By Journal Record Staff Thursday, April 5, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY (JR) – Oklahoma City University Law Dean Valerie K. Couch will be the speaker for the Law Day luncheon May 1 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.
Couch is a former U.S. magistrate judge for the Western District of Oklahoma. She is the 12th dean and first female dean of the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she served as an adjunct faculty member for a decade. Couch was appointed U.S. magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District in 1999. Prior to that she was in private practice with Hartzog Conger & Cason PC, where she was an associate from 1983 to 1988 and a director and shareholder from 1988 to 1999.
“This Law Day, we consider and celebrate the importance of our independent judiciary,” said Laura McConnell-Corbyn, president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association. “The freedoms that we enjoy in this country are only ensured if we have three separate and independent branches of government. Our court system provides an invaluable check and balance to see that individual freedoms remain inviolate.”
The Howard K. Berry Sr. Award as well as The Journal Record and Liberty Bell awards will be presented during the luncheon. In addition, The Journal Record will honor 21 legal professionals as part of its sixth annual Leadership in Law program.
The 2012 Leadership in Law award recipients include:
• Ruth Addison, McAfee & Taft, Tulsa.
• Molly Aspan, Hall Estill, Tulsa.
• John Barker, GableGotwals, Tulsa.
• Elise Dunitz Brennan, Conner & Winters LLP, Tulsa.
• Michael Brooks-Jimenez, Michael Brooks-Jimenez PC, Oklahoma City.
• D. Wade Christensen, Christensen & Associates, Oklahoma City.
• J. Clay Christensen, Christensen Law Group, Oklahoma City.
• Mary Quinn Cooper, McAfee & Taft, Tulsa.
• Joe Edwards, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City.
• John Gaberino Jr., GableGotwals, Tulsa.
• Susanna Gattoni, Hall Estill, Oklahoma City.
• Matt Kane, Ryan Whaley Coldiron Shandy PLLC, Oklahoma City.
• Mark McDaniel, Devon Energy, Oklahoma City.
• Scott Meacham, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City.
• Andrew Mildren, Phillips Murrah PC, Oklahoma City.
• Malcolm Rosser IV, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City.
• Deborah Shallcross, GableGotwals, Tulsa.
• J. Terrell Siegfried, Hall Estill, Tulsa.
• Steven SoulÃ©, Hall Estill, Tulsa.
• Sherrie Spitz, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City.
• Andrea Worden, Andrea L. Worden PLLC, Norman.
The Leadership in Law program, sponsored by The Journal Record, was created to honor legal professionals for their community efforts. Nominations were solicited and accepted statewide – membership in the Oklahoma County Bar Association is not required. Winners were selected by a panel of business and legal professionals.
In addition, the Central Oklahoma Association of Legal Assistants, or COALA, will sponsor a group of high school students who will tour the Oklahoma County Courthouse and speak with various judges in the morning. Students will then attend the Law Day luncheon. The county bar’s Douglass High School Task Force will sponsor the moot court team members at the luncheon, where they will be recognized for their outstanding efforts this year. County bar members will also be speaking at various civic groups as part of the law celebration.
On April 26, volunteer lawyers will be handling phone calls from 8:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. as part of the Ask a Lawyer program at OETA. In addition, the Oklahoma County Law Library is working with attorneys to provide one-on-one question-and-answer sessions from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library.
To buy tickets for the luncheon or volunteer for the Ask a Lawyer program, visit www.okcbar.org or call the bar office at (405) 236-8421.
Law Day was conceived by the late Hicks Epton, a Wewoka attorney and past president of the Oklahoma Bar Association. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day nationally by presidential proclamation in 1958.