Phillips Murrah welcomes two new attorneys to litigation team

Phillips Murrah is proud to welcome Natalie M. Jester and Laurie L. Schweinle to our Firm’s Litigation Practice Group as associate attorneys.

Attorney Laurie L. Schweinle and Natalie M. Jester

Laurie L. Schweinle and Natalie M. Jester

Natalie and Laurie represent individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of civil litigation matters.

Natalie attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law where she earned the American Jurisprudence Award for Professional Responsibility, Litigation Skills, and the Criminal Defense Clinic. She served as the Staff Editor on the Oklahoma Law Review and was on the Dean’s Honor Roll.

Prior to law school, Natalie was an Officer in the U.S. Navy. She now lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and two dogs.

Laurie attended the Oklahoma City University School of Law where she earned multiple CALI Awards for Excellence and was on the Dean’s List and Faculty Honor Roll. She served as a Staff Editor on the Law Review and received the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Outstanding Senior Law Student Award for OCU. She was also a member of the Phi Delta Phi Honor Society.

Laurie was raised in the Holdenville, Oklahoma area and received a Bachelor’s Degree from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Prior to law school, Laurie worked for the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training as the Executive Assistant, Public Information Officer, and Legislative Liaison.

Voth accepted into LOKC’s Signature Class 39

Attorney Lauren S. Voth has been accepted into Leadership Oklahoma City’s next Signature Class.

Attorney Lauren Symcox Voth

“Usually, the Signature LOKC program is a 10-month program with classes each month that focus on different community issues,” Voth said. “This year will be a little different and LOKC Class 39’s start date will be deferred to Fall 2021, however, we will have virtual meetings and get to attend alumni events throughout this year.”

The Signature Program is comprised of a two-day opening retreat and one-day-a-month programs for accepted individuals familiar with volunteer programs to network and increase their impact on their organizations and their community. Applicants are typically senior executives, business owners, and high-level directors and managers across industries and business types regionally.

“I am excited that we are in this unique position to spend a year getting to know one another and then another year learning and exploring Oklahoma City’s community issues, diversity, and resources,” Voth said.

To learn more about the Signature Program and other Leadership Oklahoma City programs, visit their website here.

Phillips Murrah attorneys remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg at OKC candlelight vigil

Phillips Murrah attorneys attend RBG vigil in OKC

From left: Nikki Jones Edwards, Cathy L. Campbell, Charlotte Hanna, Rev. Lori Walke and Lauren Barghols Hanna.

Tuesday night, Oklahomans gathered at the state capitol to mourn the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an American legal, cultural and feminist icon and, as described by Chief Justice John Roberts, a justice of historic stature and a cherished colleague.

Among those who gathered were Phillips Murrah attorneys Nikki Jones Edwards, Cathy L. Campbell and Lauren Barghols Hanna, joined by (see photo) Cathy’s granddaughter and Lauren’s daughter, Charlotte, and Rev. Lori Walke, Associate Minister at Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ.

“Justice Ginsburg famously declared that ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are being made,’” said Hanna, who practices employment law at Phillips Murrah. “In 1956, she was one of only nine women in her 500-person law school class. Today, thanks to the tireless efforts of Justice Ginsburg and other fierce advocates for equality, almost half of Phillips Murrah partners and two-thirds of our Executive Committee are women. We owe a great debt to Justice Ginsburg and the other women attorneys who paved the road, and we must now continue her efforts to ensure ‘justice for all.’”

The event, A Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was organized by The Oklahoma Women’s Coalition to honor and remember Justice Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87. Video of the speakers at the vigil are available here.

“We deeply mourn the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Our country has lost a champion of women’s rights and progress for all Americans. Our thoughts are with her loved ones and all whose lives were shaped and touched by her unwavering commitment to justice,” OWC posted to their Facebook page.

After 13 years on the U.S Court of Appeals, President Bill Clinton appointed Justice Ginsburg to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993. Over the following 27 years, she earned a reputation for being the High Court’s liberal leader and a steadfast advocate for equality. As stated in an achievement.org profile called “Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Pioneer of Gender Equality”:

“On the high court, Justice Ginsburg was often called on to rule in cases regarding the rights of women and issues of gender equality. In 1996, she joined the majority in United States v. Virginia, ruling that the state could not continue to operate an all-male educational institution (the Virginia Military Institute) with taxpayer dollars. She also joined in the majority opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000), striking down a Nebraska law banning so-called ‘partial birth’ abortions. She dissented vehemently in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire (2007), in which an Alabama woman sued unsuccessfully for back pay to compensate for the years in which she had been paid substantially less than junior male colleagues performing the same job. The U.S. Congress would later address the issue of pay equity through legislation known as the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.”

Late in Ginsburg’s life, she also became a cultural and social media icon. According to the New York Times, “a law student, Shana Knizhnik, anointed her the Notorious R.B.G., a play on the name of the Notorious B.I.G., a famous rapper who was Brooklyn-born, like the justice. Soon the name, and Justice Ginsburg’s image — her expression serene yet severe, a frilly lace collar adorning her black judicial robe, her eyes framed by oversize glasses and a gold crown perched at a rakish angle on her head — became an internet sensation.”

