Law O K L A H O M A
C I T Y
U N I V E R S I T Y
S C H O O L
L A W
MESSAGE FROM NEW DEAN | GEOTAGGING | NATIVE EXPERIENCE | AROUND THE WORLD | REMEMBERING BILL CONGER | OUR 9-11 HERO REVISITED page 6
growingforward.okcu.edu • 405-208-7100 • firstname.lastname@example.org
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Influencing Criminal Law Abroad
Students Take First in National Sports Law Negotiation Competition
New Certificate Programs
New Look for Website
Trial by Jury
Students Active in Community
Innocence Project Joins International Network
Tenth Circuit Oral Arguments Hosted at Law School
Dean Receives Award
ABA Accreditation Visit
Anadarko Hospital Opens New Sexual Assault Exam Room
American Law and Oklahoma Culture
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) Geo-Tagging and Mapping: Reconceiving First Amendment Protection for Information-Gathering in the Age of Google Earth.
On the Move
Shaping Legal Thought
Dean Valerie K. Couch: A Profile in Leadership
TABLE OF CONTENTS
It is in honor of Oklahoma City University School of Law’s first female dean that we share just a sampling of life stories from women who are part of our legacy.
Geri Marlatt Cope
Christina Melton Crain
Kellie S. Howell
Laurie W. Jones
Vicki Lawrence MacDougall
Class Action 82
In Their Own Skin 86
Around the World in 387 Days
Dean Emeritus Lawrence K. Hellman traveled thousands of miles during his sabbatical year — in some cases at the invitation of an institution to teach on their behalf, in others to represent the law school abroad and still others for personal enjoyment — and he shares his adventures with us.
Standing at the Precipice
Honoring the Legacy of a Hero
Why We Give
2012 Honor Roll of Donors
In Conclusion: Q&A with Adenike Adebayo
Valerie K. Couch
Director of Marketing and Communications
Assistant Dean for External Relations
CONTRIBUTORS Dir. of Marketing & Comm. Brook
Keri Williams Foster Class of 2000, Dir. of Development Michael Gibson Professor Trae Gray Class of 2006 Sarah E. Hance Class of 2013 Brandi M. Haskins Class of 2015 Lawrence K. Hellman Dean Emeritus Melanie Jester Elizabeth Lauderbeck Class of 2013 Pete G. Serrata III Class of 2006, Law Career Services Dean
Class of 2009 Chelsea Baldwin Professor Marc Blitz Class of 2015 Ericka Burey-Fisher Class of 1986 Cathy Christensen Class of 2012 C. Lauren Clark Class of 2012 Tiece Dempsey Class of 2013 Chelsea Klinglesmith Estes
CREATIVE DIRECTION & DESIGN
Amy Fuller Flint Inc.
Brook Arbeitman Abby Coyle
Simon Hurst Ann Sherman
CONTACT INFORMATION Admissions 405.208.5354 email@example.com
Advancement 405.208.7100 firstname.lastname@example.org
Law Career Services 405.208.5332 email@example.com
Law Library 405.208.5271 firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing & Communications 405.208.6300 email@example.com
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Non-Discrimination Policy: Oklahoma City University School of Law provides equality of opportunity in legal education for all persons, including faculty and employees, with respect to hiring, continuation, promotion, and tenure, applicants for admission, enrolled students, and graduates, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The School of Law provides its students and graduates with equal opportunity to obtain employment, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. In furtherance of this policy, the School of Law communicates to each employer to whom it furnishes assistance and facilities for interviewing and other placement functions its firm expectation that the employer will observe the principle of equal opportunity. The Chief Human Resources Office, located in Room 105 of the Administration Building, telephone 405.208.5075, coordinates the University’s compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
DEAN’S MESSAGE by Dean Valerie K. Couch
Dean’s Message Tradition & Innovation — what a powerful pair! At Oklahoma City University School of Law, I have found these values intertwining like branches on a great sturdy tree.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIMON HURST
I am Valerie Couch, and in April I celebrated the completion of my first full year as dean of this wonderful school. And what a year it has been! We have successfully completed the joint reaccreditation site visit by the American Bar Association and Association of American Law Schools — a pivotal event happening every seven years in the life of a member school. The University made the decision to move the entire operations of the School of Law to a magnificent landmark building in the heart of the thriving downtown community of Oklahoma City. Our faculty, staff and students are busy collaborating and planning our future law school home. And we have added new members to our talented staff, launched new programs and strengthened others to advance the mission of our school. When I came here, I was immediately impressed with the superb quality of our faculty, the breadth and relevance of the curriculum and the school’s longstanding commitment to pragmatic legal education. Our faculty and staff provide an education that produces innovative, forwardthinking, ethical leaders ready to take on the challenges of a highly globalized world. And the School continues to build upon its identity as a place for both rigorous
classrooms and career-building practical experience starting from day one. I have seen that this is a place where students become leaders and problemsolvers. Here, students learn how to think, write and advocate as a lawyer. They establish and maintain professional relationships. They launch meaningful careers of service and leadership on a foundation of preparation and experience. This is a place where scholarship advances the common good and where a student’s success in the world is the measure of the success of the School. Most remarkably, this School remains in step with a city bounding toward being one of the most economically vibrant world-class cities in the country — a big-hearted sturdy city known for its frontier values and its creative attitude. In times of adversity, the City — and Oklahoma City’s Law School — have met tough challenges with an innovative and compassionate attitude. That same spirit remains true in times of prosperity as well. Tradition and innovation — intertwined. We have indeed faced adversity this year. We lost one of our most beloved teachers, friends and mentors when Bill Conger died suddenly at his home on New Year’s Day.
DEAN’S MESSAGE by Dean Valerie K. Couch
It is hard to express all we learned from him. Certainly — resilience, humor, civility, kindness and optimism were all qualities that he had the uncanny power to instill in others. Bill maintained a warm embracing attitude toward all members of our law school family and changed many of us for good. All of us at the School, together with the help of our friends in the community, are now engaged in an important, ongoing conversation about how we can keep Bill’s remarkable spirit alive in the future of our School. We are determined to do so.
I see now — from my first year as dean — that our School is moving forward into a dynamic era of growth with the goodwill and support of our amazing alumni.
With warmest regards,
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SIMON HURST • OPPOSITE PAGE: ABBY COYLE
I have been traveling around Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Washington, New York, Illinois, California, the District of Columbia and indeed all over the country meeting our alums. And I am simply awed at the work they are doing, the businesses they have built and the positions of responsibility and leadership they hold. State Supreme Court justices and other appellate judges, trial court judges, legislators, elected officials at all levels of government, United Nations appointees, business leaders, general counsel of hospital corporations, partners of major international law firms, heads of non-profit organizations, lawyers who serve as the counselors of their communities, legal aid attorneys, technology entrepreneurs, faculty members, writers, artists — great richness and responsibility are wrapped into their lives. That rich and responsible engagement in the complex challenges of life reveals the essential nature of the legal profession. Lawyers are essential to a thriving economy, a healthy democracy and a peaceful world. Embracing that essential purpose propels our law school forward — to protect and strengthen society and prepare its future leaders.
I thank each of you for the warm welcome you have given to me and to my family. This has been one of the most exhilarating years of my life, and I look forward with great excitement to the work that lies ahead. I hope you will watch us — and be with us — as we grow forward. Something very special is happening here.
Legal Briefs Influencing Criminal Law Abroad Although free from Soviet rule, the former legal system followed to the new country, corruption and all. A Ukrainian Constitution was adopted in 1996, and while it provided for a criminal justice system where judges were theoretically independent, bribery and political pressure reportedly was the norm.
A trip to the United States to study U.S. criminal procedures came at the perfect time for a delegation of Ukrainians who visited Oklahoma City University School of Law in September 2012. It had been just a few months since the Ukrainian President signed a new Criminal Procedure Code into law when the five Ukrainian legal educators and one facilitator visited our campus. For perspective, the Ukrainian justice system has been evolving since the country regained independence from the dissolving Soviet Union in 1991. Although free from Soviet rule, the former legal system followed to the new country, corruption and all. A Ukrainian Constitution was adopted in 1996, and while it provided for a criminal justice system where judges were theoretically independent, bribery and political pressure reportedly was the norm. There have been efforts to change this culture through revisions to the criminal code. The most recent changes were adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament in April 2012 and signed into law by the President a month later. Because the intent of the Ukrainian delegationâ€™s trip to the U.S. was to better understand our criminal law and criminal law procedures, their time at the law school was spent at the Oklahoma Innocence Project (OIP). Professor and OIP Director Tiffany Murphy gave a tour of the Projectâ€™s facilities and spoke to the Ukrainians about the history and purpose of the Project. She even conducted a mock clinical class. The delegation also attended an Applied Criminal Procedure class with Professor Charles Cantrell and had lunch with members of the School of Law faculty before departing for the Oklahoma County Courthouse. The delegationâ€™s visit to the United States was sponsored by Open World Leadership Center in Washington, D.C. Open World is a U.S. exchange program with post-Soviet countries that began in 1999. Since that time, more than 2,100 Russian and Ukrainian judges and legal professionals have come to the U.S. to learn more about our court system and the rule of law.
Students Take First in National Sports Law Negotiation Competition Oklahoma City University School of Law third-year students Jarin Giesler and Cameron Feil won first place in the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition. The two-day competition was held in September 2012 at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and included 40 teams representing 28 top law schools, from UCLA to Harvard. “Winning the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition has been the highlight of my law school experience,” said Jarin Giesler, President of the law school’s Sports, Property and Entertainment Law Association (SPELA). “The law school and our professors prepared us for the competition from the first time we entered the Sarkeys Law Center. Everything we experienced over the past two years helped us in our negotiations, and it helped us put Oklahoma City University School of Law on the map.”
The team was assigned a side to a hypothetical scenario and then given confidential facts to support their position. They researched and prepared their arguments in the month leading up to the competition. After the first round, the 40 teams were narrowed down to the final four: Oklahoma City University School of Law, Southwestern Law School, University of California Hastings College of Law and Chapman University School of Law. The finalists were given a new hypothetical scenario and had to prepare their arguments overnight. The judges for the final round were distinguished and included a San Diego city attorney, federal magistrate judge, and Major League Hall of Famer and San Diego Padres Executive Vice President Dave Winfield. “I was very impressed,” said Winfield. “All of the teams represented their institutions well. They were very professional.”
Bringing home first place is impressive, but the students should also be applauded for their determination. Both paid their own way and won without the help or guidance of a coach at the competition. “I think both Jarin and I have come to the conclusion that a great deal of our success can be attributed to the fact that we fed off of each other so well throughout the competition,” Feil said.
New Certificate Programs
New Look for Website
This year, the faculty at the law school approved the addition of three new certificates — Energy and Natural Resources Law, Real Estate Law Practice, and Estate Planning — to the existing certificate program. Law students at Oklahoma City University now have nine certificates to choose from ranging from American Indian Law to Client Representation in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Students graduating with a certificate have a demonstrable specialization in an area of law, an attractive skill set for future employers.
A new website that aims to be more user-friendly and easy to navigate was launched by Oklahoma City University School of Law in August 2012. “The new website brings a fresh and modern design, offering many dynamic features for users including easier navigation, streaming social media and multi-device compatibility,” said Brook Arbeitman, Director of Marketing and Communications for the law school. Among the goals for the website redesign was better-organized content based on the audience. With eight tabs and a navigation that can be accessed from anywhere within the site, users will find the information they are looking for quickly and with ease. Another new feature is the use of Responsive Web Design technology throughout the site. Responsive design is intuitive, allowing for a great web experience on the go or from the comforts of home, because the content is automatically reorganized based on the device viewing it. So, whether on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, law.okcu.edu is a site you should bookmark.
The new Oklahoma City University website: law.okcu.edu
The Honorable Jerry Bass ’91 achieved one of his longtime goals this year — having one of his criminal jury trials take place at his alma mater. In October 2012, the District Judge for Oklahoma County conducted proceedings in the Homsey Family Moot Courtroom at Oklahoma City University School of Law. The jury was selected off-site, but the rest of the trial, including opening and closing arguments, was held at the law school for students to observe. It was quite an opportunity to see our legal system in action, and we are grateful to Judge Bass and Professor Dan Morgan who made it possible.
Trial by Jury
Students Active in Community Our student organizations are very active in community service projects. Whether fundraising or helping provide legal assistance to those in need, servant leadership is not just a concept to aspire to; it is a way of life our students have embraced. The social impact of their efforts is far-reaching, and we are all proud of their work. Black Law Student Association • On-site ACT Preparation Course for teachers at Douglass High School Women Law Students Association • Self-defense class • Documentary Night American Bar Association • Work-A-Day Clean Up of the Boys and Girls Club Park Phi Alpha Delta • Hotdogs for the Homeless Women Law Students Association • Prom Dress Drive Animal Law • PAW & Order: Partners in Crime Dog Park Event (proceeds donated to ASPCA)
...servant leadership is not just a concept to aspire to; it is a way of life our students have embraced.
OUTLaws • Night on the Town (proceeds benefit AIDS Walk of Oklahoma City) Family Law * Fall Festival (proceeds donated to Oklahoma Lawyers for Children)
Innocence Project Joins International Network Membership in the Innocence Network was extremely important to the Project. There are numerous resources available through the network that we otherwise wouldn’t have access to, which helps our small staff be more effective and efficient for our clients.
The Oklahoma Innocence Project (OIP) at Oklahoma City University School of Law joined the international Innocence Network in 2012. The Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations, in the U.S. and around the world, dedicated to providing legal services to those seeking to prove they are innocent of crimes for which they have been convicted. “Membership in the Innocence Network was extremely important to the Project,” said Tiffany Murphy, OIP Director. “There are numerous resources available through the network that we otherwise wouldn’t have access to, which helps our small staff be more effective and efficient for our clients.” With membership in the Innocence Network, the OIP has access to legislative support, legal briefs that have been successful in previous cases, notification of grant opportunities, access to experts and support from other network members. The OIP had been a provisional member of the Innocence Network since it opened in August 2011.
Dean Receives Award
The School of Law was privileged to host the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on March 29, 2012. A full house of law students witnessed two death penalty habeas cases in the Homsey Family Moot Courtroom. In addition to the proceedings, the judges conducted a Q&A session for students about appellate practice, oral argument and effective advocacy.
In November 2012, Dean Couch, along with Deans Harroz from the University of Oklahoma and Levit from Tulsa University, received a Diversity Award from the Oklahoma City Association of Black Lawyers.
Tenth Circuit Oral Arguments Hosted at Law School
A full house of law students witnessed two death penalty habeas cases in the Homsey Family Moot Courtroom.
ABA Accreditation Visit The American Bar Association (ABA) Site Evaluation Team visited campus October 28-31, 2012, as part of the full site evaluation that is required of ABA-approved law schools every seven years. The site team met with the dean and other administrators, faculty members, alumni and members of the bar and judiciary who are familiar with the law school. They also visited classes, held an open meeting with students and talked with student leaders. The site team provided an oral report of their findings at the end of their visit. An extensive site evaluation report was submitted to the ABA Accreditation Committee and covers all aspects of the law schoolâ€™s operations.
Anadarko Hospital Opens New Sexual Assault Exam Room ... will no doubt greatly improve the welfare of the victims and help to achieve the justice they deserve.
The Native American Legal Resource Center (NALRC) at Oklahoma City University School of Law, in partnership with the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, utilized a $450,000 grant from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women to assist victims of sexual assault in southwest Oklahoma. With the grant funds, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) equipment was purchased and placed in hospitals in Caddo, Grady, Jefferson and Stephens counties to assist law enforcement with the collection of evidence in sexual assault cases. Previously, victims would have to travel hours to be examined by a sexual assault nurse. “The collaborative effort to bring resources to The Physicians’ Hospital in Anadarko to allow for the compassionate, thorough and timely evaluation of victims of sexual violence will no doubt greatly improve the welfare of the victims and help to achieve the justice they deserve,” said Dr. Richard S. Carter, CEO of the Physicians’ Hospital of Anadarko. “This program is a great benefit to the people of Caddo County and surrounding areas.” With the project funding, the partners are also providing free services to victims including an exam by a qualified nurse, testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and follow up care for STDs, if necessary. In addition to developing sexual assault examination protocols, the grant funds were used to hire a full-time victims’ advocate for the Apache Tribe who works solely with victims of sexual assault in those four counties. This past summer, the NALRC was notified that it received a subsequent DOJ grant in the amount of $704,000. This three-year grant will allow the NALRC and Apache Tribe to continue their efforts to provide legal assistance and victims’ services in rural Oklahoma.
American Law and Oklahoma Culture
MEMORIAL: CHANCE PHOTO • COWBOY AND WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUM COURTESY OF MUSEUM
Understanding the intricacies of the legal system is the goal of every student who attends Oklahoma City University School of Law. Most students come to law school having completed their undergraduate degree and ready to pursue an advanced degree in the law. But, each summer the law school hosts a unique group of students on campus for the Certificate in American Law Program. These students are pursuing an undergraduate law degree in China and come to Oklahoma City University School of Law to learn the ins and outs of law in the United States. The Certificate in American Law program provides an extensive background on the American legal system for the Chinese scholars. Participants attend classes on the American Legal System, Legal Research and Writing, the Legal Profession and Trial Practice. Their month on campus culminates with a mock trial at the Federal Courthouse where the students argue a case in English before a judge. This past summer, the law school hosted 24 participants from three of our Chinese partner schools. Nankai University sent ten students and Professor SUN Jiang; Beijing Normal University sent five students and Professor LIU Zhi; and Zhongnan University of Economics and Law sent six students and Professor WANG Yan. They were on campus from July 9-August 3, 2012. As part of their extracurricular activities, the students received a taste of Oklahoma culture including visits to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma History Center, the Chickasaw Cultural Center and the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. They also visited the Oklahoma Judicial Center, the Oklahoma Capitol, several Oklahoma City law firms and attended a naturalization ceremony.
© 2013 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Thank you to the many law school supporters who opened their homes to host dinners for the students during their stay, including Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger ‘69, Dean Emeritus Lawrence and Gay Hellman ‘80, Jean Giles and Steve Presson, and Emma Rolls and Lee Peoples.
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) Reconceiving First Amendment Protection for Information-Gathering in the Age of Google Earth BY PROFESSOR MARC JONATHAN BLITZ
In an 1859 article for The Atlantic Monthly, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. marveled at the nineteenth century’s version of 3D technology — the stereoscope — and the way it could fully immerse a viewer in an environment thousands of miles away. “The stereoscopic views of the arches of Constantine and of Titus,” he observed, “give not only every letter of the old inscriptions, but render the grain of the stone itself.”1 Just as impressive as the detail captured in stereographic photos was the new ability they gave individuals to quickly traverse the world from a single place: “I pass, in a moment,” said Holmes, “from the banks of the Charles to the ford of the Jordan, and leave my outward frame in the arm-chair at my table, while in spirit I am looking down upon Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.” A library of such immersive photos, he said, would allow a person to gaze intently at the details of “any object, natural or artificial,” as he would read a book at any common library. What Holmes did not foresee is that, a century and a half later, individuals can visit such a library of immersive images from a 18
device that sits on their lap or fits into the palm of their hand. On Google Earth and Bing Maps, I can quickly traverse the globe — traveling from the Charles River to the Jordan and on to the Mount of Olives in less than a minute — and see panoramic views of each location along the way. The creators of these computer mapping programs, and others joining them, are constantly aiming to make such “virtual travel” more impressively realistic. Google’s “Street View” service uses detailed panoramic images to give users the sense that they are standing on the street themselves. Microsoft’s Streetside images (in Bing Maps) make the user feel inside the scene. Apple now gives the same power of virtual exploration to users of its iPhones and iPads utilizing iOS 6 — which now comes with 3D maps that allow users to make virtual fly-overs of city scapes. With the aid of these interactive maps and “virtual globes,” individuals can peer at the details of streets, squares and storefronts thousands of miles from where they stand — even in locations they have never visited and may never visit at all.
The free access I have to such a wealth of geographic information is, in part, thanks to the First Amendment protections developed at the urging of Holmes’s son, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. — protections which, as the Supreme Court interpreted them in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, preserve our access to the “vast library” of documents and images one finds on the World Wide Web.2 There is, however, one place where our ability to observe the world in this way is left vulnerable to government attack and restriction: at the point the original images are captured. While Google and other map-making companies have the right to disseminate the photographs they have in their possession, existing free speech law may not give them the right to take those pictures in the first place — and, indeed, citizens and legislators have often assumed that this mapping technology can be restricted in the name of privacy without any First Amendment concerns. Where existing privacy laws do not bar Google or others from taking or disseminating high-resolution photographs, some state legislators have suggested revising the laws to make it illegal for them to do so. Restrictions of this sort have already been imposed on Google in foreign jurisdictions. For example, laws in Germany already prevent Google from photographing and displaying on Google Earth the homes of those who object to such display. And while Google recently won the right to continue offering its Street View service in Switzerland — even without manually blurring out every face and license plate — the Swiss Federal Supreme Court placed limits on Google’s ability to capture and post images of specified private locations. But if there are privacy and security interests that weigh in favor of restricting mapping technology (and I will argue later that there are), are there also First Amendment or
other liberty interests that cut the other way? If so, what is the nature of these constitutional liberty interests to create or access dynamic computerized maps, and how do we balance those interests against the privacy and security interests that might justify some restrictions on what mapping software can reveal about us?
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
Google Earth, Privacy and the Freedom to Document Public Space
It is, after all, difficult to strike this legal balance in the proper way if we attend to only one side of it. The First Amendment side of this equation has so far received virtually no attention in court decisions and law review articles. Articles about Google Street View in the press sometimes assume that Google and other entities that map our cities, towns and roadways have some constitutional protection to do so. Privacy and digital rights expert Kevin Bankston, for example, describes the privacy protection challenges presented by Google Street View as that of striking a balance between people’s “privacy interests” and “our First Amendment right to document public spaces around us.”3 Bankston’s description is perceptive and accurate, but it requires elaboration. The First Amendment’s speech clause does not expressly give us “a right to document public spaces.” Rather, it gives us a right to freedom of speech. Such a freedom may include the right to speak about the things we have observed in public space (whether through words, pictures, or symbolic conduct), but does it also include a freedom to make such observations in the first place? I will argue that it does. This claim may well seem at odds with existing First Amendment doctrine. Although the Supreme Court has expressly recognized since 1943 that the First Amendment right to free speech entails a corollary right to “receive information and ideas,”4 this “right to receive” is not a right to receive information from any source one might find. It is a right to receive information from “a willing speaker,”5 not an unqualified right to gather information from all events and experiences that the world has to offer. “[T] he right to speak and publish,” the Court warned in Zemel v. Rusk, “does not carry
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
with it the unrestrained right to gather information.”6 Amendment law to an absurd place — for such a right would not simply bar the government from censoring speech, but stop it from regulating at all. After all, warned the Court, “there are few [government] restrictions on action which could not be clothed by ingenious argument in the garb of decreased data flow” and thus as unconstitutional infringements of our right to receive information.
