SBA disaster loan summary

Gavel to Gavel appears in The Journal Record. This column was originally published in The Journal Record on April 2, 2020.

This Gavel to Gavel column is a summary of our full-length Q&A on Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs.


By Phillips Murrah Director Alison J. Cross and Attorney Kara K. Laster

Phillips Murrah Attorney Kara K. Laster and Director Alison J. Cross

On March 27, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which expanded two Small Business Administration loan programs – the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

Small business owners, in particular, are anxious to receive relief under the historic act. Below is a summary of highlights of these two expanded lending programs:

• PPP loans: Eligible businesses may use PPP loans for payroll costs, health care, interest on mortgage payments, rent, utilities, and interest on any other debt. Eligibility requires that applicants had no more than 500 employees per physical location, were operational prior to Feb. 15, had employees on payroll, and paid wages and payroll taxes. They may receive the lesser of 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs during the prior year or $10 million.

The dates to begin applying are small businesses and sole proprietorships on April 3 and independent contractors and self-employed individuals on April 10. The application deadline is June 30, but businesses should apply as soon as possible because there is a funding cap.

Businesses need to submit a PPP loan application along with payroll documentation to an approved lender. Businesses must certify that they suffered substantial economic injury from COVID-19 and that funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll, or make mortgage payments, lease payments, and utility payments.

• EIDL loans: Eligible businesses may use EIDL loans for working capital and they can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. Loan amounts are based on actual economic injury. Eligibility requires that applicants had no more than 500 employees in existence as of Jan. 31 and that they suffered substantial economic injury from COVID-19.

Additionally, if the loan is made before Dec. 31 and is $200,000 or less, there is no guarantee requirement. Applications should be submitted directly to the SBA, which can be found on its website.

There are numerous additional stipulations and details related to these two small business disaster loans that cannot fit onto this column format, including loan forgiveness criteria, amount determination and approved lenders. Applicants should consider discussing their application with legal representation.

Phillips Murrah attorneys Kara K. Laster and Alison J. Cross contributed to this column.

Michele C. Spillman joins Phillips Murrah Dallas office

Michele C. Spillman

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 23, 2020) – Phillips Murrah P.C. is pleased to announce Michele C. Spillman has joined the Firm in its Dallas-based office as an Of Counsel attorney. Her addition to the Firm brings the number of Phillips Murrah attorneys serving the Texas market to fourteen.

With a background in both labor and employment law and commercial litigation, Michele represents employers in a wide variety of industries and provides advice and counsel on federal and state employment laws regarding discrimination, harassment, retaliation, medical leave requests and accommodations, and wage and hour issues.

Michele also assists employers with human resources matters, including employment policies, handbooks, severance agreements, non-competition matters, and internal investigations into alleged violations of various employment laws.

Michele is a member of the Texas Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association, and Attorneys Serving the Community.


CONTACT:

Phillips Murrah – Dallas Office:
3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 1420
Dallas, Texas 75219

Direct: (214) 615-6365
Fax: (214) 434-1370

facebook iconFollow our Firm on FACEBOOK

An update from Phillips Murrah P.C. about health and safety related to COVID-19

ALERT: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

03/18/20

Tom Wolfe

Thomas G. Wolfe, Phillips Murrah P.C. Managing Partner

As has become apparent, the COVID-19 pandemic is an unstoppable disruptive influence across almost every aspect of our lives. Like so many of our friends and clients, we have been preparing in earnest.

To that end, starting yesterday, our Firm began transitioning to working remotely. As always, our attorneys are accessible to clients via e-mail and phone. Our office is still open in order to deliver the most critical services. Additionally, please be assured that we are taking all appropriate measures to robustly protect and ensure the health and well-being of our attorneys and staff.

I would like to personally reiterate that our plan is designed to ensure continuity of the top-quality, reliable, and safe legal representation that Phillips Murrah’s clients expect. While the playing field constantly changes, our dedication to seamlessly delivering excellent service does not.

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about our remote working arrangements or any other concerns with which we can assist. We understand that the uncertainty that unfolds in the wake of this pandemic can be unsettling at best, and understandably frightening to many who wonder what the future holds. Please know that we are here to help.

Please be safe and kind to one another. We are grateful for our relationships and look forward to a brighter day together.

Thank you,

Thomas G. Wolfe
Phillips Murrah P.C.
Managing Partner

 

OUR MEASURES:

  • We are following the Oklahoma State Department of Health guidelines regarding how to handle our office operations in the event of an exposure or diagnosis experienced by Phillips Murrah employees and their families.
  • Our Information Technology team has activated our remote access plan to avoid contamination. We are confident in our ability to provide consistent service if total office closure is required.
  • Our Firm is aware of the importance of “social distancing,” and we are practicing these measures. During the pandemic, we are opting for telephone meetings, video depositions and remote closings.
  • If any face-to-face meetings are required, participants are able to remain separated from one another by six feet or more.
  • We have educated and encouraged our employees to implement behavior changes, if necessary, to ensure safety. This includes frequent hand washing, cautious and transparent travel plans and awareness of the value of remaining away from the office during any remote office mandate.

facebook iconFollow our Firm on FACEBOOK

Firm selects Employee of the Month for February 2020

eotm Abby Tompkins

Abby Tompkins

Abby Tompkins, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for February 2020.

