On May 23, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma suspended attorney Richmond C. Odom in relation to the certified copy of Odom’s Louisiana discipline suspending him for committing 160 separate acts of conversion of funds.

The case is titled “State of Oklahoma, ex rel., Oklahoma Bar Association v. Richmond C. Odom,” case no. SCBD 7413.

According to the filing, on December 9, 2022, Odom was suspended from the practice of law in Louisiana for three years and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $27,721.44, as well as costs in the proceedings. The suspension came in after the Court found that from July 2004 to April 2006, Odom systematically committed 160 separate acts of conversion of funds totaling $260,334.24 from a trust account for which he served as trustee, and used the converted funds to pay his credit card bills, rent, and salaries.

The charges cited Odom’s violation of Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a) for failure to safeguard the property of third persons and 5.3(b)(c) for failure to properly supervise the actions of his non-lawyer assistant, thereby allowing trust funds to be commingled with personal funds or operating expenses of his law firm.

On February 14, 2023, the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) filed with the Court a Notice of Disciplinary Action in Another Jurisdiction concerning Odom’s suspension in Louisiana. Thereafter, OBA filed its recommendation of discipline asserting that the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct which Odom violated are substantively similar to the Oklahoma counterparts.

OBA claimed that Odom’s conduct also violated Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct 8.1(a), 8.4(c), and 8.2.

The filing states:

“…Complainant notes that Respondent’s Oklahoma license lapsed 32 years ago, not 40, and that he petitioned for reinstatement with this Court in 2000, but withdrew the petition shortly thereafter. Complainant argues that the “appropriate discipline is a suspension of some period” and notes that since Respondent has already been stricken from the roll of attorneys and would need to petition for reinstatement, a suspension to reflect his disciplinary record is appropriate.”

The Court, upon its review and consideration of the foregoing facts, concluded that the appropriate discipline is suspension for three years, to run concurrently with the Louisiana discipline.

Odom was further ordered to show proof of compliance with the provisions of the Louisiana discipline regarding the re-payment of funds before the Court will consider Odom’sre-admittance to the Oklahoma bar.

Justice Doug Combs, joined by Justice Dana Kuehn, agreed that disciplinary action is needed but disagreed with the suggested punishment. They believe the Respondent should be disbarred from practicing law in Oklahoma.

Mr. Richmond C. Odom graduated from Regent University in 1982. He has been admitted to practice in Louisiana and Oklahoma. His info can be found on LinkedIn.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.