Phillips Murrah Director advises Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association on potential crop dusting legal issues

Director Patrick Hullum speaks at the Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association annual convention.

Phillips Murrah Director Patrick L. Hullum spoke to aerial spray applicators, or crop dusters, on January 16 at the Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association’s annual convention about potential legal issues facing these business owners and pilots and ways to avoid them.

“When legal or insurance claims are brought against an aerial spray business, the claims are most often alleging ‘drift’ against the company,” Hullum said. ” ‘Drift’ occurs when the chemical spray dispensed by the aircraft moves beyond the intended target area. Such claims allege that the aerial spray caused chemical damage or harm to land or vegetation owned by someone else.”

Drift complaints must first be filed with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture within 90 days of the spray/damage before a lawsuit can be filed. Following this step:

  • The aerial spray company must be allowed access to the property to view alleged damage, inspect and obtain samples for testing.
  • The Department of Agriculture will conduct a complete investigation of any complaint and make a determination of whether the company committed any violations.
  • The complainant may still file a lawsuit following the Department of Agriculture investigation, even if the Department of Agriculture clears the company.

If the company is notified of a Department of Agriculture complaint or subsequent lawsuit, it needs to notify its attorney immediately, Hullum said.

“The attorney can quickly determine if the complaint and/or lawsuit was properly and timely filed and served, and whether the court has proper jurisdiction and venue,” he said. “The attorney can also quickly organize an inspection of the property and gather crucial maps, imaging, Satloc flight information, chemical testing, etc. and can determine whether the lawsuit has diversity of the parties and an amount in controversy to transfer from state to federal court.”

Hullum’s primary advice to these business owners is to be prepared.

“Overall, as an aerial spray business, be organized and diligent on the front end of your customer relations and service,” he said. “Speak openly with your customers and identify concerned neighbors, take video and photos of your spray applications, have your Satloc software up to date and in place, maintain Mesonet weather data for the days leading to/during/after the chemical application, maintain color satellite maps of the property areas and boundaries, obtain statements, and obtain samples for testing.”

To learn more about Patrick Hullum’s practice, visit his attorney profile here.

Phillips Murrah announces new Director, Shareholder for 2018

Director Kayce L. Gisinger

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce Attorney Kayce L. Gisinger has been selected to join the Firm’s group of Directors, bringing the total number to 35.

“Working at Phillips Murrah has been such a positive experience, and I have so much respect for everyone here; not just in terms of the commitment to providing the highest level of service to our clients but also the equally outstanding commitment to community service work here in Oklahoma City,” Gisinger said. “I feel very honored to be part of such an amazing group and look forward to my new role with the firm.”

As a litigation attorney with extensive trial experience with beginnings at the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office where she tried over 100 jury trials, Gisinger’s practice has grown to include the defense of cases involving product liability, auto and trucking negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, employment law and insurance litigation.

“Kayce has an expansive career as an accomplished litigator, and the Firm couldn’t be more proud to have her join our group of Directors and Shareholders,” said Thomas G. Wolfe, President and Managing Partner. “We expect Kayce’s expertise and commitment to her clients to flourish exponentially in her new role at Phillips Murrah.”

A native Oklahoman, Gisinger was raised in Lawton and has resided in Oklahoma City for the past 30 years. She is active in her community and volunteers at various animal shelters and local food banks.

She officially assumed her new role on Jan. 1, 2018.

Firm selects Employee of the Month for December 2017

Cristal Bazemore

Cristal Bazemore, Administrative Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for December 2017.

“It is an honor to win Employee of the Month,” she said. “I am grateful to be a part of such a great team and workplace!

“It is nice to work with such a large group of people who show their appreciation and care for one another.”

The Employee of the Month is selected anonymously by Phillips Murrah staff on merits of teamwork and overall contributions to the Firm.

“Cristal is a great worker with what seems to be boundless energy, and never lets anything get her down,” Director J. Mark Lovelace said.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma in 2017 by The Journal Record and an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage three years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

OKC Thunder TV announcer mentions BLOCKS FOR BUCKS campaign during Dallas game

Phillips Murrah’s Blocks For Bucks campaign is in high gear! Check out the video below:

OKC Thunder play-by-play announcer Brian Davis talks about Phillips Murrah’s Blocks for Bucks campaign.

Click the image below to find out more details about Blocks For Bucks benefiting Thunder Cares Foundation or go to www.nba.com/thunder/blocksforbucks.

Blocks For Bucks presented by Phillips Murrah P.C.

