Shawn Roberts

I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. I tend to focus on estate planning and business issues. I make a living as an attorney working for Resolution Legal Group in Oklahoma City. I am husband to Amy and the father of Sam and David. We live exactly in the path where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."
I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. I tend to focus on estate planning and business issues. I make a living as an attorney working for Resolution Legal Group in Oklahoma City. I am husband to Amy and the father of Sam and David. We live exactly in the path where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."

iPhone Affidavit

Below is the affidavit which was used to get the warrant that allowed the search of Jason Chen’s (Gizmodo employee) home, and the seizure of a substantial amount of his property. It is long and tedious but there are some interesting parts.

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Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

“[I]nternet Privacy is a fallacy upon which no one should rely”

The [legitimate] brouhaha over Facebook privacy (or whatever is left of it) reminded me that Internet privacy has been an issue for many years.  Facebook Founder and CEO did not help himself when conversations from several years ago emerged with Zuckerberg reportedly calling users “Dumb f***s” for trusting Facebook with their personal information.

Maybe Scott McNeely, who was then the Sun MicroSystems CEO, was right when he was widely reported over ten years ago as saying that “privacy is dead” –

This concept has pushed it’s way into the legal system also. Recently, a New York Judge wrote in an opinion that the concept of

“internet privacy is a fallacy upon which no one should rely”

While this quote is a qualified a bit when put in context with the rest of the legal opinion, it is clear that the general absence of the expectation of privacy theme influenced the Judge’s decision.  The story from New York was originally reported on by Evan Brown on Internet Cases. Mr. Brown is @internetcases on Twitter.

Facebook is reportedly having an “all-hands” meeting regarding privacy today, do you think it will reverse its’ practice of eroding privacy protections?

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

iPhone 3GS – Android reviewed head 2 head by TheCheapGeek

Jordan Patterson is a guy with whom I podcast and share some mutual passion for all things tech.  The difference between Jordan and I is that I play around with tech stuff while Jordan actually knows what he is doing.  You can find all of Jordan’s material at TheCheapGeek and all of his YouTube videos here.

Recently, Jordan created a series of videos reviewing the iPhone 3GS vs. the HTC Incredible from Verzion, Android’s hottest device.  He does an excellent job of highlighting some of differences between the platforms and also capturing video from smart phone screens, to which I can attest is a very difficult thing to do.  Check out the most recent video below:

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Do you have your social media policy in place? [FreeStyleFriday]

With the rise of social media, if you have not dealt with it in your business, you likely will be dealing with it at some point in the near future. While there are fancier and more technical definitions, “social media” boils down to any service that allows a person to keep in contact with other people through digital means.

Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), (product reviews), (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Avatars United (social networking), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing) and, of course, Twitter (social networking & microblogging).

With so many outlets for employees to participate and share their views, it is not surprising that the opportunities for a business to be negatively impacted also increase. Today, employees can communicate with the world from almost any place, at any time and through a number of different channels. It is also fairly easy for communications (positive and negative) to attach to your business and shape the public image of your business. Additionally, with employees communicating in a way that could be construed as “on behalf of the company”, there can be legal implications. A prudent business needs a policy to control and direct this potential torrent of information.

Your business may already have a communications policy that broadly addresses communications by employees with the outside world. However, a specific or refined policy that addresses at least several key issues raised by social media is advisable. If you are interested in seeing some of social media policy guidance I have create, please email me at

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Apple iPad Giveway Winner!

It has been a week of great comments and a wonderful launch for and I appreciate all the input.  To complete the launch, we randomly selected one commenter to win the iPad and we reveal the winner in the video below . . .

Congratulations to Kurt McDowell!!!

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Hello world.


I am not going to be publishing a bunch of personal detail about my life that might bore people on this blog.  However, we had a fairly significant event happen in our family today:  The birth of our daughter Leela Paige.  She is a healthy baby girl, 6 pounds, 9 ounces.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Apple’s iPad – a brief stroll

After a couple of weeks of usage of Apple’s iPad I take a spin through the device with some audio, video and still photos.  The  Journal Record (Oklahoma City) was also kind enough to publish it on its’ website.  See it here.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Leave a comment, WIN an iPad

I want to kick off this website with a little excitement and giving away Apple’s newest, hottest product seems like the right way to do it. To that end, I am giving an Apple iPad (16GB, WiFi) to one lucky commenter. The rules are straightforward:

Leave a comment on this post providing one suggestion for how lawyers could better communicate with clients.

Each person who leaves a comment will be entered.  The contest will end on May 4, 2010, at 5:00 p.m., Central Standard Time.  I will pick one person, randomly, and on May 5, 2010 announce the winner on my site. That’s it.

If you feel motivated, you can leave many suggestions and comments, however, only one entry in the drawing per person. Good luck.

I will use your email for one purpose and one purpose only: to send you 2-3 emails a month (thats every 30 days) with updates from this site. I don’t think it will feel “spammy” but if it does, put me in the spam folder.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

The Launch

Jay Fleischman, a legal consultant, said this recently in an article about online marketing:

Online legal marketing efforts typically consist of a thin website or a blog that collects dust. You’re all fired up about “getting online,” that you forget one critical point – if you’re using your website as a brochure filled with platitudes and hollow verbiage then why would someone ever consider hiring you?

Jay captured my thought perfectly and for this reason I am launching a website today that will be different. I am an attorney and I practice law, but this will not be standard legal website. Instead, my goal is to post interesting content that adds value to the lives of the people who visit the site.

There will be legal content, but presented in a little different way- through video, audio (both audio files and a podcast). Also, if it’s interesting in technology, I will probably talk about it.  So, I plan to make regular posts (TechTipTuesday and FreeStyleFriday) as well as random reviews, comments and tips.

To keep up with the theme of doing things a bit differently, I am going to start with a giveaway:  an Apple iPad.  Check out the details here and get signed up for the random (and nearly painless) drawing.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Common law marriage, not so commonly understood in Oklahoma

Common law marriage has existed in Oklahoma at least since statehood.  And for at least that long, the legal definition and how it is created has been confused.

There has been a small but persistent minority trying to abolish common law marriage in Oklahoma for many years.  In 2005, a bill failed in the Oklahoma legislature that would have formally eliminated common law marriage; only marriage through the courthouse would have been allowed.

It can be wickedly difficult to prove a common law marriage, particularly if one is trying to so after one spouse has passed away.  The widely-held perception that a common law marriage requires 7 years of co-habitation is incorrect; there is no time limit.   But some of the factors that one does have to prove are:

1 The couple had to be legally competent to be married;

2 The couple had to agree to be husband and wife.

3 The couple has a permanent relationship.

4 The couple has an exclusive relationship.

5 The couple lives together as husband and wife.

6 The couple publicly considers themselves to be husband and wife.

It is a tall order to be sure to prove all of this.  Now, what Common law DIVORCE?  I will save that for another post.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts