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
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014