Remembering Former UND Law Professor Leo Whinery, 1955-1959

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News Article

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School of Law


Leo Whinery, former Associate Professor at the UND School of Law, passed away November 11, 2012 at the age of 86.

After leaving UND Law, Whinery joined the faculty at the Oklahoma University College of Law in 1959, where he taught for more than 40 years. He retired from full-time status in 2003. He taught courses on evidence and forensic evidence and also was presiding judge for the Norman Municipal Criminal Court from 1960 to 1978.

"Leo Whinery was one of the most outstanding legal scholars and teachers ever associated with the University of Oklahoma," OU President David Boren said. "He was known internationally as a leading expert in the field of evidence. Above all, he was a caring member of the OU family."

Boren said that even after Whinery's retirement, he and his wife, Doris Whinery, continued to host the annual OU Cousins picnic, a gathering of U.S. and international students.

"Molly and I were both privileged to have Leo Whinery as our professor in law school and lifelong friend," Boren said.

Whinery was an associate professor of law at the University of North Dakota from 1955 to 1959 before he joined OU's staff. He began his law career as an instructor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

He was a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, was chairman of its Evidence Code Committee and was a member of the Uniform Laws Committee. He also had memberships in the American Bar Association and the American Law Institution.

Whinery also was a member of the National Judicial College faculty and served two terms as chairman of the college's Faculty Council. He received the 1991 Erwin N. Griswold Award for Teaching Excellence for his contributions to judicial education in the United States.

Whinery also was the recipient of the Oklahoma Bar Association's Liberty Bell Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Administration of Justice.