
parking ticket.”
• WeVorce – “Divorce is more than a
legal problem. … You’ll come out with the
necessary legal documents as well
as a lifetime of tools, knowledge and
agreements as you begin again.”
Tools to Help Clients Conduct Their Own
Legal Matters
• A2J Author – “A software tool that
delivers greater access to justice for selfrepresented litigants by enabling nontechnical authors from the courts, clerk’s
offices, legal services programs, and website editors to rapidly build and implement
customer friendly web-based interfaces for
document assembly.”
institutes-centers/center-for-access-to-justiceand- technology/a2j-author
• Fair Document – “You get all your necessary estate planning documents completed quickly, and our streamlined process of
working with an attorney affords peace of
to those utilizing alternative service providers.21 In fact, the legal profession has often been
criticized when challenging entities such as
LegalZoom, because it is perceived that the
protection efforts are for the benefit of attorneys rather than clients.22 Lost in such criticism,
however, is the fact that the practice of law is
regulated in order to protect the public.
With the traditional delivery of legal services, a lawyer will ultimately be held accountable
for the work product that is performed by a
non-lawyer within a law firm, or for work that
is outsourced:
“[a] lawyer is duty-bound to supervise the
work done by law personnel and stands
ultimately responsible for work done by
the entire non-lawyer staff. The work of
unlicensed personnel for a lawyer is done
by them as agents of the lawyer who
employs them. It is the lawyer who must
exercise complete, though indirect, professional control over the actions of the
Similarly, if a non-lawyer acting on behalf of
a lawyer violates ethical rules governing lawyers, it is the lawyer who is held accountable.
LegalZoom-type providers, however, have
no such regulation. In fact, these entities typically include a disclaimer stating that they are
not providing legal services, and attempt to
limit their liability to the amount received for
documents provided. It is easy, however, to
imagine a situation where a consumer has prepared, for example, a trust instrument using an
online legal document provider, only to learn
that significant tax ramifications or other
adverse, unintended consequences have defeated the very purpose for creating the trust. Without the potential malpractice liability which
protects clients when dealing with lawyers, the
consumer’s recovery will be limited.
Another issue is client confidentiality. While
lawyers are subject to strict rules regarding client confidentiality,24 alternative service providers are not. The potentially sensitive business
information that a consumer may need to share
in order to obtain the desired services may be
at risk from the use of online services. The
hacking and hijacking of information from
online computer systems seem to be a daily
Potentially more significant is the fact that
information provided through an online sys-
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
tem is available to people who are unknown to
the consumer. While the odds of one or more
persons using sensitive information in an
unauthorized or improper way may be small,
the effects of just one violation could be devastating to the consumer, depending on the
nature of the information.
Another concern related to online legal service providers involves conflicts of interest. As
is the case with confidentiality, lawyers are
subject to strict rules governing conflicts of
interest,25 with the corollary duty to exercise
independent professional judgment.26 These
issues would not appear to apply to online
document providers. If such providers do perform legal services for consumers,27 however,
the question arises whether they should also be
bound to follow conflicts of interest rules.
Similarly, when attorneys are working for
companies that are not subject to the ethical
rules governing lawyers, there is always a risk
that non-lawyers may seek to direct or regulate
the attorneys’ professional judgment in violation of Rule 5.4 of the Rules of Professional
Finally, in addition to regulations regarding
conflicts of interest and confidentiality, required
training of online providers should be considered to ensure a certain level of competence.
A final change concerns the alternative business structures law (ABS) which has been
adopted in England and Wales.29 The specific
intent of the ABS law is to permit non-lawyers
to hold joint ownership and management of
entities that may engage solely in legal services, or engage in legal services in combination
with other, non-legal services.
The development and use of alternative business structures represents the liberalization
and globalization of the legal profession.30 It
allows firms to explore new ways to organize
their businesses to allow for external investment and to be more cost-effective by, for
example, permitting different kinds of lawyers
and non-lawyers to work together.31 Although
the structure created for England and Wales
falls under very a detailed law, and is still in its
infancy, interest in ABS as an alternative to traditional law firms is on the rise.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
• Lexspot – “Our online platform …
makes the convoluted and expensive
immigration process easy and affordable.”
New-Model Law Firms
• Justice Café – “We are striving to
bridge the justice gap by dishing up
affordable legal help in our communities.”
• VLP Law Group – “We provide sophisticated legal advice in a wide range of
practice areas, but our overhead is low,
our staffing lean, our fees flexible and
Project/Flex/Dispersed Legal
Talent Providers
• Daily General Counsel – “We come
to your place of business for a full day
and help you to solve your most pressing
legal-related business problems.”
• Paragon – “We provide embedded
attorneys on a project basis to assist
with overflow work, hiring gaps, interim
backfills and special projects.”
Managed Legal Support Services
• Elevate Legal Services – “A global
legal service provider helping law firms
and corporate legal departments operate
more effectively.”
• LeClair Ryan Legal Solutions – “We
provide a wide range of support services
and incorporate best-in-class technology
and quality control processes which will
be uniquely integrated into the law firm’s
litigation and transactional practice areas.”
• United Lex – “The global leader in
legal services outsourcing, provides litigation, contracts and IP services to corporations and law firms.”
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
The potential for globalization of legal services through use of ABS, and the flexibility it
provides financially and in the ways legal services are delivered, could create great economic challenges for lawyers and great risk for the
public. Ontario, the first jurisdiction in North
America to regulate non-lawyer providers of
legal services by use of independent paralegals, is currently studying such issues, including a study of limited non-licensee ownership
of law firms, and the current rules governing
legal business structures, such as the ban on fee
Although ABS will not make entry into the
states so long as the bans on fee sharing and
forming legal partnerships with non-lawyers
remain in place, some states are taking steps to
liberalize rules, including those prohibiting the
unauthorized practice of law. For example, the
Washington (state) Supreme Court recently
adopted a court rule authorizing and regulating
non-lawyers who deliver legal services in a limited fashion.33 The court rule followed a study
commissioned by the court in 2003, which found
that access to justice was being denied to a significant portion of the population. Under the
new Limited License Legal Technician Rule,
certain individuals are authorized to deliver
legal services in a limited scope in specific
Supreme Court-approved practice areas.34
Irrespective of the forms that changes in the
law may take in the months and years ahead,
making certain that those who seek to provide
legal assistance to the public are competent,
and can be held accountable to their clients, is
crucial. As recognized by the Washington
Supreme Court, it is important to set standards
for those who are authorized to represent clients in legal matters, even when the representation is limited. It is imperative that lawyers
and non-lawyers alike be accountable to the
consumer, whose life, well-being and/or
finances may be harmed by the action or inaction of the provider. In dealing with online
service providers, this could potentially be
accomplished through mandatory insurance
coverage, invalidation of limitation of liability
clauses or a combination of the two.
Change is coming, much faster than we may
realize. Now is the time to embrace that change
and move from the “traditional” practice of
law into the 21st Century. However, as we do
so, it is important that we never lose sight of
the need to provide access to justice for all and
to protect and safeguard the public. Lawyers
must be more efficient and make greater use of
technology in order to compete in the legal
profession today — for the times they are
1. Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin.’
2. Author Richard Susskind has warned that significant change is
coming to the legal profession and that one of the drivers of that
change is what he calls the “‘more for less’ challenge.” Richard Susskind, “Tomorrow’s Lawyers,” 39 ABA Law Practice Magazine 4 (2013).
3. See In re: Establishment of the Oklahoma Access to Justice Commission, 2014 OK 16.
4. Id.
5. “Low income” households, for purposes of the study, are those
eligible for federal funded civil legal services or households at 125
percent of the poverty level or below. “Accessing Justice in the Contemporary USA: Finding From The Community Needs And Services
Study,” Figure 3, Notes, at p. 9, authored by Rebecca L. Sandefur and
released by the American Bar Foundation on Aug. 8, 2014.
6. For purposes of the study, civil justice situations were matters
involving one of the following: money, debt, rented and owned housing, insurance, employment, government benefits, children’s education, clinical negligence, personal injury and relationship breakdown
and its aftermath. Id. at p. 7.
7. “Middle income” households, for purposes of the study, are
those between 126 percent of the poverty level and the 80th percentile
of the national household income distribution. Id., Figure 3, Notes, at
p. 9.
8. “High income” households, for purposes of the study, are those
whose incomes are in the top 20 percent nationally. Id.
9. See “Accessing Justice in the Contemporary USA: Finding From
The Community Needs And Services Study” supra, Figure 3 at p. 9.
10. See “Accessing Justice in the Contemporary USA: Finding
From The Community Needs And Services Study” supra, at p. 16.
11. Id. While a small number of the situations encountered
involved some kind of court involvement, even then only 42 percent of
those responding sought advice or assistance from attorneys. Where
the situation did not involve the court system, only 5 percent of those
responding sought assistance from an attorney.
12. Id. at pp. 11-12.
13. Interestingly, LegalZoom sued its main competitor, Rocket
Lawyer, alleging that Rocket Lawyer statements that it provides “free”
documents are false.
14. LegalZoom, Inc., v. The North Carolina State Bar, Case No. 11 CV
15111, Superior Court Division, North Carolina, Order March 24, 2014.
15. See, e.g., Gene Quinn, “LegalZoom Sued in Class for Unauthorized Law Practice,” IPWatchdog, Inc. (Feb. 9, 2010).
16. For example, lawsuits filed in Washington, California and Missouri have been settled and another lawsuit, filed in Arkansas, has
been ordered to arbitration.
17. Medlock v. LegalZoom, Inc., Case No. 2012-208067, Supreme
Court, State of South Carolina, Order March 11, 2014.
18. LegalZoom, Inc., v. The North Carolina State Bar, Case No. 11 CV
15111, Superior Court Division, North Carolina, Order March 24, 2014.
19. See “Tomorrow’s Lawyers,” note 12, supra.
20. “An Incomplete Inventory of NewLaw,” by Jordan Furlong, May 13, 2014.
21. See, e.g., Latson v. Eaton, 1959 OK 124, ¶6, 341 P.2d 247 (the
practice of law is regulated to protect the public, which might be
injured if unskilled and untrained persons are permitted to practice the
duties of the legal profession); accord 2006 OK AG 27, ¶26-27.
22. Id.
23. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Martin, 2010 OK 66, ¶12, 240 P.3d
24. See Rule 1.6 of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct.
25. See, generally, Rules 1.7 through 1.13 of the Oklahoma Rules of
Professional Conduct
26. See Rule 5.4 of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct.
27. Rocket Lawyer includes legal services as part of its subscriptions plans. LegalZoom has also expanded into the prepaid legal services market, currently providing prepaid legal services plans in 41
28. This is not, of course, a situation unique to an online service
provider. As is recognized by Rules 1.13 and 1.16 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, there is an inherent risk that a non-lawyer may
attempt to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer,
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
particularly where the lawyer is representing a corporate or governmental entity or is being paid by someone other than the client.
29. See Legal Services Act 2007.
30. See, e.g., “Tomorrow’s Lawyers,” note 12, supra.
31. See Legal Services Act 2007.
32. Jordan Furlong, “ABS in Canada? Closer Than You Might
Think,” The Lawyers Weekly (Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 2013).
33. Steve Crossland, “Restore Access to Justice Through Limited
License Legal Technicians,” 31 GP Solo Magazine 3 (2014).
34. Among the stringent requirements adopted by the court, in
order to be authorized to practice with as a limited license legal technician, an individual must pass an examination; engage in continuing
education; follow the rules of professional conduct; and show proof of
financial responsibility. Id.
About The Author
Deirdre Dexter practices in the
Tulsa metro focusing in arbitration, mediation and employment
law. She is a member-at-large on
the OBA Board of Governors and
serves on the OBA Awards, Law
Day and Women in Law committees. She is a past president of the
Tulsa County Bar Association,
Tulsa County Bar Foundation and is a member of the
Creek County Bar Association. She graduated from the
OU College of Law with highest honors in 1984.
Weather Policy The Oklahoma Bar Association rarely closes. Typically, we follow closings for the State of Oklahoma Non-­‐essential employees. Seminars may be cancelled if extreme weather conditions or emergency situations arise. In the event a seminar cancels, information will be posted in the following places online: The front page of the website The CLE page of the website OBA/CLE’s Facebook page An email will be sent to those pre-­‐registered and the faculty for the seminar. If you are concerned about the cancellation of a specific event, please contact Susan Krug at 405.416.7028. Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Practicing Law at the
Speed of Light
By Jim Calloway
re-Internet: A lawyer would proofread a letter, sign it, have
it stamped and placed in an envelope and mailed. Unless
something urgent required a phone call, the lawyer could
expect a reply letter in four to seven days.
Today: A lawyer gets to the office a little
early, checks his or her email and can have
three or four testy email exchanges with other
early-bird lawyers before the rest of the staff
even shows up and the office officially opens.
That lawyer also had to delete dozens of
spam email messages, deal with a few emails
from friends and relatives and read (and preserve) several other important emails from clients, co-counsel and opposing counsel. All of
those accumulated since the lawyer left the
office at 6 p.m. the day before.
But at least that lawyer did not check the
office email from home that night and was
spared from the stress caused by reading one
of those emails from opposing counsel then.
Communication moves quickly today. Maybe
only data on fiber optic cables technically
approaches moving at the speed of light, but
many days and many tasks feel like they move
too fast. Expectations of clients and opposing
counsel have changed too. Because you can
read and respond to email in five minutes, why
didn’t you? In the days of research in books
and manual typewriters, no lawyer would
have waited to begin a brief until the morning
of the day it was due. That temptation is only
there because of the availability of today’s
technology tools.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The changes in the way business operates
today are a particular challenge for lawyers.
We must use information technology tools
because legal work is largely information management. But legal analysis also involves reflection and thoughtful contemplation. It seems
more and more challenging to find sufficient
quiet time for quiet contemplation. Using
today’s information technology tools means
that you can process and finalize a lot more
work each day. But it also means that others
can generate a lot more work for you to process
and respond to each day.
The speed of light is a constant. It does not
change. Likewise it appears very unlikely that
client expectations and the speed of business
operations will slow down in the future. We
must deal with today’s challenges. Our society
is certainly not going return to using only
“snail mail” for communication or give up our
cell phones.
But this environment generates a lot of stress.
Most of us feel this, some more acutely than
others. The statistics on lawyers having higher
suicide rates and more stress than the general
population are well-known. Stress impacts our
health. Trying to process too much information
and complete too many tasks too quickly
invariably leads to mistakes. And, as we all
know, the legal profession is very unforgiving
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
of errors. We do important work, and it needs
to be done correctly.
Technology allows us to process a lot more
work more quickly than we could have in the
past. It is the classic double-edged sword. You
can get more work done more quickly, and
therefore you feel the pressure to get even
more work done even more quickly. It is easy
to sometimes feel that things are a little out of
control and, for a few unfortunate lawyers,
things do spiral out of control.
Let’s discuss a few techniques for practicing law at the
speed of light.
Rely on your memory as little as possible. The human
brain is great for creatively
solving problems. But that ability can be impaired when you
try to keep track of too many
facts and details.
There are two general aspects
to this. One area involves the
random facts that we all deal
with every day. A judge orders
you to do three things before
the end of next week. You need
to pick up your cleaning before
the cleaners close. You can deal
with this with technology tools
that capture information so you will not lose it,
putting deadlines on your calendar and writing down on a legal pad or digital device the
three assignments from the judge. Moleskine
produces a line of small notebooks that can be
kept in a pocket or purse to retain information.
Some find that Evernote is a great place to capture information that does not easily fit into
your system. Your smartphone, whether it is
iOS or Android, now has very good speech-totext dictation tools for short dictation and some
have purchased apps like Dictate + Connect
(formerly known as Dictamus) that essentially
give smartphones all of the features of a traditional handheld recorder for dictation.
The other aspect of not relying on your memory involves sequential tasks that are frequently done within the law office. As I’ve written
about in the Oklahoma Bar Journal many times
previously, good management of these involves
preparing internal checklists and office procedures manuals. Attorney process management
and workflow are areas that can be improved
in most law offices.
Schedule uninterrupted periods of time to
work. If a lawyer is not careful, the need for
meetings with clients and potential clients,
attendance at deposition and court hearings,
conference calls and other types of meetings
will completely fill their weekly calendar. Be
sure that you allow a few hours each day for a
block of uninterrupted time to work on matters
that require your attention and thought. If you
allow an assistant to schedule matters for you,
make sure they are cognizant of that need as
It is also important to schedule blocks of time at least
monthly to work on internal
law firm needs like long-term
planning and technology training. We have learned that a
daylong technology training
class can be stupefying and
unpleasant. The attendees will
receive so much information in
a day that is impossible to retain
it all. Short training sessions are
better. Sometimes technology
training in the law office may be
as simple as setting aside an
hour to do a few searches online
to determine how to do certain
tasks. Generally if you ask
Google “how do I do this?” you
will receive links to several websites with stepby-step instructions.
Fight distractions and interruptions. Anytime you are interrupted it takes several minutes to get back to the same place you were in
your work. Working in an office with other
people necessitates some interruptions, but the
successful lawyer will work hard to minimize
Turning off any notification sounds when
there are incoming emails is a critical step considering all of the emails that we receive on a
daily basis now. Having an “open door” policy
where staff can approach you at any time with
their problems sounds like a positive and
benevolent concept. But realistically that policy
must be limited. You cannot have a policy that
says “interrupt me anytime you feel like it.” So
your open-door policy must be tailored. You
can set, for example, Wednesday afternoons as
the time you will be available to staff to deal
with their issues.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
You can also reduce the need to be interrupted during normal business days by periodically checking in with your staff when you
finish a project and are about to start a new
one. But be aware that your staff will be more
effective in completing their assignments if
they are not frequently interrupted by you.
Watch the arbitrary deadlines that you give
yourself and your staff. We all want to give
good prompt client service. This is greatly
appreciated by our clients and leads to client
referrals and clients returning with new legal
work. But, if you’re not careful, you can find
yourself stressed by trying to complete a client
project by Wednesday when the client would
have been just as happy to receive the work on
Friday. Before you tell a client an anticipated
completion date, ask the client about their
needs and their schedule.
It generates unnecessary stress
to work under pressure or late
one night to complete an assignment by the time you told the client you would only to find out
that the client is out of town for a
couple of days anyway.
Most lawyers have a powerful internal motivation to accomplish things and succeed. But
do not beat yourself up over the fact that you
are human.
Take breaks. Even a five-minute walk outside can revitalize you for the afternoon’s
tasks. The point of this article is that human
beings are not wired to constantly operate at
the speed of light. Recognizing that is a key to
your long-term success.
Complete projects before moving on. It is
sometimes easy to get a project mostly done
and then to move on, leaving a small part left
over to do later. This was not as big a problem,
perhaps, when the pace of law office operations was not so demanding. But, whether it is
failing to fill out the billing information or failing to finalize a
document, leaving small parts of
projects undone is a recipe to create a greater problem that will
take you more time to resolve and
could have even more dire consequences.
Your marketing
plan should not
only be about
getting the legal
work you need to
survive, but also
the legal work
you enjoy.
Your marketing plan should
not only be about getting the
legal work you need to survive,
but also the legal work you
enjoy. You will not love every client, and a lot of legal work is
necessary drudgery. In today’s
economic environment, law firm
marketing is necessary for success. But if you really enjoy a
particular aspect of your work, by
all means focus your marketing plan on obtaining more of that enjoyable work. Both you and
your clients will benefit.
Know thyself. The ancient Greek aphorism
“know thyself” is wise counsel to lawyers
today even though Plato may not have meant
it exactly this way.
If you know you are not a morning person or
that you have a brief afternoon lull after lunch,
try to schedule your day where the most challenging work is done during your peak periods. Personally I found that the time right after
lunch was a good time for meeting with new
potential clients. Maybe setting a specific time
each day to return as many phone calls as possible is the right plan for you. You know what
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
works for you, so try to have your schedule in
daily work reflect that.
Every lawyer who bills by the
hour is aware of the result when
at the end of a very busy day you
realize you haven’t filled out your
timesheets. It is very challenging
to accurately re-create your time
at the end of the day and simply
impossible to re-create and accurately document how you spent
your week at the end of the week.
You don’t need left over bits of
projects clouding your focus on accomplishing
your tasks each day.
Embrace technology. It is true that our technology tools and the speed at which they operate can create challenges for human beings coping sometimes. But technology can also be your
friend and the bottom line is that because of the
nature of our work lawyers will be using technology for their entire careers whether it is word
processing or electronic data discovery.
Take the time to explore what technology
tools will work for you. For me personally, it
was recognizing that I was simply never going
to achieve the output by manually typing that
I would by using speech-recognition tools.
Most of this article was dictated using Dragon
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
NaturallySpeaking. It took a while before I
could use speech recognition for writing original content just like it took a while before I
could compose at the keyboard rather than
using a pen and legal pad. But today speech
recognition is an essential part of my workflow.
Many who said “I only want a cell phone to
make phone calls” now use their phones for
texting, Internet research, finding directions
and a variety of other applications.
Take time to figure out what technology
works for you and makes your professional life
Take time to “unplug.” This advice has been
given so many times that almost feels like a
cliché. But most clichés come into being because
they are generally true.
Time off from work is essential. Time away
from technology is even more essential. Smartphones are incredibly useful and powerful
devices. But checking the office email periodically when you’re supposed to be off work can
be a negative. I’m still “old school” enough
that it makes me sad when I see a group of
teenagers sitting together all buried in their
mobile devices. I used to learn a lot and build
relationships spending a few relaxing moments
at courthouse coffee shops. Now it seems most
everyone has a smartphone in their hand or
pressed against their head every spare moment.
To use another cliché- no lawyer on his or her
deathbed ever regretted that they had not filled
out more timesheets and billed more hours.
Too many lawyers spend too much time away
from their family serving their clients. A lawyer serving his or her clients is the highest calling, but that is not all there is to life.
It is all about balance.
About The Author
Jim Calloway is the director of
the OBA Management Assistance Program and manages the
OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference. He served as the chair
of the 2005 ABA TECHSHOW
board. His Law Practice Tips
blog and Digital Edge podcast
cover technology and management issues. He speaks frequently on law office
management, legal technology, ethics and business
Pursuant to the authority of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, as provided in Rule 9029 of
the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, public notice is given of the proposed revisions to the Local Rules of the United
States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
A redlined version of the Local Rules reflecting the proposed revisions to the Local Rules may be accessed on the Bankruptcy
Court’s website at
Comments to the proposed revisions to the Local Rules may be submitted in writing no later than December 1, 2014, and
mailed to the Bankruptcy Court at the following address:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Attn: Cheryl Shook
Chambers of The Honorable Sarah A. Hall
215 Dean A. McGee Avenue - Sixth Floor
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
or emailed to: [email protected] Comments to the proposed revisions to the Local Rules may be set forth in the
body of a letter or email or may be included in a separate attached document.
Dated: October 16, 2014The Honorable Sarah Hall
Chief Bankruptcy Judge
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Oklahoma Legal Directory
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Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Cybersecurity: It’s a
Moving Target
By Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek
f you feel like it’s impossible to keep up with cybersecurity,
fear not. You belong to a very large club. This field changes,
not year by year, not month by month, but day by day. The
best advice you can get is to attend at least one information security CLE each year and to keep reading articles like this one!
Because this area moves so quickly, we thought we’d highlight
recent developments.
The ABA has weighed in on cybersecurity
concerns, always a sign that the states may follow. On Aug. 12, 2014, the ABA House of Delegates passed, without opposition, a new
cybersecurity resolution, Resolution 109, which
reads as follows:
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association encourages private and public sector organizations to develop, implement, and maintain
an appropriate cybersecurity program that
complies with applicable ethical and legal obligations, and is tailored to the nature and scope
of the organization, and the data and systems to
be protected.
You might be forgiven for thinking as you
read the resolution, “Wow, that really says a
whole bunch of nothing.” And you’d be right
— it is really a cautionary resolution intended
to raise awareness.
There is a back story to the resolution, which
was, in its original format much longer. The
original resolution appeared to command all
law firms, large and small, to come up with a
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
cybersecurity program that met national and
international standards.
This met with fierce opposition from a number of ABA entities, including the Law Practice
Division. The resolution was submitted by the
ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force and the
Science & Technology Law Section.
In answer to the controversy, the language of
the resolution (which stands on its own and is
not governed by the accompanying report)
was watered down to the tepid version above.
At the behest of other entities, language in the
report was also changed to make it clear that
the resolution was not attempting to make a
change in lawyers’ ethical duties and to add
language recognizing that smaller firms could
not be expected to adopt a program that made
no sense considering their size and budget
Clearly, for small firms, the international and
national standards cited in the report appeared
fearsome. There are standards for smaller
firms. The report states: “Small organizations,
including small law firms and solo practitioners, can prioritize key cybersecurity activities
and tailor them to address the specific needs
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Everyone loves a checklist, right? We know
the OBA’s own Jim Calloway does. We hope
this checklist will get you thinking about things
you need to do to prepare. Here are some key
security steps to take:
• Have a vulnerability assessment performed,
at least annually
• Remediate any vulnerabilities discovered
• Use enterprise-class anti-malware suites, not
single function products like an antivirus program (we like Kaspersky and Trend Micro.)
• Have security policies and plans in place:
➢ Remote access policy
➢ Incident response plan
➢ Disaster recovery plan
➢ Acceptable Internet and electronic
communications policy
➢ Social media policy — More than twothirds of small businesses do not have
such a policy, and yet 18 percent of
users have been hit by social media
malware according to a 2011 report
by the Ponemon Institute.
➢ Employee termination checklist
➢ Password policy
➢ Mobile device (includes smartphones)
policy (critical if you allow the use of
personal devices)
➢ Background checks for employees
➢ Employee monitoring policy — It is helpful to have a logon screen that specifically says that there is no right of privacy
— that makes it hard for any employee
to argue that they didn’t know the policy.
➢ Guest access policy — Guests are frequently allowed on law firm networks,
but they should not be able to reach client data, firm financial information, etc.
— and they should be given a password
which expires quickly.
➢ Vendor access policy
• Make sure critical security patches are
promptly applied.
that have been identified.” For help with this,
you might check out “NIST Interagency Report
7621: Small Business Information Security: The
Fundamentals.”1 Written in 2009, it’s a bit dated,
but many fundamentals remain the same.
Remember that the resolution governs — not
the report. So if you hear a vendor quoting
from the report to get you to buy something,
don’t think the report operates to set standards
you must meet.
In February 2014, we had begun moving forward toward securing our data and the physical
infrastructure protecting it when the National
Institute of Standards and Technology released
Cybersecurity Framework Version 1.0.
The framework provides a structure that
organizations, regulators and customers can
use to create, guide, assess or improve comprehensive cybersecurity programs. This came as
a result of Executive Order 12636, issued in
February 2013, which called for “the development of a voluntary, risk-based Cybersecurity
Framework — a set of existing standards,
guidelines and practices to help organizations
manage cyber risks. The resulting framework,
created through public-private collaboration,
provides a common language to address and
manage cyber risk in a cost-effective way based
on business needs, without placing additional
regulatory requirements on businesses.”
The framework allows organizations —
regardless of size, degree of cyber risk or cybersecurity sophistication — to apply the principles and best practices of risk management to
improve the security and resilience of critical
The document is called “Version 1.0” because,
much like our Constitution, it is supposed to be
a “living” document which will be updated to
reflect new technology and new threats — and
to incorporate “lessons learned.”
Here is where you find the magic words of
the document, “identify, protect, detect,
respond and recover” that should shape any
law firm’s cybersecurity program.
“Identify and protect” was where we started
in the early days of cybersecurity — and while
those words are still important, “detect and
respond” have surged forward as a new focus
— along with, of course, recovering from secu-
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
rity breaches — no easy task. It is especially
tough if you don’t know you’ve been breached
— and the average victim has been breached
for seven months or more before the breach is
In a more innocent time, we really thought
we could keep the barbarians outside the walls
that guard our data. Alas, those days are gone.
For years, the emphasis was on preventing
villains — cybercriminals, state-sponsored
agents, business espionage spies and hackers
— out. We went from fairly simple anti-virus
software to sophisticated anti-virus software
and, finally, to enterprise anti-malware software security suites.