“It is a privilege to work with such a great group of people and for them to recognize me as Employee of the Month is an honor,” Abby said.

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

“I am thrilled that Abby was recognized as Employee of the Month,” Director Sally A. Hasenfratz said. “Those who work with her closely know that she is a hard worker, she has her head in the game and helps spot issues, she has a keen willingness to learn new things and she is poised and great with clients. A well-deserved honor!”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Abby chose Focus on Home.

To learn more about Focus on Home, click here.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage five years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

 
facebook icon

Follow our coverage on FACEBOOK

Attorneys continue winning streak at annual OCBA Chili Cook-off

Phillips Murrah attorneys team up for OCBA’s annual chili cookoff

Another year, another recipe vying for a coveted trophy at the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s annual Chili Cook-off.

Phillips Murrah attorneys competed against local law firms in OCBA’s Young Lawyers Division on Feb. 28 at the Leadership Square Atrium in downtown Oklahoma City.

Representing Phillips Murrah were attorneys Cody J. CooperC. Eric DavisMark E. Hornbeek, Kara K. Laster, Martin J. Lopez III, Phoebe B. Mitchell, Ashley M. Schovanec, and Molly E. Tipton.

“I always love participating in the chili cook-off, not just because I am a very competitive person (and not a sore loser at all),” Tipton said. “I always find myself making new acquaintances that I look forward to seeing again in the court house or out and about!”

Attorney Phoebe Mitchell poses with her prize-winning chili and “Hottest Chili” trophy

The Firm’s team continued their winning streak, scoring the “Hottest Chili” prize with Mitchell’s recipe.

“The secret ingredient to my chili was definitely the spicy Mexican chocolate,” she said. “We had so much fun participating in the OCBA YLD chili cook-off. It is always great to come together and compete to raise money for a worthy cause like the Regional Food Bank.”

Phillips Murrah has had at least one team compete in the Chili Cook-Off each year since it first started more than ten years ago.

In 2019, the OCBA YLD named Phillips Murrah “Friend of the YLD” for the Firm’s consistent support of their charitable efforts.

To learn more about the YLD, visit OCBA’s website here.


See more: Phillips Murrah’s Commitment to the Community

facebook icon

Follow our coverage on FACEBOOK

Phillips Murrah Directors to team up with Animal Legal Defense Fund at OCU Law symposium

Heather Hintz

Heather L. Hintz primarily represents banks, commercial entities and municipalities in litigation in state and federal courts with an emphasis on protecting hard-fought rulings throughout the appeals process.

Two Phillips Murrah Directors will participate in the upcoming “Animal Law Symposium: Oklahoma City,” supported by Animal Legal Defense Fund and Oklahoma City University School of Law.

“OCU Law is glad to partner with Animal Legal Defense Fund to host this symposium,” said Jim Roth, Phillips Murrah Director and OCU School of Law Dean. “With the launch of our Animal Law Program last fall through the generosity of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, our students have shown incredible interest in this growing area of law.

“The symposium will provide an important opportunity for students to connect with practitioners and learn more about the different aspects of Animal Law.”

The symposium will take place at Oklahoma City Law School on March 6 from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Roth will kick off the symposium with welcoming remarks. Heather L. Hintz, Phillips Murrah Director and Shareholder, will participate in the “Farmed Animals and the Law: Challenges and Opportunities for Change” panel set to begin at 1:45 p.m.

“Oklahoma is deeply rooted in agriculture and resource stewardship,” Hintz said. “A 2016 study published in the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine states that the general public has a high level of concern for animal welfare in food production, but lacks corresponding knowledge.

“The study further suggests that if provided information, the public may be encouraged to translate its concerns into market decisions that will improve farmed animal welfare. My studies prior to law school focused on how information leads to educated market decisions that can impact social change. I remain interested in that concept. I also agree with the philosopher Anne Conway (1631-1679) that every part of nature is in sympathetic harmony with every other, and if we harm one part, we harm the others, including ourselves.  I anticipate the Symposium will better enable participants to make informed decisions that can help improve farmed animal welfare and in turn, the welfare of us all.”

The day-long event is set to provide attendees insight from top voices within the animal law community, and the Oklahoma State Bar has approved the symposium for 7 CLE credits.

Learn more about the symposium and Animal Legal Defense Fund at their website here.

facebook icon

Follow our coverage on FACEBOOK

animal law symposium ocu law march 6

 

Gardner named to Journal Record’s 2020 Achievers Under 40

Melissa Gardner is a Director who practices in the Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group. She 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.

The Journal Record will honor Melissa Gardner, Phillips Murrah Director and Shareholder, and 44 others as part of its 17th class of Achievers Under 40.

The 45 honorees will be recognized at the Achievers Under 40 event on May 29 at the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown/Medical Center at 741 N. Phillips Ave.

“Young leaders in Oklahoma set the pace of progress in our state,” said Russell Ray, editor of The Journal Record. “Choosing the 45 honorees was difficult. Many of these honorees will undoubtedly be the chief architects of change in our state.”

