Vol. 1 | No. 25 | June 23, 2021
Courts And More Leaderboards

Oklahoma Supreme Court


2021 OK 37, 119435
Decided 06/21/2021

¶1 Appellee filed a Motion to Dismiss Appellant's Petition in Error based on the Appellant's failure to follow Supreme Court Rules 1.5(a) and 1.28(a). Further, Appellee challenges the finality of the Summary Order attached to the Petition in Error.


2021 OK 38, 117827Decided 06/22/2021

¶0 Appellant Iris M. Stacy (Mother) appealed a trial court judgment entered on a jury verdict terminating her parental rights for failure to correct the conditions which led to the deprived adjudication of I.T.S., I.M.S., and R.E.S. The Court of Civil Appeals (COCA), Div. IV, affirmed the judgment by unpublished opinion. Mother's petition for certiorari seeks examination of COCA's decision that the trial court committed no reversible error by discharging Mother's court-appointed counsel at the conclusion of the disposition hearing, which left her without legal representation until counsel was reappointed following the filing of State's petition to terminate her parental rights over two years later. We granted certiorari to address a question of first impression: Upon request by an Indian child's parent for counsel in a deprived child proceeding, and a finding of indigency, whether the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901 et seq. , requires court-appointed counsel for the parent at all stages of the deprived child proceeding. We hold that § 1912(b) of ICWA requires, upon request and a finding of indigency, the appointment of counsel at all stages of the deprived child proceeding.

2021 OK 39

Case Number: 116999
Decided: 06/22/2021

¶0 Plaintiffs/Appellants, Craig Immel, Terry Young, Herb Beattie, and Ray Pearcey (collectively, "Taxpayers"), citizens of Tulsa County, Oklahoma, seek a declaratory judgment that Defendants/Appellees, Tulsa Public Facilities Authority (TPFA) and the City of Tulsa (City), cannot sell 8.8 acres of park land to a private developer for the construction of a commercial shopping center because the land is held in a public trust expressly as a park for the people. All parties moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the TPFA and the City's joint motion for summary judgment as to all claims. Taxpayers appealed, and we retained the appeal. We hold (1) Taxpayers have standing; (2) the TPFA and the City cannot sell the 8.8 acres of park land to a private developer for construction of a commercial shopping center because the land is held in a public trust for the people, unless it is abandoned and/or is no longer fit for its intended use as a public park; (3) there are disputed material facts as to whether the TPFA and the City lawfully abandoned the 8.8 acres of park land; and (4) there are disputed material facts as to whether the expenditure meets the public purpose requirement under the Oklahoma Constitution. The trial court's order granting the TPFA and the City's joint motion for summary judgment is reversed and the cause is remanded for further proceedings.

2021 OK 29

Case Number: 118088
Decided: 05/25/2021
As Corrected: June 22, 2021

0 Darlene Johnson, Appellant, was a school cafeteria worker who sought treatment and compensation from her employer for injuries sustained from a fall inside the employer's parking lot. Employer denied the claim, arguing Johnson was not in the course and scope of employment because her injuries did not occur "inside the employer's facility" within the meaning of 85A O.S.Supp.2013, § 2(13)(d).1 The administrative law judge awarded benefits to Johnson, finding that her accidental personal injuries occurred inside the employer's facility and arose in the course and scope of employment as defined by Section 2(13)(d). The Workers' Compensation Commission reversed this decision finding the administrative law judge misapplied the law and determined that Johnson was not in the course and scope of employment at the time of her injuries because the parking lot was not "inside the employer's facility." The Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the decision by the Commission. We vacate the opinion by the Court of Civil Appeals and hold that the decision of the administrative law judge was neither against the clear weight of the evidence nor contrary to law and further that the decision of the Workers' Compensation Commission was in excess of statutory authority or jurisdiction and affected by other errors of law.

Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals


2021 OK CR 16, S-2020-550
Decided 06/17/2021


¶1 Appellee, Brandon James Roberson, was charged by Information in the District Court of Tulsa County, Case No. CF-2019-2792, with Trafficking in Illegal Drugs in concert with Katelyn Turner, in violation of 63 O.S.Supp.2019, § 2-415 , two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Drug with Intent to Distribute in concert with Katelyn Turner, in violation of 63 O.S.Supp.2018, § 2-401 , Possession of Controlled Drugs Without Tax Stamp Affixed in concert with Katelyn Turner, in violation of 68 O.S.2011, § 450.8 , Acquire Proceeds from Drug Activity in concert with Katelyn Turner, in violation of 63 O.S.2011, § 2-503 .1 , Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of 63 O.S.2011, § 2-405 and Gang-Related Offense, in violation of 21 O.S.2011, § 856.3 . On September 10, 2019, the Honorable J. Anthony Miller, Special Judge, bound Appellee over for trial on all counts.

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals


2021 OK CIV APP 22, 118076
Decided 08/28/2020
Mandate Issued: 06/16/2021

¶1 Defendant/Appellant City of Okmulgee (City) appeals from a $120,000 judgment in favor of Plaintiff/Appellee Richard J. Mitchell (Fire Chief). Fire Chief sued City, claiming his termination as City's fire chief violated the workers' compensation retaliatory discharge statute and his due process rights. After de novo review, we find Fire Chief failed to show he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court erred by granting his motion for summary judgment. We reverse the judgment and damages award and remand for further proceedings.

Click here to read Dispositions Other than by Published Opinions. 

Copy Of Courts And More Leaderboards 4

Summer Learning for Solo and Small Firm Practioners

The Summer CLE Series kicked off this week with Jim Calloway's offering on The Changing Dynamics of People Law. You'll learn about the shrinking middle class and the feasibility of this group being able to pay for "people law" – divorces, small business work, estate plans and guardianship. But he has some tips on how solo and small firm lawyers can adapt for the benefit of clients and the law firm's bottom line. Get the online any time course here. 


Here's more information about the Summer CLE Series.

Between "Silly Fun" and a Burger, Judge Bell Saves a Life

New York lawyer turned writer David Lat of the online publication Original Jurisdiction shared an Oklahoma story this week in the space usually reserved for SCOTUS opinions.  Lat painted the picture of what happened to Oklahoma Civil Appeals Court Judge Robert (Bobby) Bell on Saturday night between some "silly fun" and a burger while out in the city with his wife and daughter. With Lat's permission, we share the link where you can catch the rest of the story.


Pres. Mordy Has Two Big Reasons To Nominate Someone for an OBA Award

There's one week left to make your nominations! Use the form below or visit the Awards page for details. 

NOTE: Make your "reasons" for nomination as robust as possible to help the Awards Committee as they make selections. The attachment option can include a resume, article or any supporting information to make a strong nomination, but must be limited to five pages.

Award winners will be celebrated during the 2021 Annual Meeting, Nov. 10 - 12.

Nominate Here

View the List of July 2021 Bar Applicants

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, review 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.


Please check back. We are experiencing an issue with our Classifieds service, and apologize they are not available this week.
Utilize the OBA Classifieds to reach Oklahoma lawyers. The digital Classifieds page is visited more than 1,000 times a month.

Adding a Signature in a Word Document on PC or Mac

By Jim Calloway

Sometimes adding a signature to a document before you print it is a big timesaver. Many Oklahoma lawyers have scanned a signature so they can “sign” their emails in their own handwriting.

But you can also do that with a Microsoft Word document. Even if you do not use it frequently, setting up Word so you can insert your signature as needed is a tool you need to have at your disposal. The instructions to do this are contained in this article, How to add a signature in a Microsoft Word document on a PC or Mac. There are several steps that are used to set this up and it will take a few minutes. But once you set it up, inserting a signature is simple and quick.