Golden Rule Award Allen E. Barrow, Jr.
A Message from
Matt Farris 2016-2017 TCBA President
In this Issue
6 Allen E. Barrow, Jr. Golden Rule ~ 1st Quarter
5 CLE Video Replays Last Chance! 8 VP's Corner Holiday Success! Ann Keele 12 Santa Thank You 13 2017 TCBF Golf Bill Kellough
The Bequest by Lawrence Savell
14 Cuba Libre Jim Hinds
16 Law Week Luncheon April 28th! 17 Liberty Bell Nominations 22 Therapy Dogs in Court Allen Pease
25 Vehicle Transfers on Death 29 Grapevine 30 Law Week Writing & Coloring Contests 31 Classifieds
Tulsa Lawyer 1
A Message from the President
Matthew S. Farris Now that the more traditional holiday season and the New Year festivities and their many obligatory functions are in the rear view mirror, February feels like a ‘business as usual’ type of month. That said, February is jam-packed with holidays and festive occasions offering a multitude of reasons to celebrate, but only if you are so inclined. The entirety of February acknowledges and celebrates Black History Month. For football fans, Super Bowl Sunday is on February 5 , which is only a few short th
days away. I am pulling for a Super Bowl pitting our nearest NFL franchises against one another, the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.1 February also brings Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day (both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were born in February), and last but not least, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday is officially February 28 ). As such, there are plenty of reasons to mix business and pleasure this month. th
1 Both franchises are competing in the NFL playoffs of the submission date for this publication.
Work Hard, Play Hard
2 Tulsa Lawyer
Of course, February is not for everyone. If you are weary of festivities and celebrations and the bitterly cold weather (it was 2F the morning I completed this article), fear not. February is the last month of winter and also happens to be the shortest month of the year. "February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March." - Dr. J. R. Stockton And for those eagle-eyed TLM readers, the fact that February is a short month has nothing to with the brevity of my TLM article this month. Rather, my drafting time is limited as the business of practicing law and the business of the TCBA are in full swing. With regard to TCBA business, although the TCBA membership rolls are in good order, the Membership Committee (co-chaired by Kara Pratt and Judge Otey) and the TCBA executive committee are working on rolling out new member benefits, including a TCBA Member Appreciation Month to be conducted over the summer – stay tuned for details. As for the CLE Committee (chaired by Jason McVicker), following their tremendous work in preparing the extensive slate of live CLE offered in November and December, video replays will continue through February 15 at the Bar Center for TCBA members if you are in need of last minute CLE credit for 2016. The Golf Committee (chaired by Bill Kellough) is busy planning and working hard to break last year’s record sponsorship of the annual TCBF Charity Golf Tournament, which resulted in over $30,000 distributed to the tournament’s charitable beneficiaries! Finally, the Law Day Committee (cochaired by Judge Damon Cantrell and Judge Martha Rupp Carter) is laying the ground work in preparation for this year’s Law Week events (April 24 - April 28 ), including the annual Law Day Luncheon to be held on April 28 . th
As I update TLM readers about the ongoing business of the TCBA, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the TCBA’s good fortune in that many state and federal judges regularly support our association. As noted above, Judge Cantrell and Judge Rupp Carter (a TCBA past president) co-chair this year’s 2 The 2017 TCBF Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, May 15, 2017.
Law Week Committee. Judge Nightingale, Presiding Judge of the 14 Judicial District, serves on the TCBA Board of Directors and recently assisted in presenting a CLE addressing Veterans Law. Judge Otey (also a TCBA Past President) continues her exemplary service to our association by lending her time and talents to the Membership and Pro Bono Committees. Judge Bitting, Judge Dreiling and Judge Glassco are regular speakers at TCBA events. Judge Kuehn, Judge Cliff Smith, Judge Greenough and Judge Cantrell have also recently presented CLE programs at the Bar Center, as have Supreme Court Justices Noma Gurich and John Reif. Of course, appellate court Judges Clancy Smith and Jane Wiseman are also frequent and popular contributors to TCBA events. As for the Federal Bench, Judge Frizzell, Judge Wilson and Judge Dowdell recently presented a CLE at the Bar Center focusing on tips for practitioners in Federal Court. And there is rarely, if ever, a meeting of the Bankruptcy Law Section without Judge Rasure in attendance. th
To these and many other members of the judiciary, thank you for your involvement in and willingness to contribute to our association. The TCBA truly appreciates your time and efforts. Although 2017 is an off year for the biennial TCBA/TCBF Judicial Dinner, plans are already underway for the 2018 Judicial Dinner - one of our most popular events - to be held during President-Elect Christina Vaughn’s presidency. There is much to look forward to for TCBA members as we settle into 2017. Whether TLM readers are staying out of the cold by spending most of their time at the office this month or are enjoying all that February has to offer, or perhaps a combination of both, I hope our members take advantage of the many events and member benefits to be offered in the coming months as the ‘business of the TCBA’ rolls on. Sincerely, Matthew S. Farris TCBA President, 2016-2017 Tulsa Lawyer 3
FEBRUARY SCHEDULE IS NOW AVAILABLE
C LE V ID EO REPL AY S The Bar Center will be CLOSED
February 20, 2017 Presidentâ€™s Day
Did you know...
President's Day, which is the celebration of George Washington's birthday, is always celebrated on the 3rd Monday of February? His actual birthdate was February 11, 1731 on the Julian calendar. However...
Britain a nd its colonies began using the Gregorian calendar in 1752. Because of this, Washington's birthday moved a year and 11 days to February 22, 1732.