The Journal Record’s 2020 Achievers Under 40 are:

  • Maurianna Adams, Progress OKC.
  • Cinthya Allen, University of Oklahoma.
  • Rob Allen, Sage Sotheby’s International Realty.
  • Laura Aufleger, OnCue.
  • Katy Battiest, One Gas Inc.
  • Merleyn Bell, Oklahoma House of Representatives.
  • Hailey Benton-Thomas, TBS Factoring Service LLC.
  • Carrie Blumert, Oklahoma County.
  • Mickey Dollens, Oklahoma House of Representatives and Energy Assist Foundation.
  • Andrea Durbin, MA+Architecture.
  • Lori Elms, The First State Bank.
  • Ryan Forsythe, Verizon.
  • Kelley Gann, Freestyle Creative.
  • Melissa Gardner, Phillips Murrah.
  • Aundria Goree, Oklahoma City-County Health Department.
  • Jonathan Gray, Enel North America.
  • Rachael Gruntmeir, The Black Scintilla.
  • Jordan Haygood, SSM Health – Oklahoma.
  • Alison Heasley, ADG P.C.
  • Carri Hicks, State of Oklahoma.
  • Marcus High, Mercy Hospital Ardmore.
  • Jonathan Hillman, BKD CPAs & Advisors.
  • Alex Kaiser, Simmons Bank.
  • Stephanie Keller, Eide Bailly.
  • Jake Krattiger, GableGotwals.
  • Jennifer Lepard, State Chamber Research Foundation.
  • Lisa McLarty, Mabrey Bank.
  • Autumn McMahon, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative.
  • Mark McMullen, Tulsa Community College.
  • Nikki Nice, City of Oklahoma City.
  • Travis Noland, Cherokee Nation.
  • Matthew Peacock, Peacock Design.
  • Melissa Phillips, AT&T.
  • Jonas Rabel, Integris Grove & Miami Hospital.
  • Brent Rempe, Allegiance Credit Union.
  • Diana Reynolds, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.
  • Melanie Rughani, Crowe & Dunlevy.
  • Becky Samples, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance.
  • James Sanchez, Regent Bank.
  • Trista Shomo, Manhattan Construction Co.
  • Brady Sidwell, Enid Brewing Co.
  • Clay Taylor, Oklahoma Lobby Group.
  • Vincent Venincasa, Edmond Regional Eye Associates.
  • Cornell Wesley, Fiscal Fundamentals Inc.
  • Jonna Whetsel, Network for Pets of Domestic Violence Victims.

Read more about the Achievers Under 40 event here.
facebook icon

Follow our coverage on FACEBOOK

Animal lovers helping the Village Animal Shelter

By Thomas G. Wolfe, Managing Director of Phillips Murrah P.C. 

I’m reaching out to you as a fellow animal lover to make you aware of The Village Animal Shelter and to ask for your help to make much-needed improvements on behalf of the animals that find themselves there.

Early last summer, I read an article in the newspaper about The Village Animal Shelter and a woman named Cheryl Steckler (who runs The Pet Limousine in OKC), who was looking for volunteers to help walk and provide human interaction with dogs (and cats, but mostly dogs) that were confined there, sometimes for months on end and with no real hope in sight. Thinking Cheryl would be inundated with calls, like any reluctant volunteer, I waited a couple of weeks before I called her to see if I could assist.

Glad for the offer, she invited me to come see the shelter and meet some of the dogs. Cheryl is the driving force behind this, and I am only doing what I can to assist.

Sheltered dog behind fenceThe shelter was built in the mid-eighties, and it shows. It’s small, with only 6 cells for dogs and an even smaller area for cat cages. Inside the concrete-floored shelter, dogs spend most days in cages. On weekdays, weather permitting, they are allowed outside in small concrete runs. Most distressing, on weekends they are caged for 23 hours a day. Shelter employees are good people, but a lack of resources makes for a dire situation.

Making Things Better

To try to make the situation at least somewhat tolerable, volunteers purchased dog cots and some toys for each of the cages. Though the Village employees who run the shelter are really good people and do what they can, the situation is dire due to the aged state of the shelter and lack of resources.

So, Cheryl and I (but mostly Cheryl,) put together a small group of volunteers to try to make things better – now called the Village Animal League (”VAL”).

The Village City Council has been very helpful and has worked hard to help us make things better. In addition to allowing the dogs to be walked during the week between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and weekends early in the morning, the City Council has allowed Dr. Park (Britton Road Vet-Clinic) to administer vaccines, and we’ve engaged the Oklahoma Humane Society for spaying and neutering.

We’ve also had a number of dogs either directly adopted or transported to other states for adoption.

Sleeping shelter rescue dog

Emma enjoying some sleep at her new home after being adopted.

One of our favorite success stories is Emma, a pit-mix. Emma was in the shelter for 4 months, often by herself, going the first 3 months without walks or any human contact beyond the workers who cleaned her cell in the mornings and gave her food and water. Because the City Council worked with us, we got her vaccinated, spayed and adopted.

More Can Be Done

As time passed and we began to interact with the dogs on a regular basis, the goals of the volunteer group expanded. We decided that what we were doing wasn’t enough, and that the shelter itself needed to be reconstituted to reflect a higher standard of care.

I went to a friend, Jim Abernathy, who, in addition to being a Village resident, is a great guy, a home-builder and dog lover. Jim helped design modifications to the existing structure that would provide for better, humane conditions for the dogs, including modern cages, access to the outdoors, natural lighting, sanitary drainage, better flooring, and a play area with synthetic grass.

