Supreme Court of Oklahoma
STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. BURTON
2021 OK 9 | Case Number: 6846
¶0 The Complainant charged the Respondent with three counts of professional misconduct that included failure to competently represent clients, failure to be diligent in representation of clients, and failure to communicate effectively with clients. In addition, the Complainant charged the Respondent with mishandling of client funds, creating a conflict of interest, failure to withdraw after termination, charging unreasonable fees, misrepresenting facts during the investigation, dishonesty, and failure to timely and adequately respond to the investigation. Having found clear and convincing evidence to support all three counts, the Professional Responsibility Tribunal recommended the Respondent be disbarred. We hold there is clear and convincing evidence that the totality of the Respondent's conduct warrants disbarment. The Respondent is ordered to pay the costs as herein provided within ninety days after this opinion becomes final.
STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. SMITH
2021 OK 8 | Case Number: SCBD-7008
ORDER OF IMMEDIATE INTERIM SUSPENSION
¶1 The Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA), in compliance with Rules 7.1 and 7.2 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), has forwarded to this Court certified copies of the Probable Cause Affidavit, Information, Plea of Guilty, and Journal Entry of Deferred Sentencing, in which William Donald Smith entered pleas of guilty to one count of Driving a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol, a misdemeanor, in violation of 47 O.S. Supp. 2018, § 11-902(A)(2), to one count of Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, in violation of 63 O.S.2011, § 2-405, and to one count of Transporting Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage, a misdemeanor, in violation of 37A O.S. Supp. 2018, § 6-101(A)(7).
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.
Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
118,092 - State of Oklahoma ex rel, Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement, Plaintiff/Appellee, vs. Antonio Wayne Pitts, Defendant/Appellant. Appeal from the District Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Honorable Lynne McGuire, Trial Judge.The appellant challenges an order denying his motion to vacate a child support judgment entered against him, as modified several times, most recently in 2016. The appellant claims that the trial court was without jurisdiction to enter the original order, or any subsequent modification, and that the orders violate several of the appellant’s constitutional rights. None of the appellant’s claims, which are rooted in the theory that the appellant is not subject to the general law because he has renounced his state and federal citizenship, have merit. The trial court’s denial of the motion to vacate is AFFIRMED. Opinion by MITCHELL, J.; GOREE, P.J., and PRINCE, J., concur. Feb. 19, 2021
118,221 - Nahzi Soleymani, Plaintiff/Appellant, vs. Stylepro’s Inc., d/b/a Great Clips for Hair, Defendant/Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Honorable Jefferson D. Sellers, Trial Judge. At issue in this appeal is whether the trial court abused its discretion with respect to the amount awarded to Appellant for attorney fees. The appeal arises out of litigation that the Appellant, Nahzi Soleymani, initiated against Appellee Style Pro’s Inc., d/b/a Great Clips for Hair, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), seeking overtime wages, liquidated damages, and damages for retaliatory discharge. We find that the trial court’s determination of attorney fees was reasonable in light of the facts in the record and did not represent an abuse of discretion. We, therefore, AFFIRM. Opinion by PRINCE, J.; GOREE, P.J., and MITCHELL, J., concur.
118,434 - R.W.M. Limited Partnership, an Oklahoma Limited Partnership, Plaintiff/Appellee, vs. Anthem, An Oklahoma General Partnership, Defendant/Appellant. Appeal from the District Court of Cleveland County, Oklahoma. Honorable Jeff Virgin, Trial Judge. Following the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to RWM, the trial court denied Anthem’s motion for new trial. We affirm the trial court’s decision denying Anthem’s motion for new trial. Opinion by GOREE, P.J.; MITCHELL, J., and SWINTON, C.J. (sitting by designation) concur.
118,977 - MJ Goetz Bonding, LLC, and Kenneth D. Suggs, Plaintiffs/Appellants, vs. City of Bartlesville, A Municipal Corporation, Defendant/Appellee. Appeal from the District Court of Washington County, Oklahoma. Honorable Linda A. Thomas, Trial Judge. This action concerns the appellants’ allegations that the city of Bartlesville is allowing raw sewage to back up onto their property via a drainage ditch for which the city has an easement. The plaintiffs sued for damages and injunctive relief under both tort and contract theories. They also requested a declaratory judgment that the city’s zoning of the land in question was contrary to law. The city moved for dismissal, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The trial court, without a hearing and without affording any opportunity for the plaintiffs to amend their petition, granted the city’s motion and dismissed the case. Because the petition stated a claim for relief and, even if it had not, the appellants were entitled the opportunity to amend prior to dismissal, we REVERSE. Opinion by MITCHELL, J.; GOREE, P.J., and PRINCE, J., concur.