Phillips Murrah 2017 Holiday E-Card

Thank you for a wonderful year. As we welcome the Holiday Season and prepare to say goodbye to 2017, we invite you to enjoy this holiday e-card from your friends at Phillips Murrah P.C.

 

Phillips Murrah BLOCKS FOR BUCKS campaign mentioned on TV during OKC Thunder game

Blocks For Bucks presented by Phillips Murrah P.C.

Click to find out more details about Blocks For Bucks @ www.nba.com/thunder/blocksforbucks.

Phillips Murrah’s Blocks For Bucks campaign is in high gear! Check out the video below:

As Paul George shoots a free throw, OKC Thunder play-by-play announcer Brian Davis talks about Phillips Murrah’s Blocks for Bucks campaign.

Phillips Murrah honored as a Top Workplace for a third year by The Oklahoman

For the third year in a row, Phillips Murrah has been recognized as a Top Workplace in Oklahoma. For 2017, P|M was the only law firm listed as a Top Workplace, and was also recognized as the highest year-over-year improver of the list’s category of “Genuine Appreciation” among company employees.

“Our Firm really cares about our work environment and tries to be receptive to requests and issues, which gradually makes our workplace better in ways that are meaningful,” said Tom Wolfe, Phillips Murrah President and Managing Partner. “That these efforts are recognized and appreciated by the people who work at Phillips Murrah is the best outcome.”

From Newsok.com:

Phillips Murrah, an Oklahoma City law firm that employs 111, rose to No. 21 from No. 29 last year. The firm led improvements in the statement area, “I feel genuinely appreciated at this company,” up by 7 percent.

Phillips Murrah spokesman David Rhea attributes his law firm’s gains to the company’s continued responsiveness to requests and issues as they arise.

“Congeniality was literally one of the firm’s founding principles when we started in 1986,” Rhea said. “So that type of culture/atmosphere is just sort of baked into the cake.”

On December 10, The Oklahoman newspaper published their annual Top Workplaces list. In determining the defining criteria of Top Workplaces, The Oklahoman partners with the Philadelphia-based company, Energage, which evaluates companies across the country, pertaining to internal components of healthy workplace dynamics.

Every year, the newspaper encourages local participants in Oklahoma City to nominate businesses for the program. The methodology of candidate evaluation is determined from anonymous surveys, detailing employee satisfaction, company values, internal communication, leadership and other various determinates.

To learn more about the workplace culture and opportunities at Phillips Murrah, visit our Careers page: http://phillipsmurrah.com/careers.

Firm selects November Employee of the Month

Tommye Johnson

Tommye Johnson, Legal Nurse Consultant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for November 2017.

“I am truly humbled to receive the Employee of the Month recognition from my peers,” she said. “Exhibiting the qualities which earn this recognition requires being surrounded by great co-workers who bring out the best in you.

“I’m very fortunate to work with the most professional and caring people at Phillips Murrah.”

The Employee of the Month is selected anonymously by Phillips Murrah staff on merits of teamwork and overall contributions to the Firm.

“Tommye is a consummate professional whose strong work ethic, expertise and wide breadth of experience have solidified her as an essential team member to the litigation group at Phillips Murrah,” Director Juston R. Givens said.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma in 2017 by The Journal Record and an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage two years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

Blocks For Bucks: Phillips Murrah partners with Thunder Cares Foundation

Blocks For Bucks presented by Phillips Murrah P.C.

Click to find out more details about Blocks For Bucks @ www.nba.com/thunder/blocksforbucks

 

“In your face!!”

It’s that old, familiar basketball smack-talk line that gets served up after a blocked shot like a one-two punch. If you’ve ever played basketball with any amount of skill, surely the feeling of shutting down your opponent’s attempt to score still resides in the halls of your memory. The excitement of a well-delivered blocked shot is one of the sport’s great thrills – perhaps even up there with the slam dunk and the alley-oop assist.

Beginning with the Nov. 22 Thunder vs. Warriors game, the law firm of Phillips Murrah began a new partnership with the Thunder Cares Foundation called Blocks For Bucks. To recognize our home team’s accomplishments in blocking shots, Phillips Murrah is donating $100 to the Thunder Cares Foundation for each blocked shot that the Thunder forces at home games during the regular season.

“Phillips Murrah is proud to partner with the Thunder Cares Foundation,” said Phillips Murrah President and Managing Partner, Thomas G. Wolfe. “The Thunder has done so much in Oklahoma. We’re glad to join in their efforts.”

