Vol. 3 No. 46 | Nov. 15, 2023


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

2023 Nov Notice Of Judicial Vacancy


"As attorneys, we often find ourselves in leadership positions, either because of our own goals and ambitions or because of the public’s perception that attorneys inherently make good leaders. Whichever situation describes our leadership path, one thing that we understand is that leadership is a talent that needs to be honed and developed. The future of our association and our state depends on the intentional development of this talent. With this in mind, in 2007 OBA leadership established the OBA Leadership Academy." - OBA CLE Director Gigi McCormick

The application period for the January 2024 cohort is now open, and applications will be accepted until Dec. 15. Requirements for applicants are as follows:

  • Must be a member in good standing with the Oklahoma Bar Association
  • All attorneys may apply, but preference will be given to those who are members of the OBA Young Lawyers Division
  • Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to the profession and community impact

"Did you know the OBA has more than 20 active committees – meaning there are many opportunities for you to serve and lead in your profession. By joining a committee, you can get more involved in the association, network with colleagues and work together for the betterment of our association and our communities. All in a way that is meaningful and relevant to you!

By serving on an OBA committee, you can tackle projects for which you have a passion – whether that’s improving access to justice for all Oklahomans, fostering public understanding of the law or helping your fellow lawyers who may be facing challenges with addiction or substance abuse. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with your professional colleagues and build your network and leadership skills at the same time."

"Being an active member of the Oklahoma Bar Association is an asset to you, other bar members and the community. Whether you are a seasoned attorney or a newly minted lawyer, active participation in the OBA can be a valuable aspect of your legal career. There are several ways to see the significance of membership engagement, and all are rewarding.

For example, there are many networking and professional growth opportunities. One of the most compelling reasons to be an engaged bar member is the opportunity to build a robust professional network. The OBA hosts a plethora of events, conferences and seminars where attorneys from various practice areas come together to share their expertise and experiences. Engaging in these activities can lead to valuable connections, mentorship opportunities and even referrals for new clients. These connections can be pivotal in advancing your legal career and staying updated on the latest developments in the field."

"Courts dealing with custody disputes, family breakups, divorce and legal separations know the damage caused by these highly stressful situations, particularly the damage caused to children. While attorneys advocate for their clients and judges make difficult decisions, there is room for family therapy to improve outcomes for families and children. When done correctly and with willing parties, family therapy can be initiated in the interim to provide coping skills to survive the current challenges while also providing navigation toward a brighter future with healthy bonds and less animosity. The primary goals of family therapy during family transitions, such as court proceedings, are to mitigate long-term emotional and behavioral challenges for all parties, improve future and family relationships and improve coping with the changing family dynamics. Having a neutral third party to partner with and advocate for all parties in the situation will lessen overall stress and fear while improving the likelihood of success."

"This summer, in Haaland v. Brackeen, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the validity of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in a 7-2 opinion. More specifically, the court determined that neither the anti-commandeering doctrine nor a presumption that states handle domestic family matters invalidated the act, as the authority regulating Native Americans is squarely dedicated to Congress by the Constitution. However, the high court sidestepped the question of whether ICWA violates the equal protection clause or delegation powers of Congress due to a lack of standing among the parties. Although some claim 'the equal protection issue remains undecided,' the Brackeen decision 1) explained the Constitutional authority for ICWA, 2) rejected the anti-commandeering arguments but 3) determined the equal protection and nondelegation questions were not raised by the appropriate parties at that time."

Looking to increase your productivity and profitability? Utilize your OBA discount of 10% on Smokeball, a cloud-based legal practice management software. This program provides resources such as automatic time tracking and invoicing, an extensive library of more than 20,000 standard legal forms and documents, and actionable reports that summarize your firm’s activities and highlight areas of opportunity. See more information by clicking the “Practice Management Software Benefits” link on your MyOKBar page.

Featured CLE

An Improved Picture. But Is It Admissible?

By OBA MAP Director Jim Calloway

Google is now airing TV commercials about Best Take, an AI-powered feature, on the Google Pixel 8 phone. It can be challenging to take a group shot without someone with their eyes closed or an awkward expression, particularly if children are involved. We all have learned to take several pictures and pick the best one, which still may not be perfect. The Pixel’s Best Take feature can improve your photographs of group shots and family events by comparing the series of shots, picking the best facial expressions and combining these best poses into one picture. Hopefully, you can create a great result where everyone is smiling and no one’s eyes are closed. For most camera phone users, this sounds like a great feature. For more information, see “What is the Pixel 8’s new Best Take feature and how does it work?” from Pocket-lint.

But while Best Take can generate a much better “selfie shot,” the result is now a digitally altered picture. Improved without a doubt, but perhaps a challenge for any lawyer seeking to admit the photo into evidence. What about a too-dark picture that has been lightened? Or was taken in Portrait mode? The tip to trial lawyers is if a picture is important evidence, ask if it has been digitally altered and whether there is a similar picture that hasn’t been. AI makes it much easier to alter pictures or create fake pictures. So, sadly, this won’t be the last item you read about digitally altered photographs.

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.