Vol. 3 No. 52 | Dec. 27, 2023


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.

Member Transitions

C&M Ads Half Page (300x600) (6)
2024 Legislative Kickoff Med Rec


Bar Center to Close for New Year's Holiday

C+M Body Images 600 X 300 (64)

The Oklahoma Bar Center will be closed Monday, Jan. 1, in observance of the New Year's Day holiday.

Member Dues Are Due Tuesday, Jan. 2

C+M Body Images 600 X 300 (99)

Member dues statements are available online. In an effort to save money and cut down on the cost of printing and postage, the OBA Membership Department has posted member dues statements online in MyOKBar. As a follow-up, a paper statement was mailed around the first of December to members who have not yet paid. Please help the OBA in this effort by paying your dues today! Members can pay their dues by credit card online at MyOKBar or by mailing a check to the OBA Dues Lockbox, P.O. Box 960101, Oklahoma City, OK 73196. Dues are due Tuesday, Jan. 2.

All MCLE credit needed for 2023 must be earned by Dec. 31. The deadline to report 2023 earned credit or report a 2023 exemption is Feb. 15, 2024. Learn more at www.okmcle.org.

Still need MCLE for 2023? Don't miss out on these OBA CLE opportunities! Lenné Espenschied will present on grammar and writing errors, cyber age ethics and mergers and acquisitions basics for new transactional lawyers. Click the links below to register.

Wednesday, Dec. 27 | Noon | MCLE 1.5/0
The Sneaky Dozen: 12 Subtle Grammar and Writing Errors

Thursday, Dec. 28 | Noon | MCLE 1Hr Ethics
Cyber Age Ethics for Transactional Lawyers

Friday, Dec. 29 | 9 a.m. | MCLE 3/0
On-Ramp: M&A Basics for New Transactional Lawyers

About the Speaker
Lenné Espenschied speaks nationally at continuing legal education seminars and provides private training at law firms and corporate legal departments. Her passion is helping lawyers acquire the skills they need to be more successful in transactional practice.

Court of Civil Appeals Elects 2024 Leadership

C+M Body Images 600 X 300 (66)

Judge Deborah B. Barnes has been elected to serve as chief judge, and Judge Robert Bell has been elected to serve as vice chief judge of the Court of Civil Appeals of the state of Oklahoma for 2024. The following have been selected to serve as presiding judge for their respective divisions: Barbara Swinton has been elected to serve as presiding judge for Division One of the Court of Civil Appeals, Oklahoma City Division. Jane P. Wiseman has been elected to serve as presiding judge of Division Two of the Court of Civil Appeals, Tulsa Division. E. Bay Mitchell III has been elected to serve as presiding judge of Division Three of the Court of Civil Appeals, Oklahoma City Division. James R. Huber has been elected to serve as presiding judge for Division Four of the Court of Civil Appeals, Tulsa Division. These positions are all a one-year term that begins Jan. 1.

"This article is not intended for anyone who ever anticipates representing a client in bankruptcy court. This is for the lawyer who is opening the mail when a notice of bankruptcy filing lands on their desk. Even if you didn’t choose to come within the bankruptcy court’s jurisdiction, bankruptcy can still be complex and unforgiving. This article is intended to introduce the basics of the automatic stay, which is one of the easiest ways to wind up in real trouble at the bankruptcy courthouse – even if you never intended to go there.

This is how I describe the automatic stay to my clients:

The automatic stay is an order that goes into effect automatically and stays, which is an archaic term meaning temporarily stops, all collection activity against the debtor or property of the debtor."

"A great tradition of the YLD board is to have the new bar admittees join the celebration of the last chair. When you come on after a strong board, you feel an energy between the board members. I remember the thought that came to my mind for the outgoing chair was that this must be bittersweet. Many who have not served on the YLD board do not realize that by the time you are chair of the YLD, you have volunteered for many projects, traveled many miles and given up many hours of sleep. When all is said and done, you do not regret one part."

Ninety people who lost money or other property through the death or dishonest conduct of their attorney will have their losses reimbursed by the Oklahoma Bar Association this year. The OBA Clients’ Security Fund will pay out more than $210,000 to those clients of deceased, suspended or former lawyers whose actions led to the losses.

Claims against the fund result when an attorney misappropriates client funds or property, is then disbarred or dies, and there is no other source for compensation or recovery. The OBA Clients’ Security Fund Committee reviews client claims and annually makes recommendations to the OBA Board of Governors on the merits of those claims.

OBA President Brian Hermanson of Ponca City said, “The Clients’ Security Fund enables us to maintain the public trust in the integrity of the legal profession. Members of our association collectively take action to restore the confidence of those who have been harmed by the dishonesty of a very small number of former attorneys who have violated that trust. All active Oklahoma lawyers contribute to the fund through a portion of their annual bar dues, and more than $4 million in reimbursements has been paid to clients since the fund was created in 1965.”

"I learned through a text that I had been accepted for admission to the famous amusement park – expensive, hard to get into and with terrifying rides.

The day came, and I jostled with the morning crowd through the narrow entry gate and into a new world, through a courtyard packed with large, fanciful character statues hewn from leafy bushes and hedges at the beginnings of an expansive forest. I started down the narrow beginners’ path and merged into a group about the same age who seemed to share my anticipation – part joy, part terror.

We started with the brightly painted flying mice and swirling teacups. But even these relatively tame rides could be noisy, rattling and shaking, unpredictably operated by those whose contracts with the park were to disturb the patron’s peace. After the bumper cars, a few in our group had experiences punitive enough to discover they had made a mistake in coming, especially if this was just the beginning. They quietly left. For those who remained – some brave, some ignorant, some reckless – we laughed and congratulated each other as courageous survivors each time we finished a ride and graduated to the next."

Featured CLE

By OBA MAP Director Jim Calloway

Microsoft 365 subscriptions include many useful tools only accessed by logging in to the Microsoft 365 online platform. This means that if your firm subscribes to Microsoft 365 business licenses that include Teams and SharePoint, you likely have the video hosting platform Stream as a part of your current subscription. Catherine Reach, director of the NCBA Center for Practice Management, has posted a great examination of all the features of Stream in "Microsoft Stream: Private Video Hosting."

There are many ways to create and edit videos. But Stream is easy to use, and if you are doing in-house training videos, sharing them through Teams is an excellent approach. Having access to an easy-to-use tool for the videos expands what a do-it-yourselfer might attempt. A small firm lawyer in a county seat who wants to expand marketing could commit to doing a monthly video on the law firm website featuring the lawyer talking about the time of year, local community happenings and things happening at the courthouse. Of course, each video would end with a mention of one of the types of legal services the firm offers, often linked to that time of year.

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.