Don't forget to visit us on the web at tulsabar.com 4 Tulsa Lawyer
v ie w the cou rse s an d si gn u p fo r o n e t o da y!
w w w . t u l s a b a r . c o m / c l e - s c h e d u l e Contact Bethany Lyon: email@example.com (918) 584-5243 x223
Did you know that you can find the rules for the Oklahoma Bar Association MCLE requirements at www.okmcle.org?
CLE VIDEO REPLAY SCHEDULE TCBA Video replay schedule for January and February. Please register Online to avoid Walk in Fee Register at www.tulsabar.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org with: Attendee's name, OBA #, name of the seminar attending A Late Fee will be charged to anyone not pre‐registering. Registration is due by 5 PM the day before the seminar. Materials will be emailed out to those that pre‐register by 4 pm the day before the seminar, otherwise the materials will be emailed out at our first opportunity. These seminars will be played without breaks The TCBA will provide free coffee & soft drinks during the seminar for your convenience. If you have any questions please contact Bethany Lyon at email@example.com For Replays After Jan. 1st you must be a member of the Tulsa County Bar Association Month Day Date
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11th Annual Family Law Employment Law Update 2016 Ethics : Professionalism Against all Odds: Small Firm vs. Large Firm Perspectives from the Bench Energy / Mineral Law Power of Trial Objections 2016 When & When Not to have Jury Trials in Civil Cases Oklahoma Supreme Court Review 2016 2016 Updates on Veteran's Law Perspectives from the Bench Judicial Panel Ethics, It's No Laughing Matter Practicing in Federal Court Selecting Juries for Criminal Trials 2016 When & When Not to Have Jury Trials in Civil Cases Sci‐Fi CLE ‐ Expert Witness Annual Estate Planning 2016 Health Law 2016 Ethics, It's No Laughing Matter Judicial Panel 2016 2016 Updates on Veteran's Law 11th Annual Family Law Immigration law 2016 Ethics Professionalism Practicing in Federal Court Ethics, It's No Laughing Matter Immigration Law 2016 Bankruptcy Indian Law 2016 Hodgepodge of Criminal Law Nuggets 2016 Against All Odds ‐ Small Firm vs. Large Firm Dealing with Client Expectations Annual Estate Planning 2016 Employment Law Update 2016 Perspectives from the Bench Power of Trial Objections 2016 Selecting Juries for Criminal Trials Sci‐Fi CLE ‐ Expert Witness Indian Law 2016 Dealing with Client Expectations Oklahoma Supreme Court Review 2016
Total Ethics TCBA Hours Incld Member
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1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
$145 $65 $40 $65 $65 $90 $65 $40 $65 $90 $65 $65 $40 $90 $40 $40 $40 $165 $40 $40 $65 $90 $145 $65 $40 $90 $40 $65 $40 $40 $145 $65 $40 $165 $65 $65 $65 $40 $40 $40 $40 $65
Non TCBA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Tulsa Lawyer 5
Allen E. Barrow, Jr.
2016-2017 Golden Rule ~ 1st Quarter Allen E. Barrow, Jr. is a transactional lawyer who represents individuals in business related affairs, wealth management and estate planning matters. Allen is the son of the late Allen E. Barrow, the former Chief Judge of the Northern District of Oklahoma. He is a founding partner of Barrow & Grimm, PC, which has grown in its 40-year history to be one of the top ten largest law firms in Tulsa with three former TCBA past-presidents. Allen graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1967 with a degree in finance. Upon receiving his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 1969, Allen received his commission in the United States Army where he served two years and was discharged as a captain in 1971. In 1970, he was admitted to practice in the state of Oklahoma and became a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and Tulsa County Bar Association. He has served on the TBCA Board of Directors, as well as being active in various bar committees and CLE presentations over the span of his career.
In addition to his service to the TCBA, he also served on the Oklahoma Board of Corrections and Interstate Oil Compact Commission. He is a past director of the National Conference of Community and Justice in Tulsa; past trustee of the Boston Avenue Methodist Church; past president of the Tulsa Tennis Club; and past advisory board member for OU-Tulsa. Allen is also a Sustaining Fellow of both the Tulsa County Bar Foundation and Oklahoma Bar Foundation. In 2013, the Sigma Chi Fraternity named Allen as a Significant Sig for his contributions to his profession and community.
Allen is well known for his conscientious representation of his clients without sacrificing the ideals of professionalism when dealing with other attorneys. Whatever the situation facing his client, Allen approaches the client representation with sound judgment and learned advice designed to efficiently resolve matter. “I can think of no one better suited as the Golden Rule recipient than Allen,” said his partner of 40 years, William R. Grimm.
1: capitalized G&R : a rule of ethical conduct : do to others as you would have them do to you 2: a guiding principle 6 Tulsa Lawyer
Law Day May 1st WHAT IS LAW DAY?
Law Day is held on May 1st every year to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession.
