Volume 2 No. 46 | Nov. 16, 2022


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.

Notice Of Judicial Vacancy


Annual dues statements have been posted online at MyOKBar. Paper statements will be mailed around Dec. 1 to members who have not yet paid. Please help the OBA reduce printing and postage costs by paying your dues today!  Members can pay their dues by credit card online at MyOKBar or by mailing a check to the OBA Dues Lockbox, P.O. Box 960101, Oklahoma City, OK 73196.

Dues are due Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.  

The November Oklahoma Bar Journal focuses on the topic of "Municipal Law." OBA member Julie Trout Lombardi contributed the article "Municipalities and the Open Meeting Act" to this month's journal:

"The OMA is designed to provide transparency and allow citizens to be informed about discussions and actions taken at meetings. Given that the purpose of the act is to create accountability and clarity regarding the actions and discussions of public bodies, the act is quite likely to be liberally construed in favor of citizens and should be treated as such. A municipal attorney, or another attorney for a public body, should always err on the side of transparency and openness when advising a public body. Convenience for a public body and its staff is definitely not a limiting factor or consideration under the act, and the expectation that municipalities provide transparent and pellucid government through its council, commissions and boards should govern decision-making. Attorneys advising municipalities and other public bodies should understand and recognize both the unambiguous technical requirements within the OMA as well as its overarching intentions to create a clear and comprehensive government in Oklahoma. Failure to do so may have draconian results for the municipality, public body and individual members of the public body."

"As we approach the end of the year, I encourage you to consider signing up for a committee. If you are unfamiliar with the work of a committee, reach out to the current chair.

I speak for many of my fellow chairs when I say that we value any time you can give back to the OBA. Perhaps that is just time in meetings where you can share ideas and offer feedback on how to improve the work of the committee. You may see a committee project you are passionate about, and you can lead that project. There is no shortage of opportunities.

I can say with certainty, if you find a project or committee you are passionate about, you will receive far more than you give. You will build connections with colleagues that extend beyond the committee’s work, and you will enjoy the reward of seeing your hard work pay off."

Announcement: Amendments Made to Oklahoma IOLTA Rule 1.15

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On Oct. 10, 2022, upon application made by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, the Oklahoma Supreme Court amended Rule 1.15, Safekeeping Property, of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct to clarify the meaning and implementation of “interest rate comparability” in the rule. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, in order to qualify to offer IOLTA accounts to Oklahoma attorneys, banks must pay the same rate of interest on those attorney IOLTA accounts as they pay on other non-attorney accounts with the same balance and other requirements. The interest earned on IOLTA accounts goes to the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, the official charitable arm of the Oklahoma Bar Association. IOLTA funds provide monetary support for legal aid for the poor, elderly, children, domestic violence survivors, the homeless and many others, as well as funds for access to justice, law-related education, high school mock trial programs and many other critical law-related charitable programs and activities throughout Oklahoma.

Additional information concerning this amendment to Rule 1.15 will appear in the Dec. 1, 2022 issue of the Oklahoma Bar Journal. This rule change does not require Oklahoma attorneys to take any action. In the unlikely event, however, that a bank in which an IOLTA account has been opened does not agree to pay the same interest rate on IOLTA account deposits as it pays on other, comparable deposits made by non-attorney clients, the OBF will work with the attorney and the bank to reach a resolution on the account, which could include opening of an account at a bank that does qualify to offer IOLTA accounts in accordance with the amendments.

Featured CLE

By Jim Calloway, OBA Management Assistance Program Director

What if you copied a lot of documents to a USB flash drive for working offline and now you can’t find the drive? Do you have to report this potential breach to firm management or notify the client of this potential breach? Suppose a hacker has gotten into your laptop and downloaded some files?

The short answer is there is no breach of confidential information if the device is encrypted. We have known for some time that misplacing portable devices with appropriate encryption is not a security breach because the information remains inaccessible. There is also a good case to be made for encrypting all laptop hard drives.

Protecting Portable Devices from Catherine Reach, Director, North Carolina Bar Association Center for Practice Management, was published in ABA Law Practice Magazine this month and she has republished it on her blog. It is a comprehensive treatment on securing portable devices, from encryption, to remote wiping, to office policies.

The Oklahoma Bar Journal is a publication of the Oklahoma Bar Association. All rights reserved. Copyright© 2022 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.