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State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Allford

152 P.3d 190 (2006)

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State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Allford

Oklahoma Supreme Court

152 P.3d 190 (2006)

Facts

Richard Mackey hired lawyer Patricia Allford (defendant) to probate his parents’ estates. Allford did not keep appointments with Mackey, return many of his calls, or explain matters to him. Further, after nine years, the probate was still not complete. Mackey fired Allford, but she refused to return his file, eventually convincing Mackey to let her continue working. The same thing happened about a year later. A year after that, Mackey filed a grievance with the state bar (plaintiff). The bar sent Allford multiple letters setting out the allegations and asking for her response. Allford consistently responded late and did not address the allegations in her responses. Allford then failed to show up for a deposition scheduled by the bar. When the bar served Allford with a subpoena for a second deposition, Allford convinced the sheriff’s department employees to falsify the service date to make it look as though she had not been served in time. Allford also submitted an affidavit from Mackey claiming that he was withdrawing his grievance and wanted Allford to finish the probate matter. After several continuances of the disciplinary proceedings, Allford finally completed Mackey’s probate matter, approximately 13 years after starting it. Allford then signed a stipulated statement of facts confessing to her misconduct in handling Mackey’s matter and during the disciplinary process. Based on this statement, the bar recommended that Allford receive a private reprimand. However, at the hearing before the Professional Responsibility Tribunal (tribunal), Allford made statements that were inconsistent with her stipulated statement of facts, refused to admit to many of the matters, refused to accept responsibility, and did not show remorse for her misconduct. Allford also admittedly made dishonest statements under oath to the tribunal. The tribunal ultimately recommended that Allford be given a public reprimand. The Oklahoma Supreme Court reviewed the recommendations in order to make a final decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Colbert, J.)

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