If you wonder about the current state of humanity, this part of the story will make you feel better. The total cost to complete Jim’s plan is approximately $94k, but fully 1/2 of the total cost, or $47k, is being donated from the Construction industry: Jim Abernathy Homes; Midwest Wrecking; Moon Decorative Concrete; Chad Cramer, Evolve Design; Roman Castillo; Jenco Roof, McConnell Masonry; Pella Windows; Keith Bailey Plumbing; Oklahoma Air Conditioning; Trek Electric, Jack and Billy Krepps; Absolute Water Proofing; and Red River Fence. The City of The Village also graciously allocated $28K.

NOW WE NEED YOU TO DONATE!! The Oklahoma Humane Society is accepting donations for this project through The Village Animal Shelter so that donations will be tax deductible.

Here’s How to Donate

  • Make checks payable to Oklahoma Humane Society, write in the memo line: “Village Animal League” or “VAL Fund,” and mail to PO Box 18471, OK 73154.
  • To donate online, go to www.okhumane.org/donate/one-time-donations, click the “Donate Now” button, reference “Village Animal League” or “VAL Fund.”
  • Or, call 405-286-1229.

Thank you,

Tom

 

facebook icon

Follow our coverage on FACEBOOK

Firm selects Employee of the Month for January 2020

Nancy Walker

Nancy Walker, Paralegal, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for January 2020.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by your peers, especially by such a great group of talented people with whom I have the privilege of working,” Nancy said. “I am continually challenged and enhanced by my experiences here each and every day, and am very lucky to be a part of such an incredible team!”

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

“The Firm has been extremely lucky to have Nancy here since the very beginning,” Executive Director Michelle Munda said. “Her professionalism, vast experience and knowledge, and willingness to help others are invaluable.  Thank you Nancy!”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Nancy chose Tenaciously Teal.

“A few years back, I was challenged with the fight against Stage III colon cancer, and I found out quickly that I was not alone in my battle,” Nancy said. “In addition to the incredible support of friends and family, I became aware of a locally-operated organization by the unique name of Tenaciously Teal, founded by a courageous young woman who fought her own battle against cancer.

“This organization provides thoughtful care packages of personal items to cancer patients across the state of Oklahoma, as well as other types of support, based upon on the need. I know from personal experience that these care packages, which are given in a teal-colored drawstring bags, are not only practical but they also give an incredible message of hope, courage, and support. This is the worthwhile organization I choose to support.”

To learn more about Tenaciously Teal, click here.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage five years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

facebook iconFollow our Firm on FACEBOOK

Phillips Murrah attorney gives sixth graders glimpse into lawyer life

Students and Attorney Kendra Norman at Canyon Ridge Career Fair

Sixth graders at Canyon Ridge Intermediate School ask Phillips Murrah Attorney Kendra Norman questions about her profession as part of a “career fair.”

Attorney Kendra M. Norman gave students at Canyon Ridge Intermediate School a rare peek into the legal field.

The school hosted a “Career Fair” on Jan. 24 to help expose 6th grade students to different career options.

“I want to educate these students on the education and other requirements needed to be an attorney, but also about the vast number of different kinds of attorneys and practice areas out there,” Norman said. “I hope to differentiate what I, and other attorneys, do on a daily basis from the portrayals these students may have seen on TV or the internet.

“I also want to let them know that my profession is attainable for them even though college and ultimately deciding what they want to do is far off in the future for them right now.”

Other featured professions were those of an engineer, physical therapist, home inspector, bounty hunter, and recruiter.

“The students were very kind and respectful, and they asked wonderful questions like what my favorite thing about my job is,” Norman said. “I had a wonderful time, and I’m so glad that I had this opportunity to share my experience with the students.”

For more information about Norman’s practice, click here.

Voth participates in Leadership OKC medical marijuana panel

attorney lauren voth and other leadership oklahoma city panelists

Attorney Lauren S. Voth with the other Leadership OKC panelists

Attorney Lauren S. Voth joined other panelists to discuss issues related to medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church hosted the Leadership Oklahoma City panel on Jan. 23. Voth rounded out the panel of industry leaders including:

  • David Lewis, Chief Operating Officer of Stability Growth
  • Stephen Prescott, MD, President of Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
  • Scott Shaeffer, D.Ph., DABAT, Managing Director of Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information

The panel was moderated by David Dishman, Business Writer for The Oklahoman newspaper.

To learn more about Leadership OKC and other upcoming events, visit their website here.

 

Director presents at Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association annual meeting

Patrick Hullum

Patrick Hullum is a Director and a litigation attorney who represents individuals and public and private companies in a wide range of complex litigation matters.

Phillips Murrah Director Patrick L. Hullum advised Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association members on legal issues related to aerial spray applicators at the 2020 OAAA Conference and Trade Show on Jan. 21 at the Embassy Suites in Norman, OK.

Aptly titled “How to Defend Yourself in Court,” Hullum’s presentation relayed steps individuals and businesses can take to protect themselves from claims of alleged “drift” from aerial spray.

Hullum spoke to OAAA members in 2019 on similar issues.

Phillips Murrah was a Platinum-level Sponsor at this year’s convention.

To learn more about the Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association, click here.

