Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Supreme Court Remands Lawsuit Involving GRDA

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Supreme Court Remands Lawsuit Involving GRDA

Article excerpt

Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma

For week ended May 15.

Edward T. Beattie and Walter R. Bailey Jr., vs. State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Grand River Dam Authority, No. 91,359.

Plaintiffs. Edward Beattie and Walter Bailey Jr. purchased property from the United States of America in 1996 to develop as a waterfront subdivision. Plaintiffs asked GRDA to relocate its facilities underground or remove them from the newly purchased property. GRDA refused to either remove or relocate the facilities. As a result plaintiffs filed this lawsuit seeking to enforce their rights under the easements. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted GRDA's motion. Plaintiffs appealed to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, which affirmed the decision of the trial court. Plaintiff appealed.

The Supreme Court disagreed, stating that no where in the instruments was there a provision limiting or prohibiting assignment of the relocation or removal rights. The court went on to state that GRDA failed to establish that the assignment of the relocation and removal rights would change the character of its obligation under the easement instruments by materially increasing the risk imposed on it. The court also ruled that the "subject to" clause in the quitclaim deed from the United States to plaintiffs did not reserve the relocation and removal rights or prevent those rights from passing to the plaintiffs. Finally, the court remanded the cause for further proceedings, because the record contained no evidence whether plaintiffs' proposed use of the land required either removal or relocation of GRDA's utility facilities.

Donald F. Gillham, Jr., as father and next friend of Kyler L. Gillham, a minor, vs. Lake County Raceway, No. 94,058.

Plaintiff, Donald Gillham, brought this action on behalf of his minor son, Kyler, who broke his leg while attending an automobile race at Lake County Raceway on June 14, 1997. At the end of plaintiff's evidence, the racetrack moved for a directed verdict, arguing that the jury would be forced to speculate as to the cause of the accident. The trial court ultimately granted the motion. The Court of Civil Appeals reversed and the racetrack appealed. On appeal, the court vacated the COCA's opinion and affirmed the judgment of the trial court, ruling that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of negligence.

State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association, vs. Howard Israel, SCBD 4524.

The Oklahoma Bar Association filed a three-count complaint against respondent, Howard Israel on Feb. 28, 2000, related to respondent's representation of Stacy Renne. The Professional Rules Tribunal recommended that respondent be suspended for 30 days. The court did not go with the recommendation. Instead, the court ordered respondent to be publicly censured. The court based its discipline on the fact that the only violation it found was that in one of the three counts; a lawyer must withdraw from representation of a client if the lawyer is discharged. As to the other two counts, the court stated that the OBA had failed to prove the alleged violations by clear and convincing evidence.

Oklahoma Court

of Civil Appeals

Joseph Weeks, vs. Robert E. Manchester, No. 95,040.

In this appeal, Joseph Weeks sought the court's judgment that Robert Manchester, individually, can be vicariously liable for the torts of another shareholder in their law firm, which was organized as a professional corporation. …

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