Emotional Distress. Sometimes it is an element of damages, but it can also be an independent claim in personal injury and wrongful death cases. What does this mean to you or your claim? Oklahoma has standard Uniform Jury Instructions that address the basics of emotional distress for a jury to understand their role in awarding damages for emotional distress or not. Though case law or other argument can trump the use of this language before juries, the Uniform Jury Instructions (referred to as “OUJI”) are designed to apply in many general contexts, subject to case specific revisions. For example, OUJI defines the term “emotional distress” as “mental distress, mental pain and suffering, or mental anguish. It includes all highly unpleasant mental reactions, such as fright, horror, grief, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, chagrin, disappointment, and worry.” OUJI 20.3. Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instruction No. 20.1, sets forth the elements of liability which must be …Continue reading →
In almost two decades of questions from the public at large, I have determined the top five issues people have that compel them to contact an attorney, & created a video for each. 5. Injuries. The public at large is concerned as it should be about what to do if injured. The answer to this question varies greatly depending on the facts and circumstances of your injury. We created a general video to talk about the large umbrella called “tort” law. What might be a tort and what may not be a tort? Could you have a claim? We recommend before contacting an attorney, if you are unsure, think about safety. Did someone fail to keep premises safe? You may already know the area of tort such as an automobile accident or a slip and fall. But what about a child who jumps on an oil rig and his leg …Continue reading →
Going to court can bring out stress. People do not always behave their best and it is usually one of the worst periods in a person’s life. Whether your lawsuit is against a formerspouse, employer, business partner, or another, it is not unusual for the pressure to push someone into an uncharacteristic mental state. This is what our blog series on the “Psychology of Litigation” addresses. Major stress factors in life include emotionally charged situations or big life changes. This includes Litigation. (See Holmes and Rahe’s (1967) Social Readjustment Ratings Scale here). Litigants should be prepared for the mental stress of Litigation and ready to run the Litigation course long term, if necessary. How different people deal with situational distress caused by litigation can be affected by whether they have a mental condition – diagnosed or not. If mentally healthy people suffer such distress, then imagine the different types of reactions …Continue reading →
May 1st is National Law Day! This year’s Law Day which was Sunday, May 1, was extra special. This is because it is also the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1966 decision of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). This case marks the beginning of Miranda rights required to be stated to a person under arrest. This includes rights protected by the 5th Amendment. This includes the right to remain silent; that statements by the suspect may be used in court; that the suspect may consult with a lawyer during interrogation; and that a lawyer will be provided, if the suspect cannot afford one. The Miranda rule helps balance police interrogation with an individuals rights. However, so many of us allow our individual rights to be usurped when we believe we have nothing to hide. In speaking to the police anything you say will be used against you. Nothing you say …Continue reading →
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma “LASO” is an organization whose mission is “making equal justice for all a reality.” Established in 2001, as a result of the merger of Legal Aid Services of Western and Eastern Oklahoma, LASO is a registered nonprofit that provides civil legal assistance to low income individuals across Oklahoma. If an individual qualifies, they are not charged for any of the services provided by LASO. Funding for the services provided by Legal Aid come from the Legal Services Corporation, the State of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, 15 United Way or United Fund organizations, as well as generous donations from attorneys, firms, business, and individuals throughout Oklahoma. Those donations can be in the form of funds or the legal time provided by the attorney at no cost to you if LASO approves you for services. In most cases, many attorneys work pro …Continue reading →
The first video I made several years ago is called “How to Choose A Lawyer.” Here is what I said which still applies. First, you want to make sure that your attorney is qualified. Second, you want to see if you like the attorney’s personality and if you think they’re a good match for you. Third, you want to look at their business practices and procedures. Fourth, you want to have a feeling you can trust your attorney to do the right thing for you when you aren’t there. ARE THEY QUALIFIED? Choosing a lawyer can be a difficult and maybe overwhelming experience. There are so many choices and so many options. Of course you want your attorney to be qualified. You need to have an attorney who is qualified in the area of law, that your issue is in. Try to know and try to understand what area of law it is …Continue reading →
In almost any contested domestic matter, you will need to prepare the following items: A List Of Potential Witnesses Include their contact information and anticipated testimony. If you have identified more than one witness who can testify about the same thing, then indicate which one you think would be best and why. Some cases are simple and only require the testimony of one or both parties—in many divorces this is the case. The Court appreciates if you are respectful of their time and do not unnecessarily duplicate witness testimony unless critical. Initially, however, do not be shy on identifying everyone who may have knowledge about issues in your case.
Cancer patients in family law courts face many issues about their personal care and that of their children. It is highly likely in most divorces and all custody battles that the parties’ medical conditions will be at issue. When the health of litigants is an issue, litigants should carefully consider insurance coverage available through private plans, COBRA, and/or federal programs, like Medicaid, SSI and SSDI. How these patients will be able to acquire insured and uninsured treatment for their care is a critical consideration. Knowledge of HIPPA regulations is important for acquiring medical records and bills that may be at issue in any divorce to prove or disprove any claims or defenses. A cancer patient’s need for spousal support may well be influenced or fully supported by their medical needs. Some Courts may make property distributions in lieu of alimony.