Firm selects Employee of the Month for December 2019

Kat Mach

Kat Mach, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for December 2019.

“I find that a little bit of kindness and respect will get you so much further in the world,” Kat said. “It is really nice to have that noticed. Hopefully, we can start a movement in the world starting with just our Firm.”

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

“Kat is smart, willing to help and has a great attitude,” Director Dawn M. Rahme said. “She keeps things running smoothly, and we are lucky to have her as part of our team!”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Kat chose METAvivor.

To learn more about METAvivor, click here.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage five years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

 

OKC Thunder Phillips Murrah Blocks for Bucks campaign chalks up 100th block

OKC Thunder Phillips Murrah Blocks for Bucks hits 100 mark in season blocks

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that we have reached the “Centennial” mark for this 2019-2020 season with our #BlocksforBucks campaign! Yesterday (Jan 8), The Oklahoma City Thunder posted to their social media accounts this statement:

100 blocks and counting… that equals a $10,000 donation thus far to the Thunder Cares Foundation!

For the third consecutive season, the law firm of Phillips Murrah is donating $100 to the Thunder Cares Foundation for every block the Thunder notches at home. Visit the #BlocksforBucks webpage to see some of the best blocks of the season and track their donations!
🎬 ➡️ https://www.nba.com/thunder/blocksforbucks

“The performance of OKC Thunder players and organization proves that, even with the loss of last season’s ‘celebrity’ players, this team is emblematic of our community as a whole – talented and resilient,” said Phillips Murrah Marketing Director Dave Rhea.

All funds raised by Phillips Murrah’s OKC Thunder Blocks for Bucks campaign benefit the Thunder Cares Foundation. For more details and background on Blocks for Bucks, click on the link below:

Phillips Murrah law firm names newest Director, Shareholder

Cody J. Cooper

OKLAHOMA CITY (January 2, 2020) – Phillips Murrah proudly announces the promotion of Cody J. Cooper to a Director and Shareholder for the Firm. Cooper’s selection brings the Firm’s total number of Directors to 38.

Cody is a member of the Firm’s Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups. His practice primarily concentrates on intellectual property, including patent prosecution and litigation, trademark and copyright matters, and commercial litigation in state and federal courts.

“I am honored and excited to transition from associate to director. I have spent my entire legal career at the Firm and I cannot imagine a better, more supporting place to develop as a person and attorney,” Cody said. “I am so proud to be associated with all of the individuals at the firm and look forward to continuing to help move the Firm forward and continue the sustained success it has had since its founding.

Cody graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law with Honors. While in law school, he served as the managing editor of the American Indian Law Review, Magister (President) of the legal honors fraternity Phi Delta Phi and was on the Dean’s Honor Roll. He was also a mentor on the Dean’s Leadership Council for incoming law students and earned the American Jurisprudence Award for Civil Procedure II. He was a semi-finalist at the University of West Virginia Energy Law Moot Court Competition.

Cody received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma, majoring in Finance and Management Information Systems. He has a general science and engineering background, which qualified him to become registered before the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a practicing patent attorney. As an undergraduate student, he worked for a Fortune 100 company as a systems analyst intern in the business and technology group, working with a number of complex software suites that provided critical services to the business.

“Cody has proven himself to be a proactive and diligent attorney since joining the Firm straight from law school,” said Thomas G. Wolfe, President and Managing Partner. “His hard work and commitment to his legal practice are signs that he will make the Firm proud as our newest Director and Shareholder.”

Cody is actively involved in community and charitable organizations and has volunteered with a number of organizations including Camp Cavett, NewView Oklahoma, Salvation Army, various public schools throughout the Oklahoma City Metro and others.

Born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma, Cody now lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, daughter and two dogs. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing sports and attending Oklahoma City Thunder and Sooner sporting events.

Phillips Murrah Shareholder Janet A. Hendrick elected as Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation

Phillips Murrah Director Janet Hendrick elected to Texas Bar Foundation

Phillips Murrah Shareholder Janet Hendrick elected as Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation

Phillips Murrah Shareholder Janet A. Hendrick has been elected as a member of the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Attorneys elected as Fellows of the Foundation have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas. Election is a mark of distinction and recognition of Janet’s contributions to the legal profession.

“It is my absolute privilege and honor to be elected as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation,” said Janet. “I look forward to working with other Fellows to continue the important work of the Foundation.”

Selection as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation is restricted to members of the State Bar of Texas. Each year the top one-third of one percent of Texas attorneys are invited to become Fellows. Once selected, nominees must be elected by the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Texas Bar Foundation is the largest charitably funded bar foundation in the country. Founded in 1965 by lawyers determined to assist the public and improve the profession of law, the Texas Bar Foundation has maintained its mission of using the financial contributions of its membership to build a strong justice system for all Texans. To date, the Texas Bar Foundation has distributed more than $20 million throughout Texas to assist nonprofit organizations with a wide range of justice-related programs and services.

To contact Janet, click HERE to visit her website bio, or reach out to her at the following information:

Janet A. Hendrick, Shareholder in Phillips Murrah’s Dallas office
EMAIL: jahendrick@phillipsmurrah.com
PHONE: 214.615.6391

For more information about the Texas Bar Foundation, please visit: www.txbf.org.

