The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 6, 2013

Local attorney to receive Courageous Lawyer award

NORMAN — Local attorney Micheal Salem recounted several “unpopular” cases he won over his 38 years of work, emitting glimpses of passion for his career and defending civil rights for Oklahomans.

Salem is one of three Oklahoma attorneys selected by the Oklahoma Bar Association for the 2013 Fern Holland Courageous Lawyer Award, which is given to an OBA member who has courageously performed in a manner befitting the highest ideals of the profession.

Salem will receive his award Nov. 14 during the 2013 OBA annual meeting Nov. 13-15 at Sheraton Hotel in Oklahoma City.

“I’m not sure I belong in that rarefied atmosphere,” Salem said of the award. “She (Fern Holland) made a very significant sacrifice.”

Salem said Holland was involved in Iraq conflicts and was killed. Holland’s “true dedication to law resulted in the ultimate sacrifice,” he said, adding that it was an honor to be selected.

The local attorney was selected for the award after representing Muneer Awad, former executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Salem said Awad began the case on his own and, in between filing a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction hearing, Muneer retained him.

The two worked to block a new state constitutional amendment that would have prohibited state courts from recognizing “Sharia law” or Islamic law.

State Question 755, the “Save Our State Amendment,” was approved by 70 percent of voters in November 2010. They were up against popular vote, but Salem’s and Awad’s actions helped stop what they saw as a backslide.

“Oklahoma was heading down a path I think would have been very destructive,” Salem said. “It would have been similar to the segregation of blacks. That is not progress.”

If SQ 755 had been passed, Salem said it would have condemned an entire religion, condemned any foreign country and culture, and fostered prejudice and xenophobia, or an irrational fear for what’s perceived to be foreign or strange.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014