Wins & Headlines
Corey Atchison Set Free After Nearly Three Decades in Prison, Wrongfully Convicted of Murder
July 16, 2019
After reading excerpts from her decision, District Judge Sharon Holmes granted Corey Atchison and his attorney Joe Norwood’s request to vacate the guilty verdict and declare Atchison “actually Innocent”. Holmes described what happened to Atchison during his 1991 murder conviction as a “fundamental miscarriage of justice”.
Atchison’s conviction was based on the testimony of a single witness who was 17 at the time. Additionally, there were multiple eye witnesses to the murder who claimed someone other than Atchison was the killer. These witnesses were not adequately disclosed to Atchison or his lawyer back in 1991.
Atchison and Norwood will now pursue a civil settlement against the city of Tulsa.
Norwood Law Firm Wins Favorable Supreme Court Decision
Supreme Court Strikes Down “No Pay No Play” Law
In a case where Joseph Norwood was trial and appellate counsel, the Oklahoma Supreme Court, in a published opinion, found a law unconstitutional that deprived auto collision victims their right to recover damages in court. The law, referred to as “no play, no pay” was one of several laws former Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin campaigned on in her first election for governor.
The laws were pushed by insurance industry interests and would have saved them millions while depriving injury victims of their ability to access the courts. Because the law affected thousands of Oklahomans and because of the political implications, the case received significant attention.
Norwood Law Wins Published Decision Against Bank of America
First Published Opinion in Oklahoma on Constitutional Provisions Barring Waiver of Jury Trial in a Contract
An Oklahoma civil appellate court published a decision making jury trial waiver clauses in contracts in the State of Oklahoma unconstitutional. Joe Norwood opposed Bank of America in the case. BoA has appealed that decision to the Oklahoma Supreme Court to try and overturn it.
Two of the most powerful business lobbies in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma Bankers Association joined Bank of America in the appeal and asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to take the case also.
The jury waiver in question was part of a deposit agreement between Norwood’s client and Bank of America. Jury waivers in some form are commonplace in bank deposit agreements. This particular waiver was part of a checking account deposit agreement given to Norwood’s client when he signed a signature card to open a checking account. The dispute was over cashier’s checks that Bank of America issued and then wrongfully dishonored.
Accused Murderer Saved from Lengthy Jail Sentence by Norwood Law Firm
Man Found Not-Guilty of Murder After Victim Dies Over a Year Later
William Cooper was charged with second-degree murder when the victim died more than a year after the alleged assault. Cooper was found not guilty on the murder counts. Represented by the Norwood Law Firm, he was given a lesser charge of aggravated assault and battery.
As a result of the jury verdict, Cooper will only serve about five years in prison. The original offer from the prosecutor was 30 years on the murder, which would have required Cooper to have served at least 85% of that. The jury sentenced Cooper to 17 years on assault and battery, which is not an 85% crime so he likely will do about a third of the sentence. Including time served at the time of the jury verdict, Norwood Law Firm saved Cooper about 25 years in prison.
Joe Norwood Quoted in National Cannabis Publication
“Oklahoma Did Medical Marijuana Like We Started Our State…Everyone Just Lined Up, the Starting Gun Was Shot Off, and People Went and Started Staking Their Claims.” – Joseph Norwood
Just months after Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788 – a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana – regulators had awarded more than 1,000 business licenses throughout the state. With the medical marijuana industry already booming at such an early stage, attorney Joseph Norwood was interviewed for the article below.
Norwood and his partner, Todd Maxwell, have been advising clients on their medical cannabis operations since the law was passed. Medical marijuana business consulting is one of many areas of business law that Norwood and Maxwell practice. Prior to joining Norwood Law Firm, Maxwell spent over a decade as in-house counsel for the largest construction company in Oklahoma.
Norwood Law Firm Wins Big Settlement Against Manufacturer
Oklahoma Child is Seriously Injured by Robotic Lawnmower
As an experienced trial lawyer, Joe Norwood has been entrusted with new legal challenges, such as injuries from technology. Norwood has represented Oklahoma clients in product liability litigation against a foreign manufacturer and distributor of automated lawnmowers.
In one case, a Tulsa area household owned and was operating an automated lawnmower in their front yard. The lawnmower moved onto the sidewalk in front of the residence and ran into a child, seriously injuring him.
Norwood represented the child and his family and was able to win a very favorable settlement for them.
Norwood Law Firm Client Receives Large Settlement from Insurance Company
Insurance Company Refuses to Protect Client from Lawsuit
Joe Norwood represented an Oklahoma private investigator who was being sued by the subject of the investigator’s surveillance. The investigator was hired to surveille the opposing party in a child custody litigation. One of the means of surveillance the investigator used was a GPS unit on the subject’s vehicle. After discovering the GPS unit, the subject sued the investigator.
The investigator’s commercial liability insurance company denied coverage for the lawsuit, forcing the investigator to pay for his own legal fees and any potential settlement or jury verdict. Norwood represented the investigator and was able to get that lawsuit dismissed. He then filed a bad-faith lawsuit against the investigator’s commercial liability insurance company for denying coverage for the lawsuit.
Norwood prevailed in that bad-faith insurance case and his client’s former insurance company paid the investigator a six-figure settlement.