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IN THE DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR TULSA COUNTY
STATE OF OKLAHOMA

Case No. CJ 2007 06543 (stamp)
Judge: Rebecca Brett Nightingale (stamp)
ORIGINAL (stamp)

DR. JOHN SWAILS,
DR. TIM BROOKER, and
DR PAULITA BROOKER,
Plaintiffs

vs.

ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY,an Oklahoma Corporation,
DR. RICHARD ROBERTS, ORU President,
DR MARK LEWANDOWSKI, ORU Provost,
DR. WENDY SHIRK, ORU Dean, and
DR JEFF OGLE, ORU Associate Provost
Defendants.

PLAINTIFFS’ RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISQUALIFY
PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL. AND BRIEF IN SUPPORT

COME NOW the Plaintiffs, by and through their attorneys of record, the Richardson Law Firm, P.C., and in response to Defendants’ motion to disqualify Plaintiffs’ counsel due to alleged “significant conflicts of interest”, show the Court as follows:

1. Stephanie Cantees, who is not a party to this litigation hut who is a potential witness. is not a client of the Richardson Law Firm. PC. “in the context of this particular lawsuit” or otherwise, and did not consult with anyone at the Richardson Law Firm regarding the issues in this litigation, including Gary L. Richardson. Defendants’ motion is based an a false representation by Ms. Cantees.

2. Defendants’ proffered “Statemect of Facts” is supported by an Affidavit ostensibly executed by Stephanie Cantees. Although portions of the affidavit pertain to disputed issues of fact in this litigation that have nothing to do with the alleged conflict of interest, the affidavit contains a serious allegation that one of the attorneys representing the Plaintiffs, Gary L Richardson, consulted with Ms. Cantees as her counsel, prior to the litigation, regarding information stored on Ms. Cantees’ computer that is material to the wrongful termination of the Plaintiffs, and adverse to the interests of Ms. Cantees. This alleged conversation between Ms. Cantees and Gary Richardson never happened. (See Affidavit of Gary L. Richardson, attached hereto as Exhibit “A”.) Swearing of a false affidavit by Ms. Cantees has placed her in jeopardy of a perjury conviction. Kirschstein v. Haynes, 1990 OK 8, 788 P.2d 941.

3. Plaintiffs do not deny that Stephanie Courses is a former client of the predecessor of the Richardson Law Firm, P.C. However, Ms. Cantees is not a current client, and there is no conflict of interest based on the firm’s former representation of Ms. Cantees. OKLA. STAT. lit. 5, Ch. I, Ape. 3-A, § 19. As a result of the representation of Stephanie Cantees in matters totally unrelated to this litigation, the Richardson Law Firm did not receive any information which has any relevance to the issues tn this lawsuit, or that would be materially adverse to the interests of Ms. Cantees regarding this matter.

The information which Ms. Cantees alleges was “stolen” from her computer by an ORU student was furnished to the Richardson Law Firm by its Clients, the Plaintiffs. Since Ms. Cantees has falsely stated that the Richardson Law Firm, specifically Gary Richardson, represented her in a matter related to the issues in this lawsuit,Ms. Cantees’ statement that the information was”stolen” from her computer also lacks credibility. The information allegedly obtained from Ma, Cantees’ computer ts not connected to any former matter in which the Richardson Law Firm represented Ms. Cantees, but more importantly. no one at the Richardson Law’ Firm discussed this information. or the issues surrounding this information, with Ms. Cadres, Defendants’ contention that Gary Richardson and the Richardson Law’ Firm have represented Ms. Cantees in the same matter as the
Plaintiffs is simply false.

4. Defendants gloss over the recent decision of Arkansas Valley State Bank v. Phillips, 2007 OK 78. —P.3d—, WI., 3012848, to discuss opinions from other jurisdictions; however, the Oklahoma authority is controlling, and particularly instructive here. The Oklahoma Supreme Court held as follows:

A party’ litigant’s right to employ the counsel of his other choice is fundamental. A disqualification order is a drastic measure. The standard for granting a motion to disqualify counsel is whether real harm to the intensity of the judicial process is likely to result if counsel is not disqualified. If a trial court grants a motion to disqualify counsel based on conflict of interest or Improper possession of confidential information, it must hold an evidentiary hearing and make a specific finding that the attorney had knowledge of material and confidential information.

Arkansas Valley State Bank, at ¶ 25.