In a 2015 television interview, Ginsburg was asked how she would like to be remembered, to which she replied: “Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability, and to help repair tears in her society – to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself, because I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.”


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Cross to give virtual presentation for Texas Bankers conference

Director Alison J. Cross will present for banking counsel at a unique, joint conference Sept. 17-18 hosted by Texas Bankers Association’s Bankers Legal Conference and Southwest Association of Bank Counsel.

Phillips Murrah attorney Alison Cross

Director Alison Cross works with both lenders and borrowers in commercial finance transactions.

The conference, which will be broadcast online for the first time due to COVID-19, is organized by and for attorneys and will aide participants in identifying and managing a variety of issues in fair lending, cybersecurity, employment law, and other timely topics.

Cross’s presentation is titled “A Tale of Two Titles: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Leasehold Lending.”

“My presentation covers issues that come up when a bank makes a loan secured by a borrower’s interest in a ground lease,” Cross said. “The main takeaways are to plan for the best by getting the right diligence but prepare for the worst by getting the right protections.”

For more information about this virtual conference, visit TBA’s website here.

Gardner to present ethics CLE for in-house corporate counsel

Director Melissa R. Gardner will give a Continuing Legal Education presentation virtually for Association of Corporate Counsel on Sept. 9.

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.

ACC is a global association that aims to be an educational resource and networking platform for in-house counsel in corporations, associations and other organizations.

“Phillips Murrah is happy to sponsor the Oklahoma Chapter of the ACC and to partner with OK ACC in serving the business interests of our in-house counterparts,” Director Joshua L. Edwards said.

Gardner’s presentation is a refresher for a full spectrum of ethics issues in-house counsel manage on a daily basis.

“In my experience, continuing legal education for ethics is incredibly important because you are often on your own when making these decisions,” she said. “Plus, your relationships working with your clients on a day-to-day basis make some of the more difficult ethics calls more complicated than they would be if there was an arm’s length relationship.”

Gardner will cover Oklahoma’s Rules of Professional Conduct and address eight common ethics issues, exploring practical scenarios and ways to address each.

“Putting on programs like this allows us to support OK ACC’s mission of providing continuing education opportunities to its members,” Edwards said.

To learn more about ACC and this CLE, visit their website here.

Journal Record recognizes Gardner as 2020 Achiever Under 40

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

The Journal Record recognized Melissa R. Gardner, Phillips Murrah Director, as an Achiever Under 40 at their annual awards event on Aug. 28.

“I’m honored to be included in such an impressive group of people,” Gardner said. “Seeing the full list of Achievers Under 40 gives me unlimited hope for our state’s future.”

The 17th class of Achievers Under 40 were honored during a virtual event due to COVID-19.

Gardner and 44 others received notification of their awards in February. Read the full list of nominees here.

Official announcement from The Journal Record: https://journalrecord.com/2020/02/20/journal-record-announces-achievers-under-40-2020-class/

Watch Gardner accept her award below:


To contact Melissa for assistance with your legal needs, please call 405.606.4782 or email her.

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Phillips Murrah voted 2020 Reader’s Choice Best Local Law Firm

The Oklahoman newspaper’s readers named Phillips Murrah law firm a winner of Readers’ Choice Awards in two categories for 2020.

Phillips Murrah P.C. was voted Best Local Law Firm, and Director Elizabeth K. Brown was chosen as Best Business Attorney.

Remaining nominees from the Firm were voted into the Top 3 of their respective categories:

Readers of The Oklahoman chose nominees in May and voted on winners in June.

The winners were recognized at the Readers’ Choice event on Aug. 27.

Phillips Murrah announces 61 attorneys named to 2021 Best Lawyers lists

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce that 50 of our attorneys have been named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 lists in Oklahoma City and Dallas and 11 attorneys have been named to debut Ones to Watch 2021 list.

2021 Best Lawyers – Lawyers of the Year

Jennifer Ivester Berry – Commercial Finance Law

Michael D. Carter – Insurance Law

Lauren Barghols Hanna – Water Law

Sally A. Hasenfratz – Mergers and Acquisitions

Clayton D. Ketter – Litigation – Bankruptcy

Fred A. Leibrock – Litigation – Real Estate

Jim A. Roth – Energy Regulatory Law

 

The Best Lawyers in America 2021

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

Elizabeth K. Brown – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Energy Law; Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Mergers and Acquisitions; Oil and Gas Law; Real Estate Law; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates

Susan E. Bryant – Securities / Capital Markets Regulation; Securities Regulation

John M. Bunting – Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law; Oil and Gas Law

Catherine L. Campbell – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Labor and Employment

A. Michelle Campney – Commercial Litigation

Michael D. Carter – Insurance Law; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment; Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Rodney L. Cook – Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law; Litigation – Insurance; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Cody J. Cooper – Commercial Litigation

C. Eric Davis – Energy Regulatory Law

Bobby Dolatabadi – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Joshua L. Edwards – Financial Services Regulation Law; Real Estate Law

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

Nicholle Jones Edwards – Family Law; Family Law Arbitration

Kayce L. Gisinger – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Juston R. Givens – Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law

Mark E. Golman – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Lauren Barghols Hanna – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment; Water Law