Mapmakers as Journalists — Shielded by Free Press Protections and a Right to Receive Information About Public Affairs This was not, however, the end of the story. Over the years, the Court’s initial refusal to recognize any independent right to gather information has been, in important respects, questioned and eroded. For example, while the Court initially declared that individuals only have a right to receive information from a willing speaker, it has since recognized at least one exception to this general rule. As the Court declared in Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, members of the public have a First Amendment right to enter and observe the proceedings of a trial. “[T]he First Amendment guarantees of speech and press,” wrote Chief Justice Burger in that case, “prohibit government from summarily closing courtroom doors which had long been open to the public at the time that Amendment was adopted.”7 Even if such observation is not aimed at any willing speaker, even if the judge and all of the key parties to the trial would prefer to keep the public out, the First Amendment affords interested members of the public be there to see and hear the proceedings. There may also be another textual basis on the constitution for a right to observe. The Court has also hinted that journalists — and perhaps others — may have another kind of right to gather information even from unwilling sources. Such an information-gathering right would be 20
grounded not in the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee, but in the protection it offers for the “freedom of press.” “Newsgathering,” the Court declared in Branzburg v. Hayes, is not “without its First Amendment protections, and “without some protection for seeking out news, freedom of the press could be eviscerated.”8 Relying on precedents such as this one, lower courts in recent years have found that individuals not only have a right to observe, and take notes about, certain aspects of the surrounding world — but to videotape them. In 2012, for example, the Seventh Circuit, held in American Civil Liberties Union v. Alvarez that citizens have a right to make a video and audio recording of police actions.9 The First Amendment, it said, was largely grounded in the need for people “to see, examine, and be informed of their government,” and it took note of the Supreme Court’s statement in Branzburg that there must be “‘some protection’” for “gathering information” about political affairs. The First Circuit reached a similar conclusion in the 2011 case of Glik v. Cunniffe. Relying on the Richmond Newspapers right to observe trials and other government proceedings, the court there found that such rights of access to information clearly extended to “the filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities.”10 Earlier cases have held that such a right to make a record of nearby events covers not only police encounters, but also other “matters of public interest,” such as protests and other demonstrations. Drawing on such holdings, those who create and use computer-generated maps might argue that such a right to record “matters of public interest” protects them too. If the First Amendment shields those who photograph or videotape a police encounter or an anti-government demonstration on the streets, why not also those who photograph the streets themselves and the cityscape that surrounds them? The information in dynamic
ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANIL YANIK
Towards a New More Robust and Individualistic Right to Receive Information — and Capture Images A First Amendment jurisprudence that offers only this variant of protection to mapping and geographic information gathering, however, would be in important respects incomplete. First, while it may protect against laws that seek to shield geographic information that is plausibly related to public affairs, it is not clear whether it
would provide any First Amendment shield against other select restrictions on what mapping company cameras can capture. Is it necessary, for example, for individuals to see a vivid, immersive photograph of a place rather than a more abstract set of lines, shapes and color-coded shadings to find their way to a polling station, courthouse, or other government building — or even to understand the impact of government construction on a neighborhood or wetlands area? Might the government thus be able to enact — with no First Amendment challenge — laws that allow mapmakers to provide substantial information about the world, but not to provide an accompanying picture with vivid, three dimensional perspectives? Might the government also be able to bar any depiction of certain sites that it can plausibly argue have little to do with public affairs — such as pictures that show the details of what items are in storefront windows, or what decorations adorn the outsides of a building roof, a balcony, or other architectural structures?
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
maps might well serve the public interest given the stunning number of people using such maps each month. Members of the public rely on maps constantly for purposes as mundane as finding their way to a house they have never visited, or an unfamiliar restaurant or museum — but also for purposes with more political importance, such as better understanding the impact of certain government measures on the environment. Mapmakers, then, obtain crucial data for others, so perhaps their information-gathering efforts deserve the same protection as those of journalists and others who report, or record, the actions of law enforcement or government protesters. If, as Justice Powell has said, journalists act as “agents” of the public,11 obtaining information about current affairs for them that citizens cannot obtain for themselves, then those who create similar maps do the same: they bring citizens knowledge of their geography and their environment that they could not hope to obtain themselves.
Such legal restrictions may not run afoul of a First Amendment right to receive extending only to information of “public concern” — to information that has importance for helping citizens “to see, examine, and be informed of their government” (to use the words of the Seventh Circuit).12 But such a conception of the right to receive is based upon an
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
of it that satisfy their idiosyncratic interests.
imperfect analogy. Mapmakers are, in key respects, less like journalists than they are like librarians. As Oliver Wendell Holmes recognized in his nineteenth-century analogy between collections of 3D images and book-filled libraries, a massive collection of such images is best conceived not as a single report or narrative, but rather as a library filled with such narratives. Rather than tell a particular story or decide which events are newsworthy or important enough to deserve a headline, the creators of Google or Bing Maps typically let each user decide what is important to observe. Just as librarians assemble a vast collection of books and then let individual patrons chart their own path within it according to their own interests, so mapmakers build a simulation of the physical and geographic environment, and then let individuals navigate it according to their own needs or explore the parts 22
Indeed, to a far greater extent than journalists, the information intermediaries who create modern maps often fade into the background — leaving the user with the sense that he or she is directly interacting with the environment in the scene. This makes the experience of navigating a modern map seem much less like paradigmatic First Amendment activities than like that of reading a newspaper or magazine report: Although we do need human intermediaries (Google, Nokia or Apple, for example) to bring us virtual globes, we are supposed to feel — and often do feel — that these vivid virtual expeditions put us in a direct encounter with the environment itself. Rather than serving as an audience for speech, we feel as if we are extending the power of our perception in both space and time with the aid of machines rather than fellow speakers. Where we might have once needed to read a journalist’s powerfully written story, or view a photojournalist’s carefullycaptured images in National Geographic to see a far-away environment, we can now do so by simulating a flight across the globe and “seeing” it for ourselves, courtesy of the augmented vision provided to us by Google’s army of cameras and computer programmers. This seemingly direct perception of faraway environments is less familiar to First Amendment law than are more traditional ways of learning about the world. However, this perception is just as deserving of First Amendment protection — even when the environment that an individual chooses to explore is one that has significance only to her, or a few other people. First Amendment freedom is offended not only when citizens are metaphorically gagged
First Amendment jurists and scholars therefore should aspire to resurrect a right to know about the environment that not only gives individuals a right to free themselves from wearing government-imposed lenses but — at least in many circumstances — from wearing any lenses at all. They should be able to observe the environment with their own eyes rather than the computer-mediated perception made possible by Google, Apple and other map-builders of the digital age. Protecting speech is a key component of protecting our ability to think freely, but it is not the sole part. Our ability to understand and examine our world for ourselves depends not only on our ability to communicate free of government monitors and censors, but also to observe the world free from government-imposed blinders. This more individualistic conception of the right to receive information, to be sure, raises some of the worries that led the Supreme Court to reject informationgathering rights altogether in Zemel: that since almost all government restriction places some limits on the information-generating experiences we are permitted to have, all government restriction would suddenly be open to First Amendment challenge. There is, however, a test courts can use to prevent the creations of such a “slippery slope.” They may, in doing so, use a modified version of the framework that the Court crafted for courts assessing restrictions on “symbolic conduct,” such as burning a flag or draft card to protest United States military policy. Courts, it said in O’Brien and later cases elaborating upon it, must ask if the government law’s effect on expression was really an incidental by-product of a law aimed at regulating non-speech conduct, or was it rather aimed at “suppress[ing] free expression.” Even if they concluded that the government was not targeting the speech component
contained in a mixture of speech and action, they should still, said the O’Brien Court, allow such incidental restriction only where the government has a “substantial interest” and pursue it with means that did not restrict significantly more speech than necessary. The O’Brien test is similar to the test that Justice Douglas proposed for informationgathering activity when he dissented in Zemel v. Rusk. He envisioned a kind of analysis whereby courts might surgically separate the elements of expressive or informationgathering conduct that deserved strong constitutional protection, from the physical or economic conduct that didn’t. The Court’s role under the First Amendment was thus not to strike down any government limit on information-gathering, but rather to assure that such a limit was justified by legitimate concerns about how the activity involved in that information-gathering might affect the public, and not by a desire on the part of the government to keep people in ignorance.
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
by the government, but also when they are blindfolded by it — or left to view the world only through government-imposed lenses.
Following Douglas’ lead, Courts might ask how likely the information-gathering activity in question is to generate physical or economic harm of a kind identified, and targeted by, the government restriction that limits it. As noted above, where people’s information-gathering activity consists solely of glancing at or snapping a photograph
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
of something that can be observed in the public space they are in — and where the government’s regulation is drafted to assure that the information captured by such a glance or photo does not get captured at all — then there is reason to subject the regulation to the kind of intermediate scrutiny embodied in O’Brien. In such a case, after all, it is hard to claim that someone is trying to cleverly attack a legitimate government safety measure by “cloth[ing]” it in the ugly “garb” of a restriction on “data flow.”13 The government’s attack in such a situation is likely to be aimed at the data flow itself (and not simply some safety worry that happens to accompany it).
Privacy and the Right to Map I have argued — agreeing in this respect with Justice Douglas in Zemel — that in dealing with cases of mapping or other image capture, courts should try to assure that a government restriction on information-gathering is aimed at real harms and not motivated by a desire on the part of the government to keep people in ignorance. But there are, of course, some situations where people feel they can avoid certain harms only by keeping others in ignorance of certain information. In fact, that is generally true when they are trying to safeguard their privacy. An individual has information privacy only when she can keep others from learning certain things about her. Individuals who like to be able to retain their anonymity in the world might have much less of it if those who admire, stalk, or threaten them — or those who are merely curious — might not only easily find their address on the Internet, but might also, with the aid of dynamic maps, look upon their driveway, or at the backyard, or their front window sill, as though they were standing beside it. This is not merely a hypothetical concern; numerous websites provide easy links to the Google Earth images of celebrity homes and their surroundings, and at least one court has held that such maps count as protected speech under the First Amendment. Nor do such privacy concerns arise only near the home. Moments of our public lives 24
that we don’t expect to be shared with others might, if caught by a Google Street View camera or a nearby cellphone user for upload to Panoramio, be frozen and subject to multiple viewings. As I have previously written in analyzing public video surveillance in major cities, “[e]ven a video archive that includes only a person’s movements through public settings would inevitably reveal much that he would rather not share with an audience, let alone have incorporated into official records.”14 In fact, newspapers, blogs and law review articles already highlight stories of Google Street View occasionally capturing precisely such intimate activity: two people sharing their first kiss on a grassy lawn, topless sunbathers, a strip club patron, and a man urinating in his front yard. Indeed, far from being hidden amid the numerous images on Google and replaced by regular updates, these images have often been retrieved and posted on websites on a regular basis by users aware that Google’s cameras occasionally catch people in unguarded and embarrassing behavior. It is thus easy to see why numerous legal commentators — and some legislators — have called on Google and others who capture images in public to be subjected to stricter legal limits aimed at better securing people’s privacy. Such attempts to bolster privacy are understandable — and, in some cases, justifiable. But it is one thing to acknowledge that privacy interests in restricting information may, at times, outweigh
On the one hand, under the framework proposed above, government attempts to protect privacy will, and should, be subject to a First Amendment review that assures they do not unduly restrict informationgathering rights. Under the framework I have sketched above, government restrictions must at least overcome the O’Brien intermediate scrutiny test when they are designed to stop information from reaching people (and do not simply disrupt such data flow while attacking another harm). On the other hand, the fact that privacy protection in public must generally be balanced against the First Amendment interests it threatens does not always mean that privacy will invariably lose such a contest. It will require much more space than available here to fully analyze how such balancing might work, but I would suggest the following proposal as a starting point: close up views of homes that reveal not only the permanent appearance of the house but the ephemera of day-to-day life contain substantially more information about individuals’ personal behavior and should be allowed to be shielded from regular high-tech
monitoring. Unlike landmarks and public buildings that can be viewed and admired for hours at a time by a pedestrian interested in architecture, a person’s backyard and the social and private activities that take place there generally may not be observed at close range without violating social norms and arousing suspicion. Accordingly, Fourth Amendment case law allows government officers to observe the exterior of the home and its immediate surroundings from a public vantage point, but not generally to gather information, without a warrant, from inside the home or its curtilage. For all the complaints about Google Street View, the current rules that Google has voluntarily adopted already strike what I would argue is a good balance between the freedom of mapmakers and users to observe the environment and the freedom of individuals to conduct their lives anonymously (including their expression and information-seeking). Google blurs the faces of pedestrians caught in Street View pictures and, while it captures images of private homes, offers to remove a detailed view of such a home when requested by the home’s owner.
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
First Amendment interests in informationgathering. It is another to insist that these First Amendment interests do not exist. How then should the law strike a balance between our privacy interests and our right to document public space?
To be sure, one can imagine a more restrictive privacy regime that forces Google and other map-providers to make even less information available or requires iPhone map companies to remove information about nearby businesses, landmarks or campuses from their geolocation programs. As mentioned previously, Germany has instituted a regime of this sort, preventing Google from providing details of houses whose owners object. Certain states have considered legislation that would likewise prevent Google from posting an image of certain structures, such as schools or federal buildings, that might be of interest to possible attackers. Some might argue that individual privacy protection should cover not only an individual’s movements, but also certain aspects of the physical architecture that surround them. At a certain point, however, such claims as to what should or should not remain publicly visible must have a limit. The exploration
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
of visible space is a public resource of sorts and is not one that should be hoarded by others at a cost to individuals’ freedom of exploration and information-gathering. A similar point has already been made, by a number of writers, about the availability of our cultural environment. As James Boyle argued, for example, long copyright terms allow rights-holders to “lock up almost all of twentieth-century culture” and empty the “public domain” where we find cultural raw materials for our own creative expression. As a consequence, the vast majority of works in the Library of Congress’ catalogue are effectively unavailable to most readers in the United States, creating a “lost culture” of films, books, and records.15 A parallel concern arises about the library of information on our natural and built environment that map-makers provide to individuals interested in virtual exploration. By invoking privacy interests the same way that individuals and businesses wield intellectual property rights, third parties may block us from seeing not only the insides of buildings but their external and visible structures, thereby thwarting our freedom to observe and gather information through our own faculties. Just as one architect objected to the brief depiction of a supposedly copyrighted courtyard in a film,16 camerawielding individuals have been barred from taking photographs of private properties.17 This Article’s argument has been that such a cloaking of the surrounding environment from observation threatens key First Amendment principles and should not be permitted unless it can overcome constitutional hurdles.
Conclusion When Oliver Wendell Holmes marveled — over 150 years ago — at the possibility of creating a massive library of 3D images, he was intrigued not only by the stunning records of experience that would be contained in those libraries but also what would be absent from them. As realistic and vivid as the stereoscopic images might be, they would ultimately only be images — stripped away from the physical reality they generated. As Holmes put it, to the creators, and patrons, of such a library, form 26
would “henceforth be divorced from matter.” Transformed by the technological power of stereography, objects would “scale off” their “surface” and shed their “skin,” so that they could be brought to a centralized location for innumerable visitors to enjoy the benefit of close observation and admiration while being spared burdensome or threatening encounters with unfamiliar environments. As it turns out, this aspect of modern image collection — their separation from the underlying physical landscape that is not necessarily a subject of government control and regulation — helps lay the groundwork for a meaningful First Amendment rights to intellectual exploration. If intellectual exploration always threatened safety of the public, or interfered with the government’s necessary role in assuring social order, then it could not be shielded from state control. To do so would deprive the state of the power to perform the security and ordering functions that are a crucial part of its role. But as Holmes’ reflections show, intellectual exploration does not always take the individual into the government’s functional territory. When such exploration merely involves observing or recording reality rather than changing it, as is true in much modern map-making, then the First Amendment should shield exploration of this kind from constitutional restriction — just as it generally shields words that lack the coercive effects or potential harms of action. About the Author: Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz’s scholarship focuses on constitutional protection for freedom of thought and freedom of expression, privacy and national security law — and especially how each of these areas of law applies to emerging technologies. Prior to joining the faculty at Oklahoma City University School of Law, Blitz was an attorney at the Washington, D.C., firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr where his work focused on telecommunications, privacy law, computer law, intellectual properly, constitutional law and anti-terrorism security measures. A complete version of this article was published in the March 2013 Columbia Science and Technology Law Review (14 Column Science and Technology L. Rev. 116 ).
1. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Stereoscope and the Stereograph, The Atlantic Monthly, June 1859, at 745, available at http://www. theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1859/06/thestereoscope-and-the-stereograph/303361/. 2. Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 853 (1997). 3. Miguel Helft, Google Zooms in Too Close for Some, N.Y. Times, June 1, 2007, available at http://www.nytimes. com/2007/06/01/technology/01private.html. 4. Martin v. Struthers, 319 U.S. 141, 143 (1943). 5. Va. State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Va. Citizens Consumer Council, Inc., 425 U.S. 748, 756 (1976). 6. Zemel v. Rusk, 381 U.S. 1, 16-17 (1965). 7. Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 576 (1980).
The Right to Map (and Avoid Being Mapped) by Professor Marc Jonathan Blitz
Footnotes 10. Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78, 82, (1st Cir. 2011). 11. Saxbe v. Washington Post, 417 U.S. 843, 863 (1974) (Powell, J., dissenting). 12. Alvarez, 679 F.3d at 600 (7th Cir. 2012). 13. Zemel, 381 U.S. at 16-17. 14. Marc Jonathan Blitz, Video Surveillance and the Constitution of Public Space: Fitting the Fourth Amendment to a World That Tracks Image and Identity, 82 Tex. L. Rev. 1349, 1357-58 (2004). 15. James Boyle, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind 9-11 (2008) 16. Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World 4 (2001). 17. See, e.g., Porat v. Lincoln Towers Cmty. Assâ€™n, No. 04 Civ. 3199, 2005 WL 646093, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 21, 2005).
8. Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 707 (1972). 9. American Civil Liberties Union v. Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583 (7th Cir. 2012).
LEGAL ACTION Appointments • Awards • Distinctions • Presentations • Publications
PHYLLIS E. BERNARD
MARC J. BLITZ
Robert S. Kerr Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, Director of the Center on Alternative Dispute Resolution
Professor of Law
Associate Director, Law Library
DI ST I NC T IONS A PPOI N T M E N T S • Appointed co-chair of the Adjudication Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice (2012) • Member of the Downtown Building Advisory Committee
PR E SE N TAT IONS • 7 Secrets to Successful Business-to-Business Mediations, Webcast, American Law Institute (December 2012)
• United States v. Jones — and the Forms of Surveillance That May Be Left Unregulated in a Free Society was one of six proposals selected as finalists for Best Proposal at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference hosted by George Washington University Law School (June 2012)
PR E SE N TAT IONS • Customer Service and Marketing: Shaking Things Up to Achieve a Great Library Identity, Webcast, American Association of Law Libraries (July 2012) • Open Leadership: Using Social Media as a Leadership Tool, Webcast, American Association of Law Libraries (April 2012)
PAULA J. DALLEY
Professor of Law
Professor of Law
Legal Research & Writing Professor
PU BL IC AT IONS
A PPOI N T M E N T S
• Oklahoma Criminal Law: Statutes and Rules Annotated (16 ed) (2012) • Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions: Criminal 2D Annotated (6 ed) (2012)
• Member of the Downtown Building Advisory Committee
CHARLES L. CANTRELL
A PPOI N T M E N T S • Member of the Downtown Building Advisory Committee
AWA R DS • 2012 Oklahoma City University Outstanding Faculty Award, which celebrates faculty members whose teaching, scholarship and service to the university and professional community are deemed exemplary
DI ST I NC T IONS • Attended the Aspen Institute’s Wye Faculty Seminar titled: “Citizenship in the American Global Polity” (July 2012)
MICHAEL T. GIBSON
Legal Research & Writing Professor, Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program
Instructor of Law, Director of Academic Achievement
Professor of Law
A PPOI N T M E N T S A PPOI N T M E N T S • Chair of the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) Section on Appellate Practice
• Member of the Downtown Building Advisory Committee
AWA R DS • Recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Assistance Award for 2011-2012 from the Oklahoma City University Law Review
PU BL IC AT IONS • A Critique of BEST PRACTICES IN LEGAL EDUCATION: Five Things All Law Professors Should Know, 42 University of Baltimore Law Review (2012)
LAWRENCE K. HELLMAN
Professor of Law
Dean Emeritus, Professor of Law
ALVIN C. HARRELL
• I Solemnly Pledge to Disobey the Rules of Professional Conduct?, Fifth International Legal Ethics Conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada (July 2012)
PU BL IC AT IONS • Case Note: Fraudulent Transfers and Attorney Obligations in Bankruptcy, 66 Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report 56 (2012) • The Dodd-Frank Act and the Future of State Commercial Transactions Law, 83 Oklahoma Bar Journal 915-21 (2012) • Book review and commentary, James Steven Rogers, The End of Negotiable Instruments, 66 Consumer Finance Law Quarterly Report (2012) • Introduction to the 2012 Annual Survey of Consumer Financial Services Law, 67 Business Lawyer 537 (2012) (with Franzen and Ropiequet) • Emerging Commercial Law and UCC Issues for the next Farm and Business Credit Crisis, 17 Drake Agriculture Law Review 89-174 (2012) (with Theophilus, Schumm and Sullivan)
AWA R DS • Recipient of the Oklahoma Association of Black Lawyers Award for Excellence
DI ST I NC T IONS • Spent two weeks in China to expand the law school’s partnerships with Chinese law schools (December 2012)
PR E SE N TAT IONS
• Constitutional Adjudication in the United States: Which Courts? What Standards? What Effects?, Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai, China (March 2012) • The American Jury System: Why Do We Have It? How Does It Work? What is the Role of the Judge?, Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai, China (March 2012) • Moderator and organizer, The Difficulty of Recognizing Our Own Biases, Judicial Retreat for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma (November 2012)
• Appealing to Our Better Selves: Legal Ethics for Appellate Lawyers, Oklahoma Bar Association Section of Appellate Advocacy (November 2012) • Saving a Corporate Client from Itself: Knowing When to Climb the Ladder and Blow the Whistle, American Bar Association Section of Energy, Environment, and Resources (October 2012)
DANNÉ L. JOHNSON
LAURIE W. JONES
Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Admissions, Legal Research & Writing Professor
PR E SE N TAT IONS
AWA R DS • Selected as one of the Journal Record’s 50 Making a Difference for 2012 • Received the Best Mentor Award from the 2012 graduating class
DI ST I NC T IONS • Volunteered during the third annual Make a Will and Family Financial Planning Workshop in Oklahoma City • Participated in the Third Annual Pipeline Plus Legal Diversity Program, which promotes a career in the legal profession to Tulsa area high school students
• Doing History with Critical Legal Thought at the Building the Arc of Justice: The Life and Legal Thought of Derrick Bell Symposium on the campus of Western New England School of Law (September 2012) • A discussion about the Freedmen’s courts in Kentucky at the University of Akron School of Law • A paper at the international symposium Writing Slavery After Beloved Literature, Historiography, Criticism in Nantes, France (March 2012) • Traveled to Washington, D.C., to present the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Justice Ruther Bader Ginsberg (December 2012) • Attended and was a panel discussant at the 2012 Joint Law and Society Conference
PU BL IC AT IONS • Reflections of Past Chairs of the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education, 80 University of Missouri Kansas City Law Review 827 (2012)
AWA R DS • Co-Awarded the Oklahoma Bar Association Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Member for her joint efforts on the Oklahoma County Pro Se Waiver Divorce Docket project (November 2012) • The Oklahoma County Bar Association Pro Bono Award in recognition of her efforts to search out volunteer opportunities for students (2012)
A PPOI N T M E N T S • Associate Dean for Admissions • Member of the Downtown Building Steering Committee
ARTHUR G. LEFRANCOIS
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law
Professor of Law
ERIC T. LAITY PR E SE N TAT IONS • Co-presented a session titled So You Want to be a Lawyer, National Indian Education Association Conference (October 2012)
PU BL IC AT IONS • The Oklahoma Innocence Project at Work, 83 Oklahoma Bar Journal 401-402 (2012) • New Online Resource Makes Finding Pro Bono Work Easy, 83 Oklahoma Bar Journal 609 (2012) • Limited Scope Representation, 83 Oklahoma Bar Journal 2711 (2012)
A PPOI N T M E N T S • Selected to serve as a co-chair of the Downtown Building Steering Committee
A PPOI N T M E N T S • To the board of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
DI ST I NC T IONS • Presided over Dean Couch’s Investiture Ceremony • The 2011 OCU SelfStudy coordinated by Professor LeFrancois for the University’s reaccreditation was one of only a few private university self-studies featured in the 2012 Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference
PR E SE N TAT IONS • Participated on a panel for the Oklahoma Bar Association on Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder
VICKI LAWRENCE MACDOUGALL
BRENDAN MAHER Assistant Professor of Law
Professor of Law, Director of the Health Law Program
• Moderated an Oikos Scholars Dialogue on Oklahoma’s 2012 Comprehensive Water Plan • Participated on a panel discussion about the Oklahoma Personhood Bill for the OCU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi
PU BL IC AT IONS • Some Moral Perils of Criminal Law, 17 Oklahoma Humanities Magazine 21 (2012)
A PPOI N T M E N T S PU BL IC AT IONS • Supplement to Oklahoma Product Liability Law (Thomson/West) (2012)
• Member of the Downtown Building Advisory Committee
DI ST I NC T IONS • Research leave Fall 2012
PU BL IC AT IONS • Some Thoughts on Health Care Exchanges: Choice, Defaults, and the Unconnected, 44 Connecticut Law Review 1099-1115 (2012) • Systems Adjustments, 51 Washburn Law Journal 619-630 (2012)
Director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project
Professor of Law
Assistant Professor of Law
A PPOI N T M E N T S • Member of the Downtown Building Advisory Committee
DI ST I NC T IONS • Professor O’Shea’s article The Right to Defensive Arms After District of Columbia v. Heller, published in the West Virginia Law Review (2009), was cited by the Illinois Supreme Court in the Second Amendment case of Wilson v. Cook County
PR E SE N TAT IONS • Presented her work in progress, DIY Urbanism, Disobedience, and Democracy, at Marquette University’s Local Government Law Worksin-Progress Conference (September 2012)
• Professor O’Shea’s first ever law school casebook on the Second Amendment was featured in the Faculty Book Podcast series of the Federalist Society podcast
PU BL IC AT IONS • Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Regulation, Rights and Policy (Aspen) (2012) (with Johnson, Kopel and Mocsary) • Modeling the Second Amendment Right to Carry Arms (I): Judicial Tradition and the Scope of “Bearing Arms” for Self-Defense, 61 American University Law Review 585-576 (2012)
LEE F. PEOPLES
Law Library Director, Professor of Law Library Science
Associate Professor of Law
Visiting Clinical Professor, Director of the American Indian Wills Clinic
A PPOI N T M E N T S
DI ST I NC T IONS
• Member of the Downtown Building Steering Committee • Received the Best Mentor Award from the 2012 graduating class
DI ST I NC T IONS • The Utah Court of Appeals cited Peoples’ article The Citation of Wikipedia in Judicial Opinions (2009) in Fire Insurance Exchange v. Oltmanns
PR E SE N TAT IONS • Testing the Limits of WestlawNext, Open Legislative Data Conference in Paris, France (July 2012)
PU BL IC AT IONS • Testing the Limits of WestlawNext, 31 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 125-149 (2012) • Consumer Law Research: A Legal Research Guide (W.S. Hein) (2012)
• Professor Roesler joined the Environmental Law Collaborative (ELC), a group of approximately fifteen environmental law faculty committed to seeking ways to progress toward an adaptive, conscious and equitable governance of actions that impact local and global ecologies • Research leave Fall 2012
PR E SE N TAT IONS • Rhetoric, Narrative and Environmental Advocacy, Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Oregon (March 2012)
PU BL IC AT IONS • The Nature of the Environmental Right to Know, 39 Ecology Law Quarterly, University of California-Berkeley (2012)
A PPOI N T M E N T S • Member of the Downtown Building Advisory Committee
PR E SE N TAT IONS • Indian Country Jurisdiction, 2012 Partnership Conference on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking (September 2012) • The Otoe-Missouria Tribe’s conference for tribal elders (September 2012) • The Oklahoma House of Representatives Interim Study on Native American Education (September 2012) • Co-Presented a session titled So You Want to be a Lawyer, National Indian Education Association Conference (October 2012)
Professor of Law, Director of the Center for the Study of State Constitutional Law and Government
Professor of Law
A PPOI N T M E N T S DI ST I NC T IONS • Traveled to London to teach a two-week course titled Debate over the Adoption of the U.S. Constitution
PR E SE N TAT IONS • A program about Constitutional Freedom at the annual Daughters of the Revolution George Washington luncheon (February 2012)
PU BL IC AT IONS • Once More Into the Breach: The Path to Effective Workers’ Compensation Reform in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (2012)
• Member of the Editorial Board and moderator of HLaw, an online legal history discussion list • Member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Comparative Law
ANDREW C. SPIROPOULOS
• Professor Spivack’s article Let’s Get Serious: Spousal Abuse Should Bar Inheritance was cited as a “must-read” of 2011 by Pace University School of Law Professor Bridget J. Crawford • Attended the American Society for Legal History meeting in St. Louis, Missouri (November 2012)
PR E SE N TAT IONS DI ST I NC T IONS • Established an Estate Planning Certificate for law students • Professor Spivack’s article Let’s Get Serious: Spousal Abuse Should Bar Inheritance (2011) was reference in the latest editions of two major Trusts and Estates casebooks: Wills, Trusts and Estates and Fundamentals of Trusts and Estates
• Rethinking Slayer Statutes in Light of Family Violence, 2012 International Conference on Law and Society, Honolulu, Hawai’i (June 2012)
PU BL IC AT IONS • Law, Land, Identity: The Case of Lady Anne Clifford, 87 Chicago-Kent Law Review 393-422 (2012) • Reviewed the book Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Folz by Barbara Babcock (2012)
ON THE MOVE
On The Move Staff Changes Lorenzo Banks ‘11 Assistant Director of Admissions, Director of Diversity Initiatives “I am excited to announce that Lorenzo Banks joined our staff in the Admissions Office. Lorenzo was the class president of his 2L and 3L law school class and graduated from this school in May 011. Since then, he has launched his own law practice in Edmond and has also worked from time to time as a recruiter for the admissions office. We are fortunate to have Lorenzo’s talents and energy in advancing our mission to create a diverse student body,” said Dean Valerie K. Couch.
