There were lawyer jokes and there were stories to be told, and it all happened at a bar. Well, actually, the Canadian County Bar Association.
The bar association, on Thursday, honored five area attorneys who combined have more than 230 years of legal expertise.
The attorneys included Bill James of Yukon, Bill Flanagan of Yukon, Richard “Dick” Lewis of El Reno, retired District Judge Ken Dickerson of Piedmont and Jim Stout of Yukon.
Each has served as an attorney for at least 45 years, according to Canadian County Special Judge Barbara Hatfield, who helped plan the event.
She, along with county bar association President Blake Sawyer, said the celebration was an opportunity to honor some of the organization’s longest-serving members.
“It is a celebration of Canadian County attorneys who have attained between 45 and 48 years of practicing law. We are celebrating their success,” said Hatfield, who serves as the secretary-treasurer for the county bar association.
She said most of the five attorneys have practiced in Canadian County for the majority of their careers.
“We felt like 45 years was quite a milestone. They often retire after that,” she said.
The Oklahoma Bar Association honors active attorneys after they reach 50 years.
Sawyer, who has been practicing law for two years, said it is nice to have experienced attorneys who are willing to mentor and work with younger attorneys.
“I really haven’t felt that anywhere other than here in Canadian County,” Sawyer said.
He also agreed that honoring the five attorneys was the right thing to do
“We should recognize these people. They have given at least 45 years to the state and to the citizens of Canadian County. As the president of the county bar association, it’s the least we can do is say ‘thank you’ and have a reception for them. It’s a huge milestone, 45 years, and one I hope to make 43 years from now,” Sawyer said.
James has been an attorney since 1973. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma Law School;
Flanagan has been practicing since 1972 and served as an associate district attorney in both Cotton and Canadian counties;
Lewis graduated from Oklahoma City University in 1972 and served 42 years as El Reno’s municipal judge;
Dickerson grew up in Piedmont and has been practicing since 1972. He served as 15 years as a special judge for Canadian County;
Stout graduated from the University of Oklahoma Law School in 1972. He has served as the assistant city attorney and the city attorney for Yukon.