The products got better and better and better.
• Map your network (you can use a free tool
such as Nmap) to identify devices and applications running on the network. Regular
scanning will show you what and who
should and shouldn’t be on the network.
Anything that looks suspicious can be
• Depending on the size of your firm, you may
want to consider an intrusion detection system (IDS). Larger firms may want to use a
network behavior analysis tool, which monitors network traffic and detects anomalies,
but this is probably beyond the budget of
small firms.
• Consider using content filtering, which
keeps employees from visiting sites (notably
pornographic sites) where the evildoers
are apt to plant drive-by malware.
• Examine the security policies of business
…we realized that if the bad
guys are smart enough and target
a particular entity, they are going
to successfully scale the walls we
built to keep them out.
Sadly, what we learned is that all the would-be
intruders were not only matching the good
guys step for step, they were outpacing them.
It took a surprisingly long time for everyone
to “get it” — but in the end, we realized that if
the bad guys are smart enough and target a
particular entity, they are going to successfully
scale the walls we built to keep them out. And
with that realization, “detect and respond”
became the new watchwords in cybersecurity.
Mind you, we are still trying to keep the bad
guys out — that is our first line of defense. But
now that we know that our first line of defense
is a Maginot Line2 for sophisticated attackers,
we have moved forward in our thinking.
“Detect and Respond” means rethinking
how you approach the security of your data.
Now that you know that you can’t keep a
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
• Verify that your firewall is properly
• Encrypt sensitive data in transit and in storage. This is especially important for mobile
devices which are so frequently lost or stolen. Make sure they can be remotely wiped
and that they will wipe themselves after a
certain number of incorrect passwords are
typed in.
• Change all default passwords — these are
plastered all over the Internet.
• If you have bent to the pleas of employees
to connect their personal devices to your
network, make sure you have a mobile
device manager, which can help manage
security. The new trend is to have two
instances (think sandbox) on the phone,
one for business and one for personal
stuff, with the employer tightly managing
the business instance of the phone. Since
most small law firms are not using mobile
device managers, allowing personal devices
on the network is a Faustian bargain with
a severe security risk. It is very important
that data be encrypted, that passwords
be required and that the devices can be
remotely wiped.
• Verify that your wireless network is properly
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
continued on next page
• Log remote access and limit access to
sensitive data.
• Make sure you know where all your data is
actually located!
• Make sure you know what experts you
would call in the event of a breach.
• Make sure your devices are physically
• If you are accepting credit cards, make sure
you are following the PCI Data Security
Standards (DSS) which may be found at
• Get IT and partners to work together. Firm
culture is a big problem — it is often true
that a partner can refuse an IT security
recommendation by simply saying “I don’t
want to work that way.”
• Have a plan for damage control to the firm’s
determined intruder out, you know you need
to detect them once they’ve penetrated your
network. So you need technology and software
that will help you detect that you’ve had what
is called, in polite circles, “a cybersecurity
event” — translate that to “a breach.”
As you can imagine, you want to know of
these “events” as soon as possible so you can
take action. Today, there are technology solutions that identify “anomalies” in your network (things that are outside the norm) or that
look for executables that are unknown but are
behaving like malware or some other form of
cyberattack. While such solutions may be
beyond the need or the budget of solos and
very small firms, you don’t have to be very
large to start considering heading down this
road — the risks of not doing so are simply too
Some of these solutions include data loss
prevention (DLP) software and appliances,
electronic content management systems
(ECMs) and security event management systems (SEMS). When you meet with someone
who can explain the various solutions to you,
brew a pot of espresso — you’re going to need
to be highly focused to understand how one
solution differs from another — this is really
cutting edge technology that changes from
month to month (if not day to day).
As for your response to your incident, that
may vary. After the initial panic, you will want
your in-house or outside technology consultants (and you are likely to need digital forensics technologists, who are more familiar with
data breach investigations) to take a look at the
situation and see what they can determine.
They can also, once they understand what has
happened, figure out how to “plug the hole”
and otherwise mitigate the breach. Remediation of whatever caused the breach is key.
Hopefully, you already have an incident
response policy and plan in place, no matter
how big or small you are. For all but the smallest firms, there should also be an incident
response team in place to implement the plan.
In all probability, you will want to call a lawyer familiar with data breach laws who can
advise you on complying with any of the 46
state data breach notification laws.
And if there is data protected by federal law
(such as HIPAA data), you’ll need advice on
that front too.
Finally, one of the first pieces of advice you
are likely to be given is to call the FBI. While
that is anathema to most law firms, it is the
appropriate course of action. Remember that
the FBI makes no public statements about these
investigations and doesn’t show up in flak
jackets or otherwise make a public display of
your “cybersecurity event.”
Remember what we said about “the way we
were?” It still makes good sense to do your
level best to keep the bad guys out and the best
way to do that is by using encryption. Let us
first and foremost dispel a myth — encryption
is not hard. It is child’s play to put a password
on a Word or PDF document that you want to
attach to an email.
All of your laptops should have full disk
encryption — laptops are stolen at an alarming
rate. Your smartphones must have a PIN.
Encrypt the phone! This is easier to do than
you think. Enabling a lock code on the iPhone
or iPad automatically encrypts the device. To
encrypt a BlackBerry device, all you have to do
is enable the “Content Protection.” The last
several versions of the Android operating system have built-in encryption. Just make the
selection to encrypt the device within the security settings. You may need a third-party appli-
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
cation if you are running an older version of
the Android OS.
To the best of anyone’s knowledge, even the
NSA cannot (yet) break strong encryption. As
security expert Bruce Schneier says, “Encryption drives the NSA batty.” That makes encryption a lawyer’s friend!
As we wrote this, we learned of another law
firm that just suffered a data breach because an
(apparently) unencrypted backup disk was
stolen from the locked trunk of an employee’s
car. If it had been encrypted, there would have
been no danger. But now the firm has suffered
reputational damage, is paying for credit monitoring and the notification of clients who are
impacted — not to mention dealing with digital
forensics experts and law enforcement. Good
risk management really demands encryption.
You are never safe. Give that idea up — but
sleep soundly if you have done all that you
could reasonably do in light of the nature of the
data you hold, the size of your firm and the
available budget. Don’t let perfection be the
enemy of good!
1. (last accessed Oct. 15, 2014)
2. A line of defensive fortifications built before World War II to
protect the eastern border of France but easily outflanked by German
invaders. Here it refers to a defensive barrier or strategy that inspires
a false sense of security. (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
About The AuthorS
Sharon D. Nelson is the president of Sensei Enterprises Inc., a
digital forensics, information security and information technology
firm in Fairfax, Va. She is a frequent author (11 books published
by the ABA and hundreds of articles) and speaker on legal technology, information security and electronic evidence topics. She was the president of the
Virginia State Bar from June 2013 — June 2014 and
currently serves as the president of the Fairfax Law
John W. Simek is the vice president of Sensei Enterprises Inc. He
has a national reputation as a digital forensics technologist and has
testified as an expert witness
throughout the United States. He
holds the prestigious Certified
Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and many other
certifications. He is a frequent author (10 books published by the ABA and hundreds of articles) and
speaker on legal technology, information security and
electronic evidence topics.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Alternative Fees and Technology
By Mark A. Robertson
o one can ignore the fact that law office technology has
greatly changed the practice of law within the last two
decades. Computers on lawyers’ desks, automated document drafting procedures, computerized legal research, tablets,
smartphones, easy access to the Internet and dozens of other
changes have impacted both the way lawyers work and the actual nature of what is considered legal work within substantive
areas of the practice of law.
Lawyers have long used checklists, forms,
brief banks and other methods of reusing work
product and enhancing and developing improved documents. It is probably fair to say at
this point that no law office can reasonably
function without at least using computers for
word processing functions and reuse of prior
work product. By developing smart systems to
expedite document production and retrieval of
prior work product and forms, lawyers reduce
costs of production. This can yield benefits for
the law firm or the client or both.
Technology also can be the proverbial twoedged sword for the hourly-rate lawyer. Technology can relieve the lawyer from much
mundane and repetitive work, shorten the
time to complete tasks involving word processing and provide for a much more errorfree final result. However, for the lawyer who
bills by the hour, the use of technology often
reduces the time expended on a project which
often equates to reduced fees.
In a traditional law firm structure, where the
experienced partner might be able to do a certain task in far less time than the new associate,
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
the difference was noted by the partner having
a higher hourly billing rate. But as technological sophistication increases in legal business
operations, one has to believe that one cannot
raise the billing rate high enough to cover
future contingencies. The 10th time a similar
type of transaction is done undoubtedly produces a better set of documents than the first.
Can the lawyer raise her rate from $350 per
hour to $700 an hour for this transaction if it
takes half the time?
One can easily foresee a future where the law
firm invests a huge amount of time and money
into certain processes with the end result that
the actual tasks only take minutes. It is no longer science fiction to envision a future where
the lawyer first says to his computer, “Start
with corporate form six, insert Mr. Toffler’s
and his business partner’s data into it, incorporate special tax treatments A and D and show it
being executed and filed here today instead of
in his home state” and then reaches for the
completed corporate documents as they instantly appear.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
There is a very positive side to implementing
law office technology improvements. These
tools can free lawyers and their staff from
many mundane repetitive tasks. Efficiency can
be increased. Given the complexity of the law
today and the length of many legal documents,
having technology to assist with document
preparation and other tasks is an absolute
Another positive aspect of technology is the
potential superior service that can be rendered
to the client. Not only can digital legal research
be done more quickly than the traditional
reviewing books in a library, but it can also be
done more extensively. A couple of hours of traditional book research might have resulted in
reading a dozen recent opinions and a few more
often-cited landmark opinions. A skilled digital
researcher can easily examine many more cases
and on-line publishing increases the likelihood
that more obscure sources of law may now be
accessible. A good document assembly system
can reduce drafting errors and result in quicker
and better final documents.
Sophisticated clients expect their law firms to
have modern office technology. One cannot
imagine these clients giving their business to a
law firm today without email capability, Internet access and the ability to deliver, receive and
handle digital documents. Staying up with the
latest in law office technology costs money.
Training staff to use the latest technology costs
money. Compensating well-trained staff so
that they stay with the firm costs money. Adding and training new staff costs money. Computers, tablets, smartphones, Internet access,
web pages, virtual private networks and legalspecific software all cost money. Paying for
necessary technology can be challenging if the
lawyer only bills by the hour.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of technology
within society also impacts the attitudes of our
clients. Ideas and attitudes about technology
are pervasive in society. One would have truly
had to live as a hermit over the last several
years to miss all of the media coverage of the
rise of the Internet, the boom and bust of the
dot-com businesses, Microsoft and its legal
battles, Google and all of the many ways technology has impacted our lives.
Let’s discuss how this applies to drafting
fairly routine legal documents, by way of
example. In an earlier age, one of the bundle of
values that the lawyer provided to the client was
the mechanical ability to produce documents.
Not everyone owned or could use a typewriter.
This value was often overshadowed in the
minds of both the lawyer and the client by the
knowledge, education and experience that was
provided by the lawyer in producing legal documents. But for many clients, particularly consumer clients, they lacked both the knowledge
and the ability to prepare documents.
Now computers and printers are pervasive.
Many consumers own them, and those who do
not usually have access, either at a school computer lab, Internet café or library. Physically
preparing and printing a document presents
few challenges. There is no mystery. Many
have gone to get a bank loan for example and
watched the bank employee quickly prepare
and print the loan documents. Everyone understands that legal documents are rarely written
“from scratch,” but instead are compiled from
forms and prior work product. Many consumers ask “Why pay a lawyer when I can find a
form online and fill it out myself?” Many consumers are now answering that question with
online cloud products like LegalZoom!
In fact, people do not appreciate how much
time attorneys do spend in actually drafting
language for unique situations. Lawyers are
trained to identify many potential pitfalls that
must be avoided. We appreciate the evolving
nature of the law and how court decisions and
legislative enactments alter our legal strategies
and the language contained in the documents
we prepare. We understand how adding a single unique aspect to a transaction may create
the need for different provisions in several of
the documents drafted. Those who do not regularly prepare such documents do not understand. Business clients in particular may use
many forms generated on a computer for their
office paperwork. While these may be generated quickly they usually are essentially the
same transaction being repeated with only the
name, address, quantity and price being
changed — they see the paperwork only as a
means to an end and, absent trouble, they
attach no value to the document itself.
As noted previously, sophisticated clients
expect their law firms to have modern office
technology. They often have reaped huge benefits themselves from technology upgrades,
often directly related to their paperwork production and reduction. Consequently, lawyers
are confronted more and more with clients and
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
potential clients who believe that their legal
matter is very routine and involves “just filling
out a form” by the lawyer. Sometimes they
seek to save money by completing it themselves or going online to a commercial website.
In other situations, they discount the value that
the lawyer brings to a transaction and, mentally, the legal fees that should be charged for
“just filling in a form.”
In other words, the ease with which documents can be physically prepared has caused
many to devalue the expertise, ability and time
that goes into drafting legal documents.
These two aspects of technological revolution present a dilemma for lawyers. As we
develop more effective methods of harnessing
technology for speedy document preparation
and document assembly, charging an hourly
rate for the final steps that generate the document unfairly overlooks the investment the
firm has made in designing its systems and
effectively using its tools. But a switch to
charging a fixed fee per document can generate
a reaction if the client believes that this is
merely an increase in the fees that the lawyer is
charging just to fill out a form.
This stresses the need for good communication between the lawyer and the client about
the varied complexities of a legal matter and
the value of the lawyer’s advice. If the client
believes that all he or she has received is a
document prepared by using a computer to fill
in the blanks, the lawyer’s service will be seen
as negligible and minimal.
Technology in the form of an electronically
based billing system is useful for establishing
budgets for projects based on similarity to
prior work. It is through the use of technology
already present within most billing systems
that you can go through a task-based analysis
and examine closed files (and accounting and
billing records) to create mini-systems and to
estimate or predict fees.
Nearly all computer-based billing systems on
the market today have category and coding
options that allow a lawyer to track not only
similar types of cases and transactions in a
larger macro context but also specific components or tasks within the case or project in a
micro context. If each case or matter is coded
with a category — “Merger/Acquisition,”
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
“Incorporation” or “Divorce” — and possibly
subcategory — “Merger/Acquisition: Asset
Sale,” “Incorporation: Oklahoma” or “Divorce:
Uncontested w/o Children” — then sorting
prior activities and collections to determine
what the last five or 10 or 100 of those projects
took in time and other resources is relatively
quick and painless. If the lawyer time for an
Oklahoma business incorporation averaged 3.8
hours with an average billing of $1,140 in fees,
then perhaps establishing a fixed fee for such
work at $1250 might make some sense — particularly if the use of technology in developing
an incorporation system with a documentassembly program could mean that the lawyer
could reduce his or her average time down to
two hours and increase their realization rate
from $300 per hour to $625 per hour!
Many billing systems allow the lawyer to
break the billing slips down into specific tasks
and even integrate the information into taskbased billing and transaction planning. Being
able to quickly identify the cost and time for
certain tasks that fall within a transaction or
project will prepare the lawyer to better estimate and budget the costs of large projects.
What did the last 15 corporate organizations
cost, or what was the average time it took to
prepare the last 10 shareholder agreements for
clients? Being able to segregate this information in prior matters is crucial to proper budgeting for future business and establishing
alternative fee arrangements that the clients
will accept.
Perhaps the greatest current use of technology in alternative fee arrangements for business
lawyers is in the use of document assembly
programs and systems to generate documents
in a fraction of the time it used to take lawyers
to produce them. By developing a substantive
system and using document assembly tools —
either with stand-alone systems such as HotDocs, TheFormTool and practice-specific programs, internal systems within word processing
programs such as WordPerfect or Word or with
tools built into practice management systems
such as TimeMatters, Amicus or ProLaw — lawyers can cut the time it takes to develop initial
drafts of documents and thus build a platform
for charging clients for expertise and the documents provided rather than the time it took to
prepare them.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
If a client needs a business incorporated or a
will, he or she likely does not care how long it
takes you to prepare the documents, they want
to know what the cost will be for the corporation or the plan documents. By developing a
substantive system using document assembly
as a tool, lawyers can use technology to provide better and faster services to the client and
make more money than if they billed the work
by the hour.
By developing a substantive system using
document assembly as a tool, lawyers can use
technology to provide better and faster services to the client and make more money than if
they billed the work by the hour.
An organizational system applied to a substantive area of practice can be an effective tool
in addition to enhancing the
delivery of quality legal services. A substantive legal system is
a documented system for handling transactions, procedures
or work flow which has the
effect of reducing waste, optimizing productivity and contributing to greater efficiency in
the delivery of legal services. A
substantive system could still
be a manual forms system, but
in today’s world, a computerized document assembly or
expert system makes the most
sense. A substantive system enables you to provide top-quality
legal services promptly, thoroughly and consistently. In
short, the law firm using substantive systems with document
assembly in their practice can
deliver quality legal services for
a fair value to the client and
lawyer while reducing the lawyer time involved in a transaction and giving
the lawyer more time to do something else
(work, develop clients or relax).
umentation, contract work, mergers, acquisitions, dissolutions and other general corporate
work. The firm utilizes a number of substantive systems for doing this legal work.
We have a fixed-fee corporate representation
service where we prepare annual minutes, act
as a service agent, do a corporate compliance
check and prepare special meeting minutes for
clients for $200 per year. This is done with a
substantive system using document assembly
to generate the correspondence, reminders,
minutes and questionnaires that in most
instances requires only 10 to 15 minutes of a
lawyer’s time per company per year. Some
companies may require several hours of lawyer time, but the average, spread out over several hundred companies, still makes the work
quite profitable — and yet a
bargain for the clients. For an
additional $300 per year, the
business client has unlimited
phone and email consultations
with our lawyers. The firm is
able to use this pricing strategy
to attract new clients in addition
to generating significant additional work as a result of the
audit questionnaires and phone
consultations, which often uncover additional legal needs of
the client. Being the service
agent for the company also generates potential additional litigation matters since the law
firm has received the service of
process as service agent. By
using this substantive system to
do corporate work, the firm is
able to organize its corporate
work better while marketing
additional services.
By developing a
substantive system
using document
assembly as a tool,
lawyers can use
technology to provide
better and faster
services to the client
and make more
money than if they
billed the work by
the hour.
Substantive systems are not only useful for
freeing up lawyer time, but the systems can
also be used for marketing legal services. There
are many areas of substantive law practice
which lend themselves to substantive systems
being used as an effective marketing tool. One
example is our firm’s corporate practice. We represent many small and medium-sized businesses. These services include advice on structuring
businesses, incorporation or organizational doc2284
Lawyers can (and should)
identify areas of their individual practices and
develop substantive systems using document
assembly to leverage their delivery of legal
services with technology.
If document assembly programs and systems
are the current technology for alternative fee
arrangements, then knowledge management
will be the tool of the future. The most valuable
asset in a law firm is its intellectual capital —
not only the knowledge and wisdom of the
lawyers, but the work product of those lawyers
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
and the ability to reuse and share that work
product within the firm and with clients.
Knowledge management is about sharing and
reusing knowledge.
Automated substantive systems are a part of
knowledge management — the ability to
develop and share a system with templates
and forms used to develop a final document.
Practice and case management systems networked in a law office can form a part of knowledge management. This ranges from something
as simple as a new address inputted once and
instantly available to the entire office to something as complicated as shared transaction documents on an extranet with client access to secure
electronic conference rooms. Knowledge management is about technology — but also a lot
more. Knowledge management is as much about
the culture of the law firm that shares its knowledge with one another as it is the method and
tools it uses to accomplish the task.
The actual time personally contributed to a
task by a lawyer can be almost meaningless in
regard to the value of the services. A very narrow and specialized medical malpractice case
might require dozens of hours of research, consultation with experts and careful drafting just
to prepare interrogatories. When the lawyer
has tried four or five of these types of cases,
preparation of the interrogatories can be based
on prior work product customized with specific facts of each case and might take less than
an hour or two. Would anyone doubt that,
considering the experience of the lawyer, the
interrogatories in the fifth case were superior
to those propounded in the first case even
though they took less time to draft?
Experience improves the lawyer’s work
product and abilities. As experience allows
lawyers to perform tasks more efficiently and
quickly, the traditional response over the last
four decades has been to raise the hourly billing rates. Therefore associates charge one rate,
while junior and senior partners charge higher
rates. Yet, as many lawyers have come to realize, experience may not always be rewarded
with higher rates. If the medical malpractice
lawyer mentioned above charged $3,500 for the
first interrogatories prepared (10 hours at $350
per hour), can he or she raise the hourly rate to
$1,750 per hour for the two hours it took to do
the interrogatories in the fifth case? Is it ethical
to “pad” the time to reflect 10 hours’ work
when it only took two?
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The ideas of knowledge management and
reuse of prior work product have been utilized
in law offices before computers existed. Paper
brief banks and internal form books not only
increased efficiency, but also helped provide a
superior work product. Technological advances escalate these ideas. Thousands of briefs in
research banks can be effortlessly searched
using Google-type search technology. Similar
transactions can be replicated to start a new
project for a client. Knowledge management
provides the tools to the lawyer to look beyond
the billable hour in determining what a fair fee
shall be for the services performed. If the culture of the firm is to share research, knowledge,
ideas, data and even anecdotal information
with one another, then technology can capture
that knowledge and help the lawyer extract it
when required for the next project, case or client need.
As legal technology tools have increased, so
has the lawyer’s ability to share the costs of
those tools with the clients — particularly if the
tools help reduce the fees that would otherwise
have been charged for the services provided.
More frequently, lawyers are building the cost
of specialized programs into the fees charged
the client for projects that the programs significantly reduce the costs and time it takes to
deliver the service. Depending on the nature of
the transaction, the program costs are sometimes a part of a fixed-fee arrangement or may
be a separate charge in addition to an hourly
rate or other time charge.
One common tool in which there is normally
a transaction charge would be for one of the
electronic research systems (WestLaw, NEXIS/
LEXIS, etc.) wherein a lawyer may incur a
charge for specific research or have a flat
monthly cost arrangement and then bills the
charges as a flat rate or includes the charge into
an electronic research hourly rate that might be
different from the standard rate as has been
determined by the agreement with the client.
Another common tool used in securities practices is a licensed document assembly system
that generates blue sky forms and certain Securities and Exchange Commission filings in
which the law firm might charge a fixed fee per
filing that covers both the technology licence as
well as paralegal and lawyer time in completing the documents.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Some lawyers may be concerned that exposing too much of the law office technology to
the client in this way may affect the client’s
perception of the lawyer’s value. Modern-day
clients will, however, expect that their lawyers
will incorporate technological tools into their
practices in the same way that many of these
clients have been forced to rethink their business processes in light of new technological
Sharing information with one another and
with clients can be a critical tool for moving
beyond hourly billing as the only measure of
value provided by lawyers to their clients.
Technology can now be used to share information over the Internet through extranets accessible to the clients, lawyers and other members
of a project team. Extranets can provide a cost
effective and secure Internet-based storage
center which allows documents, email, discussion group threads, calendars and other information to be stored in a secure area that can be
accessed by those needing to participate. Different areas of the extranet can have different levels
of security and access. Law firms are already
building extranets for their clients as a part of
the normal delivery of legal services. These
firms are not only generating revenues from the
use of such technology collaborations but also
cementing the relationship with the client. The
immediate access to all relevant information that
these clients enjoy makes other law firms without such tools less attractive.
Law firms and individual practitioners are
also using the Internet and document assembly
technology combined with expert systems to
work with clients in developing standard documents for routine transactions in which fixed
fees rather than hourly billings are frequently
the norm. An Iowa firm has a website within
which individuals can enter the information
online for their own simple wills. Another firm
has established a loan document system in
which the lender and borrower provide the
information electronically and the documents
are generated, reviewed, finalized and emailed
for closing without a paper draft copy being
printed — all for a fixed fee. An international
financial printer has developed secure web-
sites where multiple law firms, issuers and
underwriters have access and can create, post
and edit documents for the workgroup to use
before electronically filing them with the SEC.
This article is intended to provide the reader
with some examples and ideas demonstrating
how lawyers can utilize technology to increase
efficiency with their own resources and can
think beyond the billable hour. Use of technology can be the great equalizer between large
firms and solo and small firms — not only in
the practice environment but also in providing
creative ways to provide value to their clients
and bill appropriately for that value.
More information on alternative fee arrangement can be found in two books published in
2014 by the American Bar Association: Alternative Fees for Business Lawyers and Their Clients by
Mark A. Robertson and Alternative Fees for Litigators and Their Clients by Patrick Lamb.
Note: This article is adapted from a chapter from
Alternative Fees for Business Lawyers and Their
Clients by Mark A. Robertson, a 2014 publication
of the ABA Law Practice Division, 2014© by the
American Bar Association. Re-printed with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any or
portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in
any form or by any means or stored in an electronic
database or retrieval system without the express
written consent of the American Bar Association.
Mr. Robertson’s book is available for purchase at
About The Author
Mark A. Robertson is a lawyer
with the law firm of Robertson
& Williams in Oklahoma City.
His practice is focused on corporate and securities law, and
representing businesses and the
families that own them. He
received his B.A. degree from
DePauw University and his J.D.
from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
He also attended the University of Edinburgh,
where he studied international law and Scottish
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Thursday, Nov. 6
The Challenges
of Coping with
the Loss of a
Loved One
Oklahoma City
6-7:30 p.m.
Office of
Tom Cummings
701 N.W. 13th St.
Oklahoma City, OK
Tulsa Location
6-7:30 p.m.
University of Tulsa
College of Law
John Rogers Hall
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Contact Kim Reber @ 405-840-0231 • [email protected]
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Impact of Social Media
on the Practice of Law
By Alison A. Cave and Renée DeMoss
ocial media continues to take the world by storm as millions
of people communicate and network on Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and individual blogs every
day. Its ubiquitous reach now extends to the practice of law, and
has led to an explosion of state and federal court opinions involving some aspect of social media.1
Oklahoma lawyers cannot afford to ignore
the impact of social media on their practices.
Older lawyers who prefer not to engage stand
to lose clients through online marketing and
face sanctions or even malpractice claims by
failing to keep up. Younger lawyers wellversed in the ways of online communications
may be so cocky that they run afoul of ethical
issues that can likewise lead to sanctions.
While this article seeks to bring to the practitioner’s attention the wave of new legal issues
created by social media, it is only possible to
scratch the surface. Oklahoma attorneys must
educate themselves on the very real benefits,
dangers and obligations social media has introduced to the practice of law.
The flood of social media platforms has had
a particularly strong impact on litigation practice, from jurisdiction to service of process to
jury selection to trial preparation to evidentiary issues.2 A very recent Oklahoma Supreme
Court case illustrates this impact.
Notice through Social Media
In a case decided on Oct. 14, 2014, the Oklahoma Supreme Court considered whether a
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
posting on Facebook constituted notice sufficient to advise a biological father that proceedings had been filed to terminate his parental
rights.3 Presuming that the opinion survives
further challenge or revision, if any, the court
has held that under the circumstances of the
case, such notice was insufficient.
Although not in a dating relationship, the
parties had engaged in sexual intercourse several times over a period of approximately three
months. They saw each other only once after
their last sexual encounter, about six weeks
later. There was no discussion at that time of
whether the woman was pregnant or could be
At some point before the birth, the mother
did send the father a Facebook message informing him of the pregnancy and that the baby
would be given up for adoption. She did not
take any other steps to notify him, although it
appeared she could have done so.
The father testified at a hearing to terminate
his rights that he did not know how old the
Facebook message she sent was when he actually saw it and read it. He further testified that
he did not know of the child until about a week
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
following the birth, and that he subsequently
visited the child and provided financial support.
The court held that notice through Facebook
alone did not meet constitutional due process
requirements, as it did not give the biological
father adequate notice, reasonably calculated
under the circumstances, to provide him the
opportunity to advocate his position. Deeming
Facebook to be “an unreliable method of communication,” the majority noted that the fact
an individual has a Facebook account does not
mean that he or she checks the account regularly, or that the account is configured to provide notification of unread messages.
The court found that under the circumstances of this case, Facebook notification was a
“mere gesture,” not reasonably certain to
inform as required by the due process clauses
of the U.S. and Oklahoma Constitutions.
