Supreme Court of Oklahoma

Decisions

PRICE v. ZHANG
2022 OK 95
Case Number: 119053
Decided: 11/22/2022

¶0 Four years after the appellant/plaintiff, Charlie Price (Price) filed a medical negligence/wrongful death action because his wife died from a stroke following surgery, the trial court dismissed the case for failure to prosecute. Price filed a motion for new trial arguing that he was denied due process because he was not given adequate notice of the hearing which resulted in the trial court’s dismissal of his lawsuit. The trial court denied the motion for new trial, and the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the trial court. We hold that because the plaintiff was not afforded adequate notice of the hearing in which the trial court dismissed the cause, due process requires that the dismissal be vacated.

CERTIORARI PREVIOUSLY GRANTED;
COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS OPINION VACATED;
TRIAL COURT ORDER VACATED AND CAUSE REMANDED.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. GIRALDI
2022 OK 94
Case Number: SCBD-7361
Decided: 11/21/2022

¶1 The State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association (Complainant) has presented this Court with an application to approve the resignation of Daniel Thomas Giraldi (Respondent), OBA No. 21192, from membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association. Respondent wishes to resign pending disciplinary proceedings and investigation into alleged misconduct, as provided in Rule 8.1 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), 5 O.S.2021, ch. 1, app. 1-A, https://govt.westlaw.com/okjc. Upon consideration of the Complainant’s application and the Respondent’s affidavit in support of resignation, we make the following findings:

a. During an investigation into allegations of professional misconduct against him, the Respondent offered on November 4, 2022, to surrender his license to practice law and to resign from membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association.

b. The Respondent tendered his resignation freely and voluntarily, without coercion or duress, and he was fully aware of the consequences of submitting his resignation.

c. The Respondent acknowledged that the Complainant’s Office of the General Counsel was investigating certain allegations of professional misconduct against him. General Counsel had filed Grievance No. DC-22-58 after becoming aware that Respondent had pleaded guilty on July 13, 2022, to one count of Possession of Oxycodone with Intent to Distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C) and to four counts of Honest Services Wire Fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1346 in the case of United States v. Daniel Thomas Giraldi, No. 4:22-cr-00143-GKF (N.D. Okla. filed Apr. 25, 2022). Respondent admits that, while he was serving as an Assistant District Attorney in the Ottawa County District Attorney’s Office, he devised a scheme beginning in or about February of 2019 and continuing until on or about April 19, 2022, to defraud the citizens of Oklahoma and his employer of their right to the honest and faithful services that he owed them in his position through the concealment of material information and the receipt of bribes in exchange for official acts. Specifically, Respondent would receive something of value–including sexual favors from multiple women –in exchange for corrupt actions in his official capacity, including but not limited to the reduction of criminal defendants’ bond amounts, the dismissal of traffic violations, and other favorable treatment of criminal defendants in their cases. To advance this scheme and artifice to defraud, Respondent employed wire communications in interstate commerce to transmit sounds and writings, including text messages sent on April 13th and 14th and a phone call placed on April 14th. Respondent further admits to possessing Oxycodone on April 19th with intent to distribute, all in relation to allegations that he traveled interstate to deliver the controlled dangerous substance (CDS) to a woman in exchange for sexual favors. Respondent is currently waiting to be sentenced. Under the applicable statutes, Respondent could be subject for each count of fraud to a sentence of a fine not exceeding $250,000, a term of imprisonment not exceeding 20 years, or both, see 18 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 3571(b)(3), and subject for the count of CDS possession to a sentence of a fine not exceeding $1,000,000, a term of imprisonment not exceeding 20 years, or both, see 18 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C).

d. The Respondent is aware that the allegations concerning the conduct specified above, if proven, would constitute violations of Rules 1.4, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.10, 8.4(b), and 8.4(c) of the ORPC, 5 O.S.2011, ch.1, app. 3-A; of Rule 1.3 of the RGDP, 5 O.S.2011, ch. 1, app. 1-A; and of his oath as a licensed Oklahoma lawyer.

e. The Respondent further acknowledges that, as a result of his conduct, the Client Security Fund may receive claims from his former client(s). Should the Oklahoma Bar Association approve and pay such Client Security Fund claims, the Respondent agrees to reimburse the fund for both the principal amount and the applicable statutory interest before filing any application seeking reinstatement.

f. The Respondent recognizes and agrees he may not make application for reinstatement to membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association prior to the expiration of five (5) years from the effective date of this Court’s approval of his resignation; he acknowledges he may be reinstated to practice law only upon compliance with the conditions and procedures prescribed by Rule 11 of the RGDP, 5 O.S.2021, ch. 1, app. 1-A, https://govt.westlaw.com/okjc.

g. The Respondent has agreed to comply with Rule 9.1 of the RGDP, 5 O.S.2021, ch. 1, app. 1-A, https://govt.westlaw.com/okjc, and the Respondent acknowledges he may be reinstated to practice law only upon providing proof of substantial compliance with Rule 9.1.

h. The Respondent’s resignation pending disciplinary proceedings is in compliance with Rule 8.1 of the RGDP, 5 O.S.2021, ch. 1, app. 1-A, https://govt.westlaw.com/okjc.

i. The Respondent’s name and address appear on the official roster maintained by the Oklahoma Bar Association as follows:

Daniel Thomas Giraldi
3326 S. Highland Ave.
Joplin, MO 64804

j. In its application, the Complainant indicated that no costs were incurred in this matter and that no reimbursement would be necessary.

k. The Respondent’s resignation should be approved.

l. This Order accepting the Respondent’s resignation is to be effective as of November 8, 2022, the date the application for approval of his resignation was filed in the Court.

¶2 It is therefore ORDERED that Complainant’s application is approved and Respondent’s resignation during the pendency of disciplinary proceedings is accepted and approved effective November 8, 2022.

¶3 It is further ORDERED that Respondent’s name be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys and that he make no application for reinstatement to membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association prior to November 8, 2027.

¶4 It is further ORDERED that the Respondent comply with Rule 9.1 of the RGDP, 5 O.S.2011, ch. 1, app. 1-A, by no later than December 12, 2022.


IN RE AMENDMENT OF RULE 1.11 OF OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT RULES
2022 OK 93
Decided: 11/14/2022

The Court hereby amends Oklahoma Supreme Court Rule 1.11, 12 O.S.2021, ch. 15, app. 1, pt. I, as shown on the attached Exhibit “A.” A clean copy of Rule 1.11’s amendment is attached as Exhibit “B.” This amendment shall be immediately effective, and it shall apply to all pending cases before this Court and the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. WIEHL
2022 OK 92
Case Number: SCBD-7359
Decided: 11/14/2022

¶1 The Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA), in compliance with Rules 7.1 and 7.2 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), forwarded to this Court certified copies of the following: (1) Information, charging Respondent with counts 1 and 2 Assault and Battery Upon A Police Officer, in violation of 21 O.S. § 649(B), felonies, count 3 Assault And/Or Battery On A Emergency Medical Technician or Care Provider, in violation of 21 O.S. § 650.4, count 4 Threaten an Act of Violence, in violation of 21 O.S. § 1378(B), a Misdemeanor, counts 5 and 6 Assault On A Police Officer, in violation of 21 O.S. § 649(A), a misdemeanor, count 7 Resisting An Officer, in violation of 21 O.S. § 268, a misdemeanor, count 8 Assault On A Police Officer, in violation of 21 O.S. § 649(A), a misdemeanor, count 9 Obstructing An Officer, in violation of 21 O.S. § 540, a misdemeanor, count 10 Assault in violation of 21 O.S. § 644(A), a misdemeanor, counts 11 and 12 Threaten an Act of Violence, in violation of 21 O.S. § 1378(B), misdemeanors, count 13 Assault and Battery in violation of 21 O.S. § 644(B), a misdemeanor, count 14 Outraging Public Decency in violation of 21 O.S. § 22, a misdemeanor, and count 15 Public Intoxication in violation of 37A O.S. § 6.101.D, a misdemeanor; (2) Plea of No Contest; and (3) Order of Deferred Sentence in the State of Oklahoma v. Ryan Wiehl, in the District Court of Tulsa County, CF-2022-1953.

¶2 On October 18, 2022, Respondent entered a plea of no contest to the above-referenced crimes. The Court deferred sentencing for one (1) year on all counts until September 29, 2023, and ordered conditions for probation.

¶3 RGDP 7.3 provides: “Upon receipt of the certified copies of Judgment and Sentence on a plea of guilty, order deferring judgment and sentence, indictment or information and the judgment and sentence, the Supreme Court may by order immediately suspend the lawyer from the practice of law until further order of the Court.” Having received certified copies of these papers and orders, and in view of the prior conduct resulting in discipline, this Court orders that Ryan Steven Wiehl is immediately suspended from the practice of law. Ryan Steven Wiehl is directed to show cause, if any, no later than November 28, 2022, why this order of interim suspension should be set aside. See RGDP Rule 7.3. The OBA has until December 9, 2022, to respond.

