Phillips Murrah Dallas Office Gets New Location

Dallas New Office Web leader imageDALLAS – To accommodate growth, the law firm of Phillips Murrah P.C. is proud to announce we have relocated our Dallas office. We remain in the Regency building, at 3710 Rawlins Street, and the firm’s Dallas-based attorneys now occupy Suite 900.

“We are excited about this move because it’s a direct result of our growth in the North Texas market,” said Phillips Murrah’s Managing Partner, Thomas G. Wolfe. “This Dallas office expansion indicates that we are on track with our overall plan.”

Dallas Lobby photo

Phillips Murrah Dallas reception area

Phillips Murrah opened its Dallas office in Spring 2018 intending to enhance value for clients in Texas and beyond by delivering substantial cost saving opportunities due to a lower comparative overhead structure. This goal is achieved, in part, through the firm’s collaborative culture, which includes using experienced Oklahoma lawyers with lower billing rates on client teams, and maintaining back-office operations in the Oklahoma City office.

“Support for the firm’s middle-market value proposition, as evidenced by an increased number of assignments from clients, ranging from local entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, has allowed us to add new lawyers and new practice areas to our Dallas team since the beginning of 2020,” said Mark E. Golman, a Dallas-based Phillips Murrah Shareholder. “Our new space in Gaedeke Group’s Regency building will allow us to continue that growth.”

The new office contact information is as follows:

Phillips Murrah P.C.
3710 Rawlins St., Suite 900
Dallas TX, 75219
Main: 214.434.1919
Fax: 214.434.1370

PLEASE NOTE: All Dallas-based attorneys have new phone numbers, listed below.
Click to visit their attorney profile pages.

Laurel L. Baker portrait
Laurel L. Baker
Associate
469.485.7338
llbaker@phillipsmurrah.com
Phillips Murrah attorney Alison Cross
Alison J. Cross
Director
469.485.7336
ajcross@phillipsmurrah.com
Mark Golman Web
Mark E. Golman
Director
469.485.7333
megolman@phillipsmurrah.com
Janet Hendrick portrait
Janet A. Hendrick
Director
469.485.7334
jahendrick@phillipsmurrah.com
Kim Kelly portrait
Kim Beight Kelly
Associate
469.485.7337
kbkelly@phillipsmurrah.com
Beau M. Patterson portrait
Beau M. Patterson
Of Counsel
469.485.7340
bmpatterson@phillipsmurrah.com
Michele Spillman portraitMichele B. Spillman
Of Counsel
469.485.7342
mcspillman@phillipsmurrah.com

About us:

Phillips Murrah P.C. empowers clients with the insight and strategic legal counsel necessary to maintain a competitive edge. Through a multi-disciplinary team of skilled attorneys, clients are supported by across-the-board transactional legal representation and in all areas of civil litigation. The Firm provides world-class representation at competitive rates while maintaining personalized relationships that a client would expect from a boutique firm. Whether an individual, a local company, or a Fortune 500 corporation, our clients can depend on us to deliver valuable, practical solutions that fit specific needs.


Related posts:

Hendrick presenting at 2021 Texas Diversity Equity & Inclusion Conference – June 2021

Limitations of the Texas Citizens Participation Act – Jan 2021

Phillips Murrah recognized as Champion of Justice Law Firm by Texas Access to Justice Commission – Oct. 2020

Laurel Baker joins Phillips Murrah law firm’s Dallas legal team – Oct. 2020

Clients seek lower costs for legal services – Sept. 2020

Texas Lawyer: Mid-Market Strategy to Achieve Cost Reductions that Clients Seek – June 2020

Beau M. Patterson joins Phillips Murrah Dallas office – June 2020

PM Director Janet Hendrick praises Supreme Court LGBTQ decision – June 2020

Michele C. Spillman joins Phillips Murrah Dallas office – Mar. 2020

Phillips Murrah Shareholder Janet A. Hendrick elected as Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation – Dec. 2019

Hendrick partners with North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce – Aug 2019

Kelly selected to join Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Leadership Class – July 2019

Kim Beight Kelly joins Phillips Murrah Dallas office – May 2019

Director to present employment law lecture for SMU School of Law – May 2019

Alison J. Cross joins Phillips Murrah Dallas office – May 2019

Texas Court Sends Non-Compete Agreement Lawsuit to Arbitration – Nov. 2018

Wolfe reflects on Law Firm growth in Dallas market for Texas Lawyer article – Oct 2019

Phillips Murrah welcomes Janet A. Hendrick to Dallas office – Oct. 2018

Dallas employment attorney Janet A. Hendrick tells Law360 why she joined Phillips Murrah – Oct 2018

Phillips Murrah Director Janet Hendrick mentioned in Power Players: Women Leading in Law – Oct. 2018

ALERT: Austin Court of Appeals: Austin Paid Sick Leave Unconstitutional – Nov. 2018

Phillips Murrah expands into Dallas – May 2018

Gardner, Davis explore Oklahoma water laws, regulation in webinar presentation

Director Melissa R. Gardner and Attorney C. Eric Davis participated in a live webinar hosted by HalfMoon Education Inc. on July 13, examining issues related to regulating Oklahoma’s water utilities.