The Thunder Cares Foundation helps support the team’s community outreach projects, including Thunder-themed basketball courts in parks, schools and community centers across Oklahoma, as well as learning labs and activity rooms at organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, City Rescue Mission, and Positive Tomorrows, a school that serves homeless children in Oklahoma City. In celebration of the Thunder’s 10th season, the Thunder Cares Foundation is funding a matching grant through DonorsChoose.org in support of Health & Sports projects in public schools across Oklahoma.

You can check into the Thunder Cares Blocks For Bucks landing page throughout the season to see an updated Blocks Counter, a total amount of funds raised and videos snippets of key blocks highlights, including the one below.

KD gets blocked during the Nov. 22 Thunder victory over the Warriors.

Director Jim Roth introduces Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Oklahoma, state’s clean energy potential

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, visits NextEra Energy with Jim Roth, Phillips Murrah Director and Chair of the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice Group

Jim Roth, Phillips Murrah Director and Chair of the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice, was quoted in a Duncan Banner article by Katherine Farrow regarding a recent meeting he and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had in Duncan, OK on Nov. 8 in regards to Oklahoma’s clean energy future.

Read Roth’s comments from the article below:

Jim Roth, Director and Chair of law firm Phillips Murrah’s Clean Energy Practice Group, said that he was contacted by Zuckerberg’s office approximately four months ago to set up the visit.

“Mr. Zuckerberg has undertaken a year of travel challenge where he’s going to all parts of America, and particularly states he’d never been to before — his office reached out to me about four months ago — inquiring about if they were to come to Oklahoma, what would I recommend they see,” Roth said. “I began to describe to them the promise of Oklahoma’s wind energy and future solar energy and that seemed to pique their interest.”

Kismet dictated that Zuckerberg and his team would be visiting the week before Veteran’s Day, and Roth knew that wind energy giant NextEra would be the perfect destination due to their veteran-friendly hiring policies.

“One of Oklahoma’s larger wind developers also has a program where they actively recruit and employ veterans and this week of his planned visit being near Veteran’s Day, I think that was also interesting to them,” said Roth. “So, it was nice that NextEra wind energy, with its Rush Springs wind project that came online just last year, was able to play host.”

Zuckerberg spent his time at the wind farm speaking with wind technicians, land owners and neighbors of the project about the ways wind energy has been beneficial to their lives.

“Mr. Zuckerberg wanted a chance to have a casual, relaxed, engaging conversation with actual Oklahoma wind technicians,” Roth said. “He asked that some surrounding neighbors and landowners that had turbines on their properties come and join and sit down for lunch. So, it led to just a really great dialogue where he asked questions and they provided some neat answers and he got to learn about — what it takes to be a certified wind technician. What other careers that some of those employees had — before and why they loved being in wind energy today. He’s heard from the landowners, their appreciation for how the funding goes directly to local schools, how the wind turbine royalty payments have helped their farms with some secondary income and generally just had a really nice exchange. He’s very gracious, the guests and the wind techs — had a great time engaging with him and all in all it was definitely a nice conversation.”

A look at a horizontal blade that was on the ground as well as a tour of an actual wind turbine and tower were two of the items on the agenda for Zuckerberg, who according to Roth, very much enjoyed the time spent and knowledge gleaned from the experience.

“He just talked about how kind everybody was — how much he enjoyed it, I think he really enjoyed the back-and-forth with the local landowners and the wind-techs, so I would say all-in-all he seemed to have a really positive experience,” Roth said.

Even Zuckerberg’s advance team enjoyed their look at Duncan and the surrounding areas, according to Roth. The team reportedly was in the area several days in advance to make sure the visit ran smoothly and had nothing but glowing reviews for Duncan and Stephens County.

“—His team had arrived a few days in advance, enjoyed themselves in Duncan, had a chance to site visit the day before just to make sure everything went smoothly,” said Roth. “They shared with me they had a wonderful, positive visit to Duncan and they loved, ‘How friendly everyone in Duncan is.’ ”

Roth said he was extremely impressed with Zuckerberg, as well and hopes to be able to boast of another Facebook founder visit to the state someday.

“There’s just this human element, right? Where he arrives in jeans and a hoodie and is unassuming and was just down-to-earth and very gracious and treated everybody equally. I saw him really demonstrate a level of intellectual curiosity and just a graciousness toward people that was nice to get to witness firsthand,” Roth said. “I’m thrilled that — they had such a good visit and I hope they’ll come back and even invest more in Oklahoma.”

