Oscar Stilley

Background

Oscar Amos Stilley was member of the Arkansas bar, but was disbarred in November 2010.

Theories Advocated/Promoted

Best known for his arguments that the IRS has not complied with the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Books, Web Sites, Videos, and Organizations

None known promoting his arguments. Stilley has (or had) a website with his name and contact information as "attorney at law" (www.oscarstilley.com), and there is now a blog with comments on his conviction, appeal, and prison conditions.

Court Actions

Oscar Stilley is now in federal custody following his conviction and sentencing for tax evasion and conspiring to defraud the United States. However, the most interesting court actions involving Stilley are the various decisions regarding his professional conduct as a lawyer.

The Arkansas Supreme Court Committee of Professional Conduct first "cautioned" Stilley in August of 2001, finding that he had violated at least 4 different rules of professional conduct by failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client, asserting issues that were "devoid of any legal or factual basis," failing to make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation, and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Arkansas Supreme Court Committee of Professional Conduct Docket No. 2001-037 (8/14/2001).

One month later, the same committee "reprimanded" Stilley for three more violations, finding that he had filed frivolous appeals, had knowingly disobeyed the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure, and had engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Arkansas Supreme Court Committee of Professional Conduct Docket No. 2001-060 (9/17/2001).

Then, the following month, the same committee suspended Stilley from the practice of law for 30 days, finding that he had failed to abide by his client's decisions, continued to file an appeal after being discharged by the client, acted as a lawyer in a case in which he was a necessary witness, made misrepresentations to the court, and engaged in other conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Arkansas Supreme Court Committee of Professional Conduct Docket No. 2001-001 (10/1/2001).

See also, Stilley v. James, No. 01-2228 (W.D. Ark. 5/1/2002) (order enjoining Stilley from filing additional actions in any federal or state court), aff'd No. 02-2047, 02-2202 (8th Cir. 9/30/2002); White v. Priest, 348 Ark. 135, 73 S.W.3d 572, 2002 WL 535793, No. 02-284 (Ark. 5/17/2002) (order striking Stilley's appellate brief for "continued strident, disrespectful language used in his pleadings, motions, and arguments, and his repeated refusal to recognize and adhere to precedent").

Stilley also persisted in litigation that resulted first in civil sanctions and then in a finding of criminal contempt for his refusal to respect the orders of the court. Stilley v. Fort Smith Sch. Dist., 367 Ark. 193, 238 S.W.3d 902 (2006) (Rule 11 sanctions imposed); Stilley v. Univ. of Ark. at Fort Smith, 287 S.W.3d 544, No. 07-981 (9/18/2008) (criminal contempt affirmed).

In 2004, Stilley was denied admission to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, the court noting that he has been disciplined for approximately 20 violations of the rules of professional conduct in Arkansas. The opinion in that case not only recited most of the history described above, but also found that the Arkansas Supreme Court "certificate of good standing" that Stilley presented to the court was "flawed on its face" because it made a statement that was known to be incorrect (i.e., that there have been no adverse disciplinary actions against him) and because it lacked the seal of the Supreme Court. The U.S. Attorney's office presented a new certificate which bore the seal of the Supreme Court and which had the words "that he has not had any adverse disciplinary action whatsover during the past three year period, and that his private and professional character appear to be good" struck through. According to the court, Stilley never offered any explanation of the "flawed" certificate he presented. In re: Petition for Admission of Oscar Amos Stilley, No. 1:04 MC 0009 (W.D. Mich. 1/28/2004).

Most recently, Stilley was denied admission pro hac vice in the Eastern District of Tennessee, the court finding that Stilley was not licensed to practice law because he had been suspended from the practice of law in Arkansas (see above) and was not licensed in any other state. United States v. Brett Edward Dirr and Renee Dirr, No. 3:08 CR 00042 (E.D. Tenn.).

In January 2008, the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct filed an action against Stilley to have him disbarred, alleging 32 counts of misconduct. A three day trial was held in December of 2008, and findings of fact and conclusions of law were filed by the hearing judge on 4/22/2009 finding that Stilley had committed all 32 violations of the Arkansas rules of professional conduct. Stark Ligon, Executive Director, v. Oscar Stilley, Ark. Bar No. 91096, No. 08-73 (Ark.). A sanction hearing to determine whether Stilley should be reprimanded, suspended (again), or disbarred, was held on 5/21/2009. According to news reports, new charges were made against Stilley during the hearing on 5/21/2009, based on evidence suggesting that he may have misused his client trust account to evade income taxes, as alleged in the 3/10/2009 indictment described below. Stilley was suspended from the practice of law during the pendency of the disbarment proceedings (In re: Oscar Amos Stilley, Ark. Sup. Ct. Com. on Prof. Conduct Docket No. 2006-067 (12/27/2007)), and was also suspended on 11/17/2009 for failure to comply with continuing legal education requirements. Stilly was finally disbarred by the Arkansas Supreme Court on 11/4/2010. Stark Ligon, Executive Director of the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct v. Oscar Amos Stilley, No. 08-73, 2010 Ark. 418 (11/4/2010).

Stilley has also been suspended from practice in the federal district court for the Northern District of Oklahoma because he was suspended in Arkansas and failed to notify the court of the suspension. Stilley contested the suspension on the grounds that he had been denied due process of law by the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct, but the district court found no violations of due process rights. In re: Oscar Amos Stilley, No. 08-AP-0001-CVE (3/24/2009). Stilley's appeal was dismissed as moot, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals holding that his conviction on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States (see below) provided a separate, independent grounds for suspension. In re: Oscar Amos Stilley, No. 09-5090 (10th Cir. 8/30/2010).

On November 16, 2009, Stilley was convicted of conspiring to defraud the United States and two counts of tax evasion. His co-defendant in this case was Lindsey Springer. United States v. Lindsey Kent Springer et al., No. 09-cr-043-JHP (U.S.D.C. N.D. Okla. 11/16/2009). On April 23, 2010, after a two-day sentencing hearing, Stilley was sentenced to 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release following his imprisonment, and ordered to pay $700,000 in restitution. He and co-defendant Lindsey Springer (who received the same sentence) were immediately taken into custody to begin serving their sentences, the judge referring to them as "frauds and predators."

Stilley is incarcerated at the Forrest City Federal Correctional Complex at Forrest City, Arkansas. In late 2012 or early 2013, his projected release date was changed from May 17, 2023 to June 21, 2023 (Bureau of Prisons register # 10579-062).

Stilley appealed his conviction pro se, but the appeal was denied and the conviction and sentence were upheld. United States v. Lindsey Kent Springer et al., No. 10-5057 (10th Cir. 10/26/2011).

Students/Disciples/Associates

Stilley was the lawyer who represented Robert Lawrence. Stilley also used his lawyer trust account to help Lindsey Springer evade taxes, which lead to the criminal convictions described above.

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