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

Terry L. Hawkins – Public Finance Law

Heather L. Hintz – Commercial Litigation

Patrick L. Hullum – Commercial Litigation

Clayton D. Ketter – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Litigation; Financial Services Regulation Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy

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

Jason M. Kreth – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Gretchen M. Latham– Commercial Litigation

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

Candace Williams Lisle – Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Litigation; Financial Services Regulation Law

Mark Lovelace – Banking and Finance Law; Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Real Estate Law

Byrona J. Maule – Litigation – Labor and Employment

Melvin R. McVay, Jr. – Banking and Finance Law; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Litigation; Financial Services Regulation Law; Insurance Law; Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Bankruptcy; Litigation – Real Estate

Andrew S. Mildren – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Banking and Finance Law; Government Relations Practice; Real Estate Law

Jennifer L. Miller – Commercial Litigation

Cindy H. Murray – Real Estate Law

Robert O. O’Bannon – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Oil and Gas Law; Private Funds / Hedge Funds Law; Tax Law

Martin G. Ozinga – Commercial Litigation; Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television; Information Technology Law; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Technology Law

Donald A. Pape – Banking and Finance Law; Financial Services Regulation Law

Dawn M. Rahme – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships; Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Mergers and Acquisitions; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates

Mary Holloway Richard – Health Care Law

Jim A. Roth – Energy Law; Energy Regulatory Law; Environmental Law; Government Relations Practice; Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy); Natural Resources Law

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

Robert N. Sheets – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Bankruptcy; Litigation – Land Use and Zoning; Litigation – Real Estate

Ellen K. Spiropoulos – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Real Estate Law

D. Craig Story – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Real Estate Law, Trusts and Estates

Kathryn D. Terry – Insurance Law; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment

Beverly I. Vilardofsky – Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Amy D. White – Commercial Litigation; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Lyndon W. Whitmire – Commercial Litigation; Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

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

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

 

The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch 2021

Oklahoma City:

Justin G. Bates – Commercial Litigation

Hilary Hudson Clifton – Appellate Practice; Commercial Litigation

Jessica N. Cory – Tax Law

Erica K. Halley – Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Real Estate Law

Travis E. Harrison – Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Oil and Gas Law; Real Estate Law

Mark E. Hornbeek – Commercial Litigation

Martin J. Lopez III – Health Care Law

Kendra M. Norman – Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Real Estate Law; Tax Law

Ashley M. Schovanec – Commercial Litigation

Molly E. Tipton – Family Law; Oil and Gas Law

 

Dallas:

Kim Beight Kelly – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

PM attorneys create “practical” guide to commercial real estate leasing

Phillips Murrah attorneys merged their expertise to curate a commercial real estate leasing legal guide for Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law resource.

Thomson Reuters Practical Law provides guidance across many practice areas with hundreds of editors monitoring each subject to make day-to-day updates as legal viewpoints shift. Directors Sally A. Hasenfratz and Joshua L. Edwards and Attorneys Jennifer Ivester Berry and Erica K. Halley contributed to organizing the August 5, 2020 update for Real Estate Leasing for Oklahoma.

“I enjoyed spending time taking an earnest look at the various layers of my real estate and leasing practice to create a user-friendly roadmap on the basics in the Oklahoma market,” Halley said. “Q&As like this and similar materials made available by Thompson Reuters are great resources for out-of-state attorneys and, particularly, local attorneys who may be handling a matter outside of their usual field.”

thomson reuters practical law

Read more on Phillips Murrah’s Real Estate Leasing guide for Oklahoma from Thomson Reuters here.

Cooper elected 2021 OCBA Vice President

Oklahoma County Bar Association members voted to elect Cody J. Cooper, Phillips Murrah Director, as Vice President for 2021.

Cody Cooper online photo

Cody Cooper is a Director in the Intellectual Property Practice Group and represents individuals and companies in a wide range of intellectual property matters, including patent, trademark and copyright matters. His practice also includes commercial litigation.

“I enjoy being involved in the Oklahoma County Bar because it provides me an opportunity to be directly involved with Oklahoma County’s legal community and provides me an excellent opportunity to meet and work with colleagues that I wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to work with,” he said. “I have the chance to work directly with our county judges, law schools and practitioners throughout the county to further the work of the bar and provide a positive community impact.”

Cooper is currently serving his term on OCBA’s Board of Directors, a role he assumed in 2019 and will serve in until his term as Vice President begins in August 2021.

OCBA members also elected Judge Don Andrews as President, Shanda McKenney as President-Elect, Benjamin Grubb as Law Library Trustee, and Ed Blau, Judge Heather Coyle, Katherine Mazaheri-Franze, Drew Mildren, Amy Pierce, and Judge Susan Stallings as members of the 2023 Board of Directors.

To learn more about OCBA, visit their website here.

GIP names Jim Roth as new board member

Global Innovation Platform has named Jim Roth, Phillips Murrah Director, as a board member.

Jim Roth is a Director and Chair of the firm’s Clean Energy Practice.

“Jim has extensive depth and insights regarding energy policy, trends and opportunities and will add tremendous value to the governance of GIP,” said David Swank, CEO of GIP. “I had the great pleasure of working with Jim while he served as Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner and found Jim to be very innovative, forward thinking and pragmatic about where we need to be going in the energy and built environment space.”

