Phillips Murrah attorneys volunteer for Cavett Kids Foundation

Monica Y. Ybarra, OCBA Community Service Committee Vice Chair, with attorney Ashley Schovanec

Attorney Monica Y. Ybarra, OCBA Community Service Committee Vice Chair, with attorney Ashley Schovanec.

Phillips Murrah attorneys Nicholle Jones Edwards, Kayce L. Gisinger, Monica Y. Ybarra, and Ashley M. Schovanec were on site at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center on July 6 to lend a helping hand to the children heading to Camp Cavett.

“Monica, who is on the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Community Service Committee, let the Phillips Murrah attorneys know that volunteers were needed to help with the Camp Cavett camp check-in,” Schovanec said. “On Wednesday morning, Nikki, Monica, Kayce and I helped do things like pass out camp T-shirts, help with luggage, and pass out luggage tags to help the camp check-in process go smoothly.”

Chance Pearson, OCBA Community Service Committee Chair, with Director Nicholle Jones Edwards, Jenna and Claudette Greenway, Cavett Kids Board Member.

Chance Pearson, OCBA Community Service Committee Chair, with Director Nicholle Jones Edwards, Jenna and Claudette Greenway, Cavett Kids Board Member.

The Cavett Kids Foundation serves hundreds of children with various life-threatening and chronic illnesses every year.

“Among other things, the Cavett Foundation provides a unique summer camp experience that meets the medical needs of its campers without distracting from the fun of summer camp,” Ybarra said.

Phillips Murrah attorneys, along with other volunteers from the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Community Service Committee, assisted campers and their families through the check-in process and saw the kids off to camp.

“Just because a child suffers from a life-threatening or chronic illness doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the opportunity to go to summer camp,” Schovanec said. “What a heartwarming sight it was to see the look on each of the kids’ faces as they walked (or ran) to the summer camp check-in stations.”

To learn how to get involved and volunteer with Cavett Kids, click here.

Phillips Murrah attorney graduates OBA Leadership Academy

Cody J. Cooper is an attorney whose practice is concentrated in commercial litigation, product liability, and intellectual property.

Attorney Cody J. Cooper became one of 18 participants to graduate from the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Leadership Academy in June.

“This class was an excellent opportunity to meet and engage with other attorneys actively engaged in or seeking to engage in leadership roles throughout our community and the Bar Association,” Cooper said. “It introduced us to different leadership styles to help us development our own sense of leadership.”

Participants were selected from a pool of applicants spanning the state to receive training in leadership, motivation and communication.

“The Academy also introduced us to different leadership opportunities both within and outside of the Bar Association and encouraged our involvement in the Bar Association and our communities,” Cooper said. “We were able to interact with experienced lawyers, judges and community leaders in order to discuss their roles in leadership throughout the state.”

Cooper was admitted to the Academy in Sept. 2015.

Director Kathryn Terry speaks at Alpha Phi 71st Biennial Convention

The emphasis of Kathryn D. Terry’s litigation practice is in the areas of insurance coverage, labor and employment law and civil rights defense.

The emphasis of Kathryn D. Terry’s litigation practice is in the areas of insurance coverage, labor and employment law and civil rights defense.

Director Kathryn D. Terry rejoined her sorority sisters for the Alpha Phi 71st Biennial Convention from June 22-26 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Terry, who serves as President of the board for the Alpha Phi house association at the University of Oklahoma, offered her guidance by speaking to the more than 400 Alpha Phi women from across the country who attended the convention.

“Sorority houses are happening places and face incredibly unique labor, employment and risk management issues,” Terry said. “As a labor and insurance attorney, and President of the house board, my professional life and Alpha Phi meet at a crossroad.

“I provided guidance and worked with Alpha Phi alumnae from all over the country to more effectively meet the needs of our collegiate women by managing labor, employment and wage issues for sorority houses, as well as liability and risk management challenges that the managers and owners of sorority houses encounter as part of their routine – and often not so routine – operations.”

Alpha Phi International is a sisterhood with chapters at 170 college and universities in the United States and Canada.

 

Oklahoma City real estate attorney Sally Hasenfratz featured in The Oklahoman

crew-okc-logo-choice-smallerOklahoma City real estate attorney and Phillips Murrah Director, Sally A. Hasenfratz, was featured in the business section of The Oklahoman newspaper on Saturday, July 2.

