History of the William J. Holloway Inn of Court
From its inception, the William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court has been affiliated with the Oklahoma City University School of Law. United States District Judge Layn R. Phillips, an active member of the Luther L. Bohanon American Inn of Court of Oklahoma City, taught as an adjunct professor at the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Judge Phillips' experience at the OCU School of Law proved pivotal in the formation of the William J. Holloway, Jr. Inn. Because of Judge Phillips positive impression of the OCU School of Law, he believed it would be advantageous for the Oklahoma City legal community to form an Inn of Court to be affiliated with OCU's School of Law.
Judge Phillips discussed his idea with the OCU Law Dean, Stuart B. Strasner, and judges and leading lawyers in the community. Judge Phillips envisioned an Inn that would have participation not only from the bench but also from the bar. He thought the Master of the Bench membership of the Inn should consist of outstanding lawyers with diverse practice areas from both the defense and plaintiff bars and judges from trial and appellate courts. The Inn would facilitate the integration of law students and young attorneys in the profession and focus on instilling the highest ethical principles and civility among lawyers.
Support for the formation of the OCU Inn was overwhelming. Members of the Luther L. Bohanon Inn assisted in the planning of the William J. Holloway, Jr. Inn. In the early fall of 1989, the American Board of Trial Advocates with Duke Halley as President presented Judge Phillips with seed funding in the amount of $2,000 to assist in the formation of the Inn. In late December of 1989, an Executive Committee was formed with Judge Phillips as chair. The tasks of the Executive Committee were to issue membership invitations, decide program topics, make assignments, and provide leadership for the Inn.
On January 30, 1990, the Executive committee held its initial formal meeting and established an Invitation and Membership Committee, a Program Committee, and a Budget and Entertainment committee. At that meeting, Judge Phillips was authorized to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Inn of Court Foundation where he received the formal charter of the Inn from President Sherman L. Cohn. Accordingly, on June 1, 1990, Judge Phillips accepted the formal charter for the American Inn of Court CV. Later, by a vote of the membership, the name of the Inn was formally changed to the William J. Holloway, Jr. American Inn of Court in honor of Judge William J. Holloway, Jr. of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.