Firm selects Employees of the Month for November

Sherree Williams and Rae White

Sherree Williams and Rae White, Legal Assistants, are Phillips Murrah’s Employees of the Month for November 2019.

“I am very excited and proud that my peers voted for me for Employee of the Month,” Sherree said. “This firm is like family and they make me feel appreciated. It is truly an honor.”

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

“WOW!  It is a privilege to be voted the Employee of the Month,” Rae said. “My Phillips Murrah family is the best, and I love working with such wonderful people.”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice. Sherree chose Doberman Rescue Group of Oklahoma, and Rae chose Compassionate Hands.

To learn more about Doberman Rescue Group, click here.

For more information about Compassionate hands, visit their website here.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage five years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

 

Phillips Murrah honored as Top Workplace for fifth consecutive year

2019 Phillips Murrah Top WorkplacesThe law firm of Phillips Murrah is proud to announce its inclusion as one of Oklahoma City’s Top Workplaces for five straight years.

“This is an exciting time for us, each year, to be recognized for our workplace culture,” said Phillips Murrah Marketing Director Dave Rhea. “Our attorneys and staff work hard to help our Firm excel in the legal realm, so it is nice to be recognized for our positive work environment.”

The Firm has previously been recognized as one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

In determining the defining criteria of Top Workplaces, The Oklahoman partners with the Philadelphia-based company, Energage, which evaluates companies across the country, pertaining to internal components of healthy workplace dynamics.

“Top Workplaces put the employee at the center of things and focus on creating the right environment to unleash potential and inspire performance,” said Doug Claffey, founder of Energage, The Oklahoman’s research partner for Top Workplaces.

Every year, the newspaper encourages Oklahoma companies and organizations to participate in a survey that employees complete anonomously, detailing employee satisfaction, company values, internal communication, leadership and other various determinates.

To learn more about the workplace culture and opportunities at Phillips Murrah, visit our Careers page: https://phillipsmurrah.com/careers.

Davis to explore Oklahoma Public Utility Division’s procedures, rules of practice

Eric Davis

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

C. Eric Davis, an attorney in the Firm’s Government Relations and Compliance Practice Group, will give a presentation on Dec. 6 for Continuing Legal Education individuals.

Davis will present at 8:30 a.m. at HalfMoon Education Inc.’s seminar titled “Issues in Oklahoma Energy and Electric Utility Regulation,” discussing Oklahoma Public Utility Division rules of practice and procedure.

“The Corporation Commission determines what many of us pay for electricity and natural gas, and it influences utility companies’ multimillion dollar investment decisions ranging from building new power plants to deploying advanced meters,” Davis said. “Because of its impact, it’s useful to understand how the Commission makes decisions and how its hearings work.”

The seminar will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday in Oklahoma City. Those interested in registering can find more information here. Attendees receive CLE credit for participating.

Phillips Murrah partners with KGOU and Regional Food Bank to provide 20,000 meals

Phillips Murrah is excited to partner with KGOU and The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to help support community radio while also fighting hunger during this holiday season!

KGOU’s on-air fundraising drive begins on “Giving Tuesday,” Dec 3, and lasts through Thursday, Dec. 5.

All listener donations to KGOU will go directly to support vital community news, information and entertainment programming.

Phillips Murrah partners with KGOU and Regional Food BankEach donation also activates a gift from Phillips Murrah to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to fight holiday hunger.

For each donation, Phillips Murrah will provide funds for 40 meals to help relieve hunger and associated stress for food insecure Oklahomans during the holidays!

The goal is to encourage 500 gifts to KGOU, which will provide 20,000 meals to hungry kids and adults in our state.

All donations made now through the attainment of our goal will be included, including donations made before and after the on-air drive and donations made online.

Donations can be made online HERE or by calling 405-325-5468 (KGOU).

 

Firm selects Employee of the Month for October 2019

Samantha Arnold

Samantha Arnold, Administrative Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for October 2019.

“From day one, this firm has made me feel more appreciated as an employee than I’ve ever felt before, and winning Employee of the Month is just another example of how my peers have made me feel invaluable as a colleague,” Sam said. “I work with truly the most interesting people who motivate me on a daily basis to be the best version of myself… and I guess it’s working!”

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

“Samantha came to us with no legal experience, and has shown really nice potential during her short time here,” said Michelle Munda, Executive Director at Phillips Murrah. “She’s smart, eager to learn and has a great attitude.

“We’re excited to watch her progress!”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Sam chose SameYou.

“I had a brain injury when I was 9 and was lucky enough to walk away from it, however, I do get severe headaches and have other issues that may have stemmed from my injury,” Sam said. “The thing is, the brain is still such a mystery to us as human beings, yet it’s what makes us who we are.

“Brain injuries have the capability of taking that away from us, so I want to donate to an organization that is helping people get back to who they once were.”

