Firm hosts welcoming party for incoming summer law clerks

Firm supports Big Brothers Big Sisters 2017 Bowl for Kids’ Sake campaign

Firm selects March Employee of the Month

Rae White

Rae White, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for March 2017.

“I am blessed to work with such wonderful people, and I love my PM family,” White said. “This past year has really shown me how lucky I am to be a part this Firm.”

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

“Rae is an experienced and exceptionally talented legal assistant who is always upbeat and positive,” Director Fred A. Leibrock said. “She is a great contributor to the success of the Firm, and we are very lucky and pleased to have her as a member of the team.

“She is most deserving of being the Firm’s Employee of the Month.”

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.

Phillips Murrah Insurance Defense Attorney discusses commercial trucking and e-discovery issues in AM Best Webinar

Kayce L. Gisinger is a litigation attorney at Phillips Murrah with extensive trial experience, which includes the defense of cases involving product liability, auto and trucking negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, employment law and general negligence.

Phillips Murrah Of Counsel Attorney, Kayce L. Gisinger, participated on Wednesday in a webcast panel discussion of insurance and claims experts, sponsored by A.M. Best, a global credit rating agency, data provider and news publisher that focuses on the insurance industry.

Titled “Pileup in Commercial Auto,” the webinar focused on the subject of difficulties in the highly competitive commercial automobile claims market. Subjects discussed were factors driving litigation and losses, how companies’ underwriting is changing, and how ride-hailing services and autonomous vehicles are poised to change the sector.

“It’s a great opportunity for those in the commercial auto industry to stay current on the critical issues they are facing in litigation today and learn proactive solutions,” Gisinger said. “The format allows for the analysis of questions and concerns claim’s handlers are dealing with on a daily basis.”

From a legal defense perspective, regarding how new, on-board vehicle technology is changing the transportation industry, Gisinger said:

“One of the immediate effects is going to be an increase in electronic discovery, which is becoming more invasive all the time from the defense standpoint. The downside of technology in terms of commercial vehicles is the expectation that all vehicles should be fully equipped and it opens us up more to electronic discovery. Plaintiffs’ counsel are demanding wholesale access to our clients’ and our carriers’ computer systems. I see that now with discovery disputes that are going on, and I’m sure it’s going to become more and more common as more technology is placed inside these vehicles.

Technology is used to increase the safety factor and also to monitor the drivers, which documents and makes more available evidence that can be used against us. The trend under the new requirements for commercial carriers, as well as the safety measures that companies are implementing, is really opening up the scope of discovery. It is also widening the issues that plaintiffs’ experts are talking about in terms of what’s available to us and why are we are not using it; the implication being that we don’t want to document it because we want to hide our practices and what our drivers are doing.”

The full informative discussion is now available in the A.M. Best webinars archives. The website is free, but registration is required through the A.M. Best website member center.

Other panelists include Nathan Edmonds, Senior Partner at Secrest Wardle; Mark Vanneste, Partner at Secrest Wardle; and Andrew Gibbs, Partner at Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C.

Phillips Murrah is endorsed by A.M. Best as a Client Recommended Firm.

Jim Roth talks about Pres. Trump’s Energy Executive Order on Oklahoma News Report

On Friday, Phillips Murrah Director and Chair of the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice Group, Jim Roth, appeared on the television show Oklahoma News Report on OETA.

Roth spoke with reporter Bob Sands about President Trump’s energy-related executive order that initiates a review of former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.

According to the ONR report, Oklahoma public utilities are moving forward on new renewable energy projects despite the President Trump’s order.

“Market dynamics are going to dictate the outcome, not political will,” Roth said on the news program. “We’re at a point, thankfully, in American ingenuity that renewable technologies have improved to point to where they are often the cheapest form of energy.”

From Oklahoma News Report:

The president’s executive order to the EPA to rewrite the Clean Power Plan doesn’t mean much according to Oklahoma utilities and energy experts. OG&E says it is on target already to meet the plans requirements and is now planning a new solar facility. Energy experts say renewables have already replaced coal in the amount of electricity being generated in Oklahoma. This story aired on the ONR on OETA-The Oklahoma Network. For more information, go to the ONR web site For more about OETA-The Oklahoma Network, visit

Click on the video player below to view an edited video featuring Roth’s segments on the news program:




To see the full ONR news segment as it was broadcast on OETA, click here:

Director Jim Roth sourced in article about proposed task force to examine Oklahoma’s Corporation Commission

Jim A. Roth, Phillips Murrah

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

Jim Roth, Phillips Murrah Director and Chair of the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice, was quoted in a Journal Record article by Sarah Terry-Cobo regarding a House Bill that seeks to create an 11-member task force to examine Oklahoma’s Corporation Commission is structure and funding.