Roth is a member of the Phillips Murrah Law Firm’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group and chair of the Clean Energy Practice Group. He represents individuals, publicly-owned companies and privately-owned companies in a range of business, energy and environmental issues, as well as a variety of public policy and regulatory matters.

He served as an Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner, by appointment of Governor Brad Henry. Prior to that appointment, Roth was elected to consecutive four-year terms as Oklahoma County Commissioner. He is a member of the Oklahoma, Kansas, and American Bar Associations and is a past president of the National Association of Civil County Attorneys.

Additionally, in 2018, Jim began serving as the dean of the Oklahoma City University School of Law, his alma mater. He enjoys bringing leadership and innovation to preparing tomorrow’s lawyers for the legal profession. Roth is an alumnus of OCU Law, earning his Juris Doctor degree in 1994. He also holds graduate certificates from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the United States Air War College’s National Security Forum at Maxwell Air Force Base, and the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University.

“Jim’s vast experience within the energy sector will be highly beneficial to our shareholders,” said Jordan Harper, GIP board chair. “Jim is an individual who brings out the best of others and organizations. I appreciate his ability to generate ideas and build solutions that are meaningful to clients and society in general.”

GIP is an IoT (Internet of Things) and digital data company located in Stillwater, Okla. The company provides technology solutions that make infrastructure and facilities smarter and intuitive. GIP’s primary clients include the utility, commercial, industrial, agriculture and residential sectors. Learn more about GIP at globalinnovationplatform.com.

Blocks for Bucks continues with NBA Bubble Season Restart

Phillips Murrah Blocks for Bucks 2020

It was here, then it was gone. Now, it’s back again! On Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball season resumes in Orlando. FL. The Thunder are paired against the team we were supposed to play twenty weeks ago, when the season was abruptly, unceremoniously shut down due to the COVID-19 virus.

OKC Thunder cancelled seasonWith the tip-off against the Utah Jazz at 2:30 p.m., so resumes Phillips Murrah’s Blocks for Bucks partnership with the Thunder Cares Foundation. The rest of the season will be played in what is being characterized as “The Bubble,” which is an isolation zone set up for the NBA in Orlando’s Disney property with strict protocols designed to keep players and the teams’ supporting staff safe from exposure to coronavirus.

What is Blocks for Bucks?

Starting in 2017, Phillips Murrah first partnered with the Thunder to recognize our home team’s on-court accomplishments in blocking shots and turn our Firm’s support into dollars that will help make our community a better place. Through Blocks for Bucks, Phillips Murrah has been donating $100 to The Thunder Cares Foundation for each blocked shot that the Thunder forces at home games during the regular season.

Phillips Murrah 2018-2019 Oklahoma City Thunder Blocks for Bucks donation check

Phillips Murrah Directors G. Calvin Sharpe, Marc Edwards and Nikki Edwards present the 2018-2019 season Blocks for Bucks donation check for $20,600 to Christine Berney, OKC Thunder Vice President, Community Relations

As the 2019-2020 season resumes, the Phillips Murrah Blocks for Bucks count is at 160, which equates to $16,000 raised so far for Thunder Cares. The current blocks count and video highlights can be found at the Oklahoma City Thunder website.

Typically, Phillips Murrah presents a check at half-court in the Chesapeake Arena during the final home game of the season. Last year’s final amount totaled $20,600.

Thunder Cares 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 CountyCity Rescue Mission and Positive Tomorrows.

Phillips Murrah is proud of our partnership with the Thunder Organization, and we – like all Thunder fans – are more than ready for the season to continue. Good luck, stay safe and Thunder Up!

PM Director Janet Hendrick praises Supreme Court LGBTQ decision

Phillips Murrah Director Janet A. Hendrick is featured as the lead source in a Dallas Observer article reviewing the Supreme Court decision to uphold workplace protections for LGBTQ Americans.

Janet Hendrick

Janet Hendrick is an experienced employment litigator who tackles each of her client’s problems with a tailored, results-oriented approach.

From the story:

Some employers’ advocates argue that, at the time the bill was drafted, it was intended to safeguard men or women from being discriminated against because of their sex. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his dissenting opinion that the law wasn’t meant to include protections for sexual orientation or gender identity.

But it’s precisely because of their sex that gay, trans and gender-nonconforming people face workplace discrimination, said Janet Hendrick, a Dallas-based employment law attorney.

Although Texas’ Legislature does not explicitly outline protections for LGBTQ people, Hendrick said many companies have inclusive policies because “it’s the right thing to do.” Still, change can be slow going for certain small businesses in the Bible Belt, she said.

Hendrick, who works closely with employment advocacy groups like the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce, said she was pleasantly surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision.

“It’s literally like a rainbow sparked up from ashes in light of all the bad news recently,” Hendrick said. “So for this decision to come coinciding with Pride Month, it’s wonderful, uplifting news.”

Hendrick is an employment law attorney based in the Firm’s Dallas office. Contact her by phone at 214.615.6391 or by email at jahendrick@phillipsmurrah.com.

Read the full article here: https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/north-texans-happy-about-supreme-court-lgbt-decision-see-more-work-ahead-11919900

For more information about this Supreme Court decision, read a summary of the decision here.

