Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Howland Receives OKC Journal Record Award on Law Day

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Howland Receives OKC Journal Record Award on Law Day

Article excerpt

U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Howland is the recipient of the 2008 Journal Record Award, it was announced Thursday at the Oklahoma County Bar Association Law Day luncheon.

At the luncheon, Mary Melon, publisher of The Journal Record, presented the award, which recognizes attorneys for service to the legal profession and the community.

The event was one of several held across the state Thursday to commemorate Law Day, now in its 50th year. Events included attorneys providing free legal advice via a toll-free statewide hotline operated at OETA, and the Ask a Lawyer program Thursday evening. This year the television program focused on mental health court, animal law and tort reform.

Melon said Howland's career began as a night clerk for the FBI while working his way through the Oklahoma City University School of law.

He clerked for several state and federal judges and served as a federal prosecutor as well as in private practice before his initial appointment as a federal magistrate in 1978. He retired from his judicial post in March.

The retired U.S. Army colonel's judicial career included overseeing critical preliminary matters in the Oklahoma City bombing case.

"Judge Howland's faithful service to the nation, the profession and the community stand as high examples of honor and professionalism," Melon said.

She also recognized 26 members of the Oklahoma County bar, who were honored as recipients of Journal Record Leadership in Law awards.

The Liberty Bell Award, which recognizes the contributions of non- lawyers, was presented to Maranda Miles, a legal assistant at the Miller Dollarhide law firm, for her service in the Wills for Heroes program.

Miles received the award from Celeste Johnson, who chairs the Young Lawyers Division.

Judge Jerome Holmes, of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, served as luncheon speaker, discussing the national 50th anniversary Law Day theme, The Rule of Law: Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity.

"I believe that the rule of law is an essential, if not the essential ingredient, of a free and economically prosperous society," Holmes said.

The values of the rule of law are deeply embedded in the American psyche, he said.

"In my view, a society cannot rightly claim to have a meaningful regime of the rule of law unless it highly values, and is willing to defend, individual human rights and an important and independent judiciary," Holmes said.

The concept of individual rights, which permeates the founding documents of this country, is truly revolutionary, he added.

"We cannot, even today, take that idea for granted," Holmes said. "It is not universally embraced."

As an example, he cited concerns raised by the U.S. State Department about severe restrictions on basic freedoms in China, as well as reported human rights abuses by the Chinese government that include forced confessions and torture. …

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