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Vol. 1 | No. 9 | march 3, 2021
Courts And More Leaderboards

Supreme Court of Oklahoma

STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. NEWARK

2021 OK 11  | SCBD-6939
Decided 03/02/2021

¶ 0 Respondent, a lawyer licensed in Oklahoma, received a one-year probated suspension of his license to practice law in the State of Texas. Pursuant to Rule 7.7 of the Oklahoma Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings, 5 O.S. 2011 (as amended June 18, 2018) ch. 1, app. 1-A, the Oklahoma Bar Association filed in this Court documentation demonstrating the suspension by the Texas State Bar. Upon order of this Court, Respondent was directed to show cause why a final order of professional discipline should not be imposed on him by this Court. Respondent requested this Court impose no further discipline and that there be no hearing. The Bar requested a hearing to determine the basis if any for mitigation of discipline. This Court ordered the Professional Responsibility Tribunal to conduct a hearing to make a recommendation on appropriate discipline and allow Respondent the opportunity to submit mitigation evidence. After the hearing, the trial panel and the Bar recommended that Respondent be issued a public censure as discipline. Respondent urged that a private censure was warranted. After de novo review, this Court finds that Respondent is guilty of misconduct and the appropriate discipline is public censure. RESPONDENT IS ORDERED DISCIPLINED BY PUBLIC CENSURE AND IS DIRECTED TO PAY COSTS OF THIS PROCEEDING, WHICH SHALL BE DUE NOT LATER THAN NINETY DAYS AFTER THIS OPINION BECOMES FINAL

STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. ROBINSON

2021 OK 10, SCBD-6982
Decided 03/01/2021

¶ 1 The State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association (Complainant) has presented this Court with an application to approve the resignation of Eugene Robinson (Respondent), OBA No. 10119, from membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association. Respondent requests that he be allowed to relinquish his license to practice law and to resign his bar membership pending disciplinary proceedings, as detailed in his affidavit prepared in compliance with Rule 8.1, Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), 5 O.S. 2011 ch.1, app. 1-A. As provided in Rule 8.2 of the RGDP, we "may enter an order approving the resignation pending disciplinary proceedings" upon the filing of Respondent's affidavit in this Court.

Court of Criminal Appeals in the State of Oklahoma

No published decisions this week.

Court of Civil Appeals in the State of Oklahoma

No published decisions this week. 

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Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

Division I

117,426  – Joe Jacks and Rita Jacks, Plaintiffs/Appellees, v. Samuel Crilly and Kimberly Crilly, Defendants/Appellants. Appeal from he District Court of Cleveland County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Loi A. Puckett, Trial Judge. Joe Jacks and Rita Jacks (Appellees/Plaintiffs) sued Rita's son and his wife, Samuel Crilly and Kimberly Crilly (Appellants/Defendants).  The underlying controversy relates to a living arrangement made between the parties that went awry.  The parties agreed the Jackses would finish a significant part of the Crilly's house as their separate living space in exchange for the right to live there.  After the Jackses spent time and money finishing their living space, and building a deck and separate entrance, the Crillys forced Joe and Rita to move out.  The Jackses claimed the Crillys broke their agreement and fraudulently induced them into finishing a portion of the Crilly’s house, and are now  to unjustly enjoying the benefits of the Jackses' investment.  After a six-day jury trial, the court entered a Journal Entry of Judgment incorporating the jury's verdict awarding the Jackses actual and punitive damages.  The Crillys appeal based on three categories of errors: first, that cumulative evidentiary errors require reversal; second, that damages awarded by the jury are excessive as a matter of law; and finally, that the award of attorney fees was not authorized by law.  We find the trial court erred in interpreting 12 O.S. §936 when it awarded attorney’s fees and costs.  The cause is affirmed in part and reversed in part.  Opinion by GOREE, P.J.; PRINCE, J., and PEMBERTON, J. (sitting by designation), concur. Feb. 25, 2021 