Read the full article from the Duncan Banner.

Phillips Murrah named among 2018 Best Law Firms in 38 practice areas

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that our law firm has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “Best Law Firms” for professional excellence for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area in the following practice areas:

Tier 1

  • Administrative / Regulatory Law
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Transactions / UCC Law
  • Energy Law
  • Government Relations Practice
  • Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Litigation – Banking & Finance
  • Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
  • Litigation – Real Estate
  • Litigation – Tax
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law
  • Trusts & Estates Law

Tier 2

  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Employment Law – Individuals
  • Litigation – Antitrust
  • Litigation – ERISA
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Public Finance Law
  • Securities / Capital Markets Law
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Tier 3

  • Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Construction Law
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation – Trusts & Estates
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Oil & Gas Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Venture Capital Law

This list is for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan area. To be eligible for a ranking, a law firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top four percent of practicing attorneys in the United States.

Earlier in the year, Phillips Murrah announced that 37 of our attorneys are recognized by Best Lawyers in America for 2018.

Firms included in the 2018 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence, quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. The “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a combination of client feedback, information provided on the Law Firm Survey and the Law Firm Leaders Survey and Best Lawyers peer-review.

Firm Halloween Party raises funds for Harvest Food Drive

Phillips Murrah staff members were given the chance to test their creativity and help raise money for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on Tuesday at the Firm’s annual Halloween Party.

Director Nikki Jones Edwards honored at Woman of the Year gala

Phillips Murrah Directors Nikki Jones Edwards and Marc Edwards

Phillips Murrah Director, Nikki Jones Edwards, who heads up the Firm’s Family Law Practice Group, was honored Thursday, October 26, at The Journal Record’s “Woman of the Year – 50 Making A Difference” awards gala.

The event, and accompanying morning forum and post-event magazine, highlights prominent female business and community leaders in Oklahoma. The honorees, selected among hundreds of nominations from across the state, are recognized for their professional and personal contributions in Oklahoma communities.

This year, which marks the 37th year of the Woman of the Year gala, featured keynote speaker Shannon Miller, Olympian gold medalist and health and fitness entrepreneur. It was Nikki’s first time to be honored as a part of the Woman of the Year event.

“The ‘Making a Difference’ list not only displays the important professional work of Oklahoma women, but also the personal investments they are making to positively impact every sector of our state,” she said.

Nikki is involved in numerous Oklahoma community service and philanthropic projects, including  Leadership OKC’s Signature Program Class 36, which educates civic-minded business people on how to develop greater capacities for local leadership. She is also a board member of both Positive Tomorrows, an educational non-profit developing programs for homeless children and their families to stop the cycles of poverty, and the Oklahoma Single Parent Scholarship program, which awards scholarships to low-income single parents to help them achieve self-sufficiency through post-secondary education.

Family Law Attorneys Nikki Jones Edwards and Monica Y. Ybarra

Nikki also helped pioneer a program to develop the next generation of law and leadership in Oklahoma. A founding advisory board member for the University of Oklahoma, Women and Gender Studies program, Nikki routinely guest lectures on important topics such as women in leadership programs, women in law, gender equality in the legal field and family law. Accordingly, Nikki was honored with the Journal Record’s “Leadership in Law” award in both 2008 and 2017.

“The Women and Gender Studies program is unlike anything in the state of Oklahoma,” she said. “It is important to further the public support and education of such programs, fostering all generations of women in the legal field, and beyond. “

Nikki endeavors to have a lasting influence on the future leaders of Oklahoma through positive mentorships in her professional and personal life.

“It is about paying it back and then paying it forward,” she added. “Establishing local networks of mentorships, accessible to individuals from all backgrounds and sectors in Oklahoma, can help prepare the next generation of leaders. I’ve been fortunate to have great mentors in my life and I want to contribute to a proactive, public service-minded environment by being a positive mentor to others in my community.”

Phillips Murrah is proud to sponsor The Woman of the Year endeavors, and we congratulate Nikki, and all of this year’s honorees. Thank you for all you do to make Oklahoma the best place to live and work.

Firm selects October Employee of the Month

Abigail Duran

Abigail Duran, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for October 2017.

“It was a wonderful surprise to have been selected Employee of the Month,” she said. “I have learned so much in just a short amount of time here, all thanks to the people that work here.

“I am truly grateful to be working at such an amazing place.”

The Employee of the Month is selected anonymously by Phillips Murrah staff on merits of teamwork and overall contributions to the Firm.

