Law Allows Franchises to Flourish in State

By M. Scott Carter | The Journal Record
January 22, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY – With more than 11,000 franchises, 131,000 workers and an economic impact of more than $10 billion, it can pay to operate a franchise in Oklahoma.

In fact, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, five of the country’s top franchises make their home here, including Golf USA, Sonic, Express Personnel, Bonus Building Care and Camille’s Sidewalk Café.

It also helps that Oklahoma’s law are not as strict, too.

“Oklahoma is one of the states where there is less regulation,” said Beverly Vilardofsky, a director and shareholder with the Phillips Murrah law firm. “It’s a business opportunity state.”

The state’s franchise law isn’t near as strict as other states, Vilardofsky said.

“It’s aimed more at the franchiser than the franchisee,” she said.

However, even in a state with little regulation on franchises, there are certain disclosure requirements. Vilardofsky said state law requires a company selling franchises to issue a franchise disclosure document, known as an FDD, 10 days before a franchise agreement is signed.

That document, she said, spells out several things the prospective franchise owner should know before signing a contract.

“It outlines things such as what might be a typical payroll or the size of a territory,” she said. “It’s probably not going to be real, real specific, but will give you estimates instead.”

Vilardofsky said many times franchise agreements will include specific information about the location of the business and often a clause that allows the franchiser to repossess the franchise in case of a default.

“That’s a pretty standard clause across the United States,” she said. “They want to protect their goodwill.”

Other states, she said, have more stringent requirements.

“I don’t know if the lack of regulation offers more or less protection,” Vilardofsky said, “but I think it encourages more franchisers to come here.”

In addition to legal requirements, she said, many franchise applications include provisions that specify the amount of capital an owner must have and requirements for yearly payments.

“A lot of these businesses are paying a 5-, or 6- or 10-percent fee to use the franchise name,” she said, “but there are benefits such as goodwill and cooperative advertising. A lot of the success of the franchise is going to depend on the individual running that franchise.

Phillips Murrah launches immigration practice

(OKLAHOMA CITY) January 21, 2013 — Phillips Murrah P.C. (“Phillips Murrah”) announced today that Jasmine A. Majid has joined the firm to launch the firm’s immigration practice. Majid will practice from Phillips Murrah’s Oklahoma City office.

Prior to joining the firm, Majid worked in Washington, D.C. as director of agency liaison and policy analyst with federal agencies responsible for implementing immigration laws in the United States.

Majid is a recipient of the Meritorious Public Service Award from the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. Active on the national immigration policy scene, she has appeared on CNN, NBC and other media outlets to provide expert analysis of the increasingly complex issues surrounding the nation’s refugee and immigration laws.

A committed community advocate, Majid has worked to develop public projects such as successful pro bono and pro se legal and social service programs for immigrants in detention; free health care clinics for immigrant women; and protocol for handling pro bono representation for children trafficked into the U.S. and trapped in the quagmire of immigration policies and laws.

“Jasmine is a national player who understands the immigration system from the inside-out,” said Tom Wolfe, president and managing partner of Phillips Murrah. “Her diverse experience allows her to personalize the immigration debate and apply uncommon insight to the business and legal issues that challenge companies in today’s global economy.”

Born in Pakistan and raised in Enid, Oklahoma, Jasmine now resides in Edmond with her husband, Blake, and their twin children Juliette and Jorj.

ABOUT THE FIRM: Founded in 1986, Phillips Murrah has grown to become one of Oklahoma City's largest, most successful business law firms. With 70 attorneys in diverse areas of practice and the support of its affiliate lobbying group, the firm effectively solves the increasingly complex legal problems that challenge its clients.

Phillips Murrah Names Shareholders

OKLAHOMA CITY – Phillips Murrah has named Catherine L. Campbell, Jason A. Dunn, G. Calvin Sharpe and Kathryn D. Terry as shareholders. Campbell specializes in appellate practice in both state and federal courts of appeal. Dunn’s practice is primarily focused on defending clients in commercial litigation. Sharpe is a trial attorney who specializes in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury defense. Terry’s primary areas of practice are insurance coverage, labor and employment and civil rights defense. – Staff report

Lankford Opposes Carbon Tax

EDMOND — Congressman James Lankford will not support any effort to place a carbon tax on the backs of the American people, he said. A carbon tax is not a fair solution for Congress to use to pay down the national debt, Lankford told The Edmond Sun.

President Barack Obama signed a carbon tax bill in November that bars U.S. airlines from a European carbon emissions fee. Cap-and-trade legislation in 2009 came to a dead-end in the U.S. Senate after barely passing in the House. Many Republicans believe that the president will support a carbon tax in his second term.

“There are a number of descriptions for a carbon tax, none of which are mutually exclusive,” said Jim Roth, an attorney for the law firm of Phillips Murrah. A former corporation commissioner, Roth is a member of the firm’s Energy & Natural Resources practice group and is chairman of the Alternative “Green” Energy practice group. He is also president of A New Energy LLC, which consults on energy and environmental matters.

“There’s economy-wide carbon taxes where there’s a way to assess and ascertain the amount of carbon in a process or in an emission,” Roth said. “Then there’s a more specific carbon tax that is focused on a particular sector, or industries within sectors.”

A carbon tax can make those responsible for the greatest amount of pollution financially accountable, said Roth, D-Oklahoma City.

A carbon tax is a way to raise taxes without raising tax rates, Lankford said.

“It does the exact same thing; it raises the cost, and it hits especially hard those that are in poverty and senior adults that are on fixed incomes,” said Lankford, R-Edmond. Everything Americans purchase is energy related, whether it be in production or transportation, he said.

The poor cannot afford to pay more for electricity, gasoline and medicines because of a carbon tax, Lankford said. A carbon tax would inflate the price of plastics and fertilizers for farms, he said. All agricultural products would increase in cost. That does not help the economy, Lankford said.

“People who claim through fear language that a carbon tax will kill the economy are not being intellectually honest about the fact that we Americans are already paying for the devastating effects of unanswered climate change,” Roth said.

Roth said a targeted legal effort to assess penalties to polluters could attach those expenses to them and not allow them to pass it along to vulnerable socioeconomic groups.

“Here in Oklahoma, the largest polluters are our state’s coal plants,” Roth said. “So why should we allow a utility to suffer the cost of its decisions to pollute by passing those on in rates to seniors?”

Roth said the polluter’s health care cost to low income people could be saved if the Corporation Commission would tell the coal industry to clean up its act, and promote clean natural gas and Oklahoma wind.

Roth said $60 billion of relief for Hurricane Sandy is an example of Americans paying for climate change. The cost of freight on the Mississippi River is impacted by climate change, he said. Crops in Oklahoma were devastated by drought last year during America’s hottest year in recorded history, Roth said.

“I think it’s pretty clear that we need a solution for the effects that are impacting climate change and causing disaster,” Roth said.

Geological evidence and the ancient Ice Age is evidence that climate change has occurred on Earth long before the modern age adopted fossil fuels, Lankford said.

Roth said that 95 percent to 97 percent of the world’s scientists that study climate change agree climate change is real, Roth said. These scientists, including workers at NASA and members of the National Academy of Sciences, also agree that human pollution behavior contributes to climate change while accelerating its impact. They do not disagree that climate change has happened before, he added.

“I’m talking scientists that have actually gotten degrees and not politicians that are seeking talking points,” Roth said.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe has advocated for repealing funding of climate change and global warming related activities. Doing so would save $83 billion, Inhofe said. President Obama is using Environmental Protection Agency regulations to accomplish what the administration couldn’t with failure to pass cap-and-trade legislation, Inhofe has said.

Restricting all greenhouse gases in the United States would not reduce the C02 greenhouse gases worldwide, Inhofe told The Sun in 2011.