Keri Williams Foster ‘00 Director of Development “Keri is a distinguished law alum. She has extensive experience in private legal practice and also worked for five years at the Oklahoma State University Foundation. She is an experienced advancement officer and has significant experience in planned giving and alumni development. We are excited to welcome Keri to the team,” said Dean Valerie K. Couch.
Christina L. Green ‘11 Staff Attorney, Oklahoma Innocence Project “The Oklahoma Innocence Project welcomes Christina Green to its staff. She is a bright young talent, and we look forward to the exciting things she will do in representing the wrongfully convicted,” said Project Director Tiffany Murphy.
Pete G. Serrata III ‘06 Assistant Dean of Law Career Services “We have in Pete an accomplished and experienced lawyer with strong connections to our school, our alums, our regional legal markets and the business community. His legal education began here but was interrupted by military service following 9/11. Pete returned to OCU to finish his law degree and after graduation joined the Oklahoma City law firm of Derryberry & Naifeh. His well-informed appreciation for our School of Law as well as his sophisticated understanding of the competitive environment our students are entering will be very helpful in his new role,” said Dean Valerie K. Couch.
Laurie W. Jones Associate Dean for Admissions ADMINISTRATION “Our school has benefitted from Laurie’s vast talents for 13 years. In addition to her broad knowledge and experience internal to our school and university, Laurie is also a highly regarded member of our state’s legal community. She is an experienced litigator with a sterling reputation and for many years has been recognized as a major contributor to the work of the bar. She is a sophisticated, experienced teacher and administrator, and we are extremely fortunate to have her on our team,” said Dean Valerie K. Couch.
Joshua M. Snavely ‘10 Assistant Dean of External Relations ADMINISTRATION “Josh has proven to be an extremely talented contributor to all our efforts, and I am happy to announce his new position with our school. I am tremendously grateful for Josh’s willingness to work innovatively with all of us to accomplish our law school’s goals,” said Dean Valerie K. Couch.
SHAPING LEGAL THOUGHT
Shaping Legal Thought 2012 Distinguished Speakers
Judge Ernest B. White III 194th Judicial District Court, Dallas County, Texas
February 20 • Texas Legal Society, Criminal Law Association & Law Career Services
Alex Corbitt Volunteer Recruiter / Training Facilitator at CASA
February 21 • Family Law Association
Mark Elam Executive Director, Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans (O.A.T.H.) February 23 • International Human Rights Law Association
Shalia Bennett Regional Director (Midwest), Kaplan Bar Review March 1 Black Law Student Association
Dr. Jason F. Kirksey Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Oklahoma State University
March 5 • Multicultural Law Student Alliance
SuAnne Carlson, Andrea LaFleur, and Tim Munzy Carlson, Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney; LaFleur, YWCA Nurse and Forensic Exam Coordinator; Muzny, Oklahoma City Police Officer; March 7 • Women Law Students Association & Criminal Law Association
Dr. Lee E. Bird Vice President for Student Affairs, Oklahoma State University March 8 • Multicultural Law Student Alliance
Robert Woods Entertainment Lawyer
March 13 • Sports, Property & Entertainment Law
Michelle Briggs '11 Associate at Dunlap Codding
March 14 • Intellectual Property Student Association
Laura Finley '06 Department of Environmental Quality March 27 • Agriculture & Environmental Law Association
Cathy Christensen '86 and John M. Williams Christensen, Oklahoma Bar Association President; Williams, Oklahoma Bar Association Executive Director March 28 • Oklahoma Bar Association — Law Student Division
Judge David Ebel United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
April 9 • McAfee & Taft Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence
Jennifer Kirkpatrick Castillo'02 Oklahoma Bar Association, Young Lawyer Division Chair, Associate at Hall Estill
April 10 • American Bar Association — Law Student Division
Travis Pickens Oklahoma Bar Association General Counsel
April 11 • Phi Delta Phi/2012 Ethics Symposium
Pamela Karlan Kenneth & Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law/Co-Director, Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic
April 12 • Quinlan Lecture
Stephen Greetham Chief General Counsel, Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce April 18 • Native American Law Student Association & Agriculture and Environmental Law Association
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor United States Supreme Court Justice (ret.)
April 24 • Oklahoma City University & The Oklahoma Bar Association
Greg Mashburn Cleveland County, Oklahoma District Attorney September 12 Criminal Law Association
Robert Gifford Assistant U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Oklahoma September 12 • Federal Bar Association
Donna Jackson Probate Attorney
September 13 • OUTLaws
Judge Michael Murphy United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
October 2 McAfee & Taft Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence
Greg McNeal Associate Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law October 4 • Federalist Society
Robert F. Turner Professor and Associate Director, Center for National Security Law, University of Virginia School of Law
October 10 Federalist Society
Brittany Novotny Brittany M. Novotny & Associates, PLLC October 16 • OUTLaws
Keith Thomas Oklahoma Corporation Commission Office of General Counsel October 17 • Energy Law
Connie Smothermon '96 Assistant Director and Assistant Professor of Legal Research and Writing, University of Oklahoma October 24 • Women Law Students Association
Judge Don Andrews Oklahoma County Special Judge October 25 • Family Law Association
Angel Gerdzhikov Associate at Dunlap Codding
November 8 • Intellectual Property Student Association
Eugene Bertman Entertainment Law
November 13 • Sports, Property and Entertainment Law
Malcolm Savage '98 Savage Law Firm; Former Oklahoma County Judge for the 7th District
November 14 • Criminal Law Association
Native Experience A Student’s Perspective on the Unique Legal Needs of Oklahoma’s Native Population. BY C. LAUREN CLARK ‘12
The Jodi Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic at Oklahoma City University School of Law provides students an opportunity to gain first-hand legal experience outside of the classroom. In short, clinical students draft wills for tribal citizens who own trust or restricted land, under the supervision of an attorney. However it involves much more. Students develop an education of a diverse people and understand their deep-rooted connection to their land. As I reflect on my time at the Clinic, I am very grateful I was chosen to participate in such a significant function of the law school. Also, I received something I never expected — the admiration and respect of those I was able to help. Clinical students learn about the intricacies of Indian land. Indian land in the state of Oklahoma is extremely unique and often misunderstood, therefore many tribal citizens need specialized assistance to preserve their lands. The American Indian Wills Clinic strives to meet these needs while developing a meaningful connection with clients whose cultures differ from tribe to tribe. Native American culture does not emphasize title to land, but a deep spiritual connection to the Earth, nature, and their ancestors. This often meant that many of our clients 40
valued land in a way that others may not understand. Our job was to listen to their concerns and produce a will with our professor that met their needs. I will never forget my first client meeting. Naturally I was a little nervous. Even after two months of vigorous study of American Indian Land, it all seemed overwhelming. On top of all the information swimming around in my head, there was the daunting task of meeting with a client who needed help. As soon as our client knew that we cared about her needs, she poured her heart out. She wanted us to know how she
NATIVE AMERICAN MAN: LEE PETTET • WHEAT FIELD: STEPHEN LAURENCE STRATHDEE • WOMAN AND CHILD: LINDA YOLANDA • BUFFALO: TRAY SEEP
Although this was the first time I realized the importance of the Jodi Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic, it was definitely not the last. I soon learned that this was a feeling I would experience over and over that year. In reviewing our required journal entries, I found an excerpt from this service date that encapsulates this effect on our clients: “Mrs. W* gave us a hug and sat with us for 25 minutes after the will execution, wishing us well and thanking us profusely; Mr. R* told us he wanted to stay with us all day (and he was done at 9:30 a.m.); Mrs. B* wants us to have dinner with her family; and Mrs. P* wants me to come meet with the Native youth in her area this July.” The thought of hugging or high-fiving a client had never crossed my
mind before that day. I thought that was too cheesy. However, after that first meeting, it was always the only acceptable conclusion.
NATIVE EXPERIENCE by C.Lauren Clark ‘12
inherited the land from her grandfather, the importance of the land to her children who had lived there since birth, and the fear that she may not meet the requirements to keep her land in trust status. My clinical partner and I reviewed her documents and drafted a will that would distribute her land according to her wishes, while remaining in trust status. She was so overjoyed — she hugged and high fived both of us. She was tearful as she continually thanked us for our help. We had given her a sense of relief and confidence that the land she valued so deeply would stay connected to her family for another generation.
As a new attorney, I realize the experience I gained as a clinical student is invaluable. I use the skills I learned in the clinic on a daily basis. I learned the effort it takes to develop and maintain client relationships. I learned to cherish a client’s appreciation for hard work and the satisfaction that comes from advocating for a client. Most importantly, I developed a stronger connection with our Native people and a respect for the cultural diversity among the many tribes of our state. I left the Jodi Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic with deep gratitude for those who continue to advocate on behalf of Native Americans and an experience that will forever be unmatched. About the Author: C. Lauren Clark is an associate at Pruitt and Associates in Oklahoma City, where she practices Estate Planning and Probate. Ms. Clark received her J.D. from Oklahoma City University School of Law in May 2012 and received her B.A. from Oklahoma State University. She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. While at Oklahoma City University School of Law, Ms. Clark served as President, Vice President, and Student Government Representative for the Native American Law Student Association.
Servant Leadership A Record-Breaking Year Service is at our core. It is in the hearts of our students, faculty and staff. It is the driving force behind who we are and what we do. Our students embody service, and their many accomplishments in the Oklahoma City community have an impact that reaches far beyond the walls of our law school. The number of student pro bono service hours has been steadily rising, but the 20112012 academic year was record breaking! Students at Oklahoma City University School of Law contributed a remarkable 10,551 hours serving those less fortunate through a variety of pro bono programs. From the Pro Se Waiver Divorce Docket Project to inmate pre-release assistance, our students are known for rolling up their sleeves and helping those with nowhere else to turn. “Thank you for your hard work and for embracing the ethical requirement of pro bono service so early in your legal careers,” said Associate Dean for Admissions Laurie Jones. “You never fail to amaze me with your dedicated work ethic and generosity of spirit.”
A sample of our service: We have served 462 individuals to date through our Pro Se Waiver Divorce Docket Project. Every year, law students team up with students from the Meinders School of Business for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. In partnership with Integris Health, students mentor children weekly at two lower socioeconomic elementary schools. Our students regularly volunteer with Oklahoma Lawyers for Children. Students prepare simple wills and estate planning documents for Habitat for Humanity homeowners. Inmates receive assistance clearing up any outstanding legal issues prior to their release. Students volunteer with District Attorney Offices, Public Defender Offices, Police Departments and Legal Aid. Students volunteer at Crown and Cross Mission Church and Trinity Legal Clinic.
Dean Valerie K. Couch A Profile in Leadership BY MELANIE JESTER & CATHY CHRISTENSEN ‘86
We are taking this opportunity to celebrate our 12th dean, Valerie K. Couch. In her first year at Oklahoma City University School of Law, she has been in perpetual motion — traveling to meet alumni across the country, making herself available to everyone who roams the halls of the Sarkeys Law Center and pushing new innovative ideas that are in the pipeline. She has already made a huge impact — not just on us, but also on the community as a whole. She is passionate, engaging, thoughtful, dedicated, intelligent and eager. She has referred to herself as a hummingbird and an earthmover. That is a fact. We eagerly await what lies ahead in year two. If asked to list all of the personal attributes and professional qualities essential to successfully serve as the Dean in a progressive private law school, what would be your response? Would you recite “impeccable personal and professional reputation;” “substantial professional achievement;” “intelligent, patient, persistent, visionary;” “familiar with current trends in legal education;” “the ability and desire to develop relationships with alumni, civic leaders, deans and faculty of other law schools and other external constituencies;” “a collaborative problem solver;” and “possesses an unrelenting work ethic?” These are but a few of the attributes and qualities used to describe Dean Couch. 44
Dean Valerie K. Couch possesses all of the requisite talents to lead Oklahoma City School of Law during this exciting and challenging time of change, progress and growth. She is perfectly suited to serve as the Dean of a law school in motion, and Oklahoma City University School of Law is clearly on the move — to a larger building in the heart of Oklahoma City and continued ascension toward well-deserved state and national recognition. In April 2012, Dean Couch became the 12th dean of the law school. She is the first woman and the first federal judge to move into the leadership role at the school. Her tenure on the federal bench and her experience in private practice as a civil litigator prepared the Dean well for service to the law school, its students and alumni. She has honed to perfection her ability to give full attention to the matter at hand. As Dean, her skills will be applied in an academic environment with Dean Couch’s signature grace and leadership. Everything Dean Couch does, she does with extreme thoughtfulness, thoroughness and attention to detail. Nothing is done half-way or halfhearted. Her work is reflective of the precision of her thinking. Dean Valerie K. Couch has strength, perception and intuition. She has an extraordinarily sharp mind and can distill any issue effectively and efficiently. She knows the questions to ask, when to probe further and when to garner the input of others. Judge Robert Bacharach served on the federal bench with Dean Couch and had this to say: “Dean Valerie Couch was a superb judge, and she
ILLUSTRATION BY ELENA BELOUS
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Up Front by Melanie Jester & Cathy Christensen ‘86
will be equally superb as a law school dean. fruitful process. In each matter she handled, Dean Couch had superior command of the Her skills are perfectly suited to leadership facts and the law and she knew the cast of in the world of academia, just as they were players — the litigants, opposing counsel, to her role as a judge. She is brilliant, she is a the witnesses, the judges. wonderful listener, and she She left no room for surprise. has an extraordinary ability to We will be a The judges before whom she moderate conflicting vantageappeared viewed her as a points toward a common powerhouse, we will trial attorney who clearly objective. Though I greatly stood out from the rest. miss having Dean Couch as be solving problems a colleague, Oklahoma City In 1999, after sixteen years University School of Law is and we will be building of litigation practice, Judge quite fortunate to have her Couch was appointed to at its helm.” a future in the greatest serve as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Dean Couch graduated from traditions of the law. Western District of Oklahoma UCLA in 1974 with a B.A. where she remained for in English and then pursued a almost thirteen years. Masters in English Literature at the University of Oklahoma, D E A N C O U C H at H E R I N V E S T I T U R E During her professional graduat i ng i n 1978. Her career, Dean Couch has appreciation for the liberal demonstrated unparalleled commitment arts is an asset to the law school and to to the bar and to the community. The the greater university. She is mindful of many leadership roles she has held the benefits of interdisciplinary studies in demonstrate how much she is admired considering the complex issues facing the and respected by all. She is a past future of legal education, the importance president and former board of alumni involvement in the law school member of the Oklahoma and in the curriculum at the law school. County Bar Association. Her love for the liberal arts continues to She has also influence her undertakings at the law school. As a literary scholar, she seeks ways to challenge her intellectual curiosity and enjoys the creativity and talents of the law school faculty and students and her colleagues of the bench and bar. Before graduating in 1983 from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Dean Couch served as an intern to Justice Alma Wilson, the first female justice appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. After graduation, Dean Couch joined the law firm of Hartzog, Conger & Cason in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She developed a civil litigation practice in a wide range of matters including product liability, accountant malpractice, employment discrimination, contract disputes, securities litigation, intellectual property disputes, contested probate matters, trust actions, commercial transactions and hospital liability. As a trial attorney, her advocacy was measured and strong. She learned that discovering the full story in any litigation matter is a long, but
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Up Front by Melanie Jester & Cathy Christensen ‘86
Professionalism Award. Her professionalism served as editor of The Briefcase, a monthly was described in terms of deeply caring for publication of the Oklahoma County Bar Association. She has chaired the Oklahoma the profession; generously giving her time to County Bar Association’s Law Day Committee. teaching and lecturing; approaching each From 2000 to 2002, Judge Couch served a task with extraordinary preparation and three-year appointment as Commissioner on improving the profession each day through the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Mandatory her energy, intelligence and commitment. Continuing Legal Education Commission. Dean Couch is also skilled at innovation. She is past president and emeritus member of While on the federal bench, she recognized a the William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of need at the Western District of Oklahoma and Court and has been elected as an Oklahoma helped create the Court Assisted Recovery Fellow of the American Bar Association. She Effort (CARE), a also serves as Trustee treatment-focused of the Oklahoma Bar program for Foundation (OBF), qualified individuals From great literature, I became an orga n i zat ion on federal postdesigned to further conviction strongly attached to the concepts the administration supervision. The of justice in the State that swirl around the law: justice, program helps of Oklahoma. The participants to Foundation awards law personal freedom and autonomy, sustain recovery student scholarships, from addiction provides grant funding rights and responsibilities, crime and successfully for educationa l reintegrate into the programs for school and punishment, civil rights, a community. Her children and renders colleague, Judge law-related education citizen’s duty in peace and war, Timothy DeGiusti, and legal services for had this to say Oklahoma’s poor and social order and the lack of order, about her efforts: elderly. Cu r rent ly, “Judge Couch, she serves on the power and the abuse of power. practically, as an Editorial Board of the act of personal will, Federal Courts Law brought the court’s Review, an online law at CARE program into D E A N C O U C H H E R I N V E S T I T U R E review. And she is the existence. She saw Tenth Circuit Trustee a need and went elected to ser ve on about the substantial effort to establish a the American Inns of Court Foundation program to address that need. But for Judge Board of Trustees, an organization devoted Couch, the CARE program would not exist to fostering excellence in professionalism, in the Western District of Oklahoma.” ethics, civility and legal skills. Dean Couch has received numerous awards in recognition of her service, her contributions and her excellence. She is a recipient of the Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award, an award given in appreciation for “superior leadership qualities and dedication to the advancement of women in law.” She was awarded the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Neil E. Bogan 46
Her service extended to the Oklahoma City University School of Law. For many years preceding her decision to serve as Dean, she taught a trial practice course as an adjunct professor with her dear friend, J. William (“Bill”) Conger, with whom she worked closely during her years in private practice. Before his death, Bill said of Judge Couch: “I believe I am not only a better lawyer but I
Dean Couch maintains a rich life outside of the law. Her many interests include fly fishing and photography. She is also an enthusiastic pianist. She shares with her family a love for dogs, especially Labrador Retrievers. And she frequently opens her home to friends and colleagues, all of whom treasure the opportunity to partake of the warm hospitality and engaging conversation found there. She is married to Dr. Joseph Couch, a clinical psychologist/psychoanalyst in private practice in Oklahoma City. They have two sons, Ross and Daniel Couch. Her commitment to the rule of law and to the greater community is a value she has passed on to her sons. Ross is a police cadet on the Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD). In January of this year, he commenced training in the OCPD’s most recent recruit class. Daniel, her older son, is an attorney in private practice in Oklahoma City. Asked if his mother’s career influenced his decision to become a lawyer, Daniel said this: “My mother is a person of great integrity and poise. She is well-respected, competent and successful. I wanted to emulate her and becoming a lawyer, sharing in her profession, seemed the way to do so.” Daniel offers this quote by Hemingway as
exemplifying his mother: “Courage is grace under pressure.” He says, “I don’t know a person more deserving of this quote than my mother as she defines courage everyday and truly is grace under pressure.”
