On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma ruled on the petition for reinstatement of Tulsa attorney Emma Barlie Arnett. The case is entitled “In the matter of Reinstatement of Emma Barlie Arnett,” with Case #7325.
The following are as alleged and summarized from the filing:
Petitioner Emma Barlie Arnett filed a petition for reinstatement to membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association. The Oklahoma Bar Association does not oppose this reinstatement, and the Trial Panel of the Professional Responsibility Tribunal actually recommended granting this.
On August 27, 2017, Arnett was at a party where she consumed several glasses of wine. While driving home that night, Arnett struck Christopher Brown (Brown)-a pedestrian in the roadway with her vehicle. Arnett was charged with the felony crime of manslaughter in the First Degree, to which she pled guilty. This caused her to be sentenced to four years in Custody and 8 years of suspension.
On December 13, 2021, Arnett was released from the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center. She remained on probation. However, Arnett’s probation officer terminated her “active probation” and she does not have to meet monthly with her officer.
For the Court’s consideration of the case, it analyzed the request for reinstatement of the respondent in relation to 4 factors: (1) the present moral fitness of the petitioner: (2) her engagement in any unauthorized practice of law in Oklahoma; (3) her competency to practice law; and (4) her compliance with other requirements for reinstatement.
The filing states:
‘The testimony presented at the PRT hearing demonstrated Arnett possesses the requisite moral character to return to practice. Arnett presented testimony from six witnesses at the PRT hearing: Paul Zardus, her husband; Skylar Collins, her cellmate in prison; Sara Layne, her sister; Lora Howard, her current supervisor at the Tulsa County Public Defender’s office; and Scott Goode, a Tulsa the attorney that participated in Lawyers Helping Lawyers (LHL) and AA meetings with Arnett. They testified to Arnett’s trustworthiness and general character. The OBA’s investigator testified that he did not find any concerns regarding Arnett’s moral fitness arising from the investigation.”
In the issue of unauthorized practice of law, Arnett testified that she has not engaged in law practice since her suspension. Testimony from her cellmate in prison and her current supervisor also confirmed that Arnett did not engage in the practice of law while incarcerated or working at her current employment with the Tulsa County Public Defender’s office.’
The filing continues:
‘Based on Arnetť’s experience at the time of her suspension and her acquired knowledge in her current position, we find by clear and convincing evidence that Arnett has demonstrated sufficient competency and learning in the law to be reinstated.’
Also, Based on Arnetť’s experience at the time of her suspension and her acquired knowledge in her current position, the court finds clear and convincing evidence that Arnett has demonstrated sufficient competency and learning in the law to be reinstated. our review of this matter, we hold the record shows by clear and convincing evidence that Arnett has met the prerequisites for reinstatement.’
Based on the foregoing facts and discussion, the court rules in favor of the reinstatement.
The Disposition states;
‘Emma Barlie Arnett is hereby reinstated to membership in the Oklahoma Bar Association and her name shall be placed on the Roll of Attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Oklahoma.’
Arnett’s info can be found online on Linkedin. She attended the University of Tulsa College of Law , graduating in 2003. Arnett practices in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.