“What it would do is to chase our jobs to other countries like China, India and Mexico where they don’t have any restrictions on emissions,” Inhofe said.

Lankford said consumer prices have steadily increased in the U.S. as a result of its environmental standards that are among the highest on earth. Due to more production and decreased cost of natural gas, the U.S. carbon emissions already meet the Kyoto Protocol benchmarks without the U.S. formally signing the document, Lankford said.

“In the rush to do ‘something’ about carbon, we should not crush our economy and punish people on fixed incomes who can least afford yet another hidden tax,” Lankford said.

Agencies, Car Dealer Receive Alternative Fuels Awards

Three state offices and a leading Oklahoma automotive dealership are recipients of the 2012 Zach D. Taylor Jr. Clean Cities Vision Awards for Regional Alternative Transportation Fuels Leadership. The awards were announced at the 11th Annual Central Oklahoma Clean Cities Awards Luncheon earlier this month at the Petroleum Club in downtown Oklahoma City.

The awards honor outstanding efforts to reduce dependence on imported petroleum, improve air quality, strengthen the local economy and enhance public awareness of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.

Jim Roth, chairman of the Alternative “Green” Energy practice group at the Phillips Murrah P.C. law firm, presented the keynote address. Roth discussed Oklahoma’s bountiful natural resources and its past, present and future as an energy producing state.

Alison Taylor, senior vice president, Middle Market Banking, at Chase Bank emceed the event, and Yvonne Anderson, special programs officer in charge of alternative fuels initiatives and Central Oklahoma Clean Cities coordinator at the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, presented the awards.

Receiving the 2012 Zach D. Taylor Jr. Clean Cities Vision Award in the Public Sector category were the Office of the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy, the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services Central Purchasing Division and the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services Fleet Management Division.

Carter Chevrolet Agency Inc. and affiliate OEM Systems LLC received the 2012 Zach D. Taylor Jr. Clean Cities Vision Award in the Private Sector category.

The state offices were honored for their collaborative work in developing the nation’s first multi-state, original equipment manufacturer, natural gas vehicle procurement. The endeavor was in response to objectives and strategies outlined in the Gov. Mary Fallin’s Oklahoma First Energy Plan. The plan calls for Oklahoma to lead a coordinated effort between states to reach a tipping point for OEM production of functional and affordable natural gas vehicles. It also calls for a strategic expansion of compressed natural gas and electric vehicle fueling and charging infrastructure.

Countless hours of interagency teamwork went into the development of the multi-state request for proposal followed by conference calls and meetings with state purchasing departments across the country, an introductory meeting for potential vendors and an online process for questions and answers. When the solicitation closed in September, agency personnel began assessing proposals. In October, Oklahoma and 27 other states awarded contracts for dedicated and bi-fuel natural gas cars, trucks and vans that cut the pre-solicitation cost differential of these vehicles by as much as 50 percent in some cases.

Accepting the 2012 Zach D. Taylor, Jr. Clean Cities Vision Award for Public Sector Alternative Transportation Fuels Leadership were Oklahoma Secretary of Energy C. Michael Ming; Oklahoma Deputy Secretary of Energy Jay Albert and Maressa Treat, administrative and legislative liaison for the Office of the Oklahoma Office of the Secretary of Energy. Accepting for the state’s Central Purchasing Division were Purchasing Director Scott Schlotthauer, and Laura Bybee, state purchasing officer. And, accepting the award from the state’s Fleet Management Division were Terry Zuniga, fleet director; Tom Bogdanowicz, deputy fleet director, and Peggy Beaty, Alternative Fuels Program administrator.

