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.

 

All of 2020, we’ve heard, “we are in challenging times” or “these unprecedented times.”  If you’re a criminal defense lawyer, every day is challenging.  Every case is unprecedented.   2021 is no different for us! 

As an organization, we must band together to demand and ensure justice.  Each year we are faced with legislation, local rulings, and appellate decisions that affect our clients. Through joint efforts, the Board intends that membership in the OCDLA enhances your practice and makes each of us better lawyers.  For when our client’s profit from our diligence and had work, we are truly successful.  

With the political swing in favor of Criminal Justice Reform, we need to focus on what changes might be made in Oklahoma.  The Board needs your input.  If you have suggestions for legislation or have contacts or connections at the Legislature or if you merely demand change, then let’s talk.  Oklahoma is a conservative state, and generally, our legislation has been pro-prosecution. Still, there is some private money behind the climate change for Criminal Justice Reform, so we need to fuel those changes with ideas that have a genuine chance of passing the Statehouse and getting approval from the Governor.

The list-serve and the My Little Green Book continue to be our greatest assets.  Through these media, we have an instant network of over 400 partner-lawyers and a go-to manual for criminal procedure.  The generosity of our members’ time, sharing of templates, and the expression of support and kudos to our partners are overwhelming.  The sharing of ideas is perhaps the most valuable tool that OCDLA has.  I’m proud that our members challenge our processes and our minds making us all better lawyers.

The OCDLA was unable to provide in-person CLE in 2020.   We still don’t know if large gatherings will be permitted in 2021, but the Board is working on several CLE options this year.  The Board is committed to enhancing our members’ litigation skills.  We still want to offer Larry Pozner’s Cross-Examination seminar.  He is one of the best in the business, whose techniques are implemented nationwide.  We are working on a slate of speakers for the annual Patrick Williams’ Criminal Defense Institute, whether it is live or virtual, and plan to offer the Cindy Foley Seminar for young lawyers if we can meet in person later this year.

We hope everyone is busy, but one of the Board’s goals this year is to rebuild The Gauntlet.  We need members to write articles and prepare hot sheets for publication.  Many of you are gifted writers and have great ideas—so share them.  The editors are interested in one-to-two page magazine type pieces and scholarly articles.  We all want practical materials that are useful in the daily practice of law. If you don’t want to write an article, perhaps you could send an idea and let someone else carry the ball.   

Membership in the OCDLA  allows us to connect, strategize, and provide litigation support.   Your continued membership enables us to do all of these things.  So renew your membership and enjoy the benefits of partnering with the OCDLA.  Happy new year.

                                                                                      Bob Wyatt

                                                                                      OCDLA President 2021