Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Court Upholds Liability Decision against Williamette

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Court Upholds Liability Decision against Williamette

Article excerpt

The following summarize recent local court, attorney general and 10th Circuit opinions. Oklahoma Supreme Court

For the week ended April 13 State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association vs. Douglas Kirk Biggers, SCBD No. 4424. 1999 OK 28. Biggers was accused of fraudulently concealing and converting funds belonging to his clients and to his law corporation. The OBA Office of General Counsel also alleged Biggers made false and misleading responses to questioning about the conversion. Biggers voluntarily applied to resign from OBA membership pending disciplinary proceedings. He is prohibited from applying for reinstatement for five years. Application approved. Biggers' name is stricken from the roll of attorneys. State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association vs. Joel A. Henderson, SCBD No. 4424. 1999 OK 28. Henderson failed to notify the OBA of his three-year suspension from the practice of law in Colorado. On a reciprocal disciplinary proceeding, Henderson was ordered to show cause why a similar suspension should not be imposed in Oklahoma. Henderson stipulated to the facts underlying the Colorado charges of misrepresentation, neglect of client matters, failure to take reasonable steps to protect a client after termination of representation, incompetent representation, and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. The Colorado order is prima facie evidence of the acts. Mitigating factors make suspension, not disbarment, the proper sanction. Suspended for three years. Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals For the week ended April 13 Charles E. Lee vs. John Robert Lee, No. 90,753. The power to revoke a trust is personal to the settlor when reserved only to him. It is not transferrable in life and does not pass to successors in interest at death. If the power to revoke is exclusively reserved to the settlor, then the trust becomes irrevocable upon the court's determination of the settlor's incapacity. A general, durable power of attorney does not confer the settlor's personal right to revoke the trust. A guardian may not modify or amend a power of attorney to permit trust revocation if the settlor reserved such power to himself alone. Reversed and remanded. The dissent argued that a durable power of attorney survives incompetency. George Scroggins vs. Roger D. Gaddis, No. 90,831. The trial court's admission into evidence of a "punch list" of building construction problems and estimated costs for remediation compiled by a non-testifying third party violated the hearsay evidence rule and was prejudicial error. The evidence was offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted and its probative value depended on the competency and credibility of the non-witness estimator. In contracts where time is not of the essence, a contractor who does not complete his performance by the specified deadline may recover, subject to liability for delay damages. The performance of repairs does not extend the mechanic and materialman's lien filing deadline. Reversed and remanded for a new trial. Steve Beebe vs. Duncan School District No. 1-01, No. 92,162. Duncan School District's early retirement incentive plan does not violate the Oklahoma Constitution or state law. The statute authorizing such retirement payments to be charged to the fiscal year in which they are made does not offend a constitutional prohibition against incurring school district debt exceeding the income and revenue for any year. "Any year" is consistent with the term "fiscal year." Annually ratified payments from present sources do not create a debts paid out of future revenues. Affirmed. Jimmy G. Young et al. vs. Ray Vermillion, Cecilia Vermillion, Walter B. Anderson, Dorothy Jean Barnes and the Trust Co. of Oklahoma, No. 92,560. A quit claim deed conveys only the interests of the grantor described in the deed. Unlike the result in similar cases involving warranty deeds, a grantor who retains one-half of the mineral interest in a quit claim deed does not necessarily grant a one-half mineral interest to grantee first. …

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