The Hudson-Hall-Wheaton American Inn of Court

About our Namesakes

Robert D. Hudson

Robert D. Hudson was born in 1900. He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1921, and was appointed one of the first Tulsa County Common Pleas Judges in 1922 at age 22. In 1926, he was appointed to the district bench to which he was elected in 1928.

In 1929, he resigned from the bench at age 29 and entered private practice.

He was elected president of the Tulsa County Bar Association in 1943 as a write-in candidate. He became somewhat of a legend as a trial lawyer of forty years. Over that period he participated in many of Tulsa's major and historic cases. Mr. Hudson was one of the first Fellows selected from Oklahoma when the American College of Trial Lawyers was formed in the 1950s. Mr. Hudson exemplified the American Inns of Court goals of competence, civility and ethics more than any gentleman trial lawyer. He died in 1969 sitting in court at the Tulsa County Courthouse.

Amos T. Hall

Amos T. Hall was born in 1896. A self-taught lawyer, he passed the bar in 1925 after serving as custodian of the First Methodist Church. He was the first elected black judge in Oklahoma. He was named outstanding citizen of Tulsa by the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce.

Judge Hall was a close and personal friend of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, as chief counsel of the NAACP, always associated with Mr. Hall in significant Oklahoma race litigation. This was a tribute to both Mr. Hall's ability and their close personal relationship.

Amos Hall was a very kind, considerate and personable man. He had an innate humility that made him appear soft spoken. But when basic legal rights were involved, he was a dynamic advocate and a truly outstanding and articulate trial lawyer. He died in 1971.

Norma Frazier Wheaton

Mrs. Wheaton was born in 1899 and admitted to the bar of Oklahoma in 1927. She was the first woman president of the Tulsa County Bar Association in 1946. She was the first woman lawyer on the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association. She was the chair of the Insurance Section of the OBA for numerous years in the 1950s. She was the first names woman partner in a major Oklahoma law firm (Hudson, Hudson & Wheaton) in the late 1940s…twenty-five years before any other woman was made a partner.

Mrs. Wheaton's trial work was primarily in commercial law, domestic relations, insurance subrogation and life insurance law, as well as contested wills and inheritance matters. Mrs. Wheaton was bilingual, speaking fluent Spanish. She was a truly outstanding lawyer. She died in 1973.


Monthly Program Agenda: The Hudson-Hall-Wheaton Inn meets once a month from September through April (except in December).  The monthly meetings will usually follow this basic pattern:

                5:00 - 5:30     Social Hour - A cash bar, with beer and wine, is available.

                5:30 - 5:45     Dinner - The meals will be catered by Freddie's Bar-B-Que and Steak House.

                5:45 - 5:50     Introductions -  Speaker and Topic Introductions

                5:50 - 6:20   Pupilage Group Presentation:  Speaker presentation on topic.

                6:20 - 6:40     Prepared Questions - Pupilage group prepared questions for Speaker

                6:40 - 6:55     Audience Questions

                7:00               Announcements and Adjournment

Location: The September meeting is scheduled to be held on the Fourth Floor of the United States District Court, 333 West Fourth Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma, beginning in the Jury Assembly Room. The location of the monthly meetings for the rest of the year will be stated in your monthly meeting notice.  There have been a few occasions in the past when meeting dates and/or locations had to be changed. It is therefore very important that you read your monthly meeting notice. The notice also contains any other announcements of which members need to be advised between monthly meetings.  

R.S.V.P.:   A monthly meeting notice is sent to all members. All members are required to RSVP to the person designated on the notice by the date stated on the notice. This insures an accurate attendance count for meals and program materials. Failure to compy with this policy may cause membership to be revoked.

Attendance Policy for Masters, Barristers, Associates and Students:  This policy does not apply to Masters Emeritus or to Honorary Life Masters. A sign-in sheet will be provided at each monthly meeting.  All members should sign in upon arrival.  This information is used to determine compliance with the attendance policy of our chapter and for certification of CLE.  One of the strengths of the Inns of Court program is the substantial benefit conferred on the membership by the association of the members with each other for the purpose of improvement of the profession and the professional lives of the members.  In order to remain a member in good standing, a member may miss no more then two meetings during any Inn year.  A member's compliance with this policy and other Inn polices will be taken into consideration in evaluating a member for continued or future membership in the Inn.  If the records of the Inn reflect that a member has missed two meetings, the Membership Committee will send a letter to the member that advises the member that any additional unexcused absences may jeopardize the member's continued participation in the Inn.  Professional and personal conflicts may arise at any time, preventing a member from attending a meeting of the Inn, despite the best intentions of the member to attend.  If a situation prevents a member's attendance and it is brought to the attention of a member of the Membership Committee either before or after the meeting, extenuating circumstances can be taken into account.