Oklahoma real estate attorney Sally Hasenfratz

Sally A. Hasenfratz is a Director and a member of the Firm’s Real Estate, Tax and Family Wealth and Business Succession Practice Groups. She represents individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of transactional matters.

The article, written by real estate editor Richard Mize, is also available online at NewsOK.com and features a video interview about the formation of CREW OKC. Hasenfratz co-founded the organization with Julie Kriegel, vice president at Wiggin Properties, and she will serve at the first president.

CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network is a national organization. Hasenfratz and Kriegel successfully initiated the local Oklahoma City chapter and assembled a board of influencers, including Jane Jenkins, president and CEO of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. and Cathy O’Connor, president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City Inc.

From the story:

“Sally and I met and we hand-picked who we thought would be the best people to be on the board of directors,” Kriegel said. “We spent most of last summer and fall taking them to lunch and recruiting all of them, so we have this terrific board of directors.”

Hasenfratz said it was worth the effort.

“We’re pretty proud of the board members. We’ve got a stellar group,” she said.

Read the whole story and see Richard’s video here.

See the original story about the CREW OKC local chapter by clicking here.

Director provides toys, lifts spirits of children at Juvenile Justice Center

Ray E. Zschiesche’s practice is focused on complex state and federal litigation with extensive experience defending insurance companies, class actions mass tort and lender liability.

Ray E. Zschiesche’s practice is focused on complex state and federal litigation with extensive experience defending insurance companies, class actions mass tort and lender liability.

The season of giving is year-round for Phillips Murrah Director, Ray Zschiesche. He has made a habit of continuing his community service efforts, most recently, by helping children at the Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice Center.

“Ray has given generously and repeatedly to the children here at the Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice Center,” Lisa Davis, Oklahoma County District Judge, said. “I know firsthand of his generosity since I’ve been here.”

In February 2014, the center started looking for professional organizations, attorneys, friends, and others to donate toys for the deprived children who entered the five courtrooms there.

“Ray was one of the first to donate—like 150 Hot Wheels, 100 rubber light-up balls, 150 coloring books with 150 24-count boxes of crayons,” she said. “He always (and still does) brought in a large numbers of toys at a time. Through the past couple years he has been a steady source of donations.

“At Christmastime he brings in hundreds of stuffed animals from the Disney store and Mathis Brothers.  He makes toy donations several times throughout the year, always in large amounts.”

The Juvenile Justice Center provides toys for every child who comes to court through the deprived system. There are currently 1,900 Oklahoma County children ranging from 1 day old to 18 years old who are in DHS custody and involved in the court deprived system, Davis said.

“Ray told us at any time we needed more toys for the children to contact him, but he usually beats us to the call, asking if it was time for him to deliver some more toys and what type of toys would we like,” she said. “He might just show up with a bunch of toys. Always so humble and, oh, so giving.

“He continues to lift the spirits of the children, and he, without a doubt, most definitely lifts ours!  He is the Juvenile Justice Center’s children’s silent hero.”

Ray’s donations to the Juvenile Justice Center are just part of his community service efforts. He also works heavily with the Oklahoma County Bar Association and Oklahoma Lawyers for Children on community projects.

“I’ve had a chance to work with Ray on several projects through our service on the OCBA Community Service Committee,” Attorney Monica Ybarra said. “I’ve witnessed his compassion for children and the elderly. He makes it a point to always be present and give of his time and energy, as well as his finances.

“He has a genuine desire to reach out to others and be helpful in meaningful ways…and he’s a great dancer too!”

The Juvenile Justice Center collects toys and stuffed animals for younger children and collects headphones, journals, and Thunder gear for older children.

Those interested in donating toys to the Juvenile Justice Center may contact Rachel Dorsett at 405-468-4219 or via email at rachel.dorsett@okdhs.org to organize a drop-off. Monetary donations can be made out to Citizens for Juvenile Justice.

Other PM stories featuring Ray:

 

Director joins ALFA insurance coverage panel

The emphasis of Kathryn D. Terry’s litigation practice is in the areas of insurance coverage, labor and employment law and civil rights defense.

The emphasis of Kathryn D. Terry’s litigation practice is in the areas of insurance coverage, labor and employment law and civil rights defense.

Director Kathryn D. Terry participated in ALFA International’s EPL & Professional Liability Practice Group Seminar from June 8-10 in New York City covering issues related to insurance matters.