Phillips Murrah PPE donation to OU Medicine follow-up

As part of Phillips Murrah’s efforts to assist in the Oklahoma City community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Firm once again partnered with NPR radio station KGOU. In addition to supporting KGOU’s ongoing work, Phillips Murrah raised $3000 for OU Medicine to assist in acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line medical workers, as part of May’s #GivingTuesdayNow pledge drive.

On Wednesday, our Firm presented the donation to Anne Clouse, Chief Development Officer for OU Medicine. Due to COVID-19-related restrictions, Phillips Murrah Director Catherine L. Campbell and Healthcare practice leader Mary Holloway Richard presented a six-foot-wide check, designed with appropriate social distancing in mind.

Phillips Murrah OU Medicine PPF Check Presentation

Phillips Murrah Director Catherine L. Campbell (l) and Healthcare practice leader Mary Holloway Richard (r) presented a six-foot check to OU Medicine, designed with appropriate social distancing in mind.

“We are deeply grateful to Phillips Murrah for their generous gift to support OU Medicine’s COVID-19 response,” said Clouse. “Their donation will help support our healthcare workers taking care of patients on the frontline. What a kind a thoughtful gesture.”

“Phillips Murrah has long had a strong relationship with healthcare facilities and providers throughout our state,” said Richard, who represents institutional and non-institutional providers of health services. “We are proud to support the heroic efforts of OU Medicine and those on the front line ministering to all Oklahomans.”

“There is a certain element of good humor related to this giant, social-distancing presentation check, which Cathy and Mary safely presented to Anne in a parking lot on the downtown OU Medicine complex.” said Dave Rhea, Phillips Murrah Marketing Director. “However, supporting OU Medicine as they battle this virus is a very serious matter, and we are grateful to be able to help.”

#GivingTuesdayNow was a global day of giving and unity as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

Promotional graphic for KGOU GivingTuesNow 2

RELATED LINKS:

#GivingTuesdayNow: Phillips Murrah partners with KGOU to support OU Medicine PPE
Phillips Murrah partners with KGOU and Regional Food Bank to provide 20,000 meals

Keep up with our ongoing COVID-19 resources, guidance and updates at our RESOURCE CENTER.

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Village Animal Shelter renovation project makes significant progress

The following article is an update to a February 2020 column by Thomas G. Wolfe, Managing Director of Phillips Murrah P.C., on the state of renovations being made to the Village Animal Shelter in Oklahoma City.

thomas wolfe village animal shelter okc friday phillips murrah

Home builder Jim Abernathy, left, walks Village Animal League’s Tom Wolfe and Cheryl Steckler and The Village City Manager Bruce Stone, right, through his plans for the new Village Animal Shelter. Photo by OKC Friday

Plans for a renovated Village Animal Shelter in Oklahoma City are actively being executed, with Jim Abernathy, project supervisor and Village resident, optimistic for it’s completion ahead of the originally projected 90-day turnaround.

Thomas G. Wolfe, Managing Director of Phillips Murrah and Village Animal League board member, authored an article in February informing readers of plans for the Village Animal Shelter and calling for donations to reach the project funding goal.

The OKC Friday newspaper reported updates to the project in the June 5 issue:

Last week (Jim Abernathy) met with City Manager Bruce Stone and Village Animal League (VAL) board members Tom Wolfe and Cheryl Steckler at the site to review progress and finalize plans.

Abernathy reported they are making significant progress.

Wire fencing kennels and all the existing concrete around the enclosures have been removed. All wiring was removed in advance of the new electric service, which will have new wiring and lighting.

“Existing plumbing was disconnected and removed and we are preparing to rough in the new plumbing in the next week or so,” Abernathy said.

Also, workers removed the entire ceiling was removed and placed shoring in advance to install the new heating and air conditioning system.

“This alone will be a real game-changer regarding the comfort of these animals while they wait for a new home,” Abernathy continued.

The large steel frame roof structure between the kennel and building to the south is set to be reinstalled with metal roofing panels that will keep the dogs under a roof when inside the outside portion of the enclosures. The inside part should be completed in early June.

Abernathy plans to begin plumbing work reconfiguration and installing new water and drain lines for the kennel within a week or two.

While significant parts of the project are on track for completion, there are still items for the project that aren’t fully funded, Steckler said.

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.

Success Story

The OKC Friday also reported on Lucy Rose, a stray dog rescued by Village Animal League near their offices, and Wolfe’s assistance in getting her rehabilitated:

village animal league okc friday

Britton Road Vet’s Molly Ann Mauldin leads Lucy Rose into the clinic. Photo by OKC Friday

Lucy Rose is healing nicely after spending at least three days wandering The Village and being rescued by The Village Animal League.

A larger, brown, very skinny dog was first noticed last Wednesday outside the OKC FRIDAY Newspaper’s office on Quail Plaza Drive. Animal Control and Cheryl Steckler, a VAL board member, were called.

Cheryl said she followed the dog for an hour and a half and could not get her to come to her.

Sightings of the dog continued on Thursday and into Friday, often times she lay in the shade on FRIDAY’s island. Others also tried to approach her to no avail.

