No published opinions this week.
No published opinions this week.
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.
As of the writing of this update, Senate conferees have been named, including OBA members Senators Mary Boren, Julie Daniels, Kay Floyd and Brent Howard. As of now, no House conferees have been named. If House conferees are named, the process is for the conferees to agree on common language and the measure to return to each chamber of the Legislature for a vote to approve or reject the Conference Committee report. Should the measure pass both chambers, it would then go to a vote of the people.
SJR 43, among other things, relates to the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Supreme Court over lawyer discipline and a bifurcated licensing system that calls into question the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct. The bill grants jurisdiction to the Legislature to license lawyers who do not appear in court. As of now, there is no plan in place to create any licensing structure or ethical standards for lawyers who do not appear in court. This could have a negative effect on the quality of legal services available to the citizens of Oklahoma if persons who are not qualified to give legal advice are granted a license to practice.
Other language in the joint resolution abolishes the district courts, relates to the selection of justices and judges in the appellate courts and directs “inferior court” elections to be conducted the same as county officials who are currently elected on a partisan basis.
Click here to see previous information on the measure.
'I'll See You In Durant!' An Invitation From OBA President Jim Hicks
Have you registered for the OBA 2022 Solo & Small Firm Conference? It’s back and better than ever! Mark your calendars now for June 23 – 25 when the conference returns to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant. Watch this video to hear from OBA President Jim Hicks on why attending this year's event is a must for every solo and small firm practitioner!
The May Oklahoma Bar Journal features several articles reflecting the Energy Law theme and will arrive in mailboxes soon. Until then, flip through the pages online in the interactive digital edition.
Chuck Knutter and Brady L. Smith authored the article "Back to the Future: Current Interpretations of the PRSA":
"On its face, the rules set out in the PRSA seem pretty straightforward, and the only real changes to the PRSA since its inception have been for the benefit of holders. These authors are often asked the question of why, over 40 years after its enactment, holders have difficulty complying with it. To us, the answer has less to do with the language of the PRSA and more to do with the modern realities of the oil and gas industry."
Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Dustin Rowe opened his talk at the Seminole County Law Day Forum last week by asking everyone where they were 23 years ago. Most attendees soon conjured memories of May 3, 1999. It’s one of those Oklahoma tornado moments – we remember where we were.
During Justice Rowe’s presentation, he engaged the audience of lawyers and judges with experiences of when he was a “country lawyer” in Tishomingo and his work as a justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. For his topic, “Practical Considerations When Practicing Before the Supreme Court,” he summarily reminded this audience that judges are lawyers too.
“We’re just lawyers. And lawyers are future judges. We are in this together. Working together under our constitutional duty to provide justice in our country and in our state and in our counties,” said Justice Rowe. “When you take a case to a court, you should ask yourself, ‘What would you do if you were the judge?’ … ‘What would persuade you if you were hearing the facts?’”
Featured CLE: Mental Health
By Jim Calloway, OBA Management Assistance Program Director
Google has announced a process to allow people to request removal of their personal data from Google search results. Removal is not guaranteed, but the stated exceptions are rare. You will want to Google yourself in advance and screenshot any problematic content you find. But this is still an improvement over litigating with Google about what content should be removed.
You may have some clients, particularly those who have been victims of cyberstalking, who will be grateful if you let them know this is available. This follows up on a change Google announced six months ago to allow minors or their caregivers to request their images be removed from its search results.
This just impacts Google search results and not the original content Google indexed. And it won’t impact other search engines. But Google has the biggest market share, and it is likely other search engines will adopt similar policies.
Lawyers who obtain new clients from the internet should move cautiously with these modifications, however. It’s good business to have your office phone number on the internet in many situations. So, identifying the sites that have your personal mobile phone or unlisted number on them and sharing that URL with Google for removal may be better than a broad request to delete contact information.
It is hard to imagine any former client who wouldn’t appreciate your firm sharing information on how to better protect their privacy. You can cite the sources below.