“The panel discussed the impact of punitive damage verdict in employment practices litigation, including developing and potential issues related to insurance coverage for extra-contractual losses and the duty of good faith and fair dealing attendant to such coverage and potential coverage,” Terry said.

ALFA International is a global network of law firms committed to providing high-quality, cost-efficient legal services worldwide to the network’s diverse clients.

For more information on the seminar, visit the seminar’s website here.

Firm names May Employee of the Month

Karen Isaac

Legal Secretary Karen Isaac is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for May 2016.

“It’s nice to be recognized for what I consider to be my daily functions,” Isaac said. “I consider myself very fortunate to be an employee of Phillips Murrah.”

“Karen is a self-motivated assistant who works hard without complaint,” attorney A. Michelle Campney said. “David Walls and I do both transactional and litigation work, and we are constantly having to learn new things and look for solutions to new business problems. Karen is not afraid of the variety and seems to enjoy it.”

“I am proud to be working at such a great firm and will always give it my best,” Isaac said. “It’s nice to be able to work with such great people!”

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


Top Workplaces shield for web 150

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

Director presents on real estate surveying skills

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 “Surveying Skills for the Real Estate Attorney” for Continuing Education professionals.

Sheets will present at 11:15 a.m. on June 8 at the National Business Institute’s seminar titled “Legal Descriptions, Title Insurance and Surveys in Real Estate Transactions Seminar.”

“The purpose of the seminar is legal matters involved in real estate transactions,” Sheets said. “I will be talking on things to look for in surveys and how they can affect the transaction.”

His presentation will cover a variety of elements of surveying including different types of surveys, potential issues, impacts on title, the review process, and preparation.

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

Phillips Murrah receives American Subcontractors Association award

Andrew Penland, United Acoustics, gives Attorney David Walls his award at the ASA Awards Gala on June 10.

Phillips Murrah has been awarded for its excellence in the construction industry for the second consecutive year.

Attorney David A. Walls has been selected as the winner of the American Subcontractors Association of Oklahoma’s 2016 Service Provider of the Year award in the areas of Legal, Personnel, Safety, and Workers Comp.

“I have been a member of ASAOK for over ten years,” Walls said. “When I came to Phillips Murrah about five years ago, I brought the membership with me and Phillips Murrah has been the ‘official’ member since that time.”

ASAOK is the primary industry trade group representing subcontractors in the construction industry in Oklahoma and is the state chapter of the national ASA organization. Subcontractors in the association vote for the best of the best within the industry.

Walls was given his award at ASAOK’s convention and Awards Gala on June 10 where he and Phillips Murrah attorney A. Michelle Campney gave a presentation. Both attorneys host educational seminars at Phillips Murrah’s headquarters in Oklahoma City.

Attorney re-elected mayor of Nichols Hills

Steven Goetzinger is a business attorney whose practice focuses on real estate issues unique to the oil and gas industry.

Steven Goetzinger is a business attorney whose practice focuses on real estate issues unique to the oil and gas industry.

Attorney Steven J. Goetzinger is beginning his second term as mayor of Nichols Hills.

He joined the Nichols Hills City Council in May 2011 and was first elected mayor in 2013. He represents Ward 3.

Goetzinger was born and raised in Woodward, Oklahoma and now resides in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma. He is currently a member of the Oklahoma City University School of Law Executive Board.

His law practice centers on oil, gas and real estate law. He currently serves as general counsel to an independent oil and gas company in which he is also a member.

 

Director addresses workplace environments for OMCCA

The emphasis of Kathryn D. Terry’s litigation practice is in the areas of insurance coverage, labor and employment law and civil rights defense.

The emphasis of Kathryn D. Terry’s litigation practice is in the areas of insurance coverage, labor and employment law and civil rights defense.

Director Kathryn D. Terry spoke at the Oklahoma Municipal Court Clerks Association‘s annual conference on May 17 at Oklahoma State University.

Terry addressed issues on dress code dilemmas in the 21st century workplace, employee accountability, and conflict avoidance.

“The Oklahoma Municipal Court Clerks Association is made of municipal court clerks from all over Oklahoma,” she said. “The clerks face a variety of unique issues in their varied work environments, and I addressed how to navigate challenging dynamics due to rapid technology advancements, evolving social norms and state and federal laws regarding the work place.”

Phillips Murrah Director organizes Oklahoma commercial real estate group for women

(See the updated story here)

The Oklahoma commercial real estate industry has a new organization for women practitioners called Commercial Real Estate Women, or CREW. It is a professional network that represents multiple disciplines within the industry, including lawyers, developers, bankers, architects and engineers.

