No published opinions this week.
No published opinions this week.
Dispositions Other than by Published Opinions
The Supreme Court of Oklahoma Court Calendar
The Supreme Court of Oklahoma is in session year round, unless otherwise noted. The Court regularly schedules conferences on Mondays and other days as needed.
"One of the lowlights of a lawyer’s legal career is what one can call, for ease of reference, an 'online research fail.' While attorneys have come to trust the robust and accurate flagging system of online research tools to warn us if a case has been overturned or even called into question by another authority, online databases occasionally miss one, and we offer the case to the court as 'good law,' only to discover the case has been overturned. It happens even to the most careful lawyers.
Clearly, traditional databases are not infallible, just as humans are not infallible. And yet, members of the bar association have come to rely on Westlaw, LexisNexis, the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network (OSCN) and other databases to streamline the time commitment it takes to find law. There are only so many hours in a day, many of which we need to save for drafting briefs that cite those cases. Briefs won’t write themselves.
Or will they?"
"In November 2022, OpenAI released ChatGPT. ChatGPT, along with other artificial intelligence (AI) tools, has dominated the conversation about cutting-edge technology and legal technology tools during 2023. The reactions have ranged from 'the most entertaining thing on the internet' to an incredible new tool that will change society in a positive way to a corporate tool that will allow companies to be more efficient and profitable (often by a reduction in workforce) to a potentially dangerous development, that if allowed to expand unchecked without regulatory safeguards, could lead to global instability and, possibly, an extinction event. To summarize, on the internet hyperbole scale, predictions about ChatGPT’s impact range from Nirvana to Armageddon. Whatever happens will likely be between these two extremes."
Loneliness can drive many mental health issues, such as depression, burnout and addiction. At the top of the list of loneliest professions are lawyers, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review. Attorney at Work published an article discussing this study and highlighting lawyer loneliness. In the article, author Shawn Healy from Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) discusses understanding and addressing loneliness, why lawyers are so susceptible and how to combat it.
The Causes of Loneliness
According to Mr. Healy, lack of connection is at the heart of loneliness. Two causes for lack of connection discussed in the article are perceived invulnerability and, more importantly, carrying the burden of their clients' stories.
The Cure for Loneliness
Here's the good news: There are ways to combat loneliness. According to Mr. Healy, to cure loneliness, lawyers can:
- Create and maintain authentic relationships with others, both inside and outside of work
- Share office space, join groups or become a mentor/mentoree
- Get to know your colleagues and find friends/allies
- Use your law-related resources, such as your bar association, lawyer assistance programs or colleague groups
If you are an Oklahoma lawyer who is struggling with loneliness, check out the many committees or practice sections you can join, plan to attend a networking event or conference or call the Lawyers Helping Lawyers hotline (800-364-7886) to be referred to a counselor in your area. The OBA offers all bar members up to six hours of free short-term, problem-focused or crisis counseling. The counseling service is strictly confidential.
"Michelle was only 12 years old when she told her doctor her stepfather abused her sexually. At the time, her mother had no idea, and her stepfather denied her claims. Michelle’s testimony and physical evidence, however, were undeniable, so she was removed from the home and placed with her grandmother. Michelle was then assigned to a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteer named Laurie. Laurie met with Michelle several times a month, and soon they became very close. Michelle often called when she was upset or had flashbacks, and Laurie helped her process the trauma and calm down.
Laurie worked with the Department of Human Services to get Michelle into counseling and on an individualized education program at school. She also helped Michelle obtain a victims protective order against her stepfather so that he could legally no longer have contact with her. At each stage of the court process, Laurie made sure Michelle was involved and understood what was happening."
The annual Legislative Debrief is an opportunity for OBA members to hear the latest updates on legislation that may impact their legal practice. This year's agenda will feature a legislative panel moderated by Administrative Director of the Courts Jari Askins as well as the always informative "60 Bills in 60 Minutes" session featuring updates on legislation impacting cannabis law, family law, criminal law, health law, civil procedure/courts and education bills. There is no cost to attend, and 3 hours of MCLE credit are available. Be sure to have this event on your August calendar!
By OBA MAP Director Jim Calloway
In private practice, I was threatened several times, always related to domestic and protective order cases. I didn’t consider any of them serious and took no action. But that was decades ago. Today, we need to appreciate that threats must be taken seriously. Have you had a conversation with all of the people who work with you on how to handle these threats?
This week, you can handle this more easily because Theda C. Snyder and Attorney at Work recently published "Specific Steps to Take If You Receive a Threat." The piece is well written and comprehensive. I suggest you share the link with everyone in your office, give them a deadline to complete reading it and then schedule a meeting to discuss their reactions. You may learn some things you did not know about past threats.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal is a publication of the Oklahoma Bar Association. All rights reserved. Copyright© 2023 Oklahoma Bar Association. Statements or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff. Although advertising copy is reviewed, no endorsement of any product or service offered by any advertisement is intended or implied by publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their ads, and the OBA reserves the right to edit or reject any advertising copy for any reason. Legal articles carried in The Oklahoma Bar Journal are selected by the Board of Editors. Information about submissions can be found at www.okbar.org.