Courtroom crowd different than church congregation

Kurt G. Glassco stepped up to the podium in the Tulsa District Court and surveyed the audience.
“In my Sunday job as pastor of the Harvard Avenue United Methodist Church, we would be taking up a collection now,” he said. “This is a larger group than I have on Sunday.”
“But, the cannons of judicial ethics prohibit collections,” he added.
The joke seemed to relax Glassco, who had just taken the oath of office as a Tulsa County judge for the 14th Judicial District.
Glassco and Carlos J. Chappelle had been sworn in during private ceremonies beforehand so they could begin their judicial work. The formal ceremony was an opportunity for Gov. Brad Henry, fellow judges, family and friends to celebrate their new positions.
Looking at his wife and daughters, Glassco recalled his tension during the selection period.
“I kept wondering when he (Henry) would call,” he said. “I felt like I was in purgatory, and Methodists don’t believe in purgatory.
“When the call came on my cell phone, I was distracted by my daughter, and the connection was broken. My daughter simply said, ‘Dad, don’t worry. If it was the governor, he will call back.’ He did.”
Glassco said his desire to become an attorney began when he was 16 years old.
It was then that a Tulsa Police Department officer, Charlie Jones, also a youth minister at his church, went on a call. There was a shooting, and Jones’ partner was killed.
“Dad knew I was interested in the case and allowed me to watch the trial,” he said.
Prosecutors were Buddy Fallis and District Judge Ron Shaffer. Pat Malloy was the defense attorney, and Fred Nelson was the judge.
Glassco learned from the prosecution and defense but decided the judge had the best job because he “got to take a recess when he wanted to.”
Fast forwarding a number of years, Glassco said he had a case in front of Shaffer.
“I don’t remember the specifics of the case, but I made some mistakes,” he said. “Judge Shaffer scolded me in private about those miscues.”
Glassco’s professional heroes are attorneys and war heroes Tommy Frazier and Darwin Brown, who taught valuable lessons about being a lawyer.
“I have spent 27 years practicing law,” Glassco said. “And right now, I am making a promise to the silk-stocking lawyers that I will make and keep office appointments. And to the street lawyers, my phone number is listed.”

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