“We have an outstanding group of initial board members,” said Phillips Murrah Director, Sally A. Hasenfratz, who is a veteran real estate attorney in the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.

“Julie Kriegel and I, who are members-at-large of the national CREW Network, were the parties who put it together,” Hasenfratz added. “We had a kickoff meeting with more than 70 people in attendance.”

CREW-OKC was founded with the intention to become a local chapter of the national CREW Network. Vicky Dunning, who is on the national board of the CREW Network spoke at the meeting.

Requirements for full membership are that members must work within a qualified field of commercial real estate with five or more years of experience and hold a leadership role within her company or organization.

CREW-OKC Board of Directors:

  • Michelle Anderson, director of asset services, CBRE
  • Betsy Brunsteter, principal, ADG
  • Marva Ellard, developer, Sieber Holdings
  • Sally Hasenfratz, Director, Phillips Murrah
  • Jane Jenkins, president and CEO, Downtown Oklahoma City Inc.
  • Kristin Killgore, associate-project engineer, ZFI Engineering
  • Julie Kriegel, vice president, Wiggin Properties LLC
  • Morgan Morrissey, vice president, MidFirst Bank
  • Cathy O’Connor, president, The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City Inc.
  • Mary Paltani, property manager, Hines
  • Carla Sharpe, attorney, Williams, Box, Forshee & Bullard P.C.
  • Monica Wittrock, senior vice president-central states region, First American Title Insurance Co.

 

Phillips Murrah sponsors OU Women and Gender Studies event

Joanna

OU Women and Gender Studies Professor JoAnna Wall, OU Linebacker Eric Striker, and Phillips Murrah Director Nikki Edwards at Voices from the Heart on April 22.

Phillips Murrah sponsored the University of Oklahoma’s Voices from the Heart event on April 22, benefiting the university’s Women and Gender Studies Program.

“I serve on the Advisory Board as an extension of my undergraduate and law school alma mater,” Phillips Murrah Director Nikki Edwards said. “I believe as a professional woman in law, I owe it to give back by committing my resources, finances and my time to this cause.”

Several Courage Awards were given to Oklahomans who were recognized for their courage. Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin, the couple who filed suit to challenge Oklahoma’s gay marriage laws, and OU Football Linebacker Eric Striker were given awards.

Jari Askins, former lieutenant governor of Oklahoma, was the keynote speaker and she was also given a surprise award for her courage.

“I believe human rights causes and tolerance are central to growth in our state and country,” Edwards said.

Firm names April Employee of the Month

Donna Anderson

Legal Secretary Donna Anderson is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for April 2016.

“Being recognized as Employee of the Month for me is an honor that I will truly cherish,” Anderson said, whose work is focused on Family Law.

“You won’t find a more devoted, hard-working and patient employee than Donna,” said Nikki J. Edwards, Director and Family Law Practice Group Leader. “Clients in the middle of a divorce or custody matter are particularly sensitive to all that lies in the balance related to their financial condition, business solvency and best interests of their children. Donna often deals with these clients as the initial contact and provides a calming and reassuring voice.”

“In all of the years that I have been working in this particular area of law, I have truly enjoyed working with this great group of individuals,” she said. “Being able to share of the many ups and downs of dealing with this type of work is great therapy for the soul.  I hope that I can continue to be the person that inspires and motivates others to live, love and laugh!”

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


Top Workplaces shield for web 150

 

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

Director Jim Roth featured in the Sunday Oklahoman cover story about tornado sirens

On Sunday, May 1, Phillips Murrah Director and Chair of the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice Group, Jim Roth, was featured in The Oklahoman newspaper. The story, by Silas Allen, was about The City of Oklahoma City’s new policy regarding tornado sirens. See below, and click on the link to see the full story at newsok.com.


Jim Roth is a Director and Chair of the firm’s Clean Energy Practice.

Jim Roth is a Director and Chair of the firm’s Clean Energy Practice.

Oklahoma City residents sound off over change in tornado siren policy

On Tuesday evening, as a round of heavy storms bore down on Oklahoma City, Jim Roth sat at home trying to get some work done.

Knowing severe weather was on the way, Roth, 47, kept an ear out for tornado sirens, figuring that he’d turn on his television if he heard one.