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

“By exploring how Oklahoma regulates potable water systems, our main goal was to show that laws impacting drinking water supplies are aimed at keeping water safe and affordable for residents and businesses,” Davis said.

Pulling from their respective legal experience, Gardner explained water utility organization and requirements under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and its enforcement by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and Davis discussed regulation of certain water utilities by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, current issues in utility service area regulations, and water system construction and design standards.

Webinar attendees earned continuing legal education credit through HalfMoon Education Inc.

Gardner is a Director in Phillips Murrah’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group and represents energy companies and mineral owners in a variety of matters in Oklahoma, Texas, and North Dakota, including oil and gas title examination, bankruptcy, probate, quiet title, surface damages issues, and lien preparation and enforcement.

To contact Melissa Gardner, please call 405.606.4782 or email her.

attorney Eric Davis

Eric Davis is an attorney in the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice Group and the Government Relations and Compliance Practice Group.

Davis is an attorney in Phillips Murrah’s Government Relations and Compliance Practice Group, Clean Energy Practice Group, and Healthcare Practice Group. He represents clients in proceedings before a range of governmental agencies and also serves as prosecutor for the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board. Davis frequently practices before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and his utility regulation experience includes representing public utilities, including water utilities, and other stakeholders in rate cases and regulatory rulemakings.

To contact Eric Davis, please call 405.606.4757 or email him.

To learn more about this webinar and other presentations HalfMoon hosts nationally, click here.

 

Sharpe shares Native heritage, legal experience in FDCC New Member Spotlight

Republished with permission from the Summer 2021 Edition of Federation Flyer

 

Calvin Sharpe Web pic

New Member Spotlight – G. Calvin Sharpe

The high caliber of new members being nominated, vetted and admitted to the Federation continue to deepen the broad diversity of our membership and enhance our brand. In this issue, we profile one of those who define our standard of being “above and beyond” in their personal life and in their profession. Please join us in welcoming and learning a bit more about one of our newest members; G. Calvin Sharpe, a Director with Phillips Murrah in Oklahoma City, OK. Contact “G. Calvin” at gcsharpe@phillipsmurrah.com.


Q:  G. Calvin, welcome as one of the FDCC’s newest members. Can you share a little with us about your educational and professional background?

A:  I am a life-long Sooner, having graduated from The University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1982 and from The University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1985. I joined Phillips Murrah in 2009 and am now a Director of the firm. For many years, I have been very involved in the Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel and the Oklahoma County Bar Association, among other organizations. In 2005, I was honored to be admitted to the American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation-only organization that, at the time, required members to have tried at least 20 civil jury trials as lead counsel. Throughout my career, I have tried 30+ jury cases.

 

Q:  What got you interested to specialize in medical malpractice, environmental and products liability defense work?

A:  I was always focused on a career in litigation and gravitated to the defense side early on. With a retired doctor as my father-in-law and many doctor friends, medical malpractice defense became an easy choice. Defense work is particularly enjoyable, as each matter is unique and interesting. I like focusing on the technical manufacturing details and medical aspects of products liability and medical malpractice cases. Over the years, I have learned much about the practice of medicine, including watching an open-heart bypass surgery in person, but some other interesting things as well, including how to make my own Taco Bell chicken quesadilla ( when representing them in a products liability and negligence case brought against them) and how a paper mill works (when representing a paper products company in a negligence case brought against them).

 

Q:  When your Nomination Form came in, we noticed you are also admitted to practice in the Seminole Nation and Cherokee Nation Tribal Courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Chickasaw Nation Tribal Court, and Osage Nation Tribal Court. Can you give us some insight into how you developed an interest and specialty in Tribal Laws?

A:  I have always been very proud of my Native roots. My great grandfather was a famous Seminole Indian. My father is a full-blood Seminole who did not even speak English until grade school when he was sent to boarding school. He grew up very poor but after joining the military, was able to put himself through college and law school. For many years, he held various positions within the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and often represented the tribe as its counsel.

Through my dad and my relatives, I learned much about my Native heritage. To get more involved with the Native community, I served on the board of Red Earth for many years, including as President and Past-President. Red Earth, Inc., a non-profit, is a multi-cultural organization that promotes the understanding and continuation of traditional and contemporary Native culture and art. Each year, it holds a juried-art competition and festival that is attended by many tribes from around the country.

Through Red Earth, I made many contacts with Native businesses and tribal leaders. When Oklahoma’s many tribes became more affluent in recent years and began pursuing many more economic development projects than they had in the past, I was able to secure many opportunities to represent Native businesses, tribes, and tribal members, as well as non-native businesses wanting to do business with them.

 

Q:  We also understand that you trace your own ancestral lineage to the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma through your great grandfather, “Chili Fish,” who was – and I hope we have this correct – one of the first Light Horsemen, which was the first law enforcement unit in Indian Territory, and also a Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma What can you share with us about your family’s history?

chili fish gcs great grandfather

Chili Fish, Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma in 1935-1936 and Director G. Calvin Sharpe’s great grandfather

A:  Yes, my great grandfather was a very famous Seminole leader. He served as Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma in 1935-1936 and, as you mention, was one of the first Light Horsemen, who served as law enforcement in early Indian Territory-law enforcement which then consisted of hanging for serious offenses and public whipping for lesser offenses. The old “Whipping Tree” still stands in Wewoka, OK today.