¶4 Rule 7.2 of the RGDP provides that a certified copy of a plea of guilty, an order deferring judgment and sentence, or information and judgment and sentence of conviction “shall constitute the charge and be conclusive evidence of the commission of the crime upon which the judgment and sentence is based and shall suffice as the basis for discipline in accordance with these rules.” Pursuant to Rule 7.4, Ryan Steven Wiehl has until December 28, 2022, to show cause in writing why a final order of discipline should not be made. The written return of the lawyer shall be verified and expressly state whether a hearing is desired. The lawyer may in the interest of explaining his conduct or by way of mitigating the discipline to be imposed upon him, submit a brief and/or any evidence tending to mitigate the severity of discipline. The OBA has until January 18, 2022, to respond.


FARRIS v. MASQUELIER
2022 OK 91
Case Number: 116555
Decided: 11/15/2022

¶0 Plaintiffs/Appellants filed suit in this water rights case claiming that Defendants/Appellees interfered with their rights by damming a stream that flows down to Plaintiffs/Appellants’ property. After a jury verdict in favor of Defendants/Appellees, Plaintiffs/Appellants appealed, and the Court of Civil Appeals reversed finding error in the jury instructions and remanded the cause. This Court granted certiorari. Applying the proper fundamental error standard of review, we vacate the opinion of the Court of Civil Appeals and affirm the trial court’s denial of the motion for new trial. We reverse the trial court’s ruling on the denial of attorney fees to Defendants/Appellees and remand the matter for a determination of reasonable fees.


ARULKUMAR v. ARULKUMAR
2022 OK 90
Case Number: 119675
Decided: 11/15/2022

¶0 Mother gave notice of her intent to relocate with the parties’ only child from Oklahoma City to New York City to which Father timely objected. Although finding Mother’s request was made in good faith, the trial court denied the relocation request finding Father met his burden showing relocation was not in the child’s best interest. Mother appealed the trial court’s ruling, and we retained the matter. We hold the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Mother’s proposed relocation.


IN RE AMENDMENT to 12 O.S. CH. 15 APP. 1 RULE 1.21 RULES OF OKLA. SUPREME COURT
2022 OK 89
Decided: 11/07/2022

0 Order Amending Oklahoma Supreme Court Rule 1.21.

¶1 The Court hereby amends Oklahoma Supreme Court Rule 1.21, 12 O.S.2021, Ch. 15, App. 1.

¶2 Oklahoma Supreme Court Rule 1.21 is amended to add the following paragraph (f):

(f) Appeals from the Termination of Parental Rights.

(1) An appeal from the termination of parental rights shall be initiated by filing a Petition in Error in this Court within thirty days of the order appealed from. 10A O.S. § 1-5-103(A); Supreme Court Rules 1.4, 1.23.

(2) A party who wishes to challenge the termination of parental rights is entitled to the effective assistance of counsel at trial, as well as in perfecting any appeal. 10A O.S. § 1-4-306(A); Matter of J.L.O., 2018 OK 77, ¶ 35, 428 P.3d 881; Supreme Court Rules 1.4, 1.23(a)-(d); Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct, 5 O.S., Ch. 1, App. 3–A; cf. Abels v. Kaiser, 913 F.2d 821 (10th Cir. 1990).

(3) If, through no fault of the appealing party, the Petition in Error is not timely filed, the party may file a motion with the trial court seeking an order recommending a late appeal. The motion shall detail why the party believes their inability to timely file an appeal was through no fault of their own. A copy of the motion shall be served on all other parties, who may respond to the request.

(4) The trial court may hold a hearing on the matter if necessary. The trial court shall issue, and file with the district court clerk, an order containing findings of fact and a conclusion as to whether a late appeal should or should not be granted by this Court. A file-stamped copy of that order shall be served on all parties.

(5) Within thirty days after the filing of that order, the party seeking a late appeal shall file a Petition in Error in this Court including a file-stamped copy of the order. Whether or not a late appeal is granted will be determined by this Court.

¶3 The version of Oklahoma Supreme Court Rule 1.21 amended by this Order shall take effect December 1, 2022. This Order shall be published three times in the Oklahoma Bar Journal.


WREN v. YATES
2022 OK 88
Case Number: 119642
Decided: 11/08/2022

¶1 Rule 1.201 of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules provides that “[i]n any case in which it appears that a prior controlling appellate decision is dispositive of the appeal, the court may summarily affirm or reverse, citing in its order of summary disposition this rule and the controlling decision.” Okla. Sup. Ct. Rule 1.201.

¶2 After reviewing the record in this case, THE COURT FINDS that its decision in Milne v. Hudson2022 OK 84, __ P.3d __, involves the same primary legal questions as those in this appeal. Our holding in Milne disposes of the issue raised here.

¶3 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the trial court’s order issuing a Final Order of Protection against Appellant Yates is AFFIRMED.


IN THE MATTER OF THE REINSTATEMENT OF ARNETT
2022 OK 87
Case Number: SCBD-7235

Decided: 11/08/2022

¶0 Petitioner Emma Barlie Arnett filed a petition for reinstatement to membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association. The Oklahoma Bar Association does not oppose her reinstatement, and the Trial Panel of the Professional Responsibility Tribunal recommended reinstatement. After our de novo review, we hold that Petitioner has met the requirements for reinstatement to the Oklahoma Bar Association.


JOHNSON v. SNOW
2022 OK 86
Case Number: 119794
Decided: 11/01/2022

¶0 While divorce proceedings between Plaintiff/Appellee Arnold H. Johnson (Husband) and Jacquelyn K. Johnson (Wife) were pending, Wife changed the primary beneficiary of her individual retirement account (IRA) from Husband to her adult children, Defendants/Appellants Dirk M. Snow and Duff M. Snow (collectively, Children). She also opened a new individual transfer on death (TOD) account and designated Children as the primary beneficiaries. Wife died before the divorce was granted, and the action abated. Thereafter, Husband filed the underlying declaratory judgment action to enforce the automatic temporary injunction entered in the divorce action. The district court concluded that the IRA and the funds used to open the TOD account were marital property and, therefore, Wife’s acts violated the automatic temporary injunction, 43 O.S.2011 § 110(A)(1)(a), and were ineffective. The district court granted summary judgment to Husband and ordered that he be reinstated as the primary beneficiary of Wife’s IRA and awarded the proceeds of the TOD account. Children appealed. We hold that when the dissolution of marriage action abated, the district court was deprived of its jurisdiction to enforce the automatic temporary injunction. It is undisputed that Children were designated as the primary beneficiaries at the time of Wife’s death and, therefore, they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.


GALIER v. MURCO WALL PRODUCTS
2022 OK 85
Case Number: 114175
Decided: 10/25/2022

¶0 Michael Galier brought a negligence and products liability action against Defendant/Appellant/Petitioner Murco Wall Products, Inc., a Texas manufacturer, alleging exposure to Murco’s products caused him to contract mesothelioma. The Oklahoma County District Court denied Murco’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and, following a jury trial, granted judgment to Galier. The Court of Civil Appeals affirmed. This Court denied certiorari. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated the Court of Civil Appeals’ decision, and remanded for reconsideration in light of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017). The Court of Civil Appeals reaffirmed the district court. We previously granted certiorari to address whether the Court of Civil Appeals properly found that Oklahoma possesses specific personal jurisdiction over Murco.


MILNE v. HUDSON
2022 OK 84
Case Number: 119498
Decided: 10/25/2022

¶0 Plaintiff/Appellee Milne applied for a civil protection order against Defendant/Appellant Hudson in the District Court of McIntosh County. Hudson objected, claiming that the district court had no jurisdiction to enter the order. Hudson argued that because McIntosh County is within the boundaries of the Muscogee Reservation, Milne is a member of the Muscogee Nation, and Hudson is a member of the Cherokee Nation, the McIntosh District Court had no jurisdiction to enter a civil protective order against him. The trial court denied the objection and entered the civil protection order. We affirm the trial court’s decision.


KINGFISHER WIND v. WEHMULLER
2022 OK 83
Case Number: 119837
Decided: 10/18/2022

¶0 The plaintiff, Kingfisher Wind, LLC., (Kingfisher Wind) is located partially in Canadian and Kingfisher Counties. After county assessors from each county valued its wind farm for ad valorem tax assessment, Kingfisher Wind appealed the valuation to the District Courts in each county. By agreement, the cases were consolidated in Canadian County, and the cause proceeded to trial with the primary issue being whether Production Tax Credits (PTCs) are “property” subject to ad valorem taxation. The trial court held that PTCs were not taxable, and it excluded their value from taxable valuation. The County Assessors appealed, and we retained the cause. We hold that PTCs are intangible personal property, and not subject to ad valorem taxation pursuant to the Okla. Const. art 10, §6A. Because the trial court’s findings regarding valuation were not otherwise against the weight of the evidence, we affirm the trial court.


IN RE OKLAHOMA RULE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT 1.15
2022 OK 82
Case Number: SCBD-7279
Decided: 10/10/2022

This matter comes on before this Court upon an Application to Amend Oklahoma Rule of Professional Conduct, as proposed and set out in Exhibit “A” attached hereto. This Court finds that it has jurisdiction over this matter and the Rule is hereby amended as set out in Exhibit A attached hereto effective November 1, 2022.