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Up Front by Melanie Jester & Cathy Christensen ‘86
am a better person because of our friendship for so many years.” Like Professor Conger, law students commonly express gratitude for Judge Couch’s ability not only to shape them into skilled trial attorneys, but to make them better persons in the process. The impact she has upon her students is profound, and she continues lasting relationships with many of her students. Joni Autrey, a former student and alumnus of the law school shared the following thoughts about Dean Couch: “Valerie Couch is a visionary who has the work ethic, the experience, the gift and the passion to usher Oklahoma City University School of Law into the next level of greatness, and at her core, she has the heart of a servant who truly wants to draw greatness out of the students, the law school and the entire community — everyone and everything that crosses her path. We hit the jackpot when she became our dean, and everyone knows it.”
As is tradition, at her investiture, Dean Couch received the Faculty Call to Service. Among those to address her was the university’s former General Counsel and Distinguished Lecturer in Law, Bill Conger. Her life-long friend gave this charge: “On behalf of the faculty of the Oklahoma City University School of Law, before God and those here assembled, I charge you, Valerie Katherine Couch, with always heeding the next generation to doubt, to explore, to know, to create, to be wise, to exercise good judgment, to be civil with mankind, to serve.” It is with great confidence that Oklahoma City University School of Law entrusts this charge to its 12th Dean and embraces her vision, her mission, her skill and her great heart. Melanie Jester is a lawyer in private practice in Oklahoma City at the law firm Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law. She is a former law clerk and longtime friend of Dean Couch.
Cathy Christensen is a 1986 graduate of Oklahoma City School of Law and served as the 2012 Oklahoma Bar Association President. Cathy considers Dean Couch’s friendship as one of the many blessings in her life.
Both Cathy and Melanie wish Dean Couch a long, successful and personally rewarding tenure as Dean. “To whom much is given, much is expected in return.” Dean Valerie Couch continues to share generously her friendship, collegiality, intelligence and leadership. We are only two of the lucky recipients.
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Saying Goodbye
Saying Goodbye It was a milestone moment in the professional life of Judge Valerie K. Couch. The day her official portrait, which hangs at the United States Courthouse in Oklahoma City, was unveiled. This symbolic rite of passage was the culmination of 13 years on the bench, the end of a chapter in her judicial career. Although Judge Couch retired in April 2012 when she assumed the duties of dean at Oklahoma City University School of
Law, the November ceremony marked her official retirement from the federal bench. In the Ceremonial Courtroom at the Federal Courthouse in Oklahoma City, former colleagues from the bench raved about Judge Couchâ€™s fairness, work ethic and literary prowess. They shared stories and even told a few jokes. The mood was light and simultaneously solemn as they were all together as judicial colleagues one last time.
Dean Couch invites soon-to-be sworn-in United States Magistrate Judge Shon T. Erwin to help unveil her portrait. During the retirement ceremony, Dean Couch reflected on her time on the federal bench, as former colleagues and guests looked on.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY TRAVIS CAPERTON
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Coffee on the Couch
Dean Couch enjoys sharing a cup of coffee with students, faculty and staff during her “Coffee on the Couch” gatherings. She values the opportunity to get to know students better in a relaxed and casual setting.
Coffee on the Couch Couch assumed the position of dean with strong beliefs about work-life balance — there needs to be some. She has seen the toll all work and no play can take on a person and a family. The same is true of law school. The class load, studying, activities, studying, time commitment, studying — it can be stressful. So, in an effort to encourage a
break from time to time, the dean instituted regular “Coffee on the Couch” sessions in which students, faculty and staff can stop by for a cup of joe and some fellowship. While it isn’t solving all the world’s problems, it is an opportunity to exchange stories and relax, even if it is just for an hour.
Dean Valerie K. Couch: The Investiture of our 12th Dean
Clockwise from left: Judge Robert E. Bacharach smiles while reflecting on his friendship with Dean Valerie K. Couch; Chief Judge for the U.S District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Vicki Miles LaGrange, speaks during Dean Couch’s Investiture; Dean Couch addresses the audience after the ceremony of investiture was administered by OCU President Robert Henry and Board of Trustees Chairman Ron Norick.
The Investiture of our 12th Dean Valerie K. Couch ushered in a new era in the history of Oklahoma City University School of Law with her ascension to the leadership role. The history of our law school dates back to statehood, rooted in the early 20th century pioneer life. Never before had a woman led the way, or a U.S. Magistrate Judge, for that matter. There is no one more qualified to forge ahead during a time when legal education is under fire by critics in the media. Her enthusiasm is infectious. This is an exciting time in the story of our school, and Dean Couch’s Investiture embodied that emotion. The ceremony took place on October 18, 2012, before a full Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel on the campus of Oklahoma City University. The audience included participants from all aspects of her life: family, friends, fellow attorneys, colleagues from the bench, students, faculty and staff, administrators and trustees — each in attendance to show support for someone who is admired in so many ways. “The passing of the torch to Dean Couch is the cause for celebration both for this school and, more broadly, for our legal community,” said Judge Robert E. Bacharach. 50
The ceremony was carefully crafted to be very personal for the dean — 3L Jennifer Ibarra sang the National Anthem; her cousin, the Reverend David Wiggs gave the invocation; colleagues Judge Bacharach and Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange offered their remarks; the calls to service included dear friend J. William “Bill” Conger, Emmanuel Edem ’82 and James Judd, the Student Bar Association President. Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry and Board of Trustees Chairman Ronald Norick presided over the ceremony of investiture, the Reverend Maggie Ball gave the benediction and long time law professor Art LeFrancois blessed the audience with his unique sense of humor and sharp wit as master of ceremonies. In Dean Couch’s Investiture speech she talked about the story of her life — how she came to be in this exact place at this exact moment with these people present. She looked out at the audience with reflection and said, “Every life has pivotal moments — ones that mark transitions and launch you into the future. This is certainly one such moment for me personally, and it is also such a moment for the school I have come to love and deeply appreciate.”
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Globetrotting Dean
Globetrotting Dean Dean Couch Crisscrossed the Country During Her August 2012 Welcome Tour Barely four months into the job, Dean Couch had already logged more than 15,000 frequent flyer miles. In August, she hit the road for her Welcome Tour, an effort to introduce alumni across the country to their new dean. She thoroughly enjoyed visiting with our alums and learning about the many wonderful things they are doing. The only
snag during her travels came at the very end of the adventure, as Hurricane Isaac approached Miami. The event was cancelled, but the dean plans to reschedule (when it isnâ€™t hurricane season). She also looks forward to meeting many more of you wherever her travels take her in the years ahead.
NYC CHICAGO ST. LOUIS
FT. WORTH AUSTIN
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Presidential Perspective
Presidential Perspective In April 2012, we proudly welcomed Federal Magistrate Judge Valerie Couch as the 12th dean of our law school. Judge Couch’s enthusiasm, leadership abilities and prominence within the legal community were evident, and they were among the key reasons we asked Dean Couch to take the helm of the Oklahoma City University School of Law. After what has been a banner year for our school, I could not be more pleased with our decision. From supporting and growing our newly-developed innocence clinic, the first and only of its kind in Oklahoma, to strengthening our connections with the legal community, and more, Dean Couch’s leadership has brought forth exceptional progress. We made a very big decision during her first year regarding the future of our school, and in October 2012, the Oklahoma City University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to purchase the historic Central High School building in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City as the future home for the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Dean Couch will lead our transition downtown over the next couple of years and oversee this remarkable opportunity for Oklahoma City University law students. The downtown location will give our students better access to major law firms and courtrooms. We will build even greater connections with the Oklahoma City legal and business communities and play an enhanced role in Oklahoma City’s renaissance. BUILDING: SIMON HURST
This is an exciting time for the Oklahoma City University School of Law and the university! I invite you to join with us as we open this significant new chapter of our history. 52
Robert Henry, President of Oklahoma City University; The historic Central High School Building, future home of the law school. LAW.OKCU.EDU
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Credentials
VALERIE K. C OUCH O K L A H O M A C I T Y U N I V E R S I T Y S C H O O L O F L AW
D E A N A N D P R O F E S S O R O F L AW -----------------Dean and Professor of Law Began service as Dean of Oklahoma City University School of Law on April 9, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Judicial Appointment Appointed as United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on March 8, 1999.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Foundation Appointments American Inns of Court, Board of Trustees, Washington, D.C., 2012 to present Oklahoma Bar Foundation, Board of Trustees, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 2007 to present
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Education B.A., 1974, University of California at Los Angeles, English Literature M.A., 1978, University of Oklahoma, English Literature J.D., 1983, University of Oklahoma College of Law
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Private Practice Hartzog Conger & Cason, P.C., May 1983 to March 1999
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Teaching and Scholarship Adjunct Faculty Member, Oklahoma City University School of Law, 2001 to April 2012 Editorial Board, Federal Courts Law Review, 2006 to present Judicial Instructor, Oklahoma City University School of Law, Certificate Program in American Law, 2007, 2008, 2010 Judicial Instructor, National Advocacy Center for the U.S. Department of Justice, Basic Criminal Trial Advocacy Class for U.S. Attorneys, June 2009 Judicial Supervisor, Oklahoma City University School of Law Externship Program, 2002-2012 Judicial Supervisor, University of Oklahoma College of Law Externship Program, 2000-2012 Frequent lecturer and author of numerous articles for CLE and law school presentations, 1983 to present
Dean Valerie K. Couch: Credentials
... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bar Association Memberships, Activities and Awards American Bar Association, 1983 to present Oklahoma Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, elected in 2000 Oklahoma Bar Association, 1983 to present Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award, 2006 Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award, 2003
Oklahoma County Bar Association (OCBA) President, 2002-2003 OCBA President-Elect, 2001-2002 OCBA Vice President, 2000-2001 OCBA Director, 1997-2000
OBA Presidentâ€™s Award, 2000
OCBA Law Day Committee, Chair, 2001
Commissioner, OBA Finances Commission, 2004
OCBA Meritorious Service Awards, 1995 & 1998
Commissioner, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission, 2000-2002
Editor, The Briefcase, monthly publication of the OCBA, 1997-1999
Diversity Committee, 2000-2003
OCBA State Media Coordinator, Justice 1998
Bench and Bar Committee, 2000-2003 Law-Related Education Committee, 2000
OCBA Legal Services Campaign, 1998
Legal Ethics Committee, 1999
OCBA Lawyers Fund Drive for Legal Aid, Co-chair, 1997
Labor and Employment Law Section, Chair, 1996-1997
OCBA Law-Related Education Panel, 1995-2000
Health Law Section, 1989-1998
OCBA Legal Aid Committee, Chair, 1993-1995
Oklahoma Health Lawyers Association, Member, 1989-1999
Federal Bar Association President, Oklahoma City Chapter, 2009-2010
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Other Professional Activities William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court
(affiliated with the Oklahoma City University School of Law)
President, 2002-2003 Master, 1997 to present Program Committee, 1998 & 2000 Mentorship Program Coordinator, 2004-2005 Luther Bohanon American Inn of Court Barrister, 1988-1991 Federal Magistrate Judges Association Member, 1999 to 2012 University of Oklahoma College of Law Selection Committee for endowed faculty chairs, 2004
PROFILE Kathleen Brown by Ericka Burey-Fisher, ‘15
“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” S A N D R A D AY O ’ C O N N O R
It is in honor of Dean Couch that we profile women who have spun their own unique history. Whether an alumnae, professor, administrator or student, these women are trailblazers and pioneers. And Oklahoma City University School of Law is interwoven into each of their stories. There are quite literally thousands of women who have been associated with this institution, who have gone on to do remarkable things in every corner of the world. The stories that follow are a token of gratitude to all of the women who are part of the tapestry we call Oklahoma City University School of Law.
Kathleen Brown Not Your Ordinary Librarian BY ERICKA BUREY-FISHER ‘15
As one of the librarians at the Oklahoma City University Law Library, Kathleen Brown is far more than meets the eye. Originally a Theater Studies major at DePaul University, this Maine native has traveled across the United States pursuing one challenge after another. Her path to becoming the Associate Director of the Oklahoma City University Law Library was not one that many would consider conventional. After graduating from DePaul, Kathleen, or Katie as she is known around here, was working as an acting teacher in Illinois when she met several lawyers who worked in entertainment law — specifically theater. It was at this point she began to consider that law might be a good fit for her. “I thought that law school would be a good place to go to serve the artist,” said Brown. And that she did. She attended Seattle University School of Law, and while there Katie began working at the campus law library. It was here that she truly found her purpose. “I realized I could help people get to their resources and still teach.” 56
Teaching opened up many opportunities for Katie to show off her theater talents. She has coached witnesses for moot court trial team practices as well as gone into classes and acted as a witness for demonstrations. She also provides valuable knowledge to future litigators about how to deliver opening and closing statements and how to move around the courtroom. But the library stacks and the classroom are not the only places that Katie shines. She is also an avid roller derby player. Better known in the derby circuit as “Wicked Piz-AAh” (a Maine colloquial that means “really good”), she has been competing for more than five years. Her job on the derby flat track ranges from being a “jammer,” or scorer, to being a “blocker.” But most recently, because of a shoulder injury, Katie shifted gears to refereeing the “bouts.” Though she does miss the track, refereeing has been a nice change of pace and an opportunity to showcase her other skills. “As a ref our biggest concern is safety and ensuring that
Katie Brown is a sort of chameleon — changing and adapting to her current circumstances. This is true of her rehabilitation for her derby injury, which has led her to become an avid fan of CrossFit, the current workout trend that includes “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement.” She says the idea behind CrossFit is to always have a new goal to achieve, whether it is lifting a new weight or running faster or doing more reps. This philosophy is right in tune with the way Katie approaches her life, seeking daily challenges and then checking them off the list.
ROLLERDERBY GIRLS: SUMNERS GRAPHICS
Her work with the Library is truly what she values the most. The librarians continually look “outside the box” for new and interesting ways to get
students excited about legal research. They still “value the tradition” and the classic ideal of a law library but also embrace the modern technological advances to make it more userfriendly. And their biggest achievement is the level to which the students take advantage of their expertise. “We here at the library are happy that we have created an environment where students can approach us by name and ask for help, because that is what we are here for. We want [the library] to feel comfortable.”
Graduate of Seattle University School of Law (2005)
Elected member of the executive board to the American Association of Law Libraries
A Theater Studies major at DePaul University
Avid roller derby player and fan of CrossFit
PROFILE Kathleen Brown by Ericka Burey-Fisher, ‘15
everyone has a good time while being safe. This is very similar to being a librarian, whereas we want to make sure that the students are having a good time while learning and that the library is a safe place for the students.” And as to her administrative duties, “being a ref comes in handy, because I’m not afraid to be the bad guy.”
Nationally, Katie is continuing this trend. As an elected member of the executive board to the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) she is charged with setting the standards of law libraries and what students should be capable of accomplishing upon graduation. “Having a voice in the decisions that resonate around the nation is such an honor.” From the theater to derby track to the law library, Katie continues to strive for the next goal and challenges herself daily “because there is always something else you can do.”
“I thought that law school would be a good place to go to serve the artist.”
Geri Marlatt Cope Changing the World One Smile at a Time BY BROOK ARBEITMAN
When Geri Marlatt Cope started law school at Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1994, she was going to be an estate and gift tax lawyer. She already had her CPA, and law school was the obvious next step. The plan was to work for the IRS or a big six accounting firm. Little did Geri know then that a simple toothbrush would unlock her life’s purpose. It was a humanitarian trip to Guatemala not that long ago that sparked a change of perspective. Geri and her husband Eric were looking to return to their young son’s homeland and give back to the children in orphanages there. “We always believe things are divine and there is a reason why you are there,” Geri says. Divine. While researching organizations they could travel with to Guatemala, they discovered Buckner International — a group whose mission is to transform the lives of vulnerable children around the world. The Copes went on an exploratory trip with Buckner to Guatemala to see first hand the kind of work they do. 58
It was on that trip, in April of 2010, they met eight women from Dallas who, with a simple question, changed everything. The women asked Geri and Eric if they wanted to help with a dental clinic at a Guatemalan orphanage. The Copes eagerly agreed, not knowing what awaited them. What they discovered were major dental issues, severe in many instances and preventable in most. “We are teaching older kids to brush their teeth. And it’s not right.” At the clinic, Eric demonstrated the proper technique while Geri entertained the kids. That was the day a couple with no dental background, other than brushing their own teeth, became passionate about toothbrushes. “You know when you just have something on your heart? We could just donate toothbrushes or we could give financially. But, you know, how do we give in a sustainable way, something that could be ongoing?” And Smile Squared was born.
Smile Squared’s model is “buy one, give one.” For every toothbrush bought, Smile Squared gives one to a child in need. Not only are they changing the life of a child by putting a toothbrush in their hand, they are also challenging consumers to “rethink buying.” Made of bamboo, their toothbrush is biodegradable and recyclable. In a word, it is green. “It is estimated that 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes hit U.S. landfills every year,” Cope says. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests changing your toothbrush every three to four months. When the Copes are ready for a new one, they bury their
old one in the backyard. Or, Geri says, “you can use the old one as a garden stake.”
PROFILE Geri Marlatt Cope ’97 by Brook Arbeitman
Geri says with a laugh that any mistake they could have made in starting their business, they have made at least once. But, their love for children and desire to make a difference made up for their lack of manufacturing and retail experience. Although, Eric had to be a quick study since he runs the business full-time while Geri works for Edward Jones.
Smile Squared is ambitious, aiming to help one million children in three years. They are doing it with the help of organizations like Buckner International and International Justice Mission, which help distribute the toothbrushes to children in need around the world. The Copes work with local dentists and businesses in their hometown of St. Louis, and they have been busy placing their toothbrushes with retailers from Ventura, CA, to Glen Cove, NY, and lots of locations in between. They even were selected by Entrepreneur Graduate of Oklahoma Magazine in December 2012 as City University one of the “10 Gifts for the EcoSchool of Law (1997) Conscious Person on Your List.” Financial Advisor at Edward Jones
Began Smile Squared with husband Eric.
For every toothbrush bought, Smile Squared gives one to a child in need.
A long way from a big six accounting firm, Geri smiles when she thinks about how much has changed since that tooth brushing demonstration. “We can’t cure poverty. We are not curing diseases. We just felt like this was a simple thing we could do that made sense.”
“We can’t cure poverty. We are not curing diseases. We just felt like this was a simple thing we could do that made sense.”
Christina Melton Crain Rocker. Lawyer. Champion. BY BROOK ARBEITMAN
Music and law actually have a lot in common according to Catdaddies singer Christina Melton Crain, class of ‘91. While the mechanisms and means change, both forums have a stage and an audience — something Christina is familiar with both as a band member and as an attorney. Christina has been singing for years. She can be spotted across Texas performing the National Anthem and other patriotic songs at ballparks and various events. She has even sung commercial jingles in the past. But, her role as the only woman in the seven-member (four of whom are attorneys) rock-n-roll band, the Catdaddies, is one that brings her bliss. “What I like most is the release it gives you at the end of a tough day to just let loose. It’s excellent therapy! And, we all know how much us attorneys need stress relief!” It’s a wonder Christina can find time to perform with the band, as busy as her work keeps her. Christina has a fondness for children, so her Dallas-based practice, Christina Melton Crain PC, is all about kids and their needs. She handles a plethora 60
of cases from child neglect to guardianships to juvenile delinquents. Her practice also provides mediation in all kinds of other cases. But, honestly, Christina’s stage extends beyond the confines of her legal practice. She is the President and CEO of her nonprofit DOORS, Inc., was the 100th President of the Dallas Bar Association, was the Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice and has a women’s prison named after her. “When the Governor named me Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice I knew that a unit would be named for me when I termed off the Board,” said Crain. “All former Chairmen have a unit named in their honor. It is something that I hold as both an honor and privilege and take very seriously. I go to the unit once a month to mentor, speak or tour.” Christina says both her father and grandfather were politicians, so she grew up learning the ins and outs of government from a young age. She majored in government at the University of Texas and met her husband working on political campaigns.
In 2001, she was personally asked by Governor Rick Perry to join the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. It did not take long before she became passionate about her work with adult felons. After two years on the board, Governor Perry asked her to assume the role of Chairman — the first and only female to chair the board to date. “It was really funny being the first female Chairman of the Texas prison board. It threw folks in the system for a loop. They didn’t know what to call me — Chairman, Chairwoman, Chair. We settled on Chairman. I would have been fine with Christina.” Next to marrying her husband, chairing the Texas Board of Criminal Justice has been one of the highlights of her life. “It is hard to put into words my true feelings about my work with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. But, I can and will say that the members of the Board and staff of the department are some of the finest people I have ever known.”
In 2008, Christina termed off the Board. After so many years working in the trenches overseeing the Texas prison system, you might think this is where she slows down a bit, but not Christina. In addition to lending her time to a slew of committees and boards, she is fiercely devoted to helping the formerly incarcerated rejoin society through her nonprofit DOORS, Inc. The goal of DOORS is to reduce recidivism by serving as a reentry advocate, educator and trainer once an offender is released. She says this leads to safer communities and allows those who have served their time to be productive, tax-paying citizens. Graduate of Oklahoma Christina’s passion for this cause City University is a direct result of her years School of Law (1991) working in the prison system. President and CEO of her nonprofit DOORS, Inc.
100th President of the Dallas Bar Association
A Texas women’s prison is named after her
“My advice for any female
PROFILE Christina Melton Crain ‘91 by Brook Arbeitman
“I believe that government can be a positive thing if the right people are involved.” And so being an active participant in government has simply become a major part of her life.
Her spirit for service is equaled only by her love of music. But really, with Christina, the two are intimately intertwined. Last fall, the Catdaddies took their show to Gatesville, Texas where they performed for a crowd of 300 at the Christina Melton Crain Unit. They called the set the “Crain Prison Blues” and it hit all the right notes, not only for the female offenders but for the band mates, as well. “To see the joy on their faces made the trip worth every mile!”
trailblazer is to keep your focus
CROWD: DIRK FREDER
and don’t stress the little things. Attitude is 90% of anything you do.”