Pupilage Groups: Members are assigned to one of six Pupilage Groups. Each group is responsible for conducting one monthly program for the Inn each year.  The programs consist of trial demonstrations, presentations and discussions designed to advance trial skills, respect for the judicial process, civility and ethics.

Membership:   The membership of the Inn is structured as follow: (1) Masters, who are judges, professors or attorneys with at least 15 years of legal experience and who are permanent members; (2) Barristers, who generally have six to fourteen years of legal experience and who serve three year terms; (3) Associates, who generally have one to six  years of legal experience and who serve two year terms; (4) senior Law Students who serve one year terms; and, Masters Emeritus and Honorary Life Masters who are permanent members.

Web site: You may obtain updated information throughout the year by visiting our web site at .   Special thanks to Judge Charles Hogshead for his work on creating and maintaining our website.


Credit:  Members receive 1.5 hours of CLE credit, including .25 hours of ethics, for each monthly meeting they attend.  The CLE chairperson distributes  individual attendance records at the January meeting.

Attendance:  Monthly attendance records for CLE purposes are kept directly off of the sign-in sheet.            

Written Materials:  In order for a program to qualify for  CLE credit, written materials must be provided by the group responsible for the monthly program. As a general guide, there should be 15-20 pages of substantive material per hour of presentation. Note: The two annual banquets may only be counted for CLE credit if written materials are provided.


        The national organization of the American Inns of Court is the American Inns of Court Foundation.  The address and telephone number of the Foundation are:

American Inns of Court Foundation
127 Peyton Street
Suite 201
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 684-3590
Fax (703) 684-3607
Web Site:


Each year the Executive Committee of the Hudson-Hall-Wheaton Chapter selects one member to receive the Thomas R. Brett award. Named for the United States District Judge who was instrumental in bringing all three chapters of the Inns of Court to the Northern District of Oklahoma, the award recognizes those qualities sought to be fostered through membership in the Inns of Court--excellence in legal ability, leadership, professionalism, civility and character.

      The recipients of the Thomas R. Brett Award are:

      1997            J. Warren Jackman, Esq.
      1998            Alfred B. Knight, Esq.
      1999            Bruce W. Freeman, Esq.
      2000            Edwin W. Ash, Esq.
      2001            Craig W. Hoster, Esq.
      2002            David L. Bryant, Esq..
      2003            Patricia Neel, Esq.
      2004            Phil Richards, Esq.
      2005            J Schaad Titus, Esq.
      2006            Barry Reynolds, Esq.
      2007            (No Award Given)
      2008            Ron Ricketts, Esq.
      2008            Jack R. Givens, Esq.
      2009            Steven K. Balman, Esq.
      2010            Susan Morgan, Esq.


The Outstanding Service Award was created in 2008.  Each year, the Hudson-Hall-Wheaton Executive Committee and Masters select one member to receive the Outstanding Service Award, to be presented  to a member who goes above and beyond the requirements of membership in contributing time and/or talents to the promotion and betterment of our Chapter.  Judges, Barristers and Associates, who are not eligible for the Thomas R. Brett Award are eligible for this award .

      The recipients of the Outstanding Service Award are:

      2007-2008            The Honorable Charles R. Hogshead
      2008-2009            The Honorable Charles R. Hogshead


The following persons have served as Presidents of the Hudson-Hall-Wheaton chapter:

      1995-1996            The Honorable David E. Winslow
      1996-1997            The Honorable Sam A. Joyner
      1997-1998            The Honorable Frank H. McCarthy
      1998-1999            The Honorable Dana L. Rasure
      1999-2000            The Honorable Gregory K. Frizzell
      2000-2001            The Honorable Linda G. Morrissey
      2001-2002            The Honorable Thomas Thornbrugh
      2002-2003            The Honorable Deirdre Dexter
      2003-2004            The Honorable Paul Cleary
      2004-2005            The Honorable Paul Cleary
      2005-2006            The Honorable Rebecca Brett Nightingale
      2006-2007            The Honorable Charles R. Hogshead
      2007-2008            The Honorable Sheila A. Condren
      2008-2009            The Honorable Mary F. Fitzgerald
      2009-2010            The Honorable William C. Kellough
      2010-2011            The Honorable David Youll
      2011-2012            The Honorable Gregory K. Frizzell
      2012-2013            The Honorable William C. Kellough
      2013-2014            The Honorable Douglas W. Golden
      2014-2015            The Honorable KurtG. Glassco




