James Fellers Wins Journal Record Award

Article excerpt

James Davison "Jimmie" Fellers, an Oklahoma City attorney for more than 50 years, received the 1990 Journal Record Award, presented during the annual Law Day luncheon sponsored Tuesday by the Oklahoma County Bar Association.

Fellers is the 10th person to receive the award, which was presented by Dan Hogan, publisher of The Journal Record.

The Liberty Bell Award, presented annually by the Oklahoma County Bar Association to a non-lawyer making important contributions to the legal profession, was presented to veteran Oklahoma City educator Carolyn Wakely, director of the Oklahoma High School Mock Trial Program.

Fellers, 77, was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1936.

From his first legal job with a retail credit association, his professional stature grew and led to his being named in 1975 as the third most influential lawyer in the United States by U.S. News and World Report magazine, behind U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger and U.S. Attorney General Edward Levi.

Fellers' law practice was interrupted during World War II, when he entered the Army Air Corps.

In 1942, Fellers was called to Washington as an intelligence officer for special projects. There, he was trained to use the just-broken German High Command Code.

Together with his best friend, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Fellers was sent to England to learn cryptology to serve in the "Ultra," the top secret special branch program.

He served in the 1944 invasion of Europe, returning to the United States after 18 months and eight campaigns, and earning a Bronze Star medal.

Fellers' legal career includes stints with the Oklahoma City law firms of Pierce, McClelland, Kneeland and Bailey; Ames, Monnet, Hayes and Brown; and Mosteller, McElroy and Fellers. He also worked in the Oklahoma City office of Judge Tom Andrews of Chandler.

In 1964, he was a founding partner of what is now Fellers, Snider, Blankenship, Bailey & Tippens in Oklahoma City, and continues today as the firm's senior member.

Some of Fellers' numerous honors and achievements in the legal profession include national chairman of the Junior Bar Conference in 1947 (now known as the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association); admitted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1951; and president of the Oklahoma Bar Association in 1964. …