IN RE RULES FOR THE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL ELECTIONS
2022 OK 81
Case Number: SCBD-5703
Decided: 10/10/2022

This matter comes on before this Court upon an Application to amend Rules for the Committee on Judicial Elections, 5 O.S. ch. 1 app. 4C and 5 O.S. ch. 2. This Court finds that it has jurisdiction over this matter and that an Order should enter as follows:

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED by the Court that the Application of the Oklahoma Bar Association to amend Rule 1(C) (Organization) and Rule 2 (Complaints) for the Committee on Judicial Elections, said Rules attached hereto in entirety as Exhibit A, is hereby granted.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED by the Court that the Rules for the Committee on Judicial Elections shall be published three times in the Oklahoma Bar Journal and published on the website within sixty (60) days of the execution of this Order. The amendments shall become effective upon filing of this Order.


HAMMER v. STATE
2022 OK 80
Case Number: 119,429
Decided: 10/11/2022

0 On review of an order denying Father’s motion to vacate a judgment for lack of jurisdiction, we affirm the district court’s denial. We hold there is no abuse of discretion in denying a motion to vacate an order terminating parental rights that was finally adjudicated when nothing on the face of the judgment roll demonstrates a lack of jurisdiction. Father stipulated to the petition which listed the children’s street address as within McIntosh County. The district court implicitly found Children were not residents or domiciliaries of a reservation. At no point in the original proceedings did Father or the tribe allege otherwise. No direct appeal was filed from the original order. Instead, Father brought a claim to vacate more than a year after the judgment terminating his parental rights became final. A motion to vacate is not a substitute for a timely appeal. A judgment will only be vacated as void if the lack of jurisdiction affirmatively appears on the face of the judgment roll. Because Father failed to demonstrate the judgment is void, the order of the district court denying Father’s motion to vacate must be affirmed.


WESTERN HEIGHTS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT v. STATE
2022 OK 79
Case Number: 120034
Decided: 10/04/2022

¶0 Petitioners, school district and superintendent of the school district, sought a declaratory judgment, temporary restraining order, and preliminary injunction. The Honorable Aletia Haynes Timmons, District Judge for the District Court of Oklahoma County, denied the requests for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Petitioners filed an interlocutory appeal and motion to retain the appeal in the Supreme Court for appellate review. The Court granted the motion to retain. We hold the Superintendent failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim that a due process violation occurred, or a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim that his administrative remedy was inadequate, and failed to show he was entitled to a preliminary injunction. We hold the School District failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits on a claim the State Board lacked authority to place the school district on probation with a condition requiring an interim superintendent, and failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of a claim the school district was entitled to an administrative individual proceeding prior to the school district being placed on probation, and school district failed to show it was entitled to a preliminary injunction.

DISTRICT COURT ORDER AFFIRMED

¶92 We hold the Superintendent failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim that a due process violation occurred, or a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim that his administrative remedy was inadequate, and failed to show he was entitled to a preliminary injunction.

¶93 We hold the School District failed to show likelihood of success on the merits on a claim the State Board lacked authority to place the school district on probation with a condition requiring an interim superintendent, and failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of a claim the school district was entitled to an administrative individual proceeding prior to the school district being placed on probation, and school district failed to show it was entitled to a preliminary injunction.

¶94 The order of the District Court is affirmed.


LAUBACH v. LAUBACH
2022 OK 78
Case Number: 117545; Cons. w/117654
Decided: 09/27/2022

¶0 After the appellant, Paul Laubach (father), and the appellee, Maria Laubach (mother) divorced, the mother sought approval from the trial court to move across the state with their children. The father objected. Among the numerous orders issued by the trial court in this cause was a minute order filed on April 17, 2018. After the father’s appeal culminated in two consolidated cases, the Court of Civil Appeals dismissed a portion of the appeals when it held that the April 17, 2018, minute order was an appealable order which was appealed out of time. Consequently, it dismissed the portion of the father’s appeals which transpired from that order. We granted certiorari for the limited purpose of addressing the appealability of such court minutes, minute orders, minutes, and summary orders. We hold that trial court rulings which include the title court minute, minute order, minute, or summary order are not appealable orders which trigger the time to appeal.


STOTTS v. NICHOLS
2022 OK 77
Case Number: 120698
Decided: 09/21/2022

On September 14, 2022, the Petitioners filed an Application to Assume Original Jurisdiction and Petition to Review the sufficiency of the re-written ballot title for State Question 820, Initiative Petition 434. 34 O.S. 2021, § 10(A). We find the following ballot title as re-written by the Attorney General and submitted on July 26, 2022 is sufficient:

This measure creates a state law legalizing recreational use marijuana for persons 21 or older. Marijuana use and possession remain crimes under federal law. The export of marijuana from Oklahoma is prohibited. The law will have a fiscal impact on the State. The Oklahoma Tax Commission will collect a 15% excise tax on recreational use sales, above applicable sales taxes. Excise tax revenues will fund implementation of the law, with any surplus revenues going to public school programs to address substance abuse and improve student retention (30%), the General Revenue Fund (30%), drug addiction treatment programs (20%), courts (10%), and local governments (10%). The law limits certain marijuana-related conduct and establishes quantity limits, safety standards, restrictions, and penalties for violations. A local government may prohibit or restrict recreational marijuana use on the property of the local government and regulate the time, place, and manner of the operation of marijuana businesses within its boundaries. However, a local government may not limit the number of, or completely prohibit, such businesses. Persons who occupy, own, or control private property may prohibit or regulate marijuana-related conduct, except that a lease agreement may not prohibit a tenant from lawfully possessing and consuming marijuana by means other than smoking. The law does not affect an employer’s ability to restrict employee marijuana use. For the first two years, marijuana business licenses are available only to existing licensees in operation one year or more. The law does not affect the rights of medical marijuana patients or licensees. The law requires resentencing, reversing, modifying, and expunging certain prior marijuana-related judgments and sentences unless the State proves an unreasonable risk to a person. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is authorized to administer and enforce the law.

Shall the proposal be approved?

For the proposal — YES

Against the proposal — NO

Original jurisdiction is assumed. Okla. Const. Art. 7, ( 4. All other relief is denied. Any rehearing on this matter must be filed with this Court by 12:00 p.m., noon, on Monday, September 26, 2022.


NICHOLS v. ZIRIAX
2022 OK 76
Case Number: 120646
Decided: 09/21/2022

0 Petitioners are the proponents of Initiative Petition No. 434, State Question No. 820 (hereinafter “SQ820”), which in simple terms would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana that is recreationally used by adults through the enactment of new laws to be codified at title 63, sections 431 through 446 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Petitioners ask this Court to assume original jurisdiction and to issue a writ of mandamus that would require Respondents to print SQ820 on the ballot for the general election being held November 8, 2022. At the time Petitioners filed their petition for an emergency writ on August 22nd, this Court had not even certified the number of signatures on SQ820’s initiative petitions as numerically sufficient pursuant to 34 O.S.2021, § 8(H). That was not accomplished until August 25th. But beyond that, before SQ820 could be placed on the ballot, it would still need to clear several other statutorily imposed hurdles set forth in the general provisions of title 34 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Chiefly, SQ820 would still need to survive any citizen protests challenging the sufficiency of the signatures or the rewritten ballot title. See 34 O.S.2021, § 8(I), (K). Because it was not clear whether any protests would be filed or, if some were filed, whether the protests could be disposed of prior to the deadlines for printing ballots and for mailing ballots to absentee voters, this Court decided on August 29th to assume original jurisdiction and hold this matter in abeyance so that the process could play out a little further. The Secretary of State took actions on August 31st that commenced the 10-business-day period to file protests. Prior to the September 15th deadline, citizens filed four protests. This Court denied two of the protests on September 16th. Now that it is clear SQ820 cannot be printed on ballots in time to comply with the deadline for mailing ballots to absentee voters that is set forth in 26 O.S.2021, § 14-118(A) and 52 U.S.C. § 20302(a)(8)(A), we deny the requested writ of mandamus.


IN RE AMENDMENTS TO OKLAHOMA UNIFORM JURY INSTRUCTIONS-CIVIL
2022 OK 75
Decided: 09/20/2022

¶1 The Court has reviewed the report and recommendations of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Committee for Uniform Jury Instructions for Civil Cases to adopt proposed amendments to existing jury instructions and to add new jury instructions codified as Instruction Nos. 1.10A, 1.14, 10.17, 11.9, 11.9A, and 31.5. The Court accepts the report and finds the revisions should be adopted as modified by the Court.

¶2 It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that the revisions to the instructions shall be available for access via the internet from the Court website at www.oscn.net and provided to West Publishing Company for publication. The Administrative Office of the Courts is requested to duplicate and provide copies of the revisions to the judges of the District Courts. Further, the District Courts of the State of Oklahoma are directed to implement these revisions effective thirty (30) days from the date of this Order.

¶3 It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that the amendments to existing Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions-Civil (OUJI-CIV) Nos. 3.11A, 4.2, 4.3, 6.11, 6.16, 18.8, 18.9, 24.2, 24.3, 25.2, and 25.3, and the new proposed instructions, OUJI-CIV Nos. 1.10A, 1.14, 10.17, 11.9, 11.9A, and 31.5, their statutory authority, Committee Comments, and Notes on Use, as set out and attached to this Order, are hereby adopted. The Court authorizes the attached OUJI-CIV instructions, the updated Committee Comments, and Notes on Use, as modified by the Court, to be published.

¶4 The Court today declines to relinquish its constitutional or statutory authority to review the legal correctness of these authorized instructions when it is called upon to afford corrective relief in any adjudicative context.

