Judge likes talking the law

Wynnewood native Scott Rowland (right), now a member of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, chats with Candace Blalock, former district judge here, during a recent meeting of the Garvin County Bar Association. (PV Democrat photo)

Talking about the law is something a Wynnewood native, now a member of a high state court, loves to do.

Scott Rowland appeared more than happy to talk legal matters when speaking in Pauls Valley before a room full of local attorneys, some Garvin County judges and even some family.

Rowland grew up on the streets of Wynnewood before graduating high school there back in 1983.

He went on to an appointment in 2017 to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

“This is my 26th year in law, most of that as a prosecutor,” Rowland told the PV Democrat moments before stepping in as the recent guest speaker at a meeting of the Garvin County Bar Association.

“What I really liked was going out there and lecturing on the law. When I was appointed to the court I was afraid there would be rules against that.

“I was happy to learn I could continue that as a judge. I like being able to speak to people on the law.”

With his local appearance in PV that’s exactly what Rowland did.

“I’m talking about criminal cases in our court, and I get to interact with colleagues.”

That seems to fit in nicely to Rowland’s feeling about being a member of the state court hearing cases involving criminal appeals.

“I’m very proud of that court,” he said. “There are no personalities, no egos in the court. Decisions are based only on the law.”

Pauls Valley attorney Dan Sprouse was among those especially pleased to have someone from these parts who’s achieved at a very high level.

“We’ve had a long history of having people in these positions,” Sprouse said, also referring to Garvin County producing three judges on the Oklahoma Supreme Court, including Alma Wilson, and a number of others playing key roles in the state’s history.

“He’s from Wynnewood and it’s important we recognize it’s a big honor to have a native on the Court of Criminal Appeals.”

Rowland and his family have had plenty of impact on the Wynnewood scene over the years, including his father and a couple of sisters stepping in to do their part on Wynnewood’s city council. He even has a sister who’s served as the city clerk there.

After graduating from Wynnewood High School he went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Political Science from the University of Oklahoma in 1987.

After earning his Juris Doctorate cum laude from the Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1994, Rowland served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Oklahoma.

He then was general counsel to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs followed by an 11-year stint as first assistant district attorney in the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office.

He has lectured throughout the United States on various areas of criminal constitutional procedure, authored numerous articles on Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment law and has been an adjunct instructor of criminal and constitutional law at Oklahoma State University at Oklahoma City since 1998.

He was inducted into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame in 2016.

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