Social Media and the Jury
In the litigation world, social media can be a
boon for lawyers seeking information about the
jurors who will decide their clients’ fates. Even a
cursory examination of a prospective juror’s
public Facebook page or public Twitter feed can
expose helpful material which previously was
tough to elicit through voir dire questioning.
Attitudes and opinions advocated in social
media can help attorneys make decisions about
whom to strike during jury selection, and help
them mold and outline arguments to make to
jurors during trial.
In fact, the proliferation of social media has
made its use a virtual requirement for jury and
trial preparation. In a recent Missouri medical
malpractice case, a prospective juror was asked
whether she had ever been a party in a lawsuit.4 She did not respond and was seated as a
juror. After the jury of which she was a member entered a verdict for defendant, plaintiff’s
counsel searched the Missouri online court
system and discovered she had been a defendant in three previous lawsuits. Plaintiff’s
request for a new trial was granted, and the
Missouri Supreme Court affirmed on interlocutory appeal. The court noted that attorneys
have an obligation to perform juror research
before a jury is seated. It reprimanded the
plaintiff’s counsel for not doing so, but upheld
the request for a new trial because no authority
existed at the time of trial requiring an attorney
to perform online research about prospective
jurors. Shortly after issuing its opinion, however, the court incorporated an obligation into
Missouri Supreme Court Rule 69.025, which
now requires attorneys to review the Missouri
online system regarding prospective jurors
before a jury is empaneled.
Practice Note: Attorneys need to monitor
jurors’ social media postings after a jury is
empaneled to ensure that they do not breach
their oaths or instructions by providing details
of the cases they are deciding. Additionally,
attorneys should ask trial judges to give a
detailed jury instruction regarding social
media use, and request the instruction be
given periodically throughout the trial. The
Federal Judicial Committee on Court Administration and Case Management has a model
instruction on jury social media use that can
be used as a guide.5
Social Media in Discovery and Evidence
Social media sites can provide a wealth of
information about an individual’s conduct,
events, whereabouts and other private data. It
is exceptionally valuable for locating witnesses
or parties who are dodging service of process.
The use of material gathered from social
media has also become a common practice in
discovery and witness examination, including
in Oklahoma courts.6 Witnesses or parties can
be impeached through their social media postings, or on a social media site disclose facts that
completely destroy their testimony, stance or
case claims, even if they thought the posted
material was private, so the posting, use and
even deletion of social media material must be
carefully considered.7
In a Kansas case decided earlier this year, the
defendant was convicted of aggravated battery
and criminal threat.8 His ex-wife testified he
broke into her house and assaulted her, leaving
multiple injuries including a broken jaw, broken eye socket and broken nose. The state presented at trial, over the defendant’s objection,
evidence of entries made on his Facebook page
describing what he was going to do his exwife, which included causing injuries consistent with those she actually suffered. The
defendant admitted the Facebook page was
his, but contended that he did not make the
entries. He appealed his conviction on the
grounds that the trial court improperly admitted the printout of his Facebook page without
proper authentication. The court found that the
admission on the Facebook page was sufficient
to authenticate the page, and the evidence on
the page used to convict him was admissible.9
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Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Practice Note: According to Rule 8.4 of the
Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct, it is
professional misconduct for an attorney to
engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud,
deceit or misrepresentation. Even though
courts are beginning to require attorneys or
their agents to review social media sites, an
attorney can potentially violate Rule 8.4 if he
goes online and tries to access a person’s information by asking to be that person’s “friend.”
Attorney advertising and marketing has also
gone viral. As with every other product and
service, consumers seeking lawyers use online
resources at some point in the process. In fact,
the number of consumers using online resources as their means of finding legal counsel
is skyrocketing.10 Oklahoma
attorneys need to be familiar
with the new technology tools
that are the yellow pages of the
future, and how to use them.
People now surf the web to
choose all types of professionals, and websites for law firms
and attorneys have become a
necessity. Further, with more
people relying solely on smart
phones to surf the web, attorneys must now optimize their
websites to provide for mobile
searches. Websites are also a
great resource to post educational information to reach the
YouTube and Blogs
YouTube is a website for posting videos.
Attorneys can create videos which attract and
educate clients, and showcase areas of practice.
Blogs are essentially legal articles which can
also be shown on a website to communicate
information about the areas of practice. Blogs
should be updated frequently.
Practice Note: Attorneys should be aware
that any material they post
online is ripe for review by not
only potential clients, but others surfing the web. The case of
Kansas City lawyer Stephen
Bough, who is currently being
considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee for a federal
judgeship in the Western District of Missouri, provides a
valuable lesson. Mr. Bough created a blog and filled it with
posts that were political in
nature. He once responded to a
comment on his blog by stating,
“You and the 3 other folks who
read this blog will agree I
shouldn’t be a judge.” Although
his last posts were in 2009,
including his ill-advised post
that perhaps he shouldn’t be a judge, those
posts remained online long after, and will
likely be discussion material in Mr. Boyle’s
upcoming 2014 confirmation hearing.11
Attorneys should
be aware that any
material they post
online is ripe for
review by not only
potential clients,
but others surfing
the web.
Yelp, Facebook and Twitter
Yelp is another website which is frequently
viewed by people looking for recommendations with regard to professionals. Founded in
2004, Yelp has approximately 138 million visitors monthly, according to its website. Yelp
allows businesses to set up free accounts to
post photos and messages, and consumers can
post reviews about various businesses. Facebook and Twitter are other social media sites
where attorneys can set up accounts, post news
or education articles and establish a presence
This is a website for professionals, and through
it attorneys can connect with other professionVol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
als. Attorneys can join “groups” such as law
school alumni groups to participate in discussions on specific legal issues or for referral
sources. LinkedIn is also a good site to create
and post relevant information to contacts, promote blog posts and provide links to blogs on
the LinkedIn status update.
The moral of the story is that before posting
on any site, be sure the information or opinion
you are putting online is something you don’t
mind the world seeing.
Through social media, complaints about
attorneys and the quality of their services can
spread rapidly, and attorneys need to be prepared to react to adverse comments posted by
upset clients. If something negative surfaces, it
must be handled quickly and effectively to
avoid escalation. Online reputation manage-
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
ment includes checking all posts concerning an
attorney and law firm.
client’s case, if opposing counsel is reading the
posts as well.
How does an attorney or law firm check for
bad reviews? Simple searches on Google, Bing
and Yahoo should reveal comments being
posted. Free alerts can be set up on Google and
Yahoo for notifications when new comments
are posted, and Twitter is searchable as well.
Rule 5.5 provides that an attorney shall not
practice law in a jurisdiction in which the attorney is not licensed. Also, be aware when
responding to posts in various social media outlets that an attorney’s communications can inadvertently create an attorney-client relationship.
If an attorney gives advice or provides information online which could be construed as legal
services, and/or as practicing law in a state in
which he is not licensed, he opens himself up to
claims of unauthorized practice of law.
How should a law firm respond to adverse
comments? Again, resist the urge to respond
immediately, and never post information which
could reveal client confidentiality. Remember
also that it is never a good approach to bad
mouth a client. Consider a recent Florida bar
disciplinary matter.12 An attorney who represented a client in an immigration matter criticized the client in court e-filings and other
online sites. Four days before a hearing for the
client, the attorney filed a motion to withdraw.
She stated in the motion filed online that her
client’s check to pay for legal services had been
returned for insufficient funds, he had been
properly convicted of grand theft, and he had
robbed people in the Romanian community.
The Florida Supreme Court found that the
attorney’s filings violated bar rules on client
confidentiality, and that she had engaged in
conduct prejudicial to the administration of
justice. The disparaging remarks were needless, harmful and could cause the public to lose
faith in the legal profession. The attorney was
suspended from practice for a year.
Posting information on the Internet, either
through Facebook, Twitter or any other social
media, has a number of ethical considerations.
Just a few potential violations include breach
of the attorney-client relationship, unauthorized practice of law, improper advertising and
obtaining information through friending someone in a manner which would involve deceit.
In addition to the aforementioned Rule 8.4, the
following Oklahoma Rules of Professional
Conduct should be considered.
Rule 1.6 provides an attorney shall not reveal
information relating to the representation of a
client. An attorney should therefore be mindful
that simply by posting what he or she is doing
for an identified client at any particular point
in the day, such as attending a hearing, could
easily violate this rule. In addition to potentially breaching attorney-client confidentiality,
the posting attorney may also be damaging the
Rule 7.1 and Rule 7.2 provide specific requirements that can pose problems. Lawyers may
not make false or misleading statements about
themselves or their services in advertising, and
lawyers must provide identifying information,
including name and address, in posts regarding their services. A lawyer who posts on social
media sites about winning a million-dollar verdict, for example, may violate these rules in a
number of ways, such as failing to provide all
the necessary identifying information, or implying the lawyer was the major player in the lawsuit when he only had a small role. Finally, lawyers should beware of posting personal testimonials and endorsements which could violate
rules against improperly holding themselves out
as specialists in a particular area of law, if they
are not specialists in that area.
New legal and ethical issues involving social
media are arising every day. Oklahoma attorneys must be diligent in reviewing these issues
and adapting their practices so they can utilize
social media tools appropriately and ethically.
1. From 2012 to 2013, the number of court opinions involving social
media increased by over 100 percent, including references to Facebook,
Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other sites. See John Patzakis & Barry
Murphy, “Social Media Caselaw Update: The Acceleration Continues,”
Next Generation eDiscovery Law & Tech Blog (Oct. 4, 2013 8:42 AM),
2. See, e.g., FTC v. Pecon Software Ltd., 2013 WL 5288897, *3 (S.D.N.Y.
Sept. 18, 2013) (court permitted service of process of complaint and
summons by email and Facebook); Rios v. Ferguson, 978 A.2d 592, 601
(Conn. Super. Ct. 2008) (holding that defendant’s “posting of the video
[on YouTube] constitutes sufficient ‘minimum contacts’ to justify personal jurisdiction over him” even with no allegation that defendant
ever stepped foot in the state).
3. In Re Adoption of K.P.M.A., 2014 OK 85, ____P.3d____ (opinion
issued on Oct. 14, 2014). At the time that this issue of the Oklahoma Bar
Journal went to press, the time to seek rehearing in the case had not
expired and the opinion remained subject to further revision or withdrawal by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
4. Johnson v. McCullough, 306 S.W.3d 551 (Mo. 2010).
5. See “Revised Jury Instructions Hope to deter Juror Use of Social
Media During Trial,” United States Courts (Aug. 21, 2012), http://
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
6. Bosh v. Cherokee County Governmental Building Authority, 2013 WL
6150799, *4 (E.D. Okla., Nov. 22, 2013) (court found information shared
or transmitted through Facebook social media account regarding case
allegations to be encompassed within discovery requests and discoverable); Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. v. Cahill, 924 F. Supp. 2d 1281, 1291-92
(E.D. Okla. 2012) (considering Facebook posts as evidence); U.S. v.
Langford, 2013 WL 6055490, *4 (N.D. Okla. Nov. 15, 2013) (considering
Facebook posts as evidence).
7. See, eg, Tompkins v. Detroit Metro. Airport, 278 F.R.D. 387, 388 (E.D.
Mich. 2012) (“[M]aterial posted on a ‘private’ Facebook page, that is
accessible to a selected group of recipients but not available for viewing by the general public, is generally not privileged, nor is it protected
by common law or civil law notions of privacy.”); EEOC v. Storage
Mgmt., LLC, 270 F.R.D. 430, 434 (S.D. Ind. 2010) (“[A] person’s expectation and intent that her communications be maintained as private is
not a legitimate basis for shielding those [relevant] communications
from discovery.”); Hosch v. BAE Systems Information Solutions, Inc., 2014
WL 1681694, *1-*2 (E.D. Va. 2014) (dismissing plaintiff’s claims with
prejudice in part because plaintiff deleted social media information
from his electronic device); Hawkins v. College of Charleston, 2013 WL
6050324 (D.S.C. Nov. 15, 2013) (imposing spoliation sanctions on a
party who deleted Facebook postings).
8. State v. Jones, 318 P.3d 1020 (Kan. 2014)(unpublished).
9. Citing Griffin v. State, 19 A.3d 415 (Md. 2011), the Kansas court
recognized three non-exclusive methods attorneys can use for social
media authentication: 1) Presentation of testimony of a witness with
knowledge; 2) Results of an examination of the Internet history or hard
drive of the individual who is claimed to have created the social media
material; 3) Presentation of information from an appropriate corporate
employee of the social networking website that would link the profile
to the individual. Id. at 427-28.
10. According to a 2014 survey conducted by, the
Internet was the leading source for identifying counsel (38 percent, up
from 7 percent in 2005). Asking a friend (29 percent) and consulting a
local bar association (10 percent) were the next most popular approaches. Litigation News, ABA, Summer 2014, Vol. 39, No. 4.
11. Debra Weiss, “Lawyer’s Blog Posts Could be an Issue in Judicial Confirmation Bid,” ABA Journal, July 28, 2014.
12. The Florida Bar v. Knowles, 99 So. 3d 918 (Fla. 2012).
About The AuthorS
Alison A. Cave of Edmond
serves as claims counsel for Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual Insurance
Company. Previously, she was a
lawyer in private practice with the
firm of Driskill & Jones and has
also served as law clerk and attorney for the Oklahoma Court of
Civil Appeals. She currently cochairs the OBA Women in Law Committee. She is a
1985 graduate of the OU College of Law.
OBA President Renée DeMoss
practices in Tulsa. With the firm
of GableGotwals, she focuses in
the areas of insurance law as well
as state and federal litigation. She
is a past president of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and has
chaired the OBA Litigation Section. She has served in leadership
positions in numerous OBA committees and Tulsa civic
organizations. She is a 1984 graduate of the OU College of Law.
2014 Issues
n December
Ethics & Professional
Editor: Judge Allen Welch
[email protected]
Deadline: Aug. 1, 2014
2015 Issues
n January
Meet Your OBA
Editor: Carol Manning
If you would like
to write an article
on these topics,
contact the editor.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
n February
Legal Research Writing
Editor: Erin L. Means
[email protected]
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2014
n March
Municipal Law
Editor: Mark Ramsey
[email protected]
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2014
n April
Law Day
Editor: Carol Manning
n May
Education Law
Editor: Judge Megan Simpson
[email protected]
Deadline: Jan. 1, 2015
n August
Opening a Law Office
Editor: Dietmar Caudle
[email protected]
Deadline: May 1, 2015
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n September
Bar Convention
Editor: Carol Manning
n October
Family Law
Editor: Leslie Taylor
[email protected]
Deadline: May 1, 2015
n November
President’s Topic
Editor: Melissa DeLacerda
[email protected]
Deadline: Aug. 1, 2015
n December
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Editor: Shannon L. Prescott
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Deadline: Aug. 1, 2015
Friday morning will kick off with an Annual Meeting tradition, the
President’s Breakfast. This year, a one-hour CLE is included with the
cost of breakfast. The programming will feature a
panel discussion focusing on changes in the legal
profession. Panelists are Annual Meeting Luncheon
speaker Richard Susskind, Prof. Connie Smothermon
from OU College of Law and Jody Nathan of
Stauffer & Nathan in Tulsa, who has 25 years litigation experience. Jim Calloway of the OBA Management Assistance Program will serve as moderator.
Cost is $25. Participants must be registered for the
meeting to take advantage of the free CLE.
Connie Smothermon
Legal futurist and internationally recognized
speaker Professor Richard Susskind will deliver the
keynote address during the Annual Luncheon set
for Friday, Nov. 14. Mr. Susskind’s topic, “Tomorrow’s Lawyers,” will focus on the
different ways the Internet and
technology are changing the
future of the legal profession.
Attendees do not have to
register for Annual Meeting
to attend this program. Cost
for the luncheon is $35
with Annual Meeting
registration, $50 for
those who do not
wish to register for
the full two-day
event. Seating is
limited, so be sure
to register early for
this event. Sponsor:
OBA Family Law
Richard Susskind
Jody Nathan
do I register?
Register for all events using the
Annual Meeting registration form
found on page 2316 or online at Send paper forms
with payment by mail to OBA Annual
Meeting, PO Box 53036, Oklahoma City,
OK 73152 or fax with credit card information to 405-416-7092. Questions?
Contact Mark Schneidewent at
405-416-7026, 800-522-8065 or
[email protected]
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
OBA President Renée DeMoss will honor the following members of the Oklahoma House of
Representatives with a special commemorative medallion during the House of Delegates at
the Annual Meeting. The legislators are being honored for their support of a fair and impartial
court system, free from bias, prejudice and partisan politics.
Rep. Don Armes, Faxon
Rep. John R. Bennett, Sallisaw
Rep. Scott Biggs, Chickasha
Rep. Gus Blackwell, Laverne
Rep. Mike Brown, Tahlequah
Rep. Edward Cannaday, Porum
Rep. Bobby Cleveland,
Rep. Donald Condit, McAlester
Rep. Ann Coody, Lawton
Rep. David Dank, Oklahoma City
Rep. Lee Denney, Cushing
Rep. David Derby, Owasso
Rep. Joe Dorman, Rush Springs
Rep. Jon Echols, Oklahoma City
Rep. Dan Fisher, El Reno
Rep. Kay Floyd, Oklahoma City
Rep. William Fourkiller, Stilwell
Rep. Larry Glenn, Miami
Rep. Randy Grau, Edmond
Rep. Rebecca Hamilton,
Oklahoma City
Rep. Tommy Hardin, Madill
Rep. Katie Henke, Tulsa
Rep. Chuck Hoskin, Vinita
Rep. Scott Inman, Oklahoma City
Rep. Fred Jordan, Jenks
Rep. Charles Joyner, Midwest City
Rep. Dan Kirby, Tulsa
Rep. Steve Kouplen, Beggs
Rep. James Lockhart, Heavener
Rep. Scott Martin, Norman
Rep. Steve Martin, Bartlesville
Rep. Kevin Matthews, Tulsa
Rep. Charles McCall, Atoka
Rep. Curtis McDaniel Smithville
Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, Tulsa
Rep. Randy McDaniel, Edmond
Rep. Skye McNiel, Bristow
Rep. Jerry McPeak, Warner
Rep. Lewis Moore, Arcadia
Rep. Richard Morrissette,
Oklahoma City
Rep. Glen Mulready, Tulsa
Rep. Jadine Nollan, Sand Springs
Rep. Terry O’Donnell, Catoosa
Rep. Charles Ortega, Altus
Rep. Pat Ownbey, Ardmore
Rep. David Perryman, Chickasha
Rep. Anastasia Pittman,
Oklahoma City
Rep. Eric Proctor, Tulsa
Rep. R.C. Pruett, Antlers
Rep. Marty Quinn, Claremore
Rep. Brian Renegar, McAlester
Rep. Mike Reynolds,
Oklahoma City
Rep. Dustin Roberts, Durant
Rep. Wade Rousselot, Wagoner
Rep. Seneca Scott, Tulsa
Rep. Earl Sears, Bartlesville
Rep. Mike Shelton, Oklahoma City
Rep. Ben Sherrer, Chouteau
Rep. Jerry Shoemake, Morris
Rep. Todd Thomsen, Ada
Rep. Mike Turner, Edmond
Rep. Emily Virgin, Norman
Rep. Ken Walker, Tulsa
Rep. Weldon Watson, Tulsa
Rep. Cory T. Williams, Stillwater
Rep. Harold Wright, Weatherford
If you haven’t obtained all (or any) of your CLE credits yet, you’ve
come to the right place. As always, you can get all the CLE you
need for an entire year at Annual Meeting.
Pre-Annual Meeting CLE: Tools for Tomorrow’s Lawyers
(6 hours MCLE/1 Ethics)
Tee Hee! A Funny CLE
Morning Session:
The Ethys Awards
Lawyer Jokes are No Laughing Matter
Afternoon Session:
Fantasy Supreme Court League: 2014 Edition
Lies, Damn Lies and Legal Marketing: The Ethics of Legal Marketing
(All day – 6 hours MCLE/3 Ethics; Morning only – 3 hours MCLE/
2 Ethics; Afternoon only – 3 hours MCLE/1 Ethics)
OBA Trial College (6 hours MCLE/1 Ethics)
President’s Breakfast: Tomorrow’s Lawyers panel discussion (1 hour)
Many OBA sections will also be offering CLE in conjunction with
the Annual Meeting. See the program on page 2296 for CLE
times. Register now at
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
All events will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel unless otherwise specified.
Submit meeting room and hospitality suite requests to Craig Combs at [email protected]
Wednesday, November 12
OBA Family Law Section............ 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
111 East First St.
Annual Insurance, Tort &
Workers Compensation
Update.................................. 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Promenade A
(Program offered by the
Oklahoma Association for Justice)
OBA/CLE Seminar: Tools for
Tomorrow’s Lawyers............ 9 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Promenade C
OBA Registration........................... Noon - 7 p.m.
Promenade Foyer
Oklahoma Bar Foundation
Fellows Reception........................ 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Suite 1506
Oklahoma Fellows of the American
Bar Foundation............................ 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Summit Club
15 West Sixth St., 30th Floor
Thursday, November 13
Oklahoma Fellows of the
American Bar Foundation.......... 7:30 – 9 a.m.
Diplomat Room
Lawyers Helping Lawyers
Committee........................................ 8 – 9 a.m.
Directors Row 5
OBA Criminal Law Section
Luncheon and Annual
Meeting..................................Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Mayo Hotel
Oklahoma Fellows of the
American Trial Lawyers
Association........................................ 8 – 9 a.m.
Executive Room
OBA Board of Governors
Meeting..........................................4 - 5:30 p.m.
Executive Room
OBA Hospitality............................ 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Lobby Lounge
OBA Law Office Management
and Technology Section............. 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Promenade B
OBA Energy and Natural
Resources Law Section............... 5 – 5:45 p.m.
Promenade D
OBA Registration......................... 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Promenade Foyer
Oklahoma Board of
Bar Examiners........................8:30 a.m. – Noon
Directors Row 4
OBA Credentials Committee......... 9 – 9:30 a.m.
Directors Row 1
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
OBA/CLE Seminar:
Sean Carter –
Tee Hee! a Funny CLE........ 9 a.m. – 4:40 p.m.
Promenade C
OBA/CLE Seminar:
Trial College......................... 9 a.m. – 4:40 p.m.
SPONSOR: OBA Litigation Section
Promenade D
Outstanding Senior Law Student Award
Elizabeth T. Isaacs
OCU School of Law Alumni
Luncheon...............................Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Oklahoma Room
OBA Juvenile Law Section ..... 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Promenade A
Valerie K. Couch
Dean of the
Oklahoma City
School of Law
OBA Rules and Bylaws
Committee............................... 10 – 10:30 a.m.
Directors Row 1
OBA Section Leadership
Council...................................... 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Directors Row 3
OBA Litigation Section................. 10 - 11:45 a.m.
Diplomat Room
OBA Indian Law Section............ 10 a.m. - Noon
Promenade B
Outstanding Senior Law Student Award
Riane Fern
TU College of Law Alumni
Luncheon...............................Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Tulsa Ballroom North
OBA Appellate Practice
Law Section..............................10 a.m. – Noon
Directors Row 2
Janet K. Levit
Dean and
Dean John Rogers
Endowed Chair
University of Tulsa
College of Law
OBA Labor and Employment
Law Section..............................10 a.m. – Noon
Tulsa Ballroom Central
OBA Resolutions
Committee.......................... 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Directors Row 1
OU College of Law Alumni
Luncheon...............................Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Tulsa Ballroom South
Joseph Harroz Jr.
Dean of the
College of Law
University of Oklahoma
College of Law
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
TOPIC: T he Future of Legal Education
Outstanding Senior Law Student Award
Barrett Powers
MCLE Commission................................ 2 – 3 p.m.
Directors Row 4
OBA Law Schools Committee............ 2 – 3 p.m.
Directors Row 3
OBA Board of Editors...................... 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Directors Row 1
Oklahoma Bar Foundation
Executive Committee Meeting.... 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Executive Room
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
OBA Bankruptcy and
Reorganization Law Section........... 2 – 4 p.m.
Tulsa Ballroom Central
Oklahoma Criminal Defense
Lawyers Association.................... 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Promenade A
OBA Health Law Section..................... 2 – 5 p.m.
Diplomat Room
OBA Estate Planning, Probate
and Trust Section/OBA Taxation
Law Section Joint Meeting.............. 2 – 6 p.m.
Promenade B
OBA Master Lawyers Section......... 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Oklahoma Ballroom North
OBA Real Property Law Section ........ 3 – 5 p.m.
Tulsa Ballroom South
Ziva Branstetter
Tulsa World
Vice Chief Justice
John F. Reif
Supreme Court
OBA Juvenile Law Section
Child Advocacy Training............ 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Directors Row 2
Judicial Education.......................... 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Directors Row 5
Oklahoma Bar Foundation
Trustee Meeting...................... 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Executive Room
James Winchester
Supreme Court
TOPIC: J udicial Decision Making
County Bar Association
Presidents Meeting...................... 4 – 4:30 p.m.
Directors Row 4
OBA Business and Corporate
Law Section.................................. 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Directors Row 3
Michael Peck
Flatonia, Texas
Steven Kessinger
yberspace and Protecting Client Data
on-consensual Blood Draws
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
OBA Young Lawyers Division
Annual Meeting........................... 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Oklahoma Room South
Richard Susskind
Legal Futurist
University of Strathclyde
Law School
Glasgow, Scotland
3-Part Celebration:
The Drinks, The Dinner,
The Dance..............................5:30 – 11:30 p.m.
Tulsa Ballroom
(Free with meeting registration)
Connie Smothermon
Professor of Law
OU College of Law
Tom Nix
Past Presidents Dinner.................... 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Summit Club
15 W. 6th St., 30th Floor
Jody Nathan
Stauffer & Nathan
Friday, November 14
OBA Hospitality..............................8 a.m. – Noon
Lobby Lounge
OBA Registration.................. 8 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Promenade Foyer
President’s Breakfast..................8:30 – 9:50 a.m.
Promenade A
($25 with Annual Meeting registration;
includes 1 hour MCLE)
Panel Discussion
TOPIC: Changes in the Legal Profession
Moderator: Jim Calloway, Director,
OBA Management Assistance Program
OBA General Assembly ..................10 – 11 a.m.
Promenade D
Outstanding County Bar Association Award
Noble County Bar Association
Hicks Epton Law Day Award
Pittsburg County Bar Association
Earl Sneed Award
Michael Ashworth, Tulsa
David McKenzie, Oklahoma City
Golden Gavel Award
OBA Family Law Section,
M. Shane Henry, Tulsa, Chairperson
Outstanding Young Lawyer Award
Joe Vorndran, Shawnee
Outstanding Service to the Public Award
The Goldman Law Office, Oklahoma City
Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service
James Bender, Tulsa
Malcolm Savage, Oklahoma City
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Trailblazer Award
Melvin Combs, Jr., Oklahoma City
Tellers Committee...........................11:30 – Noon
Directors Row 1
Golden Quill Award
Elliott Crawford, Oklahoma City
David McKenzie, Oklahoma City
Donelle Ratheal, Oklahoma City
General Assembly Speakers:
OBA Annual Luncheon.................12:15 – 2 p.m.
Promenade A & B
($35 with meeting registration;
$50 without registration)
Vice Chief Justice
John F. Reif
Supreme Court
Richard Susskind
University of Strathclyde
Law School
Glasgow, Scotland
Vice Presiding Judge
C. Clancy Smith
Oklahoma Court
of Criminal Appeals
TOPIC: T omorrow’s Lawyers
SPONSOR: OBA Family Law Section
Award of Judicial Excellence
Judge Thomas S. Landrith, Ada
Joe Stamper Distinguished Service Award
Gary C. Clark, Stillwater
Renée DeMoss
Bar Association
Alma Wilson Award
Don Smitherman, Oklahoma City
Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award
Perry Hudson, Oklahoma City
OBA House of Delegates .......... 11 a.m. – Noon
Promenade D
Election of Officers and Members of the
Board of Governors
Approval of Title Examinations Standards
Report of the Resolutions Committee
Fern Holland Courageous Lawyer Award
Don G. Holladay, Oklahoma City
James E. Warner III, Oklahoma City
President’s Awards
To be announced
David A. Poarch
Bar Association
John E. Shipp Award for Ethics
Dietmar Caudle, Lawton
Richard Susskind Book Signing....... 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Executive Room
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Law School
OBA Awards:
Individuals for Whom Awards are Named
NEIL E. BOGAN — Neil Bogan, an attorney from Tulsa,
died unexpectedly on May 5, 1990 while serving his term as
president of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Mr. Bogan was
known for his professional, courteous treatment of everyone
he came into contact with and was also considered to uphold
high standards of honesty and integrity in the legal profession.
