Oklahoma Supreme Court
2021 OK 36, SCBD-7059
On May 24, 2021, the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association filed an Application for the suspension of Oklahoma Bar Association members who failed to pay dues for the year 2021 as required by the Rules Creating and Controlling the Oklahoma Bar Association (Rules), 5 O.S. 2011, ch. 1, app. 1, art. VIII, ' 1. The Board of Governors recommended that the members whose names appear on Exhibit A attached to the Application be suspended from membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association and from the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma, as provided by the Rules, 5 O.S. 2011, ch. 1, app. 1, art. VIII, ' 2.
2021 OK 35, SCBD-7058
On May 24, 2021, the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association filed an Application for the suspension of members who failed to comply with mandatory legal education requirements for the year 2020 as required by Rules 3 and 5 of the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE Rules), 5 O.S. 2011, ch. 1, ch. 1, app. 1-B. The Board of Governors recommended the members, whose names appear on Exhibit A attached to the Application, be suspended from membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association and prohibited from the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma, as provided by Rule 6 of the MCLE Rules.
¶0 The Oklahoma Bar Association commenced disciplinary proceedings against Jason Matthew Fields. The Professional Responsibility Tribunal found that Fields committed professional misconduct in receiving attorney's fees that were not approved by the probate court, failing to cooperate in the Oklahoma Bar Association's investigation, and breaching his Diversion Program Agreement. The Tribunal recommended this Court suspend Fields from the practice of law for two years and one day and require Fields to reimburse the Estate of Barbara Jean Dillman the legal fees he received. We hold that Fields's conduct warrants a one-year suspension, and we order Fields to repay the Estate the attorney's fees he received and to pay the costs of these disciplinary proceedings. Peter Haddock, Assistant General Counsel of the Oklahoma Bar Association, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Complainant.
¶0 Parents seek reversal of judgments terminating their parental rights for heinous and shocking physical abuse following jury verdicts entered in Oklahoma County. They challenge the admission of evidence of their pending criminal child abuse charges and the inclusion of the charges in a jury instruction. Parents argue the evidence was irrelevant, highly prejudicial and violated their right to a fair trial. We hold the trial court committed reversible error by admitting the evidence, and we remand for a new trial.
2021 OK 32, 119385
¶0 The appellee, Highpointe Energy filed a quiet title action in the District Court of McClain County against the appellants, the Viersens, and others. The disputed property concerns mineral interests from two different chains of title. One chain stemmed from a bankruptcy proceeding, while the other chain arose from a mortgage foreclosure proceeding and subsequent sheriff's sale. The trial court determined that the chain resulting from the foreclosure/sheriff's sale was superior to the bankruptcy chain. The Viersens appealed and we retained the cause. We hold that because the bankruptcy purchasers could secure no greater rights in the disputed property than the bankruptcy trustee held, the purchasers from the mortgage foreclosure proceeding hold the superior title.
2021 OK 31, 118033
¶0 A physician's professional conduct was examined by the Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision. During the disciplinary proceeding a stipulated protective order was entered by the Board. The professional complaint against the physician was dismissed, and approximately two years later the physician requested the Board modify its protective order to allow the physician to use three documents in a different legal proceeding. The Board refused, and the physician appealed. We retained the appeal. We hold: (1) The stipulated blanket protective order making all documents in the administrative proceeding subject to the order and prohibiting their use in any other legal proceeding is contrary to the public policy expressed by the Oklahoma Open Records Act and the Oklahoma Discovery Code; and (2) The physician's claim seeking access to the initial report of misconduct is not properly before the Court.
Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals
No published opinions this week.
Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
¶1 In this mortgage foreclosure proceeding, Richard Rice appeals from the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee, (the Bank) and the court's denial of his counterclaim for breach of contract. 2 From our review of the summary judgment record, we affirm.
Upcoming Oral Arguments
Court of Civil Appeals
119,462 - Dustin Hellard, vs. Compsource Mutual Insurance Company
This case is set for oral argument on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., in the Court Room of the Court of Civil Appeals, 1915 N. Stiles, Suite 357, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
117,532 - Lacclaudia Samuels, vs. Raphael T. Glapion and Raphael T. Glapion, P.C., vs. West Ylla Gosney, Robert Ylla, Sabre Weathers
This case is set for oral argument before Division III of the Court of Civil Appeals, consisting of Presiding Judge Trvor S. Pemberton, Chief Judge Barbara G. Swinton, and Judge Robert D. Bell. The argument will be held Thursday, July 8, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., in the Court Room of the Court of Civil Appeals, 1915 N. Stiles, Suite 357, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Click here to read Dispositions Other than by Published Opinions.
Pittsburg County Bar Holds Banquet
The Pittsburg County Bar Association will hold a banquet on June 10, 2021, at Pete’s Place Restaurant in Krebs, in recognition and celebration of Law Day. Guest speakers are Judge Jane Wiseman, Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, and Judge Dana Kuehn, presiding judge of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. More than 100 guests are expected including members of the McAlester High Mock Trial Team, which won the Oklahoma championship.
Visit this page to keep up with County Law Day activities, as we get them. https://www.okbar.org/lawday/countychairpersons/
In the News
From the article by Samantha Vicent: As part of its efforts to commemorate the 100th year since the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Oklahoma Bar Association dedicated the bulk of its May journal issue to stories about Black Oklahomans and legal achievements they’ve made since statehood.
Among the most notable findings, according to one researcher: Oklahoma at one point before 1921 had more Black lawyers practicing than any other state — estimated at more than 60, at least four times the number in Texas at the same time. Then came the events of May 31 and June 1, 1921.
Applicants for July 2021 Bar Exam
The Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct impose on each member of the bar the duty to aid in guarding against the admission of candidates unfit or unqualified because of deficiency in either moral character or education. To aid in that duty, the following is a list of applicants for the bar examination to be given July 27-28, 2021.
The Board of Bar Examiners requests that members examine the Applicants for July 2021 Bar Exam, and bring to the Board’s attention in a signed letter any information which might influence the board in considering the moral character and fitness to practice of any applicant for admission.
JNC Voting Underway
If you have received your JNC ballot for District 5 and 6, please return it to the Oklahoma Bar Center by 5:00 p.m. on June 18. The election is to fill vacancies on the volunteer Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission.
- Joel C. Hall, Oklahoma City
- Jimmy R. Harmon, Oklahoma City
- Gary W. Wood, Oklahoma City
- David K. Petty, Guymon
- Jason P. Blose, Wellston
June 4 - Ballots mailed to active attorneys in good standing in Districts 5 and 6
June 18, 5 p.m. - Ballots must be received at the Oklahoma Bar Center
June 21 - Ballots tabulated and election results posted
Women In Law Committee Hosts Blood Drive
If you find yourself near the Oklahoma Bar Center on June 14, 2021, right after lunch, you can support a good cause for the Women In Law Committee's blood drive. Blood supplies are low and your donation helps. Look for the "bloodmobile" in the Bar Center parking lot at NW 18th and Lincoln Blvd. Thanks Women in Law Committee!
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Amazon Sidewalk- Why it is important for lawyers to opt out now!
by Jim Calloway
During the past year, many people got more Amazon deliveries than ever before. But on June 8 Amazon stealthily delivered something to you that you should reject. Read more.