Board of Governors on www.OKbar.org

Legislative Report — 56th Legislature


The Second Session of the 56th Legislature convened on Feb. 5 and will end May 25, 2018. The OBA Legislative Monitoring Committee meets regularly and is watching legislative activity.

Day at the Capitol - Tuesday, March 6, 2018

List of Attorney Legislators - A total of 149 elected representatives and senators serve in the Oklahoma Legislature. The OBA is proud of its 23 lawyer members, who represent 15 percent of the House and Senate in Oklahoma.


Session Winding Down, Ends May 25

By Angela Ailles Bahm

As of the writing of this article, we are still in the midst of the most significant example of democracy in action that I have witnessed – the Oklahoma teacher walk out. Regardless of your political beliefs, one must find the current events remarkable! For me, it is a stunning reminder that the folks in ALL capitols work for us. We just need to remind them of it every now and then.

Which is why, again, I encourage all of you to participate in the OBA Legislative Monitoring Committee. At a minimum, be engaged with your state and federal representatives. No, we cannot walk out of our offices and march arm in arm on specific issues. As a mandatory bar, we need to be constantly vigilant we do not overstep and mindful that we simply cannot represent everyone’s opinions. But what we can do as individuals is educate ourselves and others on the process – and arm ourselves, others and members of the Legislature with facts.

SOMETHING NEW THIS SUMMER

This July (maybe August – yes, I’m hedging a bit), the committee is going to try something new. We are going to have a legislative debrief, if you will. More to come – but the thought is to have an overview of bills passed affecting the practice of law and to have a legislative panel discuss the session. If you have some thoughts on what you would like to hear, please let me know.

UPDATE ON BILLS

The following is an update on the bills Clay Taylor, legislative liaison for the OBA, discussed during Day at the Capitol. The end of the session is May 25. You will need to look up the ones I note as “continues to advance” to see if they are still alive and/or signed by the governor. Remember, that website is www.oklegislature.gov.

HB 1051 eliminates the court of criminal appeals – Died
HB 2941 affects title insurance and title work – Continues to advance
HB 3277 and SB 1340 workers’ compensation bills – Continues to advance
SB 968 requires the petition to include facts supporting the claims – Continues to advance
SB 1136 applies several liability to products liability cases – Continues to advance
SB 1447 exempts health care providers from liability under certain circumstances – Died
SB 1550 allows for post judgment review of new evidence – Died

Proposed legislation affecting the judiciary all died including: SB 700 (required the six attorney JNC members to be appointed by the president pro tem and the House speaker); HB 1925 (provided for five justices from the current congressional districts and four at-large positions); and SB 699 (applied mandatory retirement to all appellate judges and justices at 80 years of age). Because this is the second of our two-year session, none of these bills float into the 2019 session. Any and all bills will need to be submitted anew.

The committee will continue to have scheduled meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at noon. Please join us; and as always, if you have any suggestions to improve the LMC, please write me at angela.ailles-bahm.ga2e@statefarm.com.

Ailles Bahm is the managing attorney of State Farm’s in-house office and also serves as the Legislative Monitoring Committee chairperson. She can be contacted via email.

Resources

The Legislative Monitoring Committee focuses on the following measures:

administration of justice;
Court organization, selection, tenure, salary and other incidents of the judicial office;
  Rules and laws affecting practice and procedure in the courts and in administrative bodies exercising adjudicatory functions;
The practice of law
  OBA Bylaws Art. VIII Sec 3
 

Legislative Proposals and Endorsements in Principle:

The House of Delegates has the authority to place a measure on the Legislative Program or to endorse it in principle, with at least a 60% vote.
  OBA Bylaws Art. VIII Sec 5
 

Action by the Association upon proposals for improvement of the law by legislation or by judicial rule shall consist of:

Adoption as part of the Legislative Program of the Association;
Endorsement in principle.
  OBA Bylaws Art. VIII Sec 2