Although he did not speak English, he was instrumental in helping his people address the serious deficiencies in federal administration of lndian affairs in the 1930s, including the exclusion of Indians in managing their own affairs and the poor quality of public services they received. In early 1932, he and a delegation of Seminole members visited Washington regarding the Mekusukey Mission school that the Department of Interior had promised to fund but had closed without warning, leasing the land on which the school sat to an oil company. As a result, Congress soon thereafter passed the Act of April 27, 1934 which made all sales and leases of tribal lands subject to the Seminole General Counsel’s approval.

In 1931, Chili Fish helped bring together the Seminoles with many other tribes to celebrate their own cultures and traditions in a large festival-an event that is still held today, known as “Seminole Nation Days:’ While in high school, my daughter rode in the Seminole Nation Days parade as First Runner-Up in the Miss Seminole pageant, a contest that allows young Seminole women to display their talents and knowledge of their Seminole culture.

 

Many native people are inherently suspicious of those outside their own tribes. To bring people within the tribe together with those outside the tribe is often not an easy task. Being creative in handling delicate issues has served me well.


Q:  Has there been anything that you have learned or utilized in your practice in representing the Tribal Nations that you have brought with you to your civil practice as well?

A:  Definitely the importance of maintaining creativity of thought. Because each tribe in Oklahoma is a sovereign nation in and to itself and each has its own laws and practices, I have learned that it is critical to remain open to new ideas and being creative in handling issues, especially when tribal laws intertwine with state and federal laws. Many native people are inherently suspicious of those outside their own tribes. To bring people within the tribe together with those outside the tribe is often not an easy task. Being creative in handling delicate issues has served me well. This thought process has helped me in other practices areas of my practice as well.

 

Q:  For many years, we have taken the heritage and legacy of the Tribal Nations in this country for granted, even though they were here before any of us. If there were 3 things you could share with us from your family’s history as well as your representation of the Tribal Nations about their story, history and culture, what would they be?

gcs and father

Director G. Calvin Sharpe and his father in front of a portrait of Chili Fish

Three things that are important to my family’s history, as well as the history of many Native people, are our Native language, art, and traditions. Each tribe in Oklahoma has its own special language, many of which were waning as the younger generations were taught to speak only English. A resurgence of learning Native languages has been helped by tribal language programs, as well as classes taught as some Oklahoma universities.

Each tribe also has its own style of art, including dress and jewelry. I enjoyed learning beadwork as a young child from my relatives. As to the importance of Native art, I would love to mention that later this year, the First Americans Museum (FAM) will be opening in Oklahoma City. It will be a world-class facility celebrating the 39 tribes of Oklahoma, both as they existed in the past and as they exist today. The museum will house many native artifacts on loan from The Smithsonian Institute. I welcome all FDCC members to visit FAM, a museum and center that what will no doubt be a national treasure once it opens.

And each tribe has its own traditions, including family celebrations, special foods, and religious holidays. As I mentioned above, Oklahoma Seminoles still celebrate “Seminole Nation Days” with our traditional stick-ball games (similar to modern-day lacrosse), enjoying homemade sorghum (molasses) and sotkey (a sour drink), and stomp and gourd dance competitions.

I believe it is very important for each tribe, including my own tribe, to educate our young tribal members in each of these areas in order to best preserve the rich culture and heritage of our Native past for the future.

 

Q:  What are some of the issues and cases you have been working on relating to the Tribal Nations?

A:  I argued an interesting issue related to separation of governmental powers before the Seminole Nation Supreme Court. There, the tribe’s legislative branch—the Tribal Counsel—was challenged

by the judicial branch. The Tribal Counsel had sought to regulate the Nation’s court system by dictating who could serve as judges and court staff. Representing the judicial side, we were able to successfully assert that such powers must be kept separate in order for the government to properly function.

Just recently, I successfully represented an Osage Nation Congresswoman in proceedings before the Osage Nation in which the tribe had sought to remove her from her position as a congresswoman.

I also represent non-native businesses in negotiations with various tribes in Oklahoma, including representing a non-native medical company in negotiations with the Rosebud Sioux tribe to enter into a teaming agreement for the provision of medical billing services to governmental agencies.

 

Later this year, the First Americans Museum (FAM) will be opening in Oklahoma City.

It will be a world-class facility celebrating the 39 tribes of Oklahoma, both as they existed in the past

and as they exist today. I welcome all FDCC members to visit FAM, a museum and center that what will no doubt be a national treasure once it opens.


Q:  What else do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

A:  My wife and I enjoy spending as much time as possible with our grandson, 20-month-old Hudson. We have a house at Lake Eufaula, a two-hour drive from home, and spend about a third of our time there, enjoying boating and just relaxing with our kids. I also enjoy hunting and fishing. My wife is an excellent cook so I probably spend too much time eating and enjoying a good wine as well.

 

Q:  OK … time for the lightning round … Favorite place ever visited?

A:  I can’t name just one so here are my top three: Maui, Costa Rica, and Santa Fe. And of course, Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma.

 

Q:  What’s on the bucket list?