Corporate Vacant Criminal Law
Bill Searcy Energy & MineraLaw
Health Law Donna De Simone Philip D. Hixon Immigration Law
Catherine Coulter Juvenile Law
Kim Jantz Litigation Aaron D. Bundy M. Shane Henry Municipal Law
Steven L. Oakley
Paralegal Debra Baker Probate/Estate/Elder
TCBA Law Week details are available at www.tulsabar.com
Tulsa Lawyer 7
VP's Corner Ann Keele, 2016-2017
Ah, February - a cold PARALEGAL winter month which usually TEAM brings blustery temperatures and the occasional snow flurry. I’ll do my best to help us thaw Of course, most of out by bringing some cheer. the children asked First, February is the month of for toys. All of the love with Valentine’s Day on teams diligently February 14. Let’s not forget that we have Abraham worked for weeks Lincoln’s birthday and President’s Day this month to fundraise, too. We also celebrate African American History shop, wrap, and Month which has beautiful and interesting works deliver the gifts to on display at all of our national museums, art the social worker galleries, and libraries. If the thought of an extra assigned to their day off, chocolate, roses, or culture doesn’t interest respective family. you, then maybe this will: the final report on the Your overwhelming kindness and generosity was 2016 Holiday Challenge. appreciated by those families in need more than words can describe. Thank you for your hard work I am pleased to provide you with the summary and dedication to making Christmas a joyous time report on the 2016 Holiday Challenge which for them, and for making this Holiday Challenge an benefitted Family & Children’s Services. We had amazing success. 10 families in need who were adopted by specific teams. Below is a list of the teams with the team In addition to the 10 specific families who leader: were adopted by our teams who purchased and wrapped gifts for every family member, monetary Greenough Family (Hon. Kelly Greenough) donations were collected to help provide gifts for Children & the Law (Ann Keele) other families in need through Family & Children’s Paralegals (Debra Baker) Services who were not specifically adopted. The Littleton Legal PLLC (Brittany Littleton) aggregate monetary donations collected this year McAfee & Taft (Pam Mappin) was $4,059.84! After Fx Spa & Salon (Bailey Leclair) CONNOR WINTERS GIFTS COLLECTED Fell Family (Melissa Fell) Adjunct Settlement Judges (Truman Rucker) Monroe Family (Stan Monroe) Conner & Winters (Gary Betow) These teams went all out to provide their adopted families with most everything on their lists. Most of the families requested basic necessities, like socks, underwear, clothes, shoes, coats, and household cleaning items.
8 Tulsa Lawyer
I would also like to recognize our first non-TCBA associated team who participated this year: Bailey Leclair of After Fx Spa and Salon in Broken Arrow. Her sister, Brittany Littleton, is a TCBA member whose firm also sponsored a team this year. They decided to make it a family affair by each forming a team through their businesses, and each adopting a family. Thank you both for your enthusiasm and involvement! Just to give perspective to the success of this year’s project, here is a comparison. 2015 was our first Family & Children Services Check Presentation ever Holiday Challenge. We had 3 families adopted Gail Lapidus, CEO OF Family & Children Services, Anne by teams, plus we raised over $1,500 to help Family Keele, Kevin Cousins & Matt Farris & Children’s Services provide gifts to unmatched Here is a list of firms and people who made cash families. In 2016, we had 10 families adopted by teams, donations (in no particular order): plus raised over $4,000 to help Family & Children’s Services provide gifts to unmatched families. That is Litigation Section (Shane Henry/Aaron Bundy) more than triple the families adopted, and more than Family Law Section (Maren Lively) double the money raised! Employment Law Section (Stefan Mecke) Boetcher & Drummond (Cynthia Boettcher) Doerner Saunders (Michael English) Kirk Clausing Newton O'Connor (Jennifer Kern) John Wimbish Scott Keith Sheila Powers Patrick O'Connor Philip Eller Joseph Farris A. Scott McDaniel Bufogle & Associates Randy Rankin TCBA Board of Directors Energy Law Section Delasandro's Wrapping Party: Natalie Sears, Barbara Sears, Jim Milton Ann Sublet and Anne Keele. Dwight Smith Baxter's A special thank you goes to Ashley Webb and the TCBF Community Outreach Committee who organized two restaurant events to help raise money for the Holiday Challenge. Delasandro’s Italian Ristorante donated 20% of all food sales from dinner on November 29, 2016, which provided $510.00 to the cause. Also, Baxter’s Interurban donated 15% of food sales from lunch on November 16, 2016, which provided $155.84 to this project. Thank you to all those who ate at those restaurants and supported this event. That truly is a win for all involved.
TCBA President, Matt Farris, TCBA Executive Director, Kevin Cousins, and I all presented the check to the CEO of Family & Children’s Services, Gail Lapidus, on December 13, 2016. Our efforts were very much appreciated, and together, we helped provide joy this past holiday season to many children and families in need. It is a wonderful project to support knowing that we really make a difference in people’s lives. Giving truly is better than receiving.
Continued on Page 10... Tulsa Lawyer 9
Words seem inadequate to fully capture the extent of my gratitude to you all. Please know that I sincerely appreciate your kind support and generosity, and so do all of the people who benefitted from this worthy endeavor. Thank you so much to all of you who participated either by adopting a family or making a cash donation. You made the 2016 Holiday Challenge a tremendous success! Last, but not least, thank you to Kevin Cousins and the TCBA Staff for all of their efforts to help with this project. I look forward to continuing this new tradition, and hope that we can make the 2017 Holiday Challenge even better!
McAfee & Taft Team
Melissa & Tobin Fell McAfee & Taft Team
Leta Wilbanks of Connor Winters
10 Tulsa Lawyer
Santa Brings a Law Suit
Ashley R. Webb, Community Outreach Committee Chair, Tulsa County Bar Foundation Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis, Inc.
12 Tulsa Lawyer
TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED, VOLUNTEERED AND MADE THIS YEAR'S EVENT ANOTHER SUCCESS!