Cheryl brought a trap on Friday when finally the stray dog was found in the courtyard of a nearby building. Cheryl and volunteer Ann Hopkins were quick to shut the gates. By this time, the dog apparently was tired enough to let them take her to the Britton Road Vet Clinic.
In the meantime, Cheryl named her Lucy Rose. Dr. Todd Mauldin and his daughter Molly Ann are taking care of her.

Lucy Rose had two-week-old deep infected bite wounds through the muscle which required stitches. She was found to be heartworm negative, but had an heavy infestation of fleas and ticks, Cheryl said.

The dog weighed 43 pounds and needs to gain at least 10. Cheryl said Lucy Rose ate and slept well all weekend. She had a bath on Monday and spaying and chipping will take place after she heals up some.

“Dr. Mauldin said she is doing great,” Cheryl said. “She’s skittish, but doesn’t seem to want to bite anybody.”

Tom Wolfe, also of The Village Animal League, is paying Lucy Rose’s bill. Cheryl said others have expressed an interest in helping out.

She asked them to call the Britton Road Vet at 751-8007.


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Beau M. Patterson joins Phillips Murrah Dallas office

Attorney Beau M. Patterson

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 3, 2020) – Phillips Murrah P.C. is pleased to announce Beau M. Patterson has joined the Firm in its Dallas-based office as an Of Counsel attorney. His addition to the Firm brings the number of Phillips Murrah attorneys serving the Texas market to fourteen.

Beau works primarily as an outside general counsel to his business clients, advising and assisting them in responding to existing legal needs while also helping to anticipate and plan for those that may not yet have come into focus.

Beau’s practice is primarily transactional, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, public and private capital raises, debt offerings, real estate transactions and restructurings. Prior to joining Phillips Murrah, Beau served for three years as General Counsel of a technology company which grew to more than 1,000 team members during his time with the company.

Beau was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and previously lived and worked in Oklahoma City. He attended Oklahoma City University School of Law.

Phillips Murrah opened its Dallas office in May of 2018.


CONTACT:

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

Main: (214) 615-6365
Fax: (214) 434-1370​​

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405 Magazine selects Phillips Murrah for 2020 Oklahoma Top Attorneys

Phillips Murrah is honored to have 13 attorneys selected as Oklahoma Top Attorneys for 2020 by 405 Magazine. Attorneys are selected for the list by an online peer-voting and research process facilitated by DataJoe Research across various practice areas.

For more information on each listed attorney, visit their profile by clicking on their portrait or contact information below:

Oklahoma Top Attorney for Banking and Financial Law:

. Mark Lovelace Oklahoma Top Attorney Banking and Financial Law

J. Mark Lovelace, Director
405.552.2404
jmlovelace@phillipsmurrah.com

 

Donald A. Pape Oklahoma Top Attorney Banking and Financial Law

Donald A. Pape, Of Counsel
405.364.3346
dapape@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Business Law:

Robert O. O'Bannon Oklahoma Top Attorney Business Law

Robert O. O’Bannon, Director
405.552.2483
roobannon@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Civil Law Transactional:

A. Michelle Campney Oklahoma Top Attorney Civil Law Transactional

A. Michelle Campney, Of Counsel
405.552.2487
amcampney@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Commercial Litigation:

Thomas G. Wolfe Oklahoma Top Attorney Commercial Litigation

Thomas G. Wolfe, Director
405.552.2401
tgwolfe@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Health Care Law:

Mary Holloway Richard Oklahoma Top Attorney Health Care Law

Mary Holloway Richard, Of Counsel
405.552.2403
mhrichard@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Intellectual Property Rights:

Martin G. Ozinga Oklahoma Top Attorney Intellectual Property Rights

Martin G. Ozinga, Of Counsel
405.606.4721
mgozinga@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Labor and Employment:

Byrona J. Maule Oklahoma Top Attorney Labor and Employment

Byrona J. Maule, Director
405.552.2453
bjmaule@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Land Use – Environment:

Jim A. Roth Oklahoma Top Attorney Land Use Environment

Jim A. Roth, Director
405.552.2417
jaroth@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Medical Malpractice Defense:

G. Calvin Sharpe Oklahoma Top Attorney Medical Malpractice Defense

G. Calvin Sharpe, Director
405.552.2413
gcsharpe@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Oil and Gas:

Elizabeth K Brown Oklahoma Top Attorney Oil and Gas

Elizabeth K. Brown, Director
405.552.2423
ekbrown@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Real Estate:

Sally A. Hasenfratz Oklahoma Top Attorney Real Estate

Sally A. Hasenfratz, Director
405.552.2431
sahasenfratz@phillipsmurrah.com


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Tax Law:

Robert O. O'Bannon Oklahoma Top Attorney Business Law

Robert O. O’Bannon, Director
405.552.2483
roobannon@phillipsmurrah.com

 

Dawn M. Rahme Oklahoma Top Attorney Tax Law

Dawn M. Rahme, Director
405.606.4770
dmrahme@phillipsmurrah.com

 

View the full list of attorneys here:

Phillips Murrah sponsors OU Law’s 2020 Best Brief Award

Eight first-year law students at the University of Oklahoma received awards for their prowess in writing legal briefs through Phillips Murrah’s ongoing sponsorship of the Best Brief Award.