115,838 - Kris K. Agrawal, Plaintiff/Appellant, Geo Exploration, LLC, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. Chris Holland, et al., Defendants/Appellees. Appeal from the District Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Although stemming from litigation concerning convoluted allegations and a murky procedural background, this appeal turns on one question: Was the trial court’s dismissal with prejudice of appellant Kris Agrawal’s claims erroneously based on a misapplication of bankruptcy rules governing an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding against Mr. Agrawal. Because we find that applicable bankruptcy rules did not prohibit Mr. Agrawal from filing the lawsuit when he did, we REVERSE the trial court’s December 28, 2016 Order of Dismissal in part and REMAND for further proceedings. Opinion by PEMBERTON, P.J.;BELL, J., and MITCHELL, J. (sbd), concur.
118,084 – Myrtle Jo Franklin, as Personal Representative of the Estate of William Franklin, Deceased, and Myrtle Jo Franklin, Individually, Plaintiffs/Appellants/Counter-Appellees, vs. State of Oklahoma, ex rel. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority; The Oklahoma Department of Human Services; and Ed Lake, in his Official Capacity as Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Defendants/Appellees/Counter-Appellants. Appeal from an Order of the District Court of Cotton County, Hon. Michael C. Flanagan, Trial Judge. Myrtle Jo Franklin, individually and as the personal representative of the Estate of William Franklin, deceased, appeals the denial of her request for attorney fees. The resolution of that issue requires an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the parties agreed that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority would pay the Franklins’ attorney fees as part of the settlement of this claim. Because an evidentiary hearing is necessary to determine that fact issue, we remand the case for that purpose. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED FOR FUTHER PROCEEDINGS. Opinion from the Court of Civil Appeals, Division IV, by FISCHER, V.C.J.; HIXON, P.J., and RAPP, J., concur. Feb. 19, 2021
TO MEMBERSHIP IN THE OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION
NOTICE OF HEARING ON PETITION FOR REINSTATEMENT
ASHLEY K. ADRIANSE, SCBD # 7007
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.
Any person desiring to be heard in opposition to or in support of the petition may appear before the Professional Responsibility Tribunal at the Oklahoma Bar Center at 1901 North Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at 9:30 a.m. on TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2021. Any person wishing to appear should contact Katherine Ogden, General Counsel, Oklahoma Bar Association, P.O. Box 53036, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73152, telephone (405) 416-7000.
NOTICE OF HEARING ON THE PETITION FOR REINSTATEMENT OF JOEL EDWARD SCOTT, III, SCBD # 6962
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 Joel Edward Scott, III should be reinstated to active membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association.
Any person desiring to be heard in opposition to or in support of the petition may appear before the Professional Responsibility Tribunal at the Oklahoma Bar Center at 1901 North Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at 9:30 a.m. on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 2021. Any person wishing to appear should contact Gina Hendryx, General Counsel, Oklahoma Bar Association, P.O. Box 53036, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73152, telephone (405) 416-7007.
Survival Kits for the Bar Exam
A pencil, eraser, candy, snacks, water, headache reliever, plus an OBA mask and hand sanitizer are part of the 2021 "Bar Exam Survival Kit." The Young Lawyers Division sponsors the kits and assembled them for the approximately 100 registrants who are taking the bar exam this week. Thanks YLD!
The Last Word
All OBA members are invited to a TRIVIA NIGHT VIRTUAL EVENT with the Labor & Employment Law Section. SIGN UP TODAY BEFORE NOON.
Law Firm Forecast | Listen to The Digital Edge Podcast
Everyone has experienced an incredible amount of adversity and change over the last twelve months. Lawyers have learned to video conference and working from home doesn't even sound the same. We all look forward to a return to “normal” while we all appreciate that some of the lessons learned and changes in working style will impact the future. Large law firms are already moving to downsize their physical space in high rental cities across the country. Smaller firms are recognizing that the practice of “people law” is changing at a faster rate than business-oriented practices. OBA MAP Director Jim Calloway and his Digital Edge podcast teammate Sharon Nelson explore the trends they believe are most significant in their podcast What’s on the Horizon for Law Firms in 2021?
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