Carter Chevrolet Agency Inc. and its OEM Systems LLC affiliate were commended in February 2012 by Gov. Fallin in recognition of the company’s 2,000th natural gas vehicle conversion. OEM Systems LLC is recognized worldwide as a manufacturer and upfitter of van interior packages, truck equipment, ground support equipment, delivery vehicles, tactical vehicles, fire apparatus, transportation equipment and police and emergency rescue vehicles. In the fall of 2007, the company added compressed natural gas conversions to its vehicle upfitting services. Two years later the company had 400 CNG vehicle conversions under its belt and will surpass 3,000 CNG conversions as it enters 2013.

Carter Chevrolet, a General Motors sales leader, celebrated another OEM Systems success in October of this year. Ford Motor Company certified OEM Systems as a gaseous fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier. This designation means Ford Motor Company successfully evaluated OEM Systems and its EPA-certified natural gas conversion equipment manufacturers on criteria such as engineering, the manufacturing process, quality control and adherence to Ford guidelines. More specifically, OEM Systems passed compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, conformance with Ford industry guidelines for vehicle conversion, facility inspection and review and commitment to continuous improvement. It also means new Ford vehicles modified by OEM Systems to operate on compressed natural gas maintain their original engine and powertrain warranties.

Carter Chevrolet Agency Inc. and OEM Systems LLC, an Oklahoma family owned business enterprise, is one of the largest volume natural gas vehicle conversion companies in North America.

Accepting the 2012 Zach D. Taylor, Jr. Clean Cities Vision Award in the Private Sector category on behalf of Carter Chevrolet and OEM Systems were Judith Carter, Lisha Oshman, John Luber, Taren and Randy Robinson, Blake Burge and Chad Kisinger.

The Central Oklahoma Clean Cities coalition is one of nearly 90 public-private partnerships in major U.S. cities affiliated with the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program. The mission of the coalitions is to reduce dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector, develop regional economic opportunities, and improve air quality. To find out more about the Clean Cities program, go to Learn more about the Central Oklahoma Clean Cities Coalition at

Environmentalists, Execs Ponder Paths of America’s Energy Policy

OKLAHOMA CITY– Energy executives say their industry is paralyzed; environmentalists wonder what happened to policies promising alternative energy. The next four years could shape the American energy landscape for decades.

On Friday, five of the best minds in energy in Oklahoma sat down to discuss how the election will affect our nation’s energy policy for generations to come.

Miles Tolbert, energy and environmental attorney and director at Crowe and Dunlevy law firm, joined Harold Hamm, chairman and CEO of Continental Resources; J. Larry Nichols, executive chairman of Devon Energy; Oklahoma Secretary of Energy Michael Ming; and environmental and energy attorney Jim Roth.

For those in the energy industry, the next four years are the best of times and the worst of times, Tolbert said.

Hamm said, and Nichols agreed, that for the first time in their lives, North America could achieve energy independence. That accomplishment is not just technologically remarkable; both consider it a patriotic feat.

If America stopped importing oil, U.S. troops would no longer have to die to protect energy resources in the Middle East, Hamm said.

But an increase in federal regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Fish and Wildlife Service stands in the way of drilling our way to freedom from Middle Eastern petroleum, the energy executives said. To add insult to injury, these executives believe some Americans are opposed to all fossil fuels at any cost. This future of solar and wind energy only isn’t realistic. All five experts want the administration to be realistic in developing an energy policy that won’t forsake the economy on behalf of the environment.

Not all regulations are bad, Nichols said. But the state has the most experience and the best ability to control environmental damage and safety hazards, he said, and while the president seems to be reluctantly embracing natural gas as a cleaner fuel, his actions and the actions of his administrative agencies will tell the true story.

At a crossroads

Part of the problem President Barack Obama has is that his political base is in favor of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Keeping that political base happy when there’s a newfound abundance of fossil fuels available in the United States is a challenge, said Roth, an attorney with Phillips Murrah.

The Keystone XL pipeline controversy is a perfect example of that crossroads, Nichols said. Labor unions were in favor of building the pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but environmentalists put pressure on the administration to delay the permit to cross international borders.