Among other stated reasons, Defendants’ motion must fail, because Defendants motion to disqualify counsel is based on a false premise, that Gary Richardson had knowledge of material and confidential information from Stephanie Cantees when the Richardson Law Finn undertook representation of the Plaintiffs, Defendants cannot meet the requisite standard of “real harm to the integrity of the judicial process”to disqualify Plaintiffs’ Counsel. The accusations against Plaintiffs’ Counsel lack integrity

5. The Arkansas Valley State Bank Court pointed out that motions to disqualify’ counsel for failure to comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct are not to he used as procedural weapons. Such use subverts the purpose of the Rules. Defendants and their counsel have not only accused Plaintiffs’ Counsel of unethical conduct, they have accused Plaintiffs’ counsel of criminal behavior. These accusations have no evidentiary support, which is problematic for the Defendants since they have the burden of proving that real harm lathe integrity of the judicial process is likely to result if Counsel is not disqualified. Arkansas Valley State Bank, Defendants’ Counsel had a duty to investigate the alleged facts, as stated by Stephanie Cantees, whom they do not represent. They obviously failed to do that in their zeal to discredit and disqualify’ Plaintiffs’ Counsel. Defendants’ Counsel, when viewed in the best light possible, have been “had”, and the motion to disqualify should he denied.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, Plaintiffs request that Defendants’ motion to disqualify Plaintiffs’ Counsel is summarily denied.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary L. Richardson, OBA # 7547
Paul T. Boudreaux, OBA # 990
E. Diane Hinkle, OBA # 14744
6450 S. Lewis, Suite 300
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136
Tel: 918/492-7674
Fax: 918/493-1925
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

I hereby certify that on this 20th___ day of November. 2007, a true and correct copy of the above and foregoing was deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid, to:

John H. Tucker Frank Hagedorn
Jo Anne Deaton Robert P. Fitzpatrick
Rhodes, Hieronymus, at al. Hall, Estill, et al.
P.O. Box 21100 320 S. Boston Ave.. Suite 400
Tulsa.OK 74121 Tulsa,OK 74103

Richardson Law Firm, P.C.

IN THE DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR TULSA COUNTY STATE OF OKLAHOMA

DR. JOHN SWAILS,
DR. TIM BROOKER, and
DR. PAUL.ITA BROOKER,
Plaintiffs

vs.

ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY, an Oklahoma Corporation,
DR. RICHARD ROBERTS, ORU President,
DR. MARK LEWANDOWSKI, ORU Provost,
DR. WENDY SHIRK ORU Dean, and
DR. JEFF OGLE. ORU Associate Provost
Defendants.

Case No. CJ 2007 06543
Judge: Rebecca Brett Nightingale

AFFIDAVIT OF GARY L. RICHARDSON
STATE OF OKLAHOMA
COUNTY OF TULSA
ss,

I. Gary L. Richardson, being of sound mind and lawful age. and competent to give an attestation in this matter, do hereby state as follows:

1. I am a partner in the Richardson Law Firm. P.C., and I represent the Plaintiffs named above.

2. Stephanie Cantees is not presently a clientof mine or of the Richardson Law Firm, P.C. and hasn’t been for in excess of two (2) years. A lawyerin the Richardson Law Firm. not Gary L. Richardson himself, did represent Stephanie Cantees in her divorce action back in the 90’s.

Stephanie Cantees did ask me to represent her ins property dispute some three (3) to four (4) years ago and I declined. Stephanie Cantees did ask me to represent her in a car accident case approximately two (2) plus years ago and after initially agreeing to do so I withdrew from the case and requested that Stephanie Cantees come and pick up her file, which she did.

I accompanied Stephanie Centees a number of years ago to en interview by law enforcement wherein she was a witness. No fees were paid for this assistance. The only fees Stephanie Cantees has ever paid to Gary L.. Richardson or the Richardson Law Firm is for the handling of her divorce for which suit was necessary by the Richardson Law Firm to collect the fees.

3. I have reviewed the Affidavit of Stephanie Cantees, submitted to this Court. on or about November 2, 2007, in support of Defendants’ Motion to Disqualify the Richardson Law Firm as counsel in this matter.

4. Ms. Cantees’ assertion that she consulted me for advice regarding material that had been allegedly stolen from her computer, and that we discussed the issues and information regarding the theft, including various options in response to the theft, are false statements of fact. This alleged conversation between Ms. Canteen and me never happened. I have not consulted with Stephanie Cantees, at any time, either before or after the above captioned litigation was filed, regarding any facts or information related to the allegations and issues in this lawsuit,

5. At no time was I ever asked to represent Stephanie Centers regarding any matter related to the above-captioned litigation.

6. None of the information received by me or others in my law firm pertaining to this litigation was obtained from Stephanie Cantees.

FURTHER AFFIANT SAITH NAUGHT,

GARY L. RICHARDSON

Subscribed and sworn before me this 20th day of November, 2007.

NOTARY PUBLIC

MY COMMISSION EXPIRES 12/20/09

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