Eveline Gnabasik The Pursuit of Higher Learning BY BROOK ARBEITMAN
Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is an historical treasure chest. Known as one of the ancients, it is the fourtholdest university in the Englishspeaking world. Take a stroll through campus and you can’t help but be in awe of those who have come before — centuries before. Among thousands of others, Glasgow has produced seven Nobel laureates, one Prime Minister and Scotland’s inaugural First Minister. And one Eveline Gnabasik is also among their alums. “Studying at Glasgow overwhelms you with history. It’s also a bit like studying in a castle,” said Eveline “Evvy” Gnabasik, a 2012 graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law and an Omaha, Nebraska, native. Evvy says the most interesting part of her studies at Glasgow is meeting people from around the world, comparing the campus to the United Nations. “My cohort consists of two people from Scotland, one from England, a German, an Italian and one from China. It is amazing to hear people’s perspectives on their own country and the U.S.” 62
Her experience in Scotland has been extraordinary. It’s not everyday that you are invited by the Principal Office of the American Consulate General to discuss the Presidential election and future diplomatic ties with Great Britain. But, that is exactly what happened to Evvy and several other American students studying at Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. It was truly a remarkable experience and one that she will remember for a lifetime. She received her Masters of Science in Chinese Studies at Glasgow, but Evvy says she always wanted to be a lawyer. “You really have an opportunity to do some good in the world in the practice of law. I wanted a career with that kind of potential.” When she began visiting potential law schools, it was environment that sold Evvy on Oklahoma City. A visit to campus highlighted the helpful and attentive students and staff. And she was impressed with the faculty. As a student, she was engaged and active and was known for her love of learning. She was on Law Review,
“The skills you learn in law school (research, concise writing, citation, and most importantly, logical thinking) have given me huge advantages in comparison to many of my classmates. I now completely understand the case law method to law school. Somewhere, in reading all those opinions, you hone your own logic skills and discover that you can come up with your own effective arguments.”
CLOISTERS: CRAIG BURROWS • CAMPUS: JAKE BLACK
The term in Glasgow ended in March 2012, which allowed Evvy to travel around Europe for a few months before coming back to the U.S. She did find time during her studies to visit London for Armistice Day and was fortunate to see several
members of the Royal Family in person.
PROFILE Eveline Gnabasik ‘12 by Brook Arbeitman
participated on the team that attended the 20102011 American College of Trial Lawyers National Trial Competition and was involved with the Federal Bar Association Pro Bono Committee.
What can possibly come next after the opportunity to study at an Ancient? Evvy is planning to pursue her Ph.D. in Politics and Policy at Claremont Graduate University in the fall. She will also take the Texas bar in July. And while, at this point she envisions herself teaching at the undergraduate level, she believes the ways in which a law degree is beneficial are endless.
Graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law (2012)
Completed her Masters of Science in Chinese Studies at Glasgow University
“I know people question the value of going to law school a lot these days,” said Evvy. “But law degrees are so much more versatile than simply preparing a person for the practice of law. The critical thinking and research training a law student receives is just absolutely invaluable, and I believe really does set a person apart.” Evvy Gnabasik is “livin’ the life… one degree at a time!”
“Law degrees are so much more versatile than simply preparing a person for the practice of law. The critical thinking and research training a law student receives is just absolutely invaluable, and I believe really does set a person apart.”
Suzanne Hayden From Alaska to Azerbaijan COMPILED BY SARAH E. HANCE ‘13
My arrival at Oklahoma City University School of Law was serendipitous. I had been an English teacher and worked in the coal and oil and gas businesses. A change in life circumstances and a move to Oklahoma convinced me to become an oil and gas lawyer. However, my lifelong interest in oil and gas took the backseat the first week of law school when Professor LeFrancois introduced me to criminal law. A belief that being a prosecutor would allow me to owe allegiance only to doing justice sealed my earliest fate. After graduating from law school, I worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Oklahoma City before investigating securities fraud at the Oklahoma Securities Department. A year and a half later, I got my first job as an Assistant United States Attorney, where I handled a number of complex drug trafficking cases. I knew I wanted to work on organized crime and narcotics cases. When the Alaska U.S. Attorney asked me to revitalize the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) section of the U.S. Attorney’s office in 64
Anchorage, Alaska — off I went. We investigated and prosecuted two of the largest drug cases in the nation, and I continued to love the courtroom. From there, I moved to Washington D.C., where I worked as a national security coordinator. When I began to work with the U.S.’s first War Crimes Ambassador, David Scheffer, I realized I wanted and needed to work on war crimes investigations and prosecutions. I was appointed by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan to the International Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands in 1999 and remained for three years, until September 11th occurred and I wanted to bring my skills back to the United States. In January of 2002, I returned to the Department of Justice in Washington to work with the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture International Unit. There, I used everything I had learned in my career — working with countries; drafting legislation for them; testifying before parliaments; training investigators, judges and prosecutors on ethics, money
When I was asked to serve in an academic capacity at the International AntiCorruption Academy (IACA), an international organization in Austria, I left the federal government for good. IACA is an academy with a broad scope and mission in the anti-corruption world. Its international nature and holistic approach to integrating disciplines, sectors and its commitment to finding the bridge between theory and practice is a perfect fit for my previous legal career. I serve as an Advisor to the Chairman of the Academy and as Senior Academic Program Advisor. Today, I design courses on a myriad of corruption issues for global organizations, public and private sectors, and civil society. I also teach classes describing the nexus between money laundering and corruption. It
is an exciting and ever-evolving opportunity. I am extremely lucky to have the chance to address the taint of corruption in a holistic way.
PROFILE Suzanne Hayden ‘84 compiled by Sarah E. Hance ‘13
laundering, terror financing and organized crime investigations. During this period, I was able to explain to a country what the criminal law should be (transparent) and do (give citizens, police, prosecutors and judges notice, so they might act accordingly). Many years later, the person with whom I drafted laws based on this theory became a Supreme Court Justice. He told me I had changed forever the way he looked at the law. I think I simply passed along a core value that I learned at Oklahoma City University School of Law.
This past summer, I asked Oklahoma City University School of Law to solicit interns for IACA and was so fortunate to have Ivo Lupov and Vedrano Juko, two students from the school, as my team. Their travels through life to law school were inspirational and their help immeasurable. We worked on two major research issues: Vecky, on potential corrupt practices emanating from “Citizens United” and Ivo, on international corruption vulnerabilities in the oil and gas industry. They both said Graduate of Oklahoma that their projects changed City University how they view certain legal School of Law (1984) issues. If so, then I had the chance to “pay it forward,” just Currently serves at the as Oklahoma City University International AntiSchool of Law did for me. Corruption Academy (AICA) as Advisor to the Chairman of the Academy and as Senior Academic Program Advisor
Before studying to become a lawyer, was an English teacher
“A belief that being a prosecutor would
My career has been everevolving as a lawyer, building slowly, brick upon brick — whether in Alaska or Azerbaijan. But the solid foundation was established at Oklahoma City University School of Law. I do not ever forget the institution or the people who gave me direction. I would say to anyone at the law school that they can, indeed, do anything, be anything and go anywhere. Seize the day and make the journey count.
LANDSCAPE: EARL ELIASON
allow me to owe allegiance only to doing justice sealed my earliest fate.”
The Art of Legal Research and Writing BY SARAH E. HANCE ‘13
Law school was not at all what Kate Holey envisioned for her life after graduating from college with a degree in studio arts and art history. In fact, she originally planned to pursue her masters in studio art in photography. Kate changed course while working with a sexual assault and domestic violence shelter in Austin, Texas. “As a volunteer, I went to the county courthouse to provide emotional support to applicants for protective orders, which meant I spent a lot of time in the courtroom. After a few weeks of seeing the justice system at work, I decided to go to law school.” At Oklahoma City University School of Law, Kate served as Editor in Chief of the Oklahoma City University Law Review and received the Dean’s Legal Ethics Award and the Oklahoma Bar Association Outstanding Senior Award. While in law school she continued to volunteer as an adult literacy tutor for the Oklahoma City Literacy Council and at the YWCA Nonprofit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Shelter. During this time, Kate developed an interest in clerking for a federal 66
judge due to the exposure to a variety of interesting legal issues the job entails. “I also knew that I wanted to be in the courtroom, and clerks have a unique perspective to observe courtroom proceedings.” She spent months preparing her application for the highly competitive selection process and familiarizing herself with hiring judges. Kate graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2010 and began her legal career clerking for Judge Robin Cauthron, a district judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Currently, Kate clerks for Chief Judge Mary Briscoe in the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kate is thankful for their mentorship and examples of the highest ethics and professionalism. “I’ve had the honor of clerking for two outstanding judges, and I have truly benefited from their legal insight and wisdom.” As a law clerk, Kate is exposed to a wide range of legal and procedural issues in a way that showcases the law. She is
PROFILE Kate Holey ’10 by Sarah E. Hance ‘13
presented with both sides of an argument and Kate values the structure and fine stresses the importance of strong legal writing craftsmanship of the legal system, yet still skills: “In my experience, the most persuasive takes time to express her artistic side — and writing is clear, succinct and honest. While to volunteer. She recently signed up to serve writing style will not affect the substantive at a therapeutic horse farm argument, a well-written brief that works with disabled allows the reader to more easily children. She has also taken understand the merits of the legal argument — re-reading pottery and ballet classes at an unclear sentence distracts the local art center and begun from the substantive issues. I drawing and watercoloring find the same distraction occurs again. Kate is grateful for her when writing is redundant. education from a law school Fairly presenting precedent community that fosters justice is of utmost importance. If a reader learns that the writer and legal service. “Oklahoma misquoted or misrepresented City University School of Law case law, the reader loses trust provided a supportive and in the writer. In addition to challenging environment for implicating ethical issues, such Graduate of Oklahoma me to learn the substantive misrepresentations greatly City University legal foundation necessary for depreciate the persuasiveness of School of Law (2010) my career. The professors and the writing. Instead of evading the difficult questions, the most administration worked hard to Received Dean’s persuasive writer confronts, ensure that students learned the Legal Ethics Award head-on, the weakest aspects importance of practicing law of the argument. If the writer ethically and civilly, as well as seeks a change in the law, the Received Oklahoma Bar the importance of maintaining most persuasive writing states Association Outstanding work-life balance — all of which Senior Award so plainly and explains why such a change is warranted.” prepared me for my career.” Undergraduate degree in studio arts and art history
“Instead of evading the difficult questions, the most persuasive
writer confronts, head-on, the weakest aspects of the argument.”
Kellie S. Howell Not Your Traditional Law Student BY BROOK ARBEITMAN
What do a truck driver, military police officer and barn builder all have in common? Kellie S. Howell, that’s what. Kellie grew up in the country, just outside Oklahoma City. And she is the first in her immediate family to graduate from college. It was during her long pursuit with higher education that Kellie’s life became an interesting and winding adventure taking her from Oklahoma all the way to Saudi Arabia and back. Growing up, Kellie’s father taught her the importance of physical strength. Her parents both attended a couple of semesters of college but did not finish. So it wasn’t higher education they pushed, but rather strength, determination and an unrelenting work ethic. “I was taught at a very young age how to string a barbed wire fence and how to properly construct a deck,” said Kellie. “By the age of eighteen my father, my brother and I had built two barns by ourselves.” Despite neither parent having a college degree, Kellie decided to pursue higher education in hopes of eventually attending law school. She says her poor 68
performance left her unhappy and unsatisfied. With college not working out, Kellie decided to enlist in the Air Force. She scored well on her armed services aptitude test and decided she would become a military police officer. It was a perfect choice, allowing her a platform to demonstrate her physical strength and mental toughness. It also provided the chance of a lifetime — to see the world outside our borders. “I got to travel to twentysix different countries and it sparked in me an interest in culture and history that I did not have before.” College was calling again and after leaving the Air Force, Kellie tried going back to school a second time. Her grades improved but now she felt the call of the open road. Kellie took a job as an over the road truck driver — using the solitude to evaluate her life and goals. “While I was a truck driver I was called for jury duty, and it was a wonderful experience,” Kellie said. “I was chosen as
Despite moving up the ranks from driver to trainer to driver management, it was a degree that was now beckoning Kellie. “This time I was determined.” In her third try at college, she made straight A’s and became president of the University of Central Oklahoma’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. She graduated Cum Laude and set her sights on Oklahoma City University School of Law.
BARN: RICHARD GOERG
She was definitely an untraditional student when she started law school in the fall of 2010, but that didn’t get in Kellie’s way. She was named a Holloway Scholar by the Federal Bar Association, served as president of the Merit Scholars, vice-president of the OCU section of the American Bar Association and historian for Phi Delta Phi. Plus, she was sworn in as a Licensed Legal Intern, but is now setting her sights on her future.
Her parents are immensely proud of her. She is the first in her family with a college degree and the first to attend (and finish) law school. Sadly, her mother will not be there to see her walk across the stage in May. She died on December 10, 2012 after a quick battle with cancer. “When she was diagnosed her main issue was that she wanted to see me graduate. At the time, her doctors said that there was a very good chance of that, but her disease spread at an almost unprecedented rate.”
Graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law (2013)
Named a Holloway Scholar by the FBA
Grew up learning to build barns, wire fences and construct decks
Traveled to 26 countries while in the Air Force
PROFILE Kellie S. Howell ‘13 by Brook Arbeitman
the foreman in a criminal trial. After it was over, I knew that being a lawyer was what I wanted to do.”
There is no doubt Kellie’s mother will be there in spirit with the rest of her family to celebrate such a significant milestone. Kellie’s life has taken her many different directions, with many adventures along the way. During her journey, she has also inspired with her perseverance — her brother enrolled in college at 33. Now she looks forward to planting some roots and opening her own criminal law and family law practice, although we are sure that is not the end of this story.
“While I was a truck driver I was called for jury duty, and it was a wonderful experience ... After it was over, I knew that being a lawyer was what I wanted to do.”
Danné Johnson The Journey of Law Academia: The Quest to Teach and Enlighten BY TIECE DEMPSEY ‘12
For Professor Danné Johnson, it’s not just about teaching her students the law, but also enlightening them about the realities of the world for which they are being prepared to practice law. What is a good example of enlightenment? Professor Johnson requires students in some of her courses to read the Wall Street Journal every day in addition to their textbook. “Lawyers are more than technicians who are called upon to regurgitate legal minimums,” says Johnson. “Lawyers are so much more, clients and those who we advise look to us for good counsel. Lawyers need to know about the world — politically, economically and socially. We need to build a community based on justice and equality.” These concepts are elusive and Professor Johnson feels that in her efforts to train new attorneys, she must expand the perspectives of her students, many of whom come from relatively privileged backgrounds. 70
Professor Johnson seeks to improve legal education by addressing two problems. First, she recognizes that many students come to law school with the desire of improving society through the legal system. These students want to change the world. Legal education says follow precedent and often sends the message that law is not the way to institute change. Johnson fears that legal education is not doing enough to inspire activism in the law. Students should be taught to fight for the changes that they want. A legal education should make them capable and responsible to fight for positive change. Secondly, Johnson thinks that the academy’s failure to discuss race, class and gender across the curriculum encourages future generations of lawyers to ignore these issues. Johnson says it is widely accepted in the medical field that knowledge of other cultures is important. “Cultural competency can benefit clients, lawyers and legal outcomes as well.”
BOOKS: MARK WRAGG
Her scholarly interests include nonprofit organizations, social inequality (race, gender, and class), feminist legal theory, securities regulation and corporate governance. Her scholarship has garnered national and international attention. As recently as March 2012, Professor Johnson presented her work on the Freedmen’s Bureau’s Court at the International Symposium, Writing Slavery after Beloved Literature, Historiography, Criticism at the Universite’ de Nantes in Paris, France. She is also actively involved in several sections of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), even serving as the 2011-2012 Chair of the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education, the largest organization of female law faculty with more than 1,500 members.
Professor Johnson is well known and revered by her students. This reverence comes from her dedication to her students. She lends her time outside of the classroom to numerous law students, preparing them to find summer internships and employment after graduation. Because of this devotion, she has received awards such as the Student Choice Award for Favorite Professor and Mentor in 2011 and the Student Bar Association Best Mentor Award in 2012.
Graduate of George Washington Law (1994)
Recognized by Journal Record as one of 50 Women Making a Difference (2012)
Student Choice Award for Favorite Professor and Mentor (2011)
Student Bar Association Best Mentor Award (2012)
“Lawyers need to know about the world — politically, economically and socially. We need to build a community based on justice and equality.”
PROFILE Danné Johnson by Tiece Dempsey ‘12
After graduating from George Washington Law, Professor Johnson joined the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Enforcement. There, she began as a staff attorney and advanced to Senior Counsel and ultimately Branch Chief. She left the SEC to join the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company where she worked as Counsel in the Variable Products Unit and Mutual Fund Unit.
Her commitment to the community is known, as well. In the Fall of 2012, Professor Johnson was recognized as one of 50 Women Making a Difference by the Journal Record during their Annual Woman of the Year Forum. Professor Danné Johnson is committed to producing lawyers who are equipped with a level of cultural competency so they can respond to a changing America, in terms of gender, race and ethnicity, and a globalized marketplace. She believes that Oklahoma City University School of Law students can advocate for positive change and can make the city, state, nation and world a better place.
Laurie W. Jones From Education to Litigation and Back Again BY CHELSEA KLINGLESMITH ESTES ‘13
A native Californian, Dean Laurie Jones spent most of her childhood in Sacramento. Her father was transferred to Oklahoma for work while she was a student at the University of California at Davis. After visiting her family in Oklahoma City, she fell in love with Oklahoma and ultimately decided to finish her degree at Oklahoma State University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology. Even though she had always been interested in attending law school, she then pursued certification to teach secondary education and took a job at Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma. After teaching 6th grade English and Social Studies for four years, Dean Jones took the LSAT, ironically in the basement of what is now Gold Star Memorial Library. She was accepted to The University of Oklahoma and decided to cash out her teacher’s retirement and fulfill her dream. Dean Jones remembers her law school years fondly. “I absolutely loved being in the classroom and studying,” she recalled. Her most memorable experience while in law school was competing as a member of 72
OU’s ABA Moot Court team at nationals in Chicago the week after she took the bar exam. Before entering academia, Dean Jones had unique professional experiences. While in law school, she clerked for former Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Marian Opala, with whom she ultimately built a dear friendship that lasted until his death in 2010. She also interned for a local firm where one partner, who practiced education law and represented Oklahoma City Public Schools, took her under his wing. After graduation, Dean Jones went to work for the firm as an attorney, where she assisted with the litigation of a case that ultimately went before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and then the United States Supreme Court. The Dowell case was a school desegregation case originally filed in the 1960s in Oklahoma City. It was reopened by the NAACP in the late 1980s when Oklahoma City Public Schools decided to transition to neighborhood elementary schools and stop cross-town busing. The case became the first school desegregation case to be granted certiorari in more than a decade.
SWIMMERS: P WEI
PROFILE Laurie W. Jones by Chelsea Klinglesmith Estes ‘13
Next came Dean Jones’ re-entry into education Jones driving on campus is probably familiar when she joined the faculty at Oklahoma with her window sticker that reads, “70.3.” It City University School of Law. After being signifies a huge athletic accomplishment. She a professor for a few years, she was selected earned that sticker when she finished a half iron as the law school’s Pro Bono triathlon that consisted of a 1.2 Program Coordinator. While in mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and practice, she always took on a 13.1 mile run. Dean Jones also pro bono cases, because she competed in the New York City enjoyed helping people in need triathlon, which consisted of full who couldn’t afford a lawyer. Olympic distances. The swim She viewed the opportunity took place in the Hudson River to build the program from and ended with a run in Central scratch as the perfect way to Park. Dean Jones fondly recalls combine her passion for pro running into an Oklahoma bono work and her love of City University School of Law working with students. After alumnus during the event. being asked to join Dean Couch’s “You just never know where administration as Associate our law alums are going to be!” Dean for Admissions, Dean she said as she commented Jones’ focus shifted. Yet, she Graduate of University about how fun it is to connect still maintains her service to the of Oklahoma College of Law (1984) community by working twice with former students in unique a month with the Oklahoma ways all over the country. County Pro Se Waiver Divorce Currently serving in Dean Aside from being a respected Docket Project and delivering Couch’s administration faculty member, servant leader meals to local shut-ins. as Associate Dean and mentor, Dean Jones is also for Admissions Dean Jones says that through a mother to three girls. She is her work in Admissions, she hopeful that one of them will feels like a “dream enabler.” Cashed out her decide to become a lawyer, teacher’s retirement She gets to help aspiring law because it has been such a to fulfill her dream of students obtain the training wonderful profession for her. As becoming a lawyer they need to be successful in for her own future, Dean Jones the legal profession. “It’s such a has no plans for retirement. gift to put together an entering Completed a half iron She hopes to obtain an LL.M. triathlon and the New class,” she said. She loves in food law and use the new York City triathlon working behind the scenes to education to create classes at cultivate the law school’s future. the law school related to this “It’s really fun to be a part of “It’s such a gift highly evolving specialization. developing our law school into the premiere legal institution in to put together We are truly fortunate to have the region,” said Dean Jones. an entering class a faculty member so dedicated to the success of the law school ...It’s really fun She’s not all work and no play. Anyone who has seen Dean and the future of its students. to be a part of
developing our law school into the premiere legal institution in the region.”
Nancy Kenderdine Enjoying the Life of Luxury BY BROOK ARBEITMAN
She got the call out of the blue. One she certainly didn’t expect as a relatively young, untenured associate professor. After being summoned to the university president’s office, Kenderdine left tasked to manage the many spokes of a law school for who knows how long. To say the least, she was surprised when she was named interim dean of Oklahoma City University School of Law. Not only the first woman to ever take residence in the dean’s suite, but the first at any law school in the state. Kenderdine says it wasn’t that unusual in those days to be the first woman to do something in the legal profession. It was 1981. “The pressure was subtle, and almost subconscious. You just realized at some level, mostly from things that you had heard said about other women in other situations, that if you failed it would not just be seen as ‘Nancy Kenderdine is a failure,’ but as ‘a woman can’t do this job.’” Those days were challenging, to put it mildly. Kenderdine’s son gave her a firefighter’s hat (which she still has to this day) because it seemed all she did was douse the flames. 74
Her psychology degree from Duke came in handy. She originates from Tennessee, and after earning her bachelor’s ended up in Indiana working at a teen center. It was that job that led to an interest in law. She moved to Oklahoma with her family and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma College of Law where she graduated in 1973. She was one of 12 female students at OU and graduated third in her class. There was something in her DNA that led her to push the standards for the day. After a stint in administration at her alma mater, Kenderdine landed at Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1977. It wasn’t but four years into her time here that she was summoned across campus to learn she was in charge. While teaching was her preference, there were parts of being interim dean that she enjoyed. “Working with faculty, staff, students, and some really great folks from the other parts of the university; planning, budgeting, being able to impact our direction were all parts of the job that I loved.”
PROFILE Nancy Kenderdine by Brook Arbeitman
These days, Kenderdine claims to working, in any capacity. The slow and steady pace of nothing keeps her happy and content. be a “lazy bum.” There are very few professional obligations or responsibilities, Her year as interim dean was many moons and she says she is most definitely ago. But, several memories stand out — the not bored, even after eight tumultuous times of that era, years of retirement. “I love a supportive senior faculty and sleeping late, lounging around the untimely death of longtime in my sweats all day with a Professor Wayne Quinlan. When good mystery, playing on the she reflects on her career in legal computer, connecting with education, Kenderdine says she old college friends, traveling has very few regrets. But if there during the pretty parts of the is one, “there are times I wish I year when others are working, had spoken out more adamantly writing totally ignored emails against certain policies and to my elected representatives, directions we were taking.” and especially not having to (She thinks her colleagues will attend committee meetings find that last part humorous.) or grade finals, or follow a schedule. Who has time to She describes herself as Graduate of University older, thinner and more be bored or productive?” of Oklahoma College liberal, even as the state has of Law (1973) She remains great friends become more conservative. with Professor Vicki Lawrence And while a year as interim MacDougall and sees her dean did not lead to a lengthy Served as interim dean of other cohorts at retirement career in administration, Oklahoma City University School of Law (1981) fetes. Although she misses Kenderdine does have this teaching, particularly that piece of advice for Oklahoma moment when the light bulb City University School of Enjoying retirement clicks on and a student “got Law’s 12th dean, “maintaining as a “lazy bum” your sense of humor will be it,” retirement is good. There essential to your sanity.” is no gravitational pull toward Originally from Tennessee Played basketball in her youth
Kenderdine’s advice to Dean Couch?
