Firm selects September Employee of the Month

David Carter

David Carter, Lead Office Clerk, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for September 2016.

“It is an honor to be selected by my co-workers for this award, thank you,” he said. “The work atmosphere here while oft times busy is also team oriented with staff volunteering to assist one another with rush assignments.

“The Firm’s directors are beyond generous with the many perks given throughout the year. I’m blessed and grateful for the opportunity and experience of being an employee here at Phillips Murrah.”

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

“It’s no surprise David was chosen by his peers as Employee of the Month because he more than deserves the recognition,” Firm President Thomas G. Wolfe said. “He is a thoughtful, integral part of the Phillips Murrah family.”


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.

Two Phillips Murrah Directors given Super Lawyers top honors

Fred A. Leibrock and Shannon K. Emmons

Fred A. Leibrock and Shannon K. Emmons

We are proud to announce Directors Fred A. Leibrock and Shannon K. Emmons were selected for top honors in the 2016 Oklahoma Super Lawyers listing.

Leibrock is named to the Top 50 attorneys in the state, and Emmons is selected as one of the Top 25 Women in the 2016 Oklahoma Super Lawyers rankings.

Click here to see the other Phillips Murrah attorneys named as Super Lawyers this year.

Phillips Murrah attorneys selected as 2016 Super Lawyers

Phillips Murrah P.C._Logo_Color_emblemEighteen Phillips Murrah Attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 edition of Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers for their excellence in their respective practice areas. Four attorneys of them under the age of 40 were recognized as Rising Stars.

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

The following Phillips Murrah attorneys are included in 2016’s Super Lawyers:

The following Phillips Murrah attorneys are included in 2016’s Oklahoma Rising Stars:

Director Jim Roth presents for Sierra Club

Director Jim Roth presenting at the Solar Summit for Sierra Club.

Director Jim Roth presenting at the Solar Summit for Sierra Club.

Jim Roth, Director and Chair of Phillips Murrah’s Clean Energy Practice Group, presented at the Solar Summit for the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club on Saturday at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City’s Student Center.

“Jim Roth’s former role as a Corporation Commissioner and his current work on cases involving the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, along with his intelligence and his consummate people-skills, make him a perfect fit for helping to educate Oklahomans about the truth regarding solar energy,” said Johnson Bridgwater, Director of the Oklahoma Chapter of Sierra Club.

The summit is a non-partisan, public event aimed at developing discussion to help move Oklahoma from its current position at the bottom of solar-producing states to fulfill its projected capacity of becoming 6th in the nation in solar energy production, Bridgwater said.

“The summit was a great opportunity for Oklahomans to learn about our state’s native solar potential, the ability for citizens to take advantage of this free fuel source and what the energy future looks like,” Roth said.

Learn more about the Oklahoma Chapter of Sierra Club here.

Law & Oarder Rowing Team win at Regatta Festival

Phillips Murrah welcomes two new attorneys

hah-web-cutout

Attorney Hilary A. Hudson

Phillips Murrah is proud to welcome Hilary A. Hudson and Kendra M. Norman to our Firm.

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

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

Kendra M. Norman

Attorney Kendra M. Norman

Norman has joined Phillips Murrah’s Transactional Practice Group as an associate attorney.

She represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of transactional matters.

Norman and Hudson are recent graduates of the University of Oklahoma School of Law.

Firm selects August Employee of the Month

Monica Ball

Monica Ball

Monica Ball, Accounting, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for August 2016.

“I am humbled and thrilled to receive this recognition from my peers,” she said. “Thank you all for making this such a great place to work for the past 12 years.”

“Monica is a valued member of the Accounting Department and her contributions help to make the Firm run efficiently,” Controller Stephanie Oseland said. “She is a hardworking and positive person, and it is a pleasure to work with her. She deserves this honor.”

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.

Attorneys present at PLICO Healthcare Summit

Mary Holloway Richard

Mary Holloway Richard, Renee M. Brown, and Candace Williams Lisle at the PLICO EXPLORE Healthcare Summit on August 11, 2016.

Phillips Murrah attorneys Mary Holloway Richard and Candace Williams Lisle spoke on audits in the health care industry at the PLICO EXPLORE Healthcare Summit in Norman, OK on August 11.

They presented “Driving Success: Using Internal and Payor Audits to your Benefit” with Renee M. Brown, CMIS, ACS-EM, CHA and covered:

  • regulatory reviews
  • federal health care (Medicare) contractors and oversight
  • appeals
  • external audits
  • False Claims Act
  • Medicaid
  • compliance plans, and
  • commercial payors.

For more information about the PLICO EXPLORE Healthcare Summit, click here.