¶5 These amended instructions shall be effective thirty (30) days from the date this Order is filed with the Clerk of this Court.


IN RE AMENDMENTS TO OKLAHOMA UNIFORM JURY INSTRUCTIONS-JUVENILE
2022 OK 74
Decided: 09/20/2022

¶1 The Court has reviewed the report and recommendations of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Committee for Uniform Jury Instructions for Juvenile Cases to adopt proposed amendments to existing jury instructions and to add a new jury instruction codified as Juvenile Instruction No. 2.6A. The Court accepts the report and finds the revisions should be adopted as modified by the Court.

¶2 It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that the revisions to the instructions shall be available for access via the internet from the Court website at www.oscn.net and provided to West Publishing Company for publication. The Administrative Office of the Courts is requested to duplicate and provide copies of the revisions to the judges of the District Courts. Further, the District Courts of the State of Oklahoma are directed to implement these revisions effective thirty (30) days from the date of this Order.

¶3 It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that the amendments to existing Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions-Juvenile (OUJI-JUV) Nos. 1.6, 2.2, 3.2, 3.7, 3.9, 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15, 3.16, 3.17, 3.18, and 3.19A, and the new proposed instruction, OUJI-JUV No. 2.6A, their statutory authority, Committee Comments, and Notes on Use, as set out and attached to this Order, are hereby adopted. The Court authorizes the attached OUJI-JUV instructions, the updated Committee Comments, and Notes on Use, as modified by the Court, to be published.

¶4 The Court today declines to relinquish its constitutional or statutory authority to review the legal correctness of these authorized instructions when it is called upon to afford corrective relief in any adjudicative context.

¶5 These amended instructions shall be effective thirty (30) days from the date this Order is filed with the Clerk of this Court.


RITTER v. STATE
2022 OK 73; Case Number: 119840
Decided: 09/20/2022

¶0 The plaintiffs/appellees, doctors, parents, and the Oklahoma State Medical Association, (collectively, doctors) brought a declaratory judgment action against the State of Oklahoma and the Governor in the District Court of Oklahoma County. They sought: 1) a declaration that Senate Bill 658, codified as 70 O.S. Supp. 2021 Ch. 15, §§1210-189 and 190, which restricts school districts of local control of public schools from making decisions about mask wearing to school in order to protect all students from contracting or spreading a highly contagious and infectious disease, only when the Governor declares a state of emergency is unconstitutional; and 2) an injunction enjoining the alleged unconstitutional legislation from being enforced. The trial court granted a temporary injunction, enjoining the State from enforcing portions of Senate Bill 658. The State of Oklahoma and the Governor appealed. We retained the cause and hold that 70 O.S. Supp. 2021 §§1210-189 and 190, are an unconstitutional, impermissible delegation of Legislative authority. However, because the objectionable provision is stricken, the remainder of the statutes may be upheld.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. WOODWARD
2022 OK 72; Case Number: SCBD-7269
Decided: 09/13/2022

0 The Oklahoma Bar Association instituted this reciprocal discipline proceeding pursuant to Rule 7.7 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings, 5 O.S.2021, ch. 1, app. 1–A. Respondent attorney was found guilty of misconduct for violating multiple provisions of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar Association. The Florida Supreme Court suspended Respondent from practicing law for a period of seventy-five days and placed him on probation for a period of two years. As reciprocal discipline, Respondent is suspended for a period of seventy-five days, to commence on the filing of this decision.


CHEROKEE NATION v. LEXINGTON INSURANCE CO.
2022 OK 71; Case Number: 119359; Comp. w/ 119413, 11970
Decided: 09/13/2022

¶0 Cherokee Nation filed a declaratory judgment action seeking insurance coverage under the business interruption provision of a policy issued by insurers for the economic losses it incurred when it temporarily closed its properties due to the threat of COVID-19. The district court granted Cherokee Nation’s motion for partial summary judgment, holding the phrase “direct physical loss” in the business interruption provision of the policy included coverage for losses sustained by property rendered unusable for its intended purpose. The district court also found that none of the exclusions raised by the insurers applied to Cherokee Nation’s loss. The insurers appealed, and we retained the appeal. We hold that Cherokee Nation’s losses are not covered under the business interruption section of the insurance policy at issue. The district court erred in finding business interruption coverage when Cherokee Nation did not sustain immediate, tangible deprivation or destruction of property.

STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. SHEARS (UPDATE)
2022 OK 61; Case Number: SCBD-7267
Decided: 06/20/2022
As Corrected June 24, 2022

¶1 On June 20, 2022, this Court issued an Order of Immediate Interim Suspension. Respondent was directed to show cause why the interim suspension should be set aside by July 5, 2022. See Rule 7.3, RGDP. The interim order was corrected Nunc Pro Tunc on June 24, 2022.


IN RE AMENDMENT OF RULES 1.5 AND 1.200 OF OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT RULES
2022 OK 70
Decided: 06/27/2022

¶1 Rules 1.5 and 1.200 are hereby amended as shown on the attached Exhibits “A & B”. The amended rule shall be effective July 1, 2022.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. KAUFMAN
2022 OK 69; Case Number: SCBD-7165
Decided: 06/28/2022

¶0 The Complainant, State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association, charged the Respondent, Ronald C. Kaufman, with five counts of professional misconduct pursuant to Rule 6 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings. The Professional Responsibility Tribunal held a hearing and recommended the Respondent be disbarred. We hold there is clear and convincing evidence that the totality of the Respondent’s conduct warrants disbarment. The Respondent is hereby disbarred from the practice of law and ordered to pay costs as provided herein.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. SILVERNAIL
2022 OK 68; Case Number: SCBD-6874; Cons. w/6884
Decided: 06/28/2022

¶0 Complainant, the State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA), brought disciplinary proceedings against Respondent, a licensed Oklahoma lawyer, after he was convicted of Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon by an Oklahoma County jury. The OBA alleges that the criminal conviction itself, as well as Respondent’s attempts to maintain his law practice while in custody, violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys licensed in Oklahoma. For the reasons discussed below, we find clear and convincing evidence to support the imposition of professional discipline and assess costs against Respondent.


IN THE MATTER OF THE REINSTATEMENT OF SCOTT
2022 OK 67; Case Number: SCBD-6962
Decided: 06/28/2022

¶0 Petitioner, Joel Edward Scott, III, (Scott) seeks reinstatement to membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) pursuant to Rule 11, Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), after this Court approved Petitioner’s voluntary resignation pending disciplinary proceedings. Multiple grievances were filed against Petitioner for misconduct, including misappropriation of client and third party funds, misrepresentations, neglect, failure to respond to the OBA during its investigation, and the issuance of a tax warrant. After a reinstatement hearing, the Professional Responsibility Tribunal (PRT) determined Petitioner had not established by clear and convincing evidence that he had met all of the requirements for reinstatement and recommended that Petitioner’s Petition for Reinstatement be denied. Upon de novo review, we agree and hold that reinstatement should be denied and impose $303.19 in costs.


IN THE MATTER OF THE REINSTATEMENT OF WALKER
2022 OK 66; Case Number: SCBD-7167
Decided: 06/28/2022

¶0 Petitioner, Kelly J. Walker, filed a petition for reinstatement to membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association. The Professional Responsibility Tribunal unanimously recommended Petitioner’s conditional reinstatement. The Oklahoma Bar Association does not oppose Petitioner’s reinstatement. Upon review, we hold Petitioner has failed to demonstrate the necessary competence and learning in the law for reinstatement. Accordingly, Petitioner’s reinstatement is conditionally granted upon her passage of the Oklahoma Bar Examination and payment of all outstanding dues and fees to the Oklahoma Bar Association.


STATE OF OKLAHOMA ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. DOWNES
2022 OK 65, Case Number: SCBD-7128
Decided: 06/21/2022

¶0 The complainant, Oklahoma Bar Association, charged the respondent, Sean Patrick Downes, with three counts of professional misconduct associated with the attorney’s alleged conduct concerning conversion of client funds, lack of communication, and dilatory conduct. The trial panel recommended disbarment, and that costs be imposed. Upon de novo review, we hold that the respondent’s conduct warrants disbarment and the payment of costs.


GHOUSSOUB v. YAMMINE
2022 OK 64, Case Number: 118944
Decided: 06/21/2022

¶0 Appellant Marie Yammine, as former wife and primary beneficiary of a two million dollar life insurance policy issued by Respondent ReliaStar Life Insurance Company to her former husband, Dr. Jean Bernard, appeals a declaratory judgment finding the contingent beneficiary, Appellee Roland Ghoussoub, is entitled to the policy’s death benefit. Dr. Jean Bernard died after the trial court granted the parties’ divorce but prior to final judgment on all issues. The trial court declared Marie Yammine and Dr. Jean Bernard were divorced and that 15 O.S.2011 § 178(A) operated to revoke her beneficiary designation to the death benefits. We reverse the trial court’s judgment and remand the matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


SNOW v. TOWN OF CALUMET
2022 OK 63, Case Number: 119748
Decided: 06/21/2022

¶0 Landowners sued the Town of Calumet for trespass and inverse condemnation due to maintaining two municipal sewer lines across the owners’ property after the expiration of two temporary easements. The town counterclaimed to quiet title. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the landowners’ motion for summary judgment on the town’s quiet-title claim and granted the town’s motion for summary judgment on the landowners’ claims for trespass and inverse condemnation. The landowners appealed the district court’s judgment on their inverse condemnation claim. This Court retained the appeal. We reverse the district court’s judgment, holding the landowners have standing to assert an inverse condemnation claim, and we remand for trial.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. REEDY
2022 OK 62
Case Number: SCBD-7268
Decided: 06/20/2022

The Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA), in compliance with Rules 7.1 and 7.2 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), forwarded to this Court certified copies of the following: Indictment, Explanation of Rights and Plea of Guilty, Plea Agreement, Felony Sentencing Order and Order of Probation filed in State of Alabama v. James D. Reedy, in the District Court of Baldwin County, State of Alabama, Case No. CC-2017-900105.