2017 Tulsa County Bar Foundation Golf Tournament to Support Local Charities the Bar. Lawyers supporting the Golf Tournament the past few years have made a significant contribution to the mission of this charity. Whether providing legal assistance for children caught up in the turmoil of juvenile court, war veterans whose quality of life has suffered despite significant sacrifices for their country, job seekers needing decent So note on your calendars May 15, 2017 when interview clothing…this annual Bar event offers a the TCBF will, once again, sponsor its annual golf unique opportunity for our membership, as well as tournament at LaFortune Park. The format will be a friends, vendors and clients to make a positive impact. best ball, four team scramble. Golfers of all skill levels can play and will contribute. I speak from experience. I When you receive your sponsorship letters, as have been known to sink a birdie putt after shanking my many of you have already, think about committing second shot into the next county. your time and money, and take off on a beautiful May afternoon. I cannot think of a better way to shine a Sponsorships are already coming in at all levels: bright light on the good things we lawyers do for our Eagle, $2500; Birdie, $1250; Par, $500 and Hole, $250. community. Whether you are a sponsor or a single player, you will get your round of golf and other goodies including Don’t be intimidated by playing golf. Remember beverages, lunch, dinner and a swag bag with lots of that the people who gave us golf and called it a game golfing toys and gift coupons. More importantly you are the same people who gave us the bagpipe and called will be providing money for organizations which it music. benefit from, even depend on, our assistance. Last year’s net profit of $30,000 went to four area charitable See on the links in May! organizations and this year’s profit will also. This year, I think we can do even better. Bill Kellough TCBF Golf The four beneficiaries of the tournament are Chairman 2016-2017 Tulsa Lawyers for Children, the Disabled American Veterans, South Tulsa Community House and the Tulsa County Bar Foundation Outreach Committee. The programs and aid provided by these four organizations are diverse and meet critical needs. Perhaps the one charity whose mission is least known is the newest of the group, South Tulsa Community House. This charity was created in response to the high crime and general social dysfunction at many of the low income housing units in the area of 51 and Peoria. Through its efforts, programs and direct aid has been provided to people whose motivation and desire for a better life have been stifled by their negative living environment. Community can be built. No one knows this better than members of Mark Twain called golf a “good walk spoiled.” He was right about many things, but he got that seriously wrong. Golf is an easy game, just very hard to play. But the Tulsa County Bar Foundation every year makes it easy and gives you a chance to turn competitive fun into cash for the community.
CUBA LIBRE By James M. Hinds
It was January, 1959 in Grady County, Oklahoma. My Grandfather, Marshall Johnston, had conspired with me to go to Cuba. “You are not going to take that child (I was thirteen) to Havana when those guerrillas are about to march in.” Grandma said. “Besides, from what I hear, Havana is not a fit place for anybody.” She was right about that. Havana was then the sin capital of the western hemisphere; it was a mobbed-up place that made Las Vegas look like the First Baptist Church. These revelations hardly dampened my interest in the place.
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A few days later, Fidel Castro, his younger brother Raul, Che Guevara and their comrades marched into Havana. Had Grandma allowed it, we might have been there to see it. Last November, I visited Santa Clara, Cuba, where Che is buried. On my second day there, just days before Fidel died on November 25, I met Tony Alonso a man about my age who served in the Revolution with Fidel and Che. He also fought American sponsored troops in the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. My time in Vietnam made us, in a sense, fellow veterans.
Photo credit: Barbra Kates
people have a higher literacy rate than the U.S., longer longevity, good health care, “free” food and housing, modest as they are. Clearly they have suffered from the American embargo. Cuba is a police state and non-uniformed police informants are abundant. There are two television channels, one sports and the other government dictated news. It is rare to find someone that speaks English. The court system in Cuba is government dominated. Since independent legal practice is not permitted, defense lawyers work for government agencies. The “National Organization of Collective Law Offices in Cuba” was established by the Ministry of Justice about forty years ago. Collective lawyers have a horrendous case load and work under difficult conditions. Judges are supposed to be free of outside influence but they work with lay judges at all levels. The Cuban people I met were utterly amazed that people in Miami were laughing, drinking and partying in the streets when Fidel died. I explained that other than the Cuban exiles, most Americans were indifferent, pondering our own unusual situation after a presidential election. The embargo, the Bay of Pigs invasion debacle and other United States efforts over the past half century have, in the judgment of analysts across the political spectrum, failed to undermine the Castro regime and hasten Cuban liberation. Maybe Ronald McDonald, Starbucks and increased trade will work.
Tony said that he was not a Communist, but was quick to denounce “North American Imperialism.” He assured me that Americans were not the problem, just our government. Shortly after that I picked up my rental car: a 1954 Chevrolet with a Russian diesel engine and an Alfa Romeo steering wheel. Fortunately for me that rainy day, the only working windshield wiper was on the driver’s side. My hotel room in Santa Clara had a toilet but no toilet seat, no hot water and an air-conditioner that didn’t work. The façade of the hotel was deeply scarred by .50 caliber rounds but otherwise quite pleasant. And at thirty dollars a night, including a very good breakfast, the price was right. Worse accommodations later in the trip made me pine for the place. Cuba has an abundance of 1950’s cars, pleasant people and hardly any advertisements, other than roadside billboards in which Che and Fidel urge “Hasta Victoria, Siempre.” (“Until the Everlasting Victory, Always”) Since the average salary is either $12 or $25 a month, depending on who you believe, one would think restaurants would have been cheap, but they were not. There was usually only one menu. You quickly learned that it only represented hopeful possibilities since a waitress would tell you what they actually had available for you to eat. Cubans could not afford to eat in these places. Later in Havana, I learned that you could stop Photo credit: Barbra Kates almost anyone on the street and ask where to eat, and Photos used with permission. they would lead you to their own house, or to a friend May not be reproduced. for a simple meal at a small price. Yet the Cuban
