Leadership in Law profile: Robert Sheets

From The Journal Record
Published: May 2, 2008
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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 Sheets’ personal philosophy in life, passed on to him at an early age by his mother, is to treat people with respect and always do the right thing.

“It is easy in modern society to look only to the rules and the law for boundaries. The most enduring boundaries, however, are those placed there by the individual, because the individual knows what is right and what is wrong and follows those rules because it is right not because it is legal,” Sheets said.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., Sheets has a bachelor’s degree from Washington University. He earned his juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University in 1979 and began his legal career as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Fred Daugherty.

“He taught me that law is too important to just be a business,” Sheets said.

Sheets entered private practice as an associate and later served as partner with the law firm now known as Kornfeld Franklin & Phillips. From 1981 to 1986, he also served as an adjunct law professor at Oklahoma City University. In 1986, he co-founded Phillips McFall McCaffrey McVay & Murrah. Today he remains a shareholder in the firm’s litigation department and a member of its natural resources practice group. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, real estate and oil and gas. He is admitted to practice in Oklahoma, all districts of the U.S. District Court of Oklahoma, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arizona, U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

He is a member of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, serving in various capacities throughout the years including board member of its Voices of Children Committee. He also is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, American Bar Association, Oklahoma City Society of Title Attorneys Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Sheets’ honors include being listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers in Business Litigation and receiving the 2007 Outstanding Law Review Alumni Award from the OCU School of Law. In addition, he is a past recipient of the Boy Scouts Award of Merit and Boss of the Year award from the Oklahoma City Legal Secretaries Association.

His civic and nonprofit affiliations include serving on the fundraising committee for Legal Aid of Oklahoma and chairing the Voices for Children committee where he read to children each month at the Carver-Mark Twain Head Start. He also currently serves as a youth volunteer and chairman of the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee at Wesley United Methodist Church.