Service to the ‘Boss’ is Priority

Maybe Supreme Court Justice John Reif doesn’t like people to fuss over him, but he didn’t have a choice on Jan. 23.
That was the day that family and friends crowded the Oklahoma Supreme Court Chambers in Oklahoma City to watch the state’s newest justice take the oath of office. His predecessor — at Reif’s request — Retired Justice Robert E. Lavender, administered the oath.
This brief speech, Reif said, is to give the people — our boss — a look at their new justice.
Gov. Brad Henry led the state dignitaries in honoring the new justice.
During his remarks, the governor read from two letters supporting Reif in the nomination process, saying these people had a better understanding and in-depth knowledge of the newly appointed justice.
The new justice took the moment to thank family and friends for the support he received throughout this career, starting with the dream to be a police officer, through law school and on to the judiciary.
He noted his various experiences, particularly as an Owasso police officer, when the ‘‘young, green and eager’’ officers were reined in and given guidance by Trooper Marvin Culver. That reigning in continued when he had the opportunity to become a Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney under S.M. ‘‘Buddy’’ Fallis.
Reif grinned as he noted those years when he learned about the law, saying that he either addressed the district attorney as Mr. Fallis or boss.
‘‘I think that today is the first time I ever called him Buddy,’’ he said. ‘‘I also can’t say enough about my colleagues on the district court or Court of Civil Appeals. They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village full of judicial colleagues and attorneys to raise a judge.’’
During weeks leading up to the ceremony, Reif visited with other justices and received very important reminders — ‘‘be sure to thank your wife and the governor.’’
He thanked his wife Aylo for her support and Gov. Henry for his selection.
‘‘I pledge to you, governor to serve in an honorable manner to you and to our boss — the people.’’

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