Letter from the President

 

To protect and ensure by rule of law those individual rights guaranteed by the Oklahoma and Federal Constitutions in criminal cases.

Dear OCDLA Members,

 

As the New Year begins, I wish to take this opportunity to update our members with the annual president's letter.  Presently we have approximately 500 members and the strength of OCDLA continues to grow.  I had the good fortune to inherit my position which was already a part of a smooth running machine at OCDLA thanks to my predecessor Michael Haggerty and all of his tireless efforts and excellent work on behalf of our organization.

 

During the last year we made some changes to better serve our membership.  One of the biggest changes involved the Criminal Defense Institute (CDI) and changing our annual meeting and awards to be a part of CDI.  The attendance at the awards presentation and dinner was inspiring.  The recipients of the awards deserve the recognition this dinner celebration provided and we will continue this at the CDI in June at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Tulsa.  Information on that CLE will be going out soon.  In the meantime, we will also have a CLE on February 5th at H & H Gun Range which promises to be an excellent education opportunity along with a networking lunch and the opportunity to use the range after the CLE.  Please contact Brandon Pointer for more information or to sign up.

 

Last year due to the hard work of Bruce Edge and John Hunsucker, we privileged to be a part of the presentation of a DUI CLE put on by the National DUI College.  It and the Cindy Foley Criminal Defense Fundamentals CLE were very well received by all attending and were a show of precision by those who ran them.  I promise to do a better job of sticking to a schedule at CDI and the dinner in order for everyone to have time for entertainment.     

 

We are also preparing for speakers for CDI.  We are fortunate to have several members who are nationally recognized for their CLE presentations and we strive to provide the programs most beneficial to all of our members.  Cathy and Katrina work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure we have numerous superb CLE's and that these cover a variety of subjects.   If there are topics or speakers you feel we need to consider, please contact either Brandon Pointer at (405) 212-5024 or me at (405) 521-1155.  We will try to finalize the program for CDI by mid to late February at the latest so let us know as soon as possible.  We are also planning for other CLE's throughout the year in addition to the CDI and your input regarding speakers and topics for these is greatly appreciated. 

 

The board is also continuing our efforts at the legislature to protect the rights and liberties of all of the citizens of Oklahoma.  If you are aware of areas of concern during this legislative session, please let us know so that we may have input on laws that may have an effect on our clients and our practices.

Some efforts have helped with legislation that now allows judges to depart downward on some non-violent offenses without the input of a DA.  We have also have members instrumental in the founding of an Oklahoman Justice Society (an organization dedicated to some lobbying efforts which OCDLA cannot do).  Your contact with your legislators is more important now than ever before.  The legislature is looking to cut budgets which directly affect criminal defense and news reports indicate one construction group has created a super-PAC funded with one million dollars to convince legislators and voters that there is a "right to bridges and roads."  We will all have to diligent in contacting our local legislators to prevent the loss of rights of our clients.   

 

            Along with the growth of our membership, we have seen outstanding efforts on behalf of our clients during the year by numerous members.  From the not guilty verdicts, to the progress with open records and DPS actions along with all of the other successes, the assistance our members provide each other and our clients is one of the greatest assets of this organization. To continue to grow and serve we rely on the support of our members and their generous gifts of time and resources and we wish to thank each and every one of you for your support.

 

            We encourage you to not only renew your membership but to also invite others to join with us in the defense of our clients.  From the list-serve, to the CLE programs, to the Little Green Book and other resources, an OCLDA membership is the best bargain for the money I know of.  (To allow for the free exchange of ideas and comments on the list-serve, we do not allow full-time judges or prosecutors to be members).  

 

 I look forward to the New Year for OCDLA and hope to carry on the work of Michael, Jack, Tim, Andrea and the others who served before me.  From the OCDLA Board we hope you and your families had a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous Holiday Season.  Our wish is that everyone enjoy a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year and that all of our members continue their zealous representation of those citizens who place their trust, faith and lives and futures in our hands.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve as president of this great organization. 

 

 

Al Hoch

President, OCDLA