“ ...maintaining your sense of humor will be essential to your sanity.”
Vicki Lawrence MacDougall Something Akin to Magic BY BRANDI M. HASKINS ‘15
Distinguished learning institutions are known for including on their faculty a renowned professor who simultaneously commands great respect from graduates and causes immense trepidation in incoming students. Such a professor’s name is whispered by the lips of students before her face is recognized and is sure to echo throughout the halls of the school long after she has left the lectern. A well-known matriarchal archetype of such distinction in the literary world is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s Professor Minerva McGonagall. We here at Oklahoma City University School of Law have someone akin to the great McGonagall in Professor Vicki Lawrence MacDougall. Just as McGonagall is a Hogwarts legend, MacDougall is a legend in her own right here at the law school. MacDougall attended the School of Law and helped to establish The Oklahoma City University Law Review before she became known as the infamous Torts professor. Similar to her literary counterpart, who worked for two years at the Ministry of Magic before returning to her alma mater to 76
teach Transfiguration, Professor MacDougall clerked for Judge Dwain Box of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals before joining the School of Law faculty. Professor MacDougall loves to teach and thoroughly enjoys interacting with students. Ever mindful of her students’ future, MacDougall requires 1Ls to stand as they recite cases. Clearly this practice contributes to the 1Ls’ apprehension, but MacDougall says that this practice is not meant to be cruel. Recalling how petrified she was her first time to be called on as a law student, Professor MacDougall reasons that a little bit of experience can go a long way, and that speaking on one’s feet in class provides students with an advantage when they enter the courtroom. Plus, standing to recite cases gives a more formal flare to the class, something both she and the fictional McGonagall value. Conversely, law students, similar to those of Hogwarts, might be more likely to view the formality as extreme and outrageous conduct sufficient to meet the standards for intentional infliction of emotional distress!
PROFILE Vicki Lawrence MacDougall ‘77 by Brandi M. Haskins ’15
MacDougall shares other similarities with her Although her students might disagree with literary counterpart. Although MacDougall, a the last sentiment, it is certain that they self-described “clothes horse,” is far younger are more thoughtful academics for having and more fashion-forward than McGonagall, been taught by Professor MacDougall. both Professors’ names can be traced back to While MacDougall may not Roman goddesses — Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, teach her students to cast and Victoria, the Roman goddess spells, she does educate of victory. Further, the fictional them in the enlightened McGonagall is an animagus, reasoning of Palsgraf and the whose animal presence is a ancient wisdom of Prosser. cat. (For those of you muggles Admittedly, magic may be more out there, an animagus is a impressive at dinner parties, wizard who is able to turn but MacDougall’s instruction into an animal.) Though it is concerning tortfeasors provides unclear whether Professor a better foundation for her MacDougall can magically turn students’ legal careers than any into a tabby, it is undisputed hocus-pocus McGonagall has she is a Leo and is known to to offer. And though Torts is a share stories of her beloved Graduate of Oklahoma far cry from Transfiguration, pet cats, namely Lucky Pickle. City University we here at the School of Law Both women are also known School of Law (1977) are agreed that, in some cases, to be formidable professors, fact is better than fiction — we yet MacDougall claims that Helped to establish will take the real-life Professor at times she is a pushover, to The Oklahoma City MacDougall over the fictional which her daughters, Katie University Law Review and Emily, surely can attest. McGonagall any day!
MAGIC: BROOK ARBEITMAN
A self-described “clothes horse”
“Professor McGonagall and I share a love of teaching and a genuine concern for our students. As stated by Professor McGonagall in the Chamber of Secrets, ‘The whole point … is for you to receive your education.’”
Terry Moser A Pioneer in the Legal Field BY BROOK ARBEITMAN
This leader’s life centers around family and career. Thanks to the encouragement of important people in her life, Judge Terry Pendell Moser did not let societal pressures get in the way of her pursuit of a maledominated field in the 1960’s. Judge Moser began her career in 1960 as a teacher at Roosevelt Junior High School in Oklahoma City. She was quite successful, creating curriculum for Speech, Art and Music and receiving several awards in recognition of her work. In 1963, she decided to attend Oklahoma City University School of Law at night with her husband.
better grades than I do, but she is also going to make better grades than you do, too.” At the time, there was a general sentiment that women who were in law school were taking the spots men should have. This attitude came as a surprise to Terry whose father told her that she could succeed in anything she wanted to do. “He said I just needed to apply myself, study and work hard. I soon learned that he forgot to tell the rest of the world.”
Upon entering law school, the realities of pursuing a legal career became apparent. The path was not going to be easy, but the journey would be worthwhile.
Support to persevere came from joining the Iota Tau Tau International Legal Sorority (women were not allowed in the male fraternities and law groups) and an Oklahoma City University law alumnae group — women who had been down the same road and could provide much needed encouragement.
Shortly after the start of classes, a male student asked her thenhusband George why he was letting his wife attend law school. The student wondered what George would do if she made better grades than him. Terry recalls George’s response, “She’s not only going to make
The challenges of law school prepared Terry for the “real world.” When she and George had an interview at a large firm, Terry was asked how many words a minute she could type. “They informed me that I could work in the library during research and do my own typing,
In 1975, after George encouraged her to pursue the position, Oklahoma City Municipal Judge Terry Pendell was sworn in and was the focus of a history making event as the first woman ever appointed to the Municipal Court. A few years later she was also elected the first female Chief Judge. She laughed and related that after keeping a classroom of eighth graders in order, the courtroom was a snap. “At first the lawyers would call me “Sir,” she recalls. Wanting as little controversy as possible, she waited a few weeks before correcting the error. When an attorney she knew well called her “Sir,” she finally pointed out the appropriate way to address the court was “Judge” or “Your Honor.” Needless to say, the message made its way around the courthouse. Terry next served on the Oklahoma Workers Compensation Court. During this time she also married her husband Cal Moser. She laughs when remembering a discussion about whether to continue using her former name instead of her new married name so the court would not have to change
all the stationary and signs. She decided to assume her married name for her first federal appointment as an Administrative Law Judge in the Little Rock, Arkansas office, where she was the first female judge. A year later, she was assigned as Chief Judge of the McAlester, OK office-another first. A year after that, she was appointed as the Chief Judge of the Oklahoma City Office. Although the office had female judges, one had never been appointed as Chief Judge.
Graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law (1967)
First woman appointed to the Oklahoma City Municipal Courts (1975)
First woman appointed Chief Administrative Law Judge in the Oklahoma City Office (2003)
“I am so delighted that we now have a female Dean at Oklahoma City University School of Law. I know
PROFILE Judge Terry Pendell Moser ‘67 by Brook Arbeitman
thereby saving money by not having to hire a secretary for me,” she said. She wanted to be a trial attorney, so instead she and George opened Pendell & Pendell Lawyers, and quickly built a successful law practice.
When Terry began her judicial career, all the female elected officials in Oklahoma could meet at her kitchen table. “Later the group grew in numbers, and we graduated to the living room. We were very close and supportive of each other.” In retirement, she still enjoys having lunch with close friends Judge Carol Hanson ’74, Judge Reta Struhbar ‘81, Judge Patricia McGuigan ‘75 and Judge Nancy Coats. And she still feels called to continue supporting women in the law. “I always tried to do my jobs as lawyer and judge with an awareness that if I served with integrity and competence, I would help pave the way for other women to have more opportunities in our profession and our community in the future.”
that Dean Valerie K. Couch will be an outstanding leader. I wish her every success.”
Sharity Parham Honoring a Life-Long Dream BY BROOK ARBEITMAN
Every two years, they moved on to a new location. With a navy pilot for a dad, a nomadic life was to be expected. This led Sharity and Ashley Parham, sisters separated by four years, to be extremely close. They were each other’s best friend. “Although she was the younger sister she was the more insightful and mature one,” Sharity says. “Ashley was beyond her years and understood how to approach situations even before I did. Growing up together we were a team. I could talk to her about anything, and she could ask my help for anything. It was a role-reversal — she was my role-model.” The family landed in Midwest City, and Sharity attended Carl Albert High School before going on to Oklahoma State. She majored in International Business and minored in Marketing and Management. But, her dream had always, always been to go to law school. “I used to hide behind the living room couch where my parents couldn’t see me and watch episodes of Law and Order (SVU). When I 80
was a teenager I was obsessed with John Grisham books.” The Parhams taught their girls to be gracious, communityoriented and to help those who are less fortunate. Sharity says her parents emphasized embracing citizenship and making a difference. The girls knew how they could make this happen — Sharity through the law and Ashley through teaching. Ashley received a scholarship to pursue education at the University of Central Oklahoma. Tragically, Ashley’s dream was never realized. In 2009, just days after she graduated from high school, Ashley was killed in a car accident. The minor fender bender that occurred in the parking lot of Carl Albert High School deployed her airbag, sending shards of metal into Ashley’s body. She was air lifted to the hospital but didn’t make it. According to reports, her death led the automaker to recall close to 400,000 of their vehicles. A bright and vibrant light was snuffed out much too early. As a way of honoring her dreams and her memory, the
“My sister would be proud of the foundation because of its immediacy and direct impact. She wanted to help the Oklahoma youth and promote education as soon as possible.” One of the biggest projects at the foundation is their annual backpack drive. Taking place the last Saturday before Oklahoma City Public Schools start, the foundation gives away free backpacks filled with school supplies to kids in need. It has become an annual event that Sharity is deeply involved with and proud of. Her passion for the foundation is equaled by her love of the
law. Sharity completed her first year of law school and her enthusiasm for the rule of law is stronger than ever. “I decided to go to law school because everything involves the law. The field of law is present in every decision we make. I can use my degree to influence the things that matter to me such as philanthropic efforts.”
Attending Oklahoma City University School of Law (2015)
PR Director and Event Planner at a foundation in memory of her sister
PROFILE Sharity Parham ‘15 by Brook Arbeitman
Ashley Parham foundation was created. The foundation’s mission is to “provide every child with the opportunity to succeed by promoting education and providing the necessary tools for success.” Sharity is the public relations director and event planner.
In her spare time, she enjoys golf and rugby, “two opposite sports which represent my personality.” And she says her life as a “military brat” taught her the importance of family and community. “When we settled in Oklahoma, I began to realize what an impact your environment could have on you and how important it was to give back.” We look forward to seeing how law and philanthropy and Sharity Parham join forces to change the world — for the better.
Enjoys golf and rugby
Daughter of a navy pilot, in her childhood she moved every two years
“I decided to go to law school because everything involves the law. The field of law is present in every decision we make.”
In Their Own Skin Young Women Lawyers Share the Inspiration of a New Leadership BY ELIZABETH LAUDERBACK ‘13
In Spring of 2012, I sat down with three women lawyers and recent graduates of Oklahoma City University School of Law to talk about their experiences as young female lawyers and the mentors who have showed them the way. At the time of the interview, former Judge Valerie K. Couch had recently stepped into her new position as the School of Law’s first female dean. Kendra Robben, of Robben & Associates, is a close friend and mentee of Dean Couch. She noted that “OCU’s decision to hire Valerie Couch is good for OCU and good for the state of Oklahoma.” Hiring a female dean reflects the school’s commitment to diversity and its awareness of the reality that fifty percent of the student body is female. “Couch was a particularly good choice because of the combination of her stellar academic record, private practice experience and years on the bench.” More importantly, Couch is a local with a local reputation that precedes her — a reputation for being a fantastic leader. “People want to do well for Valerie Couch because she wouldn’t ask you to do anything that she wouldn’t do herself. She is down in the trenches with you for everything,” said Robben. “She has the ability to get everyone on the same team and focus on a common goal.” 86
Michelle Briggs, who was a first-year associate at Dunlap Codding at the time we interviewed her, shares Robben’s sentiment. Briggs described Couch as “wise and warm” and as “a woman that you want to keep listening to in hopes that she will keep giving you advice.” Emily Campbell, a senior associate at Dunlap Codding, is another female trail blazer in Oklahoma’s legal community. Campbell is the head of Dunlap Codding’s Soft IP practice group and is the firm’s first female practice group leader in a legal field traditionally dominated by men. She is also inspired and empowered by Dean Couch’s success. “If she can do it, it makes me believe I can do it,” said Campbell. Female mentors are particularly important for young female lawyers because women have different responsibilities throughout their life to which other women can relate. There are some issues that are just different for men and women. But male mentors certainly should not be short changed. For example, Bill Conger was one of Robben’s and Couch’s most beloved mentors. Also, Campbell, coming up in a male dominated legal niche, looked to her male superiors for guidance. Dunlap Codding’s partners supported Campbell in her endeavors to branch away from patents to head the Soft IP practice group. Furthermore, as a new mom, Campbell has been especially pleased with their willingness to be understanding and sensitive to her efforts
So, what is it about our mentors that make us want to seek their advice? Based on our conversation, a good mentor, or a good leader, is one who can find commonality with her mentees, who asks of other people only what she would do herself and who rallies people around a common goal. There is also a new generation of women in law who have been successful not necessarily by playing by men’s rules but by creating their own rules. This seems to require being honest with yourself about who you are, which brings us back to Dean Couch. “Dean Couch is an example of how to work with your own strengths and in your own comfort zone. She has taken her personality, who she is, her style, and instead of doing it like a man would do it, she has defined her role based on where she comes from as opposed to fitting into a predefined box,” said Robben. According to Robben, it’s not just women who can benefit from this alternative leadership style, which is largely based on inspiring people as opposed to dictating. “This inspirational concept can be effective for other minority groups or any type of people who are breaking into the legal field and are looking for ways to be successful without fitting into the old model or mold,” said Robben.
And it’s always time to share the torch. While it might seem daunting to think about trying to live up to super stars like Bill Conger and Valerie Couch, Robben said, “It is important to try to give back what we’ve received from our mentors.” Campbell added, “We often see ourselves as mentees or as law students who have just graduated, but we are mentors too, now walking in the steps of the mentors that came before us.”
IN THEIR OWN SKIN by Elizabeth Lauderbeck ‘13
to achieve a work life balance while taking care of herself, her family and her little one. “They are all fathers,” said Campbell.
There’s no time like the present to be an Oklahoma lawyer. “In a time when we have the opportunity and the ability to embrace our natural tendencies for leadership — for bringing our “femaleness” into the mix — people realize that, hey, it’s a good thing that there is not just one way to do things. It makes for an exciting time, a potential for real growth and real opportunity to let people grow and flourish in their own skin and on their own terms,” said Briggs. About the Author: Elizabeth Lauderback was born in Austin and raised in Palestine, Texas. She graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law in May 2013. Before law school, she served as the Youth Service Corps Coordinator at Ghost Ranch in Northern New Mexico where she organized extensive volunteer projects with junior and senior high kids and taught yoga. Elizabeth has passions for photography and cooking. She plans on making Oklahoma City her permanent home and looks forward to joining Dunlap Codding upon passing the bar in July 2013.
Left: Kendra Robben ‘07 of Robben & Associates. Middle: Michelle Briggs ‘11, Associate at Dunlap Codding. Right: Emily Campbell, Trademarks and Copyrights Practice Group Leader at Dunlap Codding.
Around the World in 387 Days Have sabbatical, will travel. BY LAWRENCE K. HELLMAN, DEAN EMERITUS
During my 13 years as dean, I traveled on behalf of the law school to 32 states, the District of Columbia, and foreign destinations in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China and Great Britain. Gay often accompanied me. But my sabbatical year of 2011-2012 provided a chance for Gay and me to literally travel the world. We had opportunities we couldnâ€™t have imagined when we got married 40 years ago. The sabbatical allowed me to accept teaching invitations on four continents. Gay gave up her position at Catholic Charities Immigration Assistance Program so that we could share these experiences together. It was an incredible, magical year.
China June-July 2011, 10 Days; 13,750 Miles On June 30, 2011, my last day as dean, I awoke in Tianjin, China, where eight members of our faculty and I had presented papers at the first Sino-American International Comparative Law Conference hosted by our partner law school at Nankai University. My first day as former dean found me in Beijing at the National Judges College, where I was honored to have been invited to present a halfday lecture on â€œThe Roles of Defense Lawyer, Prosecutor, and 88
South America August 2011, 5 Weeks; 13,300 Miles When I returned home from China, there was a group of Chinese students waiting for me at OCU, where I taught a one-week course introducing them to the role of lawyers in the United States. This was part of the Certificate in American Law Program established in 2007. Following that, at the beginning of August 2011, Gay and I set off for Buenos Aires, Argentina. The purpose for this trip was for me to teach a oneweek course entitled “Legal Ethics for the Global Lawyer.” We arrived in Buenos Aires a week before the class was to begin in order to get to know this great city. We sampled its many distinct neighborhoods, its European-style culture and its famous steaks and Malbec wine.
AROUND THE WORLD by Lawrence K. Hellman, Dean Emeritus
Judge in an American Criminal Trial.” Marking the transition from dean to former dean while lecturing abroad set the tone for the ensuing year of travel and teaching around the world.
The course I taught caused me to take a closer look at issues facing lawyers handling international transactions and litigation. It also provided an opportunity to interact with a number of Argentine lawyers, judges and bar association officials, some of whom may one day organize a delegation to visit Oklahoma City. When the course concluded, Gay and I remained in South America for another three weeks, stopping first in Santiago, Chile, before beginning an extensive 16-day journey through Peru. We visited Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon (featuring majestic condors and an incomparably clear view of the Milky Way), Puno, Swazi Island on Lake Titicaca (the world’s highest navigable body of water), Cusco and, of course, Machu Pichu. But our most profound Peruvian experiences occurred in two places not highlighted on the typical tourist map. The first of these came as our guide accompanied us out of the Colca Canyon. We stopped at a one-room school on a grassy mountain top in the middle of nowhere surrounded by herds of LAW.OKCU.EDU
AROUND THE WORLD by Lawrence K. Hellman, Dean Emeritus
Peru Clockwise starting from left: Colca Canyon Terraced Farming; Rural students entertain with a song; Suasi Island: a nice place to read a book; Alpacas roaming; Gay visiting a market in Lima.
alpacas and llamas. The stop wasn’t on our travel schedule, but our guide needed to deliver a message to the teacher, who spent most of the year away from her own family in Arequipa so that she could bring education to the children of this remote area. We received a warm welcome from the students, who ranged in age from 6 to 12. They sang songs for us and posed for pictures. We left wondering if perhaps one day the 12-year-old leader of this rag tag group of students will lead his nation, for, as did Abraham Lincoln during his youth, he walks miles to and from school each day. Our other Peruvian highlight was in Urubamba, deep in the Sacred Valley, at Carol Cume’s Willka T’ika retreat (www. willkatika.com). This was an enthralling escape from the cares and troubles of the world. If you ever feel the need to have your chakras aligned (as upon completing 13 years as dean), this is the place to get it done.
Dublin & London October/November 2011, 6 Weeks; 9,800 Miles
We returned to Oklahoma City for September but headed off again in early October. The destination this time was London, where I taught a full semester’s American legal ethics course
in five weeks, as part of the Autumn in London Program offered to American J.D. students by a consortium of law schools to which we belong. Having rarely had an opportunity to teach the basic American legal ethics course during my time as dean, this was a welcome opportunity for me to get back in the classroom for an extended period. It was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that my classroom was located just two blocks from the British Museum. Our autumn in London was simply splendid. Remarkably, we had to open our umbrellas only once (even then, just briefly) during our five weeks in “rainy” England. We took full advantage of the London theater scene. We also attended the Royal Opera and an acclaimed exhibition of Leonardo DiVinci’s most famous works. We fit in four Premier League soccer matches as well as a “friendly” match between the national teams of England and Spain (reigning World Cup champions) at the new Wembley Stadium. We enjoyed city life on most weekends, but on two weekends we went out of town — once to Liverpool and North Wales, and then to Oxford, and the beautiful Cotswolds. Our visit to Oxford was at the invitation of Dr. Waney Squire, a pediatric neuropathologist to whom we had been introduced by a professor who spoke at the law school’s symposium
ILLUSTRATION ON PREVIOUS PAGE: SERVET GÜRBÜZ • PHOTOGRAPHS OF TRAVELS: LAWRENCE & GAY HELLMAN
On the way from Oklahoma City to London, we had stopped in Dublin, Ireland (it’s on the way, you know), to attend the fall meeting of the ABA’s Section of International Law, which for the first time included a series of programs for legal educators. There, we were befriended by the dean of Griffith University School of Law, David Langwallner. Under David’s leadership, Griffith had recently established an innocence clinic, and he invited me to present a lecture on our Oklahoma Innocence Project. David also accompanied us on a tour of the courts of Dublin. We stopped in on a class David held as part of the jurisprudence course he teaches at Dublin’s King’s Inn, a major pathway to admission to the bar there. Together, we attended lectures at the ABA meeting given by Mary Robinson (former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and former president of Ireland) and Ireland’s Chief Justice, James L. Murray. Beyond the meetings, we sampled Irish culture, with a
couple of trips to the theater, a couple of trips to pubs, and a day trip to the countryside.
AROUND THE WORLD by Lawrence K. Hellman, Dean Emeritus
on the controversy surrounding the science underlying convictions based on a medical theory known as Shaken Baby Syndrome. We attended a lecture given by Dr. Squire to a group of coroners and then were guests at the annual black tie event of the dinner club to which she belongs. Among the guests were lawyers and a law school dean, and we were treated by all like old friends.
China December 2011, 2 Weeks; 16,500 Miles We were in Oklahoma City for most of December 2011 and January 2012. I say “most” because in December I suspended my sabbatical to go back to China for two weeks on behalf of the law school. This was the annual trip that I take with Gu Ming, our director of international programs, for the purpose of sustaining and broadening our ties with law schools and legal institutions in China. We visited our four partner law schools. At each one, I gave a lecture on the American legal profession, made a promotional presentation about our Certificate in American Law Program offered to Chinese law students each summer and met with school leaders. Ming and I also had a meeting at the National Judges College in Beijing, where we have been working for a couple of years on starting a collaboration. Being a bit travel weary, Gay sat this one out. For me, it was an important and successful trip and one that promised to open new doors for the law school.
Britain & Ireland Clockwise starting from left: Irish countryside; Autumn landscape in Cotswolds, just outside London; 17th Century cottage in Cotswolds; A lovely Inn, North Wales.
AROUND THE WORLD by Lawrence K. Hellman, Dean Emeritus
Washington, D.C. January 2012, 4 Days; 2,300 Miles
Another break from our winter R&R at home was a short trip to Washington, D.C., in January 2012. This was to attend the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. The meeting was held in the very same venue where our law school officially was voted into membership in the AALS in January 2003. That was a great day for Oklahoma City University School of Law, and it was good to return to that setting.
