Volunteering For The Ask A Lawyer Hotline

Brian Huddleston manned the phone banks to answer questions from the public on Law Day.lawday

About the annual “Ask A Lawyer” free legal advice project:

Oklahomans can expect an insightful look into the legal system when the annual award-winning Ask A Lawyer call-in show airs. This is the 31st year OETA and the Oklahoma Bar Association have co-produced the show, designed to share information about legal issues in easy-to-understand language.

A series of segments will be shown during the hour to provide a glimpse into Oklahoma’s legal community. The show will feature two segments on the topics of:

  • Consumer law
  • Equal rights in the workplace

Both segments will conclude with a town hall forum moderated by OBA member Dick Pryor.

With the nation’s economy woes on the minds of many, consumers need to be more mindful than ever about who they trust with their money. But sometimes, even the most prudent of us can be exploited. Viewers will meet Roy Sheppard, a hard-working family man who fell victim to predatory lending. Roy’s story is representative of thousands of families across the nation dealing with the foreclosure crisis. The panel of consumer law experts will address this issue along with other consumer topics.

While the United States is often called the land of the free, the rights and freedoms we enjoy have not always been available to all citizens. Oklahoma’s own Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher helped open the doors for African Americans and other minority groups to equal educational opportunities. Viewers will get a glimpse of Ms. Fisher’s struggle to be admitted to the OU law school and find a job after graduation. The panel of civil rights experts will explain how her journey led us to where we are today along with what issues we still face.

During the program, viewers can call in for free legal advice, a community service Oklahoma lawyers are providing in conjunction with the national celebration of Law Day. Viewers statewide will be able to reach an attorney by calling (800) 456-8525 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Viewers who prefer to speak to an attorney practicing in their town or county will be able to see and call local numbers during the broadcast.

“I saw that there is a need in our community for affordable legal advice.  The callers were so grateful for the service.” Brian Huddleston


2 responses to “Volunteering For The Ask A Lawyer Hotline”

  1. FYI, this event was last week, so the number above is no good now.

  2. 2009 Ask-a-Lawyer Thank You

    Dear Volunteer Attorneys and Translators:

    Judge Dan Crawford and I would like to extend our personal thanks for the contribution of your time and talents last Thursday, April 30, 2009 during the TCBA/OBA “Ask a Lawyer” Program at the OETA studio here in Tulsa. The day was a huge success, and it would not have been possible without the generous donations of your time to assist our community and state by providing free legal advice and translation assistance. To the “regulars” who do this every year, we extend an extra thank you for your reliable dedication and willingness to serve--all we have to do is call or e-mail and you always come through if your schedule allows, and Dan and I greatly appreciate being able to rely upon you.
    Once again this year, the Tulsa phone bank handled as many rollover calls from the Oklahoma City area and beyond as we could, and as a result we were very busy! Many of you, I’m sure, found it difficult to even leave the phone to take a restroom break or get a snack. Also, again this year, Dan Crawford and Mark Schwebke manned phones #1 and 2 for the ENTIRE 12 hour day--what a remarkable contribution! Dan has done this each of the last eight years, due to a challenge from a fellow attorney to see if he could personally answer 1,000 calls, and he finished the day this year at 1,072 calls. Congratulations Dan! Others deserving special recognition include Bob Farris for working 6 hours (and for going to get our lunch), and Kimberly Moore-Waite, Marsha Rogers, and Diana Clayton for working 4 hours. Also, Sharon Phillips answered the most calls in a single shift--45. Congratulations Sharon!
    Here are the call tallies for each shift and overall total calls:

    9-11 am: 184
    11-1 pm: 233
    1-3 pm: 126
    3-5 pm: 96
    5-7 pm: 128
    7-9 pm: 177
    Grand Total: 944

    What an amazing number! This year 33 attorneys volunteered to take calls, the same number as last year, but last year’s grand total was 754 calls. I wish I had a breakdown of the number of calls we received from the western half of the state, but bear in mind we did receive calls from across the state.
    For the fourth year, the OBA asked us to try and find Spanish speaking attorneys/translators who could assist callers. We were fortunate to have six volunteers this year, Marvin Lizama (9-11pm, 2:30-4pm), who also volunteered last year, Alberto Franco (1-3pm), Gaby Tarvin (3-5pm), the spouse of a TU law student who also volunteered last year, Eduardo Mora (5-9pm), a paralegal at Carr & Carr who also volunteered last year, Joseph Flores (5:30-8pm) and Luis Flores (6-8pm). They assisted with approximately 10 calls this year, an increase from about 4 calls last year, and Dan and I are also grateful for their service.
    Again, personally and on behalf of the TCBA and OBA, THANK YOU!! Your time and advice made a big difference in the lives of many people this month. Dan and I hope to see each of you again next year.
    Jason Bashforth

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