OU law best brief 2020

Three recipients of OU Law’s 2020 Best Brief Award: Jordan Stroh, Jen Mook, and Trae Havens

“We appreciate Phillips Murrah for their unwavering support for the OU College of Law,” said Interim Dean Katheleen Guzman.  “The Phillips Murrah Best Brief Awards illustrate their commitment to helping us fulfill our mission:  educating the next great generation of lawyers and leaders to serve our community.

“That our students continue to excel in the classroom and the courtroom is directly attributable to extraordinary partners like Phillips Murrah, and we are truly grateful.”

$500 First Place and $250 Second Place prizes were awarded to students in each of the four sections of the 1L Class.

“I’m beyond grateful to this firm for the award money they gifted me and for recognizing me for my writing skills I have developed through my time thus far at OU Law,” said Jordan Stroh, First Place recipient.

Though awards are typically given during an awards luncheon, this year’s ceremony was hosted via a Zoom video conference on April 16.

“I am so appreciative of winning the Phillips Murrah Best Brief Writing Award during my first year of law school,” said Jen Mook, Second Place recipient. “Being a strong legal advocate requires many skills; however, none may be as useful as effective persuasive writing.

”I am grateful that Phillips Murrah recognizes this by awarding students for our writing efforts early in our law schools careers.”

Awards are given to top appellate briefs following judging from the 1L Moot Court Competition.

“I’m incredibly grateful for Phillips Murrah and their dedication to lifting up the next generation of legal professionals,” said Trae Havens, First Place recipient. “It’s a unique honor to receive the Phillips Murrah Best Brief Writing Award!

“I’m working hard to improve my legal research and writing skills, always taking inspiration from the amazing attorneys at Phillips Murrah.”

Read More: Phillips Murrah sponsors 2019 Best Brief Award

Edwards named OCU Law’s Distinguished Practitioner for Fall semester

Nicholle Jones Edwards attorneyt

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.

Oklahoma City University School of Law recently named Director Nikki Edwards the Distinguished Practitioner in Residence for the upcoming Fall semester.

“The role of Distinguished Practitioner in Residence is an exciting opportunity to interact with the students in a meaningful, interactive way, as opposed to a lecture format,” Edwards said. “I’m most looking forward to being able to play a small role in the exciting futures of our future lawyers.”

Edwards will be the third person and first female to hold the position, Jim Roth, OCU School of Law Dean and Phillips Murrah Director said.

“We at OCU School of Law are thrilled to host Nikki Edwards as our Distinguished Practitioner in Residence for the upcoming Academic Year ‘20-‘21 where she will lead our lucky students through a Litigation Practicum covering all issues from A to Z,” Roth said. “As our first female lawyer in this role, it’s an extra special way to highlight not only her wonderful skills, but to bring attention to the under-representation of women in litigation practices.

“We have tremendous faith that Nikki will educate and inspire men and women to become great practitioners for their clients and the profession.”

Highlighting the Firm’s focus on gender equity in law firm leadership, Edwards hopes her role can bring more visibility to women in the legal field.

“I am honored to be the first female to serve as Distinguished Practitioner In Residence,” Edwards said. “Today more than 50 percent of law students are women, yet a very small percentage of trial lawyers are female.

“I would love my students to realize that women can be strong, effective, trial lawyers, and the courtroom is not only a place for men. A big part of my life’s work is supporting other women as a mentor, friend and colleague. As a shareholder of Phillips Murrah P.C., our firm has a much larger percentage of female shareholders than the state and national average, which is something I am very proud of. I think the future should and will have more female litigators, and that is why being chosen by Dean Roth and OCU Law for this position is such a high honor.”

Enrollment for the course is now open. Learn more at OCU School of Law’s website.

“I hope students learn to love the practice of law and not just the substantive case law found in various subjects,” she said. “A significant takeaway will be that as lawyers in litigation we have the ability to really change lives and that the students realize how important our representation is to our clients, the public and the judiciary.

“Importantly, litigation and trial work can be extremely exhilarating and exciting, but also very frightening for new lawyers, so I hope each student feels a basic comfort level with the process at the conclusion of the class.”

Click here to learn more about Nikki’s practice.

PM Director Kathy Terry featured in article about liability related to workplace reopening

Phillips Murrah Director Kathy Terry is featured as a source in a Journal Record article regarding liability that companies may face as Oklahoma begins to re-open as directed by Governor Stitt.

Kathryn Terry portrait

The emphasis of Kathryn D. Terry’s litigation practice is in the areas of insurance coverage, labor and employment law and civil rights defense. She also represents corporations in complex litigation matters.

From the story:

As thousands of businesses reopen their doors amid the COVID-19 crisis, they’ll be facing a new type of risk that could be even more devastating to them than a pandemic.

Oklahoma businesses could face lawsuits filed by customers claiming they contracted COVID-19 while in their restaurants, bars or showrooms, forcing court cases that could cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

“We’re going to see the lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits,” said Kathryn Terry, an attorney with Oklahoma City law firm Phillips Murrah.

The issue may be the latest tragic tranche to unfold in the coronavirus saga that has seen more than 60,000 U.S. deaths and millions of people out of work. Some say the legal fallout could continue long after the disease is a distant memory.

