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.

Phillips Murrah rowing team competes in Summer 2017 season

Molly Tipton, G. Calvin Sharpe, Melissa Gardner, Jennifer Miller, Tyler Sullivan, Monica Ball, Deann Aderholt, Sam Lincoln, and Deena Baker stand with their bronze medals after racing at the Stars and Stripes River Festival on June 24.

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

The team competed on June 24 at the Stars and Stripes River Festival held at the OKC Boathouse District in the advanced league and achieved a 500-meter run of 2:02.

“Rowing is a team effort much like the work we do at Phillips Murrah,” said G. Calvin Sharpe, Director and Law & Oarder team leader. “Our team improved over the season, and we all worked together to have a great season that culminated Saturday night.”

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

“I decided to join the rowing team because I wanted to try something that was completely new to me” Attorney Molly E. Tipton said. “Not only was it something I had never done, but I also had the opportunity spend time with people at Phillips Murrah that I don’t often see, which ended up being my favorite part!

“I feel lucky to call these people my co-workers, my teammates and my friends!”

The team will continue their practices through the summer and into the fall, leading into the final regatta, which will be held in October.

“I absolutely love the opportunity Phillips Murrah has given us to get out there and work as a team outside of the office,” Legal Assistant Deena Baker said. “Even though we’ve been up against some pretty elite teams these last three seasons, it just gives us more to strive for in the end.

“Being on the corporate rowing team has personally given me something I never even dreamed of doing and plan to continue as long as I can!”


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.

Deputy Consul General to the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston visits Phillips Murrah

Ryuji Iwasaki and Pat Hall at the law offices of Phillips Murrah P.C.

Phillips Murrah was honored to have Deputy Consul General to the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston, Ryuji Iwasaki (left), visit the Firm during his economic and cultural tour to Oklahoma.

Mr. Iwasaki is pictured here at the law offices of Phillips Murrah P.C., on Thursday, July 22, with long-time ally and consultant to the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston, Pat Hall (right). Mr. Hall has also been a lobbyist and legislative advocate for Phillips Murrah for many years.

Firm hosts Attorney General Mike Hunter for visit

Mike Hunter (pictured left), Oklahoma Attorney General, meets with Phillips Murrah attorneys and staff to discuss issues facing Oklahomans.

Phillips Murrah welcomed Mike Hunter, Oklahoma Attorney General, on June 16 to discuss issues his office faces with everyday Oklahomans.

“It was an honor to have Attorney General Mike Hunter as the Firm’s guest,” Director Elizabeth K. Brown said. “It was nice to hear firsthand about some of the issues being addressed by the Attorney General’s office.”

Hunter spoke about precautions Oklahomans should take during natural disasters to avoid insurance scams and ways his office is working to reduce prescription opioid abuse cases.

For more information on the Attorney General’s office, click here.

Directors volunteer at annual Westminster fundraiser

Marc and Nikki Edwards and Laurin and Nicholas Hickman attend a Westminster School event.

Nikki and Marc Edwards, Directors at Phillips Murrah, gave their time to help make WestxWestminster, an annual fundraising auction hosted by Westminster School, a success.

Arriving early to the April 1 event at the Bricktown Events Center, Nikki and Marc volunteered at the check-in table and worked a games table throughout the night.

“While I support many Oklahoma City and Oklahoma state causes, I’m always happy to lend my time and resources to this great cause and this top-notch school,” Nikki said.

The Edwards have an 8-year-old son who attends Westminster School in Oklahoma City.

At Phillips Murrah, Nikki heads up the Family law Practice Group where she provides objective, compassionate and experienced guidance in domestic matters that lead to separation or divorce and other family law-related matters. Marc, who leads the Firm’s Government Relations and Compliance Practice Group, represents business and public entities in a broad range of litigation, administrative proceedings and strategic legal matters, with an emphasis on public utility, public pension, governmental and administrative laws.

While not practicing law, the Edwards’ spend their free time volunteering, attending field trips, and supporting the school.

To learn ways to support Westminster, click here.

Firm selects May Employee of the Month

Barb Robertson

Barb Robertson, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for May 2017.

“What an honor to be chosen Employee of the Month,” she said. “Phillips Murrah has a lot of great employees, and it humbles me to be chosen for this honor by my friends.

“It is really great to be able to come to work each day and see my friends. It is just like college only better;  this time around I’m being paid!”

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

“Barb works hard to keep everyone calm and focused at the 11th hour when things are going crazy,” said Jennifer Ivester Berry, Of Counsel Attorney. “She never hesitates to go above and beyond to help get the project completed.”


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.

Three Phillips Murrah attorneys listed in Chambers USA 2017

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce real estate attorneys John D. Hastie, Sally A. Hasenfratz, and Jennifer Ivester Berry have been selected for inclusion in Chambers & Partners’ Chambers USA 2017 guide.

Chambers researchers offered the following comments on each attorney:

John Hastie is singled out by interviewees as ‘the dean of real estate.’ He has longstanding experience working on real estate transactions encompassing property acquisitions, leasing and construction. Additionally, he assists clients on loan workouts and debt restructurings.”