      President:  Honorable Deborrah Ludi Leitch 
      Counselor:  The Honorable Kurt G. Glassco 
      Treasurer:  Mr. J Schaad Titus, Esq. 
      Membership Chair  Mr. Craig A. Fitzgerald 
      __Inn AdministratorMr. Bryan M. Harrington, Esq. 
      __Inn AdministratorMs. Kristin F. Harrington, Esq. 
      Assigned-Seating ChairMs. Dru McQueen, Esq. 
      CLE ChairmanMr. Hugh M. Robert, Esq 
      Mentoring ChairMr. Steven K. Balman, Esq. 
      Name Tags ChairMs. Leslie B. McGuire, Esq. 
      Programs ChairMr. Phil R. Richards, Esq. 


       This description of the English Inns of Court is based upon and derived from the discussion of the Inns that appears at "Online Law -- Lawyers on the Web", a British legal website at

        The American Inns of Court are modeled upon the English Inns of Court.  English barristers -- lawyers who can appear in English courts -- belong to one of four Inns of Court:  Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, the Inner Temple, and the Middle Temple.
"Gray's Inn for walks,
Lincoln's for your call,
the Inner for a garden,
And the Middle for its Hall."

      The Inns of Court are ancient, unincorporated bodies of lawyers.  For five centuries and more, the Inns have had the power to call to the Bar those of their members who have duly qualified for the rank of Barrister-at-Law.  With the power of call goes the power to disbar and punish for misconduct, a power which has had to be exercised only infrequently.  In modern times, education for call to the Bar and discipline are largely the business of joint bodies, but the four Inns of Court -- Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, the Inner Temple, and the Middle Temple -- remain distinct, as friendly rivals, each with its own property, duties, and functions.  Robert Megarry, An Introduction To Lincoln's Inn (hereinafter, "Megarry").

Gray's Inn

        Gray's Inn was formerly the London palace of Lord Gray and is located north of High Holborn Street.  "Holborn" refers to the Hole Bourne, a stream which was a tributary of the Fleet River (and, ultimately, the Thames).  The Honorable Society of Gray's Inn traces its history to the de Grey family.  Many members of the de Grey family were associated with the law.  For example, Walter de Grey was Lord Chancellor in 1206-14.

        Gray's Inn rose to prominence during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603).  Members of the Inn still refer to "Good Queen Bess" with fondness and affection.  Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors was first performed at Grey's Inn in 1594.

        Distinguished members and honorary members of Gray's Inn include Sir William Gascoigne, Lord Chief Justice in the reign of King Henry V, Sir Francis Bacon, later Lord Verulam, Lord Chancellor (and inventor of the scientific method); Lord Macaulay, poet and man of letters; Edward Heath; Sir Winston Churchill; Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States (1932-45); and H.R.H. Charles, Prince of Wales.  The current Lord Chancellor, Lord Elwyn-Jones, is a member of Gray's Inn.

Lincoln's Inn

        Lincoln's Inn was formerly the London palace of the Earl of Lincoln.  Lincoln's Inn occupies eleven acres in central London, and  is situated in the rectangle formed by High Holborn Street on the north, Corey Street and the Royal Courts of Justice on the south, Chancery Lane on the east and Lincoln's Inn Fields on the west.  The Old Bailey is less than half a mile to the east.

        Lincoln's Inn, by tradition, is the oldest of the four Inns of Court.  The Inn's formal records, contained in the "Black Books" (so called because of their black covers), go back continuously to 1422.

        Some scholars think that the Ordinance of Edward I made in 1292 enabled and inspired the founding of the Inns.  That Ordinance placed both branches of the legal profession -- the barristers and the solicitors -- under the control of the judges, and "hastened the end of the clergy as lawyer's in the King's courts."  Megarry.  The new breed of professional lawyers that began to emerge, "needed places where they could congregate, and where apprentices could be housed."  Id.  The Inns of Court met those needs.

        Distinguished  members of Lincoln's Inn include Sir Thomas More (a man for all seasons); Sir Matthew Hale (who entered as a student in 1626); Earl of Mansfield (called to the Bar in 1730); and Lords Brougham, Eldon, and Erskine.  Other famous members of Lincoln's Inn include John Donne, Horace Walpole, William Penn, William Pitt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Dean Acheson.