Read Roth’s comments from the article below:

OKLAHOMA CITY –  Utilities, drillers, and telecommunications companies could have an opportunity to scrutinize one of their regulators.

State Rep. Weldon Watson said it’s time to take a closer look at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and give those directly affected by the agency a chance to suggest changes. But at least one industry trade group representative questioned the timing and the need to dig into the agency.

Jim Roth, clean energy practice group director at Phillips Murrah, said reviewing the agency is an excellent idea.

“This is overdue,” he said. “Does the agency have all it needs structurally to function in the modern era?”

The agency and its staff of about 400 do an incredible job for very little money, Roth said. Often, some of the best employees are hired by the industries they regulate, he said.

Roth was a commissioner, serving from 2007 to 2010. He said he assumes the bill was brought with the best intentions to help the agency and the state get it right.

However, the proposed task force should be broader, he said.

“I don’t see one member of the task force without a conflict to the industry,” Roth said. “It’s important that Oklahomans not employed by these companies should have a voice.”

Read the full article at the Journal Record.

Director commemorates 20 years of service for Positive Tomorrows

Nikki Edwards and Julie McDaniel

Twenty years ago, when Phillips Murrah Director Nikki Jones Edwards first set foot on the Positive Tomorrows campus, she was hooked. Two decades later, she’s still going strong and is now one of the organization’s biggest advocates.

“In law school, I thought I would graduate and work for the ACLU, or some other grassroots community organization, using my law degree to help the less fortunate or underserved in some way,” said Nikki, Chair of the Firm’s Family Law Practice Group. “Although I entered private practice, I still wanted to find ways to serve or advocate for the marginalized people in our community.” A friend introduced Nikki to Positive Tomorrows, and she was off and running.

Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma’s only elementary school that serves homeless children. The school provides a unique blend of educational and social services to homeless children and families in hopes of providing quality education despite the unstable circumstances that homelessness can create.

In 1997, Nikki began volunteering at the school. At first, she tried to pace herself, coming into the school every month to read to the kindergarten classes. But it wasn’t long before she became a very familiar face around campus, eventually making weekly trips to the school to read. “It was the best part of my week,” she said.

NIkki Edwards, Nedra Funk, and Chris Batson Deason

Her drive and passion for the Positive Tomorrows mission did not go unnoticed. Nikki was invited to sit on the Board of Directors and she jumped at the opportunity. “I served on the Board for several years until my son, Sam, was born. I resigned from the Board to focus on Sam, but continued to support the organization through financial and in-kind donations and attending Positive Tomorrows-sponsored events.”

“During the next few years, while she wasn’t on the board, she was definitely a friend of Positive Tomorrows,” said Susan Agel, Principal and President of the Board. “We heard from her regularly and she was always available to give advice and assist in other areas. I was saddened when she resigned from the board, but I knew she had made the right decision. I resolved to wait until she was ready and invited her back again.”

When Nikki rejoined the board two years ago, she also brought the Phillips Murrah family along with her.

“Phillips Murrah not only supports my efforts at Positive Tomorrows, but the Firm and our employees have become partners to the organization as well. Some of our attorneys volunteer at the school, and the Firm contributes to various projects throughout the year,” Nikki said.

Her dedication to this at-risk population is changing lives. “We work with a very difficult population with every strike against them,” said Agel. “Our lasting legacy is to introduce a different life to children who are growing up in very difficult circumstances.”

Nikki attributes her motivation to serve to her upbringing, giving credit to her mother, Rita.

“My mom, who was one of my biggest role models, was a psychotherapist and she dedicated countless hours to volunteering and training volunteers in the area of domestic violence abuse prevention,” she said.

Nikki uses her mother’s example as a template to tackle a different community problem—homelessness. Applying the same tenacity and commitment as her mother, Nikki has been an advocate, supporter and friend to Positive Tomorrows for two decades. “Homelessness can be never-ending. It has the potential to be a vicious cycle, repeated by these kids because they emulate their parents’ actions,” she said, adding that Positive Tomorrows is part of the solution.

Kindergarten students working dress up for Dr. Seuss Day in a classroom at Positive Tomorrows.

“A professor once told me that education is the lone equalizer, and I could not agree more,” she said. “These children know that Positive Tomorrows is a safe, nurturing and calming place where they can actually learn. Public schools simply cannot provide the same holistic environment of family services and education. Public schools aren’t equipped to handle a child who is falling asleep in class because she was awake all night at the homeless shelter or was displaced in the middle of the night because her family was kicked out of a relative’s home.”