To learn more about SameYou, click here.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage four years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

 

Phillips Murrah named among 2020 Best Law Firms in 45 practice areas

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that our law firm has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Law Firms” for professional excellence for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area and, for the first time, the Dallas/Fort Worth area in the following practice areas:

Oklahoma City

Tier 1

  • Administrative / Regulatory Law
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Transactions / UCC Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Energy Law
  • Energy Regulatory Law
  • Government Relations Practice
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Litigation – Real Estate
  • Litigation – Tax
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Oil & Gas Law
  • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Real Estate Law
  • Trusts & Estates Law

Tier 2

  • Construction Law
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Health Care Law
  • Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Litigation – Banking & Finance
  • Litigation – Labor & Employment
  • Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Public Finance Law
  • Securities Regulation
  • Tax Law
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Tier 3

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Labor Law – Management
  • Litigation – Antitrust
  • Litigation – ERISA
  • Litigation – Trusts & Estates
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Securities / Capital Markets Law
  • Technology Law
  • Venture Capital Law

Dallas/Fort Worth

Tier 3

  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

 

To be eligible for a ranking, a law firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top four percent of practicing attorneys in the United States.

Earlier in the year, Phillips Murrah announced that 48 of our attorneys are recognized by Best Lawyers in America for 2020.

Firms included in the 2020 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence, quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. The “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a combination of client feedback, information provided on the Law Firm Survey and the Law Firm Leaders Survey and Best Lawyers peer-review.

Halloween party raises money for Oklahoma Regional Food Bank

PM Staff celebrates Halloween

Phillips Murrah staff members dress up for the Firm’s annual Halloween Party to raise money for Oklahoma Regional Food Bank.

Phillips Murrah staff members were given the chance to test their creativity and help raise money for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on Oct. 31 at the Firm’s annual Halloween Party.

Contestants competed to win the annual costume contest, and Phillips Murrah raised $610 from those in attendance for Firm’s Annual Harvest Food Drive fundraising campaign, just higher than last year’s fundraising total.

Nathan Hatcher, Assistant Marketing Director, tied for First Place with Tyler Sullivan, Legal Secretary, and Tess Bromme, Billing Coordinator, who teamed up with inflatable T-Rex costumes to be “Dueling Dinosaurs.”

“Absolutely no one takes a dinosaur (or two) seriously, and it was great to hear the laughter from our coworkers at the luncheon,” Bromme said.

Employees dress up to compete for a popular vote in hopes of winning a cash prize.

“I enjoyed being able to make people laugh,” Sullivan said.

Phillips Murrah partners with the Oklahoma County Bar Association to support their annual Harvest Food Drive, which all proceeds are donated to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

If you would like to donate to the Young Lawyers Division’s Harvest Food Drive, please contact the Oklahoma County Bar Association at (405) 236-8421.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage four years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

 

Phillips Murrah begins third season of Blocks for Bucks partnership with Thunder Cares Foundation

 

Phillips Murrah OKC Thunder Blocks for Bucks promotion

With the kick-off of the 2019-2020 NBA regular season, Phillips Murrah is entering our third year of partnering with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s philanthropic organization, the Thunder Cares Foundation via our Blocks for Bucks campaign.

What is Blocks for Bucks?

Adams of OKC Thunder with Phillips Murrah signage in background

Steven Adams sets up for a block during the 2018-2019 season.

Attorneys and staff at Phillips Murrah are huge Thunder fans, and to recognize our home team’s accomplishments in blocking shots, the Firm is donating $100 to Thunder Cares for each blocked shot that the Thunder forces at home games during the regular season.

“This partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder accomplishes two goals,” explained Dave Rhea, Marketing Director at Phillips Murrah. “One, we love supporting the Thunder team, and it’s a delight to have our brand associated with such a capable and celebrated organization. Two, through this partnership we’re able to help fund the good works that Thunder Cares does, which fits perfectly with our commitment to the community.”

The Thunder Cares Foundation helps support the team’s community outreach projects, including Thunder-themed basketball courts in parks, schools and community centers across Oklahoma, as well as learning labs and activity rooms at organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, City Rescue Mission and Positive Tomorrows.

“Phillips Murrah is proud to partner with the Thunder Cares Foundation,” said Phillips Murrah President and Managing Partner, Thomas G. Wolfe. “The Thunder has done so much in Oklahoma. We’re glad to join in their efforts.”

During the final home game of the regular 2018-2019 season,  Phillips Murrah Directors G. Calvin Sharpe, Marc Edwards and Nikki Edwards participated in a check presentation ceremony at center court in the Chesapeake Energy Arena prior to the game. The total amount presented to the Thunder Cares Foundation totaled $20,600.

Blocks for Bucks 2018-2019 check presentation

Christine Berney, Vice President of Community Relations for the Oklahoma City Thunder, accepts the 2018-2019 season donation from Phillips Murrah Directors G. Calvin Sharpe, Marc Edwards and Nikki Edwards.

 

Phillips Murrah began a our partnership with the Thunder Cares Foundation on Nov. 22, 2017, which was the the first match-up of the season against the Golden State Warriors. The video clip below of one of KD’s shots getting blocked is an example of the highlights featured on the Blocks for Bucks landing page, featured on the OKC Thunder website.

The Blocks for Bucks landing page also features updates throughout the season that include a Blocks Counter and a total amount of funds raised.

Firm selects Employee of the Month for September 2019

Rachel Schones

Rachel Schones, Receptionist, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for September 2019.

“It is a great honor to be selected as Employee of the Month by my co-workers,” she said.

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

“Rachel has blossomed into such a poised young woman since she began with our Firm,” said Michelle Munda, Executive Director at Phillips Murrah. “All our employees as well as our clients love her and she handles that front desk with grace and charm.

