Skip to main content

Oklahoma Legal Oral History

Interviews with Oklahoma Legal Professionals

Biography

Dennis Roberts is an Oklahoma City attorney. He served in the navy during the Vietnam war before receiving his law degree from the University of Oklahoma.  He is a generalist with considerable experience in real estate law.

If a researcher wishes to use the information gathered in this interview for uses other than educational or scholarly uses, they may do so without further permission from the interview subject. 

Audio

Below is a short selection of the interview with Dennis Roberts. You can listen to the full interview by visiting the Chickasaw Nation Law Library at Oklahoma City University School of Law.

Transcript

Below is an excerpt from Mr. Roberts's interview and a link to download the full transcript.

KEK: And Mr. Roberts, you, in the first part of the interview, I asked you about your most challenging case, the Kiel case and let’s find out more about that.

DCR: Okay, as I said the Kiels were introduced to me because their son was an IRS agent that I dealt with and the Kiels were building a new, solar powered house that was a unique design and they hired a construction company, Titan Construction Company, to build this and then in turn, Titan Construction Company used part of the deposited money by the Kiels with Titan to employ an architect to design this house for their use. Well, the house was built, it was problematic, they had difficulty delivering any heat or water anywhere and it was just a bad design. So, the Kiels hired me to bring suit to try to recover some of their money from both Titan and Anderson. Anderson being a professional who had his own insurance coverage that was on the hook for any potential judgments so, we tried it and we got. I alleged that there was a third party contract, they came in and said that we had no privity between the architect and us because they were hired by Titan Construction. Well, I got demurred out and took it up on a quick adjudication on the merits of the pleadings. And it came back with a Supreme Court decision, Kiel versus Titan which was published for dissemination to the public and it established the relatively new tort cause of action based upon foreseeability. Basically, if it’s a risk that’s foreseeable, you had a duty to avoid it.

KEK: Right, and that’s pretty common now.

DCR: That was new law in Kiel versus Titan and I’d had several publishing companies contact me and I commented, answered questions about that case. So, that’s probably, after it came back on the original appeal, I then tried it before Judge Lyman Freeman and the judge, at the close of my evidence, demurred me out again.

KEK: You’re kidding.

DCR: No, and I took it back up on appeal and this time it went to the Court of Appeals and there was a published decision and this one was done, it was a Brightmeier opinion. I don’t know if you know who Judge Brightmeier is, but just pick any Brightmeier opinion, he has a style, a narrative, that is just, he can get your interest from the first or second word, he had a great writing style. Some people disagreed with his outcomes but he arrived at it, his opinions were a delight to read.

Catalog Record

800 N. Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.208.5271