Oklahoma Supreme Court
No published opinions this week.
Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals
WILLIAMS v. STATE
2021 OK CR 19, F-2019-131
¶1 Appellant, Eric Rayman Williams, was tried and convicted by a jury in the District Court of Oklahoma County, Case No. CF-2016-8211, of two counts of Indecent or Lewd Acts With a Child Under Sixteen, in violation of 21 O.S.Supp.2013 & 2015, § 1123 . The jury recommended sentences of thirty-five years imprisonment on Count 1 and thirty years imprisonment on Count 2. The Honorable Ray C. Elliott, District Judge, sentenced Williams in accordance with the jury's verdicts and ordered the sentences to run concurrently. Judge Elliott also ordered credit for time served. Appellant must serve 85% of his sentences before becoming eligible for parole. 21 O.S.Supp.2015, § 13.1 .
FUENTES v. STATE
2021 OK CR 18, F-2020-115
¶1 On July 16, 2016, Appellant Pedro Pablo Fuentes was stopped by police while driving on Interstate 40 at Morgan Road in Canadian County. He later testified that he was fully aware of the nearly ten pounds of methamphetamine hidden in his car as he drove back from Phoenix, Arizona. He was not fully aware that for the past six weeks he had been under investigation for drug trafficking, and that for the past four weeks his every vehicular movement had been monitored by law enforcement via an electronic tracking device affixed to his car pursuant to a court order. Fuentes was charged in the District Court of Canadian County with Aggravated Trafficking in Illegal Drugs After Former Conviction of Two or More Felonies in violation of 63 O.S.Supp.2015, § 2-415 1 in case number CF-2016-560. The Honorable Jack D. McCurdy, II, District Judge, presided over his non-jury trial, found him guilty, and sentenced him to thirty-five years imprisonment and a $50,000.00 fine. The sole issue on appeal is:
PARKER v. STATE
2021 OK CR 17, F-2019-247Decided 07/15/2021
¶1 Appellant Michael Gary Parker, Jr. appeals his Judgment and Sentence from the District Court of Tulsa County, Case No. CF-2018-3184, for First Degree Manslaughter, in violation of 21 O.S.2011, § 711 . 1 Parker's jury unanimously found him guilty, but deadlocked on the issue of punishment. The Honorable William J. Musseman, Jr., District Judge, who presided over Parker's jury trial, sentenced Parker to twenty years imprisonment, with seventeen years to be served in prison and the remaining three years suspended with supervised probation. 2 Parker raises seven claims on appeal:
Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
CITY OF STILLWATER v. BLOCK 40 SOUTH
2021 OK CIV APP 29, 118653
¶1 Cory Williams appeals the trial court's order denying his Motion to Intervene to assert a qui tam claim on behalf of the State of Oklahoma in this declaratory judgment action between Plaintiff/Appellee the City of Stillwater (City) and Defendant/Appellee Block 40 South, LLC (Developer). In 2009, City conveyed real property conditioned on the grantee operating a children's museum thereon. In 2017, City's Council voted to release the condition and reverter clause in the deed. The grantee later conveyed the subject property to Developer. Williams asserted the release of the reverter clause was an unlawful transfer of City property because it was done without a vote of the people. City filed this action, seeking judgment declaring its release of the reverter clause was lawful, and Williams sought to intervene. Williams filed his qui tam written demand more than two years after City released the reverter clause, but within two years of the date the release was recorded. We find the trial court correctly determined that the qui tam statute of limitations had expired before Williams submitted his written demand and that Williams was not entitled to intervene on any other basis. We affirm.
IOCHEM CORPORATION v. OKLAHOMA CORPORATION COMMISSION
2021 OK CIV APP 28, 117780
¶1 The central question in this case is whether the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, at the request of Appellee, Northwest Electric Cooperative, Inc. ("NWEC"), properly barred OG&E from providing electrical service to an electric consuming facility of the Appellant, IOCHEM Corporation ("IOCHEM") which is located outside of OG&E's certified territory. To reach that issue, we must construe the applicable statutory language of the Retail Electric Supplier Certified Territory Act ("RESCTA"), found at 17 O.S. 2011, §§ 158.21 , et seq . The Final Order of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ("OCC"), found the issues in favor of the Appellee, Northwest Electric Cooperative, Inc. We affirm that decision.
Dispositons Other than by Published Opinions
OBITUARY: Judge Dean Linder
A Celebration of Life for retired District Judge Dean Linder was held Monday, July 19, 2021, at the Alva First Christian Church. Judge Linder died last week surrounded by his family.
Judge Linder was a stalwart in northwestern Oklahoma during his entire life. He graduated from Waynoka High School, from Southwestern State College (now SWOSU), and from the OU College of Law.
His law career began in Alva in 1960 as County Attorney for Woods County. He served as County Judge from 1967-1969, until judicial reform changed the position title to Associate District Judge, a position he held from 1969-1982. In 1982 he was elected District Judge, Division 1, in the Fourth Judicial District, where he served until his retirement in 2015.
Judge Linder was an active member and past president of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. He served as Presiding Judge for the Northwest Administrative Judicial District. As much as he loved and led in his judicial service, all who knew him were keenly aware of his love of hunting. Judge Linder was a favorite guide for the annual Lt. Governor’s Turkey Hunt and served as a host for the Alva site.
He is survived by his wife Wylodean, daughter Jana Pitt, son Jon Linder, daughter Julia Schrock, four grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and his sister Carolyn Calvery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Dean Linder Broadcast Scholarship, Northwestern Foundation and Alumni Association, or the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, Alva.
Repeating Judge Linder’s signature sign-off: “Good night and continue to be real good sports.”
Open to all. You are invited to a networking social event at the Jones Assembly in Oklahoma City. The event on Friday, July 30, from 5 - 8 p.m., is the culmination of the Summer CLE Series. Even if you haven't signed up for one of the courses (we hope you will), please come to the social mixer to catch up with lawyers and members of the OBA Board of Governors. Click this link to register for your $20 ticket that covers hors d'oeuvres and two beverages.
Microsoft 365 and MS Office Resources
By Jim Calloway
Microsoft Word is an important tool. But, unlike most tools, using it doesn’t improve your skills with practice. You can become a Microsoft Word power user. But you do that with training, internet searches that often begin “How do I ….“ and reading tutorials and help files.
Today we are sharing a great resource with many videos, articles and other training and learning tools. Catherine Reach is the Director of the North Carolina Bar Association Center for Practice Management. Many of you attended her presentation on Microsoft 365 for the 2020 OBA Virtual Annual Meeting. She has put together an excellent collection of resources at the Center’s Microsoft 365 and MS Office Resources.
First in the collection is her program on Microsoft 365 for the OBA Virtual Annual Meeting. So, if you missed it or just want a refresher, you can watch the entire presentation. No MCLE credit, of course. But, as the pitchman says, “Wait there’s more!” There are several selected YouTube videos, many articles and other training options. If you feel you, or your law firm, is behind the times with Microsoft 365, this is a great path forward. Don’t just watch a video or read an article. Then open MS 365 and try out what you have just seen or read about. Investing the time will be repaid in the future. Share the link with those who work in your office. Maybe you can have a contest for the best thing learned that the firm can put into practice next week. How many hours do you spend with Word each week? This opportunity is the lawyer equivalent of sharpening your saw before cutting the tree.