Friday, March 28, 2014

Gavel to Gavel: Greener Pastures?

The Oklahoma House of Representatives plans to address whether to change the method of judicial selection in Oklahoma.

One does not have to look far for an example of partisan elections for appellate judges. The Texas Constitution provides for these types of elections. During election season, visitors to Texas can see this process in action, through a multitude of billboards, favoring or disfavoring a judicial candidate, often from a partisan viewpoint.

Is the pasture greener in Texas? Some members of the Texas appellate judiciary don’t think so. Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett recently said that he and every member of his court favor smart judicial-selection reform, with the goal of moving away from “the current partisan elected system. … Interestingly, the business lobby and tort-reform groups all favor scrapping (Texas’) current (partisan) judicial-selection system.”

Read more:

amendments to jury instructions and court rules

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has approved modifications to the Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions, the Rules for District Courts, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules.  Most notably, these amendments now specifically address the use of jury questionnaires.  In addition, the Court has approved amendments to verdict forms, and jury instructions for false representation, nondisclosure or concealment, wrongful discharge, employment based discrimination, exemplary damages, defamation, and trade secrets.


The amendments to jury instructions can be found here:

The amendments to the Rules for District Courts can be found here:  Note that this order references the "Uniform District Court Rules," although the rules still appear to be entitled "Rules for District Courts."

The amendments to the Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules can be found here: