Vol. 4 No. 5 | Jan. 31, 2024


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

2024 Day At The Capitol Med Rec
Resolutions For Proposals Relating To Legislative Program To Be Endorsed In Principle By The BOG


Feb. 22: Basketball and CLE

600x300 Thunder CLE

Join OBA CLE for an evening of "Basketball and CLE" led by Hakeem Onafowokan, vice president, Corporate Legal, Oklahoma City Thunder. The CLE program begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, and it will be followed with floor-level baseline seats (Section 101, Rows M and N) as the Oklahoma City Thunder takes on the L.A. Clippers in their Western Conference matchup. This program includes 1 hour MCLE. Seating is limited to 32, so register today!

Feb. 1, 2024, update: This event is sold out.

The Oklahoma Legislature reconvenes in February, and hundreds of bills will be prefiled – many of them potentially affecting your practice or the administration of justice. Join the OBA Legislative Monitoring Committee at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at the Oklahoma Bar Center as they identify top bills of interest to the OBA and your practice area. Register now to attend either online or in person.

"Many attorneys, both in-house attorneys and those in private practice, consider focus group testing almost exclusively for the 'bet-the-company' cases: those cases that are easily identified as posing the most obvious legal, financial and reputational risk to the client. However, focus group testing is increasingly recognized as potentially useful for every type of case.

Every case would benefit from the use of a focus group. Even the simplest case has strengths and weaknesses that can be explored. It is a forum for reality testing. It is too easy to become enamored with one’s own version of the case. Believing that jurors share your view of the case is dangerous."

"Upon a client’s receipt of a summons and petition in Oklahoma state court, it is common practice for civil litigators to instinctively file a template special entry of appearance and reservation of time to extend their client’s responsive pleading deadline by an additional 20 days. Reserving time to otherwise file a responsive pleading waives certain affirmative defenses, including those relating to jurisdiction, venue, service of process, capacity of a party to be sued and failure to state a claim. Since 1991, legal precedent in Oklahoma has held that filing a reservation of time preserves the listed affirmative defenses so long as it is accompanied by an entry of appearance that is qualified (or special) but not general. The Oklahoma Supreme Court in McBee v. Shanahan Home Design cast doubt on this longstanding practice in a footnoted obiter dictum. The court’s dictum suggested that a statutory amendment by the Legislature in 2002 eliminated this popular practice. This article explores the history and current status of the special entry of appearance and reservation of time statute and the (purportedly) resulting waiver of affirmative defenses resulting therefrom after McBee."

"She was a homeless 14-year-old living at a shelter. After sitting through a 45-minute class on mindfulness with only a few outbursts, she asked if she could speak with me when we were done. After the supervisor assented and walked out of the room, the young lady began to tell me of the abuse she had experienced at the hands of her parents. It was an absolutely horrific account of something none of us should ever have to live through. And yet, here was a young teenager who should have been out experiencing the world and instead was experiencing years of trauma.

This chance encounter was a result of a local nonprofit tour sponsored by the Ruth Bader Ginsburg American Inn of Court, of which I have been a member for more than a decade. Each year, our inn collects donations for charities, and this year, our chosen organization was a local nonprofit that houses homeless youth. When we dropped off our donations, the executive director gave us a tour and added at the end, 'We’re always looking for volunteers.'”

We want to feature your work in the Oklahoma Bar Journal. "The Back Page" is a space for attorneys to share their creative work. Submit advice or articles related to the legal field, share something transforming or intriguing, or show off your photography skills. Email your submissions of roughly 500 words or high-resolution photos to OBA Communications Director Lori Rasmussen.

Ruby offers U.S.-based virtual receptionists and online chat specialists who are always available live and ready to connect with your website visitors.

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Call 866-611-7829 or visit www.ruby.com/okbar for more information. Members receive a lifetime 6% discount on both services, backed by a 21-day money-back guarantee.

Featured CLE

By OBA MAP Director Jim Calloway

Larger law firms consider rate increases annually, even though a rate increase may not be enacted every year. Solo and small law firms may not have increased their billing rate for some time, but they are likely aware of what other lawyers in their geographical and practice areas charge. For some consumer client work, I still believe the path to more profitability may be more automation and establishing flat fees for certain matters or projects.

For those firms considering a rate increase, consultant Erik Mazzone has authored "Increasing Your Legal Fees: A Four-Step Approach" on Attorney@Work. Mr. Mazzone is a long-term, well-regarded consultant to the legal profession. I’m not suggesting your firm needs to raise its rates. But the author's organized approach provides valuable guidance for a firm considering this adjustment.

The Oklahoma Bar Journal is a publication of the Oklahoma Bar Association. All rights reserved. Copyright© 2024 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.