The OBA’s Professionalism Award is named for him as a permanent reminder of the example he set.
HICKS EPTON — While working as a country lawyer in
Wewoka, attorney Hicks Epton decided that lawyers should go
out and educate the public about the law in general, and the
rights and liberties provided under the law to American citizens. Through the efforts of Mr. Epton, who served as OBA
president in 1953, and other bar members, the roots of Law
Day were established. In 1961 the first of May became an
annual special day of celebration nationwide designated by a
joint resolution of Congress. The OBA’s Law Day Award recognizing outstanding Law Day activities is named in his honor.
FERN HOLLAND — Fern Holland’s life was cut tragically
short after just 33 years, but this young Tulsa attorney made an
impact that will be remembered for years to come. Ms. Holland left private law practice to work as a human rights activist and to help bring democracy to Iraq. In 2004 she was
working closely with Iraqi women on women’s issues when her
vehicle was ambushed by Iraqi gunmen, and she was killed.
The Courageous Lawyer Award is named as a tribute to her.
MAURICE MERRILL — Dr. Maurice Merrill served as a
professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law from
1936 until his retirement in 1968. He was held in high regard
by his colleagues, his former students and the bar for his
nationally distinguished work as a writer, scholar and teacher.
Many words have been used to describe Dr. Merrill over the
years, including brilliant, wise, talented and dedicated. Named
in his honor is the Golden Quill Award that is given to the
author of the best written article published in the Oklahoma
Bar Journal. The recipient is selected by the OBA Board of
(cont’d on page 2308)
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Wednesday, Nov. 13
These awards will be presented at the luncheons.
Riane Fern, Oklahoma City University
School of Law
Riane Fern is a member of
the Oklahoma City University
Law Review and received
the law review’s 2013-2014
Award for Excellence in
Technical Editing. During law
school, she has acted as a
criminal law academic fellow and research assistant
for Professor Arthur G. LeFrancois. She also served as a
student ambassador in the
law school’s Certificate in American Law program for visiting Chinese students.
She has received 12 CALI Excellence for the
Future Awards for the highest grade in various
courses. She is a member of Phi Delta Phi and the
William J. Holloway American Inn of Court. She is
a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
and is a scholarship recipient pursuant to the
tribe’s higher education program. After graduation, she will begin her legal career at McAfee &
Taft PC, where she was a summer associate for
the summers of 2013 and 2014.
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of
Oklahoma, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
letters and minors in history and Spanish. As a
result of a lifelong passion for dance, including
many years of training in ballet, jazz and tap, she
was a professional cheerleader for the Oklahoma City Thunder for four years while pursuing her
undergraduate degree and was selected by the
organization to travel internationally to England,
Taiwan and China for NBA-partnered promotional tours.
Elisabeth T. Isaacs, University of Oklahoma
College of Law
Elizabeth Tu Isaacs is a
third-year student at the
University of Oklahoma College of Law. As a note and
comment editor for the Oklahoma Law Review, she
mentors second-year students with the hope they
will benefit from the relationship as much as she did in
her second year. Her comment, “Exposure Without Redress: A Proposed Remedial Tool for the Data
Breach Victims Who Were Set Aside,” is slated for
publication in the Winter 2014 edition of the
Oklahoma Law Review.
She served as 2014 auction chair for OU’s
Organization for the Advancement of Women in
Law (OAWL). This is a student-organized fundraiser to benefit the Norman Women’s Resource
Center. She has also volunteered to assist petitioners seeking victim protective orders and
served on the Dean’s Council mentoring incoming law students. She is currently a student member of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court.
Together with her moot court partner, Elise
Puma, she placed second in the 2013 National
Health Law Moot Court Competition. This year,
the two women are proud to represent OU Law
in two more appellate-advocacy competitions.
She was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Her parents, Hu and My Tu, provided her a childhood full of music, good food and a love of
learning. She attended the Texas Academy of
Mathematics and Science at the University of
North Texas at the age of 15, where she learned
firsthand that scientific research is exciting and
rewarding (but handling live specimens can be
significantly less so). She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2006 with a bachelor in
mathematics and received a National Merit
Before entering law school, she worked for six
years in insurance claim adjustment and commercial underwriting. She now lives in Bethany
with her husband, William Isaacs. In her free time,
she enjoys playing piano and violin, and brewing
beer. After she graduates, she will serve as a judicial clerk to Judge Joe Heaton of the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Barrett Powers, University of Tulsa
College of Law
Barrett L. Powers serves as
an articles and research
editor for the Tulsa Law
Review and as a senior director on the Board of Advocates, the organization responsible for TU’s moot court
and trial teams. His participation in moot court includes winning both the 1L
and Family Law Negotiation
competitions, as well as competing on the American Association for Justice
trial team. He has earned CALI Excellence for the
Future Awards for the highest grades in contracts, constitutional law I and professional
responsibility for which he also received the Phillips Allen Porta Memorial Legal Ethics Award.
During law school, he worked as a summer
clerk at Atkinson, Haskins, Nellis, Brittingham,
Gladd & Fiasco in Tulsa and interned in the Tulsa
County District Attorney’s Office, where he was
assigned to the felony division. He also worked
as a judicial intern for U.S. District Judge Claire
V. Eagan and U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul J.
Cleary, Northern District of Oklahoma. Currently, he is externing for Chief Judge Gregory K.
Frizzell, U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Oklahoma.
He was raised in Tulsa and graduated from
Jenks High School. Prior to law school, he earned
his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Oklahoma in 2011
and then went to work at the Oklahoma Legislature. He is a member of the Hudson Hall Wheaton
American Inn of Court and Phi Delta Phi Legal
Honors Fraternity.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
General Assembly
Friday, Nov. 14
These awards will be presented at this event.
Noble County Bar Association
The Noble County Bar Association is the recipient of the Outstanding County Bar Association
Award for its dedication to providing service to
those in the local communities. The NCBA annually awards a scholarship to a high school senior
from one of the local schools based on grades,
scholastic and community involvement, and
need. This year, it awarded two scholarships
totaling $1,500. During Law Day, county bar
members provided pro bono estate planning
services for first responders, police and military
veterans with their Wills for Heroes program. Also
as a part of Law Day activities, members continued the NCBA’s Ask A Lawyer program and held
a Law Day luncheon and award ceremony.
Throughout the year, attorneys from the DA’s
office went to area high schools to talk to students and parents about criminal issues relevant
to teens.
Pittsburg County Bar Association
The Pittsburg County Bar Association is the
recipient of the Hicks Epton Law Day Award for its
dedication to community service in celebration
of Law Day. The year’s activities began with the
annual Ask A Lawyer event in May 2014 when a
large group of attorneys gathered to answer
several calls from the public. The PCBA hosted
five Oklahoma Supreme Court justices and several other distinguished guests at a banquet
held at Pete’s Place in Krebs. Justice Douglas L.
Combs delivered a speech on the importance
of teaching civics in our schools and the current
role of the judiciary. Law Day activities concluded with Pins for Awareness, a bowl-a-thon
fundraiser for autism and childhood apraxia of
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Michael S. Ashworth, Tulsa
Michael Ashworth is a
recipient of the Earl Sneed
Award for his continuous
efforts teaching CLE classes
and involvement with the
Tulsa County Bar Association. Under his leadership,
the TU Practicum was created in 2013, which includes
six CLE classes throughout
the year at TU College of
Law. The topics are designed
to teach new lawyers how to practice law in
several different areas such as criminal, domestic, probate, guardianship and personal injury.
He has facilitated Tulsa County judges conducting full civil and criminal dockets in the Moot
Courtroom at the TU College of Law. He received
his J.D. from OU College of Law in 1983. He practices with the Cheek Law Firm in Tulsa.
David T. McKenzie, Oklahoma City
David McKenzie is a recipient of the Earl Sneed Award
for his extensive volunteer
work to the OBA Continuing
Legal Education Department. He has been teaching and creating seminars
since 1995. He is the 1997
recipient of the Clarence
Darrow Award from the
Oklahoma Criminal Defense
Lawyers Association, 2010
recipient of the OBA Criminal Law Section Professional Advocate, Defender of the Year Award
and the 2011 Barry Albert Award from the Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association. He holds a B.A. degree from SWOSU and
both M.A and M.S. degrees from NSU. He
received his juris doctorate from the University of
Oklahoma College of Law in 1988. He practices
criminal and constitutional litigation in Oklahoma
City and is the legal analyst for KFOR-TV. Mr. McKenzie is a veteran of more than 200 jury trials.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
OBA Family Law Section
The OBA Family Law Section, led by Chairperson M. Shane Henry of Tulsa, is the OBA’s largest
section with more than 1,100 members. The section created the Family Law Practice Manual,
which is authored by several sitting judges and
more than 40 Oklahoma attorneys who practice
family law. It contains over 2,700 pages of black
letter law footnoted with relevant case and
statutory authority. This team meets throughout
the year to update the practice manual with the
latest cases and forms. The funds raised through
the sale of the manual were used to create the
Oklahoma Family Law Section Trial Advocacy
Institute, the first of which was held at the Oklahoma Bar Center in July 2014. Attendees gained
the experience and training to more effectively
represent a client at trial. Leadership mentoring is
also a longstanding tradition with the section,
holding leadership retreats twice a year. The section sponsors conferences every year in addition
to various OBA projects. It will soon select a charity to highlight during the FLS annual meeting as
it has since 2011.
Joe Vorndran, Shawnee
Joe Vorndran is the recipient for the Outstanding
Young Lawyer Award for his
service as a leader of the
OBA Young Lawyers Division.
He served as the District 8
Representative for the OBA
YLD Board of Directors from
2006-2012. He was also chair
of its Community Service
Committee and Children
and the Law Committee. He
was the 2011 YLD treasurer, 2012 chairpersonelect and 2013 chairperson. Under his leadership,
the OBA YLD received the Public Service Award
at the 2014 ABA annual meeting in Boston. He is
a partner with the Shawnee law firm of Stuart &
Clover PLLC. His practice is focused on general
civil and commercial litigation, corporate law,
alternative dispute resolution and municipal law.
He received his J.D. from the OU College of Law
in 2006.
The Goldman Law Office, Oklahoma City
Robert, Thomas and Ed Goldman
The Goldman Law Office is the recipient of the
Outstanding Service to the Public Award in recognition of its preserving the long-standing Red
Andrews Christmas Dinner in Oklahoma City. Red
Andrews was a longtime Oklahoma City resident
who served in the state House of Representatives.
He started the annual Red Andrews Christmas Dinner in 1945 for families in need. The dinner repeated itself for decades, and his family continued the
tradition after his death. In 2012, the family
announced that due to health issues, the dinner
would be discontinued. Robert, Ed and Tommy
Goldman, having been involved with the dinner
for over 25 years, rallied with other members of
the community to assure the further success of
the dinner. The Goldmans formed the Red
Andrews Christmas Dinner Foundation, which is a
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The holiday
meal feeds nearly 7,000 people every year.
James J. Bender, Tulsa
Jim Bender is a recipient
of the Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service for his
long-standing commitment
to pro bono work. Before his
recent retirement, he served
as general counsel at The
Williams Companies and,
more recently, at its spinoff
company, WPX Energy. In
2006, he became familiar
with legal aid when his
department visited the Legal Aid Services offices
in Tulsa as a part of Williams’ United Way campaign. He saw the need for more volunteer lawyers and committed his department of in-house
lawyers to handle wills, trusts, estate planning
and powers of attorney for senior citizens. Mr.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Bender also helped recruit lawyers from the Hall
Estill law firm to become involved. In all, more
than 40 lawyers began serving clients. In addition, he played an important role in creating two
programs to support the Tulsa County District
Court — the Court-Assistance Project (CAP) and
the Guardian Ad Litem Program, and he personally participated in CAP by representing clients in
unlawful detainer actions in Tulsa County. Finally,
he secured annual donations for Legal Aid Services from his companies and donates personally. He received his J.D. from the University of
Minnesota Law School in 1981.
make sure that other African American law students were prepared to take and pass the bar.
Mr. Combs, Herbert Graves and William Sullivan
formed the first integrated law firm in Oklahoma
in 1974. He began using the firm’s law library at
night and on the weekends to tutor African
American law students. Since then, he has
helped more than 100 students prepare for and
pass the Oklahoma bar exam without seeking
compensation or recognition. He received his
J.D. from OCU School of Law in 1972.
Elliott C. Crawford and David T. McKenzie,
Oklahoma City
Malcolm M. Savage, Oklahoma City
Malcolm Savage is a
recipient of the Award for
Outstanding Pro Bono Service for his dedication to
assisting those needing help
in criminal proceedings.
One third of his practice is
pro bono, serving many indigent clients or those who
cannot afford an attorney.
His services undoubtedly
help lessen the high volume
caseload of the Oklahoma County Public
Defender’s Office. In 2005, Gov. Brad Henry
appointed him to district judge in the 7th Judicial
District to fill a position left vacant by the death
of Judge Susan Bragg. Mr. Savage has returned
to private practice focusing on criminal defense.
He was an associate with Lytle Soule and Curlee
from 2002-2003 and was an attorney with the
Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office from
1998-2002. He earned his J.D. from OCU School
of Law in 1998.
Melvin Combs Jr., Oklahoma City
Melvin Combs Jr. is the
recipient of the Trailblazer
Award for making a profound impact on the legal
profession by paving the
way for more African American law students to pass the
bar exam. He did not pass
the bar exam on his first
attempt in the early 1970s,
and he was determined to
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Elliott C. Crawford
Elliott Crawford and David
McKenzie are recipients of
the Golden Quill Award for
the article they coauthored,
“Lights, Camera, Bar Action:
Ethical Implications of Extrajudicial Statements and PreTrial Publicity in Criminal Proceedings.” The article will be
published in the Dec. 13,
2014, Oklahoma Bar Journal
with feature articles devoted to ethics and professional responsibility.
Mr. Crawford is president and founder of the
Law Office of Elliott C. Crawford P.C. in Oklahoma City, which is devoted to representing the
accused and focuses on federal criminal
defense. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 2001, earning a B.A. with honors in political
science. In 2006, he obtained his J.D. from Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he
received the CALI Award for Academic Excellence in the study of federal jurisdiction. Mr.
Crawford is admitted to practice in all state and
federal courts in Oklahoma and Texas, the 5th
and 10th Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
He is also a member of the
Criminal Justice Act Panel
for the Western District of
Oklahoma, a select group
of trial attorneys who represent indigent defendants in
federal court.
Mr. McKenzie is the 1997
recipient of the Clarence
Darrow Award from the
Oklahoma Criminal Defense
Lawyers Association, 2010
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
David T. McKenzie
recipient of the OBA Criminal Law Section Professional Advocate, Defender of the Year Award
and the 2011 Barry Albert Award from the Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association. He holds a B.A. degree from SWOSU and
both M.A and M.S. degrees from NSU. He
received his juris doctorate from the University of
Oklahoma College of Law in 1988. While he was
in graduate school in Tahlequah, Mr. McKenzie
was a reporter for the Tahlequah Daily Press. Following his admission to the Oklahoma bar in
October 1988, he practiced extensively in the
area of First Amendment law and was a longtime member of the First Amendment Lawyers
Association. He is also a professional actor represented locally by the Magna Talent Agency.
Donelle H. Ratheal, Oklahoma City
Donelle Ratheal is the
recipient of the Golden Quill
Award for her article, “Children and Their De Facto Parents: Past, Present and Future Third-Party Custody and
Guardianship Law in Oklahoma,” published in the
Aug. 9, 2014, Oklahoma Bar
Journal. She is the managing
partner of Ratheal, Maggard & Fortune PLLC. Her practice includes complex family law litigation and appellate practice.
She is a seminar speaker and author on substantive and law practice issues. She was the OBA
Family Law Section chair in 2007 and 2013 and
an author and former editor of the section’s
Practice Manual. She received the OBA FLS Outstanding Guardian Ad Litem Award in 2006. She
is a member of the ABA Family Law Section and
Solo-Small Firm Section.
Annual Luncheon
Friday, Nov. 14
These awards will be presented at this event.
Judge Thomas S. Landrith, Ada
Judge Thomas S. Landrith is the recipient of the
Award of Judicial Excellence for his leadership in
the renovation project of the Pontotoc County
Courthouse and Justice Center. Judge Landrith spoke to
civic groups and organizations to rally support of a proposal to build a new jail and
to remodel the courthouse.
In 2006, county residents
passed a 20-year, 11/16thsof-a-penny sales tax to pay
for the $18 million project. The
new jail, the Pontotoc County Justice Center, opened in 2009. He worked
with the contractor handling the courthouse
renovation to make sure that the building
retained its character. The new main district
courtroom was dedicated in March 2011. He
received his J.D. from OU College of Law in 1976
and was elected district judge in 1994.
Gary C. Clark, Stillwater
Gary Clark is the recipient
of the Joe Stamper Distinguished Service Award for
his long-term service to the
bar association and contributions to the legal profession. He served 10 years on
the Oklahoma Council on
Judicial Complaints, six of
them as chair. He served as
OBA president in 2002. His list
of OBA awards includes the 2003 and 2009 President’s Awards, Award for Ethics in 1999 and two
Golden Quill Awards. He chaired the OBA Tech
Task Force, which was awarded the Golden
Gavel Award in 2000. He has also chaired the
Estate Planning Section, Awards Committee and
the Bar Technology Committee. He was a coauthor of the Standards on Professionalism
adopted by the Board of Governors in 2002. Mr.
Clark is a fellow of the American College of Trust
and Estate Counsel and a member of the American Law Institute. He served eight years on the
Board of Regents for Oklahoma State University/
A&M Colleges. After practicing law for nearly 30
years in Tulsa, he became the vice present and
general counsel of the OSU Foundation in 2004.
In 2008, he became a vice president at OSU and
is now senior vice president and general counsel.
He received his J.D. from the University of Texas
School of Law (with honors).
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Don Smitherman, Oklahoma City
Don Smitherman is the
recipient of the Alma Wilson
Award for his significant contribution to improving the
lives of young people in
Oklahoma. From 2005-2012,
he was an adjunct teacher
at Douglass High School in
Oklahoma City. Located in
one of the most impoverished areas of the metro,
the legal studies program is
designed to give at-risk youth a positive experience with the judicial system and to inspire them
to pursue a career in law. Under Mr. Smitherman’s leadership, many students underwent
personal transformations as a result of their participation in the legal studies program. He is a
member of the Oklahoma Black Lawyers Association and the America Inns of Court. He is of
counsel with Moricoli & Schovanec PC in Oklahoma City and received his J.D. from the OU
College of Law in 1992.
Perry W. Hudson, Oklahoma City
Perry Hudson is the recipient of the Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award for his
professional and ethical morals. He began his practice
as an employee of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, where he served as a
capital defense attorney at
both the trial and appellate
levels. As a private practitioner, Mr. Hudson continues to
represent those accused of capital crimes and
has been involved in the release of three death
row inmates. His practice is not limited to capital
cases, and he is proud of the work he does on
behalf of his clients in all areas of criminal
defense including his successful suppression of
the evidence in the largest non-border heroine
bust in U.S. history. Mr. Hudson’s peers describe
him as an honorable adversary who zealously
advocates for his clients in an affable, honest
manner. He has offices in Oklahoma City and
Pawnee, but practices throughout the state
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
focusing on criminal defense and DHS deprived
Dietmar K. Caudle, Lawton
Dietmar Caudle is the
recipient of the John Shipp
Award for Ethics for his service as a role model for ethics in the legal profession. He
has been a sole practitioner
for more than 35 years in
Lawton and has held many
different leadership positions. He currently serves as
president of the Oklahoma
Bar Foundation and is a
member of the OBA Board of Editors and Clients’
Security Fund Committee. From 2009-2013, Mr.
Caudle served as a lawyer member of the Professional Responsibility Tribunal. He is an ABA Fellow and member of the Oklahoma Fellows to the
American Bar Foundation. He served on the OBA
Board of Governors in 2013 as vice president and
as a district representative from 2005-2007. He
served as Comanche County Bar Association
president and has been honored by the county
bar for his pro bono work and as a recipient of its
Professionalism Award in 2011. He has demonstrated his commitment to the community with
his continued participation in the Ask A Lawyer
program and assisting the Comanche County
Bar Association for the past 20 years. He has
practiced law as a sole practitioner in Lawton
since 1980 and received his J.D. from the OCU
School of Law in 1976.
Don G. Holladay and James E. Warner III,
Oklahoma City
Don G. Holladay
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Don Holladay and James
Warner are recipients of the
Fern Holland Courageous
Lawyer for their work as
counsel in Bishop, et al. v.
Smith, challenging Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage. They took on the case
on a pro bono basis in 2009,
litigating the case on behalf
of their four individual clients
against six defendants, including the State of Okla2307
homa and the United States. A judge entered his
summary judgment order in favor of the plaintiffs
in 2014, declaring Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The 10th Circuit U.S.
Court of Appeals confirmed the ruling, and the
U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear
appeals, allowing same-sex marriages to take
place in Oklahoma.
Mr. Holladay is a co-founder of the Holladay &
Chilton Law Firm in Oklahoma City. His past professional activities include service on the Admissions and Grievance Committee for the Western
District of Oklahoma federal court, two threeyear terms on the Local Rules Committee, U.S.
District Court, Western District of Oklahoma and
the Oklahoma County Bar Association Board of
Directors. Between 2008 and 2014, he was a
member of the Oklahoma delegation to the
national Uniform Laws Commission. Since 1988
he has been an adjunct professor at the OU College of Law, teaching pretrial and trial courses.
He received his J.D. from the OU College of Law
in 1969.
Mr. Warner is a member
of the law firm of Holladay
& Chilton. He received his
juris doctorate in 2002 from
the University of Oklahoma
College of Law, where he
served as executive editor
of the American Indian Law
Review. After graduation,
he served as law clerk to
Judge Robin J. Cauthron,
then Chief Judge of the U.S. James E. Warner III
District Court for the Western
District of Oklahoma. During law school, he was
an intern for U.S. Magistrate Shon T. Erwin and
Judge Charles A. Johnson of the Oklahoma
Court of Criminal Appeals. He also interned in
the Oklahoma State Senate, where he assisted
senate staff attorneys in drafting legislation and
advised senate staff and committees on the
constitutionality of pending legislation and stability of current laws. He currently serves on the
Board of Directors for the Oklahoma City branch
of the Federal Bar Association.
OBA Awards:
Individuals for Whom Awards are Named
(cont’d from page 2301)
JOHN E. SHIPP — John E. Shipp, an attorney from
Idabel, served as 1985 OBA president and became the
executive director of the association in 1998. Unfortunately his tenure was cut short when his life was tragically taken that year in a plane crash. Mr. Shipp was
known for his integrity, professionalism and high ethical
standards. He had served two terms on the OBA Professional Responsibility Commission, serving as chairman
for one year, and served two years on the Professional
Responsibility Tribunal, serving as chief-master. The
OBA’s Award for Ethics bears his name.
EARL SNEED — Earl Sneed served the University of
Oklahoma College of Law as a distinguished teacher and
dean. Mr. Sneed came to OU as a faculty member in 1945
and was praised for his enthusiastic teaching ability.
When Mr. Sneed was appointed in 1950 to lead the law
school as dean, he was just 37 years old and one of the
youngest deans in the nation. After his retirement from
academia in 1965, he played a major role in fundraising
efforts for the law center. The OBA’s Continuing Legal
Education Award is named in his honor.
JOE STAMPER — Joe Stamper of Antlers retired in
2003 after 68 years of practicing law. He is credited with
being a personal motivating force behind the creation of
OUJI and the Oklahoma Civil Uniform Jury Instructions Committee. Mr. Stamper was also instrumental in
creating the position of OBA general counsel to handle
attorney discipline. He served on both the ABA and
OBA Board of Governors and represented Oklahoma at
the ABA House of Delegates for 17 years. His eloquent
remarks were legendary, and he is credited with giving
Oklahoma a voice and a face at the national level. The
OBA’s Distinguished Service Award is named to honor
ALMA WILSON — Alma Wilson was the first woman
to be appointed as a justice to the Supreme Court of
Oklahoma in 1982 and became its first female chief justice in 1995. She first practiced law in Pauls Valley, where
she grew up. Her first judicial appointment was as special
judge sitting in Garvin and McClain Counties, later district judge for Cleveland County and served for six years
on the Court of Tax Review. She was known for her
contributions to the educational needs of juveniles and
children at risk, and she was a leader in proposing an
alternative school project in Oklahoma City, which is
now named the Alma Wilson SeeWorth Academy. The
OBA’s Alma Wilson Award honors a bar member who has
made a significant contribution to improving the lives of
Oklahoma children.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
OBA CLE: Tools for Tomorrow’s Lawyers
Topics Covered:
Program Planner: Jim Calloway, Director
OBA Management Assistance Program
Lawyers and Change: How to Survive in the Future You Didn’t Expect • Jim Calloway
The Paperless Office Is a Reality (and a Necessity) Today • Donna Brown
Project & Process Management for Lawyers • Jim Calloway
Top Tools: Practice Management Solutions and Document Assembly Tools • Donna Brown
Technology — Creative Uses, Ethical Practices • Douglas J. Sorocco and Travis Pickens
Strategies for Change: An Interactive Discussion • Jim Calloway, Travis Pickens and
Douglas J. Sorocco
Speakers: Donna Brown is a legal industry consultant with emphasis on software development, customization, training and technical writing. Douglas J. Sorocco practices in the areas of intellectual property, technology, licensing,
life sciences and patent law. Travis Pickens is OBA Ethics Counsel.
Seminar starts at 9 a.m. and adjourns at 2:50 p.m.
This seminar will also be webcast;
Nov. 12
tuition varies from live program tuition.
Hyatt Regency
To register online, log on to:
100 E. Second St.
Or call Renee at 405-416-7029/800-522-8065
or email [email protected]
Annual Meeting registration is not needed to attend this seminar.
Approved for 6 hours MCLE/1 Ethics. $150 for early-bird registrations with payment received at least
four full business days prior to the seminar date. $175 for registrations with payment received within
four full business days of the seminar date.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Register Online
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Here is what
our members
had to say
about his last
in 2012:
l“This was one of
the best CLEs I
have attended
(in more than 30
years of CLEs). It
was interesting
and relevant.
Well done!!”
l“It was nice to
go to a CLE that
was not pure
torture. Information was well
l“Great seminar.
Thank you! Sean
made an otherwise dull subject
very interesting
and enjoyable.”
l“Sean Carter’s
course taught
far more than
ethics and a little
Supreme Court
precedent. His
message of love
and compassion
comes from an
open heart. It
was a pleasure
to laugh and
think with him.
Best CLE I’ve
ever been to,
bring him back
every year.”
l“It was a very
enjoyable seminar. I will attend
again next year
if given the
(2 hours — 1 hour of ethics)
Each year, Hollywood
celebrates the best performances in
motion pictures at the Oscars. Well,
this year, we will celebrate the
worst ethics violations in the legal
profession at the Ethys. The festivities will be hosted by Mr.
Carter, who will announce this
year’s winners of the coveted
Ethy for Best Original Excuse,
Least Competent in a Legal
Representation, Most OverAnimated Courtroom Outburst,
a special Lifetime Achievement
Award and so much more.
(1 hour – ethics)
There are thousands of lawyer jokes told each day. Lawyer bashing is
quickly becoming America`s favorite pastime. But why?
FANTASY SUPREME COURT LEAGUE: 2014 EDITION (2 hours — general ed.)