But when his power began to flicker, Roth, an Oklahoma City attorney and former Oklahoma Corporation Commission member, turned on the local news, just in time to see television crews report a possible tornado near Lake Aluma, less than a mile from his house. Even after that warning, though, Roth said he never heard a siren.

“I was just surprised that there was no audible siren in the area,” Roth said. “If anyone is reporting tornadoes on the ground, I would think that the public has a right to know.”

Click HERE to read the full story.

Phillips Murrah attorney Doug Branch featured in The Oklahoman

Phillips Murrah attorney, Douglas A. Branch, is featured in today’s Oklahoman newspaper regarding his career in biotechnology.

Doug is one of the prime movers in the diversification of the Oklahoma City economy to include biotech. He recently accepted the position of CEO of Biolytx Pharmaceuticals, and he continues his legal practice at Phillips Murrah as an of counsel attorney.

Below, read the story, or jump to it at newsok.com here.


Phillips Murrah attorney Doug Branch

Phillips Murrah attorney Doug Branch

Oklahoma’s 1980s oil problems leads to career in biotechnology for local lawyer

By Jim Stafford For The Oklahoman| April 26, 2016

A promising career as a securities lawyer awaited Doug Branch when he graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1982. Oklahoma was the heart of a booming energy economy with lots of oil and gas firms that needed legal work as they raised capital and dealt with regulators.

A couple of months later Penn Square Bank went belly up.

The Penn Square collapse set off a domino effect of bank failures that coincided with declining energy prices and ultimately cost the jobs of thousands of Oklahomans. By 1988, the law firm that Branch worked for was suffering along with the rest of the state.

“Our business was in the tank,” Branch said recently at the OU Research Park. “The law business in Oklahoma City was terrible, and I knew I had to change my practice.”

Fast-forward almost 30 years. Branch recently was named CEO of an up-and-coming biotechnology startup called Biolytx Pharmaceuticals Corp.

So how did a securities attorney who focuses on the energy industry make the transition to CEO of a life science company?

The evolution began in those dark days of the late 1980s. Branch committed himself to learning all he could about licensing and managing intellectual property and representing technology companies.

By 1988, the state Legislature had created the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).

“I became familiar with OCAST,” he said. “My first technology project was working with a professor at OU in the engineering school who was developing superconducting thin films.”

That year Branch also began representing Sonic Corp., a relationship that continues in 2016 with Phillips Murrah, the Oklahoma City law firm where Branch was a partner until this year.

“I was so fortunate because if that engagement didn’t happen I would probably have been fired,” he said. “And it sustained me for the time that it took to develop my technology practice. Cliff Hudson, the CEO of Sonic, was general counsel then and he and I are still great friends.”

Immersion in biotech

Branch so completely immersed himself in technology that he joined the OCAST board in the early 1990s as its chairman. During his time on the board, the agency launched an ambitious plan to diversify the Oklahoma economy.

Centers of Excellence in manufacturing, molecular medicine, and laser technology were developed at OU and Oklahoma State University. The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance was created. Funding programs took off.

“OCAST invested big in those Centers of Excellence,” Branch said. “They were great investments, especially for the Oklahoma Health Center. It was a huge deal for biotechnology here.”

Branch’s involvement in biotechnology also began to expand. His clients have included high-profile startups such as Zymetx, Riley Genomics, Novazyme, Altheus Therapeutics and Cytovance Biologics, among others.

The construction and growth of the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park — now the OU Research Park — also added to the momentum, both for the biotech industry and for Branch.

“I opened up my office there in 2004 and it was called Biotech Law Associates,” he said. “I went to the annual BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) show as a member. In fact, I went to the first BIO show at the Research Triangle Park as OCAST chairman probably in ’92 or ’93.”

Now company’s CEO

Through an association with William Hagstrom of Alpha Bio Partners, Branch became acquainted with OU professor Anne Pereira, Ph.D. Pereira had co-founded Biolytx Pharmaceuticals with Hagstrom based on her groundbreaking work in developing peptides that kill antibiotic resistant bacteria. That relationship eventually led him to his current position as CEO of the company.

“Our objectives are to develop our pipeline of peptides to the point where we can enter into collaborations with pharma companies to get through clinical trials,” Branch said. “That’s going to take time and a lot of money. It’s a great challenge, but it’s fascinating and exciting.”

As Branch looked back over the past three decades, he says he would never have predicted the rise of biotech here or his participation in the industry.