“Abigail has been a wonderful addition to the Firm,” Director Joshua L. Edwards said. “She’s extremely bright, diligent and has a great ‘can do’ attitude.

“She’s willing to take on whatever is asked of her, and her performance has been impressive.  We are lucky to have her on our team.”


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma in 2017 by The Journal Record and an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage two years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

Phillips Murrah rowing team competes 2017 Oklahoma Regatta Festival

Law & Oarder, Phillips Murrah’s rowing team, stands with the medals they won after competing in the 2017 Oklahoma Regatta Festival.

Phillips Murrah’s rowing team Law & Oarder completed the Fall 2017 season by placing third in the annual regatta competition.

The team competed on Oct. 6 at the 2017 Oklahoma Regatta Festival held at the OKC Boathouse District in the advanced league and achieved a 500-meter run of 2:16.688.

“It’s always a great way to make sure I get outside and enjoy my co-workers,” said Melissa R. Gardner, Director and Law & Oarder team leader. “We were so excited to place in an Intermediate category when almost half of our boat was novice!”

In all seven seasons the Firm’s rowing team has competed, team members consisted of both attorneys and staff members.

“The best part about rowing is seeing all the hard work come together on race day,” said Samuel R. Lincoln, Director of Information Technology. “It is the most exhilarating and exhausting 2 minutes of your life!”

The team will resume practice in the Spring for the Stars & Stripes Festival in June 2018.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma in 2017 and an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/WorkplaceDynamics two years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

Phillips Murrah attorneys selected as 2017 Super Lawyers

Phillips Murrah P.C._Logo_Color_emblemTwenty Phillips Murrah Attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers for their excellence in their respective practice areas. Seven attorneys of them under the age of 40 were recognized as Rising Stars.

Super Lawyers is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The Super Lawyers lists are published in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. Using the same patented process for selecting Super Lawyers, Rising Stars recognizes up and coming lawyers who are 40 years old or younger and have been in practice for 10 years or less.

The following Phillips Murrah attorneys are included in 2017’s Super Lawyers:

Directors G. Calvin Sharpe and Lyndon W. Whitmire were among the Top 50 Oklahoma Super Lawyers for 2017. Directors Shannon K. Emmons and Sally A. Hasenfratz were listed on the Top 25 Women Oklahoma Super Lawyers for 2017.

The following Phillips Murrah attorneys are included in 2017’s Oklahoma Rising Stars:

Firm selects September Employee of the Month

Deena Baker

Deena Baker, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for September 2017.

“It is an honor to be selected as Employee of the Month,” she said. “One of the best decisions I have ever made was joining the Phillips Murrah team a little over nine years ago. Wow, has time flown!

“I have the best bosses ever and my co-workers – well, I couldn’t get my job done without them!

The Employee of the Month is selected anonymously by Phillips Murrah staff on merits of teamwork and overall contributions to the Firm.

“In addition to being one of the most pleasant people I know, Deena’s very smart, organized and a hard worker,” said Thomas G. Wolfe, Director and Firm President. “She’s always one step ahead and will help out on any project.

“I don’t know what I’d do without her!”


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/WorkplaceDynamics two years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence. Each Employee of the Month is chosen by a monthly survey of peers.

Phillips Murrah named Best Place to Work by Journal Record

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that our Firm has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma by The Journal Record.

“We are excited to be recognized as being one of the Best Places to Work,” said Phillips Murrah President and Managing Partner, Tom Wolfe. “We take pride in providing exceptional legal services while striving to provide a positive, balanced atmosphere for our attorneys and staff.”

Phillips Murrah is the only law firm on the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma list. The workplace culture at our Firm is a unique blend of experience and enthusiasm. Whether we are celebrating at a Firm-wide party or competing at a regatta with our Phillips Murrah rowing team, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone at Phillips Murrah to come together and solidify the team. It is a true work hard, play hard environment.

Working with Best Companies Group, The Journal Record has nominated 24 small and medium companies and 16 large companies for the 2017 award and recognized them at a luncheon Sept. 28. Read The Journal Record’s profile on Phillips Murrah.

To learn more about the workplace culture and opportunities at Phillips Murrah, visit our Careers pagehttp://phillipsmurrah.com/careers.

 

Phillips Murrah welcomes new litigation attorney

Mark E. Hornbeek represents individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of civil litigation matters.

Phillips Murrah is proud to welcome Mark E. Hornbeek to our Firm.

