The Journal Record Hands out Law Day Awards
Francis-Smith, Janice, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Two of the year's most prestigious awards in the metro legal sector were presented Thursday at the Law Day Luncheon sponsored by the Oklahoma County Bar Association and the Oklahoma City University School of Law. The event was held at the Cox Business Services Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
The Journal Record Award for lifetime achievement in the legal profession was presented to Judge David M. Cook. The Journal Record and the Oklahoma County Bar Association have presented the award annually since 1981.
Mahmood Shandiz, senior associate dean at the OCU Meinders School of Business, was awarded the Liberty Bell Award for his contributions to the legal profession as a non-lawyer.
"It was a complete surprise," said Cook, adding that he was very pleased and honored to receive The Journal Record Award. "I was listening to the description, the bio of the winner, and after a while I figured out Mary Melon (publisher of The Journal Record) was talking about me."
Laughing, Cook said he first started to suspect something when his family didn't let him pay for lunch.
A graduate of Central High School, Cook received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1940 and his LLB from the OU School of Law. In 1942, the same year he was admitted to practice law, Cook set off for the Southwest Pacific to serve as an artillery officer during World War II.
Cook served 42 months in the war, participating in five major campaigns and five beach-head landings. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.
"I'm not a hero," Cook said Thursday. "I just happened to be at war and in the wrong place at the wrong time." His experiences in the war helped to mold his outlook on the law and on life, he said.
"We grew up," Cook said of he and his fellow soldiers. So did Cook's first-born son, who was 3 years old when Cook returned from the war.
Cook practiced law for 25 years before he was appointed to the district bench in Seminole County to fill the unexpired term of retiring Judge Clarence Mills. …