Lawyer bashing? Blame the lawyers

Topeka Capital-Journal
March 27, 1998

As you well know, it is not my style to cast aspersions on any person or profession. I don’t resort to detraction, mock, invective, or vituperation. I avoid taking cheap shots at bureaucrats and politicians, and government at any level. I believe in the golden rule, so if I can’t say something nice about someone, I try to say something not too nasty.

I’ll admit that once in a while I point out, as gently as possible, blunders by governing bodies that are made, no doubt, because they work long hours under intense pressure. It also is my habit to chide, in a friendly manner, officials who have strayed from the fundamental principle that everything should be kept as simple as possible.

I see myself as a man burdened by the problems of parenting and grandparenting, barely able to take the time to look for wrongs and try to right them. But whatever I do, I do without rancor and in the spirit of making the world a better place. As anyone who knows me will tell you, there is not a bitter or hostile bone in my body.

Since all that is true beyond question, how does it happen that I suddenly find myself in the middle of a lawsuit?? Why is my name used in legal papers filed in the District Court of Shawnee County? (the honorable Richard M Smith, assigned.) Continue reading

Family Money: Carving the Oklahoma Pie

Topeka Capital-Journal
April 28, 1997

You’ve heard this before: put some relatives and family members around a table, and in the center put some money or valuables to be divided among them, and you’ll see some greed, resentment and even some skullduggery. I am speaking as a victim when I say I’ve been there.

I was done in by my own blood brother, who lives in Dallas. Like most highbinders, he says now it was all a mistake, and he even places the blame on an Oklahoma lawyer, one of the worst kind, who is now deceased, making him one of the best kind.

I’d like to believe him, but his mistake – if you want to call it that – was so enormous, and the stakes were so high, that it is difficult for me to do. I’ll tell you the sordid story, and you be the judge.

As you read this, consider the possibility of a conspiracy among all the relatives involved in this, and try to think of a reliable lawyer who might represent me. I realize “reliable lawyer” is oxymoronic, and I may have to settle for considerably less. Continue reading