In this unique presentation, Mr. Carter will humorously recap the most significant cases of the current term. After receiving the facts of each case, you will
compete with your fellow lawyers by attempting to remember (or guess) the
outcome and “vote spread” of each case:
• Campaign Finance
• Affirmative Action
• Public Prayer
• Search and Seizure
• Executive Power
• Global Warming
• Religious Freedom
LIES, DAMN LIES AND LEGAL MARKETING: The Ethics of Legal Marketing
(1 hour — ethics)
What is effective advertising in other fields is rarely acceptable in the field
of law. In this entertaining ethics course, Sean Carter examines in detail the
ethical rules concerning marketing and their practical implications.
To register online, log on to:
Or call Mark at 405-416-7026/800-522-8065
or email [email protected]
You can register for either the morning session (3 hours with 2 hours
ethics) or afternoon session (3 hours including 1 hour ethics).
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Thursday Evening Progressive Event
drinks • dinner • dancing
This event is free with Annual Meeting registration.
OBA Sections Present: The Drinks
5:30 - 7 p.m. Inside the ballroom: Pianist Tom Nix will entertain
the crowd in an intimate piano bar setting. Drinks will flow
until last call at 6:45 p.m. Snag a signature beverage (made
especially for this event!) while light snacks and your favorite
fall-flavored coffees are served.
Out in the foyer: Enjoy fine arts shopping, including jewelry,
pottery, artwork and other merchandise made by local artists.
A caricature artist will be available to create a masterpiece
for you to take home. Grab your friends and head over to the
photobooth to commemorate the event.
OBA President DeMoss Presents: The Dinner
7 - 8:30 p.m. Inside the ballroom: Tom Nix will continue to
charm the audience as the small bar opens up, transforming
into an upscale come-and-go reception. Two drink tickets
will be given to each party-goer to be used on soda or adult
beverages at the cash bar. Heavy hors d'oeuvres including
popular flavors of fall will be served.
Out in the foyer: Continue your holiday shopping, get a
caricature portrait drawn, and take a few more visits to the
photo booth before they close for the evening.
OBA Presents: The Dance
8:30 - 11:30 p.m. The mood picks up and the lights go
down as the ballroom transforms a third time into
rock-and-roll bash, complete with dance floor. Oklahoma
City-based group, The Stars Band, will take the stage,
covering all your favorites from the 1960s to today. Cash bar
will stay open as you dance late into the evening.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Stars Band
2015 House of Delegates
Delegate certification should be sent to OBA Executive Director John Morris Williams in order for names to
appear in print in the bar journal and to be included in the House of Delegates agenda book.
Adair Co........................ Alfalfa Co.
Atoka Co.
Beaver Co. ................... Beckham Co. .............. Blaine Co. .................... Bryan Co. ..................... Caddo Co.................... Canadian Co............... Carter Co. .................... Cherokee Co. .............. Choctaw Co. .............. Cimarron Co. ............... Cleveland Co............... Jeff Jones......................................................
Ralph Keen
Todd Trippet..................................................
Chip Eeds.....................................................
Daniel G. Webber........................................
D. Michael Haggerty II................................
Jason Glidewell............................................
Nathan Richter.............................................
Ashton Handley...........................................
Michael Denton...........................................
Jack Dawson...............................................
Mike Mordy...................................................
Lee Card.......................................................
Jerry Moore..................................................
J. Frank Wolf III..............................................
Stanley Ed Manske......................................
Tyson Stanek.................................................
Dave Batton.................................................
Richard Vreeland........................................
Peggy Stockwell..........................................
Judge Stephen Bonner...............................
Richard Stevens...........................................
Alissa Hutter..................................................
Micheal Salem.............................................
David Poarch...............................................
Dave Stockwell............................................
Gary Rife.......................................................
Judge Lori Walkley.......................................
Jan Grant Johnson......................................
(Ret.) Judge Rod Ring.................................
Blake Virgin...................................................
Emily Virgin....................................................
Ben Odom....................................................
Rick Sitzman..................................................
Holly Iker
Jan Meadows
Jerry Venable
D.J. DeLeon
F. Douglas Shirley
Pat Phelps
Kyle Eastwood
Linda Pizzini
Charles Gass
Sandy Steffen
Fletcher D. Handley Jr.
Bradley Wilson
Craig Ladd
B.J. Baker
Thomas J. Hadley
Judge Ronald L. Kincannon
Mike Johnson
Jeanne Snider
Amy Pepper
David Swank
Don Pope
Rick Knighton
John Sparks
Taos Smith
Rebekah Taylor
Drew Nichols
(Ret.) Judge Charles A. Johnson
Kristina Bell
Sharon Sitzman
Beth Stanley
Josh Turner
Debbie Loeffelholtz
Cindee Pichot
Jim Loftis
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Coal Co. ....................... Trae Gray......................................................
Comanche Co. ........... Robin Rochelle.............................................
Grant Sheperd
Aimee Vardeman
Cotton Co. ................... Kathleen Flanagan......................................
Craig Co....................... Kent Ryals.....................................................
Creek Co. .................... Judge Richard A. Woolery.........................
Michael S. Loeffler.......................................
Custer Co. .................... Dennis A. Smith............................................
Delaware Co.
Dewey Co. ................... Judge Rick Bozarth
Ellis Co. ......................... Laurie E. Hays...............................................
Garfield Co. ................. David Ezzell...................................................
Karig Culver..................................................
Amber Gill.....................................................
Garvin Co. ................... Dan Sprouse.................................................
Grady Co.
Grant Co. ..................... Judge Jack D. Hammontree.....................
Greer Co. ..................... Brandon James Norris.................................
Harmon Co................... David L. Cummins........................................
Harper Co. ................... Judge Megan L. Simpson...........................
Haskell Co.
Hughes Co. .................. Linda Evans
Jackson Co. ................. John Wampler
Jefferson Co. ............... Dennis L. Gay...............................................
Johnston Co.
Kay Co. ........................ Shawna Taylor..............................................
Fera Terrell.....................................................
Kingfisher Co. ............... Kurt Bollenbach...........................................
Kiowa Co. .................... Tom Talley
Latimer Co.................... F. Nils Raunikar..............................................
LeFlore Co..................... Dru Waren.....................................................
Lincoln Co..................... David Ball
Logan Co. .................... Jeff Hirzel.......................................................
Love Co. ....................... Richard A. Cochran....................................
Major Co.
Marshall Co.
Mayes Co.
McClain Co. ................ Suzanne Woodrow-Snell.............................
McCurtain Co. ............. Kevin T. Sain..................................................
McIntosh Co. ............... Cindy M. Dawson........................................
Murray Co.
Muskogee Co. ............. Matthew C. Beese.......................................
Roy D. Tucker................................................
Jamie Fenner...............................................
Noble Co. .................... Bryon J. Will...................................................
Nowata Co. ................. Judge Carl Gibson .....................................
Okfuskee Co. ............... Jeremy T. Pittman........................................
Oklahoma Co............... Jim Webb......................................................
Judge Barbara Swinton..............................
Angela Ailles Bahm.....................................
Mack Martin.................................................
Judge Glenn Jones.....................................
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Richard Branam
Kathryn McClure
Judge Michael C. Flanagan
Leonard M. Logan IV
Carla Stinnett
Sheri Eastham
Andrew Carruth
Judge Joe L. Jackson
Judge Paul Woodward
Glenn Devoll
Kaleb Hennigh
Logan K. Beadles
Steven A. Young
Charles Phillip Horton
Jim Moore
Abby M. Cash
Phillip R. Scott
Jennifer Brock
Mike Trewitt
Lance Schneiter
Christian Henry
Steven Paul Minks
Tim Green
Kenneth L. Delashaw
Leland W. Shilling
Judge Michael DeBerry
Brendon Bridges
Corey Johnson
Margaret Shadrick
Justin Stout
Tom Lane Sr.
Linda Gambill-Branstetter
Maxey Reilly
Charles Alden
Phillip G. Whaley
Daniel G. Webber Jr.
Tracey Martinez
Judge Robert Bell
Okmulgee Co.
Osage Co..................... Ottawa Co. ................. Pawnee Co. ................ Payne Co. .................... Pittsburg Co. ................ Pontotoc Co. ............... Pottawatomie Co. ...... Pushmataha Co. ......... Roger Mills Co............... Rogers Co..................... Seminole Co. ............... Sequoyah Co.
Stephens Co................. Texas Co. ...................... Tillman Co.
Tulsa Co......................... 2314
Laura McConnell-Corbyn...........................
John Heatly..................................................
David Cheek................................................
Judge Don Andrews...................................
Ben Butts.......................................................
Gary Chilton.................................................
Derek Burch..................................................
Judge Patricia Parrish.................................
Judge Thomas E. Prince.............................
Judge Lisa Tipping Davis............................
John W. Coyle..............................................
Judge Lisa Hammond.................................
Robert C. Margo..........................................
Lauren E. Barghols Hanna..........................
John Oldfield................................................
W. Todd Blasdel............................................
Judge Lynne McGuire................................
Judge Howard R. Haralson........................
Jeff Curran....................................................
Andrew Mildren...........................................
Daniel Couch...............................................
Will Hoch.......................................................
Michael Mullins.............................................
Brandon Long..............................................
Nancy Parrott...............................................
Marc Edwards
James Jennings
J. Chris Condren
Lance Leffel
Sarah Schumacher
Denise Cramer
Michelle Harrington
Glenn White
John Handy Edwards
Matthew Kane
Teresa Rendon
M. Courtney Briggs
Leslie Lynch
Robert Sheets
LeAnne Burnett
Gary Derrick
Doneen Jones
Billy Croll
Tom E. Mullen
John Miley
Raymond Zschiesche
Robert E. Black
Jodi Warmbrod Dishman
Coree Stevenson
Sheila D. Stinson
Jeff S. Jones..................................................
Chuck Chesnut............................................
John Nobles
Jimmy Oliver.................................................
Lynn Hermanson..........................................
Brenda Nipp.................................................
Matt Sheets..................................................
Blake Lynch..................................................
T. Walter Newmaster....................................
Dale Rex.......................................................
Brandi Nowakowski.....................................
Joe Vorndran
Gerald Dennis..............................................
Judge F. Pat VerSteeg.................................
James Justin Greer......................................
Noah Sears...................................................
Catina Drywater..........................................
R. Victor Kennemer.....................................
Brad Hilton
John Weedn
Carl Buckholts..............................................
Bill Buxton
Douglas Dale...............................................
Jamie Phipps
Judge Millie Otey........................................
Judge Martha Rupp Carter ......................
Deirdre O. Dexter.........................................
James R. “Jim” Gotwals ............................
Michael S. Ashworth
Shannon D. Taylor
Tamera A. Childers
Justin B. Munn
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Robyn Baker
Brandee Hancock
John Price
Paul Northcutt
Matt Patterson
Bryan Kingery
Leslie D. Taylor
Drew O’Gwynn
Charlie Rowland
Thomas B. Goodwin
Erinn Bisceglia
Melinda Wantland
Jennifer K. Kern
William D. Huser
Cory Hicks
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Wagoner Co. ............... Washington Co. .......... Washita Co. ................. Woods Co. ................... Woodward Co. ........... D. Faith Orlowski...........................................
Robert B. Sartin.............................................
D. Ken Williams Jr.........................................
John R. Woodard III.....................................
Steven K. Balman .......................................
E. Zach Smith................................................
Ronald Main.................................................
Robert P. Redemann...................................
Trisha Linn Archer.........................................
Julie A. Evans...............................................
Kimberly K. Moore-Waite............................
Judge Jane P. Wiseman.............................
Bill LaSorsa....................................................
Paul Brunton.................................................
Judge Charles R. Hogshead......................
Larry D. Leonard..........................................
Leonard Pataki.............................................
Kenneth L. Brune..........................................
Molly Aspan
Paul B. Naylor
Kimberly Hays
Matthew S. Farris
Gerald L. Hilsher
James C. Milton
Bruce A. McKenna
Jack L. Brown
Richard Loy Gray Jr.....................................
Hon. Douglas A. Kirkley...............................
Linda S. Thomas...........................................
Drew Ihrig......................................................
Judge Christopher S. Kelly..........................
Jesse Kline.....................................................
Bryce Hodgden...........................................
Amber Peckio Garrett
J. Chris Davis
Cara Collinson Wells
Jeremy Ward
Lori Warner Kingston
Michael James O’Malley
James L. Colvin III
Alexander Sisemore
Tony W. Haynie
Marvin G. Lizama
Georgenia Van Tuyl
Sabah Khalaf
Ruth J. Addison
Richard Dale White Jr.
David M. Thornton Jr.
Grant T. Lloyd
Scott Morgan
Jermiah Phelilx
Eric W. Johnson
Ben S. Chapman
Bruce Peabody
Kyle Persaud
Skye Shephard-Wood
Jeremy Bays
Jay Mitchel
Oklahoma Judicial Conference
Dist. Judge Mary Fitzgerald........................ Dist. Judge George Butner
Assoc. Dist. Judge Mickey J. Hadwiger.... Assoc. Dist. Judge Mark Moore
Delegates at Large (Past Presidents)
Burck Bailey
William J. Baker
Stephen D. Beam
Judge Thomas R. Brett
Michael Burrage
Gary Carl Clark
Cathy M. Christensen
Andrew M. Coats
M. Joe Crosthwait Jr.
Melissa DeLacerda
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Sidney G. Dunagan
Michael D. Evans
John A. Gaberino Jr
William R. Grimm
Winfrey D. Houston
Anthony M. “Tony” Massad
Charles D. “Buddy” Neal Jr.
C. D. Northcutt
Honorable Jon K. Parsley
William G. Paul
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
David K. Petty
Bob W. Rabon
Deborah A. Reheard
Douglas W. Sanders Jr.
R. Forney Sandlin
Allen M. Smallwood
James T. Stuart
Honorable Paul M. Vassar
Harry A. Woods Jr.
Register online at
OBA Annual Meeting, PO Box 53036, Okla. City, OK 73152
Call Mark at 405-416-7026 or 800-522-8065
or email [email protected]
YES! Register me for the 2014 Annual Meeting, November 12-14 in Tulsa.
Registration fee includes: OBA hospitality Wednesday afternoon, all day
Thursday & Friday morning, Thursday evening Three-Part Celebration social
event, Annual Luncheon discount, a convention gift and Vendors Expo.
Full refunds will be given
through Nov. 5, 2014.
No refunds will be issued
after that date.
Fees do not include hotel accommodations. For reservations call the
Hyatt Regency at 918-582-9000 or
888-591-1234. Call by Oct. 21 and
ask for the special Oklahoma Bar
Association rate of $115 per night.
For online reservations,
go to
Group code: G-OBA4
Most activities will take place at
the Hyatt Regency Hotel,
100 East Second Street in Tulsa.
Please notify the OBA at least
one week in advance if you
have a special need and require
You will receive a link to download
CLE materials in advance of the
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
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Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Nominating Petition deadline was 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, 2014
Current: David A. Poarch Jr., Norman
Mr. Poarch automatically becomes
OBA president Jan. 1, 2015
(One-year term: 2015)
Mack K. Martin, Oklahoma City
Garvin Isaacs Jr., Oklahoma City
Vice President
Current: Susan S. Shields, Oklahoma City
(One-year term: 2015)
Nominee: Glenn A. Devoll, Enid
Supreme Court Judicial District One
Current: Linda S. Thomas, Bartlesville
Craig, Grant, Kay, Nowata, Osage, Ottawa,
Pawnee, Rogers and Washington counties
(Three-year term: 2015-2017)
Nominee: John M. Weedn, Miami
Supreme Court Judicial District Six
Current: Kimberly Hays, Tulsa
Tulsa County
(Three-year term: 2015-2017)
Spencer Pittman, Tulsa - withdrawn
James R. Gotwals, Tulsa
Supreme Court Judicial District Seven
Current: Bret A. Smith, Muskogee
Adair, Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Mayes,
Muskogee, Okmulgee and Wagoner counties
(Three-year term: 2015-2017)
Nominee: Roy D. Tucker, Muskogee
Member At Large
Current: Nancy S. Parrott, Oklahoma City
(Three-year term: 2015-2017)
Nominee: Sonja R. Porter, Oklahoma City
Summary of Nominations Rules
Not less than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting,
25 or more voting members of the OBA within the
Supreme Court Judicial District from which the
member of the Board of Governors is to be elected that year, shall file with the Executive Director,
a signed petition (which may be in parts) nominating a candidate for the office of member of
the Board of Governors for and from such Judicial
District, or one or more County Bar Associations
within the Judicial District may file a nominating
resolution nominating such a candidate.
Not less than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting,
50 or more voting members of the OBA from any
or all Judicial Districts shall file with the Executive
Director, a signed petition nominating a candidate to the office of Member-At-Large on the
Board of Governors, or three or more County Bars
may file appropriate resolutions nominating a
candidate for this office.
Not less than 60 days before the opening of the
Annual Meeting, 50 or more voting members of
the Association may file with the Executive Director a signed petition nominating a candidate for
the office of President-Elect or Vice President or
three or more County Bar Associations may file
appropriate resolutions nominating a candidate
for the office.
If no one has filed for one of the vacancies, nominations to any of the above offices shall be received from the House of Delegates on a petition
signed by not less than 30 delegates certified to
and in attendance at the session at which the
election is held.
See Article II and Article III of OBA Bylaws for complete information regarding offices, positions,
nominations and election procedure.
Elections for contested positions will be held at the
House of Delegates meeting Nov. 14, during the
Nov. 12–14 OBA Annual Meeting. Terms of the
present OBA officers and governors will terminate
Dec. 31, 2014.
Nomination and resolution forms can be found at
OBA Bylaws, Art. 3, Section 3.
Uncontested Election
At the close of the period, for nominations in
accordance with Section 1, if only one candidate
has been nominated for any office, the candidate is elected and the Executive Director shall
announce his or her election.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Federalization of the
Oklahoma Law License
By Kimber J. Palmer
ho decides who gets to be a lawyer? The short answer is
other lawyers. Since the early days of the profession of
the practice of law in America, prospective lawyers
gained their education and admittance to the bar by associating,
studying with and being accepted by older, experienced lawyers.1
Today, the legal profession strives to maintain its independence through self-regulation.
The American Bar Association’s Model Rules
of Professional Conduct espouses this longheld premise2 by noting that the legal profession is unique among professions, exemplified
by its close relationship with government and
law enforcement. The ABA maintains selfregulation, and independence from the other
branches of government is important to the
preservation of democracy, and it provides agility to better guard against the abuse of legal
authority.3 However, with the advent of some
international free trade agreements, the legal
profession in the United States is now facing
the real possibility of going from a self-regulated profession to something more akin to a federally regulated business form. While the U.S.
is a signatory on at least 15 international trade
agreements4 involving the delivery of legal services, the present concern came sharply into
focus following the signing of the General
Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS).
Signed by the U.S. in 1995, GATS was touted
by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a
“landmark achievement.”5 GATS membership
requires its signatory countries to allow market
access to its member-country service providers,
including lawyers, and they must be given
“national treatment.” National treatment means
that the member-countries must treat a foreign
service provider as “favourably as domestic
firms”6 unless an exemption is claimed. No
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
exemption is claimed by the U.S. for legal services. National treatment also includes the setting of qualifications and standards for those
providing such services, which would include
license granting.7
The theory behind all free trade agreements
is that when barriers to trade between countries are reduced, market forces are able to
influence the market, particularly in the allocation of resources and there will be more buying
and selling for all.8 While not all nations did so,
and though not required to do so, the U.S.
included legal services among the list of professional services incorporated in its general
obligation “commitments” under the treaty.9
Delivery of legal services under GATS includes
four possible modes: a) non-resident membercountry suppliers of legal services supplying
services across a country’s border; b) easier
ability of member-countries to buy legal services located in another WTO country; c) the
ability of foreign suppliers of legal services to
establish branch or representative offices in a
WTO country; and d) the ability of foreign
individuals to enter and stay in a WTO country
in order to supply such services.10 In short,
under GATS, the U.S. is required to allow international suppliers of legal services to compete
on a level playing field with domestic suppliers of legal services here in the U.S.
Interestingly, there has been very little discussion of this major development and its
impact on the legal profession by members of
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
the American bar.11 Other professional services,
such as banking and accounting, are included
in GATS. Some authors believe the inclusion of
professional services in the trade liberalization
scheme will be detrimental to a profession. In a
2005 article12 written primarily about the field
of accountancy, the author took the position
that the treaty would result in a loss of local
autonomy and overall the ability of “democratic societies to govern their economies.” The
article opines the treaty will lead to a dismantling of domestic regulations of certain professions on the premise that such regulations act
as barriers to trade, and eventually the ability
of non-national regulators (state and local) to
govern a profession will be limited. In this
regard, there is little difference in regulation of
the accounting profession and regulation of the
legal profession.
The GATS does not create a private right of
action by a party to enforce its provisions.13 It
does allow, however, a country to use the dispute resolution provisions of the WTO if a
country believes another is not following
GATS. Shortly after the signing of the GATS,
the European Union formally requested14
through the WTO, that the United States facilitate removing the requirement, held by many
states, that a prerequisite to obtaining a license
to practice law is U.S. citizenship. This American citizenship requirement is also maintained
in Oklahoma.
Some foreign lawyers have sought to gain
access to the practice of law in the U.S. through
taking a state’s bar exam. In recent years, several states have revised their qualification rules
and included provisions for bar exam applicants who received their law degree outside
the United States. The National Conference of
Bar Examiners and the ABA Section of Legal
Education and Admission to the Bar maintain
comprehensive statistics of the bar admission
requirements of the 50 states and U.S. territories. The 2014 guide provides information as to
which states, and under what circumstances,
foreign-law-degreed applicants are allowed to
take their bar exam.15 In 28 states and two territories, foreign law school graduates are eligible for admission into the practice of law in
that state. Some of those states have special
provisions for these foreign educated applicants, such as requiring their education be
based in the English common law, requiring
additional education at an ABA-approved law
school, requiring previous admission in anoth2320
er U.S. jurisdiction, or that the applicant already
have an established law practice in a foreign
jurisdiction. A few states allow foreign educated law graduates admission into practice in
their state without examination, based upon
certain special provisions.
Oklahoma makes no allowance for a foreigneducated applicant to take the bar exam, or to
be admitted to the Oklahoma bar. 5 O.S. Supp.
(2004) §1.1, last amended in 2009, provides:
“No person shall practice as an attorney and
counselor at law in any court of this state who
is not a citizen of the United States…” Our
neighboring state of Texas, on the other hand,
allows foreign-law-degreed applicants to take
the Texas bar exam if the applicant receives an
LL.M. from an ABA-approved law school,
maintains a practice in a foreign jurisdiction, or
upon a determination that their foreign legal
education is equivalent to that of an ABAapproved law school. Statistics on the other
states and U.S. territories and their requirements are available at the National Conference
of Bar Examiners or the American Bar Association website.16
With the large amount of international business conducted in the border state of Texas, it
may not be surprising that the Texas Supreme
Court addressed this issue early in the new
millennium. Rule II General Eligibility Requirements for Admission to the Texas Bar refers to
certain exemptions contained within Rule XIII,
Attorneys from Other Jurisdictions, amended
in 2005. Rule XIII outlines the conditions under
which foreign-educated bar applicants can be
admitted to the Texas bar, with or without examination. These rules apply only to those who
already hold a law license in another state or
nation and who have “actively and substantially
engaged in the practice of law” for at least five of
the last seven years immediately preceding the
filing of their application.17 In short, they treat all
out of state lawyers the same, whether foreign or
domestically educated.
There is no question that there has been a
momentous increase in foreign law school
graduates seeking licensure in the United
States.18 In 2013, 5,928 persons whose legal education was obtained outside the United States
took a bar licensure exam of one of the 50 states
or five U.S. territories.19 Some authors argue
that the time has come for the formation of an
international network of lawyer regulators and
that such organization could better deal with
questions facing all lawyer regulators: who is
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
competent, how standards of
the practice are best regulated,
and how the “bad apples” can
be weeded out.20
In January 2014,
California courts ruled
that an undocumented
alien… could not be
precluded from
being admitted to
practice, by virtue of
his undocumented
alien status.
There are few appellate cases
regarding foreign educated bar
candidates. The issue of foreign
nationality and admission to a
state’s bar was at issue in the
case Karen LeClerc, v. Daniel
E. Webb, 419 F.3d. 405 (5th
Circuit, La. 2005). This case,
consolidated with another similar case, was brought by “nonimmigrant aliens,” defined by
the court as persons who had
temporary worker visa status
(H-1b), who desired to sit for the Louisiana
State Bar Exam. Each had graduated from a
foreign law school, and had applied to take the
exam. Louisiana bar rules allowed them to take
their bar exam if they could demonstrate their
foreign legal education to be equivalent to an
education at an ABA-approved law school.
They were unable to provide this equivalency.
They brought suit, seeking injunctive relief and
a determination that the denial of their taking
the Louisiana bar was a violation of the Equal
Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Finding that rational basis review, rather than
strict scrutiny, was proper, and declining to
grant the requested relief, the 5th Circuit Court
of Appeals ruled that Louisiana’s rules passed
constitutional muster, having been “designed
to address local problems arising from [the]
transitory status of nonimmigrant aliens.” The
U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari.21 WTO, GATS, or other trade agreements
were not mentioned in the opinion.
In January 2014, California courts ruled that
an undocumented alien, Sergio Garcia, who
was a graduate of a California law school and
had taken and passed the California bar exam
could not be precluded from being admitted to
practice, by virtue of his undocumented alien
status. The California Bar Association had
sought to exclude him, urging that his illegal
immigration status was a violation of law and
was adverse to its requirement that only persons with moral fitness of character are admitted
to the practice of law. Garcia had been born in
Mexico, but he was raised and received his
entire education (including law school) in the
United States. After his situation was made public in 2013, the California Legislature passed a
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
law which made legal residency status of a bar candidate
immaterial in determining the
candidate’s eligibility to admittance to the bar. The California
Supreme Court then ruled that
Garcia could be granted a law
license. It appears, however,
that his immigration status precludes him from earning money
as a lawyer since he does not
have a valid work permit or
“green card.”22
As a direct result of GATS,
and in order to address the
issue of foreign lawyers practicing in the United States, the
ABA adopted a resolution in August 2006.23
The resolution supported the efforts of the
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to
develop transparency provisions regarding the
domestic regulation of legal service providers,
and to develop conditions pursuant to GATS
that “do not unreasonably impinge” on the
authority of a state to regulate the legal profession in their state. In 2009, the ABA adopted a
model rule in an effort to assist various states
dealing with foreign applicants seeking admission to a state’s bar. The model rule, essentially,
recommends states require foreign educated
applicants to obtain an LL.M. at an ABAapproved program that would include courses
in American constitutional law, and further
require that the foreign candidate be required
to pass the state’s bar exam.
In 2012, the ABA Task Force on International
Trade in Legal Services issued a white paper24
lauding the Georgia Bar for its having adopted
new rules in dealing with the issues that have
arisen due to GATS. The white paper noted
that Georgia’s recognition of the international
trade agreements, including GATS, was a step
in the right direction, and that possible federal
intervention in the regulation of law licensing
was in the offing, stating:
… GATS has obligated all World Trade
Organization WTO member states, including
the United States, to avoid regulation of professional service providers “more burdensome
than necessary to ensure the quality of the service.” However, because no national regulatory
regime of lawyer regulation now exists in the
United States, this obligation is implemented at
the state level. ... Although the federal government could conceivably assert its treaty
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
power to require state conformity to GATS
rules,25 there is no political will to attempt such
pre-emption at this time. (emphasis added)
The white paper goes on to discuss the various ways in which a foreign lawyer might wish
to practice in the U.S. Foreign lawyers may
wish to come here on a temporary, one-time
basis, or as foreign-licensed in-house counsel
for a company having overseas offices, as well
as offices within the U.S. The foreign lawyer
may want to come as consultant on foreign
legal matters, or come seeking pro hac vice
admission. They might also wish to become a
fully licensed U.S. lawyer with their entire
practice in the United States. In this ABA
report, Georgia was commended for taking the
initiative to form a committee on International
Trade in Legal Services, for studying the applicable trends, rules and regulations, and making recommendations to the state bar addressing these issues.