Journal Record names three attorneys Woman of the Year

woty-web-logo-2016The Journal Record will honor Phillips Murrah directors Sally A. Hasenfratz, Dawn M. Rahme, and attorney Mary Holloway Richard as those named on the 2016 Fifty Making A Difference list.

Judge Jane P. Wiseman will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Journal Record Woman of the Year gala set for Nov. 2 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

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

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

Phillips Murrah announces 35 attorneys named to 2017 Best Lawyers list

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that 35 of our attorneys have been named to the 2017 Best Lawyers® list and seven of our attorneys are recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 in Oklahoma City.

The Best Lawyers in America 2017

Douglas A. Branch – Venture Capital Law

Michael D. Carter – Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Shannon K. Emmons – Employment Law – Individuals

Sally A. Hasenfratz – Construction Law

Fred A. Leibrock – Litigation – Antitrust

G. Calvin Sharpe – Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants

Thomas G. Wolfe – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

2017 Best Lawyers

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

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

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

Michael D. Carter – Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Bobby Dolatabadi – Mergers and Acquisitions Law

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

Nicholle Jones Edwards – Family Law

Stephen W. Elliott – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Bankruptcy

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

Juston R. Givens – Commercial Litigation

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

John D. Hastie – Litigation – Real Estate; Real Estate Law

Terry L. Hawkins – Public Finance Law

Heather L. Hintz – Commercial Litigation

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

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

Candace Williams Lisle – Commercial Litigation

Mark Lovelace – Banking and Finance Law; Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)

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

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

Jennifer L. Miller – Commercial Litigation

Cindy H. Murray – Real Estate Law

Robert O. O’Bannon – Tax Law

Martin G. Ozinga – Commercial Litigation

Donald A. Pape – Banking and Finance Law

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

William S. Price – Government Relations Practice

Dawn M. Rahme – Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates

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

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

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

Ellen K. Spiropoulos – Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates

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

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

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

Phillips Murrah sponsors Oklahoma Lawyers for Children Tennis Tournament

OLFC-Logo-Main-680x363Phillips Murrah is sponsoring this weekend’s Oklahoma Lawyers for Children David A. Kline Tennis Tournament, continuing a tradition of supporting the organization and honoring the father of one of the Firm’s Directors.

“Tsinena Bruno-Thompson is one of my very favorite people, and she has done a tremendous job as President/CEO of the Oklahoma Lawyers for Children generally and, specifically, with regard to their annual tennis tournaments,” Director Timothy D. Kline said. “My father, David A. Kline, was also exceedingly fond of Tsinena, and our family is very appreciative that his name has been associated with the OLFC’s tennis tournaments.  Additionally, we appreciate Phillips Murrah’s sponsorship of the children’s tournament for the benefit of young people in our community.”

The Firm’s attorneys have a history of representing children in the organization.

“My representation of many children over the years has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career,” Director Fred A. Leibrock said. “I believe that I have made a significant difference in many children’s lives, especially those who at the end of their case were adopted by loving families.

“The juvenile justice system is replete of many good and hardworking people.  However, they are overworked and as a result the system can be stacked against the kids.  Lawyers for Children provides volunteer lawyers with a great opportunity to level the playing field by providing an advocate’s voice to a child who really needs that voice.  So much of what we do in the practice of law is mundane, but nothing I have ever done in a Lawyers for Children case has been ordinary or routine.”

The reward for attorneys helping Oklahoma Lawyers for Children can come with its own personal reward.

PM attorney Rodney L. Cook to speak at Juvenile Justice Center

“I enjoyed the experience of helping children who needed representation in a difficult situation,” Attorney Rodney L. Cook said. “It was a privilege to use my legal skills to assist these children.  My representation of these juvenile clients allowed me to get to know them and their situations.  I was glad to be able to make their lives better by simply giving my time to help them get to a better family environment.”

Cook was given the opportunity to present at a seminar Oklahoma Lawyers for Children will hold on Aug. 16 at the Juvenile Justice Center

“I have been asked to discuss how to most favorably present clients at trial who have deficiencies,” Cook said. “Usually children are in the DHS/Court/Foster Children program because their parents have abused them or neglected them.  If the parents refuse to relinquish their parental rights, a trial occurs where the state seeks to terminate their rights.

“Public Defenders and contract lawyers are appointed or retained to defend the parents and represent them at trial.  These lawyers have a difficult time presenting their clients in the most favorable light as possible considering the parents’ many deficiencies.  I have been asked to talk to these lawyers about how I prepare and present my civil defense clients for trial testimony who have problems with their testimony, company documents or other deficiencies.  Perhaps some of the procedures and tactics that I employ in my preparation of such witnesses can help these attorneys in the preparation of their parent clients. ”

Cook will present on Tuesday at 9:30 AM at Judge Lisa T. Davis’ courtroom at the Juvenile Justice Center in Oklahoma City.


