State Bar Association Seminar to View New Liquor Laws

Article excerpt

The state's new liquor rules for "wet" and "dry" counties will be discussed Wednesday, May 8, at a seminar sponsored by the University of Oklahoma's continuing legal education program and the Oklahoma Bar Association.

The seminar will focus on the final form of new state rules and regulations approved Friday by the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission. The sessions will last from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.at the Park Suite Hotel in south Oklahoma City.

"With 22 of 29 counties approving liquor by the drink in the April 30 election, the seminar takes on particular relevance," said June Tyhurst, director of OU's continuing legal education program.

The seminar is designed for attorneys, owners of clubs, restaurants, hotels and liquor stores; law enforcement officers, and fraternal organizations.

An identical seminar is planned May 15, the following Wednesday, in Tulsa's Westin Hotel. (That's in the Williams Center.)

Ron Willis, acting director of the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, will discuss licensing, fees and other new regulations. The commission will license clubs serving drinks on-premises in wet counties and bottle clubs in dry counties.

Ken Nance, registered lobbyist for Oklahoma City and Tulsa club owners, also is expected to speak. Nance, a lawyer, is credited with helping state Rep. E.C. "Sandy" Sanders, D-Oklahoma City, write large sections of the state's new liquor-by-the-drink law.

D. Kent Meyers, a co-author of the liquor-by-the-drink amendment to the state Constitution passed by the voters last September, also is a scheduled speaker. It was passage of that constitutional amendment that made Tuesday's county-option elections possible.

The agenda includes the following speakers: Duke Halley, a plaintiff's lawyer in a liquor-related personal injury lawsuit; Larry Wood, director of Oklahomans for Responsible Liquor Control; Brad Naifeh, liquor wholesaler with Central Liquor Co.; Howard Evans, director of the Alcohol and Tobacco Division of the Oklahoma Tax Commission; Lynn M. Barnett of the attorney general's office; Bob McCoy, former Oklahoma City councilman and vice chairman of the Oklahoma Municipal League; Barbara Snow Gilbert, an election-law attorney and an advisor to the liquor-by-the-drink campaign, and John Hancock, political consultant.

Tuition for the seminar is $85 per person. OU will accept payment with VISA or Mastercard. However, if you plan to do that, or to register at the door, you should call OU's Continuing Education Legal Department.

To pre-register, send a check payable to OU to: Continuing Legal Education, 314 Law Center, 300 Timberdell Road, Norman, Ok. 73019.

Rep. Charlie Morgan, D-Prague, says people visiting his county will just have to stop by his house to get a mixed drink, if they want one. Grady County voted dry on Tuesday.

A major workers' compensation "reform" bill is scheduled for a committee hearing on Monday when the Legislature returns from its two-week recess. That is Senate Bill 158. It is on the agenda of theHouse Business and Commerce Committee, which will meet at 11 a.m. in Room 412A. The committee chairman is Rep. Harold Hale, D-Yukon.

Senate Bill 158 proposes a two-year statute of limitations for workers' compensation claims.

It would amend current law, which has a one-year statute of limitations.

However, that one-year limit in current law is virtually meaningless, according to Julius Kubier, executive director of Associated Industries of Oklahoma Inc.

The state appellate courts have struck down the one-year limit numerous times so it has no real meaning, Kubier said. In reality, workers' compensation claims are filed for periods extending way beyond the legal one-year limit, he said.

For that reason, a two-year statute of limitations would be considered "real reform," Kubier said. …