Research has shown that working with homeless children in this kind of environment can have a long-term impact on the success of a child and his or her family, Agel said. “We want children to feel a sense of control over their destiny and that’s one thing that is often lacking for people in poverty,” she said.

In addition to assisting homeless families and educating homeless children, Agel said, “Our role is to help teach the general public about poverty, in general, and homelessness in particular.”

Recently, Positive Tomorrows launched a fundraising campaign to expand the reach of their message and allow the school to provide services to more children.

“We are in the beginning stages of implementing a capital campaign to raise $10.2 million, which would allow us to double our capacity from 74 to 140 students,” Agel said. “So far this school year, we have turned away 88 students due to a lack of space and resources.”

“The new school will have space for a special education classroom and designated space for music and art, as well as a gym for PE classes. The new building will also include a severe weather safe room, which we currently do not have,” she said.

The organization plans to build the school on the NorthCare campus in Oklahoma City.

“The campus is shaping up to be a center for family and child social-emotional health, and we expect some strong programs to develop out of that partnership,” Agel said. “We’re also hearing that other nonprofits are exploring the location and we’re excited about these possibilities for future partnerships.”

Although Nikki’s commitment to Positive Tomorrows spans two decades, she’s already looking forward to the next twenty years. “I’m excited to see what’s in store for our next phase. Our capital campaign is underway, and I have no doubt that our community will rally to support Positive Tomorrows as it has done for many years.”

To learn ways to get involved with Positive Tomorrows, please visit their website here.

Mary Holloway Richard sourced in article investigating hospital merger

Mary Holloway 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 Holloway Richard, Phillips Murrah Of Counsel Attorney and leader of the Firm’s Health Care Practice, was quoted in a Journal Record article by Sarah Terry-Cobo regarding an attempted merger by OU Medical System and how best to financially achieve that mission.

Read Richard’s comments from the article below:

OKLAHOMA CITY – When it comes to complicated relationships, sometimes it just takes the right partner. After a failed hospital merger was announced Monday, OU Medical System could still find its better half.

But making that match probably won’t be easy, said industry observers. Health care attorney Mary Holloway Richard said a potential partner needs the business expertise as well as the financial backing to purchase a large teaching hospital.

Richard said teaching hospitals have historically had higher costs than non-academic hospitals.

A potential partner has to evaluate the economic feasibility, regardless of whether parties are considering an outright acquisition or a joint venture, she said.

“Will it fit in with your overall business model?” Richard said. “(A teaching hospital) is a complex system, so how you incorporate that complex system into an existing system requires mastery of both the business model and the financial feasibility, as well as recognition of the compliance issues at play.”

Read the full article at the Journal Record.

Attorneys Hilary Hudson, Kendra Norman inducted into Order of the Coif

Kendra M. Norman and Hilary A. Hudson after being inducted into Order of the Coif.

Phillips Murrah Attorneys Hilary A. Hudson and Kendra M. Norman were inducted into the Order of the Coif at the University of Oklahoma College of Law’s Order of the Owl Dinner on March 6 at the Oklahoma Memorial Union.

“I’m very proud to be selected as a member of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Order of the Coif. It is such an honor, and I’m very excited about this achievement,” Norman said. “Being selected as a member of the Order of the Coif means always knowing that I did my best throughout law school.”

The Order of the Coif is a national law school honorary society founded to encourage scholarship and to advance the ethical standards of the profession. The Oklahoma chapter, chartered in 1925, may elect each fall from the graduating class — which includes all those graduating during the fall, spring and summer terms — those graduates who rank in the top 10 percent academically.

Each candidate elected to membership must be thought worthy of the honor in the opinion of the voting members of the Oklahoma chapter, according to the OU College of Law’s website.

“It’s a terrific honor to be inducted into The Order of the Coif,” Hudson said. “Law school was a rewarding experience, but it was also grueling.

“When you begin law school, you have no idea how your grades will turn out, so you just work as hard as you can and hope for the best. It’s great to have something like membership with The Order of the Coif to look to and remember what I accomplished. The induction is also a perfect opportunity to spend time with professors and peers and hear about the wonderful things the other inductees are accomplishing as new attorneys.”

Learn more about the Order of the Owl event here.

Firm selects February Employee of the Month

Curt Bauer

Curt Bauer, File Room Manager, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for February 2017.

“I don’t work or do any of what I do to get Employee of the Month or to get recognized. I do it because it is my job and I believe in what I do,” he said. “With that said, it is always nice to be recognized by your peers, and it helps a lot toward keeping up the daily grind.

