Vol. 3 No. 24 | June 14, 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

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The 2023 Solo & Small Firm Conference will kick off on Thursday, June 22, with check-in and walk-in registration starting at 3 p.m., followed by the opening reception and dinner. For attorneys in Tulsa and surrounding areas, this convenient location offers you a chance to attend without having to book a room or stay overnight. If you're coming from out of town and you haven't booked your room, the room block at the Osage Casino Hotel is full – but there are several hotels in the area within a short, 10-minute drive.

There are limited spaces left, and online registration will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 16. Walk-in registration will be available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. We can't wait to see you there!

While Mental Health Awareness Month has passed, lawyer mental health and wellness is in focus year-round. Earlier this year, a study was published in the Healthcare journal on lawyer mental health, linking stress, loneliness and overwork to suicidal thoughts. In the study, it was determined that up to 12% of lawyers have had suicidal thoughts – compared to 4.2% of adults in the United States.

In response to this study, Thompson Reuters put together a list to help attorneys make sure they are prioritizing mental health and well-being.

"1. Recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed and take a break from your work.
2. Attending counseling sessions or joining support groups
3. Get enough restful sleep at night.
4. Set realistic expectations and boundaries for yourself and don’t overwork beyond what is manageable.
5. Stay connected with family, friends and colleagues."

Mental health and self-care must be a priority; that is particularly evident in the legal profession. If you are an attorney who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling with severe stress, anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts, the OBA offers all bar members up to six hours of free short-term, problem-focused or crisis counseling. The service is strictly confidential. Call the Lawyers Helping Lawyers hotline (800-364-7886) to be referred to a counselor in your area.

Ballots were mailed June 2 to active attorneys in good standing in Congressional District 1.* Ballots must be received at the Oklahoma Bar Center by 5 p.m. June 16. The nominee for District 2 is an uncontested candidate; therefore, no ballots will be mailed. Ballots will be tabulated on June 19, and election results will be posted June 21.

It is important to the administration of justice that the OBA members become informed on the candidates and cast their votes.


The Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) consists of 15 unpaid volunteer members. Of the 15 members, only six members are lawyers. Lawyer commissioners are elected by their fellow Oklahoma Bar Association members, each representing one of six congressional districts across the state, as they were in 1967 when the commission was established.* They each serve a 6-year term. Elections are held each odd-numbered year for members from two districts.

"The history of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation will always be intertwined with the history of the Oklahoma Bar Association and the dynamic evolution of the legal profession in Oklahoma.

The predecessor of the OBA was formed in 1904 when associations of attorneys in the separate Oklahoma and Indian territories merged. Membership in the group was voluntary. Those working as attorneys were not required to have any formal legal education. Many 'read the law' by learning and observing in a law office or simply started taking on clients in the territories."

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.

The OBA Solo & Small Firm Conference welcomes Beyond Square One and USI Affinity as Bronze Sponsors for this year's conference. Beyond Square One provides software consulting, implementation, training and support services to the legal industry. USI Affinity offers LPL options available to attorneys in various states across the U.S. If you're attending Solo, make sure you stop by and visit these and other sponsors to learn how their services can benefit your professional practice!

Featured CLE

By Jim Calloway, OBA Management Assistance Program Director

Attorneys need to know about ChatGPT and other AI tools because your clients will use them, and at some point, there will be a legal issue. So it’s important to understand the basics.

Some lawyers tell me they have never heard of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence tool from OpenAI, released late last year. I read dozens of posts and articles about ChatGPT every day. Lawyers sometimes tell me they fear ChatGPT misinformation and will never, ever use it. But I believe that many will use AI-powered tools in the near future.

Many lawyers only know the story of the New York City lawyer who is facing sanctions because he used ChatGPT to create a brief and didn’t realize many of the cases he cited were fictitious. Even when opposing counsel noted the cases were fictitious in a sanctions motion, he doubled down by having ChatGPT provide quotes from the fictitious cases. He had a Fastcase account that could have easily helped him determine he was citing fictitious opinions. In the sanctions hearing last week, the lawyer said he was “both embarrassed, humiliated and extremely remorseful” and said his reputation had suffered. But the lesson is not “do not use ChatGPT.” The lesson is actually very traditional. Don’t cite cases in a brief you have not read. It is particularly dangerous when you are relying heavily on those cases. It is probably best not to use ChatGPT for legal research, but if you do, treat any result with great skepticism, even more than you would with a new law student or paralegal you have just hired because those employees won’t make things up.

AI-powered legal research will be a game changer – if the tools fit within your budget. Thomson Reuters has announced generative AI is coming to Westlaw Precision. Casetext has released CoCounsel, and a free trial is available. LexisNexis is promoting Lexis+ AI. Given the legal information these companies have, they will likely resolve the fake cases issue.

But many great uses for AI are extremely low risk – from summarizing a long document you have provided it, to planning vacation travel. If you are submitting a document with confidential client information or legal strategy, you will need to understand how the OpenAI privacy tools operate, so that you don’t share the submitted information with others.

For a great “nonhysterical” guide to ChatGPT, I direct your attention to "New Possibilities With ChatGPT: Two Professors Weigh In On AI And Legal Education" from the North Carolina Bar Association. These professors do quite well explaining how ChatGPT works and outlining its inherent positives and negatives. When a client asks you a ChatGPT-related question, you will be glad to have read this.

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.