France February 2012, 11 Days; 10,400 Miles In early February, Gay and I were off to Toulouse, France, for a brief teaching engagement at the University of Toulouse. The course compared the regulation of the legal professions in the U.S., France, and the E.U., and the students came from throughout Europe. Undaunted by the unusually icy weather we encountered in Toulouse, we walked the city’s ancient streets, sampled regional food specialties like foie gras and cassoulet, visited the moving Resistance Museum (chronicling the “underground railway” that, during the German occupation of France in the 1940s, spirited French Jews to safety in Spain by helping them traverse the Pyrenees in secret) and took a day trip to Albi to see the enormous cathedral that was built there between the 13th and 15th centuries. We were disappointed to find that the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum was closed for renovation, but we saw some of the city’s most famous artist’s work in other museums. During our stay in Toulouse, we resided at a lovely B&B in the heart of the old city, just one block from the famous Basilica of St. Sirnin. The proprietress, Madame Sylvian Tatin, was simply lovely, fetching fresh croissants for us each morning from her favorite bakery. The croissants were accompanied by her 92
France Clockwise from top, all in Toulouse: Street dancing at the Violet Festival; Gay at the Violet Festival; Lecturing at University of Toulouse; A snowy street in Toulouse with St. Sernin in the background.
seemingly endless selection of homemade preserves. Fortunately for our waistlines, we were in Toulouse for only 11 days.
China February/March 2012, 6 Weeks; 18,500 Miles Next, we dashed back to Oklahoma City for three days to re-pack for a six week stay in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China. Zhuhai is home to one of our partner law schools, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai Campus. My sabbatical made it possible for me to accept BNUZ’s invitation to teach two courses in the innovative Anglo-American Law curriculum under
The teaching experience at BNUZ was a joy. A professor could easily become spoiled by the respect and deference displayed toward faculty by Chinese students. They were engaged and diligent and quickly began to feel comfortable reciting and asking questions — using English skills that ranged from adequate to quite good. Both classes performed well on their exams; there were no unsatisfactory grades. Our cultural experiences during the six weeks at BNUZ were quite rewarding. We became accustomed to the campus routine, including luncheon visits to one of three campus cafeterias that, together, offered what seemed to be dozens of options (some requiring identification by a student passing by). We were well taken care of. Members of the faculty and administration occasionally treated us to meals at local restaurants.
China Clockwise from top: American Legal System students following the last class; Dean Hellman and his old friend Forest Sun teaching a class together; I Know I Parked My Bike around Here Somewhere.
They were always looking out for our needs and comfort. Gay became close friends with two women students from Inner Mongolia. One or both of them frequently accompanied her on walks or when she shopped for household necessities. A male student was assigned to be my classroom assistant, and he was more than faithful to his task. A group of BNUZ students who had attended our Certificate in American Law Program the previous summer treated us to a nice lunch, where they talked fondly about their experiences at the law school.
AROUND THE WORLD by Lawrence K. Hellman, Dean Emeritus
development there. The courses selected were Introduction to American Legal Ethics and Introduction to the American Legal System.
Among the things that fascinated us were: the ubiquitous pick-up basketball games on the courts near our apartment (yes, the popularity of the Thunder has reached China); the hundreds of bikes parked neatly outside classroom buildings, dorms, and the library (we wondered how the students remembered where they parked and which bike was theirs); the sea of clothes optimistically hung out to dry on the dorms’ balconies; the outdoor public address system over which university communications students reported the news in English during the lunch hour; the students’ familiarity with American culture (acquired from TV, movies, and the Internet); and the highly evident happiness of the student body. Our cultural experiences on this trip to China reached well beyond the BNUZ campus. My class schedule was compressed so that my weekly teaching duties were completed by noon on Wednesdays. This created fourday weekends that provided opportunities to visit places we had never been. Zhuhai is in Guangdong province, where China’s “opening up” policy was first introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1978. This head start on economic development has led to the creation of several impressive cities, notably Shenzhen and Guangzhou. We spent long weekends in each of these. Shenzhen is the site of Peking University School of Transnational Law, the first postgraduate, American-style J.D. program in China. I met with its founding dean, Jeffrey
AROUND THE WORLD by Lawrence K. Hellman, Dean Emeritus
Lehman, who previously had been dean at the University of Michigan School of Law and president of Cornell University. Guangzhou is where American, Canadian, Australian and European adoptive parents meet their precious new Chinese children. Our hotel was their headquarters, and we never saw so many strollers and diaper bags in one place. Many of the parents had older children with them so they could meet their new siblings. There is an important U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou serving south China. We happened upon (a/k/a crashed) a party for consular employees that was taking place at our hotel and were made to feel welcome. We enjoyed talking to them about their work and the training necessary to get such positions. One weekend adventure was a trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, where our guide displayed his pride for his country’s success in defending itself from invasions by France, China and the United States. Fortunately, he didn’t blame us for “the American War.” This trip included an overnight boat trip on mystical Halong Bay, a water puppet show and a bike-mounted rickshaw ride through the motor scooter filled streets. Another weekend was divided between Macao and Hong Kong. We reached Macao by bus directly from our campus. We spent two nights at this gambling mecca, where the annual wagering volume (to which we did not contribute) is reported to be five times that of Las Vegas. We sampled the old Portuguese neighborhoods and restaurants and toured the lavish casinos and hotels. We traveled from Macao to Hong Kong by high speed ferry. In Hong Kong, we had dinner with some Oklahoma City friends who were about to begin a cruise. The next day, we took in the view from the observation area on the 100th floor of a majestic skyscraper. A Ritz-Carlton Hotel occupies the 15 floors above the observation tower. Hong Kong was our favorite destination, and we returned there for our last four-day 94
weekend. We marveled at the number and size of high-end shopping malls, where the store windows looked like they belonged in a museum. We became old hands at navigating the city’s efficient and safe subway system. Missing Western culture a bit, we took in two American-produced movies. If the high speed ferry between Zhuhai and Hong Kong (a 75 minute ride) awarded frequent traveler awards, we would have racked some up, for we made the trip yet another time on our way to catch our flight home at the end of March.
Kansas City April 2012, 3 Days; 600 Miles Now nine months into my sabbatical year, I had taught courses on four continents, and had been away from home for a little more than 22 weeks. But my travels were not over. Two days after returning from Zhuhai, I flew to Kansas City for the annual conference of the Innocence Network, of which Oklahoma City University School of Law Hong Kong & Vietnam Top to bottom: Victoria Harbor from the 100th Floor; A cyclo tour in Hanoi, Vietnam.
AROUND THE WORLD by Lawrence K. Hellman, Dean Emeritus
Alaska & Canada Clockwise from left: Alaskan glaciers; Basecamp at Mt. Denali (McKinley) the easy way; Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada; Canada Rockies overlooking Banff, Alberta.
became the 54th member in America when our Innocence Clinic opened in 2011. That conference deserves an article of its own, but suffice it to say that it was inspirational.
Washington, D.C. & Sacramento May 2012, 1 Week; 4,900 Miles
In May, Gay traveled with me to Washington, D.C., for the annual meeting of the American Law Institute. However, we took an indirect route. We stopped off first in Sacramento, California, for a friend’s wedding.
Alaska & Canada June/July 2012, 3 Weeks; 6,700 Miles
To round out our sabbatical year of travel, we headed north to Alaska for the last week of June and first week of July 2012. This was our first opportunity to visit our younger son, Max, who was finishing the first of two years in a clerkship for a federal district judge in Anchorage. We spent some time in Anchorage, but a lot of our time in the 49th state was devoted to sightseeing, in places like Seward, Homer, Talkeetna and
Denali National Park. It is a big, beautiful world up there, and the moose, bears, mountain goats and bald eagles we saw seemed well aware of that. What finer place could they possibly find to spend their lives? On the way home from Alaska, we stopped in Banff, Alberta, Canada, where I presented a paper at the Fifth International Legal Ethics Conference. These conferences occur every other year in a different city, and this was my third time to be a presenter. I saw many American scholars I have come to know over the course of my career in legal ethics. I had met many of the non-American participants at previous international conferences, and I enjoyed interacting with legal ethics scholars from around the world. Gay and I arrived in Banff a day early in order to take a day trip to beautiful Lake Louise. There’s nothing more to say than, “It’s beautiful.”
Grand Total: 27 Weeks; 96,750 Miles So there you have it: 27 weeks of travel spread over a 54-week period. Gay and I never imagined that we would have such an incredible year. It was a great way for us to re-charge and re-orient our energies after 13 years of sharing the challenges and joys that come with service as dean. We will treasure our 2011-2012 sabbatical year forever.
Standing at the Precipice Passing on the knowledge that can be gained only through the practice of our art BY PETE G. SERRATA III ‘06
We stand at the precipice between what we were, what we are, and what we are to become. Our ambitions as an institution are bounded only by the limits of our imagination and are buttressed by the strength of our tradition. There has never been a more exciting time in the life of our law school. At our head we have a jurist and scholar of such distinction that even our grandest ambitions are well within reach. Our faculty gleams with accomplishment and our students are reaching farther into the legal world than ever before. But, as we prepare to cross over the threshold of a building brimming with regal promise, we must not forget that Oklahoma City University School of Law can never be reduced to brick and mortar. Within the life of our law school, our façade has been many things: a wartime barracks; the stature and reverence of the Gold Star Building; and then the modernity of the Sarkeys building. But, these shells have no more defined our institution than a package of seeds. It is the magic that happens within the shells, it is the transformation of students of learning into professionals of conscience that has, and always will define our institution. We are our own heritage and legacy. 96
Pete Serrata recognizing Oklahoma City University School of Law graduate Sonya Patterson for her pro bono work.
At the soul of our institution is the drive for knowledge and servitude that transcends us all. It is the spark that ignites the accolades, accomplishments, and justice that follows. The temptation to wax poetic is a well-known danger for every new administrator, and I am no exception. Moreover, that danger is heightened for anyone whose duty is to prepare, polish and groom our students to enter the world in chase of their dreams. The fact is, I have found no greater reward in my legal career than seeing the successes of our students — the constant renewal of our legacy.
Even so, you have never been more important to the law school than you are at this moment. No matter how hard our students strive, no matter how high the bar is set by our faculty, our students, our law school cannot succeed without you. It begins with mentoring a law student or graduate. It’s about passing on the knowledge that can be gained only through the practice of our art. It’s an internship, an opportunity to put our students’ drive for knowledge toward a greater good, a more just result. It’s about coming back home to share the light of your successes with the next generation of our law school’s progeny.
My promise is to ensure that the light of our achievements continue to brighten and spread. As a 2006 graduate of the law school, I stand with you to defend the value of our degrees and the prestige of our institution. Whether it is helping you to hire a graduate, intern, or to help you retool and market yourself to reenter the job market, my office stands ready. It is time for us to join together as alumni to ensure that the students and graduates that follow receive all the advantages and benefits that we did. If you need help finding a way to give back, or you need assistance yourself, I’m only a phone call, or email, away. About the Author: Pete G. Serrata joined Oklahoma City University School of Law in August 2012 as Assistant Dean for Law Career Services. Prior to joining the administration, Pete practiced law for six years at the Oklahoma City firm of Derryberry and Naifeh. Pete served in the U.S. Army Reserves after 9/11 and is a 2006 graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law.
BUILDING: SIMON HURST
The competition for legal jobs is at its peak. Although our law school is at the pinnacle of innovation our greatest advantage as
an institution is through the success and support of our alumni. I urge you to ask yourself how you can best support our law school. Whether you can hire a new lawyer, an intern, or simply mentor a student, your success can only grow as it is passed along.
STANDING AT THE PRECIPICE by Dean Pete G. Serrata III ‘06
The point to my momentary nostalgia is this: In our excitement of the moment, and those that will follow, we must never lose sight of the fact that even the grandest of shells is merely a façade. I too am excited about the many opportunities, advantages and comforts of the law school’s future home. But, it is the thirst for knowledge and the embers of justice that ignite within it that make the shell into something more. Your law school has never been in better hands. Our faculty is preeminent, the Administration is energized and our students are leaving with greater experience than ever before.
BILL CONGER Oklahoma City University School of Law lost a great teacher, friend and colleague. J. William Conger died at his home on New Yearâ€™s Day. He was 67 years old.
MARCH 6, 1945 to
JANUARY 1, 2013
and very dear friend of mine and there are no words to describe his loss to me personally or to our law school that he loved. Bill touched people, and he will be deeply missed.”
He practiced in a variety of capacities before he and friends Larry Hartzog and Len Cason founded the Oklahoma City firm of Hartzog Conger & Cason, later becoming Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville. He practiced primarily in the area of business litigation, and his clients’ interests took him all over the world. He tried cases at the International Tribunal at The Hague in the Netherlands and in state and federal courthouses throughout Oklahoma and across the country. He served as liaison counsel for companies in environmental superfund cases and represented the accounting firm KPMG in the complex litigation arising out of Penn Square Bank’s collapse. Whether representing a child in need of help or an international accounting firm, Bill approached his work with competence, civility and compassion.
At the Oklahoma City University School of Law Awards Gala in November 2012, Bill received the Justice Marian P. Opala Award for Lifetime Achievement in Law. The award bearing Justice Opala’s name is given to an individual deserving accolades for their excellence and overall contributions to the legal community. It was also announced at the Awards Gala that the courtroom at the new downtown law school will be named in his honor. The announcement was a surprise to Bill and he was extremely touched by the recognition.
In 2003, he became of counsel for the firm and began teaching at the law school where he was a beloved instructor and mentor. Bill taught trial practice, introduction to legal practice, civil procedure and complex litigation and was an inspiration to the future lawyers he enjoyed teaching. He was a superb teacher, focusing not only on doctrine and theory, but also on how to be a powerful storyteller, how to analyze complex ethical dilemmas and how to deal with difficult personal challenges in the practice of law. He became the mentor-in-residence for hundreds of law students who sought his advice and counsel on matters important to their professional and personal lives. He was so cherished by our students that in 2005 he received the professor of the year award, an honor voted on by the students. “Bill was a force, not only for his clients whom he represented with enthusiasm and passion, but also for the hundreds of students who were fortunate to learn the values of the legal profession from his perspective,” said Oklahoma City University School of Law Dean Valerie K. Couch. “He was a longtime
Bill, as he was known, had a distinguished legal career spanning more than 40 years.
In addition to being the Distinguished Lecturer in Law at the law school, Bill was also the General Counsel Emeritus for the university, having served as the General Counsel for eight years. Bill once said that the best years of his life have been at Oklahoma City University School of Law. Among his numerous professional accolades, Bill was a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Master Emeritus and Past President of the William J. Holloway Jr. American Inn of Court, received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Commendation Award in 2005, and he has been listed among the Best Lawyers in American and Oklahoma Super Lawyers. Bill served as Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) President in 2008 and has received the John E. Shipp Award for Ethics and the OBA President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Bar. Some of his other legal activities include serving as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Trustee and Benefactor Fellow of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation. He also served as the Oklahoma County Bar Association (OCBA) President and spent two terms as a director of the OCBA. Bill Conger will be greatly missed by everyone at Oklahoma City University School of Law.
Life Lessons from Bill Conger During the first few years after starting my practice, I always stopped by to see Bill when in Oklahoma City. He almost always took the time to talk to me, and I learned so much from him. These three things I will always remember: BY TRAE GRAY ‘06
One: He cautioned me about working too much and encouraged me to make sure I spent all the time I can with family. The day he died, I had spent six straight days with my three-year-old son — free from the distractions of the office. Two: When I was undecided and overwhelmed about coming to a place like Coalgate, I called Bill. He answered “Bill Conger.” I went on for more than 20 minutes about how this wasn’t for me. Finally he interrupted me and said this in sort of a forceful way: “Trae, how many gals does that soon-to-be Judge have working in that office?” I replied three. “How long have they been there?” One for more than 20 years, the other two for more than five. “Well Trae, you will learn more about the general practice of law in Coalgate over the next five years from those three gals than probably any of your classmates will learn at any firm here in Oklahoma City. You should seize this opportunity and do this. Five years from now you will be much 102
more clear about what you want to do and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity you should not pass on.” I thought he was wrong but followed his advice anyway. Turns out, he was right, and it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Three: About six months out of law school, I called Bill when I received a “sanctions” motion that had been filed against me by another lawyer. I thought I was trying so hard to do things right, and I was devastated that another lawyer would do something like this to me. Bill encouraged me to calm down and write a proper detailed response. I did, and
joked about his prophecy coming true. The picture was of my dear friend Jim Buxton (same one that filed the sanctions motion six years earlier) and me fly fishing together at a ranch in Wyoming. In 2009, Jim and I spent three weeks together in Wyoming at this ranch and have been great friends ever since — safe to say we get together monthly to work on each other’s cases and to brainstorm about trial strategy.
Fast-forward to 2013, New Year’s Day driving home with my son after six days together and no office. This message pops up on my phone:
The ceremony to remember Bill was marvelous. I cried, but I also laughed a little, and I hope etched into my memory what Bill would want me to pass on to a profession he so dearly loved.
From Jim Buxton: “I am saddened to be the one to let you know that our friend Bill Conger passed away at his home today.” Back in August, I had emailed the wise Bill Conger a picture of Jim and me and
Jim picked me up from Wiley Post for Bill’s funeral, and we reminisced over lunch about how much this great man had taught us about how we ought to strive to practice law.
LIFE LESSONS FROM BILL CONGER by Trae Gray ‘06
the Judge denied the motion. In hindsight, I had done some cagy things to get this lawyer riled up enough resort to something like this. I was as much at fault as anyone. When my conversation with Bill was about over, he said, “Trae, I know you and Jim as y’all were both students of mine, and I don’t like that two of my former students are engaging in the practice of law in this manner. (Something about life being too short — right again.) While you can’t see this now, the day will come when the two of you will be friends.” I told him that would never happen, as I was furious with the other lawyer and thought we had nothing in common. (I thought Bill was crazy and dismissed his comment as sheer optimism and completely failed to see the wisdom in his insight.)
I will miss Bill, but will relish the opportunity to try to pass on his lessons and always remember him as “a lawyer’s lawyer.”
About the Author: This rememberance was submitted to Dean Couch by Trae Gray ‘06 (pictured below) following Bill Conger’s memorial service.
Bill’s Prophecy Comes True Once-opponents turned friends, Trae Gray ‘06 and Jim Buxton ‘01, former students of Bill Conger, fly fishing in Wyoming. Bill teaching at Oklahoma City University School of Law; Honoring Bill at Oklahoma City University School of Law Awards Gala 2012.
comments after Bill’s passing He was by far my favorite professor. Miss ya Bill. A true gentleman and a real class act. The world has lost a very special man who touched the lives of many. Professor Conger will never be forgotten and will live on through our memories. A great professor and inspiration. He was truly a great man whose influence will continue long after his passing, but his presense will be dearly missed. Bill was an outstanding human and a better attorney. Quintessential professional.
“LET IT BE”
by Lennon/McCartney (1970)
One of Bill’s favorite songs, played at his memorial service.
When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be And in my hour of darkness She is standing right in front of me Speaking words of wisdom, let it be Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be Whisper words of wisdom, let it be And when the broken hearted people Living in the world agree There will be an answer, let it be For though they may be parted There is still a chance that they will see There will be an answer, let it be ... And when the night is cloudy There is still a light that shines on me Shine on until tomorrow, let it be I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me ...
- 1957 JAMES B. BLEVINS
- 1976 WILLIAM J. MANGER
- 1957 CLYDE STIPE
- 1980 CHARLES W. “BILL” MORGAN
- 1963 NORMA “JO-ANN” ASKINS
- 1988 KARIN MICHELLE KRIZ
- 1964 H.C. “HANK” COOPER
- 1989 FLOYD KELSEY PROPPS
- 1964 RICHARD LEE “DICK” TOURTELLOTTE
- 1991 HEDY STEINCAMP JACKSON
- 1965 RICHARD S. KARAM
- 1992 JOE BRETT REYNOLDS
- 1967 DANIEL ROBERT SHEEHAN
- 1992 CHARLES ARRICK HOPKINS
- 1972 LARRY HORTON MOON
- 1999 MARK W. HAYES
- 1975 MICHAEL H. BRADY
- 2005 ELLIOT T. EVERETT
Honoring the Legacy of a Hero Rick Rescorla, 1975 Graduate BY PROFESSOR MICHAEL GIBSON & BROOK ARBEITMAN
He was a hero in every sense of the word. Our cover story on Rick Rescorla ’75 in the last issue of the Oklahoma City University LAW Magazine touched many — generating an outpouring of responses both written and personal. If you didn’t see our last issue, Professor Michael Gibson wrote a moving article about Rescorla and his courageous efforts to save nearly 2,700 lives on 9/11. What follows is an excerpt from the article: On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Rick Rescorla heard an explosion next door in Tower 1. As he grabbed his bullhorn and his hard hat, someone from the Port Authority came over the building’s loudspeakers, telling everyone to stay at their desks. But Rescorla was adamant. He went from floor to floor, telling Morgan Stanley employees to evacuate, to stay away from the elevators, to follow the procedures they had practiced for so many years. Then he took a position in the sky lobby of the 44th floor, where his fire drills traditionally had ended. He was directing traffic down the stairs at 9:03 a.m., when the building shook violently. No one knew that the terrorists’ second plane had struck. The lights went out. The hundreds of people on the 44th floor felt 106
Tower 2 tip to one side, then snap back up. People were thrown against walls, thrown to the floor. People panicked, started to run to the stairwells. Rescorla’s voice came over the bullhorn. “Stop. Be still. Be silent. Be calm.” And then Morgan Stanley employees heard the strangest of all the sounds they would hear that day. Just as Rick Rescorla had sung to his troops in the jungles of Vietnam, he was singing to them, singing that old Welsh song [Men of Harlech]. People stopped, listened, and resumed the drill they had done so many times before. Rescorla moved from floor to floor, still singing, still calming his co-workers. At one point, he stopped and called his wife, Susan. According to James B. Stewart’s biography, Heart of a Soldier, Rescorla told her not to cry. “I have to get these people out safely. If something should happen to me, I want you to know I’ve never been happier. You made my life.” Two thousand, six hundred, and eightyseven Morgan Stanley employees made it out of Tower 2 that morning. Rick Rescorla, ‘75, was last seen on the stairs on the 10th floor, walking up.
Dean Couch and Professor Gibson are discussing all of those ideas and considering others. When there are firmer plans, we will let you know.
Kiowa County District Judge Norman Russell, ‘76, was a fellow veteran of the old Barracks Professor Bill Conger was one of Rescorla’s students in Officer Training School. Others simply were astounded (as we all are) at Rescorla’s heroism, selflessness and dedication. People have suggested naming a classroom after him in the new building, establishing a scholarship fund in his name for veterans and commissioning a sculpture of him. Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating wondered if Rescorla should be honored in the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, which commemorates the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
In the meantime, you will be pleased to know the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has created the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience. It recognizes “superior leadership and innovation by a non-governmental individual or organization who exemplifies” Rescorla’s “leadership in effective preparation, response, and recovery in the face of disasters.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also awarded Rescorla the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Department’s highest honor. To read From the Barracks to World Trade Center Hero in its entirety, go to law.okcu.edu and click on alumni.