Tulsa Lawyer 15
You are Cordially Invited to Attend the
Tulsa County Bar Association and
Tulsa County Bar Foundation
LAW WEEK LUNCHEON 2017 KEYNOTE SPEAKER TAMARA R. PIETY LL.M, JD PROFESSOR OF LAW UNIVERSITY OF TULSA COLLEGE OF LAW
FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2017 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Downtown Tulsa 100 East Second Street Doors Open at 11:30 AM Program Begins at Noon Dress Code: Business
Reservations Due By Friday, April 21st at 5:00 PM
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Liberty Bell Award Nominations The Liberty Bell Award was established more than 35+ years ago to acknowledge outstanding community service. The award is presented to a person who is not a lawyer, but who has demonstrated a dedication to the law through activities that support lawyers and their work in the legal system. Nominees may be an individual or a group that has: • Promoted better understanding of the rule of law • Encouraged a greater respect for law and the courts • Stimulated a sense of civic responsibility • Contributed to good government in the community
Please forward all nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for nominations is Monday, March 20, 2017
Tulsa Lawyer 17
The Bequest by Lawrence Savell The boxes arrived in Nick’s office on a Friday Under the letter, the box, like its three traveling morning. Inside the one designated "#1" on the outside companions, was full of books. There were several was a short letter from the executor. treatises, nearly all a bit long in the tooth. Nick presumed that Bob had remembered Nick was a history “Dear Mr. Adams: With this letter please find major in college, and might appreciate them more than four boxes which Mr. Robert Maxwell instructed in his other lawyers. will be sent to you. Best regards." But they also contained two other things – a large Nick sighed. Bob Maxwell was a friend of his folder of copies of filed briefs, and various weathered father’s, from when they were undergrad roommates volumes of the Pacific Reporter. Sending the volumes at the University of Oklahoma. Bob had stayed on to of old decisions from that region was a bit strange, Nick attend the College of Law there, while Nick’s father thought, as they would be of limited use to a New York moved back to New York after graduation to start lawyer. working in the Adams family business. Nick took out all the Pacific Reporter volumes Nick had met Bob with Nick’s dad a few times and arranged them sequentially. There were 32 in all – over the years when Bob’s law practice required trips a small fraction of the volumes published. There were to New York. It was Bob, a soft-spoken and polite thus many gaps in the number sequence. Nick was Oklahoman who had never married and who took a intrigued. liking to Nick, who had first encouraged the inquisitive Nick to consider a legal career. And when Nick had He poured himself a tall black coffee from the said he was thinking of putting law school off for a office kitchen. He returned to his chair, put his feet on couple of years after he got his B.A., it was Bob who his desk, and opened the lowest-numbered volume. It persuaded him not to delay but to seize the moment, as had been a while since Nick had opened a book of case things had a habit of slipping away. Three years later, decisions, since he was part of the generation which Nick became the first lawyer in the family. conducted nearly all of its case research via online databases like Lexis and Westlaw. Indeed, Nick's firm, Nick had not seen Bob since Nick’s father passed like many others, had in recent years donated or tossed five years before, and he was surprised and touched that all its case report volumes, as anachronistic relics of the Bob had remembered him in his will. pre-digital world taking up valuable office space that could be put to more profitable use.
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He turned through the pages, and saw the spectrum Nick flipped through the rest of the volume, but of subject matters that one would expect addressed in the saw no more notations. reported cases: contracts, torts, matrimonial, wills, etc. There was nothing out of the ordinary. Nick next turned to the volume with the next highest number on its spine. It too had a few marginal He was about to put the book down when he saw notations. A quick flip through the rest of the volumes something. About a third of the way into the volume, indicated they all did. at the right margin of a page, was a pair of handwritten pencil marks. The first, at the beginning of a long Why, Nick asked himself, had Bob sent him so paragraph, consisted of a horizontal line about a quarter many volumes, when just one would have illustrated of an inch long, joined at a right angle by another line the practice? Maybe it was to show how prevalent the of about the same length going down. At the end of the practice was; indeed, Nick had noticed slight variations paragraph again at the right margin was another mark, in the marking styles, and in the handwriting of notations. this time with the vertical line meeting the horizontal at the bottom, like a backwards "L". Each volume had inside the back cover the firm library sign-out card in a white pocket, with columns The marks surprised Nick. He would never for name and date borrowed. Nick knew from his own – even in pencil – think of defacing a book owned by experience that most lawyers would not bother to sign out his firm. The case – which dealt with authorship of a a case report volume he or she borrowed. Nevertheless, courthouse cafeteria cook's memoir, predictably titled each volume's card had a number of conscientious "Justice Is Served" -- was not one he recalled hearing entries, over the course of several decades. about in law school. The marked paragraph contained merely a statement of the law in Oklahoma on a particular Nick wondered whether any of the notations were obscure point. It was the only notation in the case. Why Bob's. He looked at the card in the volume he had open, had someone broken the unwritten rules of law office and saw that it had been signed out by "R. Maxwell" on decorum to single out that paragraph in that case? "1/21/63". He pulled the card from another volume, and saw