“He punted on that,” Nichols said. “He endangered our relationship with China, and now Canada is actively working with China to build a pipeline (to supply that market).”

The next four years will show how sincere Obama is about the all-of-the-above approach to energy policy, Ming said. As new supplies of oil and gas came on-line in the last few years, producers helped keep the Oklahoma economy above water, he said.

“Our policy is that the greenest thing we can do is take the energy we have and make it better,” Ming said.

Drilling a single well deeper and longer can tap more resources underground with less effects to the surface, he said.

State knows best

Energy executives and state officials see new federal regulations as unnecessary and burdensome. New air quality rules will limit smog-forming pollution and hazardous chemicals emitted by power plants, drilling operations and oil tank farms.

Roth said that the EPA doesn’t have the resources to regulate Oklahoma operations to the level of that by state agencies.

Nichols said the federal agency doesn’t have the decades of expertise, either. Hamm agreed, saying the first state rules on underground injection in oil and gas drilling were created in 1913.

In the absence of environmental harm or safety risks, more regulations only hinder the oil and gas industry, Nichols said. He said some regulations are necessary; a fly-by-night operator that doesn’t follow basic safety or environmental standards gives the entire industry a bad reputation.

However, there are some instances in which the state intervenes in the market, Roth said. Without the state supporting Oklahoma Natural Gas building compressed natural gas stations in rural areas, the alternative-fuel stations likely wouldn’t get built at all. There isn’t enough demand for a business such as OnCue or Love’s to invest in a CNG station. But on a national level, Hamm and Nichols agreed that government policies promoting natural gas exports are unnecessary.

LNG boon?

Nichols said it isn’t a good idea to interfere with the free market, especially when it comes to exports. Ten years ago, dozens of terminals were built on the coasts to import liquefied natural gas. But as advances in technology increased natural gas supplies in the U.S., the Energy Department is now considering ways to export that commodity. There are 20 billion cubic feet per day of capacity to import natural gas, and those terminals are mothballed.

Nichols said he doesn’t think the U.S. will ever export much natural gas. But industry needs the ability to do so, to have a safety valve of sorts.

“I would not invest a penny in LNG export plants,” he said.

Lost benchmark

On Friday, the oil terminal in Cushing lost its status as the benchmark for West Texas Intermediate. There has been a bottleneck at Cushing, due in part to a lack of pipeline infrastructure. The oversupply and excess storage led to a depressed price for WTI crude, $22 less than Brent crude. That price differential means a $100 million loss to Oklahoma each year, Ming said.

Losing the benchmark is unfortunate, Hamm said, but could also create a positive effect for Oklahoma. Because there isn’t pipeline infrastructure for Continental to send its vast supplies of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota, the company is shipping the commodity by rail to markets on the East and West coasts.

Industry insiders say the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing to Gulf Coast refineries, now under construction, will provide a crucial link.

“You need sufficient takeaway capacity,” Hamm said. “If you don’t have that, there is a chance to destroy the market.”

Hamm said another type of crude will be the new benchmark.

“The Bakken will become a premium benchmark before it reaches 1 million barrels per day of production,” he said.

What Hamm dubbed the BKN has the best oil in the world, he said – a higher grade with fewer impurities that is ideal for the gasoline and diesel refinery markets. Because producers are taking their products to higher-priced markets, that could improve gross production tax receipts, he said.

Rhetoric and reality

The difference between the rhetoric among politicians in the nation’s capital and the reality of how the energy industry evolved in the last several decades is obvious to Hamm and Nichols.

Obama taking credit for the increase in natural gas drilling in the last several years is disingenuous, Nichols said.

Hamm said the president’s attitude toward the energy industry is caustic.

Ming said that while it is encouraging to hear the president talk about developing fossil fuels in the U.S., he wants to see the policy to back it up.

Hamm and Nichols agree that there is hope for the future. New drilling technology will produce what they estimate is more than a hundred years’ worth of energy supply.