117,875 – Brooks Holding, LLC, Plaintiff/Appellee, vs. Steven Hughes, Defendant/Appellant, and Heather Hughes, John Doe, Occupant, Defendants.  Appeal from the District Court of McClain County, Oklahoma.  Honorable Leah Edwards, Trial Judge.  This appeal arises out of an action for breach of contract and foreclosure that Brooks Holding, LLC (“Appellee”), initiated against Steven Hughes (“Appellant”), after Appellant ceased making payments to Appellee due under a promissory note.  Appellant has raised two primary issues in this appeal: first, whether the jury instructions and ensuing verdict awarding damages for breach of contract ran afoul of Oklahoma law; and second, whether the trial court’s subsequent foreclosure order was proper.  We find that the jury instructions reflected the Oklahoma law; the jury verdict was based on competent evidence; and the trial court’s foreclosure order comported with the law.  For these reasons, we AFFIRM.  Opinion by PRINCE, J.; GOREE, P.J., and MITCHELL, J., concur. Feb. 25, 2021 

Division II 

117,972 – (Companion to Case No. 118,331) – Cheryl Lasselle, Respondent/Appellant, vs. Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent Inc., Applicant/Appellee, and Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Appellee.  Appeal from an Order of the Corporation Commission.  Appellant Cheryl Lasselle seeks review of Order No. 694482 of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (Commission), which granted Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent Inc.’s (Newfield) application to pool her mineral interests, along with others claiming a right to drill within a spacing unit.  Lasselle asserts that she is not an owner subject to forced pooling under 52 O.S. Supp.2017, § 87.1(e) because her mineral interests are subject to an existing oil and gas lease vested in Newfield.  Prior to Newfield’s application, nonparties within the same spacing unit brought a quiet title suit, alleging that their leases had expired because Newfield’s wells ceased producing in paying quantities.  Whether Newfield’s lease of Lasselle’s mineral interest remains in force depends on production by these same wells.  Though Lasselle took no position in the Commission proceedings, she declined to stipulate the lease was held by production, and had taken prior actions consistent with the position the lease had expired.  Under the facts of record and applicable law, we determine that the Commission’s inclusion of Lasselle in its pooling order was supported by law and substantial evidence, and affirm.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division II, by HIXON, P.J.; FISCHER, V.C.J., and RAPP, J., concurs specially. Feb. 25, 2021 

Division IV 

118,331 – (Companion with Case No. 117,972) – Tributary Resources, LLC, Protestant/Appellant, vs. Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent, Inc., Applicant/Appellee, and Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Appellee.  Appeal from an Order of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.  Tributary Resources, LLC (Tributary) appeals Oklahoma Corporation Commission (Commission) Order No. 702361, which granted Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent, Inc.’s (Newfield) motion to dismiss Tributary’s protest of Newfield’s location exception applications.  Based on our review of the record and applicable law, we affirm Commission’s Order No. 702361.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, by HIXON, P.J.; FISCHER, V.C.J., and RAPP, J., concur. Feb 25, 2021 

119,172 – Luis Aragon De Galvez, Plaintiff/Appellant, vs. Braum’s, Inc., Defendant/Appellee.  Appeal from an Order of the District Court of Cleveland County, Hon. Thad Balkman, Trial Judge.  The plaintiff, Luis Aragon de Galvez (Galvez), appeals a Judgment for Defendant Braum’s, Inc. (Braum’s), granting Braum’s Motion for Summary Judgment.  This appeal proceeds under Okla.Sup.Ct.R. 1.36, 12 O.S. Supp. 2020, Ch. 15, app. 1.  This is a wrongful termination action based upon a claim of termination because of jury duty.  The action is authorized by Title 38 O.S.2011, §§ 34, 35.  Galvez must prove:   