A:  I love Formula 1 racing, so a ride and dinner with Lewis Hamilton is a “must” on my list.

 

Q:  What’s something else unique about you?

A:  I am a French Bulldog nut. My wife and I had a Frenchie for almost 16 years who passed away last year, and our daughter and son-in-law have one as well. Soon after our beloved Rocket died, we purchased a blue Frenchie, RJ, and just recently we got a white Frenchie, Windy. I follow many French Bulldog websites, including French Bulldog Enthusiast. I just can’t get enough of them!

 

Q:  Will we be seeing you in for the 2021 Annual Meeting at The Greenbrier Resort in WV?

A:  Assuming the vaccines are rolled out and the pandemic is under control by then, I definitely plan to attend.

Phillips Murrah Paying it Forward campaign benefits Oklahoma Humane Society in July

Phillips Murrah Paying It Forward Header Graphic

Phillips Murrah Presents: Paying It Forward

Amplifying the message of one non-profit each month for a year

[Paying It Forward] In Dec. 2020, Phillips Murrah partnered with Oklahoma NPR radio station KGOU to sponsor broadcast announcements each month that shine a light on a selected non-profit organization. Our aim is to amplify each beneficiary organizations’ needs and goals, and to help increase awareness, drive volunteer quality and quantity, assist in fundraising support, and improve capacity to deliver service to the community.

Our beneficiary in July is Oklahoma Humane Society, whose primary focus is to eliminate the needless euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals in Oklahoma City.  #PIFOKC


July Beneficiary

Oklahoma Humane Society

Oklahoma Humane Society logo

Oklahoma Humane Society exists to enrich the communities it serves by promoting the well-being of animals. Their vision is to make the compassionate and respectful treatment of animals a prevalent community value and the well-being of animals a community priority.

“Our journey begins and ends with love. We love animals and believe that central Oklahoma will see a day when every healthy and adoptable pet finds a home.”

Founded in 2007, Oklahoma Humane Society works in close partnership with Oklahoma City Animal Welfare (OKC Animal Shelter) and other local shelters.

Contact Oklahoma Humane Society: okhumane.org

DONATE to Oklahoma Humane Society: okhumane.org/donate

Oklahoma Humane Society on Social Media:

Facebook logo icon Instagram logo icon Twitter logo icon


Previous Beneficiaries

June 2021: Arts Council Oklahoma City
May 2021: Partners in Public Health
April 2021: CASA of Oklahoma County
March 2021: The Homeless Alliance
February 2021: Mental Health Association Oklahoma
January 2021: Positive Tomorrows
December 2020: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Director Nikki Edwards lends expertise to United Way Board Serve class

Nikki Edwards, Director in Phillips Murrah’s Family Law Practice, recently spoke to United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Board Serve 2021 Class on behalf of Positive Tomorrows, an organization she’s been active with for more than 20 years.

susan agel and nikki edwards

Director Nikki Edwards (right) addresses United Way’s 2021 Board Serve class alongside Susan Agel, President/CEO or Positive Tomorrows.

“When Susan Agel, President/CEO of Positive Tomorrows, asked me to join her as a presenter at the Board Serve Class, I didn’t hesitate,” Edwards said. “Susan and I shared an interactive discussion about board duties, fundraising, and conflicts of interest.”

The Board Serve program hosts expert-led sessions to teach leadership skills, governance, nonprofit law, and other skills to future board members of nonprofit agencies in the central Oklahoma area. Applicants for the program have the opportunity to be placed on a United Way partner agency’s board for at least one year.

“We were asked to elaborate on Positive Tomorrow’s highly successful capital campaign, raising over $15 million, which funded the new, state-of-the-art school building,” Edwards said. “United Way of Central Oklahoma has been a critical partnership to so many community agencies, including Positive Tomorrows, which could not survive without their financial support.”

Development for Positive Tomorrows’ new facility initiated in 2018 after meeting its fundraising goal and opened in December 2019.

Cassity B. Gies, Phillips Murrah Family Law Attorney, is a current member in the 2021 Board Serve Class.

“I practice alongside Cassity everyday, and it was meaningful for me to interact with her in a different professional capacity,” Edwards said. “Mentorship and community service are personally so satisfying, so I was grateful for the opportunity to help educate our future Oklahoma community leaders and appreciate our law firm supporting Cassity’s desire to spend some of her time in this way.”

Visit United Way of Central Oklahoma’s website for more information on the Board Serve program’s mission.

Hendrick presenting at 2021 Texas Diversity Equity & Inclusion Conference

Janet Hendrick, a Shareholder in Phillips Murrah’s Dallas office, will present at the 6th Annual Texas Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Conference on June 16, 2021. The conference will run from June 15-17 and is sponsored by Toyota, Texas Capital Bank, Southwest Airlines, Parkland Hospital, and other partners.

Janet Hendrick

Janet Hendrick is a Director and member of the Firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Hendrick will discuss “The Future of DEI Efforts: What We’ve Learned and How Companies Can Do Better,” with the goal of informing attendees on the state of DEI efforts, including what the events of 2020 have taught us and how companies can make their DEI efforts more effective.

