Spencer Fane attorney John Browning has been honored with the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, which recognizes outstanding work that fosters the public’s understanding of law and the legal system. It is the ABA’s highest honor in recognition of this purpose.
John and his fellow honorees were honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on July 12 when ABA President Reginald Turner presented the Silver Gavels. The recognized works focus on such matters as gender violence, civil rights, legal history, cold cases, discrimination, civics, and the pursuit of justice.
As one of the 2022 honorees, John was honored for his role in conceiving of, curating, and writing much of the content for the Oklahoma Bar Journal’s May 2021 special issue devoted to Black legal history in Oklahoma. The issue, released to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, featured John’s articles about the Tulsa Race Massacre and Oklahoma’s pioneering early Black lawyers, as well as articles about milestone civil rights cases originating in the state.
The Silver Gavel Award has been annually presented by the ABA since 1958. Eligible categories include books, documentaries, drama and literature, newspapers, magazines, and radio and television. Winners are selected on the basis of the work’s impact on the public; thoroughness and accuracy in presentation of the issues; its creativity, originality, and effectiveness in presenting the information; and the educational value of the legal information or issues treated.
John and the Oklahoma Bar Journal won top honors in the magazine category; fellow honorees include The Washington Post and Amazon Studios in the newspaper and documentary categories, respectively.
At Spencer Fane, John views his role as a trial lawyer to be that of a problem-solver for his clients. Whether it’s analyzing a case’s potential for early resolution through a dispositive motion, working with a client to develop a defensive trial strategy, or putting his extensive writing and media experience to use in helping a client protect its brand in the public eye, John brings a pragmatic, problem-solving approach. John is also a former Justice on the Fifth Court of Appeals.