“There is a case for optimism in America,” Hamm said. “For people who oppose fossil fuels, there is still a lot of supply left.”

Nichols said that every president since Richard Nixon has promised to achieve energy independence in their term of office.

“All my life I snickered at that,” he said, “but with the technology we have, for the first time in my life I think it is possible, at least for North America.”

But Obama’s attitude toward fossil fuel projects is hostile, from new coal-fired power plants to the Keystone XL pipeline, Nichols said. New air quality regulations threaten these developments from becoming a reality. To Oklahoma’s energy experts, these regulations are slowing the progress of U.S. energy independence.

Ming said that local experts don’t get recognized for their contribution to the path to energy independence. In an April Fortune Magazine article listing the 12 greatest entrepreneurs, Bill Gates of Microsoft and the late Steve Jobs of Apple made the list.

“There was no Aubrey McClendon (of Chesapeake Energy), no Harold Hamm, no Larry Nichols,” Ming said. “There were no people who literally changed the energy supply in America. That hasn’t’t been recognized.”

The president is in a political bind: He promised an alternative-energy future to his base, but it is impossible to get rid of fossil fuels overnight without bringing the country to a near-grinding halt. Our economy is built around fossil fuels, and these resources are necessary to transition to a less-polluting future.

Ming’s idea to make the oil and gas more efficient and have less effects on the environment is a good way to get to that bridge. He is hoping that Oklahoma and its energy experts can lead the rest of the country there.

G. Calvin Sharpe Named to Red Earth Board

OKLAHOMA CITY – Lou C. Kerr has been re-elected chairman of the board of Red Earth Inc.

Other new officers elected to the board of directors include Janet Dyke, president; Leslie Blair, president-elect; G. Calvin Sharpe, past president; Shannon Edwards, secretary; John Jameson, treasurer; and Kimber Shoop, member at large.

Kerr is a founder of the Red Earth Festival and was honored as the 2005 Red Earth Ambassador of the Year. As an active leader in the community and state, she has committed her time and expertise to numerous organizations that correspond with her beliefs and expectations. She has served as vice president of The Kerr Foundation since 1985. In 1999, she became president and in 2004 her title became president and chairwoman.

Dyke, of Tuttle, is associate director of AT&T Business Solutions Project Management Office. She will serve a two-year term as president.

Blair, a native of Frederick, is public information officer for the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.

Sharpe, Oklahoma City, is an attorney with Phillips Murrah.

Edwards, of Edmond, is an appeals magistrate for U.S. Department of the Interior, Southern Plains Region. She maintains a law practice in Oklahoma City.

Jameson, of Davis, is chairman of the board of Jameson Management, a provider of dental practice management systems.

Shoop, of Edmond, is senior counsel for Oklahoma Gas & Electric.

Elected to the serve on the Red Earth board of directors were Leslie Diane Taylor, Ada, and Jay Scambler, Norman.

Named to the Red Earth advisory board were Cherokee Chief Bill John Baker, Seminole Principal Chief Leonard Harjo, Muscogee Creek Principal Chief George Tiger and artist Harvey Pratt, Cheyenne.

Johnson Speaks at Conference

OKLAHOMA CITY – Eric L. Johnson, a consumer financial services attorney with Phillips Murrah, was a presenter at the 2012 Innovate AutoStar Users Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Entitled “Caught in a Compliance Riptide and Dragged out to Sea,” Johnson’s presentation focused on the latest developments in federal and state consumer credit law compliance, including the recent activities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

Johnson is a 1994 graduate of the Oklahoma City University School of Law.

Kline named director of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights certification board

American Board of Certification of Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Names 2012 Board Members

Staff Report

[ FEBRUARY 2, 2012 – TULSA, Okla. ] – Mac D. Finlayson of Morrel Saffa Craige in Tulsa has been elected president-elect and general counsel for 2012 by the American Board of Certification of Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Attorneys.

