Family Law Judges Provide Insight and Opportunity to TU College of Law Students

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On March 25, the Family Law Society at The University of Tulsa College of Law hosted a panel of eight judges from the Domestic Division of the Tulsa County District Court.

Mike Nomura, a second-year law student and vice president of the Family Law Society at TU, said the panel was designed to provide TU law students with a better understanding of both practice and trends in family law. Among the scheduled topics were the qualities of a good family law practitioner, the makeup of the Domestic Court dockets, and the importance of conflict management and dispute resolution in family law.

Valerie Dye, a second-year law student and the FLS president, said she appreciated the panel’s insight regarding the importance of mediation.

“The judges felt the ability to mediate disputes and negotiate with the opposing party were two of the defining characteristics of good attorneys,” she said. “After attending the panel presentation, I plan to focus more of my education on those areas.”

The judges also led a discussion of the court’s Families in Transition program, designed to minimize conflict, promote the well-being of children involved with cases, conserve family resources, encourage alternate dispute resolution, and preserve the integrity of trials. Students also learned about specific opportunities to serve as judicial interns with the Domestic Court.

Judges participating in the panel were:
• Chief Judge Mary Fitzgerald
• Judge Mark Barcus
• Judge Carl Funderburk
• Judge Charles Hogshead
• Judge Dawn Moody
• Judge Wilma Palmer
• Judge Rodney Sparkman and
• Referee Russell Anderson

“It was invaluable for us, as students, to be able to hear the perspective of the judges dealing with family law issues and methods to help families through the court system, Nomura said. “Issues of family law can be overwhelming, and our local judges have worked together to add innovative elements such as the Families in Transition program to provide important assistance.”

Jimmy Hart