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