another "R. Maxwell" entry. Every one of the cards Nick continued paging through the volume, and in the volumes Bob had sent him had an "R. Maxwell" toward the end, in a contract case, he saw another set sign-out entry. Some had more than one. of the handwritten brackets. This set was different in two ways: the first mark occurred midway through the "OK," Nick thought, "so what?" Bob was now paragraph, and next to it was written, "Rider 1." beyond the jurisdiction of any court seeking to prosecute him for serial publication defacement. And Nick had no Nick sat back in his chair. Riders to him were idea whether any, or if any which, of the notations had passages he wanted to quote in briefs or other documents. been Bob's. When, as was usually the case, he drafted directly into Word, he would just cut and paste from the online text Nick started putting the books back in the to his document. For materials that were not available boxes when he saw again the large folder of briefs. He online, he would photocopy the respective printed page removed the contents, and flipped through them. They and circle his selection for his assistant to input. But had carefully been arranged in ascending date order, this rider was likely created before photocopiers were spanning several years in the 1960s, which Nick realized available in the office – the marking lawyer probably was probably at the beginning of Bob's legal career. gave his or her secretary the volume with some kind Each brief had been signed by Bob. of bookmark in the page, and the secretary would type the marked passage into whatever document was being The first brief dealt with an automobile case. It prepared. contained two block quotations. Nick looked at the first Nick smiled – Bob had indeed sent him a history lesson citation, which was to a New Jersey case. But the second – on ancient law office procedure. was to an Oklahoma decision in the Pacific Reporter. The Continued on page 20... Tulsa Lawyer 19
volume number was one of the volumes Bob had sent Photographs of the park showed that, at least him. Nick went through each brief, and located in each when they were taken, the park had many benches, and at least one block quote citing to the Pacific Reporter. information indicated it was a popular place for nearby workers to eat their lunch. By now night had fallen, and Nick was the only one left in the office. The ending bracket in the case reporter passage bore the notation, "Okay." With the pile of briefs to his left, and the Pacific Reporter volumes standing at the ready in a large arc Such "Park" references reoccurred frequently, further away on his hastily cleared desk, Nick started virtually every time accompanied by an affirmative turning to the pinpoint-cited pages identified in Bob's response. This went on for nearly two years. briefs. But then, although the opening bracket The bracketed passage in the first one bore after references thereafter continued, the closing bracket the first marking the handwritten notation, "Sunny day." responses did not. Not long after that, alongside the Those words appeared to have no relation to the case or final cited passage, there was no notation accompanying the quoted material. the opening bracket. The next brief, dated a couple of weeks later, "Why had they stopped?" Nick wondered to himself. had a Pacific Reporter citation pointing to another bracketed passage, this time accompanied by the Nick reviewed all the materials again, but they notation, "Windy." Again, no connection was apparent. provided no guidance. On a hunch, he confirmed online that the park remained a park through the present, and "So Bob was not just a lawyer, but also an had not been paved over to put up a parking lot or for amateur meteorologist," Nick mused to himself. "Who any other form of "progress." knew?" Nick ran all kinds of searches on the web, Similar notations were made, until one that said trying to find some clue. Eventually, in response to a after the opening bracket, "Chilly." But this one was search including the name of Bob's firm and the word different, in that to the right of the closing bracket was "secretary," among the results was one that caught his the word, "Indeed," in a different handwriting. eye. The next several instances contained similar paired notations, basically limited to single word weather observations and single word affirmative responses.
Finally, the forecast changed.
This particular opening notation read, "Park 12.5."
It was an engagement announcement in a local newspaper. Dated shortly after the last brief, it proudly reported that one Abigail Mills had become engaged to one Benjamin Nelson, accountant. Ms. Mills was identified as a secretary at Bob's firm.
Bob had let his chance slip away.
Nick leaned back in his chair and exhaled audibly. He now understood that when Bob had advised Nick determined that "Park" was not the name him to seize the moment, he had been speaking from of the case, nor of any of the parties, nor the judge, nor personal, and painful, experience. counsel. On a hunch, he pulled up on Google Maps the location of Bob's firm as indicated at the end of the Bob had apparently never fully recovered from brief. Two blocks away was a park. that disappointment, Nick realized. But he had wanted to make sure that Nick did not make the same mistake. But "12.5" made no sense. Unless it was a time. Twelve-thirty? 20 Tulsa Lawyer
Nick cleared space on his shelves for the books and the folder of briefs, so that they would always be in his view and so he would not forget their lesson. He thought about the many ways he could implement the guidance he received, in his career, in his personal life, and in his plan someday to do the writing he kept putting off for that time all lawyers envision, when life would somehow become less hectic. Before leaving, he sent a quick email to the executor, acknowledging his receipt of the boxes, thanking him for his efforts, and requesting a copy of Bob's will. And a few days later, Nick would read in that will that, except for four boxes of legal material, Bob had left everything to one Abigail Mills Nelson. Lawrence Savell is Counsel at Herbert Smith Freehills New York LLP. He is an award winning author. This short story won the 2016 New York State Bar Association Journal Short Story Contest, and appeared in their May issue. Previous stoires of Mr. Savell's have appeard in the February 2009 & January 2010 issues of Tulsa Lawyaer Magazine. This story is reprinted with permission.
February is Black History Month. To find out more about this celebration visit
africanamericanhistorymonth.gov and history.com
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COURT THERAPY DOGS – WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY?
By Allen Pease, Esq.