It is surprising that 20 years out, there is very
little discussion among lawyers about this
pending phenomenon. What will be the ultimate effect of GATS on the legal profession?
Will there be increased competition from outside the United States? Will there be increased
opportunities to work abroad without hurdles
by another country’s regulation? Will we experience a loss of state regulation of the legal
profession? Will the federal government step in
and begin regulation of the licensing of attorneys? There is no answer at this time. What is
clear, however, is this issue is not going to go
away. Short of the United States modifying
GATS by withdrawing legal services, Oklahoma and all other states, remain vulnerable to
being preempted by the federal government
regarding its regulation of its legal profession.
1. Charles R. McKirdy, “Before the Storm: the Working Lawyer in
Pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts,” 11 Suffolk University Law Review 46
2. From the American Bar Association website:
nHu0kf, last accessed Oct. 15, 2014.
3. Supra, note 2.
4. Laurel S. Terry, “From GATS to APEC: The Impact of Trade
Agreements on Legal Services,” 43 Akron Law Review 675 (2010). This
author has numerous articles on this subject and has been involved in
research over many years. Her articles also appear on her university
5. World Trade Organization website:
6. Paton, infra note11.
7. Lee, infra note 9.
8. Amar Gupta, et. al., “Evolving Relationship between Law, Offshoring of Professional Services, Intellectual Property, and International Organizations,” 21.2 Information Resources Management Journal
103 (Apr-Jun 2008).
9. Margaret Mikyung Lee, Legal Services in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and U.S. Effect, Congressional Research Service-The Library
of Congress, Order Code RS22949. Sept. 12, 2008.
10. Lee, supra, note 9.
11. Paul D. Paton, “Legal Services and the GATS: Norms as Barriers
to Trade.” 9 New England Journal of International and Comparative Law
361 (2003) (note: this article focuses mainly on GATS and Canada’s
legal profession.)
12. Patricia J. Arnold, “Disciplining domestic regulation: the World
Trade Organization and the market for professional services.” Accounting, Organizations and Society 30 (2005) 299-330 (available online at
13. infra, note 17.
14. EU Initial Request to the United States, available at http://goo.
15. National Conference of Bar Examiners 2013 statistics, last
accessed Oct. 15, 2014.
17. Texas Board of Law Examiners Rule VIII,
18. Laurel Terry, “Creating an International Network of Lawyer
Regulators: The 2012 International Conference of Legal Regulators.”
The Bar Examiner, Vol 82, No. 2 pp. 18-27 June, 2013.
19. National Conference of Bar Examiners 2013 statistics, supra.
20. Supra, note 19.
21. Leclerc v. Webb, 127 S.Ct. 344 (U.S. 2006).
23. ABA resolution:
24. International Trade in Legal Services and Professional Regulation: A Framework for State Bars Based on the Georgia Experience
25. Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416 (1920).
About The Author
Kimber J. Palmer joined the
faculty of Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas,
in 2000. In addition to being an
instructor of legal studies courses
in the A.R. Sanchez Jr. School of
Business, she serves as the university’s pre-law advisor. Previously,
she practiced law in Oklahoma, primarily Oklahoma
City. She is a graduate of OSU and the OU College of
Law. She may be reached at [email protected]
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Spotlight Awards Emphasize Work
of Women Lawyers
Five women attorneys were
honored during a recent conference sponsored by the OBA
Women in Law Committee,
joining a group of nearly 100
honorees who have been recognized as Spotlight Award
winners since 1996. Over the
course of those 18 years, the
Spotlight Awards have annually celebrated pioneering
women lawyers who have distinguished themselves in the
legal profession and paved
the way for women lawyers
of the future.
Why does this matter? In
remarks made at this event,
OBA President Renée DeMoss,
said women in the legal profession are not yet where they
need to be.
“Women lawyers today owe
a big debt of gratitude to those
who came before us,” President DeMoss said. “The earliest were in law school with
only one or two other women,
and they were sometimes
scolded for taking up spaces in
law school, and trying to take
jobs away from the men who
really ‘deserved’ them. It is all
too easy for us to forget their
journey, and to forget that
things haven’t always been as
they are today for women lawyers.”
Ms. DeMoss cites a recent
ABA study relating to women
in the legal world. Nationwide, men make up 66 percent
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Spotlight winners past and present attend the recent awards reception
in Tulsa. Photographed are: (Front row from left) Linda Thomas,
Peggy Stockwell, Judge Patricia Parrish, Judge Kimberly West.
Middle row: OBA President Renée DeMoss, Kimberly Hays,
Judge Deborah Barnes, Judge Lisa Tipping Davis, Kay Floyd,
Justice Noma Gurich. Top row: Deirdre O’Neil Dexter, Jan GrantJohnson. Photo credit: Ralph Schaefer, Tulsa Business News.
Pioneers Inspire Women Lawyers Today
By OBA President Renée DeMoss
In Leading the Way: A Look at Oklahoma’s Pioneering Women
Lawyers (Oklahoma Bar Association, 2003), retired 10th Circuit
Justice Stephanie Seymour quotes Susan B. Anthony on the issue
of remembering. In 1894, Susan B. Anthony was working tirelessly to help women obtain the right to vote.
She knew that once she was successful — once women did
obtain the right to vote — that people would soon forget that
there was ever a time when women didn’t have that right. This is
what Ms. Anthony said in 1894:
We women shall someday be heeded. And when we shall be
heeded, and have our amendment, everybody will soon think it
was always so, just exactly as many young people believe that all
the privileges, all the freedoms, all the enjoyments which women
now possess always were theirs. They have no idea of how every
continued on next page
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
of the legal profession
and women 34 percent.
In Oklahoma, men make
up 68 percent of the profession and women 32
percent. In Fortune 500
companies, men have 79
percent of the general
counsel positions and
women 21 percent.
Among our federal court
judiciary, 76 percent of
the judges are men, and
24 percent are women.
In our state courts, 73
percent of the judges
are men, and 27 percent
are women.
In 2013, a woman
lawyer’s average weekly
salary was only 78.9 percent of a man’s; women
lawyers in the U.S. today
are making 21 percent
less than men lawyers.
“We are not at the end
of our journey, we are
only in the middle” said
Ms. DeMoss. “Our current generation of
women lawyers should
honor those who came
before us while continuing to push forward for
those who will come
after us. This is why the
Spotlight Awards are
important and why we
continue them today.”
single inch of ground that they stand upon today has been gained by the
hard work of some little handful of women in the past.
It is these “little handful of women” who still inspire us today, and we
honor and remember them when we consider the Spotlight Awards. In
particular, I want to briefly share what three of those Oklahoma women
of the past had to say about their legal careers.
Freddie Andrews (born in 1895, admitted to the Oklahoma bar in
1934) – Ms. Andrews began her practice in Ada. She said that for
many years, the only way she could get potential clients in the door was
to use the name “Fred” Andrews, not “Freddie.” She said this did get
them in the door, but once they were there, they often insisted on seeing
a “real” lawyer – meaning a man.
Grace Elmore Gibson (born in 1886, admitted to the bar in 1929)
– Ms. Gibson’s husband was a judge, and she said she started studying
law so she could “be a good listener when her husband talked.” One
time, after she asked her husband a question about one of his cases, he
said, “I forgot for a moment that you don’t understand law.” Shortly after
that, she began pursuing a legal career.
In her practice, she often tried jury cases, even though at that time
women couldn’t serve on juries, and couldn’t in Oklahoma until 1952.
So when she had a jury trial, she was addressing only men jurors. About
this, she said that she found herself “being a woman first, and then a lawyer, not because she wanted it that way, but because her colleagues were
so acutely conscious that a woman was in the courtroom lawyering.”
Florence Adelia Revelle (born in 1903, admitted to the Oklahoma
Bar in 1933) – She opened her first law office in Ardmore “upstairs from
Brenda’s Flowers on Main Street.” While she stated that she never felt
discriminated against in her career, she still had to stop practicing law
because her husband’s employer thought that a woman’s place was in
the home.
She had great stories to tell about her career. In one, she talked about
a time when she was in an office in Ardmore and saw a couple staring
at her. She heard the man say, “I think that is that lady lawyer.” The
woman replied to him — in what Florence
described as a good and loud voice, “She
may be a lawyer, but she ain’t no lady.”
Leading the Way: A Look at Oklahoma’s
Pioneering Women Lawyers is available for
purchase from the Oklahoma Bar Association. Contact the OBA Communications
Dept. for more information.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Kick It Forward
New YLD Program to Help Financially Struggling
Bar Members Pay Their Association Dues
By Jennifer Heald Castillo
In keeping with the Young
Lawyer Division’s history of
providing service, the OBA
YLD is pleased to announce a
new service project for 2015.
The Kick It Forward program
was designed to provide lawyers in need with financial
assistance in paying their
OBA dues.
As explained by OBA YLD
Chair-Elect LeAnne McGill,
“The OBA YLD received an
email earlier this year from a
fellow young lawyer asking for
assistance in paying his yearly
bar dues. This young lawyer
was struggling to make it on
his own since he was unable to
find a job at a law firm. Many
of us know at least one lawyer
who is either unemployed or
underemployed after graduating from law school. With hefty
law school loan payments and
little or no income, these new
lawyers are faced with paying
their OBA dues to maintain
their license to practice law in
Oklahoma or paying for more
basic needs such as rent, groceries and utilities. The Kick It
Forward project was born out
of a desire to help fellow law-
yers with financial
The Kick It Forward
program will be funded
through donations
made specifically to the
program through an
election on your next
OBA dues statement. By
checking the “Kick It
Forward” line item on
your dues statement,
lawyers agree to pay
$20 to the Kick It Forward program (or the
amount of your choice)
on top of annual dues.
Additional funds for
the Kick It Forward
program will be raised
through a Kick It Forward Kickball Tournament held in Oklahoma
City in early April or late
May of 2015.
Check upcoming editions of
the Oklahoma Bar Journal for
additional details. One-hundred percent of the funds raised
through the Kick It Forward
election on OBA dues statements and the Kickball Tournament will be used to pay the
Look for the Kick It Forward line item
on your OBA dues statement to help
fund this program.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
bar dues for our fellow lawyers
in need.
Eligible recipients of the Kick
It Forward program will be
attorneys who: 1) are currently
licensed and in good standing
with the OBA; 2) reside primarily in Oklahoma; 3) are actively
engaged in the practice of law
or searching for legal employment; 4) are earning less than
$1,500 gross each month; and 5)
are willing to “Kick It Forward”
and pay at least the amount
paid on the attorney’s behalf
back into the program at some
future date. They do not need
to be YLD members.
Upon approval of an application, the Kick It Forward program will pay all or a portion
of an attorney’s bar dues for the
calendar year in which that
attorney submitted an application for assistance. If the number of applicants and eligible
recipients exceeds the funds
available in the program, each
approved recipient will receive
an equal share of the available
funds. The funds available in
the Kick It Forward program
are available on a one-time
basis only. In addition, each
recipient agrees to a moral obligation to repay the funds paid
for his or her benefit back into
the program at some future
date. Applications for the Kick
It Forward program will be
made available on the OBA
website in 2015.
For additional information,
contact LeAnne McGill at
[email protected]
or Jennifer Heald Castillo at
About The Author
[email protected]
Heald Castillo is the Kick
It Forward
program cochair and
practices at
Hall Estill in
City. She is a past YLD chair.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
The Oklahoma Indigent Defense System
(OIDS) has an attorney position open in our
General Appeals Division, Norman office.
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Francis Tuttle NW 122 and Rockwell, Rm A1015
Special Needs and Supplemental Needs Trusts,
Donna Jackson
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Sandy Ingraham
Ethics and Incapacity, Shirley Cox
Adult Guardianships, Sara M urphy
Call 405-528-0858 or email [email protected]
Salary for this position is commensurate with
qualifications and within agency salary schedule
range. Excellent benefits.
Any interested applicant should submit a letter
of interest and resume by November 11, 2014 to:
Angie L. Cole, Chief Administrative Officer
Oklahoma Indigent Defense System
P.O. Box 926
Norman, OK 73070
[email protected]
OIDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer
To get your free listing on
the OBA’s lawyer listing service!
Just go to and log into
your myokbar account.
Then click on the “Find a Lawyer” Link.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Enhance Your Networking, Join a 2015 OBA Committee
Much of the work to make our association and profession better is
done by committees. What they do is vital, and in so many different
areas that there’s something of interest to everyone. Meeting other
lawyers and judges to expand your networking contacts is an extra
bonus to committee work. Technology makes geography a non-issue.
If you can’t attend meetings in person, teleconferencing from your
desk and videoconferencing in Tulsa make participation easy.
Ready to sign up? Option #1 - online at, scroll down
to the bottom of the page. Look for “Members” and click on “Join a
Committee.” Option #2 & #3 – Fill out this form and mail or fax as set
forth below. I’m making appointments soon, so please sign up by
Dec. 8, 2014. I look forward to working with you next year.
• Access to Justice
• Awards
• Bar Association
• Bar Center Facilities
• Bench and Bar
• Civil Procedure and
Evidence Code
• Communications
David Poarch, President-Elect • Disaster Response
and Relief
Note: No need to sign up again if your current term has not expired.
Check for terms
Please Type or Print
• Diversity
• Group Insurance
• Law Day
Name __________________________________________________________
• Law-related
Telephone ________________________ OBA # _______________________
• Law Schools
Address _________________________________________________________
• Lawyers Helping
Lawyers Assistance
City ___________________________________ State/Zip_________________
FAX ___________________ E-mail ___________________________________
• Legal Intern
Committee Name
• Legislative
1st Choice ______________________________________________________
• Member Services
2nd Choice _____________________________________________________
• Military Assistance
3rd Choice ______________________________________________________
• Paralegal
Have you ever served on this committee?
1st Choice q Yes q No
2nd Choice q Yes q No
3rd Choice q Yes q No
If so, when? How long?
n Please assign me to q one q two or q three committees.
Besides committee work, I am interested in the following area(s):
• Professionalism
• Rules of Professional
• Solo and Small Firm
• Strategic Planning
• Uniform Laws
• Women in Law
Mail: David Poarch, c/o OBA, P.O. Box 53036, Oklahoma City, OK 73152
Fax: (405) 416-7001
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
• Work/Life Balance
What Hasn’t Changed
in the Practice of Law?
By John Morris Williams
We all perceive we are young
and immortal until we begin to
find out most of the heroes of
our youth are long gone — and
our peers qualify for a senior
citizen discount. It is with yet
another AARP membership
application in my mailbox that
I presume the right to look back
a bit.
Cell phones, fax machines,
personal computers, virtual law
offices, iPads and email were
all things in the future when
I began practicing law. All of
them are common and essential now. Technology has so
advanced and intertwined itself
into the practice of law that the
ABA in Ethics 20/20 places an
ethical obligation on being tech
savvy. I will leave the testing of
that knowledge to someone else.
Sure, lots of things have
changed. But the essentials of
being a good lawyer have not.
First and foremost is the utmost
in integrity in dealing with clients, courts and peers. No matter how many gadgets you own,
none of them can replace or
repair your reputation. Your
integrity is found not only in
your words, but also in your
deeds. We continue to see
increasing claims on the Clients’
Security Fund. Unfortunately, a
very small percentage of our
peers give ready ammunition to
those who wish to condemn our
entire profession. What hasn’t
changed is that your word
should be your bond, and your
trust account should balance
every day.
Another thing that has not
changed is that good lawyers
are professional and civil. They
work hard for their clients, show
up when they are supposed to
and bend over backwards to
ensure the client’s case, not the
lawyers’ disagreements, is the
exclusive matter to be resolved.
Above all else, the one certain
thing that has not changed is
that people need our help. As
legal costs continue to increase,
we find more people unable to
afford legal services. Since the
beginning of our profession,
lawyers have had an obligation
to ensure that the rule of law is
upheld for both the popular and
the unpopular. So too have we
had an obligation to ensure that
both the wealthy and the pauper
have their day in court. That
means that some days we have
to lay down our billing tool and
pick up the cause of those who
cannot pay. The justice system
that sustains us is only sustainable if truly there is “justice for
all.” The call of the Constitution
for all people to stand equally
before the bar of justice has not
Another thing that unfortunately has not changed is that
lawyers are not universally
loved and appreciated for our
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
efforts in sustaining our democracy. It is still our place and our
job to advance justice and call to
account those who violate the
law and the Constitution. I see
every day great lawyers who
against great odds and personal
sacrifice ensure that justice prevails. I am so glad that has not
Lastly, the other thing that has
not changed is that the system is
not perfect. Comparing the
world over, there exists no better
legal system. However, the system does not always work. The
good news is that one enduring
principle of the practice of law
has not changed one bit —
lawyers work for solutions to
perfect the system. One shining
example is the Innocence Project. It is lawyers on both sides of
the bar who toil to ensure that
when the system fails, justice
still be sought. From the day I
took my oath until this day that
has not changed one bit.
Ethically, professionally and
unselfishly taking care of people’s problems and upholding
the rule of law has not changed
one bit.
To contact Executive Director
Williams, email him at johnw@
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Thinking About Tomorrow
By Jim Calloway
“Navigating the Changing
Legal Profession” is the theme
for this month’s edition of the
Oklahoma Bar Journal and the
OBA Annual Meeting. That’s a
topic in which I have much
interest. Every lawyer not
actively engaged in finalizing
their retirement plans should
also pay attention to future
But it’s not that easy.
First of all, lawyers are busy
— really busy. When your plate
is completely full, it is hard to
invest a lot of time considering
things that may or may not
happen years in the future. Second, lawyers operate in a world
based on adherence to precedent and minimization of risk.
“We’ve always done it that
way” is often persuasive in
many business settings and certainly sets the tone for much of
the legal profession. So the fact
that many of those discussing
the future of the legal profession predict significant change
ahead does not make for a welcomed message. We all cope
with change, but few of us really enjoy it.
Oklahoma lawyers have several opportunities to become
more educated about the future
and potential changes for the
legal profession this month.
Here’s my quick list for you:
1) Buy a copy of Professor
Richard Susskind’s Tomorrow’s
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Lawyers today and see how
much of it you can read before
the OBA Annual Meeting.
(Amazon has the Kindle version for $10.49 and the physical book for $18.86 as this is
2) Register for and attend the
OBA/CLE program “Tools for
Tomorrow’s Lawyers” Nov. 12
in Tulsa. Register at http://goo.
gl/J2kJhn. I served as program
planner for this, and I will start
the day with a presentation
titled “Lawyers and Change:
How to Survive in the Future
You Didn’t Expect” followed by
a lineup of great programs by a
number of great presenters.
3) Register for and attend
the OBA Annual Meeting
where on Nov. 14 you will have
the opportunity to hear Professor Richard Susskind speak
twice, first at the President’s
Breakfast panel discussion
(MCLE credit for registered
attendees) and then at the
Annual Luncheon. Register at Annual
Luncheon tickets must be purchased separately.
4) Schedule an uninterrupted
hour (just one hour!) the week
or weekend after OBA Annual
Meeting for you to think about
the presentations above and
determine what is most important for your practice. Make
some notes and plans about
what you plan to do for your
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
I’m not objective about critiquing my own advice, but
my prediction is you will
determine that one priority
is to do a better job of documenting your processes and
building your checklists and
unique office procedures
manual. You may even order
a copy of the Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, if you
have not read it previously.
Why do I say that? Because
that is the low-hanging fruit –
the part that is understandable
and unobjectionable. You may
be skeptical of some of the
darker, more challenging
predictions of the future of lawyers, about whether artificial
intelligence will really be
applied to legal advice someday, the meaning of venture
capital money flooding into
legal service startups or whether consumers will increasingly
turn to do-it-yourself legal
websites for their needs. But it
is hard to argue that it’s a bad
thing to document office processes so that everyone is following best practices and using
checklists to deliver a consistent work product more quickly
and efficiently. This will result
in almost immediate benefits
whatever the future holds.
But even that simple (and
some may say obvious) first
step to reorganizing your law
office comes at a cost. For the
busy solo practitioner, it is
another significant investment
of time that is not billable to clients, even though it might lead
to greater profitability in the
future. For the lawyer in a firm,
whether small or large, there
may be resistance and institutional challenges.
Here’s just one example: A
law firm should harness the
creativity and talents of the
lawyers involved to produce
the very best result for every
single client. That means that
law office staff should no longer open new client files one
way for one lawyer’s file and a
different way for another lawyer. Internal standardization is
important for your future success and that applies to file
setup as well as uniform language in routine documents. If
all of the lawyers in a firm cannot agree on whether “COMES
NOW the plaintiff” language in
a petition should be maintained
or retired as superfluous, then
that is not a positive sign
regarding other decisions that
will need to be made for the
firm in changing times.
The answer to that question,
as Professor Susskind demonstrates, merits more of a booklength response than one the
length of a bar journal article.
But I think it is safe to predict
that there is a lot of truth in the
title of Professor William D.
Henderson’s law review article,
“Three Generations of U.S.
Lawyers: Generalists, Specialists, Project Managers.”1 Even
though legal ethics rules prevented most lawyers from
using the term “specialist,” we
all know that few lawyers have
been comfortable doing “everything” for quite some time now
and even most remaining general practitioners have a net2330
work for referrals and associating with other lawyers on some
types of legal work.
Certainly a major trial or
large transaction closing is
already an exercise in project
management skills and legal
skills. With the combination of
increasingly powerful technology tools and more people with
deep expertise and skills in limited areas, tomorrow’s lawyers
may find themselves acting like
the conductor of the orchestra,
managing both technology
tools and people to accomplish
good legal work.
A law firm
should harness the
creativity and talents
of the lawyers involved
to produce the very
best result for every
single client.
I would also direct your
attention to Professor Henderson’s blog post on The Legal
Whiteboard2 “A Counterpoint
to ‘The most robust legal market that ever existed in this
country,’” where he makes the
observation that “the artisan
lawyer cannot keep up.”
This is not to say that the
future for the legal profession is
overwhelmingly negative.
Ken Grady is the chief executive officer of SeyfarthLean
Consulting, a company that
works with organizations
around the world to provide
solutions for in-house legal
departments and other strategic
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
business units. On the company
blog, he writes “Lawyers, the
End is Not Nigh for You –
Bring Wisdom.”3 I would
encourage you to read his
entire post, but he gave me
permission to share this great
example of a lawyer’s wisdom
with you.
Lawyers Are Processors
With Wisdom
While I agree we will continue to see routine legal processing moved from lawyer
to computer, I disagree with
Mr. McClead’s basic premise
that law firms and lawyers
are nothing more than legal
processors. Processing is
part of what we do, and an
important part, but not all of
what we do. The part missing from the legal processor
description can best be summarized as wisdom.
A client asks for advice on
firing an employee. The
employee’s performance has
been rated average for most
of her almost 30-year career.
In the past three years, however, her performance has
slipped. She is 59 years old
and has failed to keep up
with technology. She can do
work on a computer, but others in her department are
faster and more facile with
software. Her department
manager, an up-and-coming
manager in his late 30s, is
under pressure to increase
productivity. He wants to
terminate the employee and
bring in a replacement (who
he already has identified)
who is in her early 40s. The
question to you is whether
the risk of the company
getting sued is relatively
low if the manager fires
the employee.
This seems like a straightforward question for Mr.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
McClead’s digital legal processor. Identify the risk factors, consider the law in the
relevant jurisdiction, and
compute a probabilistic risk
range for a lawsuit.
A good lawyer will go further. When did the employee’s performance start
declining? Is she well-liked
amongst her peers? Is the
company aware of any
changes affecting her at
the time her performance
dropped off? Apart from
performance, what is her
history with the company?
Since the employer is a
family-owned business in
a smaller community, does
she have other connections
to the company?
As the lawyer flushes out
the story, we learn that the
employee lost her mother
to cancer and her son, a
Marine, to enemy fire, within
three months of each other. It
was a few months later that
her performance level started
to decline. She joined the
company 30 years ago when
the founder hired her as the
company’s first customer
service representative. She
knows everyone in the company and is very well liked.
Because she has been around
so long, she is the unofficial
company historian and
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
employees frequently consult her about products or
services. Her co-workers
don’t complain about her
performance level. Rather,
they have gone out of their
way to help her keep going.
She has planned for years to
retire at age 62 when her
husband retires and they can
move into their lakeside cottage. Her sister and brotherin-law both worked at the
Based on all of the information, the lawyer advises the
department manager that he
could fire the employee and,
while there is some risk of a
lawsuit, the likelihood of a
successful one is manageable. But, the lawyer encourages the department manager to think more broadly
about how to handle the situation. The company is
financially strong, notes the
lawyer. She suggests the
department manager work
with the human relations
department to find a different role for the employee for
the remaining two-plus years
until her planned retirement.
The new role would allow
the employee to keep working, recognize that she probably feels the pressure of not
being technologically adept,
and would allow her to retire
with dignity while reinforc-
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
ing to the other employees
that they are valuable to the
Reprinted with permission.
Be wise. Work hard. Take
good care of your clients. None
of those tools for success are
likely to change in the future.
Your incorporation of project
management skills and the
smart use of technology should
be and will be increasing in the
future. Mr. Grady also notes in
a subsequent blog post that the
role of lawyers will change as
technology takes over a substantial portion of what we do
today. That is not happening
with the sunrise tomorrow. But
it is evolving for our tomorrows. Today’s office procedures
manual may become tomorrow’s automated law firm process, which might be the very
best reason to start documenting and developing your procedure manuals today.
1. Maryland Law Review, Vol. 70, No. 1, 2011
Mr. Calloway is OBA Management Assistance Program director.
Need a quick answer to a tech
problem or help resolving a management dilemma? Contact him at
405-416-7008, 800-522-8065 or
[email protected] It’s a free member
Meeting Summary
The Oklahoma Bar Association
Board of Governors met at the
Hyatt Regency Hotel in Tulsa
on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014.
President DeMoss reported
she conducted the annual
evaluation of the executive
director, presented 50- and
60-year membership pins to
practitioners at a ceremony in
Ardmore and wrote an Oklahoma Bar Journal article. She
was honored for her contributions to the legal profession
by the TU College of Law at a
back-to-school welcome reception, attended by students,
faculty, alumni and members
of the Oklahoma legal community. She participated in Professionalism Committee Symposium planning, planning
sessions for the OBA Annual
Meeting, OBA/OBF joint
meeting, lawyer succession/
transition planning, Trial College planning and planning
sessions for the Law Schools
Committee visit at OU. In
Boston she attended ABA
meetings as an Oklahoma
delegate and the meetings of
the Southern Conference of
Bar Presidents and National
Conference of Bar Presidents.
Vice President Shields
reported she attended the July
Board of Governors meeting,
Diversity Committee meeting,
meetings and conversations
with OBA Ethics Counsel Travis Pickens and President
DeMoss regarding lawyer succession materials and the TU
College of Law reception for
President DeMoss. She also
worked on planning for the
joint board event for OBA/
OBF in September.
President DeMoss, NABE and
NCBP meetings, staff budget
meetings, a budget meeting
with President-Elect Poarch,
Tulsa County Bar Association
annual luncheon and TU
College of Law reception.
President-Elect Poarch
reported he attended the July
board telephone conference
meeting, Solo & Small Firm
Conference Planning Committee meeting and initial 2015
OBA budget meeting with
Executive Director Williams
and Administration Director
Combs. He attended the ABA
Annual Meeting, Southern
Conference of Bar Presidents
meeting and National Conference of Bar Presidents meeting, all in Boston.
Past President Stuart reported he attended the July Board
of Governors meeting, executive director review, National
Conference of Bar Presidents
and Southern Conference of
Bar Presidents meetings and
served as an ABA House of
Delegates delegate in Boston.
Executive Director Williams
reported he participated in
numerous conversations with
staff members and vendors
regarding the new management software. He attended a
50- and 60-year membership
pin event in Ardmore with
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Governor Dexter reported
she attended the July Board of
Governors meeting held by
conference call, Creek County
100th anniversary celebration
at the Creek County Courthouse, Tulsa County Bar Association annual luncheon and
reception honoring President
DeMoss, held at the University
of Tulsa College of Law. She
also solicited and received
nominations from past recipients for the 2014 Mona Salyer
Lambird Spotlight Awards and
solicited award nominations
for OBA awards by email and
telephone. Governor Hays
reported she attended the July
Board of Governors meeting,
TU College of Law reception
for President DeMoss, OBA
Family Law Section monthly
meeting, OBA FLS Trial Advocacy Institute as a mentor,
OBA FLS Annual Meeting
Planning Committee meeting
and Creek County Courthouse
100 year celebration. She also
communicated with the Professionalism Committee
regarding CLE planning.