On March 21, 2018, Respondent entered a plea of guilty to manslaughter, under Section 13A-6-3 of the Code of Alabama 1975, a felony. The Alabama Court sentenced Respondent to 180 months, or until March 21, 2033. It was a split sentence wherein Respondent was required to serve 18 months in the Department of Corrections’ custody and the remainder of the sentence was suspended with Respondent placed on probation for 36 months immediately following his release from incarceration.

RGDP 7.3 provides: “Upon receipt of the certified copies of Judgment and Sentence on a plea of guilty, order deferring judgment and sentence, indictment or information and the judgment and sentence, the Supreme Court may by order immediately suspend the lawyer from the practice of law until further order of the Court.” Having received certified copies of these papers and orders, and in view of the prior conduct resulting in discipline, this Court orders that James Darrell Reedy is immediately suspended from the practice of law. James Darrell Reedy is directed to show cause, if any, no later than July 5, 2022, why this order of interim suspension should be set aside. See RGDP Rule 7.3. The OBA has until July 20, 2022, to respond.

Rule 7.2 of the RGDP provides that a certified copy of a plea of guilty, an order deferring judgment and sentence, or information and judgment and sentence of conviction “shall constitute the charge and be conclusive evidence of the commission of the crime upon which the judgment and sentence is based and shall suffice as the basis for discipline in accordance with these rules.” Pursuant to Rule 7.4, James Darrell Reedy has until August 4, 2022, to show cause in writing why a final order of discipline should not be made. The written return of the lawyer shall be verified and expressly state whether a hearing is desired. The lawyer may in the interest of explaining his conduct or by way of mitigating the discipline to be imposed upon him, submit a brief and/or any evidence tending to mitigate the severity of discipline. The OBA has until August 19, 2022, to respond.

DONE BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT in conference on June 20, 2022.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. SHEARS
2022 OK 61
Case Number: SCBD-7267
Decided: 06/20/2022

The Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA), in compliance with Rules 7.1 and 7.2 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), forwarded to this Court certified copies of the following: (1) Information, charging Respondent with count 1 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Aggravated in violation of 47 O.S. § 11-902(D), a misdemeanor, and count 2 Transporting an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage in violation of 37A O.S. § 6-101(A)(7), a misdemeanor; (2) Deferment pursuant to plea of nolo contendere to the misdemeanor crime of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Aggravated, along with Exhibit A listing the Court Ordered fines, costs and District Attorney Supervision Order; and (3) Application to Accelerate Deferred Judgment in the State of Oklahoma v. Jack Lee Shears, in the District Court of Kay County, CM-2021-27.

On March 2021, Respondent entered a plea of nolo contendere to Driving a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol Aggravated in violation of 47 O.S. § 11-902(D), a misdemeanor. The Court deferred sentencing for two (2) years until March 30, 2023, ordered supervision by the District Attorney, and set forth special rules and conditions for probation. On May 27, 2022, the District Attorney filed an Application to accelerate judgment alleging that Respondent violated the terms and conditions of his probation on four separate instances.

RGDP 7.3 provides: “Upon receipt of the certified copies of Judgment and Sentence on a plea of guilty, order deferring judgment and sentence, indictment or information and the judgment and sentence, the Supreme Court may by order immediately suspend the lawyer from the practice of law until further order of the Court.” Having received certified copies of these papers and orders, and in view of the prior conduct resulting in discipline, this Court orders that Jack Lee Shears is immediately suspended from the practice of law. Jack Lee Shears is directed to show cause, if any, no later than July 5, 2022, why this order of interim suspension should be set aside. See RGDP Rule 7.3. The OBA has until July 20, 2022, to respond.

Rule 7.2 of the RGDP provides that a certified copy of a plea of guilty, an order deferring judgment and sentence, or information and judgment and sentence of conviction “shall constitute the charge and be conclusive evidence of the commission of the crime upon which the judgment and sentence is based and shall suffice as the basis for discipline in accordance with these rules.” Pursuant to Rule 7.4, Jack Lee Shears has until August 4, 2022, to show cause in writing why a final order of discipline should not be made. The written return of the lawyer shall be verified and expressly state whether a hearing is desired. The lawyer may in the interest of explaining his conduct or by way of mitigating the dicipline to be imposed upon him, submit a brief and/or any evidence tending to mitigate the severity of discipline. The OBA has until August 19, 2022, to respond.

DONE BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT in conference on June 20, 2022.


CROWN ENERGY COMPANY v. MID-CONTINENT CASUALTY CO.
2022 OK 60
Case Number: 116989
Decided: 06/14/2022

Crown Energy Company (“Crown”) brought suit against Mid-Continent Casualty Company (“Mid-Continent”) seeking declaratory judgment that two commercial general liability policies issued to Crown provided coverage for claims of property damage brought against Crown in a separate action. The claims arose out of seismic activity allegedly caused by Crown’s use of waste water disposal wells in its oil and gas operations. Mid-Continent filed a counterclaim, seeking declaratory judgment that the claims were not covered under the policies because the seismic activity did not constitute an “occurrence” and that the claims fell within a pollution exclusion to the policies. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Crown. Mid-Continent appealed, and the matter was assigned to the Court of Civil Appeals, Division II. The Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment. We hold that the seismic activity did constitute an occurrence under the policies and that the pollution exclusion does not bar coverage.

CERTIORARI PREVIOUSLY GRANTED;
COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS OPINION VACATED;
JUDGMENT OF THE TRIAL COURT AFFIRMED.


IN THE MATTER OF THE STRIKING OF NAMES OF MEMBERS OF THE OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION
2022 OK 59
Case Number: SCBD-7058
Decided: 06/13/2022

The Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association filed an Application for Order Striking Names of attorneys from the Oklahoma Bar Association’s membership rolls and from the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma for failure to comply with the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, 5 O.S. 2011, ch. 1, app. 1-B, for the year 2020.

Pursuant to Rule 6(d) of the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, the Oklahoma Bar Association’s members named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, were suspended from membership in the Association and the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma by Order of this Court on June 7, 2021, for noncompliance with Rules 3 and 5 of the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education for the year 2020. Based on its application, this Court finds that the Board of Governors determined at their May 20, 2022 meeting that none of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s members named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, have applied for reinstatement within one year of the suspension order. Further, the Board of Governors declared that the members named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, shall cease to be members of the Oklahoma Bar Association and their names should therefore be stricken from its membership rolls and the Roll of Attorneys on June 7, 2022. This Court finds that the actions of the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association are in compliance with the Rules.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the attorneys named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, are hereby stricken from the Roll of Attorneys on June 7, 2022 for failure to comply with the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education for the year 2020.

DONE BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT IN CONFERENCE THIS 13TH DAY OF JUNE, 2022.


RE AMENDMENT TO RULE 12 OF STATE BD. OF EXAMINERS OF CERTIFIED CTRM. REPORTERS
2022 OK 58
Case Number: SCBD-7058
Decided: 06/13/2022

Rule 12 of the Rules of the State Board of Examiners of Certified Courtroom Interpreters, Title 20, Chapter 23, App. II, sets forth the credentialing requirements applicable to Oklahoma Certified Sign Language Interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the courtroom. The Board has recommended that the BEI CIC (Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters’ Court Interpreter Certificate) is an appropriate prerequisite credential for purposes of courtroom interpreting, and that Rule 12 should be revised so that individuals holding the BEI CIC are eligible for the Oklahoma courtroom interpreter credentialing program.

It is hereby ORDERED that Rule 12 of the Rules of the State Board of Examiners of Certified Courtroom Interpreters, Title 20, Chapter 23, App. II, is amended as set forth on the attached Exhibit. Candidates holding a BEI CIC must satisfy the other credentialing requirements set forth in Rule 12 in order to become listed on the Oklahoma registry as a Certified Sign Language Interpreter.

DONE BY ORDER OF THE OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT IN CONFERENCE THIS 13TH DAY OF JUNE, 2022.


WALTERSCHEIDT v. HLADIK
2022 OK 57
Case Number: 119049
Decided: 06/14/2022

Husband filed a petition seeking appointment as guardian over his wife. The parties’ daughter, Christy Hladik, objected and sought to have herself appointed. An evidentiary hearing was held on February 20, 2020. On July 27, 2020, the trial court entered the Court’s First Amended Plan for Care and Treatment of Ward and Management of Property of the Ward. On August 10, 2020, the trial court appointed daughter as guardian over the person and property of Wife. Husband appealed, and on this Court’s own motion, the matter was retained. After reviewing the record and briefs, we affirm the trial court’s rulings.