“This was inconceivable when I graduated from law school,” he said. “I mean, this industry didn’t even exist then. The notion that I would be involved in biotech, I couldn’t imagine ever doing anything like this. But I’m having the time of my life.”

Jim Stafford writes about Oklahoma innovation and research and development topics on behalf of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology.

Phillips Murrah attorney named to Mental Health Association Oklahoma’s Advisory Council

Mary Richard is recognized as one of pioneers in health care law in Oklahoma. She has represented institutional and non-institutional providers of health services, as well as patients and their families.

Mary Richard is recognized as one of pioneers in health care law in Oklahoma. She has represented institutional and non-institutional providers of health services, as well as patients and their families.

A new opportunity for Phillips Murrah Attorney Mary Holloway Richard will help her continue her work of increasing visibility of mental health issues in Oklahoma.

Richard has joined Mental Health Association Oklahoma’s Advisory Council based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Partnered with the Homeless Alliance, Mental Health Association Oklahoma has a variety of programs including youth wellness screenings, support groups and legal services. These programs focus on housing, education, advocacy, support, and recovery to those affected by mental disorders.

To learn more about Mental Health Association Oklahoma and the programs they provide, visit their website here.

Phillips Murrah sponsors Big Brothers Big Sisters bowling event

Assistant Marketing Director Nathan Hatcher, Chelsea Linn, Nick Potter, Administrative Assistant Cristal Bazemore, and Legal Secretary Sherree Williams take a break from bowling at Phillips Murrah’s Bowling Night.

After months of fundraising, five teams of Phillips Murrah employees, families and friends celebrated the Firm’s community efforts at Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake annual event.

Dust Bowl welcomed Phillips Murrah for the Firm’s Bowling Night on April 7, organized by Phillips Murrah and Big Brothers Big Sisters staff.

Phillips Murrah Director Byrona Maule spearheaded the campaign, which raised $5,437.

“Bowl For Kids’ Sake (BFKS) is the single largest fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters – it’s a great way to provide financial support for matches and the bowling party is a lot of fun,” Maule said. “It is an easy decision on my part to facilitate Phillips Murrah’s participation in BFKS! “

The firm hosts a series of events and raffle drawings to garner support for the campaign and raise money to help the organization.

“I’ve seen these results first hand, as one of my Little Sisters had parents who were incarcerated,” Maule said. “These types of results make it easy to commit to supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma.  I’m so glad that Phillips Murrah, through teamwork, was able to contribute.”

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma or to make a donation, visit their website here.

Firm names March Employee of the Month

Legal Secretary Deena Baker is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for March 2016.

“It is an honor to be recognized by my co-workers as employee of the month,” Baker said. “I love it here at Phillips Murrah for many, many reasons, but the best is having great people to work for and with!”

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

“Not only is she great at her job, Deena also makes those around her better, and that is what makes her a great teammate and asset for Phillips Murrah,” said Phillips Murrah Director Juston Givens.


Top Workplaces shield for web 150

 

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

Director helps organization transport at-risk pets across country

Director Heather Hintz with Ned, the dog she helped transport.

Director Heather Hintz with Ned, the dog she helped transport.

Free time is sparse for attorneys, but Phillips Murrah Director Heather Hintz uses hers to help animals travel across the country.

“I got involved in transports only recently, via my years-long involvement with animal welfare organizations, rescues, and spay/neuter campaigns,” Hintz said. “One of the animal welfare email lists I have subscribed to for a long time, cross-posted the need to move a deaf and blind dog named ‘Ned’ from Stephens County, Oklahoma to Portland, Oregon.”

Animals that require transport are typically dog and cat rescues that have special needs or can’t be placed where they are, or rescues that are about to be euthanized. Animal welfare networks, animal shelters, and volunteers arrange for the dog or cat to be moved to another place where someone has agreed to place the animal and provide surgery or other animal welfare-related needs, she said.

“In the case of ‘Ned,’ he was totally blind and deaf and couldn’t be placed—he was a special needs dog,” Hintz said. “Deaf Dogs of Oregon agreed to train him to respond to non-visual/non-verbal commands, find a home for him, and train the new owner as to how to deal with a deaf/blind dog.”

Various organizations function as transport organizations. Once a volunteer has been ‘vetted’ or recommended as trustworthy, that person gets on a transport list. When there is a need to move dogs or cats across the country to be re-homed, a very detailed route list is prepared by a transport coordinator, broken down into segments with start and stop times, she said.