Phillips Murrah welcomed Mark to the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group as an associate attorney.

As a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Law, Mark earned the American Jurisprudence Award for Civil Procedure I, Torts I and Criminal Law. He served as Symposium Editor of the Oklahoma Law Review, was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society, the Board of Advocates, and the Student Bar Association Board of Governors.

Mark also received the Welcome D. Pierson Award for excellence in the fields of Evidence and Civil Procedure, the Gene and Jo Ann Sharp Award for his contributions to the Oklahoma Law Review, the William T. and James Comfort Scholarship, and was selected as a Dean’s Leadership Fellow.

In his role at Phillips Murrah, Mark represents individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of civil litigation matters.

Four Phillips Murrah attorneys chosen as Lawyers of the Year

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that four of our Directors have been named Lawyers of the Year on The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 list in Oklahoma City.

2018 Lawyers of the Year

Sally A. Hasenfratz – Construction Law

Fred A. Leibrock – Litigation – ERISA

J. Mark Lovelace – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)

Jim A. Roth – Government Relations Practice

The Lawyers of the Year join 33 other Phillips Murrah attorneys who were named to the 2018 Best Lawyers list.

Learn more about the Firm’s accolades on the Firm and Attorney Recognition page.

Director presents on issues related to real estate closings, ethics

Robert N. Sheets is a commercial litigator, director and one of the firm’s founders. He represents construction and energy industry clients in a broad range of real estate, land use and business litigation matters.

Robert N. Sheets is a commercial litigator, director and one of the Firm’s founders. He represents construction and energy industry clients in a broad range of real estate, land use and business litigation matters.

Director Robert N. Sheets will give a presentation on Sept. 14 for Continuing Education professionals on issues relating to real estate transactions.

Sheets will present at 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the National Business Institute’s seminar titled “Handling Real Estate Transactions From Start to Finish.”

“For the morning presentation, I’ll be discussing issues that can arise when handling purchase contracts and sharing what sellers and buyers need to make sure is included in them, as well as what to look for with title examinations,” he said. “For the ethics presentation in the afternoon, I want to explore good faith requirements, trust accounts, and requirements of disclosures, and how to avoid conflicts of interest in these types of transactions.”

Those interested in registering can get more information at www.nbi-sems.com. Attendees receive CLE credit for participating.

Firm selects August Employee of the Month

Deann Aderholt

DeAnn Aderholt, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employees of the Month for August 2017.

“It’s a great honor and a wonderful surprise for my peers to recognize me and my effort,” she said. “I’m so thankful for my job here at Phillips Murrah and my work family that’s come along with it!

“My co-workers and my bosses are wonderful.  I couldn’t ask for a better place to spend my Mondays through Fridays!

The Employee of the Month is selected anonymously by Phillips Murrah staff on merits of teamwork and overall contributions to the Firm.

“DeAnn is that perfect team member as she always works hard and also has the strength of character to suggest a better way for all of us,” Director Jim A. Roth said. “She’s great and I’m lucky to work with her everyday.”


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/WorkplaceDynamics two years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence. Each Employee of the Month is chosen by a monthly survey of peers.

Phillips Murrah partners with KOSU and area Food Banks to help feed hungry children

KOSU logo, Regional Food Bank logo, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma logoOklahoma’s children are back in school, but not every school kid has reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

In Oklahoma, one in four children struggle with the detrimental effects of food insecurity. Phillips Murrah set out to be a part of the solution by helping feed hungry school children in our state.

With this aim in mind, Phillips Murrah is proud to announce our Challenge Grant partnership with KOSU Radio, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

With each pledge during KOSU’s Fall 2017 Member Drive on-air fundraiser, Phillips Murrah will donate the cost of a weekend food backpack for a hungry child to the Food Banks serving Oklahoma City and Tulsa, to be distributed by the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

“Our Firm is very active in the community, especially with regards to helping children,” said Dave Rhea, Marketing Director at Phillips Murrah. “I’m also well aware of how hard Station Director Kelly Burley works to position KOSU as a leader in supporting education. We are excited for this opportunity to get involved with the Food Banks’ mission to fight the devastating effects of childhood hunger while also supporting the important work of public radio.”

If you would like to support this Phillips Murrah Challenge Grant, starting Wednesday, Sept. 13, call 855-808-5678 or pledge at KOSU.org.

Phillips Murrah announces 37 attorneys named to 2018 Best Lawyers list

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that 37 of our attorneys have been named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 list in Oklahoma City.

