The Norman Transcript


June 19, 2013

10 attorneys remain in running for judge post



“I have had a very varied civil law practice and a lot of experience in different legal issues,” Clayton said, adding that she has very limited experience in handling criminal cases.

· Charles Douglas, in private practice principally as a criminal defense attorney. Douglas, 62, said his past experience includes serving as an assistant district attorney in Cleveland County and elsewhere, when he prosecuted defendants.

“I have tried cases and been in the trenches there in courtrooms for 38 years,” he said.

· Robert Don Gifford, an assistant U.S. attorney with the Western District based in Oklahoma City, serves as a federal prosecutor. He also is a tribal court judge working part-time with the Kaw and Iowa Indian tribes. Gifford, 42, is a member of the Board of Governors for the Oklahoma Bar Association.

“I think my varied background and desire to serve the community qualify me for this position,” Gifford said.

· Blaine Nice, an attorney with the law firm of Fellers Snider Blankenship Bailey and Tippens of Oklahoma City. Before joining the private law firm, Nice, 54, said he spent almost 25 years practicing law as a municipal attorney for the city of Norman, including service as the first assistant city attorney.

“Probably there isn’t any kind of law I haven’t done,” Nice said, including representing Norman in municipal court.

· Laura Shaeffer, a partner in the law firm of Shaeffer, Shaeffer & Kernel in Norman. Shaeffer has worked particularly in the areas of personal injury law, workers’ compensation and civil litigation.

Shaeffer could not be reached for comment on this story.

· Leasa Stewart, an attorney with the law firm of Gable Gotwals in Oklahoma City. Stewart represents clients in litigation in federal and state courts and also has an active appellate practice.

Stewart could not be reached for comment.

· Steve Stice, a special judge with the Cleveland County District Court, a position he has had since July 2010. Stice previously worked for several years as a criminal defense attorney. He was selected as a special judge by the other Cleveland County district court judges. His post is appointive, rather than elective.

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