Sally Hasenfratz is endorsed as a ‘class act to work with’ and someone who ‘makes you feel that you’re going to get through this!’ Her roster of work includes matters connected with properties such as shopping centers and condominiums, in addition to her skills in the tax law and financing areas.”

“Of Counsel Attorney Jennifer Ivester Berry’s real estate practice centers around advising on developments, acquisitions and leases. She is also regularly approached by energy companies to assist with the financing and construction of renewable energy facilities.”

Hastie has been listed annually in Chambers’ guides since 2003, and Hasenfratz and Berry have been listed since 2010. Phillips Murrah is selected as a Band 2 law firm.

Read more about Phillips Murrah’s inclusion here.

Attorney Lauren Voth supports Metropolitan Library System through Literary Voices

Lauren Symcox Voth and author Lisa Scottoline

The Metropolitan Library System selected author Lisa Scottoline as the featured author for the 2017 Literary Voices event on April 11, and attorney Lauren Symcox Voth lent her time and support to make the event a success.

“The library system has been a large part of my life, since I was a kid,” Voth said. “My mom was the chair of the Literary Voices Committee in 2011-2012. I showed up to a meeting to introduce the committee to my first daughter who had just been born a few weeks earlier, and I ended up staying and joined the committee.”

Since then, Voth has been involved with the committee in various capacities.

“For the 2017 Literary Voices event, I assisted committee chairs Karen Delaney and Gail Huneryager with the decorations for the event, which is always very creative on a shoestring budget for this fundraiser,” she said.

Literary Voices began in 2003 and is an annual event to raise money for the Library Endowment Trust, which benefits the Metropolitan Library System.

“Authors provide great insight into their own background, experiences, and often what lead to their inspiration for many of their books,” Voth said. “The 2017 author was Lisa Scottoline, a former attorney who practiced employment law before jumping into being a full-time author.

“Lisa has written a variety of books, but her series about the female law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio and Rosato & Associates are probably her most successful. She has also written emotional thrillers and humorous non-fiction and was an exceptionally entertaining author this year.”

Past authors invited to the event include:

  • Sebastian Junger (2016)
  • P.J. O’Rourke (2015)
  • Khaled Hosseini (2014)
  • David McCullough (2013)
  • Mary Higgins Clark (2012)
  • Laura Bush (2011)
  • Harlan Coben (2010)
  • Ann Patchett (2009)
  • Scott Turow (2008)
  • Sue Grafton (2007)
  • Jane Seymour (2006)
  • Juan Williams (2005)
  • Dr. Beck Weathers (2004)
  • Dave Barry (2003)

Click here to learn more about the Metropolitan Library System’s Endowment Trust and how to get involved.

Phillips Murrah attorneys address wind energy impacts on real property

Jim Roth and C. Eric Davis are attorneys in the Energy and Natural Resources Practice Group at Phillips Murrah.

Phillips Murrah Director Jim Roth and attorney C. Eric Davis spoke about clean energy in Oklahoma at recent presentations hosted by the Oklahoma Bar Association.

The OBA’s Real Property Section hosted the Cleverdon Round Table event on May 18 in Oklahoma City and on May 19 in Tulsa.

The presentation outlined Oklahoma’s potential as a national leader in wind resources noting that Oklahoma generates the third most electricity from wind energy nationwide.

In discussing real property law impacts, Roth and Davis noted wind energy can be viewed as involving competing interests of landowners and how to respectively balance the rights of those landowners receiving compensation versus those out of proximity of wind facilities or turbines.

Roth presented in Oklahoma City, and Davis presented in Tulsa.

PM Attorney graduates Leadership OKC LOYAL Program

Monica Y. Ybarra

Every year, approximately two hundred of Oklahoma City’s rising stars vie for a chance to be a member of Leadership Oklahoma City’s Linking OKC’s Young Adult Leaders (LOYAL) Program.

Phillips Murrah Attorney Monica Y. Ybarra was selected to participate in this prestigious program as a member of LOYAL Class XII. The Firm is pleased to announce Ybarra graduated from the program last week and is officially part of the Leadership Oklahoma City family.

The LOYAL Program focuses on enhancing personal leadership skills and cultivating community leadership skills. During the seven-month program, participants have unique opportunities to learn leadership skills from Oklahoma’s most influential and accomplished business people, public servants, and non-profit managers.

“Participating in LOYAL has been one of my most rewarding Oklahoma experiences,” Ybarra said. “The program offered me a chance to increase my leadership intelligence and connect to the community in so many ways.

“This program is about so much more than networking—it’s about helping motivated individuals become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Participants gain insight into topics such as board skills, human resources, public speaking, non-profit finances, ethics, and much more. Additionally, Leadership Action Projects afford participants an opportunity to apply their skills and talents to tackle substantive issues in our community.

“At Phillips Murrah P.C. we take pride in being a strategic partner for our clients and for our community,” she said. “I am very fortunate to work for an organization that not only supports my efforts to become a better attorney but also a better Oklahoman.”

Ybarra is a litigation attorney who practices family law. She represents clients in all areas of domestic and family law matters including, divorce actions, custody matters, guardianships, prenuptial agreements, and paternity actions.

Other Phillips Murrah graduates of Leadership Oklahoma City programs include Jim Roth, Signature Program Class XXII, and G. Calvin Sharpe, Signature Program Class XXIII.