“2020 brought many changes in the workplace, including an increase in DEI initiatives,” Hendrick said. “While many companies have ramped up their efforts, studies show DEI initiatives are still falling short of accomplishing necessary change in the business world. In this session, we will discuss the impact of 2020 events on DEI efforts, advances in DEI, and what’s ahead for DEI in the workplace.”

Conference attendees will network with other business professionals from around the state, hear remarks from national speakers about the importance of diversity in the workplace, and attend breakout sessions designed to help businesses to grow and thrive.

Janet Hendrick is an experienced employment lawyer who frequently speaks on matters relating to diversity and inclusion. She is also a member of the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s Governing Committee.

For more information about the conference, visit the North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s website here.

Attorney Cassity Gies featured as family law columnist in The Journal Record

Phillips Murrah family law attorney Cassity B. Gies is featured in the June 3 edition of the Journal Record.

Phillips Murrah family law attorney Cassity Giles

Cassity practices family law including divorce and separation, custody, and child support issues.

In the Gavel to Gavel guest column, Cassity writes about the possibility of custody issues in family court as related Oklahoma medical marijuana license holders.

“Our family law practice handles medicinal marijuana issues on a weekly basis now. The impact of holding a medical marijuana card varies according to every situation, and multiple factors affect the extent that a patient card or commercial business license can complicate a custody decision,” she wrote.

Cassity expands on this topic in a longer version, which you can read here: Oklahoma medical marijuana license holders could face custody issues.


For more information on how the information in this article may impact you, please call 405.606.4744 or email Cassity B. Gies.

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Phillips Murrah Paying it Forward campaign benefits Arts Council Oklahoma City in June

Phillips Murrah Paying It Forward Header Graphic

Phillips Murrah Presents: Paying It Forward

Amplifying the message of one non-profit each month for a year

[Paying It Forward] In Dec. 2020, Phillips Murrah partnered with Oklahoma NPR radio station KGOU to sponsor broadcast announcements each month that shine a light on a selected non-profit organization. Our aim is to amplify each beneficiary organizations’ needs and goals, and to help increase awareness, drive volunteer quality and quantity, assist in fundraising support, and improve capacity to deliver service to the community.

Our beneficiary in June is Arts Council Oklahoma City, proudly exposing our community to the full spectrum of art in its many forms. By focusing on teaching, learning, and appreciating the arts, their events and programs help the residents to create, experience, and enjoy art.  #PIFOKC


June Beneficiary

Arts Council Oklahoma City

Arts Council logo

Arts Council Oklahoma City is a nonprofit 501 (C)(3) organization that is dedicated to bringing the arts and the community together through free or low-cost, large-scale downtown Oklahoma City cultural events and a variety of arts outreach activities that impact under-served populations.

Contact Arts Council Oklahoma City: https://www.artscouncilokc.com/

To VOLUNTEER at the 2021 Festival of the Arts: https://www.artscouncilokc.com/foa_volunteer/

DONATE to Arts Council Oklahoma City: https://www.classy.org/give/140086/#!/donation/checkout

Arts Council Oklahoma City on Social Media:

Facebook logo icon Instagram logo icon Twitter logo icon


Previous Beneficiaries

May 2021: Partners in Public Health
April 2021: CASA of Oklahoma County
March 2021: The Homeless Alliance
February 2021: Mental Health Association Oklahoma
January 2021: Positive Tomorrows
December 2020: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Norman appointed to Junior League of Oklahoma City leadership role

Attorney Kendra Norman is continuing her time with the Junior League of Oklahoma City (JLOC), wrapping up a year as a provisional member to be an Active Member and leader with the organization.

kendra norman with jloc members

Attorney Kendra M. Norman (middle) stands with Junior League of Oklahoma City members

“This provisional year was not typical due to the pandemic and was filled with many Zoom meetings, but it allowed me to be able to meet new people, make friends, and make connections during such a strange year,” Norman said.

JLOC is an charitable organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

“The league has been integral in the Oklahoma City community and has amazing projects for this upcoming year including working with Infant Crisis Services, Concordia Life Care Community, Sunbeam Senior Shelter, The Children’s Hospital, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County, the YWCA, and Pivot,” Norman said. “I’m especially excited about JLOC’s signature community project this year—Project Empowher—which seeks to empower women and girls in the Oklahoma City metro area by providing access to menstrual supplies and health education to help end period poverty in Oklahoma City.”

The Membership Council of JLOC appointed Norman as a Member-at-Large, a leadership position expanding her role in the organization.

“The Membership Council gets to help recognize members through awards and for individual accomplishments, help expand the league through the addition of provisional members, and welcome transfer members from other leagues among other responsibilities,” she said. “I can’t wait to volunteer in the Oklahoma City community, develop my leadership skills, and meet more amazing women from the Junior League this coming year!”

The Junior Service League of Oklahoma City was founded in March 1927, and affiliated with the Association of Junior Leagues of America in 1928 to become the Junior League of Oklahoma City.

Click here for more information about JLOC and its mission.