Governor Jackson reported
he attended the Board of
Governors Audit Committee
meeting, several Bankruptcy
Judge Selection Committee
meetings for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
District of Oklahoma and
the July Board of Governors
meeting. Governor Knighton,
unable to attend the meeting,
reported via email he attended
the July Board of Governors
meeting. Governor Marshall
reported he attended the July
board meeting by telephone,
Licensed Legal Intern Committee meeting in Oklahoma
City and TU reception honoring President DeMoss.
Governor Parrott reported
she attended the July Board
of Governors meeting, Audit
Committee meeting and the
reception honoring President
DeMoss. As an Awards Committee member, she solicited
OBA award nominations by
email and telephone. Governor Sain reported he participated in the July Board of
Governors meeting and
McCurtain County Bar Association meeting. He raised
more than $35,000 at a charity
auction he organized for a
young boy diagnosed with
cancer in his community.
Governor Smith reported he
attended the July Board of
Governors meeting and the
Muskogee County Bar Association meeting. Governor
Stevens reported he attended
the July Board of Governors
meeting, August Cleveland
County Bar Association meeting, retirement reception for
Judge Charles Johnson and
Rules of Professional Conduct
Committee meeting. Governor
Thomas reported she participated in the nominations process for the 2014 Mona Salyer
Lambird Spotlight Awards.
She attended the Washington
County Bar Association
monthly meeting and reception honoring President
DeMoss, held at the TU
College of Law.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Governor Hennigh reported
he chaired a YLD board meeting at which board members
assembled bar exam survival
kits, and the division will hold
social events next month for
new members. Next year 10
YLD board seats will be
vacant, and they are looking
forward to new faces. He was
proud to announce that the
YLD recently received a first
place Award of Achievement
from the ABA for the division’s community service
during 2013.
Governor Hays reported the
Solo & Small Firm Conference
Planning Committee held its
first meeting to begin planning
next year’s conference. Based
on good reports received from
this year’s attendees, the conference will be held again at
the Hard Rock Casino Resort
in Tulsa. Vice President Shields
reported the Diversity Committee held a meeting via conference call. President DeMoss
said the committee’s guest
speaker, Paulette Brown, has
asked to come to Oklahoma
the day before the Diversity
Committee conference to meet
with students. Governor Stevens reported the Rules of
Professional Conduct Committee discussed proposed changes to Rule 3.3 and will not
revisit the issue of duty to
report fraud to the court.
Auditor Stacey Vascellaro
with Smith Carney said this is
the accounting firm’s fifth year
to conduct the audit of the
OBA. She reviewed the firm’s
findings in which the association’s assets have increased
and expenses were reduced
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
4 percent compared to last
year. She reported auditors
followed several financial
transactions and found no
problems. There were no
issues with the audit to discuss. The board voted to
accept the audit report.
The board approved the
Young Lawyers Division
request to include on the 2015
dues statement the opportunity to donate to the Kick It Forward Program. It was noted
the other donation options on
the dues statement are the
Oklahoma Bar Foundation
and Lawyers Helping Lawyers Foundation.
Executive Director Williams
reported a draft of the 2015
budget worksheet for the
Information Technology
Department has been prepared
and implementation of the
new member database is
underway. The OBA will need
to continue to build on the
system, such as adding the
ability to track members’
MCLE credit from about 800
CLE providers in Oklahoma
and many states. The many
variables make adding the
MCLE component to the association management software
system a challenge. He said an
outside source will be hired to
build the system. Executive
Director Williams reported
videoconferencing is another
project under consideration
with a lot of options. Tulsaarea board members expressed
their opinions that videoconferencing is an important
member benefit. Improvements will also need to be
made to the OBA website to
make it more mobile device
friendly. The OBA-NET online
message board and file sharing member benefit is old
technology with minimal tech
support. Another software to
replace OBA-NET is being
considered. He said technology is a major investment with
many projects identified,
and funding will need to be
The board approved President DeMoss’ recommendation to appoint F. Douglas
Shirley, Watonga, to complete
the unexpired term of Jon
Parsley, who was appointed
to the bench. The term will
expire Dec. 31, 2015.
The board went into
executive session to discuss
the executive director’s
Executive Director Williams
shared with board members
the background of recent legislative challenges to unified/
mandatory bar associations in
Wisconsin, Utah and Nebraska. He noted this seems to be
a trend across the country.
The Board of Governors met
Sept. 26 in Oklahoma City and
Oct. 24 in Lawton. A summary
of those actions will be published after the minutes are
approved. The next board
meeting will be Wednesday,
Nov. 12, 2014, at 4 p.m. at the
Hyatt Regency Hotel in Tulsa
in conjunction with the OBA
Annual Meeting.
Your source for OBA news.
At Home
At Work
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
And on the Go
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
2014 Grant Awards
The OBF is Achieving its Mission
By Dietmar K. Caudle
The Oklahoma Bar Foundation Board of Trustees is
pleased to announce 2014 Grant
Awards approved at the Sept.
25 Trustee meeting in Oklahoma City. The year-to-date total
for the regular OBF Grant
Awards, Court Grant Awards
and law student scholarships is
$460,681. By year’s end, this
total is expected to increase to
$500,000 with the help of our
generous contributors. The list
of the 18 regular grant award
recipients is as follows:
Center for Children
& Families Inc.
Funding for general support of the
free Divorce Visitation Arbitration
program that provides services to
work with the court in the provision of parent education and monitoring of court ordered supervised
visitation and exchange services
for children in Cleveland County.
Community Crisis Center Inc.
Funding of the part-time domestic
violence/sexual assault victim’s
OBF court advocate position for
Ottawa County.
Domestic Violence Intervention Services/Call RAPE Inc.
Funding to support the domestic
violence/sexual assault victim’s
Tulsa County court advocate
position for delivery of civil legal
services to low-income survivors.
Family & Children’s
Services Inc.
Funding of Tulsa Family Court
program to support children’s
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
required participation in the
“Helping Children Cope with
Divorce” program in Tulsa
County area.
Family Shelter of Southern
Oklahoma, Victims of
Domestic Violence Program
Funding toward support of the
domestic violence/sexual assault
victim’s Court Advocate position
for Carter and Murray Counties.
Legal Aid Services of
Oklahoma, Inc.
Funding for unrestricted operational expenses to provide access to
civil legal services for low-income
and elderly Oklahomans, statewide
service area.
Low-Income Taxpayer Legal
Clinic at OILS
Provision of legal services statewide for all low-income Oklahomans providing legal tax help
and education through tax
court representation. $10,000
Marie Detty Youth & Family
Services Center
Funding toward support of the
domestic violence/sexual assault
victim’s Court Advocate position
in a six-county area with emphasis
in Comanche County and
Fort Sill.
OBA-YLD Oklahoma
High School Mock Trial
Overall program support in total
for presentation of the high school
mock trial program through
national competition, statewide
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
OCU School of Law, American
Indian Wills Clinic
Funding for clinic staffing plus
travel costs to provide legal services and to further educate the
legal community on complex Indian land issues in Oklahoma, statewide services with an emphasis in
western portions of the state while
providing law students with education and professional development opportunities.
Oklahoma Lawyers for
Children Inc.
Funding to maintain legal assistance and advocacy to children
and financial assistance with new
attorney GAL program for representation of traumatized innocent
children in juvenile court and
emergency showcase hearings in
state’s largest county, Oklahoma
Senior Law Resource Center,
Elder Law Educational/
Outreach Program
Funding to support the law student elder law intern program to
provide assistance with research,
provision of free legal services and
educational outreach programs to
promote informed thoughtful
diminished capacity, incapacity
planning and elder financial
exploitation while providing
law students with education
and professional development
Teen Court Inc.
Operational costs of the first
offender program and education of
students for positive resolution of
misdemeanor offenses in Comanche County area.
Tulsa Lawyers for
Children Inc.
Funding to maintain staff to provide legal assistance and advocacy
to children and continued program
expansion for representation of
traumatized innocent children in
juvenile court and emergency
showcase hearings in state’s second
largest county, Tulsa County.
TU Boesche Legal Clinic,
Immigrants Rights Project
Funding for the clinical legal education program to provide legal
services to vulnerable non-citizen
residents of Oklahoma while providing law students with education and professional development
opportunities to include court
travel costs outside of the state,
interpreters and expert witness
fees not provided by other means;
services in Tulsa County and the
eastern portion of the state.
Wlm. W. Barnes Children’s
Advocacy Center, Child Abuse
Training Program
Funding to support a professional
multidisciplinary team training
approach for training and support
to recognize, respond and report
child abuse for educational, law
enforcement, childcare and welfare
personnel in an effort to reduce
further trauma to child abuse
victims in Rogers, Mayes and
Craig Counties
Youth Services of Tulsa,
Broken Arrow Youth Court
Provision of funding for first
offender youth court for the legal
services portion of the program in
Broken Arrow area.
YMCA, Statewide Youth In
Government Program
Funding of the Youth Model Legislative Day at the Capitol, 7th and
8th grade students, and student
scholarships for Judicial Program
Competition at the ABA in Chicago
Total Regular OBF Grant
entrust their charitable gifts to
the OBF Board of Trustees. The
OBF truly remains the charitable heart of the Oklahoma Bar
*amount to be revisited at the close
of the year
As an illustration of teamwork, the Oklahoma Bar Association Board of Governors and
the Oklahoma Bar Foundation
Trustees met for their annual
joint dinner in Bricktown on
Sept. 25 to collaborate and celebrate the grant awards. The
group of bar leaders and staff
enjoyed viewing a segment of
Following the day-long applicant interview meeting on Aug.
22, the OBF Grants and Awards
Committee submitted grant recommendations to the board
with the assistance of OBF
Trustee Jeffrey Trevillion Jr.’s
OBF President Dietmar Caudle and OBA President Renée DeMoss
celebrate grant awards with their boards at a recent joint dinner.
nonprofit financial analysis for
2013-2014, detailing grantee
revenue, salaries, salary revenue ratio, number of clients
served and cost per client
served. Mr. Trevillion’s commentary included an assessment of the grantee organization’s qualified or unqualified
independent auditor reports.
Some $590,000 in needs was
reviewed with $345,066 available for awards. These 18 statewide grant programs served
more than 56,000 Oklahomans
and their families though their
ability to advance education,
citizenship and justice.
These grant awards would
not have been possible without
our revenue sources from our
Fellows, Community Fellows,
Cy Pres Awards, IOLTA trust
account income and donations
from Oklahoma citizens who
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
the new OBF Video Story
depicting grantee success
stories. The OBF theme of
“Lawyers Transforming Oklahoma Citizens Lives” and its
clearly defined mission of the
promotion of justice, the funding of critical legal services and
the advancement of knowledge
of the law for all Oklahomans
was boldly evident in the video
that will be available to share
during the November Annual
Meeting and on the OBF website,
To be able to continue on this
successful path of grant-giving
so that more deserving Oklahomans can be served, the OBF
reaches out to you as fellow
lawyers to enlist a lawyer, law
firm or affiliate group to join
the OBF umbrella of giving
today. Please remember that,
“We cannot receive if we do
not ask.”
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
2014 OBF Fellow and Community Fellow Enrollment Form
2013 OBF Community Fellow Enrollment Form Name, U
N I T E Tname,
O P R O Firm
V I D E or
H E other
L P F O Raffiliation_
T H O S E I_N_________________________________________________
N E E D A S A N OBF C O M M U N I T Y F E L L O W Mailing and
address ______________________________________________________________
Section or Committee
Law Firm/Office
County Bar Assoc.
Other Group
Group Name: City/State/Zip
Contact: & Delivery Address: Email
Phone Mailing _______________________________
City/State/Zip: Phone: FELLOW
o Attorney
E-­‐Mail: o Non-attorney
The OBF Community Fellows is a new benevolent program of the Oklahoma Bar rganizations nd groups to $100
unite enclosed
with individual lawyers who ___
and bill
___ I want toFoundation be an OBFallowing Fellow onow
– Bill mealater
are OBF Fellows to support a common cause: T
he promotion of justice, provision of ___ N
ew lawyer 1st year, $25 enclosed &
___ Total amount
enclosed $1,000
law-­related services, and advancement of public awareness and better understanding of bill annually as stated
the law. ___ New lawyer
within 3 years, $50 enclosed
___ I want to be recognized at the higher level of
and bill annually as stated
The OBF Provides Funding For: NEEDS YOUR HELP Tmy
O annual
Sustaining OBF Fellow
and will
___ I want to be •recognized
at the highest
gift of $100 SERVE OKLAHOMANS Free legal assistance for the poor and elderly Leadership level of Benefactor Fellow and
(initial pledge shouldIN be
• Safe haven for the abused NEED! annually contrbute
at least $300
• Protection and complete)
legal assistance for children to help offset the
___ M
y charitable contribution
(initial pledge
should be
• Public law-­‐related education programs, including programs Program Crisis
GIVE TODAY AT for school children WWW.OKBARFOUNDATION.ORG • Other activities that improve the quality of justice for COMMUNITY FELLOW
all Oklahomans o OBA Section or Committee o Law firm/office o County Bar Association o IOLTA Bank
o Corporation/Business o Other Group
Choose from three tiers of OBF Community Fellow support to pledge your group’s help: $ $ $ Patron $2,500 or more per year Partner $1,000 -­‐ $2,499 per year Supporter $250 -­‐ $999 per year Choose from three tiers of OBF Community Fellow support to pledge your group’s help:
$________ Patron
$________ Partner
$________ Supporter $2,500 or more per year
$1,000 - $2,499 per year
$250 - $999 per year
Signature & Date: OBA Bar# Print Name & Title: OBF Sponsor: Signature and Date ___________________________________________ OBA Bar # _________________
Print Name Please and Title
kindly _____________________________________________________________________
make checks payable to: Oklahoma Bar Foundation •
P O B•ox 53036 Oklahoma City OK 73152-­‐3036 Phone: (405) 416-­‐7070 • E-­‐Mail: [email protected] OBF Sponsor (If applicable) _______________________________________________________________
Kindly make checks payable to: Oklahoma Bar Foundation PO Box 53036 Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3036
Thank you for your generosity and support! 405-416-7070 • [email protected] •
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Lawyers Urged to Embrace Future
Legal Changes
By Kaleb Hennigh
In late September I attended
the swearing-in ceremony
and had the opportunity to
address and welcome over
280 new young lawyers into
our profession. Standing
before them on the floor of the
House Chamber at the Oklahoma State Capitol, I witnessed each new young lawyer recite an oath committing
themselves to defending our
laws and upholding its virtues. While addressing the
new admittees during the
ceremony, Chief Justice Tom
Colbert stated something
that continues to resonate
with me today.
He instructed these new
young lawyers that as they
entered this profession, they
are committing themselves
to defending and protecting
not only the laws that have
been made, interpreted and
enforced for many years, but
also to laws that have yet to
be made and more importantly to areas of this industry that
have yet to be developed.
That’s right, the legal profession is one of constant change,
whether due to science, technology or legal interpretation.
The profession we have chosen is exciting and will forever
be evolving. We, as young
practitioners, need to always
remain progressive in our
practice management and client services. This means not
only staying abreast of all the
evolving case law and being
vigilant in keeping our MCLEs
current, but also looking for
ways to keep our daily practice progressive, efficient and
forward looking. We cannot
rely on the procedures implemented by our predecessors or
even those philosophies of
current partners and practitioners who have been practicing
for 30 or 40 years.
The profession
we have chosen is
exciting and will
forever be evolving.
Our clientele and the industry itself is changing at a rapid
pace, and in order to meet the
challenges facing us, we must
continue to be forward looking or we will be left behind.
Fellow young attorneys, we
must stay tuned in as to what
is going on in current events
both within our communities
and on a national and global
You must be prepared to
identify market trends and be
vigilant in locating and learning about new industries to
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
effectively place yourself in a
position of knowledge and to
serve as an expert when phone
calls or emails regarding legal
repercussions of an action or
the ramifications of a new
development within an industry develops.
During my welcome on the
House chamber floor, I encouraged all new admittees to harness the skills, talents and
knowledge that they possessed prior to attaining
admission to the bar and
implement and incorporate
them into their legal practice.
Recently during the ABA YLD
annual meeting in Portland,
Ore., I met a young lawyer
who has taken her skills and
ambitions and brought them
to her practice. This young
woman has successfully managed to position herself at the
center of one of the most popular entertaining sports industries today. She was conducting a CLE on the changing and
evolving legal profession and
was speaking about her own
niche practice within the
MMA, that being the mixed
martial arts industry.
Tracey S. Lesetar is the general counsel for Bellator MMA,
a mixed martial arts promotion organization owned by
Viacom Media Networks. Following her presentation, I had
an opportunity to visit with
her one on one at a networkVol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
ing breakfast, and she shared
her story with me about how
her own passion and practice
of MMA lead her to be the sole
attorney for one of the largest
MMA promotional companies
in the world. She has a fascinating story, is very easy to
talk to and willing to share her
story — hoping that so many
other young attorneys will
take their own passions and
incorporate them into their
For a more detailed look into
Tracey’s niche practice, you
can find it at
fXjqu3. Tracey wrote an article
for The Young Lawyer, a publication within the ABA in
which she goes into specifics
about her practice and the way
she made her way into the
I challenge each of you
to remain vigilant in your
day-to-day practice. Commit
yourselves to maintaining a
progressive practice and incorporate your passion into your
profession. I hope to see you
all at the OBA Annual Meeting
this month, where you can certainly find resources and net-
working opportunities to
ensure you remain forward
looking. Be great!!
About The Author
practices in
Enid and
serves as
the YLD
He can be
contacted at
[email protected]
YLD MEMBERS: Have you voted?
All Young Lawyer Division members (admitted to the practice of law within the past 10 years)
should have received an email from the OBA with a link to YLD Board of Directors elections. Votes
must be cast by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, 2014.
Election results will be announced at the YLD Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the OBA
Annual Meeting and posted on the YLD website.
Being a Member
Has Its Perks
q —
main site or front door for the OBA with links to all
other OBA Web presences and much information for
members as well as a great deal of information for
the public.
q Online CLE —
quality OBA/CLE online programming, plus online
seminar programs from other state bar associations. It’s a convenient way to get up to six hours
MCLE credit.
q Practice management/ technology
hotline service —
free telephone calls to the Management
Assistance Program (MAP) staff and the OBA Director of Information Systems for brief answers
about practical management and technology issues, such as law office software, understanding
computer jargon, staff and personnel problems, software training opportunities, time management and trust account management. Call (405) 416-7008.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
OBA Government and Administrative Law
Practice Section meeting; 4 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar
Center, Oklahoma City with teleconference; Contact Scott
Boughton 405-717-8957
OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers discussion group
meeting; 6 p.m.; Office of Tom Cummings, 701 NW
13th St., Oklahoma City; RSVP to Kim Reber
[email protected]
OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers discussion group
meeting; 6 p.m.; University of Tulsa College of Law,
John Rogers Hall, 3120 E. 4th Pl., Rm. 206, Tulsa;
RSVP to Kim Reber [email protected]
OBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
meeting; 12 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma
City with OSU Tulsa, Tulsa; Contact Jeffrey Love
11 OBA Closed – Veteran’s Day observed
12-14 OBA Annual Meeting; Hyatt Regency, Tulsa; Contact
Mark Schneidewent 800-522-8065
OBA Bench and Bar Committee meeting; 12 p.m.;
Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City with OSU Tulsa,
Tulsa; Contact Judge David Lewis 405-556-9611
OBA Mock Trial Committee meeting; 5:30 p.m.;
Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City; Contact
Judy Spencer 405-755-1066
OBA Clients’ Security Fund meeting; 2 p.m.;
Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City with OSU Tulsa
Tulsa; Contact Micheal Salem 405-366-1234
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court; 5 p.m.;
Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City; Contact
Donald Lynn Babb 405-235-1611
27-28 OBA Closed – Thanksgiving observed
OBA Government and Administrative Law
Practice Section meeting; 4 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar
Center, Oklahoma City with teleconference; Contact Scott
Boughton 405-717-8957
OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers discussion group
meeting; 6 p.m.; Office of Tom Cummings, 701 NW
13th St., Oklahoma City; RSVP to Kim Reber
[email protected]
OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers discussion group
meeting; 6 p.m.; University of Tulsa College of Law,
John Rogers Hall, 3120 E. 4th Pl., Rm. 206, Tulsa;
RSVP to Kim Reber [email protected]
OBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
meeting; 12 p.m.; Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma
City with OSU Tulsa, Tulsa; Contact Jeffrey Love
OBA Family Law Section meeting; 3 p.m.;
Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City with teleconference; Contact M. Shane Henry 918-585-1107
OBA Young Lawyers Division meeting; 10 a.m.;
Oklahoma Bar Center, Oklahoma City; Contact
Kaleb Hennigh 580-234-4334
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Justice Sotomayor
Visits State
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia
Sotomayor recently paid a visit
to each of Oklahoma’s three law
schools and toured the Oklahoma Judicial Center. During her
visit she talked to law students,
faculty, alumni and others about
issues such as diversity on the
high court, tribal law issues, and
challenges and opportunities facing the legal profession. While
speaking at OCU School of Law
on the 13th anniversary of the
9/11 terrorist attacks, she reflected on her experiences working in
a courthouse near the World
Trade Center in New York City.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (center) is presented with a Kiowa Tribe ceremonial blanket during her visit to the
Oklahoma Judicial Center. Making the presentation on behalf of
the tribal chairperson were 2011 OBA President Cathy Christensen (left) and OBA President Renée DeMoss.
OBA Celebrates Diversity During
Conference, Luncheon
Justice Noma Gurich, keynote speaker ABA
President-Elect Paulette Brown, Judge Vicki
Miles-LaGrange and OBA President Renée
DeMoss attend the OBA Diversity Conference
in Oklahoma City.
Six individuals and organizations were recently
recognized by the OBA Diversity Committee for
their efforts promoting diversity in Oklahoma.
The awards were presented during the annual
OBA Diversity Conference held in October in
Oklahoma City. American Bar Association President-Elect Paulette Brown served as keynote
speaker during the conference, sharing her own
experiences as the first woman of color elected to
the top ABA leadership position. Also taking
place was a panel discussion focusing on the topic
of diversity in the legal profession. Serving as
panelists were Judge Jerome Holmes of the 10th
Circuit Court of Appeals; Melvin Hall, shareholder with the Riggs Abney Law Firm, and Loretta
Radford, first assistant for the U.S. Northern District Attorney’s Office.
Photo highlights from the event are available on
the OBA website at
Middle school students Cody and Ahmad,
both members of the Oklahoma City Boys
and Girls Clubs who have expressed interest
in becoming lawyers, attended the conference
as special guests of ABA President-Elect
Paulette Brown (center). OBA Diversity
Committee Co-Chair Ruth Addison and
Vice Chair Diana Vermeire (far right)
presented awards.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Loretta Radford, Melvin Hall and Judge Jerome
Holmes serve as panelists during the OBA
Diversity Conference.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Heroes Update
Nearly four years ago, on Veterans Day 2010, the OBA
launched Oklahoma Lawyers for America’s Heroes to provide
free legal advice and assistance to qualifying active duty servicemen and women and veterans. The program recently
reached a milestone – more than $2.5 million in legal services
have been donated by Oklahoma lawyers through the Heroes
program. More than 600 lawyer volunteers have participated
and more than 3,100 heroes have received services under the
A great need still exists for Oklahoma lawyers to volunteer
for the program, especially in the area of family law. The mission is to offer one-on-one legal counsel to those members of
the guard or reserve who are currently or have honorably served this nation who otherwise
cannot afford or do not have access to the services they need. Please visit
heroes to learn more about program and sign up to volunteer!
LHL Discussion Groups Host
Upcoming Meetings
Aspiring Writers Take Note
The Lawyers Helping Lawyers monthly discussion
groups next meet Nov. 6 when the topic will be “The
Challenges of Coping with the Loss of a Loved One.”
Each meeting, always the first Thursday of each
month, is facilitated by committee members and a
licensed mental health professional. There is no cost
to attend and snacks will be provided. RSVPs to Kim
Reber; [email protected], are encouraged to
ensure there is food for all.
• Tulsa meeting time: 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the TU College
of Law, John Rogers Hall, 3120 E.
4th Place, Room 206.
We want to feature your work
on “The Back Page.” Submit
articles related to the practice
of law, or send us something
humorous, transforming or
intriguing. Poetry is an option
too. Send submissions no more
than two double-spaced pages
(or 1 1/4 single-spaced pages)
to OBA Communications
Director Carol Manning,
[email protected]
• Oklahoma City meeting time:
6 – 7:30 p.m. at the office of Tom
Cummings, 701 N.W. 13th Street.
Connect With the OBA Through
Social Media
Have you checked out the OBA Facebook page?
It’s a great way to get updates and information
about upcoming events and the Oklahoma legal
community. Like our page at
OklahomaBarAssociation. And be sure to follow @
OklahomaBar on Twitter!
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
wight L. Smith of Tulsa
has been appointed to a
new American Bar Association Commission on the
Future of Legal Services for a
one-year term commencing at
the conclusion of the recent
ABA Annual Meeting in Boston. He is a 1981 graduate of
the TU College of Law.
liver S. Howard, an
attorney with GableGotwals in Tulsa, has been
inducted as a fellow of the
American College of Trial
Lawyers. There are currently
almost 5,800 fellows across
the U.S. and Canada; membership can never be more
than 1 percent of the total
lawyer population of any
state or province.
Ward is agency counsel for
First American Title Insurance
Company. She graduated from
Texas Tech University School
of Law in 2006.
pany as residential counsel.
He graduated from the OU
College of Law in 2011 and
was previously in private
practice in Enid.
ssociate District Judge
Megan L. Simpson of
Harper County was named
the recipient of the first
Northwest Oklahoma Pioneering Woman of Industry
Award at a recent ceremony
in Woodward. This inaugural
award, sponsored by the
Woodward News and various
businesses in northwest Oklahoma, recognizes women
from myriad industries, professions and life callings who
are nominated by community
members based on their contribution to moving women
forward in traditionally male
onica Amis Wittrock of
Oklahoma City has been
appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin as the public member to
the Oklahoma State Board of
Licensure for Professional
Engineers and Land Surveyors. She is senior vice president of First American Title
Insurance Company and
executive regional manager of
Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska,
Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota. She graduated from
OU College of Law in 1982.
haris L. Ward has been
selected as a member of
the board of directors of the
Oklahoma City Neighborhood
Services Organization. Ms.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
etired Court of Criminal
Appeals Judge Charles A.
Johnson will join Johnson
Law Firm of Norman in an of
counsel capacity. He will be
available for consultation in
appellate criminal practice
and related matters. He may
be contacted at 623 N. Porter,
Suite 300, Norman, 73071;
405-579-9692; email: jgjlaw@
irst American Title & Trust
Company in Oklahoma
City announces that Ryan W.
Schaller has joined the com-
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
ebecca Sherwood of
Tulsa has joined FirsTitle
Commercial Services LLC as
president. She has more than
30 years experience in commercial real estate and business transactions. Prior to
becoming employed in the
title insurance industry, she
engaged in private practice
in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
She is a graduate of OSU and
the OU College of Law. Her
office is located at 1500 S.
Utica, Suite 400, Tulsa, 74104.
herwood, McCormick &
Robert announces that A.J.
Martinez of Tulsa has joined
the firm as an associate. His
practice will focus on business transactions, intellectual
property including patents,
trademarks and copyrights,
and civil litigation in the
areas of business torts, medical negligence, nursing home
neglect/abuse, and personal
injury. Mr. Martinez received
his J.D. from TU College of
Law in 2013.
ulsa law firm Richards &
Connor announces the
addition of Sidney D. Smith
Jr., Stephen G. Layman and
Matthew S. Saint as associates. Mr. Smith’s practice
focuses on medical malpractice defense and general litigation. He received his J.D.
from the Southern Methodist
University Dedman School of
Law in 2004. Mr. Layman’s
practice focuses on general
civil litigation and criminal
defense. He received his J.D.
from the TU College of Law
in 2008. Mr. Saint’s practice is
in coverage litigation, general
insurance defense litigation
and bad faith litigation. He
received his J.D. from the TU
College of Law in 2013.
tephanie L. Khoury has
joined the Givens Law
Firm in Oklahoma City.