(1) employment; (2) absence from employment by reason of the employee's having been required to serve as a juror; and (3) discharge from employment because of absence due to jury service.  The first two elements are established.  However, Galvez has no direct evidence to prove the third element and relies upon circumstantial evidence and credibility.  After examination of the Record and the applicable law, this Court concludes that there are no substantial issues of material fact related to the third element and that the facts are in favor of Braum’s.  Therefore, the summary judgment is affirmed.  AFFIRMED.  Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, by RAPP, J.; FISCHER, V.C.J., and HIXON, P.J., concur. Feb. 25, 2021 

 

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Oklahoma Judicial Center Reopens to the Public

THE OFFICE OF THE APPELLATE COURT CLERK WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC BEGINNING MARCH 1, 2021. IF YOU ARE ILL FOR ANY REASON OR HAVE SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING. IF YOU DO ENTER THE BUILDING, YOU MUST GO THROUGH SECURITY AND YOU MUST WEAR A MASK. ONCE YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE PROCESS OF FILING WITH THE CLERK, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO LEAVE THE BUILDING.

On March 1, 2021, in all civil and criminal matters, appellate filings will be accepted by:

  1. Delivering the documents to be filed to the Office of the Appellate Clerk on the ground floor of the Judicial Center during regular office hours from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays, unless otherwise posted on OSCN.
  2. If you prefer, you may continue to leave the documents to be filed at the Oklahoma Appellate Clerk’s Office located at the Oklahoma Judicial Center on a table in the lobby by the elevator located at the ADA Accessible Entry on the west side of the building. The elevator lobby is adjacent to the steps leading to the front door. Anyone leaving documents near the ADA Accessible elevator is required to call 405-556-9400, to alert the clerk’s office that documents to be filed were placed as instructed. No file stamped copies will be provided unless the filer provides a stamped, self-addressed envelope with the documents.
  3. Deposit with the U.S. Postal Service, or Third party commercial carrier delivery are also acceptable methods for filing.

In Memoriam | Judge Carol M. Hansen

 

Carol Helen Montgomery, 91, was born in Oklahoma City on July 3rd, 1929, to Albertis and Marie (Cheney) Montgomery. She passed away February 22, 2021 at her home in Forest Park. Carol was the little sister to brothers William and Alan Montgomery. Carol attended Wilson Elementary, Taft Junior High and Classen High School, graduating in 1946. She went to Oklahoma City University where she was in Gamma Phi Beta and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1950. She met the charming basketball player, Paul Hansen, and they were married from 1951 until his death in 1993. Carol and Coach Paul raised 5 daughters, while welcoming players into their home, providing food, tutoring and advice as needed. She engaged in the traditional roles of homemaking, PTA, and church functions. At age 42, she entered OCU Law School, earned a Juris Doctorate in 1974 and embarked on a long, distinguished career in the legal/judicial field.

Carol began her career as judicial counsel to Justice John B. Doolin of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. While living in Stillwater, she opened a five-county area office for Legal Aid of Western Oklahoma and served as the managing attorney. She also served as Municipal Judge of the City of Stillwater. In 1984, Carol became Marshall of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. In 1985 she was appointed by Gov. George Nigh as Judge of the Court of Appeals. She was elected to that position in 1986 and was re-elected on statewide retention ballot until her retirement January 1, 2012. In 1993, Carol was elected Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the first woman to serve as Chief Judge of any appellate court in Oklahoma.

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TO MEMBERSHIP IN THE OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION

NOTICE OF HEARING ON PETITION FOR REINSTATEMENT
ASHLEY K. ADRIANSE, SCBD # 7007
9:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Rule 11.3(b), Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings, 5 O.S., ch. 1, app. 1-A, that a hearing will be held to determine if Ashley K. Adrianse should be reinstated to active membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association.

THIS FRIDAY!

Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft OneDrive Storage

Most security experts recommend storing critical data in the cloud. But such cloud storage must be safe and secure. It also needs to be easy to access.

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