The University of Oklahoma College of Law used its 90th
anniversary celebration to break ground on the $17 million addition
that will double the size of the law school.
The addition will include:
* l The Law Library: A 58,367-gross-square-foot space, which
doubles the space available to house the Law School's 300,896-
volume legal reference collection and brings OU's library into full
compliance with ABA standards.
* A 250-seat courtroom/auditorium: This 6,705-gross-square-foot
space, far larger than any teaching space in the current College of
Law building, will accommodate major college and public activities,
including trials brought to the OU College of Law through special
arrangements with the U.S. District Court for the Western District
of Oklahoma, as well as local and state courts; glassed-in second-
floor teaching rooms that provide an operating theater style setting
for viewing trials; "Courtroom of the Future" components including
bench, counsel table, and jury box computers that offer immediate
access to relevant law materials and trial evidence; and multimedia
viewing room that gives law students the opportunity to view
videotape courtroom performances.
* The Computer Learning Laboratory: This 1,200-gross-square-
foot area designed to accommodate 30 computers will be used in
training sessions to give students the computer research, writing,
and technical skills needed in modern legal practice.
* The Great Law Reading Room: This book-lined two-story space
featuring vaulted wood-beamed ceilings is modeled after the fondly
remembered reading room in Monnet Hall, the College of Law's first
home. The reading room will build a sense of community by providing
law students with a place to come together for quiet study.
Additionally, the library will have individual carrels for private
study and small conference rooms for group discussions.
OU Law Dean Andy Coats launched "The New Century Capital
Campaign" to fund the $17 million project. OU committed $10 million
from a past bond issue and money raised through soft drink sales on
campus. The law school's private campaign raised the remaining $7
million through gifts from alumni and friends.
The Sarkeys Foundation of Norman made the largest single gift of
$1.6 million grant given in honor of alumnus Dick Bell. In
recognition of the gift, the courtroom/auditorium in the new
addition will be named for the late Bell, a 1932 graduate of the
College of Law and longtime Seminole attorney.
In the courts
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed a $45,000 libel
judgment against a Norman legislator.
The court held that the evidence in the case did not prove state
Rep. Wallace Collins, D-Norman, was guilty of malice for
distributing a campaign flier accusing his opponent in the 1996
Democratic primary, Kenneth Adair, of accepting an illegal corporate
The case was remanded to the Cleveland County District Court with
instructions that it be dismissed.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court declined to hear Collins'
appeal from an $82,000 libel judgement awarded Steve Byas, the
lawmaker's Republican opponent in the 1996 general election.
Byas also had alleged he was libeled by Collins' campaign
Day Edwards Federman Propester & Christensen has filed a lawsuit
on behalf of an Oklahoma investor against FFP Securities, Pacific
Life Insurance and American Skandia Life Assurance, as well as a
registered agent, for fraud, negligence, and violations of the
Oklahoma Securities Act and the Oklahoma Insurance Code. …