Video via www.olfc.org

Firm selects July Employee of the Month

Stacye Snow, accounts payable specialist, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for July 2016.

“Coming up on 19 years with Phillips Murrah, what else is there really left to say: a great place with great people, and I truly appreciate the recognition from my co-workers,” she said. “Thank you all so much.”

“I’m thrilled that Stacye was chosen as this month’s Employee of the Month,” Controller Stephanie Oseland said. “In her 19 years at the firm, she has proven herself as a loyal, dependable and diligent asset to the Firm.

“It is a true pleasure to be able to work with her.”

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.

Workouts a good option: Companies in financial hardship have alternative to bankruptcy

This article was published in OIPA Wellhead, a publication produced by Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and distributed to its membership.

Phillips Murrah Directors Elizabeth K. Brown, Stephen W. Elliott, and Melvin R. McVay, Jr. present at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association Annual Meeting.

Phillips Murrah Directors Elizabeth K. Brown, Stephen W. Elliott, and Melvin R. McVay, Jr. present at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association Annual Meeting.

OIPA board member Elizabeth Kemp Brown and her fellow attorneys from Phillips Murrah PC presented a panel at the Annual Meeting discussing workouts and bankruptcies in the oil and natural gas industry.

Phillips Murrah’s Melvin McVay, Stephen Elliott and Clayton Ketter joined Brown, who is also CEO of E&P company The Gloria Corporation, on the panel.

Bankruptcies in the oil and natural gas industry more than quadrupled from 2014 to 2015, totaling almost $35 billion.

Bankruptcy is usually not the best choice for a company facing financial trouble, Ketter said.

“Before jumping into that you want to see if you can do an out-of-court workout,” he said.

Bankruptcy is the last resort for both borrowers and lenders, McVay said.

A consensual workout agreement is an agreement between parties to renegotiate the loan and stay away from bankruptcy. Workout measures can include extending the term of a loan, extending payments, or partial payments.

A workout allows the parties to have much more control, McVay said, and avoids public scrutiny and the stigma that is attached to bankruptcy.

“You file bankruptcy, and everything about your company is an open book,” McVay said. “The good, the bad and the ugly.”

He urged business owners to be proactive if the company is entering hard times.

Elliott said recent cases have seen a change to how bankruptcies have worked.

“Historically, secured creditors come in and assert their positions and everybody below them gets nothing,” he said. “That’s not what’s happening. What they’re generally doing is restructuring their debt, cutting in existing equity and leaving trade participants and trade creditors pretty much alone.

“It seems to be a realization that they can maximize value by keeping the industry participants and the relationships with them intact.”

Ketter said of the around 35 oil and natural gas bankruptcies that have been filed this year, few were filed in Oklahoma, even if the company was Oklahoma-based.

“You would think, a company that is headquartered in Oklahoma, has a lot of creditors in Oklahoma or even Texas, how is it that they can go to Delaware or the southern district of New York and file?” Ketter said. “The venue requirements under the bankruptcy code are pretty broad. They allow you to be creative in where you end up filing.”

The biggest cases tend to hire national counsel, Elliott said, and they practice more frequently in Delaware and New York and Texas than they do in Oklahoma.

“I think there’s also a perception that the courts in Delaware and New York may be more sophisticated,” Elliott said. “I personally don’t buy that. And if any of you were involved in the SEM Group case, you received decisions out of the Delaware judge that I don’t think were very compatible with your view of the world. So I think home filing would probably be a lot better for some of these folks than they realize.”

Brown said when dealing with a company that is having financial difficulties, reviewing existing contracts is vital.

“Make sure you have your ducks in a row,” she said. “Review back over those agreements … If you’ve done an acquisition, you need to make sure you have your assignments in hand, and you need to make sure those assignments have been actually executed and recorded.”  Take steps like making sure any liens are filed, and any other documents signed and recorded, so you understand your position, she said.  Brown said when providing services or products to a company with financial problems, options are to get a deposit, get a pre-payment or personal guarantee from the owner before providing additional products and services.

“It’s a good idea to evaluate where you are and then try to make sure that you’ve got your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed, and you’ll be in a much better position to be paid if the company ends up going into bankruptcy,” she said.

Firm employees welcome Westbrook after contract negotiations

syo chk

Stephanie Oseland, Accounting Controller, is pictured smiling in the crowd just behind Russell Westbrook at his conference. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

IMG_8416

Rae White, Lisa McAlister, and Michelle Munda get a good spot to better see Russell Westbrook as he arrives.