The young girl walks into the courtroom wide eyed with fear showing on her face. A person dressed in a black robe quickly asks if she would promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. She is then asked to take a seat in the witness stand and another stranger shoves a microphone in front of her face. When the young witness finally gets enough nerve to look up all she sees is a large room full of strange people staring at her. She asks herself “Why me? What did I do wrong? Why must I have to tell everyone these horrible things that happened to me?” Just when she thinks her entire world around her is about to collapse she looks down into the eyes of a dog who is sitting next to her. At that very moment she knows there is at least one living creature that loves her unconditionally and that she is no longer alone in that witness chair. I often think during this time there is a secret message being shared between the child and the therapy court dog. The child knows the dog senses her fear and the dog knows what to do to protect her. The dog responds by intuitively reaching out to the child by reassuring her with soft nuzzles, conveying “Don’t worry – I’m here for you. I love you. We can do this together”. The child then looks up from the dog and stares into the face of an Assistant District Attorney and readies herself for the first of many questions. Yet no matter how many questions she has to answer, or how many tears she may shed, she knows that special TulsaLawyer Lawyer 2222Tulsa
dog sitting next to her will be there County. In conjunction with this until all of the questions have ended. new Act, Mr. Kunzweiler was also instrumental in developing and As a former trial lawyer who implementing the start-up of the has tried many jury trials I know Special Dog Unit (SDU) of the Tulsa firsthand how intimidating it can County District Attorney’s office. be for anyone, especially a child, My dog, Miss Chance, was recently to have to testify about the trauma selected by the SDU. She and five and hurt they have experienced. other highly trained and registered Fortunately, our Oklahoma law therapy dogs, help ease the stress makers also recognized this by of young children who are involved passage of the Uniform Child in abuse or neglect matters or who Witness Testimony Act (12 OSA have witnessed acts of violence 2611.12) effective as of Nov. 1, during the court process. 2014. This Act provides emotional Experts recognize that therapy support for a child witness thirteen years of age or younger in a criminal animals can benefit individuals proceeding. The statute allows for who have suffered physical or a child witness to be accompanied emotional trauma. When children by a support person while giving have suffered trauma, it is often testimony. Additionally, the child difficult for them to speak of their Incorporating a witness is able to have a certified experiences. therapeutic dog accompanied by therapy dog into the process can the handler in lieu of a support help a child open up and promote the person. The dog must have received healing process. In Tulsa, our court requisite training and certification therapy dogs are involved with the child from the initial interview with from accredited organizations. the prosecuting attorney through the This legislation was largely pre-trial preparation and courtroom drafted by Steve Kunzweiler, the testimony. Our dogs and the child current District Attorney of Tulsa
victim often create their own bond, which serves to relax the child and provide a sense of security. This bond enables the child to better navigate the criminal justice system helps heal emotional wounds. The use of court therapy dogs has become widespread across the country. These dogs are highly trained and remain quiet and unobtrusive during the court proceedings. The SDU dogs are owned individually by their handlers. They visit various children’s hospitals, schools and retirement homes. Some even provided therapy to the 1L law students at the University of Tulsa during their final exams. Four of the six SDU dogs, including mine were rescued, or as most of the handlers would say, they rescued us in one way or another. Over the past several years the SDU has gained the trust and respect of our judiciary as well as local defense lawyers. The next time you see a court therapy dog all you need to remember is one thing - these dogs provide love and comfort to all – unconditionally.
Allen Pease (OU Law ’72) practiced law for forty years before retiring in 2012. As an Assistant District Attorney in Tulsa County and a trial lawyer at the law firm of Jones, Gotcher, and Bogan, he tried well over forty jury trials before joining corporate legal staffs at various organizations during the remainder of his career. Tulsa Lawyer 23
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New Law on Vehicle Transfers at Death By Gale Allison & Andrew King of The Allison Firm, PLLC
Effective November 1, 2016, Oklahomans may will only be made in the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s now transfer vehicles at death by filing a Transfer On records. This leaves owners without physical proof Death (TOD) Notice Application Form 771 with their that the designation was made. Owners and transferees local tag agency.1 Before November, Oklahoma law should each keep copies of the notarized Form 771 as was silent on this issue. Because TOD designations evidence of the TOD designation. for vehicles were never expressly forbidden, tag Regardless of whether the form is filed by the agencies accepted these designations and updated titles accordingly. The new law put a stop to all vehicle vehicle owner or by the transferee, the transferee is transfer on death designations that do not comply with required to take further action to receive the title. After the owner’s death, the transferee must apply for title the statutory method. by completing and filing the TOD Transferee Affidavit Vehicle owners who choose to take located on the second page of Form 771. This affidavit advantage of this new transfer method must use Form must be notarized and the transferee must attach a copy 771. This form was created in response to the new law of the owner’s death certificate. and is used solely for making vehicle transfers at death. The strongest issue is that no longer will estate Though the new law only requires a written notice lawyers know who owns a vehicle upon the owner’s filed with the Oklahoma Tax Commission, use of Form 771 will ensure that all the statutory requirements are death. Normally, a lawyer can look at the vehicle title met. Anyone can pick up this form at his or her local and identify whether the vehicle is probate property. tag agency or print a copy by going to the Oklahoma Now, even the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s records Tax Commission’s webpage and navigating to the may not be determinative of who owns the vehicle, because a transferee might have the Form 771, but general motor vehicle forms page.2 has yet to file it with the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Once the form is complete, the owner can file it Unlike transfer on death deeds, the transferee has no with any Oklahoma tag agency. But, unlike changes to statutory time limit to file. We expect problems. the physical title which must be made while the owner is still alive, Form 771 does not have to be filed with a tag agency during the owner’s life. The transferee may Gale Allison & Andrew King of The Allison submit the original Form 771 to any tag agency after Firm, PLLCA boutique law firm devoted to estate the owner has died. If the owner wishes to revoke or planning, estate administration, estate taxes, probate amend a TOD designation, he can do so by completing and estate disputes the same steps he took in making the designation, except this time he will fill in the space provided for amendments or revocations. This transfer method has limitations. First, it cannot be used for vehicles subject to a lien. Prior to the new law, tag agencies accepted TOD designations regardless of whether the vehicle was subject to a lien or not. Second, the TOD designation is no longer reflected on the physical title itself. Instead, the designation 1 47 O.S. § 1107.5. 2 https://www.ok.gov/tax/Individuals/Motor_Vehicle/Forms_ &_Publications/General_Motor_Vehicle_Forms/
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Grapevine News GableGotwals has announced the promotion of two associate attorneys and two of counsel attorneys to shareholder status. The new shareholders include Adam Doverspike, Robert Getchell and Brandon Watson who are located in Tulsa and Talitha Ebright, who practices in the Oklahoma City office. With over 90 attorneys, the Firm now has offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and San Antonio, Texas. Adam C. Doverspike focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, appellate matters, ratemaking, and local government affairs. Adam has represented a wide variety of clients, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, government entities, universities and energy corporations. Adam’s energy work includes preparing comments on EPA rulemaking concerning proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations and assisting a natural gas utility through the state ratemaking process at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. He has counseled energy clients regarding environmental issues, eminent domain policies, data security and privacy issues, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Robert J. Getchell has practiced Real Estate Law for over three decades in Oklahoma and Arkansas. His broad-ranging experience includes residential, commercial and investment-related real estate transactions. Having spent almost 20 years as staff attorney and general counsel for abstract and title companies, Bob has extensive experience in every area of transactional real estate including title examination, title insurance underwriting, sales and refinance transactions, contracts, conveyance instruments, encroachment agreements and easements. Bob is also an experienced litigator having represented various individual, investment and corporate clients, including some of the country’s largest banks, in mortgage foreclosure litigation and other adversarial matters covering a wide range of real estate matters. 28 Tulsa Lawyer
Brandon M. Watson’s practice focuses on business transactions, where he advises clients on matters relating to mergers, acquisitions, corporate governance compliance with federal securities laws (including registered offerings and periodic reporting compliance), commercial and contract issues. E. Talitha Ebrite’s practice focuses on business litigation (State and Federal). Talitha has worked closely with large and small oil and gas companies, major retailers, and a number of other business entities to accomplish their goals in matters relating to class actions, revenue accounting, environmental claims, employment discrimination, and a broad assortment of other commercial disputes. A significant portion of Talitha’s practice is also devoted to drafting oil and gas drilling, division order, and acquisition title opinions.
