Attorney Conflict of Interest – Article From Oklahoman

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Attorney Conflict of Interest The Oklahoman Newspaper Reports 

Graphic of news reporter attorney conflict of interest Oklahoma with Globe Beside
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An attorney conflict of interest case in Oklahoma was revealed by The Oklahoman newspaper.   On a recent visit to Oklahoma, I came across an article in The Oklahoman newspaper that was of great concern to me.

A group of reporters for The Oklahoman found out there were workers compensation claimant attorneys that were taking a portion of their clients’ settlements and illegally funding a shadow organization that provided funds for Democratic candidates.

A secretive organization has raised close to $1 million throughout the last decade for political purposes, mostly from injured Oklahoma workers who sometimes don’t even know they’ve donated. Many of the donations to Working Oklahomans Alliance may be illegal, an investigation by The Oklahoman found. The organization could be penalized $1,000 or more for each violation.

Woman Attorney Conflict of Interest In Conference Room
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The lawyers who control Working Oklahomans Alliance specialize in workers’ compensation cases. These lawyers raise money for a political fund by withholding a portion of their clients’ workers’ compensation awards. The lawyers then distribute the money to various political causes and candidates, mostly Democrats.

Several injured workers listed as political donors to the Working Oklahomans Alliance PAC said they were not aware they had given at all. Many were represented by Norman attorney Richard Bell, a key figure in a campaign corruption scandal in the 1990’s involving then-Governor David Walters.

This is the worst of the worst, as this is taking money directly from the people that need it the most and funneling the funds to political organizations.  I will check back to see how the case resolves itself in the near future

Update – From Guidestar.org

This organization’s exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.

Next Up – Trouble in Ohio – one of the monopolistic states for Workers Comp

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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