CERTIORARI PREVIOUSLY GRANTED;
COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS OPINION VACATED;
JUDGMENT OF THE TRIAL COURT AFFIRMED.


PATEL v. TULSA PAIN CONSULTANTS
2022 OK 56
Case Number: 116827; Comp. w/118855
Decided: 06/14/2022

Plaintiff/Appellant Jayen Patel, M.D. brought a tort claim for wrongful termination against Defendant/Appellee Tulsa Pain Consultants, Inc. (TPC). The trial court found Patel was not an at-will employee and entered a directed verdict in favor of TPC. Patel appealed, and Division I of the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed. TPC filed a motion for appeal-related attorney fees, which the Court of Civil Appeals denied. We granted certiorari to determine whether TPC has a contractual right to recover attorney fees as the prevailing party in Patel’s wrongful termination claim. We hold that the specific language in the parties’ employment agreement authorizes attorney fees in this case.

CERTIORARI PREVIOUSLY GRANTED;
ORDER OF THE COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS IS VACATED;
MOTION FOR APPEAL-RELATED ATTORNEY FEES IS GRANTED;
REMANDED TO THE TRIAL COURT.


IN THE MATTER OF THE SUSPENSION OF MEMBERS OF THE OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION
2022 OK 55
Case Number: SCBD-7261
Decided: 06/06/2022

On May 24, 2022, the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association filed an Application for the suspension of Oklahoma Bar Association members who failed to pay dues for the year 2022 as required by the Rules Creating and Controlling the Oklahoma Bar Association (Rules), 5 O.S. 2011, ch. 1, app. 1, art. VIII, §1. The Board of Governors recommended that the members whose names appear on the Exhibit A attached to the Application be suspended from membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association and from the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma, as provided by the Rules, 5 O.S. 2011, ch. 1, app. 1, art. VIII, §2.

This Court finds that on April 15, 2022, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association notified by certified mail all members delinquent in the payment of dues and/or expense charges to the Oklahoma Bar Association for the year 2022. The Board of Governors have determined that the members set forth in Exhibit A, attached hereto, have not paid their dues and/or expense charges for the year as provided in the Rules.

This Court, having considered the Application of the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association, finds that each of the Oklahoma Bar Association members named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, should be suspended from the Oklahoma Bar Association membership and shall not practice law in the State of Oklahoma until reinstated.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the attorneys named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, are hereby suspended from membership in the Association and prohibited from the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma for failure to pay membership dues for the year 2022 as required by the Rules Creating and Controlling the Oklahoma Bar Association.

DONE BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT IN CONFERENCE THIS 6TH DAY OF JUNE, 2022.


IN THE MATTER OF THE STRIKING OF NAMES OF MEMBERS OF THE OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION
2022 OK 54, SCBD-7059
Decided: 06/06/2022

The Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association filed an Application for Order Striking Names of attorneys from the Oklahoma Bar Association’s membership rolls for failure to pay dues as members of the Oklahoma Bar Association for the year 2021.

Pursuant to the Rules Creating and Controlling the Oklahoma Bar Association (Rules), 5 O.S. 2011, ch. 1, app. 1, art. VIII, §2, the Oklahoma Bar Association’s members named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, were suspended from membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association and prohibited from practicing law in the State of Oklahoma by this Court’s Order of June 7, 2021 and thereafter by Correction Order dated June 10, 2021, for failure to pay their 2021 dues in accordance with Article VIII, Section 2 of the Rules. Based upon the application, this Court finds that the Board of Governors determined at its May 20, 2022 meeting that none of the Oklahoma Bar Association members named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, have applied for reinstatement, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 4 of the Rules, at the time of the filing of its application. The Board of Governors further declared that the members named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, shall cease to be members of the Oklahoma Bar Association and that their names should therefore be stricken from the membership rolls and the Roll of Attorneys on June 10, 2022, pursuant to Article VIII, Section 5 of the Rules. This Court further finds that the actions of the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association are in compliance with the Rules.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the attorneys named as set forth on Exhibit A, attached hereto, are hereby stricken from the Roll of Attorneys on June 10, 2022 for failure to pay their dues as members of the Association for the year 2021.

DONE BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT IN CONFERENCE THIS 6TH DAY OF JUNE, 2022.


IN THE MATTER OF THE SUSPENSION OF MEMBERS OF THE OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION
2022 OK 53, SCBD-7260
Decided: 06/06/2022

On May 24, 2022, the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association filed an Application for the suspension of Oklahoma Bar Association members who failed to comply with mandatory legal education requirements for the year 2021 as required by Rules 3 and 5 of the Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE Rules), 5 O.S. 2011, ch. 1, app. 1-B. The Board of Governors recommended the members, whose names appear on Exhibit A attached to the Application, be suspended from membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association and prohibited from the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma, as provided by Rule 6 of the MCLE Rules.

This Court finds that on March 15, 2022, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association mailed, by certified mail, to all Oklahoma Bar Association members not in compliance with Rules 3 and 5 of the MCLE Rules, an Order to Show Cause within sixty days why the member’s membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association should not be suspended. The Board of Governors determined that the Oklahoma Bar Association members named on Exhibit A of its Application have not shown good cause why the member’s membership should not be suspended.

This Court, having considered the Application of the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association, finds that each of the Oklahoma Bar Association members named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, should be suspended from Oklahoma Bar Association membership and shall not practice law in this state until reinstated.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the attorneys named on Exhibit A, attached hereto, are hereby suspended from membership in the Association and prohibited from the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma for failure to comply with the MCLE Rules for the year 2021.

DONE BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT IN CONFERENCE THIS 6TH DAY OF JUNE, 2022.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. LITTLEFIELD
2022 OK 52, SCBD-7259
Decided: 06/06/2022

¶1 The Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA), in compliance with Rules 7.1 and 7.2 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP), has forwarded to this Court certified copies of the Information, Supplemental Information, Affidavit, Complaint, Judgment and Sentence, Conditions of Probation, and Plea of Guilty in the matter of State of Oklahoma v. David Michael Littlefield, CF-2019-479, in Muskogee County, Oklahoma. On May 10, 2022, Respondent entered a plea of Guilty to the felony crime of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Second and Subsequent in violation of 47 O.S. § 11-902(A)(2). The Court sentenced Littlefield to a three-year suspended sentence. In the Complaint, the OBA provided notice of enhancement per Rule 6.2 due to prior discipline by private reprimand.

¶2 Rule 7.2 of the RGDP provides that a certified copy of a plea of guilty, an order deferring judgment and sentence, or information and judgment and sentence of conviction “shall constitute the charge and be conclusive evidence of the commission of the crime upon which the judgment and sentence is based and shall suffice as the basis for discipline in accordance with these rules.”

¶3 Rule 7.3 of the RGDP provides: “Upon receipt of the certified copies of Judgment and Sentence on a plea of guilty, order deferring judgment and sentence,

indictment or information and the judgment and sentence, the Supreme Court may by order immediately suspend the lawyer from the practice of law until further order of the Court.”

¶4 Having received certified copies of these papers and orders, this Court orders that David M. Littlefield is immediately suspended from the practice of law. David M. Littlefield is directed to show cause, if any, no later than June 21, 2022, why this order of interim suspension should be set aside. See RGDP Rule 7.3. The OBA has until July 7, 2022, to respond.

¶5 Under Rule 7.4, RGDP, this Court “may order the lawyer . . . to show cause in writing why a final order of discipline should not be made. The written return of the lawyer shall be verified and expressly state whether a hearing is desired. The lawyer may in the interest of explaining his conduct or by way of mitigating the discipline to be imposed upon him, submit a brief and/or any evidence tending to mitigate the severity of discipline.”

¶6 Pursuant to Rule 7.4 of the RGDP, David M. Littlefield has until June 21, 2022, to show cause in writing why a final order of discipline should not be made. The written return shall be verified and expressly state whether a hearing is desired. The lawyer may, in the interest of explaining the conduct or by way of mitigating the discipline to be imposed, file a brief and/or any evidence tending to mitigate the severity of discipline. The OBA has until July, 7, 2022, to respond.

¶7 DONE BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT this 6th day of June, 2022


HARWOOD v. ARDAGH GROUP
2022 OK 51, 118947
Decided: 06/01/2022

¶0 An automobile driven by the defendant, Patrick McLaughlan, struck Jerry Harwood while Harwood was leaving his work shift and crossing the street to an employer provided parking lot. After an unsuccessful attempt to recover workers compensation benefits for his injuries, Harwood filed a lawsuit against the driver and his employer. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit against the employer for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Harwood appealed, and the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed. We hold that because an employer may have assumed the duty to provide a safer crosswalk for access to an employer designated parking lot, the employee has pled a claim for relief which is legally possible. The trial court’s dismissal was premature.