Anthony Allen and Associates, PLLC and Garrett Law Center, PLLC have now become Allen Garrett Peckio + Masters. Allen + Garrett will have offices in Tulsa and Okmulgee and will continue to serve clients statewide. Anthony Allen, D. Mitchell Garrett, Jr., Amber Peckio Garrett and Alexandra Masters have been named Partners at the firm with Amber Peckio Garrett as the firm’s Managing Partner. The firm continues to have a location in Tulsa at 427 South Boston Ave., Suite 320, Tulsa, Ok 74103, and can be reached at 1(800)4091915 or (918) 895-7216 locally. The Okmulgee office continues at 106 S. Okmulgee Ave., Okmulgee OK 74447. Contact can also be made online at www. allengarrett.com.
Gable Gotwals Announces 2017 Officers and Directors for GableGotwals David Keglovits Chair and CEO Sid Swinson President Amy Stipe VP Finance John Dale VP Talent Terry Ragsdale VP Growth Dale Cottingham Secretary Scott Rowland Member Rob Robertson Member GableGotwals is a full-service law firm of over 90 attorneys who represent a diversified client base across the nation. GableGotwals effectively handles litigation matters (state, federal, appellate courts), regulatory and licensing issues, and transactional matters. With offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and San Antonio, GableGotwals is one of the largest law firms in the state of Oklahoma.
The Tulsa law firm of Atkinson, Haskins, Nellis, Brittingham, Gladd & Fiasco announces that Rachael F. Hughes has become a partner in the firm. Rachael Faye Hughes graduated with Highest Honors from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2013. During law school, Ms. Hughes served as Editor in Chief of the Tulsa Law Review and was a member of the Board of Advocates. Her article, Changes in Oklahoma Campaign Finance: The Rise in Corporate Influence and the Need for Disclosure, was published in the Tulsa Law Review in 2013. She received CALI awards in Constitutional Law I, Evidence, Decedents’ Estates and Trusts, and Tribal Government, and she was awarded the Order of the Curule Chair. Ms. Hughes received her B.A. in History with a minor in English and Spanish from Oklahoma State University in 2008. She currently practices in the areas of appellate advocacy and civil litigation.
Tulsa City Attorney’s Office announces it has added Kristina L. Gray and Lawson Vaughn to its Litigation Division. Gray serves as a SeniorAssistant City Attorney focusing on complex litigation and civil rights cases. Most recently she was a partner in a local firm handling complex civil litigation in construction, and insurance bad faith and coverage cases. She also served as a law clerk to the Hon. James H. Payne in the Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma. She frequently lectures on topics such as electronic discovery and insurancerelated issues, including recently at the International Building Owners and Managers Conference in Washington D.C. She obtained her law degree from the OU College of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech. Vaughn serves as an Assistant City Attorney focusing on general litigation and administrative hearings. He was previously in private practice handling insurance defense matters and has also worked in the insurance claims industry where he investigated liability and coverage issues and handled litigation and claims. Vaughn graduated from TU Law School and earned his bachelor’s degree from OSU, where he was a place kicker on the football team and still holds the record as the 8th highest all-time scorer. Greuel Law Firm, PLLC announces a name and location change: Kara Greuel’s estate planning, business transactions and probate and trust litigation practice has expanded to include a new partner, Stephanie R. Coates. They will continue their existing practice under the name R&R Strategies, PLLC and are now located at 1217 E. 33rd Street in Brookside. Contact information is as follows: Telephone: 918728-2699; Facsimile: 918-878-7606; kara@randrslaw. com and email@example.com
We can help you reach your audience! Contact Jody at 918-584-5243 Visit www.tulsabar.com for rates and more information. Tulsa Lawyer 29
Law Day Student Contests Information Oklahoma is keeping its tradition in celebrating Law Day in a big way. The Oklahoma Bar Association and the Tulsa County Bar Foundation have continued our annual art and writing contests for students. The 2017 theme is “The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy” which provides the opportunity to explore the many ways that the Fourteenth Amendment has reshaped American law and society. Through its Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, this transformative amendment advanced the rights of all Americans. It also played a pivotal role in extending the reach of the Bill of Rights to the states. Ratified during Reconstruction a century and a half ago, the Fourteenth Amendment serves as the cornerstone of landmark civil rights legislation, the foundation for numerous federal court decisions protecting fundamental rights, and a source of inspiration for all those who advocate for equal justice under law.
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Forms & details are available at
• Writing Contest • Coloring Contest • Free Form Art Contest Deadline: Friday, April 7, 2017
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