Read more

Phillips Murrah law firm forms new partnership

By M. Scott Carter

[ SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 – OKLAHOMA CITY ] The Oklahoma City law firm of Phillips Murrah P.C. is 25 percent bigger today – thanks to a new partnership with the Kline, Kline, Elliott and Bryant firm and other new additions.

Read more

Nine named to Best Lawyers in America 2009

Originally published in The Journal Record on Oct. 14, 2008.

Elizabeth K. Brown’s practice is focused at a strategic level on serving her clients as outside counsel where she assists privately held companies in managing the many legal issues that arise in running a business.

Elizabeth K. Brown’s practice is focused at a strategic level on serving her clients as outside counsel where she assists privately held companies in managing the many legal issues that arise in running a business.

OCTOBER 14, 2008 – The Best Lawyers in America 2009 listed nine attorneys with Phillips Murrah P.C. as the best in the United States: Douglas A. Branch, securities law and venture capital law; Elizabeth K. Brown, trusts and estates; Lloyd T. Hardin, Jr. and John D. Hastie, real estate law; Sally A. Hasenfratz, construction law; James A. McCaffrey and Fred H. Miller, banking law; Robert O. O’Bannon, tax law; and Thomas G. Wolfe, commercial litigation.


Oklahoma City attorneys listed in Best Lawyers in America

OCTOBER 14, 2008 – Nine Oklahoma City attorneys practicing at Phillips Murrah P.C. have been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2009, a global publication that ranks and identifies the best attorneys in the United States.

Phillips Murrah lawyers receiving the honor are:

  • Douglas A. Branch, Securities Law and Venture Capital Law
  • Elizabeth K. Brown, Trusts and Estates
  • Lloyd T. Hardin, Jr., Real Estate Law
  • Sally A. Hasenfratz, Construction Law
  • John D. Hastie, Real Estate Law
  • James A. McCaffrey, Banking Law
  • Fred H. Miller, Banking Law
  • Robert O. O’Bannon, Tax Law
  • Thomas G. Wolfe, Commercial Litigation

Best Lawyers is regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the U.S. by the legal profession and the business community. The purpose of the publication is to help lawyers and clients find legal counsel in unfamiliar jurisdictions and practices.

Best Lawyers conducts an exhaustive peer review survey that has been developed and refined over more than 25 years. The current edition of Best Lawyers is based on more than two million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers. The 2009 edition of The Best Lawyers in Americaâ, a copyright of Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken, S.C., will be published in December.

10 Phillips McFall Attorneys Featured in Oklahoma Super Lawyers Magazine

Originally published in The Journal Record on Nov. 5, 2008.

Phillips McFall had 10 attorneys named to this year’s Oklahoma Super Lawyers magazine. According to the publisher, Law & Politics magazine, less than 5% of practicing attorneys make this list. Congratulations to Elizabeth K. Brown, Shannon K. Emmons, Lloyd T. Hardin, Jr., Sally A. Hasenfratz, John D. Hastie, Fred A. Leibrock, Jim A. McCaffrey, D. Keith McFall, Mel R. McVay and Tom G. Wolfe for being named (and, in many cases, renamed) to Oklahoma Super Lawyers! Special congratulations are in order for John D. Hastie for making Top 50 and Sally A. Hasenfratz for making the Top 25 Women.

Director elected to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation board of directors

Originally published in The Journal Record on Aug. 3, 2006.
Click to see Elizabeth K. Brown’s attorney profile


Elizabeth K. Brown’s practice is focused at a strategic level on serving her clients as outside counsel where she assists privately held companies in managing the many legal issues that arise in running a business.

Elizabeth K. Brown’s practice is focused at a strategic level on serving her clients as outside counsel where she assists privately held companies in managing the many legal issues that arise in running a business.

Director Elizabeth Brown was elected as one of 15 members to the Central Oklahoma Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s board of directors.

Read more about the other members here.