She practices in the areas of
insurance defense with an
emphasis in bad faith, personal injury, products liability,
premises liability and construction defects. She received
her J.D. from OU College of
Law in 2009.
urbin, Larimore & Bialick
PC announces the addition of Steve Sherman to the
firm as of counsel. His practice area is concentrated on
real estate and business transactions, including asset acquisitions and dispositions,
lease and land use work, and
dispute resolution. He has
served as the associate municipal judge for the City of
Nichols Hills for more than
15 years, and he is currently
the chairman of the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission.
He received his J.D. from
Santa Clara University School
of Law in 1979.
hristin Mugg Adkins
& Associates PLLC announces Shane R. Leach of
Oklahoma City has joined the
firm as an associate attorney.
Mr. Leach earned his J.D.
from OCU School of Law in
2014 and will focus on contested estate matters, probate,
and oil and gas law, as well
as expanding the firm’s practice with the opening of a sat-
ellite office located at 603 Delaware Street, Perry, 73077.
klahoma City firm
Denker and Butler PLLC
announces that Ammon
Brisolara has joined the firm
as an associate attorney. He
earned his J.D. from the OU
College of Law in 2014. He
will assist clients in litigation,
probate, and criminal and
family law matters, and he
is fluent in both English and
lix R. Newman has
joined the Tulsa law
firm of Norman Wohlgemuth
Chandler & Jeter as an associate. Ms. Newman earned her
J.D. with distinction from the
OU College of Law in 2014.
During law school, she served
as a representative for the
Organization for the Advancement of Women in Law.
melia B. Recla of Amelia
B. Recla Attorney at Law
PLLC announces the practice
has recently moved its offices
to 3750 W. Main Street, Norman, 73072. Ms. Recla’s focus
is primarily on family law, as
well as civil litigation and
civil appeals. She can be
reached at 405-310-2029.
ollins, Zorn & Wagner PC
of Oklahoma City
announces Ethan W. Gee has
joined the firm as an associate. He graduated cum laude
from OCU School of Law in
2014. He is the recipient of
the Judge Dwain Box Memorial Award for his performance in appellate advocacy
and is a member of the Order
of Barristers. His focus is on
civil rights and municipal
liability litigation.
Merrill and Michael
Lambert join GableGotwals
as new associates. Mr. Merrill’s primary focus will be on
transactional law in the Tulsa
office. He is a 2014 OU College of Law graduate, and he
served as a summer associate
at GableGotwals. Mr. Lambert
will focus his practice on litigation in both state and federal courts in the Oklahoma
City Office. He is a 2014 graduate of the OCU School of
Law. He worked for the Oklahoma Supreme Court as a
judicial extern and served
as a summer associate at
How to place an announcement: The Oklahoma Bar Journal
welcomes short articles or
news items about OBA members and upcoming meetings.
If you are an OBA member and
you’ve moved, become a partner, hired an associate, taken
on a partner, received a promotion or an award, or given a
talk or speech with statewide
or national stature, we’d like
to hear from you. Sections,
committees, and county bar
associations are encouraged
to submit short stories about
upcoming or recent activities.
Honors bestowed by other
publications (e.g., Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, etc.) will not
be accepted as announcements.
(Oklahoma-based publications
are the exception.) Information
selected for publication is
printed at no cost, subject to
editing, and printed as space
Submit news items via email to:
Lori Rasmussen
Communications Dept.
Oklahoma Bar Association
[email protected]
Articles for the Dec. 13 issue
must be received by Nov. 10.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
avid Randal Barnes of
Edmond died Oct. 9. He
was born March 13, 1959, in
Altus and grew up in the
Deer Creek area, graduating
from Deer Creek High School.
He received his bachelor’s
degree from Central State
University (now UCO) and
his law degree from OCU
School of Law in 1991. He
practiced law as a sole practitioner for 15 years. In 2008, he
felt called to become an educator and became a seventhgrade social studies teacher.
He taught more than five
years at Belle Isle Enterprise
Middle School until illness
forced him to retire this year.
He is remembered for his passion for teaching and challenging his students to work
hard, often saying it was a job
he would do for no pay.
etired Judge Ben P. Choate Jr. of Muskogee died
Sept. 20. He was born on July
17, 1928, in Stillwater and
graduated from Indianola
High School. He served in the
U.S. Navy for two years during World War II, graduating
from the Basic and Advanced
Engineering School. Following his discharge, he enrolled
at Eastern Oklahoma A&M
College and continued his
education at OU. During his
studies, he received his commission as a second lieutenant
while participating in U.S.
Army ROTC. He was studying for his law degree when
he was called to active duty
during the Korean Conflict.
After his tour of duty, he
received his J.D. from the OU
College of Law in 1955. He
served as county attorney of
Latimer County and assistant
county attorney of Pittsburg
County. After a time spent in
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
private practice in McAlester,
he began his career as an
attorney for the U.S. Veterans
Administration, where he
spent 27 years, retiring in 1988
as assistant district counsel
for the state of Oklahoma.
Later that year he was
appointed to the bench by
Gov. Henry Bellmon, and
served as a Workers’ Compensation Court judge for six
years in Tulsa and Oklahoma
City. He was then appointed
as a special district judge for a
five county district in northeastern Oklahoma, retiring
from that position in 1996. He
had a lengthy military career
spanning 35 years of service
in the U.S. Navy, the U.S.
Army, and the Army Reserve
Corps, retiring with the rank
of colonel. He was an avid
reader and had a keen interest
in government, politics and
history. Memorial gifts may
be made to the Indianola
Alumni Association or the
Choate Prairie Baptist Church.
erbert Maxwell “Max”
Darks died Oct. 2. He
was born Sept. 25, 1925, in
Wetumka. He enlisted in the
U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942
at the age of 17 as an aviation
cadet and graduated from
flight training as a B-25 pilot.
He was discharged from the
Air Corps as a second lieutenant in late 1945 at the end
of World War II. He earned
his J.D. from the OU College
of Law in 1950. After completing his education, he returned
to Hughes County to engage
in the general practice of law.
He served as Hughes County
attorney from 1954 to 1958.
He went on to practice law in
Oklahoma City from 1961 to
1971, when he was then
appointed assistant district
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
attorney in Oklahoma County.
In 1972, he was appointed as
a federal administrative law
judge and served in that
capacity until he retired
in 2006.
arry D. Hartzog of Oklahoma City died Sept. 22.
He was born May 4, 1934.
Larry cofounded the firm of
Hartzog Conger & Cason
(later Hartzog Conger Cason
& Neville) in 1979. He was
regarded by his colleagues as
an extraordinary lawyer, skillful dealmaker, consummate
legal strategist, mentor and
friend. In the 1970s, he was
featured in Fortune Magazine
for his work on Wall Street in
connection with the reorganization of the Hayden Stone
investment banking firm, the
creation of Shearson Lehman/
American Express, and the
reformation of the New York
Stock Exchange. He later pioneered the first major “going
private” transaction for a
New York Stock Exchangetraded company, which
became a blueprint for subsequent going private transactions across the country. He
took great pride and satisfaction in the success of the firm
and the success of each of its
B. Jenkins of OklahoJohn
ma City died Sept. 21. He
was born Feb. 5, 1975, and
was a 2006 graduate of the
OU College of Law. He was
an associate attorney with
Commercial Law Group PC,
practicing in the areas of business and corporate law, and
commercial transactions.
ay Karen Kennedy of
Wynnewood died Oct. 1.
She was born Oct. 22, 1947, in
Oklahoma City and grew up
outside of Moore, graduating
from Moore high school in
1965. She attended OU, where
she received a degree in political science. She received her
J.D. from the OCU School of
Law in 1972. During her legal
career, she was appointed an
assistant attorney general in
the early 1970s. She went on
to be appointed as a Worker’s
Compensation Court judge
and ultimately found a passion as managing attorney for
Legal Aid of Western Oklahoma. At the time of her death,
she was managing attorney
for the Ardmore, Ada and
Hugo offices. Along the way,
she received a calling to
become a United Methodist
church pastor. Among her
proudest accomplishments is
helping to build a new home
for the Paoli United Methodist Church.
olcomb Bibb Latting Jr.
of Riverside, Calif., died
Aug. 1. He was born in Plant
City, Fla., on Feb. 21, 1921,
and grew up in Tulsa. After
his graduation from Central
High School, he attended
OSU. He attended the Spartan
School of Aeronautics where
he earned a degree in aeronautical engineering. He then
served as a captain and pilot
in the U.S. Air Force during
World War II. He started his
long career with Douglas Aircraft Co. working at their
plant in Tulsa, finishing his
interrupted law degree at the
TU College of Law in night
school, earning his J.D. in
1950. Later he was transferred
to the company’s operations
in California where he became
president of Douglas Real
Estate Company. He retired
from the McDonnell Douglas
Co. in 1986.
onald James Leeman of
Oklahoma City died Oct.
14. He was born July 15, 1928,
and graduated from Ardmore
High School. He received a
B.S. in business from OU in
1950, program management
degree from Harvard University in 1967 and a J.D. from
the OCU School of Law in
1971. He was commissioned
an ensign in the U.S. Navy in
June 1950 and attended the
Naval Intelligence School,
Washington D.C., completing
three years of active duty
during the Korean Conflict.
He returned to OU and
helped develop and introduce the landman curriculum,
working as a landman for Gulf
Oil Co. before joining Beard
Oil Company. He later formed
Beard & Leeman, ultimately
working independently. He
was a member of Westminster
Presbyterian Church, serving
as a deacon and president of
the men’s association. He
became a Stephen Minister
in 2004. Memorial contributions may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church
Foundation or for Alzheimer’s
research through Oklahoma
Medical Research Foundation.
onald James Quigg of
Falls Church, Va., died
Sept. 21. He was born April
28, 1916, in Kansas City, Mo.,
and raised in Dewey. He
graduated from OU with a
B.S. in business administration, then attended the University of Missouri-Kansas
City School of Law, graduating with a J.D. in 1940. Just
after beginning in private
practice, he was inducted
into the U. S. Army during
World War II. He became an
officer in the Field Artillery
and was assigned to the 27th
Division, stationed in the
Pacific Theatre. He received
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
a Silver Star for gallantry in
action at Saipan, Mariana
Islands, on June 27, 1944.
After the war, he moved to
Bartlesville, where he began a
35-year employment with
Phillips Petroleum Company,
ultimately becoming general
patent counsel. Upon retirement, he entered government
service, and was appointed by
President Ronald Reagan as
deputy commissioner of the
U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office. Four years later, he
was appointed as assistant
secretary and commissioner of
patents and trademarks. After
leaving government service,
he entered private practice
and was senior partner at
Novak Druce Connolly Bove
and Quigg at the time of his
death. He was inducted into
the OBA Intellectual Property
Section Hall of Fame and was
presented numerous citations
and lifetime achievement
awards for his contributions
in the areas of intellectual
property, and patent and
trademark law. Both the state
of Oklahoma and the city
of Bartlesville proclaimed
Nov. 17, 1989, as “Donald J.
Quigg Day.” Memorial donations may be made to the
Donald J. Quigg Memorial
Fund at the Fairlington
Presbyterian Church of
Alexandria, Va.
Marwood Short of
Tulsa died Oct. 5. He was
born Oct. 28, 1924, and was a
native of Mangum. He graduated from Tulane University
and the OU College of Law.
He was a veteran of the U.S.
Navy. During his legal career
he was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District
of Oklahoma, administrative
law judge for the U.S. Dept. of
the Interior and a lawyer in
private practice for 25 years.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
As a Republican representing
Oklahoma County, he served
one term in the state Senate,
1966 to 1970, and was appointed minority whip in
1969. He was highly respected
by members of both parties,
voted in 1968 a “Top Ten Legislator” by Senate colleagues.
He was active in the Tulsa
community and was a member of Friends of the Library
and docent for Philbrook
rank L. Thompson of Bradenton, Fla., died Oct. 11.
He was born Dec. 9, 1944, in
Enid. He graduated from Edison High School in Tulsa in
1962 and attended OSU, graduating with a B.S. in accounting in 1968. He graduated
from the OU College of Law
in 1971. He maintained his
private law practice in Tulsa
from 1972-2005, practicing
mostly criminal, divorce and
personal injury law. He relocated to Tulsa in 2005. He was
an avid gun collector who
loved motorcycles and fast
cars, especially unusual,
futuristic ones. He also loved
pool, poker and travel.
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The Oklahoma Bar Journal
.lawyer and .attorney
New web domain names for the legal
Oklahoma events
Art festivals, wine walks, bluegrass festivals
and everything in between, keeping you busy
every weekend in November
Write on
10 pointers to improve your writing
1,000 life hacks
Small tips and tricks to make your life a little
Great tips on organizing your office so you
can get more done
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
litigation. Backed by established firm. Neil D. Van
Dalsem, Taylor, Ryan, Schmidt, Van Dalsem & Williams PC, 918-749-5566, [email protected]
Renee Colbert, Esquire
P.O. Box 1035 • Canonsburg, PA 15317
412. 889. 9007
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Colbert & Company
Exclusive research & writing. Highest quality: trial and
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U.S. Supreme Court. Over 20 published opinions with
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405-728-9925, [email protected]
Available as a Mediator or as an Expert, for litigation or
appeals on Real Estate and Oil/Gas Title matters. Over
thirty years of experience in title examination and title
litigation. OCU Adjunct Law Professor (Oklahoma
Land Titles). OBA Real Property Law Section Title Examination Standards Committee Chair. General Editor
of Vernon’s Oklahoma Forms 2d: Real Estate. Interested
in unusual and complex title issues. Many papers presented or published on real estate and oil/gas matters,
especially title issues. Visit, &
contact me at [email protected] or 405-848-9100.
Appeals and litigation support
Expert research and writing by a veteran generalist
who thrives on variety. Virtually any subject or any
type of project, large or small. NANCY K. ANDERSON, 405-682-9554, [email protected]
Creative. Clear. Concise.
BUSINESS VALUATIONS: Marital Dissolution * Estate, Gift and Income Tax * Family Limited Partnerships * Buy-Sell Agreements * Mergers, Acquisitions,
Reorganization and Bankruptcy * SBA/Bank required.
Dual Certified by NACVA and IBA, experienced, reliable, established in 1982. Travel engagements accepted.
Connally & Associates PC 918-743-8181 or bconnally@
NON-PRODUCING Minerals; ORRI; O & G Interests.
Please contact: Patrick Cowan, CPL, CSW Corporation,
P.O. Box 21655, Oklahoma City, OK 73156-1655; 405755-7200; Fax 405-755-5555; email: [email protected]
Board Certified
Diplomate — ABFE
Life Fellow — ACFEI
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Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
Court Qualified
Former OSBI Agent
FBI National Academy
Want To Purchase Minerals AND OTHER
OIL/GAS INTERESTS. Send details to: P.O. Box
13557, Denver, CO 80201.
Litigation support, embezzlement and fraud investigations, expert witness testimony, accounting
irregularities, independent determination of loss, due
diligence, asset verification. 30+ years investigative
and financial analysis experience. Contact
Darrel James, CPA, [email protected] or
Dale McDaniel, CPA, [email protected],
Expert witness, tree appraisals, reports,
damage assessments, herbicide damage, hazard
assessments, all of Oklahoma and beyond.
Certified arborist, OSU horticulture alumni,
23 years in business. [email protected];
Office suites in established law firm with easy
I-35/I-240 Access.
Rent includes: phone; fax; internet; copier;
and conference room.
Call 405-721-9500 for more details.
WATERFORD OFFICE SPACE. 1,324 Rentable Space in
Waterford Bldg. 6301, 4th Floor, North View. Two large
executive offices, conference room/foyer, and kitchen/
file room. Great build-out with hardwood floors and
crown molding. Call 405-202-2111.
OFFICE SPACE FOR LEASE approximately 350 sq. ft.
near downtown Tulsa with FREE parking. Phone,
copier, internet and receptionist are available. Call
918-583-6007 for more information.
renovated building. Rent includes Receptionist, 2 conference rooms, telephones, copier, internet and cable.
Contact Jo at the Larry Spears Law Bldg., 501 N.W. 13th
Street, OKC, 405-235-5605.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
EXECUTIVE OFFICE SUITES. Two blocks from District & Federal Courthouses. Receptionist, phones,
copier, internet, and cable provided. Six established attorneys available for referrals on a case-by-case basis.
Midtown Plaza location. 405-272-0303.
Office Space - MidTown Law Center
Historic atmosphere in restored 1926 building for
solo or small firm lawyers. Rent includes: phone,
fax, long distance, internet, parking, library, kitchen
privileges, onsite storage, two conference rooms
and receptionist. Enjoy collegiality with civil/trial/
commercial attorneys.
405-229-1476 or 405-204-0404
OFFICE SPACE FOR LEASE one block north of the
federal courthouse. Rent all inclusive with phone,
parking, and receptionist. Call 405-239-2726 for more
sharing. No experience required. Negotiable rent. Copier/fax machine, Internet, supplies and staff are included
in rent. Case overflow referrals available. Experienced attorney available for assistance. Please contact Russell
Singleton at 580-234-6000.
& Country Stores, Inc. seeks a full-time legal secretary
for its OKC Corporate Legal Department. Two years’ experience as a legal secretary in a law firm or corporate
legal department required. Purpose of position is to provide full range of secretarial and administrative support
to multiple members of the Legal team, including clerical, receptionist, technical and organizational assistance.
Eligible for full benefits package. Qualified candidates
are urged to act quickly and apply online for the “Legal
Secretary” position at
CONTRACT ADMINISTRATOR POSITION at the University of Oklahoma, University Outreach. Responsibilities include drafting, reviewing, and negotiating
contracts in accordance with applicable law and University policy. Acts as a resource to University Outreach
departments reviewing grant and contract proposals,
certifications and representations. Must produce deliverables in accordance with professional-level business
standards. Advises University officers in relation to
contracts, compliance, and risk assessment. Assists the
Director of Contract Administration with legal administrative matters. Apply through
Job requisition # 20882. The University of Oklahoma is
an Equal Opportunity Employer. Protected veterans and
individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Make a Difference
Do you want a fulfilling career where you can really
make a difference in the lives of people? Are you
fervent about equal justice? Does a program with a
purpose motivate you? Legal Aid Services of
Oklahoma, Inc. (LASO) is searching for an attorney
for its Ardmore Law Office.
We are a statewide, civil law firm providing legal
services to the impoverished and senior population
of Oklahoma. With twenty-three offices and a staff
of 155+, we are committed to the mission of
equal justice.
The successful individuals will have a passion for
justice and empathy for impoverished individuals.
In return, the employee receives a great benefit
package including paid health, dental, life insurance
plan; a pension, and generous leave benefits.
Additionally, LASO offers a great work environment
and educational/career opportunities.
To start making a difference, complete our
application and submit it to Legal Aid Services
of Oklahoma.
The online application can be found:
Print application
Legal Aid is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative
Action Employer.
THE OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION Heroes program is looking for several volunteer attorneys. The
need for FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS is critical, but attorneys from all practice areas are needed. All ages, all
counties. Gain invaluable experience, or mentor a
young attorney, while helping someone in need. For
more information or to sign up, contact Gisele Perryman, 405-416-7086 or [email protected]
FIRM seeks an associate attorney with 0-3 years’ experience. Candidate must be highly motivated, possess
the ability, experience, and confidence to appear in
court for motion hearings and trial. Position requires
strong communication, research and writing skills. Trial experience is preferred. Competitive benefits and
compensation package will be commensurate with experience. All replies are kept in strict confidence. Applicants should submit résumé, cover letter, and writing sample to: “Box X,” Oklahoma Bar Association, PO
Box 53036, Oklahoma City, 73152.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
LARGE TULSA LAW FIRM seeking business/transactional attorney with 3-4 years’ experience in contract
review and drafting, acquisitions, real estate, business
organizations and/or general commercial/transactional work. Strong academic and professional credentials
required. Send résumé and salary requirements to “Box
O,” Oklahoma Bar Association, PO Box 53036, Oklahoma City, OK 73152.
ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY, An established, stable, successful, and well-known AV firm located in Norman,
Oklahoma is seeking an associate attorney with 0-3 years
of experience in general practice areas. Position requires
strong communication, research, and writing skills.
Competitive benefits and compensation package will be
commensurate with experience. All replies are kept in
strict confidence. Applicants should submit résumé and
cover letter to [email protected] with salary requirements.
seeks a Paralegal, preferably with a paralegal certificate
or college degree, to become an integral part of an active team. Candidate should have experience handling
a court calendar, assisting in case management, obtaining client records, processing authorizations, exchanging basic discovery, scheduling depositions, coordinating with witnesses and experts, and trial preparation.
Competitive benefits and compensation package will
be commensurate with experience. Applicants should
submit résuméand cover letter to normanoklawoffice@ with salary requirements.
JOB OPENING FOR LEGAL ASSISTANT/SECRETARY: Growing firm in downtown Oklahoma City is
looking for a legal assistant/secretary. Knowledge of
and proficiency in Microsoft Office, Word Perfect, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook. Commercial litigation and/or real estate and banking transactional
experience preferred. Send résumés to Blaney and
Tweedy PLLC, PO Box 657, Oklahoma City, OK 73101
or via email to [email protected]
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER NEEDED for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. CPA required/JD preferred. Responsibilities include planning, organizing and controlling the financial resources
of the agency. Supervise personnel in accounting, budgeting, cash management, procurement and transaction processing. Responsible for budget of approximately 57 million dollars and trust fund balance in
excess of one billion dollars. Ensure the agency is in
compliance with all regulatory requirements, US Department of Labor financial compliance requirements,
and state rules and regulations. Salary Range will be
$85,000 to $95,000. Submit résumé to: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Attn: Alayna Wylie,
Human Resources Division, P O Box 52003, Oklahoma
City, OK 73152-2003.
through 2007, $500. 580-476-2298 or 405-640-5105.
REGULAR CLASSIFIED ADS: $1 per word with $35 minimum
per insertion. Additional $15 for blind box. Blind box word
count must include “Box ___,” Oklahoma Bar Association, PO
Box 53036, Oklahoma City, OK 73152.”
DISPLAY CLASSIFIED ADS: Bold headline, centered, border
are $50 per inch of depth.
advertising.aspx or call 405-416-7018 for deadlines.
SEND AD (email preferred) stating number of times to be
published to:
[email protected], or
Emily Buchanan, Oklahoma Bar Association, PO Box 53036,
Oklahoma City, OK 73152.
Publication and contents of any advertisement are not to be
deemed an endorsement of the views expressed therein, nor
shall the publication of any advertisement be considered an endorsement of the procedure or service involved. All placement
notices must be clearly non-discriminatory.
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
Losing My Balance
By R. Steven Haught
We have all heard of “work/life
balance” by now. It is a common
CLE topic. The OBA even has a
committee devoted to the subject.
When I first heard the phrase
“work/life balance,” it conjured
up something foreign and subversive — something invented by
lawyers in San Francisco sipping
chardonnay with their wok-stirfried tofu. However, as I have
become older and wiser, my
view has changed.
expressed my unhappiness with
the situation, and then he said he
had bad news as well. His wife
had been diagnosed with breast
cancer. It made my bad news
seem trivial by comparison. After
many years of treatment, and
temporary recovery, she died. We
did practice law together for five
years and enjoyed each other’s
Recently while attending a
funeral, I started thinking about
who should be my pallbearers.
Regrettably I could not think of
enough men who would be suitable for the task, men who
wouldn’t say: “Me? Why me?
I haven’t seen him in years!” I
began with a list of the groomsmen at my wedding but soon
realized that I had lost touch
with them.
One was a man named Ken.
I first met Ken in high school,
and we became fast friends. We
lost touch for a few years as we
attended different colleges but
were reunited in law school. Following law school, we bought
houses near each other and saw
each other frequently on weekends and met for lunch or drinks
at least once per week. Our families traveled to Hawaii, to OU/
Texas weekends and bowl games
together. He and his wife had two
boys. He gave the oldest one my
middle name and the youngest
one my first name.
When my law firm unexpectedly broke up in the mid-‘90s, I
called Ken to share my bad news.
He listened patiently as I
was always looking at my watch
or checking emails on my phone.
Many times I would need to
leave abruptly to go back to the
office, and we always ate lunch
no more than two or three blocks
away. It got to the point that I
dreaded hearing my receptionist
say that he was calling because I
did not want to hear the disappointment in his voice when I
declined his lunch invitation. The
last time he called to ask me to
meet him for lunch, I said that I
really could not do it that day but
would call him the following
He said that he had something
to tell me and wanted to tell me
in person. I resisted and told him
that I had no time that day. He
took a deep breath and then
reluctantly told me his news on
the phone — he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and
did not have much longer to live.
I put down the phone and drove
to his office and put my arms
around him.
Then I moved on and practiced
a different type of law, a demanding practice with an international
clientele that called at all times of
the day requiring immediate
attention. The days of going out
for lunch were over. Ken called
me for lunch. Usually I would
beg off and say that I wanted to
go but could not go that day. He
was disappointed. Sometimes I
did go with him, and I always
enjoyed our time together, but I
The Oklahoma Bar Journal
We spent some time together
before he died, but he was too
sick to do much. I was with him
in the hospital as he spent his
final days and helped feed him
his final meals. But I knew it was
all too little too late. As I and
other close friends carried his casket to the grave site and watched
as they lowered him into the
ground, I said goodbye to my
friend for 40 years. I knew I
would miss those calls asking
me to go to lunch.
Mr. Haught practices in Oklahoma
Vol. 85 — No. 29 — 11/1/2014
November 6
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma Bar Center
1901 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Making Your
Case With
A Better
A finalist in the USA Memory Championship in New York City, Paul Mellor remembered the names of
over 90 people in less than 15 minutes, recalled in correct order over 100 single digit numbers after a
five-minute study, and recalled the exact order of a shuffled deck of playing cards after less than a threeand-a-half minute review.
The benefits of improved memory are endless!
Save time in court prepration
Make polished presentations to jurors and judges with out notes
Become a better listener in the courtroom
Cross-examine with confidence - no more missed opportunities because your
memory failed you
Remember names of jurors in trials and clients in other professional settings
Develop better concentration
Reduce stress, worry less about forgetting to make a crucial point
This session promises to improve the way your mind retains facts. Learn techniques to improve your
memory and learn how to apply these techniques to your everyday practice. Mellor’s objective is to show
you how a trained memory can increase your efficiency and productivity in all aspects of the law. He will
shred the myth that memory cannot be enhanced and help you lay a foundation for total recall. Invest in
a better memory. You have invested years in becoming an attorney and you invest months in preparing a
case. Invest one day to strengthen your mind!
BONUS! Your registration includes Mr. Mellor’s 305-page book, Memory! How to
Remember Anything.
For program details and to register, log on to:
Or, contact Renee at [email protected], 405-416-7029.
Approved for 6 hours MCLE/ 1 Ethics. $250 for early-bird registrations with payment received at least four full
business days prior to the seminar date; $275 for registrations with payment received within four full business
days of the seminar date.
In the history of Oklahoma trial lawyers, there has
never been anyone more respected than Earl Mills.
His legacy is found in two generations of attorneys
that he has mentored and “tangled with” in courtrooms throughout Western Oklahoma. Among the
messages to those who were lucky enough to
work with him was to be prepared, be honest,
and �ght hard. Be a bull in the courtroom, but
�ght within the rules.
In 2004, we were lucky enough to entice Earl
from his day-to-day practice of law to begin a
new career as mediator. He taught and showed
all of us at DRC the same principles that made
him a legend – be prepared, impartial, and
work hard for a deal for all parties.
He settled hundreds of cases with
the same work ethic he always
brought to the courtroom.
We will miss him as he embarks
on his new career ... retirement.
Earl D. Mills

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