Past Events

High School Court Camp

On July 17, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Federal Bar Association welcomed nine high school students for its Second Annual Court Camp. The students hailed from six local schools and ranged in class level. After being greeted by U.S. Magistrate Judges Suzanne Mitchell and Bernard Jones and Carmelita Shinn, Clerk of Court, the students heard from Professor Kerry Maye, who presented them with various hypotheticals and cybersecurity questions regarding Fourth Amendment privacy rights and cell-phone usage. After a lunch at the Court’s in-house café (Max’s Grill), the students toured the U.S. Probation Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Office, enjoying GPS monitoring and hands-on training.

On Tuesday, the students met with U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Judge Robert E. Bacharach and later U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sarah Hall and Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Janice Loyd for in-depth tours and discussions regarding those courts. In the afternoon, the students visited Oklahoma County Judge Patricia Parrish in her courtroom, accompanied by U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGuisti, for Q&A’s regarding the district functions of the state and federal courts. On Wednesday, the students observed the Court Assisted Recovery Effort reentry court, enjoyed a lunch hosted by the Crowe & Dunlevy law firm, and observed Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton preside over a sentencing. On Thursday, Jessica Brown, President of the Oklahoma City University School of Law’s Law Student Division, gave the group a tour of the law school, followed by a fascinating presentation by Professor Vicki Behenna, who runs the school’s Innocence Clinic. That afternoon, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Stephens, joined by Assistant Federal Public Defender Tony Lacy, presented a mock proceeding involving Fourth Amendment search issues, in which the students played various roles.

The week rounded out with Naturalization Day on Friday. That morning, two naturalized citizens and FBA Law Student Division members, Elke Meeus and Aravind Ravi, spoke to the students about their paths to citizenship, and peppered the students with questions from the naturalization test. The students observed the Naturalization Ceremony, where Mr. Ravi was the featured speaker. Ninety-four naturalized citizens were welcomed in a ceremony presided over by Chief Judge Heaton, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, and Judge Mitchell. Following the ceremony, judges, FBA Board members, and presenters from the week joined the students for a closing pizza lunch, followed by the presentation of certificates to each student. FBA members Melanie Jester (Senior Law Clerk to Judge Jones), Carmelita Shinn, and Judge Mitchell coordinated the details of the camp.

FBA OKC High School Court Camp students visiting the Oklahoma City University School of Law and the OCU Innocence Clinic, donning Court Camp t-shirts. Back row: Sara Salomon, Dora Henderson, Parker Lawter, Byran Box, Allison Miller, Raeven Franklin, Aiden Ramana. Front row: Erin Allen.

Closing pizza lunch attended by students, FBA Law Student Division members, and Chief U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton, U.S. District Judges Vicki Miles-LaGrange and Lee West, U.S. Bankruptcy Judges Sarah Hall and Janice Loyd, Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell, Vice President for the Tenth Circuit and AUSA Chris Stephens, and Law Clerk to Judge Bernard Jones Melanie Jester. (Not pictured but also attending: U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard Jones and Clerk of Court Carmelita Shinn.)

High School Court Camp students visiting with U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell in her chambers at the William J. Holloway, Jr. United States Courthouse.

FBA OKC High School Court Campers after presentation of Certificates of Completion. Pictured left to right: Parker Lawter, Bryan Box, Erin Allen, U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell, Raeven Franklin, Allison Miller, Aiden Ramana, Dora Henderson.

Tribal, State, and Federal Judicial Training Reception

(l to r) Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Douglas Combs, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard M. Jones, U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell, Justice Richard Lerblanch (Muscogee Nation Supreme Court, Justice Leah Harjo-Ware (Creek Supreme Court), Judge Thomas Walker (Court of Indian Offenses and Retired Carter County Judge), Justice Montie Deer (Muscogee Nation Supreme Court), guest, Judge Caroline Wall (Tulsa County), Judge Linda Morrissey (Tulsa County), Stephen Moss (former tribal judge, and Henry A. Ware (former tribal judge), and guests at the Tribal, State, and Federal Judicial Training Reception, on June 5, 2017, held at Remington Park, in Oklahoma City, OK.
Gatewood Elementary Mock Trial

“Did you always want to be a judge?” “What does a judge do?” “Do you know Judge Judy?” Those were three of the many questions that 24 fourth graders from Gatewood Elementary in Oklahoma City asked five Federal Judges during what the students called “the best field trip ever.”

The Oklahoma City FBA Chapter, with its Oklahoma City University School of Law student members, spent the week of April 17-21, 2017, completing a civics program at a local elementary school. During the week’s morning sessions, OCU law students taught the children about the three branches of government, the levels of the judiciary, the function of the jury, and the roles of judges, attorneys, and witnesses during a trial. On Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Stephens and Assistant Federal Public Defender Tony Lacy discussed the duties of the prosecution and defense. The next day, Ross Plourde of McAfee & Taft discussed the importance and job of the jury. The students were eager to find out their roles for the mock trial after hearing how important each is.

