On Tuesday, August 15, 2023, Tulsa World reported that Ronald E. Durbin II, a prominent attorney celebrated for his involvement in Oklahoma’s burgeoning cannabis sector, is teetering on the brink of disbarment as a slew of complaints have flooded in against him. The Oklahoma Supreme Court finds itself at the receiving end of a formal grievance filed against Durbin, painting a grim picture of alleged professional misconduct dating back to 2017.
Within the complaint’s intricate web of accusations, Durbin stands accused of wielding his legal prowess as a weapon of intimidation, leaving a trail of strained relationships and unsettling confrontations. These allegations hint at a sinister misuse of his legal standing. In one unsettling incident, Durbin’s aggression ran rampant within the hallowed halls of City Hall. He brazenly requested extensive records without offering a shred of supporting documentation. The heated confrontation, broadcasted live on Facebook, witnessed Durbin brandishing the Open Records Act as a sword, threatening legal action against a city finance official. The turmoil that ensued eventually forced him to exit the premises, having left a trail of turmoil and fear.
Another live-streamed drama unfolded at the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, with Durbin demanding immediate access to sensitive records tied to an alleged criminal conspiracy involving attorneys dealing with cannabis licenses. In a bizarre twist, he reportedly leveled threats against an official, dangling the prospect of a lawsuit charging an astronomical $450 per hour for an Open Records Act breach. Yet another episode unveiled Durbin’s visit to City Hall, where he sought information tied to an open records request concerning City Councilor Grant Miller. His encounter took a bizarre turn when asked for identification, accusing a security officer of Nazi tendencies and issuing threats of arrest against any guard daring to lay hands on him.
However, the tumultuous saga reached a climax when Durbin was slapped with a misdemeanor charge following his altercation with an officer during one of these incidents. Video evidence submitted to authorities captured the moment Durbin’s fist made contact with the officer’s chest, sealing his legal fate. Durbin’s legal entanglements do not conclude here, as he finds himself embroiled in a complex civil case. This multifaceted lawsuit has ensnared the officer in question, the city, Mayor G.T. Bynum, and a host of city officials. The central query revolves around whether the public, ostensibly represented by Durbin’s client Freeman Culver, was unjustly barred from accessing open records in accordance with state law.
In his defense, Durbin has retaliated against the allegations leveled by the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA), characterizing them as an act of vengeance orchestrated by state actors. His vociferous stand against the OBA stems from an earlier attempt to sue the organization for negligence in a high-stakes cannabis conspiracy case. Durbin is determined to wage a public battle, vehemently labeling the OBA as corrupt and detrimental to the interests of attorneys and citizens alike.
A constellation of individuals, including legal practitioners and public officials, have hurled grievances at Durbin, voicing apprehensions regarding his conduct and its corrosive impact on public trust in Oklahoma’s judicial system. The potential outcomes span a spectrum from private or public censure to suspension and, in the gravest of scenarios, disbarment, thus imperiling Durbin’s status as one of Oklahoma’s preeminent cannabis attorneys.
Source: Tulsa World