OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Bar Association’s Clients’ Security Fund pays 17 people – including at least one Tahlequah customer – US $ 177,712.50 who have lost money or other property due to the death or dishonest conduct of their attorney. The association reimburses clients of 11 deceased, suspended or former lawyers whose actions led to the losses.
“Within the legal profession, maintaining public trust is paramount. When a lawyer dies or violates that trust, the association takes responsibility for trying to make the lawyer’s clients whole. Our goal is to build trust to restore our profession by adequately compensating these sacrifices. ” “said OBA President Susan Shields from Oklahoma City.
Claims arise when an attorney misuses, expulses, or dies, and there is no other source of compensation or recovery. The OBA’s Clients’ Security Fund Committee reviews customer claims and makes annual recommendations to the OBA Board of Governors on the merits of these claims.
Norman’s committee chairman Micheal Salem said claims typically arise when these former attorneys become unstable due to a personal crisis, drug abuse or illness and fail to follow professional rules for securing client funds or property.
“On behalf of the association, the committee is working to help people who have fallen victim to the dishonest acts of the few ex-lawyers who misused client funds or property,” said Salem.
Shields said all active attorneys in Oklahoma contribute to the fund through a portion of their annual legal fees, and since the fund was founded in 1965, clients have received reimbursements of nearly $ 3.5 million.
Former or deceased attorneys for whom the OBA pays claims, the individuals to be compensated for their losses, and the reimbursement amounts are:
• Late lawyer Duane Croft, Norman; Customer Cathy Rashid-Issaquah, Washington, $ 2,096.05.
• Deceased attorney Johnny Albert, Oklahoma City; Customer Arturo Ruiz, Bakersfield, California, $ 908.29.
• Former lawyer Lon Darley, Oklahoma City; Customer Gary Chrisman, Oklahoma City, $ 16,069.72.
• Suspended attorney Bryan Kingery, Ada; Owned by Willard Jones, Cashion, $ 14,672.36.
• Suspended attorney Theodore Koss, Edmond; Customer Fredy Escobar, Oklahoma City, $ 4,681.18.
• Former lawyer Steven Minks, Pocola; Customer Lovell Hurst, Claremore, $ 3,493.43.
• Deceased attorney Randy Conner, Oklahoma City; Customer Rodney Simpson, Edmond, $ 349.34; Matthew Connelly, Moore, $ 2,096.05; Kevin Bennett, Oklahoma City, $ 21,815.36; Joseph Goin, Yukon, $ 1,746.71; Kerry Williams, Oklahoma City, $ 100,934.03.
• Late lawyer Robert Price, Claremore; Customers Jerry and Louise Grooms, Tahlequah, $ 209.61 and Shasta Cortez, Claremore, $ 419.21.
• Late attorney David Wilson, Stigler; Customers Colby Brassfield, McCurtain, $ 873.35; Michael Barnett, Stigler, $ 524.01; and Lisa Tate, Tahlequah, $ 3,493.42.
• Suspended attorney Brandon Watkins, Grove; Customer Ronald Lewis, Stillwater, $ 558.95.
• Former attorney Tuan Khuu, Oklahoma City; Customer Nguyet Ha, Grand Prairie, Texas, $ 2,771.44.
Further information on the Clients’ Security Fund can be found on the OBA website at www.okbar.org/gc/clients-security-fund.
The Oklahoma City Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, has 18,000 members and was founded by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to promote and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service, and high standards of conduct in the Oklahoma legal community .