“I love this firm’s progressive, proactive thinking, and the fact that we, as a group, always want to be better this year than we were last year. It is an honor to work here!”

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

“Curt is so very thorough and conscientious that you know you are in good hands when you ask him to do something,” Executive Director Michelle Munda said. “He’s extremely dedicated to his job and the Firm, and makes sure we know that he will do whatever is required in every situation, whether it’s something really big or really small.  We are very lucky to have him working here!”

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.

Phillips Murrah supports Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2017 campaigns

The beginning of Spring marks the beginning of Phillips Murrah’s sponsorship campaign for Big Brother Big Sister of Oklahoma’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake event.

The Firm kicked off its annual campaign with a Thunder ticket raffle, garnering $1,600 in donations, as the organization’s Taste of OKC event concluded Feb. 4.

Phillips Murrah served as a table sponsor for Taste of OKC, one of the marquee fundraising events for BBBSOK, at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center. The night was filled with great food from top restaurants in Oklahoma, a silent and a live auction, and then capped off with dancing to the music of My So Called Band.

Over 550 guests attended the event, which exceeded the goals and expectations the organization set, said Byrona J. Maule, Phillips Murrah Director and Member of the Board of Directors for BBBSOK.

“Every year the Taste of OKC gets better and better – in fact, the last two years the event has sold out,” she said. “Between being a table sponsor and auctioning items that guests of Phillips Murrah purchased, Phillips Murrah contributed over $9,000 to the success of the event – enough to make and support six matches for a year!”

BBBS is the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network striving to make meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country.

“I’ve been involved with BBBS for over 25 years, and I’ve had four matches that spanned that time,” Maule said. “The time I have spent with my Littles has been the most rewarding and challenging times in my life.

“I’ve helped these Littles learn their multiplication tables, write essays, develop artistic and musical talents, and experience things for the first time like an OU football game, a Thunder basketball game, flying, and so many other firsts.  There is no way to put a value on this time, because the time you spend with your Little is invaluable.”

For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters, click here.

Director Jim Roth to moderate Energy Roundtable discussion

Phillips Murrah Director Jim Roth will take the helm as moderator for an upcoming roundtable discussion on Oklahoma’s energy future.

Oklahoma City University School of Law will host the Energy Roundtable at 11:45 a.m. on March 9.

Steve Dixon, President and CEO of Tapstone Energy, will be the speaker for the discussion alongside panelists including Mike Teague, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment; Michael Ming, General Manager at GE Global Research Oil and Gas Technology Center; and Dana Murphy, Oklahoma Corporation Commission Chairwoman.

“With Oklahoma companies expanding their drilling budgets in Oklahoma, re-employing people and getting back to work around exciting new formations such as the SCOOP and STACK, this is an opportunity to learn what it all means and why there is reason for optimism,” said Roth, Chair of the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice Group. “Oklahoma posted its first GDP gain in four quarters, and just last week Oklahoma added more rigs than any other state in America.”

Roth began his role as OCU Law’s Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester and is co-organizer of the roundtable.

This is the first open forum on energy hosted by OCU Law. Registration is $20, and lunch is included. Register online here.

Russell Westbrook has his own room at the Hawkins’ house

Brenda Hawkins Westbrook Fan

Click the photo to see Jenni Carlson’s story about Brenda Hawkins.

Russel Westbrook has his own room at the home of Phillips Murrah Director Terry Hawkins, who leads the Firm’s Public Finance Practice.

From the story in the Sunday Oklahoman:

There’s no bigger Russ fanatic.

(Brenda Hawkins) has replicas of every jersey the Thunder superstar has worn. She has copies of dozens of magazine covers he’s graced, including one from, of all things, a rural electric cooperative. She has bobbleheads and fatheads, paintings and posters.

Standing in “The Russell Room” in her Mesta Park home, she admits her love is extreme.

This past Sunday (2/19/17), The Oklahoman ran an excellent story about Terry’s wife, Brenda, who is a avid admirer of Westbrook and collector of all kinds of Westbrook-related memorabilia.

The touching account, written by sports columnist Jenni Carlson, explains the context of Brenda’s collection and admiration of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s star player. It is a story of strength and overcoming.

Rather than stepping on the fine prose of Ms. Carlson, HERE is a link to the story. It is worth the read!


Firm selects January Employee of the Month

Sherree Williams

Sherree Williams, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for January 2017.

“I am very thankful to my co-workers for choosing me to be Employee of the Month,” she said. ” I am proud to work with wonderful people and for an amazing company.

“It is such an honor, both personally and professionally! I love working here and with my Phillips Murrah family.”