The Best Lawyers in America 2018

Jennifer Ivester Berry – Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Real Estate Law

Douglas A. Branch – Securities / Capital Markets Law; Venture Capital Law

Elizabeth K. Brown – Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates

Michael D. Carter – Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Rodney L. Cook – Insurance Law

Bobby Dolatabadi – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Jason A. Dunn – Commercial Litigation

Joshua L. Edwards – Real Estate Law

Marc Edwards – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Commercial Litigation; Government Relations Practice

Nicholle Jones Edwards – Family Law

Shannon K. Emmons – Commercial Litigation; Employment Law – Management; Employment Law – Individuals

Juston R. Givens – Commercial Litigation

Sally A. Hasenfratz – Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Construction Law; Land Use and Zoning Law; Real Estate Law

Terry L. Hawkins – Public Finance Law

Heather L. Hintz – Commercial Litigation

Timothy D. Kline – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy

Fred A. Leibrock – Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law; Litigation – Antitrust; Litigation – ERISA; Litigation – Real Estate

Candace Williams Lisle – Commercial Litigation

Mark Lovelace – Banking and Finance Law; Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Commercial Transactions / UCC Law

Melvin R. McVay, Jr. – Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Bankruptcy; Litigation – Real Estate

Andrew S. Mildren – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Government Relations Practice

Jennifer L. Miller – Commercial Litigation

Cindy H. Murray – Real Estate Law

Robert O. O’Bannon – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Tax Law

Martin G. Ozinga – Commercial Litigation

Donald A. Pape – Banking and Finance Law

Michael R. Perri – Commercial Litigation; Energy Law; Natural Resources Law; Oil and Gas Law

William S. Price – Government Relations Practice

Dawn M. Rahme – Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates

Mary Holloway Richard – Health Care Law

Jim A. Roth – Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Environmental Law; Government Relations Practice; Natural Resources Law

G. Calvin Sharpe – Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

Robert N. Sheets – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Land Use and Zoning; Litigation – Real Estate

Ellen K. Spiropoulos – Corporate Law

Lyndon W. Whitmire – Commercial Litigation; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Thomas G. Wolfe – Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Raymond E. Zschiesche – Commercial Litigation; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Journal Record names Nikki Edwards to Fifty Making A Difference list

Nikki Edwards

The Journal Record will honor Phillips Murrah Director Nikki Edwards as one of fifty female business and community leaders in Oklahoma named to their “Making A Difference” list.

Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller will be the keynote speaker at the 37th annual Woman of the Year gala set for Oct. 26 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

The Fifty Making A Difference list spotlights female business and community leaders, and honorees are chosen from hundreds nominations received across the state.

For more information, visit the Journal Record’s website.

Firm selects July Employees of the Month

Rosana Townsend and Monica Ball

Rosana Townsend, Legal Assistant, and Monica Ball, Accounting, are Phillips Murrah’s Employees of the Month for July 2017.

“Being chosen as Employee of the Month at Phillips Murrah was both a shock and an honor,” Rosana said. “I have the most wonderful co-workers anyone could ever ask for, both personally and professionally, so being chosen by them means so much.

“Phillips Murrah is my favorite place I have ever worked as they do so many special things for the staff and actually care about their employees, which is extremely rare.”

The Employee of the Month is selected anonymously by Phillips Murrah staff on merits of teamwork and overall contributions to the Firm.

“I am humbled and thrilled to receive this recognition from my peers,” Monica said. “Thank you all for making this such a great place to work for the past 13 years.”

In rare cases, the votes tallied end in a tie, and both winners receive the Employee of the Month honor.

“Rosana has a wonderful disposition and is uplifting while balancing work from a bunch of busy lawyers,” Executive Director Michelle Munda said. “Monica has a weird sense of humor and is a delight any time you engage her!

“Two truly upbeat, hard-working employees and we are lucky they choose to work here.”


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/WorkplaceDynamics two years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence. Each Employee of the Month is chosen by a monthly survey of peers.

Attorney Cody Cooper elected Chair of OCBA Young Lawyers Division

Cody Cooper is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group and represents individuals and companies in a wide range of intellectual property, patent, trademark and copyright matters. His practice also includes commercial litigation.

Phillips Murrah Attorney Cody J. Cooper will begin his term as Chair of the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s (OCBA) Young Lawyers Division (YLD) this September after being elected last year.

“Our focus is to keep young bar members engaged and perform community service,” Cody said. “My role will be to head the organization for the year, provide direction, and continue the success that we’ve had.”

