Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Bad Blood"

An attorney with a prior record of discipline has been disbarred by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The disciplinary matter involved misconduct in the course of the attorney's handling of a workers' compensation matter.

A second matter was the one that led to the ultimate sanction - a conviction for stalking a judge's wife.

The reason for the crime, according to the attorney, was "bad blood."

The court

 Concerning the gravity of Wilcox's actions, we find the PRT's language particularly apt: "[r]espect for judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings is the very foundation of the practice of law. Intentional intimidation of those involved in legal proceedings --or worse yet, victimizing their families--is serious indeed." Report of the PRT, p.28 By way of mitigation, Wilcox asserts long-standing bad blood and harassment between himself and other individuals in the City of Seiling, including Taunia Bozarth and Judge Bozarth, the Dewey County Sheriff, and police officers of the City of Seiling.

We agree with the PRT that bad blood and disagreement between individuals does not justify the crime of stalking. Further, the fact that Wilcox asserted he refrained from committing worse crimes, such as assault or verbally threatening Taunia Bozarth, hardly serves as evidence mitigating the crime of which Wilcox was convicted. Transcript, pp. 84-85.4 Much of the testimony offered by Wilcox as mitigation consists of denials that he stalked Taunia Bozarth. Wilcox testified: "I still don't believe I ever stalked that lady. You keep using this word 'stalk'". Transcript, p. 58. He also stated: "[w]ell, I don't agree with the jury verdict or the court of - the Court of Criminal Appeals' decision. I'll abide by the punishment, and that's where I'm at." Transcript, p. 56. Wilcox responded again in the same manner when asked if he was willing to take any responsibility:

Q: Do you take any responsibility for the conviction for stalking Taunia Bozarth?

A: I disagree with the jury's decision, I disagree with the Court of appeals - criminal --- court of criminal appeals decision [sic], but I've done my punishment or I'm doing it now.

(Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2014/01/an-attorney-with-a-prior-record-of-discipline-has-been-disbarred-by-the-oklahoma-supreme-court-the-disciplinary-matter-invo.html

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