The weeklong program culminated with a mock trial on Friday, April 21st at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. That morning, the 24 fourth graders traveled through torrential rain and hail to the Federal Courthouse. Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange welcomed the students with a tour of the Judicial Learning Center at the Courthouse. After the week’s lessons, students correctly answered Judge Miles-LaGrange’s questions about the three branches of government and the highest court in the land. They also learned about the trial of Timothy McVeigh on the week of the 22nd anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The students then proceeded to Judge Sarah Hall’s courtroom to perform their mock trial in United States v. Eric the Pig. The oinking defendant admitted to a detective that he pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall, after he was found cooking a batch of eggs (and ham!) down the street. The government charged Eric the Pig with “egg-icide.” Three student judges, with the help of Judge Hall and Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Loyd, presided over the trial. The gavel banged, the children settled, and the trial began. Court was in session.

The prosecution presented their evidence, witnesses took the stand, the defense argued duress, and Eric the Pig shared his version of events. While the jury deliberated, Judge Hall and Judge Loyd talked with the students and answered their questions. Judge Hall even allowed each student to strike her gavel – repeatedly! The jurors returned after deliberations: it was a hung jury with nine voting to acquit and four voting to convict.

After the mock trial, the students enjoyed a pizza lunch with Tenth Circuit Judge Robert Bacharach, Magistrate Judge Bernard Jones, Judge Hall, Judge Loyd, and a Deputy U.S. Marshal. The Judges spoke with the students about what they do and answered questions. One of the most encouraging questions was when one student asked Judges Jones, “What’s your favorite color?” In that moment, outside the courtroom surrounded by children who were consuming enormous amounts of pizza, the students saw that a Judge is a person just like them.

As departing gifts, the Oklahoma City chapter presented to each student a signed certificate from two Federal Judges, a pocket Constitution, and fun gavel pencil. The children left with full bellies, smiling faces, and bright futures. This week would not have been possible without the collaborative effort between the Oklahoma City FBA Chapter, the OCU Law School FBA members, local Federal Judges, and the generous grant from the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association. It was a week the children will likely remember for years to come.

Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the Western District of Oklahoma leads local fourth-grade students on a tour of the Judicial Learning Center.

Student judges preside over the trial of United States v. Eric the Pig, as defense counsel questions a witness during the “egg-icide” trial at the Federal Courthouse.

Oklahoma City FBA members and Oklahoma City University Law School FBA student members organized a weeklong civics program and mock trial with a local, fourth-grade elementary school class during the week of April 17-21, 2017.
Judicial Reception

On Thursday, April 27, 2017, approximately 110 members of the Oklahoma City Chapter attended a Judicial Reception. President Jay Walters presented the law firm of Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville with the FBA Oklahoma City Chapter Pro Bono Service Award, recognizing the firm’s dedication to providing pro bono representation to prisoners in civil rights cases. The Chapter has a Pro Bono Committee, led by Matt Panach, that seeks assistance from practitioners in such cases.

(l to r) United States District Court Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti moderating the "fireside chat" with Chief United States District Judge Joe Heaton.

(l to r) Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell and Julie Hunter, incoming President of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Law Student Division
"The Role of the Magistrate Judge"

On April 11, 2017, the Law Student Division from the University of Oklahoma College of Law hosted U.S. Magistrate Judges Shon T. Erwin, Suzanne Mitchell, and Charles B. Goodwin for a presentation on The Role of the Magistrate Judge. OU Dean Joe Harroz, Jr. welcomed the judges, who were introduced by Law Student Division President Gerard D'Emilio and President-Elect Julie Hunter. After the one-hour session, the Judges joined students and practitioners for a social hour in Norman, Oklahoma.

L-R: Michael Whaley (former OU Law Student Division Board Member), Kristen Fling (incoming Vice President), David Herber (former VP and current VP of Marketing), Julie Hunter (President-Elect); Gerard D'Emilio (President), Judges Suzanne Mitchell, Shon T. Erwin and Charles B. Goodwin
Justice Antonin Scalia: The Justice and the Man

The Oklahoma City Chapter conducted a program on September 30, 2016, entitled “Justice Antonin Scalia: The Justice and the Man.” The program featured a joint presentation by two former law clerks of Justice Scalia: Hon. Jeff Sutton and Mr. Paul Cappuccio. Judge Sutton is a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Mr. Cappuccio is the General Counsel of Time Warner Inc. Roughly 70 attorneys, federal judges, and state judges, along with former Governor Frank Keating, attended. At the presentation, the Chapter also made a surprise presentation to Judge Tim Leonard, a distinguished federal judge who recently announced that he will take inactive status after 24 years of judicial service.

The presentation by Judge Sutton and Mr. Cappuccio provided an insightful, illuminating perspective on who Justice Scalia was and his enduring legacy.

(l to r) Hon. Jeff Sutton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Paul Cappuccio; Dan Webber, Oklahoma Chapter President; Judge Bob Bacharach, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Eleventh Annual William J. Holloway, Jr. Lecture

On December 1, 2016, the Oklahoma City Chapter conducted its eleventh Annual William J. Holloway, Jr. Lecture. Judge Holloway is a former member of the Oklahoma City Chapter who served for over 45 years as a Judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal s, longer than any other judge in the court's hi story.

Each year, the Oklahoma City Chapter honor s the legacy of Judge Holloway by inviting a nationally renowned legal scholar to deliver a lecture on a topic of his or her choosing. This year 's Holloway Lecture was delivered by the Honorable Goodwin Liu, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, whose topic was "When to Dissent. " In his lecture, Justice Liu discussed the history of separate opinions and offered his own perspective on the value of dissents. Approximately 175 attorneys, judges, and others attended the 2016 William J. Holloway, Jr. Lecture.

Past Holloway Lectures have included David Boies, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge Diane Wood, Professor Mike McConnell, Professor Charles Fried, Professor Jonathan Turley, Professor (now Dean) Erwin Chemerinsky, Judge Neil Gorsuch, Judge Monroe McKay, and Judge Patrick Higginbotham.

At each Holloway Lecture, the Oklahoma City Chapter provide s a scholar ship to one student at Oklahoma University School of Law and one student at Oklahoma City University School of Law. In 2016, each scholarship included an award of $2000. The 2016 Scholarship Honorees were Adrienne Martinez (Oklahoma City University School of Law) and Hayley Scott (Oklahoma University School of Law).
FBA Summer High School Program

The Oklahoma City Chapter recently wrapped up a two-week community outreach program designed to introduce metro high school students to the federal courts. With the help of local judges, Board members and numerous volunteers, the students were able to gain a unique perspective on the courts. The program allowed students to observe a range of courtroom proceedings including Court Assisted Recovery Effort (“CARE”) Court, a revocation hearing, plea hearings and detention hearings; tour various agencies including the Office of the Federal Public Defender, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Probation Office, and the U.S. Marshal Service; and get one-on-one time with Tenth Circuit Judge Robert E. Bacharach, Chief Judge Sarah Hall of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Oklahoma, and Magistrate Judges Suzanne Mitchell and Bernard M. Jones, also of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Students also explored downtown Oklahoma City and the National Park Service provided a tour of the Oklahoma City Memorial. The program closed with a reception held at the William J. Holloway, Jr. Courthouse. The students received certificates in recognition of their demonstrated commitment to civic duty and the pursuit of learning about the legal profession and the federal judicial system.

The students with Tony Lacy from the Office of the Federal Public Defender

(l to r) The students with Acting U.S. Attorney Mark Yancey, and AUSA's Scott Williams and Chris Stephens

The students with Chief Judge Sarah Hall of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Oklahoma

The students, along with several program volunteers, at the final reception, which was held at the William J. Holloway, Jr. Courthouse
The Legacy of William J. Holloway, Jr.

On February 12, 2016, the United States Courthouse for the Western District of Oklahoma was named “The William J. Holloway, Jr. United States Courthouse.” Judge Holloway was the longest serving judge in the history of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, serving over 45 years until his death in 2014.

The naming of the courthouse followed enactment of a federal law signed by the President. In conjunction with this event, the Federal Bar Association in Oklahoma City conducted a reception honoring Judge Holloway’s legacy. The reception featured a panel discussion moderated by United States District Judge Timothy DeGiusti. The panelists included (1) Robert Henry, President of Oklahoma City University and former judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, (2) Doug McBee, career clerk for Judge Holloway, and (3) Bob Bacharach, former term law clerk for Judge Holloway and now serving on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The program was attended by well over 100 attorneys, 4 judges on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, 11 judges with the Western District of Oklahoma, and 1 justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

"Inside the Supreme Court" Lecture Series

The Oklahoma City Chapter has started a year-long lecture series, “Inside the Supreme Court.” The lecture will feature presentations by former law clerks for Justices Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, William Douglas, John Marshall Harlan II, Hugo Black, Abe Fortas, Warren Burger, Earl Warren, John Paul Stevens, and Stanley Reed. The lecture series began on November 5, 2013, with a sellout crowd to hear Professor Andrew Kaufman, Harvard Law School, who clerked for Justice Felix Frankfurter from 1955 to 1957. Professor Kaufman spoke candidly about Justice Frankfurter’s unique relationship with his law clerks and his testy relationship with Justice Douglas. The series will continue on December 6, 2013, when Professor William Kelley, of Notre Dame Law School, talks about his clerkship for Chief Justice Warren Burger.
Eighth Annual Installment of the William J. Holloway, Jr. Lecture Series

On October 28th, 2013, the Oklahoma City Chapter presented its eighth annual installment of the William J. Holloway, Jr. Lecture Series. This series, named in honor of a long-standing and deeply respected Tenth Circuit judge, includes a lecture by a nationally prominent legal scholar. This year’s lecture was delivered by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who spoke on the topic In the Court Where I Live. Approximately 120 judges, law school deans, faculty, attorneys, and law students attended, much to their delight.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, delivering the 2013 William J. Holloway, Jr. Lecture for the Oklahoma City Chapter


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