HONORING THE LEGACY OF A HERO by Professor Michael Gibson & Brook Arbeitman
Among the responses we found, two knew Rescorla:
…he made the supreme sacrifice for his beliefs. As lawyers we all try to make this world a better place. More than many of us he succeeded. JOH N D. C ROW E L L , I I I • ‘8 8
Thanks for your remembrance of someone who deserves to be remembered. R AY MO N D B . ROU S H • ' 76
My eyes were misty by the end of the article. Like many others, I had no idea that his story existed. Although I did not know him, I, too, was in the Barracks in night school as an OCU Law ’77 grad. He is truly an unsung hero of our school. STEPHEN REEL • ‘77
What an inspiring story! I commend Professor Gibson for continuing to tell this amazing story to OCU students. ROBERT H. KLONOFF • DEAN • NORTHWESTERN SCHOOL OF LAW • LEWIS & CLARK COLLEGE
Why We Give Vialo and Shannon Weis Having dated Shannon C. Weis (then Shannon Murphy) for three years, Vialo Weis, Jr. decided to join his girlfriend when she announced her intentions to attend law school in the fall of 2002. Shannon, who is from Yukon, participated in speech and debate in high school and always thought she wanted to be a lawyer. While obtaining her undergraduate degree at Oklahoma City University, however, she became interested in history and teaching. By 2001, after a few moves and turns in her life, Shannon ended up in the corporate world working for Seagate. When her entire department was laid off following the tragedy of September 11th, Shannon revisited her old
dreams and decided to attend Oklahoma City University School of Law full-time. Unbeknownst to Shannon, Vialo had imagined himself as a lawyer growing up. Turns out, another calling was pulling at Vialo when, in 1972, he decided to become a minister. Thirty years later, in 2002, however, Vialo got permission from his church employer to pursue another dream and go to law school at night. The couple sat for the LSAT together, applied to law school together and got married during Christmas Break of December 2002. (They planned their wedding in a month while also preparing for their first
The Weisâ€™, Shannon and Vialo are supporters of the Oklahoma Innocence Clinic at Oklahoma City University School of Law
WHY WE GIVE by Keri Williams Foster ‘00
round of law school final exams.) Shannon received her juris doctor in 2005 and Vialo received his juris doctor in 2006. Now Vialo is Departmental Director and General Counsel for the Oklahoma Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the Pastor of the Canadian Valley Seventh-day Adventist Fellowship. Shannon is a solo practitioner specializing in estate planning and probate and the mother of Daniel Louis Weis, who was born in November 2012. Vialo and Shannon are overjoyed at the arrival of their son, who joins their expanding family consisting of Vialo, Shannon, and Vialo’s grown children Susen and David, their spouses and two beloved granddaughters. Shannon and Vialo’s love and involvement with Oklahoma City University School of Law did not stop at graduation. They have continued to be loyal supporters of the School, particularly the Oklahoma Innocence Project. Their involvement with the Project began years before an Innocence Clinic was opened at the law school. While a student, Vialo read an article about the Innocence Project (New York) in an ABA student magazine and how some schools had clinics. Around that same time he was reading The Innocent Man by John Grisham and learned
that Shannon knew the sister of one of its wrongfully convicted, Ron Williamson. Since Vialo was involved with the Christian Legal Society at that time, he mentioned a desire to try to start something like this to the group, which led to a discussion with then-law school Dean Lawrence K. Hellman. After several years and many more conversations, in 2011, the Oklahoma Innocence Project and Clinic became a reality at Oklahoma City University School of Law. The Weises are proud of the part they played in getting this endeavor started at the School of Law and are avid supporters of its worthy cause. “As Christians, we feel everything we have is loaned to us by God; we are just stewards of His resources. These resources should be used to make a difference in the lives of others,” says Vialo. Shannon continues, “Micah 6:8 requires us ‘to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ We feel the Innocence Project not only provides a tremendous opportunity for our students to get real legal experience, it also is a means to make things right and practice mercy.” “Our passion is for us to do justice, and this Project allows an opportunity to do that with the gifts we make,” Vialo added.
2012 Honor R Founders’ Society Sustainer
Anonymous Innovator Inasmuch Foundation Benefactor Anonymous Chimene and Bob Burke ’79 Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Inc. J. Clifford and Leslie Hudson Herman and LaDonna Meinders
Dean’s Circle Platinum Crowe & Dunlevy Foundation, Inc. Clyde R. Evans Charitable Trust Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, Inc. Joe and Valerie Couch Lawrence K. and Gay Hellman ‘80 Integris Health, Inc. Barbara Thornton and Niles Jackson ’75 Jason and Carly Maderer ‘10 McAfee & Taft Mercy Health Center Oklahoma Bar Foundation, Inc. Suzanne E. Pointer ‘98 Bonnie and R. Cullen Thomas ‘99
Gold Ann S. Alspaugh Jerry and Jackie Bendorf Martha A. Burger Cathy and Phil Busey ’77 J. William and Sherry Conger Alan Greenberg Robert and Jan Henry Sue and Gary Homsey ‘74 John V. McShane George Milner ‘92 Melvin and Jasmine Moran Leslie and David Pepper ‘75 Keri C. Prince ’97 Tom Quinn ’74 Barry and Becky Switzer
Silver American Fidelity Foundation Kay and James Bass ‘66
Julee and J.W. Coyle ‘74 Drew and Linda Edmondson Frankfurt, Short, Bruza Associates, P.C. Ben Green ’98 Hartzog, Conger, Cason & Neville, LLP Homsey, Cooper, Hill & Associates Leslie Tregillus and Tom Jones ‘76 Gordon and Judy Melson Bob and Jeaneen Naifeh Oklahoma City Community Foundation The Professional Basketball Club, L.L.C. Krista and Kevin Sain ’98 SandRidge Energy, Inc. R. Thomas and Stephanie Seymour Pam and Bill Shdeed ‘65 Jeanne Hoffman Smith Sonic Corporation Jean M. Warren Mark and Gale Wood
Natalya and Dan Markoff ‘92 Vicky and Mack Martin ‘78 Lara Mashek Joel and Nikki Miliband ‘90 Nancy W. Moore Daniel and Andrea Morgan Carol and Bob Naifeh ‘83 Jeffrey Pierce and Gloria Pugh Sandy and Ralph Sallusti ‘74 Emmit and Dolina Tayloe Stratton Taylor James and Elizabeth Tolbert Denise and Anthony Villani ’83 & ‘83 John M. Yoeckel Lawrence and Sheryl Young ‘90
Accel Financial Staffing Specialists Alvarez de Bennett Law, P.C. Ed Barth Stan Basler Joe Carson, P.C. Jim Ditmars and Cathy Christensen ’86 Thomas Conklin ’02 Marilyn and Richard Coulson ‘68 Sherry and Joe Crosthwait ‘74 Steve and Ken Sue Doerfel ‘77 Boone Ellis Mike and Deb Felice Gable Gotwals David and Tiffany Gobble Barry and Gay Golsen Shayla and Robert Hammeke ‘99 Nicholas and Keegan Harroz ’09 & ‘10 G. P. Johnson and Millie Hightower Michele and Kevin Hill ‘92 Tina A. Hughes ‘90 Brian Huseman ’97 Linda and Tim Larason ‘68 Gary and Dana Laverty ‘84 Katherine R. Mazaheri ’07 LeAnne McGill ’06 Harry and Hedra Merson O'Tar and Elissa Norwood Oklahoma County Bar Association Patricia and Ray Potts ‘65 Ed Proctor ’76 & Nancy Dumoff Paul and Pamela Ray Carl and Deborah Rubenstein Robbie and Hiram Sasser ‘02 David Schneider Ben and Shirley Shanker Josh Snavely ’10 Irwin and Kelley Steinhorn James and Linda Stewart Rachel and William Thetford ’96 & ‘78 Vernon and Nancy Vollertsen Joe and Jan Womack ‘85
Kathie and David Aelvoet ‘93 Andrews Davis, P.C. Richard Ochs and Susan Arnold ’74 Jo Ann and Arnold Battise ’71 Laura and David Beal ‘74 Joel Bieber ’86 Breda and V. Arthur Bova ‘75 Chris and Dennis Box ‘78 Rhonda and Doug Buckles ‘79 Connie and Randy Calvert ‘90 Jay Cannon Charles Bridges and Cynthia Carroll-Bridges ’99 Reggie and Linda Cook ‘03 Patricia R. Demps ’79 Charlotte and Joe Edwards ‘74 Timothy Foley ’92 Sam Fulkerson and Suzanne Mitchell GableGotwals Foundation Michael Gibson Jettie Person and Harry Goldman ‘77 John and Marsha Greiner Carol M. Hansen ’74 Helen and Meredith Hardgrave ‘58 Sydney and Michael Homsey ‘76 Ellenmarie and Ronald Howland ‘64 John and Janet Hudson Angela and C. Alan Kennington ‘96 Summer and Michael Krywucki ‘91 Melissa D. Lee Art and Betsy LeFrancois M. Frances and Richard Lerblance ‘78 Barbara and Mac MacPherson ‘78
FOUNDERS’ SOCIETY Legacy $1,000,000 or more • Visionary $500,000 - $999,999 • Sust
DEAN’S CIRCLE Platinum $10,000 - $24,999 • Gold $5,000 - $9,999 • Silver $2,500 – $4,999 • Bro Gifts received from July
Roll of Donors Associate Frank and Katherine Addleman ‘86 Ms. Christin Adkins ’98 Dan Alcorn ’75 Joni Autrey ‘12 Melissa and Joe Baker ‘93 Rose Barber ’89 Michael and Anita Barlow Cyndy Barnes Robyn and Hamden Baskin ‘82 Brian Beatty ‘08 and Regan Strickland Beatty ‘04 Ike and Sherry Bennett Stephen Booth ’74 Debbie Mohring-Bragga and Rick Bragga ‘86 Kathy Broad Jack Bush ’59 Steven and Vickey Cannady Robi and Patrick Casey ‘74 Floris and Earnest Cash ‘74 Jerry and Amie Colclazier ’90 & ‘90 Melissa and Colin Colgan ‘07 Carol and Richard Conza ‘77 Mary Ann and William Corum ‘77 Suzanne and Luther Cowan ‘73 Von Creel Kevin Crowe ’78 Avery N. Crossman ‘93 Barbara and Ronald Dall ‘63 Renee and Charles Day ‘81 Michael Decker ’78 Donna Dhone-Horner and Howard Horner Karen Eby Edgewater Resources, L.L.C. Dallas and Christine Ferguson John and Pamela Fischer Elizabeth and Jerry Foshee ‘76 Marilyn Geiger Renee and Barry Grissom ‘81 Larry and Jeannette Haag ’73 & ‘75 William and Mary Lou Hadwiger Beverly and Alvin Harrell ‘72 Marla R. Harrington ’90 Claude and Linda Harris ‘79 Bruce and Tina Harroz Joseph and Mary Ann Harroz Anna and Hal Hefner ‘76 Kaye and Christopher Heinhold ‘96 Patricia and Ulf R. Heller ‘77 Stacie and Philip Hixon ‘01 Laura and Brian Hobbs ‘03 Thelma and Curtis Horrall ‘57 Yvonne and Charles Hunnicutt ‘64 Tera and Allen Hutson ‘10 Laurie and James Hyde ‘73 Howard Israel ’76 R. Lee and Darlene Ivy ’89 & ‘84 JBPS, LLC Reginald and Danne Johnson Charles and Athena Jones ‘79
Jones Law, P.C. Yvonne Kauger ’69 John and Jane Kenney Sharon and Ted Knight ‘75 Ai Kuroda ‘06 Lange and Lange, Attorneys at Law David Fretwell and Mark Lester ’04 Kay and Bob Lewis ‘68 Little Law Firm, PLLC Colleen and David Losi ‘77 Ashley Manning Brad and Janet Marion Michael Matthews ’08 Karla and Shane McLaury ‘79 Gail D. Meltzner Leslie Meltzner Ann Michael ’92 Christina and Adam Miller ‘06 Randall and Sally Mock Christy and Michael Mordy ‘80 Angela Morrison ’90 Cal and Eleanor Moser ’67 Kyle and Ashley Murphy ’06 & ’05 Buddy Neal ’75 A. David ’65 and Joanne Necco Robert and Vanmai Nguyen ’01 & ’02 Amber Niblett Katherine Novak Arnaud Pham ’96 Melissa and Herman Pitts ‘94 Lisa and Ross Plourde ‘82 Mark and Janet Price Prodigal Hockey, LLC Sheldon and Carol Reznik Patricia and J.D. Rohrer ‘76 Lee Peoples and Emma Rolls Leslie and Dennis Schaefer ‘75 Heather and Jeff Scoggins ‘05 Karen and John Severe ‘78 L.B. and Cynthia Sparling ‘78 Tonda and Barry Stafford ‘76 Bob Stillwell ‘93 Elizabeth and Dan Stroup ‘86 Lori Dubin and Robert Strunin ‘73 Eileen M. Sweeney ‘03 Hank Trattner ‘70 Louis and Charlotte Trost Twentieth Century Club Taye K. Van Merlin Maryann and David Walls ‘87 Janet and William Wantland ‘64 Vialo and Shannon Weis ’06 & ‘05 Larry Wiese ‘95 Kimberly and Mark Wewers ‘94 Andrea and Jim Wilcoxen ‘79 Matthew and Alisha Wilson ‘10 Kay and Bruce Winston ‘73 Rae and Richard Winzeler ‘65 Michael and Betty Wolf Rebecca and Paul Woodward ‘84 Beverly Ann and Carl Young ‘74
Member Warren Alarkon ‘09 Dawn and Ethan Allen ‘81 Robyn R. Assaf ‘92 Chelsea M. Baldwin ’09 Adam Banner’11 Linda and Ray Bays ‘78 Janet F. Beard ‘84 Wes Billingsley ‘99 Jeannene and Mike Blevins ‘72 Richard and Debra Boles Taunia and Rick Bozarth ‘76 Lori and Geroge Bradley ‘75 Traci Linn and Michael Brown ‘73 Donna Burton Brett Butner ‘11 Nancy S. Cain Beverly and Joe Cannon ‘64 Jennifer and Dan Card ‘10 Stephanie and Brandon Carey ‘05 Shirley and Larry Cassil ‘64 Ellen and Walter Chahanovich ‘91 Joey Chiaf ‘83 Melanie K. Christians ‘09 Arnita and Woody Colbert ‘02 Greg and Vickie Cook ‘86 Christina L. Crippen ‘06 Rita and Gregory Debski ‘94 Michael and Gayla Degiusti William Deringer ‘94 Ann and Steve DiNovis ‘78 Jason Duff ‘07 Matt Echols ‘05 Stephen Eck ‘08 Kerstin Archer and Warren Ehn ‘86 Evan Farrington ‘98 Robert Faulk ‘04 Caren and Leonard Feuerhelm ‘94 Alex Forbes ‘11 Brent Foster and Keri Williams Foster ‘00 Fay and Leamon Freeman ‘64 Jason and Carey Galusha ‘02 Aaron Gardner ‘09 Tim Gatton’10 Alex and Carey Geesbreght ‘98 Pete Gelvin ’79 Steven Presson and Jean Giles Eddie Goldman ‘71 Alden Griesbach ‘95 Preston and Barbara Hatfield ‘84 Jeffrey and Elizabeth Hay ’84 & ‘86 Carole and Donald Hoeft ‘76 Teresa and Glede Holman ‘01 Rachel and David Holt ‘09 Bambi A. Hora ‘98 Susan Howard ‘94 Ed Moehlenbrock and Carrie Hulett ‘78 Joseph James ’94 Terry Jenks ‘84 Nancy and Robert Kemps ‘77 Mary and Jim Kutch ‘69
tainer $250,000 - $499,999 • Innovator $100,000 - $249,999 • Benefactor $25,000 - $99,999
onze $1,000 - $2,499 FRIENDS Advocate $500 - $999 • Associate $100 - $499 • Member $25 - $99 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012
Julie and Tony Lacy ‘80 Patti and Don Leeman ‘71 Jana K. Legako ‘06 Mark Malone ‘02 Kristina S. Marek ‘82 Martha and Robert Margo ‘74 Cathy and Jay McCown ‘73 Linda and Thomas McCoy ‘70 Frances and Billy Mickle ‘74 Rubin Millerborg ‘70 Cheryl Morgan Page and Fred Morgan ’80 & ‘80 Richard and Christina Murray ‘01 Kenneth Nash ‘56 Paula and Michael Neely ‘79 Terence and Catherine O'Connell ‘81 William Page ‘56 Julie and Daniel Palazzo ‘96 Chris Papin ‘08 Nancy S. Parrott ‘82 Debra and George Paull ‘77 Kenneth and Summer Pedersen ‘03 Kathy Pendarvis ‘90 Doug Boxx and Jackie Jo Perrin ‘02 Elizabeth G. Perrow ‘98 Lavera Dean Peterson ’77 and William Peterson ‘75 Patricia Phillips ‘82 Paul and Patricia Podolec ‘06 Graham Potter ‘09 Michael Reel ‘11 Marvin and Linda Resnick Joe Reynolds ‘92 Damaris and Jay Reynolds ‘94 Cindy L. Richard ‘92 Jorge Martinez and Elizabeth Richards ‘87 Kendra M. Robben ‘07 Susan and Kent Ryals ‘73 Jennifer and Roland Schafer ‘06 Daniel and Kimberly Small Kara I. Smith ‘02 Dennis Smith ‘86 Travis Smith ‘09 Valerie Smith ‘10 Robert and Kelly Spurrier ‘00 Amanda M. Stankus ‘07 Karen L. Stevens ‘76 Richard and Reta Strubhar ’69 & ‘81 Milissa R. Tipton-Dunkins ‘03 Margaret and Earle Wagner ‘70 Ruth Grant Waite and Gary Waite ‘80 William and Patsy Wakeham Collin and Lori Walke ’08 & ‘09 Mary and Gregory Webber ‘95 Rachel and Ryan Webster ‘08 Jane F. Wheeler ‘77 Carla and Joe Wheeler ‘67 Patty A. Whitecotton ‘76 W. Anthony Fitch and Leslie Wileman ‘98 Paul Williams ‘84 Eunice R. Wimberly ‘01
THUNDER PLAYOFFS: Dean Couch joined the staff of the law school in sporting her Thunder colors as Oklahoma City's team made the NBA Finals (2012) for the first time since moving the franchise to oklahoma city
Justice Oâ€™Connor Speaks to Law Students April 24, 2012
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor discusses her life, career and passion for Civics education during a lecture at Oklahoma City University School of Law
Dean Couch enjoys one of Justice O'Connor's stories during her lecture at Oklahoma City University School of Law
Then 1L Allison Lyons (left) and Alisha Mehrhoff '12 (center) haD the opportunity to ask Justice O'Connor questions during her lecture
Motown legend Gladys Knight performed favorites including "A Midnight Train to Georgia," "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and "Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye)"
Law students help make the evening go smoothly. Pictured from left to right, front row: Sarah E. Hance '13, Jamie Bloyd '12 and Mandy Rehling '12. Back row: Andrew Williams '12 and Chris Isom '13
Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger '69 and dr. jay cannon
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAWN GROOMS
Oklahoma Innocence Project Director Tiffany Murphy (LEFT), Legal Assistant Joyce Mayer (CENTER) and Staff Attorney Christina L. Green (RIGHT) grab a quick picture at the gala
Law Executive Board member John Hermes and his Wife Susan get their auction paddle ready
2012 Recipients of the Beacon of JusticeAward gather for a picture. Barry Switzer, former OU Football Coach; Anita Blanton, KOCO Anchor and emcee; Drew Edmondson, former Attorney General and Bonnie and Dr. R. Cullen Thomas '99
A Night for the Innocent April 12, 2012 • Historic Farmers Public Market • Featuring Gladys Knight
Deanâ€™s Welcome Reception August 17, 2012 â€˘ Oklahoma History Center
Professor Dennis Arrow and first-year law student Sharity Parham chat during the reception
Students join faculty and staff to listen as Dean Couch says a few Words to the first-year students
First-year law student Randy Gordon and Professor Deborah Tussey
Dean Valerie K. Couch welcomed the class of 2015 at a reception in the Oklahoma History Center Where a replica ofthe world-famous Winnie Mae is displayed overhead
THIS PAGE: ANN SHERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY • OPPOSITE PAGE: ABBY COYLE PHOTO ARTISTRY
The Investiture of Dean Valerie K. Couch October 18, 2012 • Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel • Devon Tower
Dean Valerie K. Couch during her Investiture speech
Clark and Kay Musser, friends of Dean Couch, attend a reception at the Devon Tower following the dean's investiture
Law students take a night off from studying to attend the Awards Gala. Pictured Left to right: Jeff Sabin '14, Spencer Habluetzel '14, Caitlin Irwin '14, Michael Lambert '14, Dawson Kester '14, Paige Veazey '14 and Taylor Robertson '14
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Western DistricT of Oklahoma, the Honorable Niles Jackson '75 and his wife Barbara Thornton
J.R. homsey '73, william f. shdeed '65, and Gary Homsey '74
Fred Schmidt, of Frankfurt Short Bruza, and his wife Kathy
U.S. Attorney for theDistrict of Kansas Barry Grissom '81 received the Distinguished Law Alumnus Award; He is joined by long-time professor Art LeFrancois who presented Grissom his award
Awards Gala November 3, 2012 Skirvin Hilton Grand Ballroom Members of the Derryberry & Naifeh law firm gather for a picture before receiving the Law Firm Mark of Distinction Award
Outstanding Young Alumna recipient Tynan Grayson '05 joins Oklahoma County Judge and former Law Admissions Dean Bernard M. Jones (left), Dean Valerie K. Couch and President Robert H. Henry (right) after receiving her award
Members of the School of Law staff grab a picture before the Awards Gala begins: Joshua M. Snavely '10, Associate Dean of External Relations; Dean Valerie K. Couch; Brook Arbeitman, Director of Marketing and Communications; Lindsay Hightower, Special Events Coordinator and Keri Williams Foster '00, Director of Development
Alumni & Friends Luncheon November 14, 2012 â€˘ Devon Tower
Joe Crosthwait '74, Terry Gust '74 and Garvin A. Issacs Jr. '74
Dean Valerie K. Couch and former OBA President Deborah Reheard
PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANN SHERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Director of Development and law alumna Keri Williams Foster '00 joins a group of alumni for a picture during the Alumni & Friends Luncheon
Justin Meek '06 AND Tommy Klepper '06
The Honorable Carol Hansen '74 and the Honorable Terry pendell Moser '67
In Conclusion Q&A with Adenike Adebayo In this issue of Oklahoma City University LAW we catch up with recent graduate Adenike Adebayo. Nigerian-born and raised, Nike as she is called, attended college at Nigeria’s Bowen University Iwo majoring in Mass Communications. In 2009 after graduation she relocated to the U.S. and started law school in 2010. She was president of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), as well as a member of the William J. Holloway Jr. American Inn of Court, Phi Alpha Delta and Christian Legal Society. Graduation: May 2013 Home Town: Ilawe, Nigeria What led you to attend Law School? The political situation in my country of origin, Nigeria, the desire to understand the law and its relevance, and the need to understand why the law is extremely effective in some countries and not in mine all led me in the pursuit of this career. Why did you choose to attend Oklahoma City University Law School? Out of all the schools I was admitted to, Oklahoma City University School of Law was the only school that felt like home. I was invited for the Dean’s Preview where I met the Dean, professors and various students. The entire atmosphere felt like a place where I knew I would succeed, and I’ve never regretted the decision. What area of law would you like to practice and why? I would love to practice Immigration and Family Law. Over the course 118
of my stay in law school and the experiences that I’ve garnered, I’ve found these areas of law to be extremely rewarding, and they provide great avenues through which a difference can be made. I plan to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia, after graduation, take the Georgia Bar and pursue a career there. What have been your greatest experiences during law school? My greatest experiences so far include my participation at the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition and being a member of the Holloway Inn of Court. These two platforms continue to provide great opportunities to interact and meet with members of the legal profession. Such experiences as I’ve had are priceless. What do you like most about Oklahoma City University School of Law? The people: professors, non-academic staff and students all share a willingness to help and make your journey through law school as easy as possible. What have you enjoyed about Oklahoma City? I’m a small town girl, so I have absolutely enjoyed the peace and quiet that Oklahoma City provided me. I also loved meeting some great attorneys here. They have definitely helped in shaping the kind of attorney I want to be.
Oklahoma City University
School of Law
2501 N. Blackwelder Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Oklahoma City University School of Law Alumni Magazine Summer 2013