View Full Version : Moshe Tal wins lawsuit

03-16-2010, 07:25 AM
Jury Rules In Favor of Taxpayers Group -
Former Oklahoma City Municipal Counselor
Guilty of Malicious Prosecution

After four days of testimony, a Tulsa jury found William Burkett, former Oklahoma City Municipal Counselor, guilty of acting in reckless disregard of the rights of others and acting intentionally and with malice toward others. The jury awarded Moshe Tal, the plaintiff and leader of Taxpayers for Honest Government, actual damages of approximately $27,000 and punitive damages of $50,000. After the trial, some members of the jury said that they hoped verdicts such as this would send a message to public officials letting them know that they are not above the law and that they cannot abuse taxpayers’ rights.

The lawsuit against Burkett for malicious prosecution filed by Moshe Tal stemmed from Burkett’s long-running battle with the taxpayers group which began in February, 2003. At that time, Tal and Taxpayers for Honest Government alleged that the City of Oklahoma City had misappropriated $20 million in tax dollars and that several of its public officials were involved in corrupt dealings and had numerous conflicts of interests.

Rather than doing his job as city attorney and investigating the allegations as required by law, Burkett acted in his personal capacity and three months later filed a libel suit against Tal and the other members of the taxpayers group. An Oklahoma County district judge subsequently ruled against Burkett. Burkett then filed an appeal and the Oklahoma Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling in 2004.

Tal, representing himself pro se, then sued Burkett for malicious prosecution in Oklahoma County District Court. Eventually the case was transferred to Tulsa County District Court after all Oklahoma County judges either recused themselves or were disqualified. In 2006, the case was assigned to Judge Jefferson Sellers and four years later, Tal got his day in court.

During the trial, Tal claimed that Burkett lacked any factual or legal evidence to sue him and the members of the taxpayers group. Burkett admitted that his primary motive for suing Tal and others was to deter them from filing taxpayer lawsuits against the City of Oklahoma City and questioning the conduct and good old boy relationships of “reputable business people in the community” and the actions of the Mayor and City Council.

Although Burkett argued that he was acting in his personal capacity, Tal also provided evidence to the Judge and Jury showing that Burkett embezzled taxpayers’ money by using city staff, equipment, and materials, including office of municipal counselor stationery, in conducting his personal legal practice and in pursuing the libel lawsuit against Tal and the others.

Tal said that he never lost faith in the justice system even though it took him seven years to get his day in court. “I always believed that if a jury could see and hear all the facts, then they would rule in favor of myself and the other taxpayers who were wronged by Mr. Burkett,” Tal said.
Tal is a business owner and has lived in Oklahoma City since late 1985. In addition to being the Municipal Counselor for Oklahoma City, Burkett has also served as a District Court Judge and as a United States Attorney (prosecuted and convicted a Governor).

For more information contact:

Taxpayers For Honest Government Inc.

03-16-2010, 09:23 AM
Source & date?

03-16-2010, 11:35 AM
Source & date?

Their press release is dated Monday, March 15, 2010... Tulsa World and NewsOK have nothing.

03-16-2010, 12:03 PM
Even if Tal was right here, he's still managed to screw OKC over more than once. I'd be happier if he hadn't won just so he could stop wasting time and money suing the city for his own failed projects.

03-16-2010, 12:28 PM
I also heard it on KTOK yesterday.

03-16-2010, 07:55 PM
Unless I missed something, this was a suit regarding the person of William Burkett, not the City of Oklahoma City, although assertations were made that Mr. Burkett had access to or used City resources such as stationary, etc. I would not count this as a Tal victory over the City.

I don't think I have enough fingers to count the lawsuits against the City, but I don't think he has won any. And by representing himself, I would presume he is running short of attorneys willing to take on his cause or incur expenses against the presumed outcome.

From what I recall Mr. Burkett filed a liable case against Tal that initiated this action. To be honest, I have not followed the proceeding since hearing of that.

03-17-2010, 09:48 AM
Tal is an a-hole. All the Oklahoma County judges recused themselves because they can't stand him. He goes pro se in every single case, he doesn't understand the law, and he files these very very l-o-o-o-n-g motions that ramble on about unimportant crap.

03-17-2010, 09:57 AM
This victory for Tal doesn't go to the merits of his dealings with OKC. Just that the jury found that Burkett, who is actually a really good guy, a true scholar and a gentleman, was overzealous in his advocacy against Tal. I don't thin for a minute that Burkett thought what he was doing was morally wrong. Further, I fully expect a significant remittitur because $77,000 for a malicious prosecution case is insane, or even an outright reversal on appeal.