Vol. 3 No. 40 | Oct. 4, 2023


Dispositions Other than by Published Opinions

The Supreme Court of Oklahoma Court Calendar

The Supreme Court of Oklahoma is in session year round, unless otherwise noted. The Court regularly schedules conferences on Mondays and other days as needed.

Member Transitions


The October edition of the Oklahoma Bar Journal is online now! This issue focuses on the theme of Access to Justice and features other important information related to confidentiality and professional responsibility, the importance of listening and YLD elections. Plus, look for details about the upcoming Annual Meeting as well as the 2023 OBA Awards and Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Awards winners. Take a look!


The Theory and Practice of Access to Justice
By Brian Candelaria

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma: They Can’t Do It All…
By Ana Reynolds

When Geography Determines Justice: Examining Legal Deserts in Oklahoma
By Katie Dilks

Pro Se Waiver Divorce Clinic
By Ana Reynolds

The Cost of Access to the Courts: Considering Court Fees, Costs and Other Financial Barriers to the Courts in the Context of Article II, Section 6
By Melanie Wilson Rughani

Pro Bono Expungement Clinics: Creating Second Chances
By Melissa Brooks and Shenice Huff

"One way society can determine whether it meets the needs of its people is to look at whether citizens have access to justice. Not only criminal justice but also access to the courts in ways that address the availability of those day-to-day rights that enable us to navigate today’s challenges. A question we must ask is whether the public in our country can gain entrance into a legal system that has become increasingly complicated and expensive.

The World Justice Project has stated: 'An estimated 5 billion people have unmet justice needs globally, including people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems, people who are excluded from the opportunity the law provides, and people who live in extreme conditions of injustice.'

One may ask what types of access to justice concerns do Oklahomans face. Of course, most of us are aware of the difficulties in the criminal justice system related to retaining defense counsel for those charged with a crime. If you go to any courthouse in this state, you will discover the vast majority of those accused of crime being represented by public defenders. It is virtually impossible for most people in those circumstances to come up with the money necessary to hire an attorney to represent them."

The OBA Awards celebrate excellence – annually recognizing those who have made lasting impacts on the legal profession and the community. This year's winners recognize lawyers who have upheld our association's highest ideals: ethics, service to others and professionalism. Click to see this year's winners.

The 2023 OBA Awards will be presented at various events in conjunction with this year's Annual Meeting, held Nov. 1-3 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. Register now to congratulate this year's outstanding group of OBA Award winners in person this November!

There’s what you know in your particular areas of the law – and then there’s how well you’re able to communicate that knowledge. Communicate it to a variety of different audiences, through a range of different documents, to accomplish many different goals.

That can be hard work – even stressful work. Maybe you could use a little help.

Help is on the way! Join writing coach and former attorney Rick Horowitz at the Oklahoma Bar Center on on Tuesday, Oct. 24, for “More Effective Writing Makes More Effective Lawyers.” It’s sure to be a lively and highly practical workshop that will reintroduce you to your legal writing toolbox, including a few tools you didn't know were in there.

On Oct. 17, the OBA Management Assistance Program will host "Opening Your Law Practice" at the Oklahoma Bar Center. This program, to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a free seminar for new lawyers or for those who are launching a private practice. During the program, speakers will cover topics such as "The Business of Law," "How to Manage Everything," "Professional Liability Insurance and Risk Management," "How to Succeed in Law Practice" and more. This event is sponsored by Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual Insurance Co. and does not qualify for MCLE credit. Email Renee Montgomery or call 405-416-7029 to register for this seminar.

Featured CLE

By OBA MAP Director Jim Calloway

Keyboard shortcuts are useful timesavers. It is easy to remember the ones we use all the time (Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, Ctrl + Z), but harder to remember those that are used less frequently. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a shortcut to the shortcuts?

Try this. Open any Word document. Hit the Alt key. Many black boxes with numbers and letters appear on the Ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). Most of us have seen this view before, and our first reaction was, “Oh no, I didn’t mean to do that!” followed by relief as the Esc key got rid of the boxes, and we continued with our document.

This feature has a name –  KeyTips. Type any of the letters or numbers displayed, and it is as if you used the mouse to click on the link, but faster. If there is a dropdown, it is displayed with additional numbers or letters. This is a great tool for people with vision issues or who just hate using a mouse. For example, to insert an endnote in a document, I first click the References tab and then click Insert Endnote. Using KeyTips, I sequentially hit Alt, then S, then E and the blank endnote is now waiting for me to begin typing. These shortcuts will vary between users because of differences in the Ribbon and QAT.

If you don’t remember a KeyTips shortcut, they are all displayed on your screen.

The Oklahoma Bar Journal is a publication of the Oklahoma Bar Association. All rights reserved. Copyright© 2023 Oklahoma Bar Association. Statements or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff. Although advertising copy is reviewed, no endorsement of any product or service offered by any advertisement is intended or implied by publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their ads, and the OBA reserves the right to edit or reject any advertising copy for any reason. Legal articles carried in The Oklahoma Bar Journal are selected by the Board of Editors. Information about submissions can be found at www.okbar.org.