BAILEY v. STATE ex rel. BD. OF TESTS FOR ALCOHOL AND DRUG INFLUENCE
2022 OK 50, 118532
Decided: 05/24/2022

0 Plaintiffs filed an action in the District Court challenging rules adopted by the Oklahoma Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence at one of its meetings. Those rules were subsequently used by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety in actions to revoke the plaintiffs’ driver’s licenses. The Honorable Thomas E. Prince, District Judge, for the District Court of Oklahoma County, held an evidentiary hearing and concluded (1) the Board violated the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act and (2) rules adopted by the Board at its meeting were invalid. Defendants appealed and the Court of Civil Appeals concluded a willful violation of the Open Meeting Act did not occur and reversed the District Court. The plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari to review the opinion by the Court of Civil Appeals. We previously granted certiorari. We hold: The evidence was insufficient to make a prima facie case that the Board’s Director willfully violated the Open Meeting Act when he failed to send the email notice of the special meeting to the Secretary of State.


IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION OF THE OKLAHOMA DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AUTHORITY
2022 OK 49, 120276
Decided: 05/24/2022

¶0 The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority requests that this Court assume original jurisdiction and approve the issuance of ratepayer-backed bonds pursuant to the February 2021 Regulated Utility Consumer Protection Act, 74 O.S.2021, ch. 110A-1, §§ 9070-9081. The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority seeks to issue bonds to cover the debt incurred by Summit Utilities Oklahoma from unprecedented fuel costs during the February 2021 winter weather event. Summit Utilities Oklahoma’s ratepayers would then fund the bond payments through a monthly charge. The ratepayer-backed bonds would allow customers to pay their utility bills at a lower amount over a longer period of time. No protestants challenged the proposed bonds. We assume original jurisdiction and hold the ratepayer-backed bonds were properly authorized under the Act and are constitutional.


IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION OF THE OKLAHOMA DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AUTHORITY
2022 OK 48 120275
Decided: 05/24/2022

¶0 The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority requests that this Court assume original jurisdiction and approve the issuance of ratepayer-backed bonds pursuant to the February 2021 Regulated Utility Consumer Protection Act, 74 O.S.2021, ch. 110A-1, §§ 9070-9081. The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority seeks to issue bonds to cover the debt incurred by Public Service Company of Oklahoma from unprecedented fuel costs during the February 2021 winter weather event. Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s ratepayers would then fund the bond payments through a monthly charge. The ratepayer-backed bonds would allow customers to pay their utility bills at a lower amount over a longer period of time. No protestants challenged the proposed bonds. We assume original jurisdiction and hold the ratepayer-backed bonds were properly authorized under the Act and are constitutional.


IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION OF THE OKLAHOMA DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AUTHORITY
2022 OK 47, 120274
Decided: 05/24/2022

¶0 The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority requests that this Court assume original jurisdiction and approve the issuance of ratepayer-backed bonds pursuant to the February 2021 Regulated Utility Consumer Protection Act, 74 O.S.2021, ch. 110A-1, §§ 9070-9081. The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority seeks to issue bonds to cover the debt incurred by Oklahoma Natural Gas Company from unprecedented fuel costs during the February 2021 winter weather event. Oklahoma Natural Gas Company’s ratepayers would then fund the bond payments through a monthly charge. The ratepayer-backed bonds would allow customers to pay their utility bills at a lower amount over a longer period of time. Protestants challenged the proposed bonds on several grounds, focusing on the constitutionality of the bonds. We assume original jurisdiction and hold the ratepayer-backed bonds were properly authorized under the Act and are constitutional.


TAY v. GREEN

2022 OK 38, 119984; Comp. w/119927
Decided 04/19/2022

ORDER 5/9/2022

Upon consideration of the respondents’ Petition for Rehearing or Clarification filed on April 27, 2022, it is hereby ordered that the Petition for Rehearing or Clarification filed by the respondents be granted for the limited purpose of:

1) striking Section 4(15) of the Initiative Petition because it references, relies on and interrelates to Section 5 which we previously struck in Tay v. Green, 2022 OK 38;

2) striking the phrase and individual criminal record expungement” from the gist at issue because we removed the criminal record expungement process when we struck Section 5; and

3) directing the proponents of the measure, who have the duty to submit the measure to the Oklahoma Secretary of State, to submit a revised measure which complies with our opinion in Tay v. Green, 2022 OK 38. Title 34 O.S. 2011 §9; Okla. Sup. Ct. Rules, 5 O.S. 2011, App. 1 Rule 1.194.

The petitioner’s motion for rehearing filed April 29, 2022, is hereby denied. In all other respects the opinion will remain unchanged. DONE BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT IN CONFERENCE THE 9th DAY OF May, 2022.

/S/ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE

CONCUR: DARBY, C.J., KAUGER, WINCHESTER, EDMONDSON, COMBS, GURICH, JJ.

CONCUR IN RESULT: KANE, V.C.J., ROWE, KUEHN, JJ.

¶ 0 This original proceeding determines the legal sufficiency of State Question No. 819, Initiative Petition No. 433, which seeks to create a new article to the Oklahoma Constitution, Article 32, which would legalize, regulate, and tax the recreational use of marijuana by adults age 21 years and older. Petitioner, Paul Tay, alleges that State Question No. 819, Petition No. 433 is unconstitutional for four reasons: (1) it is preempted by federal law; (2) signatures gathered on and elections held on tribal land would be invalid; (3) it violates the doctrine of non-retroactivity in post-conviction proceedings; and (4) the proposed gist is insufficient. Upon review, we hold Petitioner has not established clear or manifest facial unconstitutionality regarding the proposition’s provisions; however, because the gist is insufficient and misleading with respect to Section 5, we invoke the severability clause in Section 9 and strike Section 5 and any reference to the stricken provision in the gist. State Question No. 819, Initiative Petition No. 433, as severed, is legally sufficient for submission to Oklahomans for voting.


COATES v. PROGRESSIVE DIRECT INSURANCE CO.

2022 OK 45, 119571 Decided 05/03/2022

¶0 John Randall Coates (Plaintiff/Appellant and Counter-Appellee) brought an action for breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing against Progressive Direct Insurance Company (Defendant/Appellee and Counter-Appellant). A motorcycle collision in which motorcyclist Coates was injured is the basis of the actions. Coates was insured by Progressive under a motorcycle policy, an auto policy, and a policy providing UM coverage. Coates moved for partial summary judgment regarding his entitlement to uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits. Progressive moved for summary judgment regarding Coates’ bad faith claim. Coates sought more time to conduct discovery to address Progressive’s counterclaim on bad faith. The trial court granted Coates’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, allowing his UM claim against Progressive. The trial court also granted Progressive’s Motion for Summary Judgment, denying Coates’ claim for breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing. The trial court denied Coates’ Motion for Additional Time to Respond. We retained the appeal. We affirm the District Court’s decision granting Coates’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the UM claim. We reverse the decisions granting Progressive’s Motion for Summary Judgment and denying Coates additional time to respond to that motion.


IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION OF THE OKLA. DEVELOPMENT FINANCE AUTHORITY

2022 OK 41, 120106
Decided 05/03/2022

¶0 The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority requested that this Court assume original jurisdiction and approve the issuance of ratepayer-backed bonds pursuant to the February 2021 Regulated Utility Consumer Protection Act, 74 O.S.2021, ch. 110A-1, §§ 9070-9081. The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority seeks to issue bonds to cover the debt incurred by Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company from unprecedented fuel costs during the February 2021 winter weather event. Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company’s ratepayers would then fund the bond payments through a monthly charge. The ratepayer-backed bonds would allow customers to pay their utility bills at a lower amount over a longer period of time. Protestors challenged the proposed bonds on several grounds, focusing on the constitutionality of the bonds. We assume original jurisdiction and hold the ratepayer-backed bonds were properly authorized under the Act and are constitutional.


CONTINENTAL RESOURCES v. WOLLA OILFIELD SERVICES

2022 OK 40, 120039
Decided 05/03/2022

¶0 The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma certified two questions of state law which have been addressed by this Court pursuant to the Revised Uniform Certification of Questions of Law Act, 20 O.S. 2021, §§ 1601-1611.


RE REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATES OF CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTERS

2022 OK 44, SCAD-2022-21
Decided 05/02/2022

This Court previously suspended the certificates of several certified shorthand reporters for failure to comply with the continuing education requirements for calendar year 2021 and/or with the annual certificate renewal requirements for 2022. See 2022 OK 21 (SCAD 2022-11, dated March 7, 2022).

Under the applicable rules, a suspended certificate which has not been reinstated on or before April 15 shall be administratively revoked on that date. 20 O.S., Chapter 20, App. I, Rules 20(e) and 23(f). The Oklahoma Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters has advised that the court reporters listed below have not reinstated their credential as required by the rules, and the Board has recommended to this Court the revocation of the certificate of each of these reporters.

The Court hereby approves the Board’s recommendation of revocation of each of the certified shorthand reporters named below, and pursuant to the applicable rules such revocation shall be effective May 2, 2022.