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

“She always gets the work done, regardless of the volume and does not complain about being overworked,” Attorney Gretchen M. Latham said.

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.

Phillips Murrah donates neckties for Tie Day

Journal Record journalist Molly Fleming holds ties donated by Phillips Murrah. She tweeted: "Just picked up 52 ties from our neighbors @PhillipsMurrah. Thanks, everyone! #tieday"

Journal Record journalist Molly Fleming holds ties donated by Phillips Murrah.

Attorneys at our Oklahoma law firm Phillips Murrah rallied overnight to help Journal Record reporter Molly Fleming collect neckties for Tie Day.

Our attorneys donated just over 52 ties, which Molly will bring to a couple of local elementary schools, where they will be given away along with lessons on how to properly tie them.

Molly tweeted:

 JR_MollzFlem – “Just picked up 52 ties from our neighbors @PhillipsMurrah. Thanks, everyone! #tieday”

You’re welcome!

You can find out more about Tie Day here.

Director Jim Roth teaches OCU Energy Law seminar for Spring 2017

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.

Jim Roth, Director and Chair of Phillips Murrah’s Clean Energy Practice Group, began a new role at Oklahoma City University’s School of Law last week.

“Dean Valerie Couch reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in their inaugural ‘Distinguished Practitioner in Residence’ effort for this Spring Semester,” Roth said.

Roth will teach a seminar class on Energy Law and Regulation and initiate an Energy Roundtable for the Spring 2017 semester.

“My ultimate hope is to inspire law students and young lawyers to pursue a career in the dynamic field of energy, or at least encourage them to have a deeper understanding of all the issues and cross-currents that drive energy in America and beyond,” he said.

For more information about OCU’s School of Law, click here.

Phillips Murrah announces new Director for 2017


Director John M. Bunting

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

“I’m proud to be a part of the Phillips Murrah team, and I hope to use this new position to continue helping our clients succeed,” Bunting said.

His practice covers all facets of commercial litigation and insurance coverage law, and his experience includes representing clients in complex commercial disputes involving allegations of breach of contract, negligence, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty; representing energy producers, disposal well operators, and oilfield service companies; representing owners, general contractors, and subcontractors in construction disputes; and helping business clients obtain insurance coverage.

“John is an incredibly driven and accomplished attorney, and the Firm is pleased to have named him a Director and Shareholder,” said Thomas G. Wolfe, President and Managing Partner. “Given the professionalism and dedication John brings to our clients and the Firm, we know he will have a very bright future.”

Firm selects December Employee of the Month

Caitlin Berg

Caitlin Berg, Administrative Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for December 2016.

“I am very thankful to have received this award from my co-workers,” she said. “I really enjoy the workplace and the people that work here. It’s a great place.”

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

“She has been willing to learn anything and everything that I have shown her and doesn’t back down from anything that I want or need her to do,” File Manager Curt Bauer said. “Her position takes an ability to deal with many people, and manage time efficiently. She has become a very valuable asset to not only me but the Firm as a whole in just a little over a year.”

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 Juston Givens joins Board of American Banjo Museum


Dustin Pyeatt, Development and Outreach Manager for American Banjo Museum, and Phillips Murrah Director Juston R. Givens

Phillips Murrah Director Juston R. Givens was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the American Banjo Museum.

The American Banjo Museum is a $5 million, world-class 21,000 square foot facility honoring the rich history of the banjo. The museum’s collection contains more than 400 instruments, recordings, film, video, printed music, instructional materials, ephemera and memorabilia associated with the banjo and contains the largest collection in the world of banjos on public display.

“Being a person who has a strong interest for music, specifically different styles of music that range from roots rock country to west coast rock (i.e. the Eagles) and traditional country and bluegrass, the American Banjo Museum’s all-encompassing style of banjo music was particularly appealing to me,” Givens said. “In addition, I saw an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the American Banjo Museum.

“That is very important to me as I believe the American Banjo Museum to be a significant international element in the music industry and tremendous asset for Oklahoma and Oklahoma City metro community.”

Originally located in Guthrie, Oklahoma, the museum was founded as a non-profit organization in 1998 by Midwest City attorney, Brady Hunt and Indiana industrialist, Jack Canine under its previous name, The National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame Museum. The museum is now located in downtown Oklahoma City at 9 E. Sheridan Ave.

“While I am ‘brand new’ to the Board of Directors, I see the American Banjo Museum growing into a very well-known significant international museum that not only provides extensive education in the Oklahoma City and Oklahoma communities, but also on a national basis,” Givens said.

For more information on upcoming events, or to become a member of the American Banjo Museum, visit or call at (405) 604-2793.