“At times, that can be quite challenging. Thank you Rachel!”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Rachel chose The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.

To learn more about The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, click here.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage four years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

 

Davis to present on Oklahoma open records laws issues

Eric Davis

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

C. Eric Davis, an attorney in the Firm’s Government Relations and Compliance Practice Group, will give a presentation on Oklahoma open records laws Oct. 18 for Continuing Legal Education individuals.

Davis will present at 10:15 a.m. at the National Business Institute’s seminar titled “Ensuring Local Governments Comply with the Law,” focusing on public records issues.

“Oklahoma’s open records laws help make government more transparent,” Davis said. “Most documents generated when conducting government business are subject to disclosure, even texts and emails.

“Whether you’re a public official needing to maintain records, or a member of the public seeking access, it’s important to understand the public’s right to see government documents.”

The seminar will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday in Oklahoma City. Those interested in registering can find more information here. Attendees receive CLE credit for participating.

Phillips Murrah rowing team takes silver in 2019 Oklahoma Regatta Festival

Law & Oarder, Phillips Murrah’s rowing team, wins Second Place in the 2019 Oklahoma Regatta Festival.

Phillips Murrah’s rowing team Law & Oarder ended the Fall 2019 season on top, placing second in the annual regatta competition.

The team competed on Oct. 4 at the 2019 Oklahoma Regatta Festival held at the OKC Boathouse District and achieved a 500-meter run of 2:00:06, up five seconds from last year.

“Another great season in the books,” said Deena Baker, Legal Assistant and Law & Oarder team captain. “We had a few new team members this season which is always exciting, and then to top it off with another medal after a lot of hard work.

“Friday night was a blast, being in a neck-in-neck race in the finale between First and Third Place. Way to go team Law & Oarder!”

In all eleven seasons the Firm’s rowing team has competed, team members consisted of both attorneys and staff members.

“This being my first season on the rowing team, I was thrilled to stand on the winners’ podium after a hard fought race,” Attorney Martin J. Lopez III said. “Being a part of the rowing team was a phenomenal opportunity to compete alongside my coworkers against other Oklahoma City companies.

“There’s so much excitement about the end-of-season regatta—it was a thrilling experience to take part in it.”

The team will resume practice in the Spring for the Stars & Stripes Festival in June 2020.

Check out video of the team crossing the finishline here.


Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage four years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

 

Gardner addresses current issues regarding Oklahoma Native American law

Melissa Gardner is a Director who practices in the Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group. She 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.

Director Melissa R. Gardner participated in a seminar in September for the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education individuals focusing on matters relevant to the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma.

“My presentation covered the statutory landscape for Native American law,” Gardner said. “I discussed all of the Congressional acts that control the United States’s legal position in regards to the tribes.”

On the topic of tribes, Gardner addressed the most recent Supreme Court case involving the tribes, Sharp v. Murphy, and emphasized possible, incredible implications on the state of Oklahoma and 19 million acres lying East of Oklahoma City.

The case is pending and raises the question of whether Congress disestablished the Muscogee Nation reservation. Click here for more information on issues surrounding the case.

Gardner is a Director and an attorney in the Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group. She represents energy companies in a variety of matters in both Oklahoma and Texas.

Law & Oarder to compete at 2019 Oklahoma Regatta Festival

Phillips Murrah’s rowing team, Law & Oarder, will put months of practice to the test as they compete in the annual Oklahoma Regatta Festival this Friday, Oct. 4.

Law & Oarder will compete in a 500-meter run at 6:20 PM, marking the fifth year the team has competed.

The festival runs from Oct. 4-6 and is open to the public. Teams will race at the Boathouse District (click here for more information).

Attendees are encouraged to carpool as parking will be limited.

Norman selected for LOYAL XV Class

Kendra Norman Web

Kendra M. Norman represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of transactional matters.

Leadership Oklahoma City recently selected members for Linking OKC’s Young Adult Leaders’ (LOYAL) 2019-20 class, and Phillips Murrah attorney Kendra M. Norman made the cut.

“I see my role in LOYAL as a community member and community leader who wants to experience personal growth with respect to leadership skills as well as further develop skills to improve the community,” Norman said. “I’m so excited to make new contacts and learn from others in different areas and professions as well.”

The LOYAL Program runs from September through April and focuses on enhancing personal leadership skills and cultivating community leadership skills by giving participants unique opportunities to learn leadership skills from Oklahoma’s most influential and accomplished business people, public servants, and non-profit managers.

“When you become an attorney, you join the legal profession and view yourself as an attorney, not just at work, but all the time,” Norman said. “No matter if you’re at work or at home, you are always an attorney and it’s a persona that you take on for life.

“But I’m so much more than just an attorney. I wanted to join the LOYAL program to help me make an impact on the community outside of this profession. I’m a leader in the Oklahoma City community and volunteer in several capacities, so I wanted to further develop those skills so that I can help improve the community and be a better leader and board member.”

Norman is a transactional attorney who represents clients in a broad range of matters in the areas of Mergers and Acquisitions, Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Clean Energy Law, and Private Wealth, Estate Planning and Business Succession.

Other Phillips Murrah graduates of Leadership Oklahoma City programs include Jim Roth, Signature Program Class XXII, and G. Calvin Sharpe, Signature Program Class XXIII.