Buster, a Jack Russell terrier, at a rest stop during a transport.

Buster, a Jack Russell Terrier, at a rest stop during a transport.

“I thought it would be a rewarding experience, so I signed up,” Hintz said. “I made arrangements with the person who would be dropping Ned with me, and we met at a fast food place. That driver handed me Ned’s papers, his water bowl and some treats, and Ned got into my car and I drove him to Wichita, Kansas.

“I had made arrangements with the person picking up in Wichita to meet at a certain rest stop – when I met her, Ned hopped in her car and they left to meet the next person.”

From conception to completion, the details of transporting animals are particular and sensitive to ensure the animals’ safety.

“If you happen to be on the route, you get the email saying ‘transport assistance needed’ showing all the segments, and you can sign up for a segment,” Hintz said. “It is very structured – you have to make arrangements ahead of time and at each hand-off, and both the person handing off and the person picking up need to notify the coordinator on the spot that the hand-off has been completed.

“The coordinator closely monitors the entire transport.”

Though there are many details and hours involved in making sure the task is completed, the overall mission is personally rewarding.

“It was an incredible experience,” Hintz said. “There were lots of people working together to get this done, giving up time out of their busy schedules, all to save one dog.”

Hintz assisted in another transport last summer involving four white German Shepherd puppies moving from Austin, Texas to Colorado, and an older Jack Russell Terrier moving from Texas to the Wisconsin Dells. The mission was special in that they were all picked up in Wichita by 2 different pilots who flew them to Colorado and Wisconsin, for no cost, as volunteers.

Those interested in contributing can get more info from Deaf Dogs of Oregon’s website here.

Attorney teaches Behavioral Health Law course at OCU

Mary Richard is recognized as one of pioneers in health care law in Oklahoma. She has represented institutional and non-institutional providers of health services, as well as patients and their families.

Mary Richard is recognized as one of pioneers in health care law in Oklahoma. She has represented institutional and non-institutional providers of health services, as well as patients and their families.

Phillips Murrah Attorney Mary Holloway Richard is teaching Behavioral Health Law at the Oklahoma City University School of Law this Spring semester.

The course will cover a broad spectrum of behavior health topics including: basic mental illness diagnoses, licensure laws related to behavioral health providers of all types, reimbursement and financing issues, liability concepts related to the dangerous patient, consent and release of information, social and community responses to mental illness and substance abuse disorders and current policy and regulatory developments in the field, Richard said.

In conjunction with the American Health Lawyers Association’s Behavioral Health Task Force of which she is Vice Chair, Richard plans to bring in speakers from across the state and give the class better exposure to the subject matter, to the larger context of the healthcare industry and to people who work in the field, she said.

This class follows Richard’s Fall course which was a survey and introductory course to Health Law.

Attorney joins Vatterott College Program Advisory Board

Gretchen M. Latham’s practice focuses on representing creditors in foreclosure, bankruptcy, collection and replevin cases.

Gretchen M. Latham’s practice focuses on representing creditors in foreclosure, bankruptcy, collection and replevin cases.

Phillips Murrah Attorney Gretchen M. Latham will join the Vatterott College (OKC Campus) Program Advisory Board for Business and Paralegal Studies on Feb. 23.

Latham’s duties will require her input on requirements for the Paralegal Studies Program so future graduates are assured success upon entering the legal field.

Attorney appointed adjunct professor of OCU School of Law

Rodney L. Cook is experienced in all areas of tort litigation with special emphasis in the practice areas of product liability, warranty, insurance and fraternity law.

Rodney L. Cook is experienced in all areas of tort litigation with special emphasis in the practice areas of product liability, warranty, insurance and fraternity law.

Phillips Murrah Attorney Rodney L. Cook has been appointed as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law where he will be teaching Pretrial Litigation this semester.

He continues to serve as an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law where he has taught Civil Pretrial Litigation for ten years.

 

Phillips Murrah names four new Directors and Shareholders

Directors Melissa R. Gardner, Clayton D. Ketter, Patrick L. Hullum, and Bobby Dolatabadi.

Directors Melissa R. Gardner, Clayton D. Ketter, Patrick L. Hullum, and Bobby Dolatabadi.

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that we have expanded our group of Directors from 31 to 35, promoting Attorneys Bobby Dolatabadi, Melissa R. Gardner, Patrick L. Hullum, and Clayton D. Ketter to Shareholders.