ALFA International profiles Director Byrona Maule

ALFA International, a renowned, global network of independent law firms, featured Director Byrona J. Maule for the May 7 edition of its #FridayFeature attorney profile. Memberships to ALFA International are exclusive, and Phillips Murrah is the active member representing the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

The weekly profile series shares personal stories from spotlighted attorneys and asks questions about their backgrounds:

Today’s #FridayFeature is Byrona Maule, a director and litigation attorney with ALFA International (ALFAI) member firm Phillips Murrah in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Byrona is chair of her firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group and a steering committee member of ALFAI’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. Byrona also was a featured speaker during ALFAI’s International Client Seminar this past March and was a panelist during a recent webinar on the same topic. We hope you enjoy Byrona’s feature!
Please tell us about a favorite family vacation spot or an incredible trip you went on recently.

Director Byrona J. Maule

My husband, Marvin, and I love the outdoors, and we are animal lovers. We have two Vizsla dogs, Will and Tera, and a cat named Simon. While Simon is not a traveler, Will and Tera love to travel with us. Our favorite place to vacation is Ruidoso, New Mexico. The Lincoln National Forest surrounds the Village of Ruidoso, at the base of Sierra Blanca. We spend our days hiking the forests and mountain ranges. In the evenings, we relax in the solitude and quiet of the forests – and watch H&I TV (Heroes & Icons) – which airs old reruns of Star Trek – every iteration from the original to Enterprise! When we feel more adventuresome, we go to Ski Apache, where you can ski during the winter or, during the summer, experience one of the longest zip lines in North America. Ziplining down Sierra Blanca was one of the most thrilling things I have ever done! The zip line is 8,890 feet long, and you release from an elevation of 11,489 feet. I highly recommend it if you like great views and an adrenaline rush. My only advice is if you wear glasses make sure you have them firmly anchored to your face!

Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

Director Byrona J. Maule and husband, Marvin

When I was three or four years old, my grandmother told me I should be an attorney when I grew up because I thought and argued like my grandfather, who had been an attorney. From that point on, I wanted to be an attorney. I went to college as a pre-law/political science major, and I never changed my major. My four sisters would tell you that my grandmother was very accurate in her assessment of me. As one of my sister’s explained to a bygone boyfriend after a long debate (which I won), “It is not that Byrona was trained to argue like a lawyer – it is that Byrona was very well suited to be a lawyer – she always thought and argued in that way.” As I have matured, my grandmother’s influence has shown me the importance of our words – especially words of encouragement. At the ripe old age of three, I did not even know what an attorney did. In 1964, there were very few female attorneys as role models. But she told me stories of my grandfather’s life and practice, and because of her simple words of encouragement at an early age, I never doubted that I could become a lawyer. I am eternally thankful for that encouragement – especially from my current vantage point. At the time, I did not see the challenges, the impossibility, or as many would say, the “folly” of a little girl going to college and becoming an attorney during a time of societal upheaval and a struggle for women’s rights. I was only focused on the fact that my grandmother saw in me the traits that had made my grandfather a successful attorney. It is one of the main reasons I am involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma. The words we speak to children can ignite their potential and open a vast and unknown world to them. Every child should have someone speaking words of encouragement to them.

Why do you choose to participate as an active ALFA International attorney?
When Phillips Murrah joined ALFAI, I did not know what to expect. ALFAI representatives came to the firm and explained ALFAI to us. But you really cannot appreciate ALFAI until you have participated in an ALFAI event. After participating in that first ALFAI event, I knew that ALFAI was great because it offers the opportunity to meet, engage and collaborate with other attorneys worldwide, which was refreshing and something that my “soul” needed. I also regularly provide educational training to clients on employment law. ALFAI takes this to an entirely new level, allowing me to work with other attorneys in the field of employment law from other states and nations. But it is not just collaboration; it is the quality of those with whom you collaborate that makes ALFAI so unique. The attorneys and client representatives that participate in ALFAI are diverse, well-educated individuals with a myriad of experiences and backgrounds. Being able to develop relationships with attorneys and clients throughout the world is invaluable and unique to ALFAI.

Founded in 1980, ALFA International was the first and continues to be one of the largest and strongest legal networks with 150 member firms throughout the world. Its 80 U.S. firms maintain offices in 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and its 70 international firms are located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America.

ALFA International’s memberships are exclusive. Only one law firm represents our network in each metropolitan area, state, or country. Moreover, in the United States, member firms may not join any other national legal network.


Links to this article:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/alfaintlaw_fridayfeature-activity-6796463956723564544-IJqU/

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2021 Phillips Murrah Externship Program teaches law students career lessons

Externship group photo

From L: Phillips Murrah Attorney Lauren Barghols Hanna, Phillips Murrah Director Candace Williams Lisle, OU Law 2L and PM Externs Christopher Punto and Camille Burge pose together in the courtroom of Federal Judge Jodi Dishman during their Apr. 14 educational visit and tour.

In January 2021, Phillips Murrah initiated its inaugural Externship Program in partnership with the University of Oklahoma College of Law, continuing the Firm’s efforts to recruit talented and motivated future attorneys who reflect the diversity of our local community. The Externship Program is spearheaded by the Firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The Program, chaired by Director Candace Williams Lisle, is designed in alignment with Phillips Murrah’s goal to create a workplace culture that is open to all needs, perspectives, contributions, experiences, and backgrounds. The Externship Program exposes a diverse group of students to the everyday practice of law, cultivates relationships, and provides mentorship and opportunities to enhance legal skills. Participating students gain legal experience while working at Phillips Murrah’s Oklahoma City office and receive 3 hours of course credit.

