For the first time in the 106-year history of the Oklahoma Bar Association, an attorney from Shawnee is serving as its president.
Jim Stuart was sworn in Friday as the 2013 OBA president during ceremonies in the Supreme Court Ceremonial Courtroom at the state Capitol.
Stuart, who said this is a once in a lifetime honor, said he’s proud and to serve while also representing Shawnee and Pottawatomie County.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to serve,” he said.
Stuart, from the 109-year-old Shawnee law firm of the Stuart, Clover, Duran, Thomas and Vondran, LLP, was one of 10 OBA officers from the around the state sworn in during the ceremony.
Another Shawnee native and a lawyer in his firm, Joe Vorndran, was sworn in to serve as chairperson of the OBA Young Lawyer Division, which is a one-year term on the OBA Board of Governors.
Stuart, a practicing lawyer for 34 years, maintains a primarily civil litigation practice, handling many cases is estate planning and probate as well as real property law. He was elected to the OBA Board of Governors in 2008 and served a three-year term. He was elected OBA president-elect in 2011.
He is a 1978 graduate of the TU College of Law and a 1975 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma. He and his wife, Kathy, have three daughters.
Stuart’s top goal for the OBA this year is encouraging lawyers cross the state to participate in community service activities and charitable giving.
“The theme is ‘Oklahoma Lawyers Giving Back,’” Stuart said, adding he has plans to have a day where lawyers across the state can join together to serve the community.
That event would include free services to the poor or other services to non-profits; a date hasn’t yet been scheduled.
For his role, Vorndran said he’s excited to serving as chairperson of the Young Lawyer Division, which is a community service arm of the OBA.
“It’s a huge honor to be selected by my peers to fill that role,” Vorndran said.
Singing during the ceremony Friday were Shawnee lawyers Mat Thomas and Rob Duran, also members of Stuart’s firm.
The 17,000-member OBA, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and a high standards of conduct among the state’s legal community.
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