Phillips Murrah named a Top Workplace for second year by The Oklahoman

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-11-58-42-amPhillips Murrah is proud to announce that, for the second year in a row, our Firm is recognized as one of Oklahoma City’s Top Workplaces.

The Oklahoman newspaper published their annual list of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces on Dec. 11. The Oklahoman partnered with Philadelphia-based WorkplaceDynamics, the employee research and consulting firm, to determine the region’s Top Workplaces rankings.

Phillips Murrah takes pride in our healthy, positive workplace, and the Firm is honored to be on the 2016 list.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces for the second year in a row,” said Tom Wolfe, Phillips Murrah President and Managing Partner. “As we celebrate the Firm’s 30th Anniversary, we continue to strive to create a collegial workplace culture and foster cordiality among our colleagues.”

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

To learn more about the workplace culture and opportunities at Phillips Murrah, visit our Careers page



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

Who determines Top Workplaces? Those who know them best: the employees. The Oklahoman partnered with Philadelphia-based WorkplaceDynamics, the employee research and consulting firm, to determine the region’s Top Workplaces rankings.

Beginning in June, The Oklahoman ran articles and advertisements encouraging employees in the region to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. WorkplaceDynamics invited those companies, as well as other organizations in the region, to participate in the program.


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

The employee survey included 24 questions measuring seven different factors. These factors measured how employees feel about their day-to-day job:

  • Alignment — where the company is headed, its values, cooperation
  • Effectiveness — doing things well, sharing different viewpoints, encouraging new ideas
  • Connection — employees feel appreciated, their work is meaningful
  • My Manager — cares about concerns, helps learn and grow

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-12-00-59-pm“Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics.
In addition, the survey asks employees about other factors:

  • Employee Engagement — loyalty, motivation, and referral
  • Leader — confidence in company leadership
  • The Basics — Pay, benefits, flexibility

Statements relating to “Connection” and “Alignment” were among the most important to employees, while statements about pay and benefits rated among the least important.


Firm sponsors panel exploring civility between opposing counsel

Michael D. Carter

Michael D. Carter

An upcoming panel discussion plans to “bridge the divide” between attorneys in the courtroom.

Phillips Murrah is sponsoring “Behaving Badly is For Toddlers: Bringing Civility Back into Civil Litigation,” a Continuing Learning Education opportunity hosted Dec. 12 at the Oklahoma Bar Association.

“This CLE was established in an effort to remind both sides of the value of civility in (and out) of the courtroom,” said Christine Sterkel, Executive Director for the Oklahoma Association for Justice. “We hope that people will leave with a greater sense of compassion for one another and the work they are doing, and that they are reminded that we’re all working towards the same goal of justice for our clients.”

Phillips Murrah Attorney Michael D. Carter was recently elected to be President of the Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel, who is presenting the panel with the OAJ.

“Phillips Murrah is proud to support this effort by Oklahoma Association of Justice and Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel to improve civility in the litigation practice,” he said. “This will be a special opportunity to bring together attorneys who come from opposite sides of a sometimes combative environment and advocate for civility and professionalism.”

Click here for more information on the CLE.

Firm selects November Employee of the Month

Lisa McAlister

Paralegal Lisa McAlister is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for November 2016.

“More than being proud of working for an extraordinary company, I am proud of working with extraordinary co-workers,” she said. “I am grateful to my peers for choosing me to be Employee of the Month.

“It is such an honor, both on a personal level as well as a professional level. I truly love working with my Phillips Murrah family.”

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

“Lisa is tremendous,” Director Timothy D. Kline said. “Not only is she bright and dedicated, she is a joy to work with.

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.

Phillips Murrah paralegals complete bankruptcy certification

abja_logo_trans_5778a1_drop_expand_goldscale_lighterPhillips Murrah paralegals Lisa McAlister and Maribeth D. Mills recently completed the Association of Bankruptcy Judicial Assistants’ program to become Certified Bankruptcy Assistants.

The ABJA is a national organization formed by judicial assistants to U.S. Bankruptcy Judges who found that understanding certification in a particular field can promote and maintain professional standards.

According to ABJA’s website:

Bankruptcy law has developed into a very unique, sophisticated, and technical area of expertise. This certification program will enable secretaries/judicial assistants, paralegals and bankruptcy support staff to keep pace with new developments and will be an effective quality improvement mechanism for employers. The certification program was developed with the assistance of the Knapp Designing Certification and Accreditation Programs, associated with the American Bar Association Accreditation of Specialty Certification Programs for Lawyers, through the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Read more about the certification program here.