This year, Phillips Murrah welcomed second-year OU Law students, Camille Burge and Christopher Punto. As externs, Burge and Punto were mentored by Phillips Murrah attorneys while learning about practice areas including litigation and appeals, labor and employment, business transactions, real estate, tax, family law, oil and gas, bankruptcy, municipal financing, energy and regulatory, administrative, estate planning, cannabis and liquor licensing, and workers compensation. The externs attended events including depositions, client meetings, a trial, and frequent lunch and learns.   They worked on a variety of research and writing projects and received feedback from their supervising attorneys. The externs also enjoyed a presentation by a Firm client about practicing law as Deputy General Counsel for a large public corporation.

A highlight of the program was a visit to the William J. Holloway Jr. United States Courthouse. Burge and Punto accompanied Lisle and Phillips Murrah Attorney Lauren Barghols Hanna to meetings with federal judges Hon. Bernard Jones, Hon. Patrick Wyrick, and Hon. Jodi Dishman. The federal judges offered advice, answered the externs’ questions, and Judge Dishman gave a tour of her courtroom.

“It was a unique opportunity for the externs to meet one-on-one with the federal judges, learn about their respective paths to the bench, and receive the benefit of their wisdom and advice,” Lisle said.

Below is a video interview with Burge and Punto discussing their courthouse visit as well as their experience participating in the 2021 Phillips Murrah Externship Program.

 

 

“We are very pleased with our inaugural externship program,” Lisle continued. “Through the interview process, we had the opportunity to meet a number of outstanding diverse students from OU Law School. Our externs, Camille and Chris, were talented, energetic, and enthusiastic. We were able to provide them with wonderful opportunities to learn about various areas of law practice from our talented practitioners, and to observe legal work in action. Our primary goal for the externship program was to develop relationships and collaborate with students with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and we definitely achieved that goal with this program. We’re very excited to expand on our externship program in the future.”

Phillips Murrah continues to be a leader in gender equity in Oklahoma with 44% of Shareholders and 53% of all employees identifying as female. In 2020, Phillips Murrah was nationally recognized by Law360.com as “Ceiling Smashers.” Not only is Phillips Murrah a leader in the percentage of women attorneys, but more importantly, in women who have a seat at the table as equity partners and firm leaders,” Lisle said.

Through the Externship and other programs and initiatives, the Firm seeks to build on this success and further our team’s innovation, engagement, and creativity in our work.  As a six-time-consecutive recipient of the Top Work Place in Oklahoma honor, an award chosen annually by employees of Oklahoma businesses, the Firm is confident in our ability to grow and continue making Phillips Murrah a fulfilling place for all current and future employees.

Steve Sherman joins Phillips Murrah’s legal team in Oklahoma office

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 4, 2021) – Phillips Murrah is proud to welcome Steve Sherman to the Firm’s legal team.

Steve Sherman is an Of Counsel attorney who concentrates his practice on business and real estate transactions, including business and real estate acquisitions, dispositions, leases, and land use.

Steve Sherman is an Of Counsel attorney who concentrates his practice on business and real estate transactions, including business and real estate acquisitions, dispositions, leases, and land use. Steve represents numerous national, regional, and local real estate owners, developers, landlords, and tenants, and he has been involved in some of the most notable transactions in Oklahoma City.

Steve’s skills and integrity have been recognized by his peers, having voted him to Super Lawyers of Oklahoma, and he has received the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell, having been named to the Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Lawyers, a distinction reserved for the top 1% of AV-rated lawyers, for the categories of real estate and commercial law.

He has lectured on numerous real estate-related topics including lease negotiations and enforcement, real estate purchase contracts, and the Fair Housing Act. Additionally, Steve has served on the boards or committees of various civic and corporate organizations over the years.

Steve is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with high distinction, and Santa Clara University where he earned his JD and MBA. He has been the Associate Municipal Judge for the City of Nichols Hills for over 20 years. He also served five terms as a Commissioner on the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, for which he served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman multiple times.


CONTACT:

Phillips Murrah – Oklahoma City Office:
101 N. Robinson Ave., Thirteenth Floor
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Main: (405) 235-4100
Fax: (405) 235-4133

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Phillips Murrah supports Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance

Phillips Murrah is proud to sponsor the Cure FA Soirée hosted by The Gehr family on May 22 to benefit Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA).

The Firm’s sponsorship for the annual event is supported by Director Heather L. Hintz who has been active with the organization and this fundraising event since its inception four years ago.

“I’ve supported the cause because of the enthusiasm, courage, and resilience of Michael Gehr, and the determination of the Gehr family to find a cure for FA,” Hintz said.

Friedreich’s ataxia is a hereditary disease causing progressive nervous system damage and impairing movement, among other afflictions, and new treatments are being studied in hopes of finding a cure.

The event will include live performances, dinner, and a silent auction and will be hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn in Edmond, OK. Registration can be found here and is open to the public.

To learn more about FARA click here.

