Vol. 3 No. 7 | Feb. 15, 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.

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2023 Solo Save The Date C&M


Reminder: Closed Presidents Day

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The Oklahoma Bar Center will be closed Monday, Feb. 20, in recognition of Presidents Day.

Dues are Due and MCLE Deadline

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Dues are due

The deadline to pay your OBA 2023 membership dues without a late fee is Wednesday, Feb. 15. Paper statements were recently mailed to those who have not yet paid. Visit MyOKBar to remit dues online.

MCLE deadline

The deadline to earn your required credit for 2022 was Dec. 31. The deadline to report your earned credit or a qualified exemption for 2022 is Wednesday, Feb. 15. Unless you are reporting an exemption, the minimum annual requirement is 10 general credits and two ethics credits, for a total of 12 credits. All credit must be OK MCLE approved. Please let us know how we can help you. Visit www.okmcle.org for more information.

"We all know the answer to the old riddle, 'Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?' Unintended comparisons aside, much the same can be said for the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Under a well-established jurisprudential doctrine, the court can, and does, intervene in disputes effectively 'anywhere it wants' – at least when the question presented is of sufficient public import.

Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution vests federal courts with the authority to resolve only certain 'cases' and 'controversies' ­– a clause that places important limitations on the jurisdiction of federal courts. Under Article III’s 'case or controversy' requirement, federal courts are barred from issuing purely advisory opinions, and they generally may resolve disputes only where the parties asserting claims have standing to do so and an active controversy is presented."

"Most of the justices and judges of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma and the Court of Civil Appeals have two law clerks – or staff attorneys, as the position is known in the state appellate courts.

Staff attorneys are not the superstars playing in the big game, but with courtside seats, we get an incredible view of the action. We appreciate well-executed appellate advocacy but also see some of the same fouls committed over and over again. This article offers simple suggestions for strengthening your appellate practice."

Check Your Email for the Membership Survey

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On Monday, Feb. 13, an email went out to members with a link to a short survey. The OBA is exploring ways to better reach bar members, and we need your input! All OBA members are asked to complete the brief, anonymous survey giving insight on your digital communications preferences. We want to know how you want to better connect with other Oklahoma lawyers, receive information from your bar association and learn about upcoming events and learning opportunities. The survey should take no more than five minutes to complete. Be sure to check your email and complete the survey by Friday, March 3. If you did not receive the survey email, contact us at communications@okbar.org.

"When lawyers leave private practice to take an in-house counsel or government position, they are often asked about the differences in their new roles. Many of them say they are pleased not to have to complete timesheets anymore – it is a relief not to have to look at the day in six-minute increments. As most of you know, I’ve long been a proponent of employing flat fees or task-based billing when possible, particularly when representing consumers. But hourly billing is still used for many types of representation.

Before we get to timesheets, let’s discuss artificial intelligence. Over the last several weeks, an AI drafting program called ChatGPT from OpenAI has been garnering a lot of attention."

Featured CLE

By Jim Calloway, OBA Management Assistance Program Director

One challenge of practicing law is that it often seems there are only two standards of conduct: absolute perfection and malpractice. Those of us who have worked in law firms know that perfection isn’t possible with fallible humans doing the work. But one can design systems to hopefully catch most errors before they leave the office.

Many of us can recall the first time we made a significant mistake on a client matter. No matter how “fixable” the mistake is, the idea of making a professional error can lead to an emotional reaction that can cause us to linger on negative questions like “Am I worthy to be a lawyer? What if that had been a missed statute of limitation?” In fact, many law firms already have a policy that any fixable mistake will be fixed at no charge to the client. You are not the first lawyer who erred.

"How to Handle a Mistake as a Young Lawyer" by Meyling “Mey” Ly Ortiz outlines the steps a young lawyer should follow upon discovering a mistake. But these steps generally apply to lawyers at all stages in their careers. (In serious situations, solos should notify their professional liability carriers for advice instead of telling a non-existent partner.)

This post begins, “Almost everything is fixable – if you catch it early enough. The key to preventing unrecoverable errors is accepting your mistakes and disclosing them in time.” I like that it starts with words of comfort and the first step to properly deal with the situation.

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.