Oklahoma Legal Overview
Unlike other states, Oklahoma has two courts of last resort. The highest court for civil cases is the Oklahoma Supreme Court, while criminal cases have no appeal beyond the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. The Court of Civil Appeals is an intermediate appellate court for civil cases only. The Supreme Court's nine justices and the five judges for the Court of Criminal Appeals are appointed by the Governor and elected for six year terms. The 77 District Courts spread over 26 judicial districts are the primary trial courts with general jurisdiction. District Court judges are elected for four year terms.
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Top metro Oklahoma areas for Legal Issues:
1. Capital punishment is legal in Oklahoma, with the death penalty administered via lethal injection. In Thompson v. Oklahoma (1988), the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of a 15 year old tried as an adult in the Oklahoma courts. Two other landmark judgments involve the University of Oklahoma. In Sipuel v. Board of Regents of Univ. of Okla. (1948), the court ordered desegregation of the state's educational institutions. In NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma (1984), the court ruled in favor of the university and broke the NCAA television rights monopoly on college football games.
2.Ten states, including Oklahoma, will intervene in a lawsuit that has been filed against the EPA.
3. Bank of America has agreed to pay $375 million to settle a mortgage fraud lawsuit.
Trending Oklahoma Legal Topics: The Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) was established in 1904. The OBA was recognized as the State Bar when Oklahoma gained statehood in 1907. The OBA became an integrated State Bar in 1939 under orders from the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The OBA membership has grown to 16,417, including more than 11,700 lawyers and judges licensed to practice law in Oklahoma. Bar exams are administered by the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners. The OBA, the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals and other administrative agencies and offices of the judiciary are all based in Oklahoma City, OK.