The YLD is a division of OCBA for attorneys who have been in practice for 10 years or less. Cody has served on the YLD Board or Directors for four years.

“Cody will do a fabulous job as Chair of the Young Lawyers Division,” said Fred A. Leibrock, Phillips Murrah Director. “He is a natural leader and motivator who excels at helping groups set and achieve lofty goals, and I anticipate many more great things to come from the Division under his chairmanship.

“All of his colleagues at Phillips Murrah are proud of his election and we look forward to supporting him every way we can to make his tenure a great success.”

The YLD has several big events throughout the year, with the primary fundraising effort being for the Harvest Food Drive to benefit the Oklahoma Food Bank.

“We do several community service projects throughout the year, including a bowling tournament and typically a project involving renovating a school room or community center,” Cody said. “We’ve renovated schools in Oklahoma City in the past and recently did one for Salvation Army.”

In addition to this election, Cody recently received his patent license to officially serve as a Patent Attorney.

Learn more about the Oklahoma County Bar Association here.

Phillips Murrah Attorney Cody Cooper earns patent license

Cody Cooper is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group and represents individuals and companies in a wide range of intellectual property, patent, trademark and copyright matters. His practice also includes commercial litigation.

Merging work life with personal interests is a tough feat to accomplish, but in 2015, Phillips Murrah Attorney Cody J. Cooper set in motion a two-year journey to make that a reality.

“I’ve always enjoyed science and looking at things to figure out how they work, and Intellectual Property is a great fit for that interest,” Cody said. “I like the idea of working hand-in-hand with inventors to help them along with the process, with the end goal of getting them a patent on their unique idea.

Intellectual Property is a perfect blend of law, science and entrepreneurship that perfectly aligns with my personal interests and passions.”

With this motivation in mind, Cody began the process of obtaining a license to become an official Patent Attorney.

“Everyone on the planet has had an idea at some point in their lives,” said Martin G. Ozinga, Of Counsel Attorney and Chair of the Firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. “There aren’t many practicing Patent Attorneys in Oklahoma, but there are plenty of folks who need one.”

Aside from personal gain, the designation of a Patent Attorney offers credibility and security for clients which isn’t afforded to those seeking patents on their own accord. However, the process for obtaining a patent license can be demanding, especially with a full-time legal workload.

In order to sit for the Patent Bar, candidates must have a scientific or technological background, typically in the form of an undergraduate degree in a science or engineering field, in addition to securing a law degree.

“I had accumulated undergraduate credits in chemical engineering, but I was short by 13 hours,” Cody said. “When I knew I wanted to pursue getting my patent license, I looked at the University of Central Oklahoma’s enrollment requirements and their course catalog to find classes that I could attend in the evenings after work.”

Because it had been several years since he took engineering courses in college, Cody tried to find a line of classes that qualified but from which he could start at the beginning. The best courses that worked for this were biology courses, he said.

Over the course of three semesters, Cody took four evening biology classes at UCO: biology, biology lab, microbiology and human anatomy with cadavers.

“During school, I had class two to three nights per week, and classes lasted two to three hours each night,” he said. “I also had homework, quizzes, tests and finals as part of these courses.”

Much like the standard college experience, he was in class with undergraduate students and had homework, regular tests and finals.

“When I was completing my third semester, I went to San Francisco and took a Patent Bar study course. The course was essentially a full-week course put on by the Practising Law Institute,” Cody said. “After I finished my last semester, I applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to take the Patent Bar and proceeded to take the exam.”

Cody spent a several hours most nights and weekends studying for the two months leading up to taking the Patent Bar. He passed on his first attempt, and as of July 2017 has officially obtained his Patent License and the ability to practice as a Patent Attorney.

Learn more about Phillips Murrah’s Patent, Copyright and Trademark Practice Group by visiting the Intellectual Property Practice Area page here.

Firm selects June Employee of the Month

Maribeth Mills, Paralegal, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for June 2017.

“I’ve always enjoyed the work I do, but it is like icing on a cake to get a nod from your co-workers,” she said.

The Employee of the Month is selected anonymously by Phillips Murrah staff on merits of teamwork and overall contributions to the Firm.

“Maribeth’s work ethic and expertise are of the highest caliber,” Director Clayton D. Ketter said. “She takes great pride in her work and in expanding her legal knowledge and skills.

“We are very lucky to have her as a member of the Phillips Murrah team.”


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/WorkplaceDynamics two years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence. Each Employee of the Month is chosen by a monthly survey of peers.