Russell Westbrook made an appearance at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Aug. 4 to celebrate the extension of his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder and to celebrate what Mayor Mick Cornett proclaimed Russell Westbrook Day.

Representatives from the Thunder put out a call to the public letting them know he would be at the arena to greet fans.

Although hot out, a group of Phillips Murrah employees made their way to join the crowd outside of the arena and waited to welcome him before he participated in a press conference.

Read more about the event and Westbrook’s contract renegotiation and see more pictures at NewsOK.com

Upon arriving, Westbrook took a moment to thank everyone who showed up for showing their support.

Watch a brief video of Westbrook addressing his fans below:

Phillips Murrah attorneys author update to commercial lending law reference book

IMG_8390

The two volumes “Commercial Lending Law, Second Edition: A Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Guide to U.S. and Canadian Law” updated by Phillips Murrah attorneys pictured next to the previous edition.

A group of Phillips Murrah attorneys contributed to updating and creating a new edition of “Commercial Lending Law, Second Edition: A Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Guide to U.S. and Canadian Law,” published by the American Bar Association.

The book is meant to be a resource for attorneys who help clients across different jurisdictions.

“A lot of the law impacting commercial lending varies from state to state, sometimes significantly,” said J. Mark Lovelace, Phillips Murrah Director. “The two volumes have separate chapters on local law and practice recommendations for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, plus a chapter for Quebec and a combined chapter for the other Canadian provinces.

Each chapter follows the same format, he said. Most attorneys who represent commercial lenders will at least occasionally deal with the laws of other jurisdictions.

“This guide will provide an excellent first place to start,” Lovelace said. “It doesn’t take the place of consulting an attorney in that other jurisdiction, but the book provides helpful initial answers and should give the attorney a good idea of the local issues to be considered.”

Phillips Murrah’s attorneys were provided a template developed by Brian Hulse, with the Davis Write Tremaine Firm in Seattle, along with the other original editors of the book to update it for the new edition.

“The 2016 book expanded significantly on the original 2009 edition, and that was the first time we worked with Brian,” Lovelace said. “Josh Edwards and I also worked with Brian on a separate book published by the ABA in 2013 called The Law of Guaranties, A Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Guide to U.S. and Canadian Law.  He has been a tremendous resource and working partner for us.”

The 2016 update on commercial lending law captures changes in relevant law and practice in Oklahoma, but more significantly covers numerous additional issues that the editors wanted to cover this time around, he said.

“The 2009 chapter was our base, and Monica Ybarra provided research and a first draft on most of the new areas to be covered in the update,” Lovelace said. “John Hastie had contributed significant portions to the 2009 chapter, particularly on real estate lending and foreclosure law, and these required a relatively minor amount of updating.

“I wrote and edited a number of sections, but Josh served as the primary editor of our 2016 chapter, with assistance from Erica Halley, and it’s more than fair to say he brought it all together.”

As a result, the new edition had contributions from attorneys at Phillips Murrah with experience ranging from one year to almost 50 years in practice, he said.

For more information on “Commercial Lending Law, Second Edition: A Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Guide to U.S. and Canadian Law” and how to purchase it, click here.

Phillips Murrah Director named as Secretary of Positive Tomorrows

Nicholle Jones Edwards’ practice focuses on family law, labor law and general civil litigation. Her family law practice includes litigation, complex custody issues and valuation issues.

Phillips Murrah Director Nicholle Jones Edwards was appointed Secretary of Positive Tomorrows, an organization aimed at helping homeless children in Oklahoma, on July 1.

“Positive Tomorrows is my favorite charity and non-profit organization,” Edwards said. “As the only elementary school designated for homeless children in Oklahoma, it serves as a safe harbor for kids who struggle to have any normalcy or consistency.”

Edwards also currently serves at the Board Governance Chair hoping to further the organization’s mission.

“These are kids who may not see a meal until the one they receive the next day at school, may not have any clothing except that on their bodies the day they enroll at Positive Tomorrows, and who don’t know the quiet respite of the same bed each night,” she said. “Simply stated, this place is their sanctuary.

“All of this is part of the overall mission, of which the primary focus is for the Positive Tomorrows kiddos to receive a top-notch education.”

Learn more about Positive Tomorrows and how you can get involved here.

Firm selects June Employee of the Month

Pat Murano

Legal Secretary Pat Murano is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for June 2016.

“Phillips Murrah really is like a big family – we all look out for one another and help when we can,” Murano said. “This year the firm greatly improved the look of our work environment with beautiful artwork and updates.”

“Pat not only excels in her work, but she is also a thoughtful coworker,” Phillips Murrah Director Dawn Rahme said. “She’s been a great asset to the 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.


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 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.