Ronda Case
Connie Neer
Mark Woods
CSR #1747
CSR #1737
CSR #1322

RE REINSTATEMENT OF CERTIFICATES OF CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTERS

2022 OK 43, SCAD-2022-20
Decided 05/02/2022

ORDER

The Oklahoma Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters recommended to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma that the certificate of each of the Oklahoma Certified Shorthand Reporters named below be reinstated as they have complied with the continuing education requirements for 2021 and annual certificate renewal requirements for 2022 and have paid all applicable fees.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED pursuant to 20 O.S., Chapter 20, App. l, Rules 20 and 23, the certificates of the following shorthand reporters are reinstated from the suspension earlier imposed by this Court:

NameCSR #Effective Date of Reinstatement
Kortney Houts
Monique McAllister
Kimberly Morris
1804
1962
1470
March 31, 2022
April 13, 2022
April 13, 2022

RE REVOCATION OF CREDENTIALS OF REGISTERED COURTROOM INTERPRETERS

2022 OK 42, SCAD-2022-19
Decided 05/02/2022

ORDERRE

This Court previously suspended the credentials of several Registered Courtroom Interpreters for failure to comply with the continuing education requirements for calendar year 2021 and/or with the annual credential renewal requirements for 2022. See 2022 OK 20 (SCAD 2022-10, dated March 7, 2022).

Under the applicable rules, a suspended certificate which has not been reinstated on or before April 15 shall be administratively revoked on that date. 20 O.S., Chapter 23, App. II, Rules 18(f) and 20(g). The Oklahoma Board of Examiners of Certified Courtroom Interpreters has advised that the interpreters listed below have not reinstated their credential as required by the rules, and the Board has recommended to this Court the revocation of the credential of each of these interpreters.

This Court hereby approves the Board’s recommendation of revocation of each of the Registered Courtroom Interpreters named below, and pursuant to the applicable rules such revocation shall be effective May 2, 2022.

Claudia Blevins
Lila Garcia
Alejandro Miranda
Tou Yang

TAY v. GREEN

2022 OK 38, 119984; Comp. w/119927
Decided 04/19/2022

¶ 0 This original proceeding determines the legal sufficiency of State Question No. 819, Initiative Petition No. 433, which seeks to create a new article to the Oklahoma Constitution, Article 32, which would legalize, regulate, and tax the recreational use of marijuana by adults age 21 years and older. Petitioner, Paul Tay, alleges that State Question No. 819, Petition No. 433 is unconstitutional for four reasons: (1) it is preempted by federal law; (2) signatures gathered on and elections held on tribal land would be invalid; (3) it violates the doctrine of non-retroactivity in post-conviction proceedings; and (4) the proposed gist is insufficient. Upon review, we hold Petitioner has not established clear or manifest facial unconstitutionality regarding the proposition’s provisions; however, because the gist is insufficient and misleading with respect to Section 5, we invoke the severability clause in Section 9 and strike Section 5 and any reference to the stricken provision in the gist. State Question No. 819, Initiative Petition No. 433, as severed, is legally sufficient for submission to Oklahomans for voting.

TAY v. GREEN

2022 OK 37, 119927; Comp. w/119984Decided 04/19/2022

¶ 0 This original proceeding declares a challenge against the legal sufficiency of State Question No. 818, Initiative Petition No. 432. State Question 818, Petition No. 432 seeks to create a new article to the Oklahoma Constitution, Article 31, which would (1) replace the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority with a new state agency–the “Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission” and define its duties; and (2) expand the statutory framework regarding regulation and taxation of medical marijuana. Petitioner, Paul Tay, alleges that State Question No. 818, Petition No. 432 is unconstitutional for three reasons: (1) it is preempted by federal law; (2) signatures gathered on and elections held on tribal land would be invalid; and (3) its gist is insufficient. We hold Petitioner has failed to establish clear or manifest facial unconstitutionality. State Question No. 818, Initiative Petition No. 432 is legally sufficient for submission to Oklahomans for voting.

IN THE MATTER OF THE REINSTATEMENT OF HARVISON

2022 OK 36, SCBD-7166
Decided 04/19/2022

¶ 0 Petitioner seeks reinstatement to the Oklahoma Bar Association after his voluntary resignation from the roll of attorneys in 2016. Petitioner was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar Association in 2008. The following year, he moved to another state to serve as an active duty officer with the United States Army Judge Advocate Corps (JAG). Petitioner’s Oklahoma license served as his required state licensure from 2009 through 2015, the year he was admitted to practice in Utah where he resided. In 2016, Petitioner submitted his voluntary resignation to the OBA for several reasons, he no longer needed to rely on his Oklahoma licensure to serve in JAG, he had not resided in Oklahoma since 2009 and he had no plans to return to this state to practice law. At the time of his resignation, Petitioner was in good standing, he was not under investigation by the OBA for any ethical violation, and he had never been disciplined or disbarred by this Court. Petitioner has recently retired from the military and has relocated to Oklahoma where he desires to resume the practice of law in this state.


NICHOLSON v. STITT

2022 OK 35, 119270
Decided 04/19/2022

¶0 Plaintiffs/Appellants Jason Nicholson, Justin Hooper, Cael Burgess, and Derek Hair (collectively, Plaintiffs) appeal the trial court’s order dismissing their claims for money had and received against Defendants/Appellees Governor Kevin Stitt and certain district attorneys and municipalities which are alleged to be located within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Plaintiffs claim that, according to McGirt v. Oklahoma , ___ U.S. ___, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), the State and municipalities did not have jurisdiction to prosecute them for crimes committed on the Creek Reservation. Plaintiffs argue their convictions are void ab initio and seek the return of fines and fees they paid to the State and municipalities. We affirm the trial court’s order of dismissal. Plaintiffs’ criminal judgments and sentences have not been vacated pursuant to the Post-Conviction Procedure Act, 22 O.S.2011 & Supp.2014 §§ 1080-1089. As a result, Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for money had and received.


STATE ex rel. OKLAHOMA BAR ASSOCIATION v. GEORGE

2022 OK 34, SCBD-7085
Decided 04/12/2022

¶0 Respondent is a senior attorney licensed to practice law in Oklahoma and a member in good standing of the Oklahoma Bar Association. The Bar initiated disciplinary proceedings against Respondent based on professional discipline he received in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Respondent received a private reprimand for a letter he had written to the judges of the Tenth Circuit expressing displeasure with a ruling before that Court. The Bar recommended Respondent receive an equal or lesser discipline than that imposed by the Tenth Circuit. After a de novo review, this Court holds that no further discipline is warranted herein.


STATE ex rel. STATE BD. OF EXAMINERS OF CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTERS v. IDLEMAN

2022 OK 33, 119742
Decided 04/12/2022

¶0 The State Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters (Board) filed a formal complaint and recommendation of discipline against the Respondent, Kimberly Idleman (Idleman), pursuant to 20 O.S.2021 § 1502 (A)(4) and the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings of the State Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters, (the Rules) 20 O.S.2021, ch. 20, app. 2. The formal complaint against Respondent was based on referrals by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (“OCCA”) arising out of her work as a certified shorthand reporter, including non-completion of transcripts and significant delays in the completion of transcripts in multiple criminal proceedings in the District Court of Tillman County and the District Court of Jackson County, respectively, as well as allegations that she conducted herself in an unreliable and unprofessional manner. Despite proper service of the formal complaint and notice of the disciplinary hearing before the Board, Respondent did not respond to the formal complaint or appear at the hearing. The Board recommended the revocation of Respondent’s license. Upon a de novo review, we hold the failure of this court reporter to complete and to timely and accurately complete transcripts in multiple criminal proceedings, and the resulting ramifications therefrom, warrants license revocation.


IN THE MATTER OF THE INCOME TAX PROTEST OF RAYTHEON COMPANY

2022 OK 32, 116358
Decided 04/05/2022

¶ 0 Corporate taxpayer’s 2012 income tax return was due on March 15, 2013. Taxpayer filed its return on September 27, 2013, after securing a statutorily authorized extension of the deadline. Taxpayer later discovered that the return overstated the company’s annual income based upon the inadvertent inclusion of Arizona property sales. The taxpayer filed an amended 2012 return on September 27, 2016, claiming a refund of $321,444.00. The Oklahoma Tax Commission denied the refund claim, reasoning taxpayer submitted its demand more than three years after paying the taxes. An administrative law judge found the claimed refund was time barred under 68 O.S.2011, § 2373 , and the Commissioners affirmed this finding. Taxpayer appealed and we retained the matter. We now reverse, finding the taxpayer timely brought the claim for refund, having paid taxes to the Oklahoma Tax Commission upon filing its amended original return with a proper extension.


IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF THE OKLAHOMA CAPITOL IMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY

2022 OK 31, 119868
Decided 04/05/2022

¶ 0 Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority seeks to enter into a federal loan agreement and notes to finance rural highway improvement projects. In accordance with 73 O.S.2021, ch. 6, § 350.1 and 20 O.S.2021, ch. 1, § 14.1 , the OCIA filed an application in this Court seeking approval of the transaction. No objections were filed. This Court accepted original jurisdiction to determine the validity of the proposed notes.


IN RE: STATE QUESTION No. 820 INITIATIVE PETITION No. 434

2022 OK 30, 120170
Decided 03/28/2022

¶1 Original jurisdiction is assumed. Okla. Const. art. VII, § 4; 34 O.S.2021, § 8 , https://govt.westlaw.com/okjc (follow hyperlink titled “General Provisions”); In re Initiative Petition No. 409, State Question No. 785 , 2016 OK 51 , ¶ 2, 376 P.3d 250 , 252. Petitioner Jed Green challenges the legal sufficiency of State Question No. 820, Initiative Petition No. 434. Upon review, we hold that State Question No. 820 is constitutionally sufficient and its gist sufficiently informs signers of its intentions for the initiative petition to be submitted to the people of Oklahoma.