Dolatabadi an experienced real estate attorney who represents his clients in a multitude of real estate transactions including acquisitions, divestitures, leasing, development and land-use.

Gardner represents both privately-owned and public companies in a wide variety of oil and gas matters, with a strong emphasis on oil and gas title examination.

Hullum a litigation attorney who represents individuals and public and private companies in a wide range of complex litigation matters and specializes in business litigation.

Ketter is a litigator whose practice involves a wide range of business litigation in both federal and state court, including extensive experience in financial restructurings and bankruptcy matters.

Phillips Murrah elects new member to Executive Committee

Dawn M. Rahme represents individuals and businesses in an array of transactional matters. The focus of her practice is assisting corporations, partnerships and individuals in general tax planning.

Dawn M. Rahme represents individuals and businesses in an array of transactional matters.

The Phillips Murrah Board of Directors has elected Director Dawn M. Rahme to the Firm’s Executive Committee.

Rahme previously served as a Practice Group Leader for the Firm’s Transactional Practice Group.

Rahme represents individuals and businesses in an array of transactional matters focusing on assisting corporations, partnerships and individuals in general tax planning.

Phillips Murrah appoints Director as new Practice Group Leader

Josh_Edwards copy

Joshua L. Edwards is a corporate attorney who represents clients in a broad range of commercial transactions.

Phillips Murrah Director Joshua L. Edwards has been named as the Practice Group Leader of the Firm’s Transactional Practice Group.

Edwards is a corporate attorney who represents clients in a broad range of commercial transactions, including private securities offerings and venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, and commercial finance.

Edwards joins Director Lyndon W. Whitmire, who is the Litigation Practice Group Leader.

Phillips Murrah recognized as a Top Workplace by The Oklahoman

Top Workplaces finalOn Sunday, The Oklahoman Newspaper published their annual list of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces. Phillips Murrah takes pride in our healthy, positive workplace, and the Firm is honored to be on the 2015 list.

“We are excited to be recognized as having one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces,” said Phillips Murrah President and Managing Partner, Tom Wolfe. “We do a lot of serious, complex work at our Firm, and we strive to make sure to provide a positive, balanced atmosphere for our attorneys and staff.”

Phillips Murrah is the only Law Firm on the Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces list.

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

NEWSOK: HOW THE TOP WORKPLACES WERE DETERMINED

This is excerpted from an article written by Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics:

To create the 2015 Top Workplaces list, The Oklahoman partnered with Philadelphia-based WorkplaceDynamics, a research firm that specializes in employee surveys and workplace improvement.

Read more about the methodology here. Below is a quick rundown of how surveys were presented:
Top Workplaces paper

The employee survey included 22 questions measuring seven different factors. Three My Job factors measured how employees feel about their day-to-day job:

My Work: training, work/life balance

My Manager: cares about concerns, helps employees to learn and grow

My Pay & Benefits: Three OrgHealth factors measured whether or not employees are working together toward a common goal:

Direction: where the company is headed, its values, and its leaders

Execution: how the company will get to where it wants to go

Connection: feeling appreciated and work is meaningful

Lastly, the survey measures Engagement, which includes retention, motivation, and referral.

rowing pic from Top Workplaces

From The Oklahoman 2015 Top Workplaces special section published Dec. 6, 2015. (from left:) Marketing Director Dave Rhea, Legal Secretary Deena Baker, Billing Specialist Monica Ball, Director Jennifer L. Miller and Director Jason Kreth compete in the Corporate Regatta at the Oklahoma Regatta Festival on Oct. 2, 2015.

Firm hosts annual Christmas Party

Phillips Murrah welcomes attorney to litigation team

Kayce L. Gisinger is a litigation attorney with extensive trial experience, which began at the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office where she tried over 100 jury trials.

Kayce L. Gisinger is a litigation attorney with extensive trial experience, which began at the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office where she tried over 100 jury trials.

Kayce L. Gisinger has joined Phillips Murrah’s Litigation Practice Group as an of counsel attorney.

In her role with the firm, Gisinger defends clients in cases involving product liability, auto and trucking negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, employment law and general negligence.

Prior to joining the firm, Gisinger worked at Abowitz Timberlake & Dahnke. She has tried over 100 jury trials and has been a frequent speaker for more than 20 years on the topics of trial techniques and tactics.