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Halli Martin & Michael O'Rear Serve as Law Day Co-Chairs for the Payne County Bar Association

Recently, two of our attorneys, Halli Martin and Michael O’Rear, had the honor of serving as 2018’s Law Day Co-Chairs for the Payne County Bar Association.

Law Day is a national event that is held on the first day of May each year. Law Day encourages us to reflect on the ways the law and legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans enjoy.

Law Day

Payne County has a rich tradition of participation in Law Day and Law Day Events, and this year was no exception. Attorney Martin and Attorney O’Rear kicked off Law Day with the Payne County Bar Association’s annual Bowling Tournament where local attorneys got together with members the Court Clerk’s office and bowled to raise money for local food and resource center, Our Daily Bread.

The Law Day festivities continued with the PCBA art and essay contest where all Payne County Students were invited by the County Bar Association to participate in a coloring, art, and essay contest for this year’s Law Day theme. Every year the American Bar Association sets a theme for Law Day. This year’s theme was “Framework for Freedom: Separation of Powers.” The purpose of this year’s theme was to encourage us to examine and reflect on how our Constitution’s principles of separation of powers and checks and balances preserve our rights and political liberty.

Law Day

Students who participated in the contest did an incredible job with the theme. They used current social and political issues to discuss the importance of separation of powers and how the concept protects our legal rights. At the Payne County Honor Docket, 25 students were recognized and awarded cash prizes, plaques, and certificates for their participation in the art and essay contests. The Hert Scholarship and Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award were presented at the Honor Docket as well.

As part of our Law Day activities, members of the Payne County Bar participated in the statewide Ask a Lawyer Campaign and Lawyers in the Library where local attorneys provided free legal advice to members of the community on either a call-in or walk-in basis. Turnout was excellent, with our attorneys giving free legal advice to nearly 50 people from Payne County.

The Law Day Celebration was capped-off with our annual Law Day Banquet at the Stillwater County Club. Chief Justice Douglas Combs from the Oklahoma Supreme Court was in attendance, along with leadership from the Oklahoma Bar Association and local district and special judges.

Law Day

Our Lawyers presented the Liberty Bell Award at the banquet, an award that recognizes outstanding service performed by a non-lawyer citizen who has given their time and energy to strengthen the effectiveness of the American system of freedom under law.

Payne County District Attorney, Laura Austin Thomas, presented the Liberty Bell Award to Lori McDougal. McDougal is a former victim witness coordinator for Payne and Logan Counties. She was honored for her 35 years of service at the District Attorney’s office. During her service, Ms. McDougal worked with hundreds of crime victims and witnesses to criminal offenses. She has also assisted with victim compensation claims, parole board hearings, court appearances, and a myriad of other victim services. Since October of 2014, Lori has been tirelessly working through victim compensation claims for the unfortunate victims of the OSU parade tragedy.

Law Day

Law Day encourages responsible citizenship through its many activities that demonstrate how individual rights and freedoms involve individual obligations. . Speaking about the public’s participation in the event, Attorney Martin said, “Payne County is committed to celebrating Law Day and all that it stands for; we had an excellent turnout for all of our Law Day activities. The support of our local bar was just incredible and it was a pleasure to serve as Law Day Co-Chair.”

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