Director hosts presentations on workplace regulations

Byrona J. Maule is a Director and litigation attorney as well as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Labor & Employment practice group. She represents executives and companies in a wide range of business and litigation matters with a strong emphasis on employment matters.

Byrona J. Maule is a Director and litigation attorney as well as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Labor & Employment practice group. She represents executives and companies in a wide range of business and litigation matters with a strong emphasis on employment matters.

Phillips Murrah Director Byrona J. Maule gave two presentations in November, one for Cornerstone Credit Union League and the other to the Women’s Mastermind Group, regarding potential changes in labor and employment matters.

The presentations covered new wage and hour regulations regarding overtime that were slated to go into effect on December 1, 2016.

Maule gave an in-depth look at the regulations, including key components and salary basis changes it would impose as well as steps employers should take to prepare for if it went live.

“Employers should have conversations with employees who are changing from exempt to nonexempt so that the employees understand the impact of that change,” she said. “Employers should also review record keeping requirements for nonexempt employees – as these requirements are very different for nonexempt employees as opposed to exempt employees.”

Maule referenced pending lawsuits against the regulations which have since been put on pause by a national injunction by a federal court in Texas.

Phillips Murrah welcomes two new oil and gas attorneys


Molly E. Tipton

Phillips Murrah is proud to welcome Molly E. Tipton and C. Eric Davis as oil and gas attorneys.

Tipton 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.

In her practice, Molly has prepared numerous drilling, division order, and acquisition title opinions and conducted due diligence in the acquisition and divestiture of oil and gas properties.

Born and raised in Bismarck, North Dakota, Molly moved to Oklahoma on an athletic scholarship to compete on the Women’s Equestrian Team at Oklahoma State University.  Molly now lives in Oklahoma City where she enjoys running, cooking, and cheering for the Thunder, the Cowboys and the Sooners.

C. Eric Davis

C. Eric Davis

Davis represents clients in a range of regulatory and energy matters in the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice Group and the Government Relations and Compliance Practice Group.

His governmental experience includes serving as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma. Davis was also an attorney for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Eric now lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Nadine, and their son, Nathan. He enjoys music, hiking, and spending time with family.

Director’s Woman of the Year honor shared in hometown newspaper

Dawn Rahme

Dawn Rahme

Phillips Murrah Director Dawn Rahme was featured in an article in the Ponca City News noting her achievement as one of the Journal Record’s Women of the Year.

“Hard work, integrity and passion will guide me to success throughout my life,” Rahme said in the article. “Though my life has been much easier than his – thanks to him and my mother – my goal remains to follow his example in life: take pride in what I do and work hard to achieve success.”

Read more about the Woman of the Year honor given to Rahme and Phillips Murrah attorneys Sally Hasenfratz and Mary Holloway Richard here.

Firm selects October Employee of the Month

Margaret Petit

Margaret Petit, legal assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for October 2016.

“It is a real honor to have received this award from my co-workers,” she said. “Just know that I believe that I am a good ‘team player’ because every member of my team/Phillips Murrah family is a Super Star and we all excel in service/skill. Thank you all for making me look good!”

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

“Margaret is an incredibly hard worker,” Director Jason M. Kreth said. “She always goes above and beyond what’s expected of her, often times anticipating things before I even ask for them.”

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.

Team of Phillips Murrah employees participate in Race for the Cure

Phillips Murrah's Rae White, Michelle Campney, and Nanette Morris stand with two friends at Race for the Cure.

Phillips Murrah’s Rae White, Michelle Campney, Nanette Morris and her family stand at Race for the Cure.

A group of Phillips Murrah employees joined together in late October to participate in a 5K for Race for the Cure at Bicentennial Park at the Civic Center Music Hall.

“My family and I have participated in the Race for the Cure for a number of years,” Paralegal Nanette Morris said. “We have had friends, luckily not any family members, that have been affected by breast cancer and have seen how devastating the disease can be.

“Other employees of Phillips Murrah have been touched by breast cancer in a number of ways and so asking the Firm to participate was an easy decision.”

Morris, along with A. Michelle Campney, Lisa McAlister, Rae White, and their families showed their support for the cause.

“Cancer, of all kinds, has affected my friends and family and I wanted to show my support by participating,” said White.

To learn more about Race for the Cure and to find ways to donate to the cause, visit the Susan G. Komen website here.

50 Making a Difference profile: Sally Hasenfratz, J.D.

From The Journal Record / by Jessica Mitchell
Published: November 3, 2016
Click to see full story – 50 Making a Difference profile: Sally Hasenfratz, J.D.

Sally A. Hasenfratz is a Director and a member of the Firm’s Real Estate, Tax and Family Wealth and Business Succession Practice Groups.

