Melissa R. Gardner is a Director and an attorney in the Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group. She represents energy companies and mineral owners in a variety of matters in Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota, including oil and gas title examination, bankruptcy, probate, quiet title, surface damages issues, and lien preparation and enforcement. The changing environment in the energy industry has caused Melissa’s practice to increasingly focus on helping her clients navigate new financial realities, expanding her experience in the areas of estate planning, business succession, and bankruptcy and restructuring.
Melissa has prepared a large number of drilling and division order title opinions; worked on acquisition due diligence projects; and drafted multiple curative instruments for her clients. Melissa has recently walked with her clients through lien filings and foreclosure both when they are attempting to recover and when they find themselves in financial crisis. Additionally, Melissa has served as local counsel to companies working through out of state bankruptcy restructuring and liquidation, as well as ensuring that her clients’ interests are protected when they serve as creditors to other parties who find themselves in financial hardship. This bankruptcy experience has included 363 Bankruptcy sales.
Her practice also includes assisting families and individuals in the area of trusts, estates, and family wealth planning. Melissa strategizes with clients and works with them to prepare private estate planning documents and navigate trusts, in addition to drafting all types of wills, advance directives, and powers of attorney.
Prior to joining the firm, Melissa served as an in-house attorney at Chesapeake Energy for over six years.
Melissa serves on the board of Oklahoma City Real Property Lawyers Association; she serves on the board of directors for Heartline; and she serves on the board of International Teams, an international relief ministry based in Illinois.
Melissa is from Empire, Oklahoma. She’s a huge sports fan and has helped start a Phillips Murrah corporate rowing team (Law and Oarder).
- Oklahoma State University (B.S., 2003, magna cum laude)
- Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 2007)
- 2007, Oklahoma
- 2014, Texas
- 2020, North Dakota
- Oklahoma City Real Property Lawyers Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association (Energy and Natural Resources Law Section)
- Mineral Lawyers Society