This week the Stillwater Public Library is hosting two interesting and helpful programs related to legal issues.
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Officer Tom Comstock will hold a public forum on “Police and the Community.” The program is an open discussion about public/police relations and is part of the SPD’s Community Outreach Program.
Comstock will be discussing topics such as the actions community members can take to assist the police, safe ways to respond should you get pulled over or stopped by an officer and types of responses that are specifically be illegal.
The program is not just about how YOU should respond, but also about how the police do. Comstock will be discussing what to do if you witness inappropriate actions by the police and what you would like to see from the police. What type of community involvement and interactions would you like to see?
As we hope you know, two of the library’s core tenets are openness and accessibility. We applaud the police department for doing this program and for their efforts to be transparent and open to the public. We hope you will join us in this important public discussion.
On Friday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Payne County attorneys return to the library for the free “Ask a Lawyer” program. You are invited to the library to meet face-to-face with a local attorney and ask legal questions free of charge. Questions on most legal issues can be asked, including those involving consumer problems, family law, wills and estate planning, property, personal injury and criminal issues. Participants are asked to limit their questions to those not involving current in-court cases.
Local attorneys will provide each participant with advice on what steps are needed to resolve the legal problems. All questions are confidential, and several attorneys will be on hand at once to provide a wider base of legal knowledge. Participants are encouraged to bring a list of questions for the attorneys, as well as any documents concerning the issue.
Why bother attending the event? Sometimes, we have smaller legal issues that we don’t believe warrant making a trip to an attorney. This program is a great way to relieve those nagging legal issues you may have been carrying around all year, and sometimes, you find out that the little, nagging issue is actually very important and needs immediate attention.
“Ask-a-Lawyer” is also one of the few chances you have to get access to attorneys who have experience in such a wide variety of issues. Although attorneys do not “specialize” here in Oklahoma, attorneys often have much more experience in certain areas. We always try to pair you up with the attorney who has the most experience in the area of your legal issue.
Most importantly, it is a chance to get correct advice. As “Law Day” chairman Jimmy Oliver has said, “The internet has changed the way people receive information. Unfortunately, this can lead to people receiving incomplete or inaccurate information about legal topics when searching on the Web and speaking to people who aren't lawyers.
“With ‘Ask a Lawyer,’ citizens can speak with a licensed local attorney to get correct legal advice from someone knowledgeable about and trained on the topic." I highly concur. You may be able to get away with getting an apple pie recipe off the Web, but don’t try it with legal issues!
The event is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. “Ask-a-Lawyer” is a part of “Law Day,” a national event aimed at providing the public with access to and knowledge of the legal system, while highlighting the role of attorneys in the community.
Last, because of the potential for severe weather tonight, the OSU Science Café planned for 6:30 p.m. at the library is postponed. We will send out the rescheduled date when we receive it. Stay safe!