Terry said COVID-19 tort claims against businesses are not likely to be successful. Plaintiffs would have to clear a high bar to prove they contracted the virus from a specific business or from a specific person.

For businesses that are following government guidelines and operating safely, an unfavorable judgment is not necessarily the biggest risk. Their main concern is the legal fees they could face trying to defend themselves. For small businesses, the cost could be devastating.

Terry estimates fees in a COVID-19 liability case could range from $35,000 to $50,000.

You may contact Kathy at 405.552.2452 or by email at kdterry@phillipsmurrah.com.

Read the full story here: https://journalrecord.com/2020/04/30/legal-protection-lots-of-lawsuits-loom-as-oklahoma-businesses-prepare-to-reopen/

#GivingTuesdayNow: Phillips Murrah partners with KGOU to support OU Medicine PPE

Promotional graphic for KGOU GivingTuesNow 2

#GivingTuesdayNow is May 5.

It is certainly an understatement to say that the past month and a half has been disruptive to the way of life of so many. As we adapt to this strange new world, we seek out ways to be helpful to those around us.

As part of Phillips Murrah’s efforts to help, our Firm has once again partnered with KGOU – Your NPR Source to support their participation in #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5th. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

In addition to supporting KGOU’s ongoing work to deliver reliable news and information, Phillips Murrah will give $3000 to OU Medicine as part of a pledge grant.

Promotional graphic for KGOU GivingTuesNow

Click to enlarge.

From KGOU: “We don’t want to take any time away from coverage of this fast-moving crisis, so we are forgoing our traditional pledge drive this spring. But the coronavirus will not stop our commitment to you. KGOU, StateImpact Oklahoma and our network reporters are tracking the latest developments, including economic impact, medical research, impact in other countries, and, most importantly, what you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Your gift to KGOU will have triple the impact, because you’ll be doing something more. The law firm of Phillips Murrah will provide support to OU Medicine for personal protective equipment–masks, gloves, gowns and the like–for workers on the front lines. Phillips Murrah will give $3000–$10 for each of the first 300 donors to KGOU.”

#GivingTuesdayNow is May 5. You can give online now to be counted in this campaign – or call KGOU’s pledge line at (405) 325-5468. Also, you may mail a check to the address below.

KGOU Public Radio
860 Van Vleet Oval, Copeland Hall, Rm 300
Norman, OK 73019

Norman named University of Oklahoma’s Outstanding Chapter Advisor

attorney kendra norman

Attorney Kendra Norman stands with Alpha Omicron Pi board members.

Attorney Kendra M. Norman was recently named Outstanding Chapter Advisor of Alpha Omicron Pi at University of Oklahoma, having been elected to the position just this past fall.

“I was shocked and so humbled! I never expected to receive this award after just taking on this position,” she said. “I am very proud to represent Xi Chapter and Alpha Omicron Pi in this position. Receiving this award just further encourages me to continue to do my best for Xi Chapter and our community!”

OU Fraternity and Sorority Programs and Services chooses recipients for a variety of annual awards, including Outstanding Chapter Advisor, from various Chapter President submissions by the Interfraternity Council, Independent Greek Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Panhellenic Association organizations.

“Xi Chapter has achieved so much and has had myriad successes this year,” Norman said. “I have learned an amazing amount about leadership, working with different personalities, and how to motivate and support others.

“During the past few weeks, I have also learned to power of positivity and the importance of that mindset in a leadership position.

Norman worked in conjunction with Alpha Omicron Pi Properties earlier this year to revitalize and update a memorial rose garden in front of their facility to honor Lisa Wieder, a member who tragically passed away during Spring Break 2004, one of her proudest achievements since assuming her role.

“It was important to me that this garden adequately reflect and celebrate her life as well as continue to serve as a reminder to our members and the Greek community at OU to be safe while enjoying Spring Break and to always carry their identification with them just in case,” she said.

As for her future with the organization, the opportunities in Alpha Omicron Pi are endless, Norman said.

“I love the position of Chapter Adviser, and I hope to have the opportunity to serve Xi Chapter in this role for several years to come,” she said. “Being able to mentor, encourage and empower these amazing women is an incredible opportunity.

“Not only does Alpha Omicron Pi have local volunteer opportunities, but members can also volunteer on an international level. There are countless volunteer positions that allow alumnae to contribute to the membership experience, engagement, and development of collegiate members as well as work with the Alpha Omicron Pi Foundation and Alpha Omicron Pi Properties. I look forward to any future opportunities that will allow me to work with and connect with the amazing women of Alpha Omicron Pi.”

 

Read more: Norman elected Chapter Adviser for University of Oklahoma sorority

Firm selects Employee of the Month for March 2020

donna anderson eotm

Donna Anderson

Donna Anderson, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for March 2020.

“It is an honor to be nominated as Employee of the Month,” Donna said. “I am extremely grateful and blessed to be a part of this loving work family!”

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

“Donna is more than just a legal assistant to me, she feels like family,” Attorney Molly E. Tipton said. “She is reliable, diligent, positive and very smart.”

The Firm makes a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Donna chose National Kidney Foundation.

To learn more about National Kidney Foundation, click here.

 

Read more: Firm selects Employee of the Month for February 2020


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.

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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

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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.

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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.

 
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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

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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.

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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.
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