Inner Temple

        The Inner Temple is situated in central London, and occupies a large area of land bounded by Fleet Street on the north and Victoria Embankment on the south.  The Inner Temple, or "Inner", occupies the long deserted premises of the Knights Templar, an order of chivalry that flourished during the Crusades.  The Crusades were military - religious expeditions that Europeans made to the "Holy Lands" -- Jerusalem and other Islamic territories.  Those expeditions figure prominently in the legends of Richard the Lion Hearted, Ivanhoe, and Robin Hood, and in the traditions of the Inner and Middle Temples.

        Distinguished members of the Inner Temple include Sir Edward Coke, the father of the common law; Geoffrey Chaucer; and James Boswell, biographer and friend of Dr. Johnson.

        The Inner Temple also figures prominently in fiction and literature.  Horace Rumpole is a member of the Temple.  Some of the action in a Sherlock Holmes story, A Scandal In Bohemia, takes place in the Inner Temple.

Middle Temple

        The Middle Temple occupies the same general area as the Inner Temple, and shares a common origin with the Inner.  One commentator has described the Middle Temple as "a beautiful bride" and the Inner as "her dull husband".  See Timothy Tyndale Daniell, The Lawyers (hereinafter "Daniell").

        The Temple divided into two separate societies in approximately 1500.  In the nearly five hundred years since the division, the Middle Temple has produced some great and distinguished lawyers:  Sir William Blackstone, author of the "Commentaries"; Lord Chancellors Clarendon, Somers, Hardwicke, Eldon, Finlay, Sankey, and Jowitt; and Lords Chief Justices Cockburn, Coleridge, and Reading.  See Daniell.  Other famous members include Charles Dickens, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Humphrey Gilbert (of Gilbert & Sullivan), and Edmund Burke.  Burke wrote "it is not what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason and justice, tell me I ought to do."  Id.

*   *   *

        The education of an English barrister is very different from that of an American lawyer.  Barristers earn an academic law degree (or its equivalent), and then take the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) at the Inns of Court School of Law in London.  Among other things, the BVC affords would-be barristers the opportunity to debate, to moot (hold mock trials), to attend court, and to marshall ("shadow" a judge).

        The one year BVC prepares the students for the next step in the education of a barrister, the pupilage.  Barristers practice in sets of "chambers", not law firms.  Many of the chambers are physically located at the Inns of Court.  The pupilage is a series of two or three six month internships - or "sixes" - in different sets of chambers.

        Pupilages are difficult and demanding.  Pupils are assigned to one or more pupilmasters or pupilmistresses, experienced barristers who organize training, allocate work and assess the performance of the prospective barristers.  The first "six" consists of watching and helping more experienced barristers, doing legal research and drafting documents.  At the end of the first "six," the pupil receives a certificate authorizing him to take on work of his own.  

        The transition to the second "six" is significant and quite daunting.  This is where you start to build your own reputation.  You have cases of your own, clients of your own, court appearances of your own resulting in cases won and lost.

        Pupils compete to obtain junior tenancy in chambers.  The competition is fierce.  Only about sixty percent (60%) of the students who obtain a pupilage secure a tenancy.  Those who succeed become "juniors".

        Junior barristers handle small cases on their own and occasionally assist senior barristers in large, important cases.  The senior, first chair barristers are referred to (in the context of the case) as "leaders" and "lead" the junior barristers.

        After several years of practice, a junior barrister may apply to the Lord Chancellor's office to become a Queen's Counsel, or "Q.C.".  Q.C.s are senior barristers, specialists in litigation, and the lawyers most likely to be appointed to senior judgeships.  A barrister who becomes a Q.C. is said to "take silk" because Q.C.s wear silk robes rather than the cloth robe of the junior barristers.  Q.C.s are also called "silks".
        The highest rank of membership in the Inns of Court is the "Bencher", or Master of the Bench.  The Benchers are the governing body of the Inn.  They meet periodically as a body in Council.  Benchers are elected by the Council.  It is customary to elect (i) all members of the Inn appointed to high judicial office, (ii) most practicing Q.C.s of more than five or six years standing in silk, and (iii) a few distinguished "juniors" (no matter what their age or years of practice).

        Benchers take precedence in the Inn according to the order of their call to the bench, "irrespective of any office or honor they may hold."  As a consequence, an ordinary lawyer can be senior to a judge, a prime minister or even a Royal Bencher (a member of the royal family who is called to the Bench).