Attorney Sally Hasenfratz said her philosophy on life is simple.

“Work hard, do the right thing and act with integrity in all areas of life,” Hasenfratz said. “My parents live this philosophy and have always been great models for ‘walking the walk.’ I try to live my life, both professionally and personally, by this simple philosophy.”

The Kingfisher native earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma before going on to obtain her master’s degree in tax at Southern Methodist University.

Hasenfratz began her legal career as an associate with McDivitt & Casey before working five years with Gooding, Mulinix & Hardin. In 1997, she joined Andrews Davis Legg Bixler Milstein & Price and was shareholder and director. She joined Phillips Murrah PC in 2001 and today serves as shareholder and director of the Oklahoma City law firm.

Her practice focuses on transactional law with specialties in real estate law, mergers and acquisitions, law related to business organizations, and estate planning. She has a wide range of experience in all phases of real estate development, including acquisitions, financing, sales, leasing and management of real estate projects. Hasenfratz has been involved in complex public-private development projects statewide, including in OKC’s Bricktown and Tulsa’s Brady Arts District.

Hasenfratz is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and American Bar Association. This year, she co-founded CREW-OKC, a local chapter of the national networking group Commercial Real Estate Women.

“I believe that professional women can bring significant capability to the commercial real estate industry if given the opportunity, and CREW will provide networking and ongoing education that will enhance those opportunities,” Hasenfratz said.

Julie Kriegel, sales associate with Wiggin Properties and co-founder of CREW-OKC Inc., describes Hasenfratz as a great team leader.

“Her ability to successfully collaborate with many different types of people sets her apart and makes her a vital part of our organization,” Kriegel said. “She has many different skill sets and is able to engage with other people to utilize their skills for the benefit of the greater goals. She is precise in her planning, and her talent to methodically work through the complex steps necessary to accomplish great things is extraordinary.”

Her work has earned Hasenfratz recognition by Super Lawyers for 10 consecutive years and by Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate for the past seven, including being chosen as Lawyer of the Year in select areas of commercial real estate for the past four years.

Hasenfratz’s community service includes serving on the board of the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund. She also is a former board member of Oklahoma City Beautiful, Ballet Oklahoma and Cimarron Alliance Foundation.

50 Making a Difference profile: Dawn Rahme, J.D.

From The Journal Record / by Jessica Mitchell
Published: November 3, 2016
Click to see full story – 50 Making a Difference profile: Dawn Rahme, J.D.

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.

Inspired by her father’s success in overcoming challenges, Dawn Rahme is driven to work her hardest in the face of adversity.

Rahme’s father, at the age of 25, moved from Lebanon to the United States. Without money, an education, employment or knowledge of the English language, his chances of success were slim. However, he overcame the odds to build a successful business through hard work, perseverance, integrity and commitment.

“Hard work, integrity and passion will guide me to success throughout my life,” Rahme said. “Though my life has been much easier than his – thanks to him and my mother – my goal remains to follow his example in life: take pride in what I do and work hard to achieve success.”

Rahme earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1998 and her juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 2001. She then went on to obtain her master of law in taxation at New York University School of Law.

She joined Phillips Murrah in 2004 and today is a shareholder and director of the Oklahoma City firm and serves on the firm’s executive committee.

She is a member of the firm’s tax, estate planning and corporate law practice groups, has been involved in several complex mergers and acquisitions, and frequently advises clients on the best structure to hold existing assets as well as effects of tax planning with limited partnerships and limited liability companies.

“I believe where Dawn truly sets herself apart from her peers is in her unique ability to evaluate complex transactions from a business perspective, in addition to the legal perspective one would expect,” said Robert O’Bannon, a director of Phillips Murrah. “Her proficiency in this arena is not due merely to her excellent analytical abilities, but because she has extensive professional experience.”

Phillips Murrah Director Thomas G. Wolfe describes Rahme as a natural leader.

“Her willingness to accept challenges and listen to input from her colleagues enables her to contribute thoughtful, well-reasoned approaches to help solve difficult problems,” Wolfe said.

Rahme’s civic involvement has included volunteering with Positive Tomorrows, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Oklahoma Family Network, Regional Food Bank and Susan G. Komen Foundation. She said she is proud of her work in co-founding Phillips Murrah’s Holiday Family project more than a decade ago.

“As lawyers, we are fortunate enough to provide for our families, but there are so many who cannot afford even the most basic necessities, let alone Christmas gifts,” she said. “It was – and still is – hard for me to imagine a child not experiencing the surprise of Christmas morning, the joy of running to the tree and finding a present waiting to be torn into.”