Phillips Murrah Paying it Forward campaign benefits Partners in Public Health in May

Phillips Murrah Paying It Forward Header Graphic

Phillips Murrah Presents: Paying It Forward

Amplifying the message of one non-profit each month for a year

[Paying It Forward] In Dec. 2020, Phillips Murrah partnered with Oklahoma NPR radio station KGOU to sponsor broadcast announcements each month that shine a light on a selected non-profit organization. Our aim is to amplify each beneficiary organizations’ needs and goals, and to help increase awareness, drive volunteer quality and quantity, assist in fundraising support, and improve capacity to deliver service to the community.

Our beneficiary in May is Partners in Public Health, an organization that is critical to fighting COVID-19 in our community.  #PIFOKC


May Beneficiary

Partners in Public Health

PIF Partners in Public Health logo

Partners in Public Health, supporting the work of the Oklahoma City County Health Department and its health partners, is committed to improving the health and well being of our community, starting with the most frequently overlooked communities. Partners in Public Health believes that a flourishing and thriving city starts with public health. Their mission is to mobilize resources, share best practices, and encourage open collaboration between public and private organizations and policy makers to ensure a healthier community.

Contact Partners in Public Health: https://www.partnersinpublichealth.com/

DONATE to Partners in Public Health at this link: DONATE 

Partners in Public Health on Social Media:

Facebook logo icon Instagram logo icon Twitter logo icon


Previous Beneficiaries

April 2021: CASA of Oklahoma County
March 2021: The Homeless Alliance
February 2021: Mental Health Association Oklahoma
January 2021: Positive Tomorrows
December 2020: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Firm sponsors Make-A-Wish Pickleball Tournament

Phillips Murrah is sponsoring Make-A-Wish Foundation‘s inaugural Pickle N Wishes Pickleball Tournament on May 2.

make a wish foundation logoThe tournament will be hosted by Make-A-Wish Oklahoma’s Wish Young Professionals Council of Oklahoma City, of which Attorney Phoebe B. Mitchell serves on the Board of Directors.

“I have really enjoyed serving on the Make-A-Wish Young Professionals board,” Mitchell said. “Make-A-Wish is a very special organization whose mission is to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

“Funds raised through Make-A-Wish go directly to giving children fighting serious illnesses their own personal experience of a lifetime. When a child’s wish is granted, it gives them hope, strength, and happiness during what can be the most difficult time for the child and their family. Make-A-Wish is important to me because I love to see our community give back to one of its most needy populations—children fighting life-threatening illnesses.”

Mitchell was recently recognized by Make-A-Wish Oklahoma as their Volunteer Rookie of the Month for March.

The event will be hosted in Oklahoma City at Chicken N Pickle, 8400 N Oklahoma Ave, and registration is still open on Make-A-Wish’s website here.

Phillips Murrah Paying it Forward campaign benefits CASA of Oklahoma County in April

Phillips Murrah Paying It Forward Header Graphic

Phillips Murrah Presents: Paying It Forward

Amplifying the message of one non-profit each month for a year

[Paying It Forward] In Dec. 2020, Phillips Murrah partnered with Oklahoma NPR radio station KGOU to sponsor broadcast announcements each month that shine a light on a selected non-profit organization. Our aim is to amplify each beneficiary organizations’ needs and goals, and to help increase awareness, drive volunteer quality and quantity, assist in fundraising support, and improve capacity to deliver service to the community.

Our beneficiary in April is CASA of Oklahoma, an organization that is critical to the wellbeing of our community.  #PIFOKC


April Beneficiary

CASA of Oklahoma County 

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Oklahoma County provides trained volunteers to be champions for the individualized best interests of children in foster care.

CASA provides a trained caring adult to advocate for the best interest of children who have been removed from their home due to abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers get to know the children and communicate with all parties in the case and people in the child’s life in order to provide complete information and sound recommendations to the court. As “the eyes and ears” of the judge, the CASA volunteer offers a neutral, third-party opinion to the court, one that is unbiased and child-focused.

Contact The Homeless Alliance: https://okcountycasa.org

DONATE to CASA at this link: https://okcountycasa.org/support/

CASA on Social Media:

Facebook logo icon Instagram logo icon Twitter logo icon YouTube logo icon


Previous Beneficiaries

March 2021: The Homeless Alliance
February 2021: Mental Health Association Oklahoma
January 2021: Positive Tomorrows
December 2020: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

PM Director Fred Leibrock earns CIPP/US Information Privacy Professional designation

graphic of gears with cyber security terms in them.

In today’s information economy, it is more important than ever for companies and organizations to manage and safeguard their data. It is equally important to understand and develop privacy practices to comply with the latest regulations regarding records management and reporting obligations for privacy, as well as a plan of action in the event of a breach.

Photograph of Fred Leibrock

Fred A. Leibrock is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried dozens of jury trials and has served as lead counsel in a number of significant cases involving complex, multi-jurisdiction issues.

Phillips Murrah Director, Fred A. Leibrock, recently earned his Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) designation. According to The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), which administers the designation, their certification program, is “the most encompassing, up-to-date and sought-after global training and credentialing program for privacy and data protection.” The CIPP designation, one of several certifications on offer by the IAPP, is geared toward laws and regulations as they pertain to the information economy.

“The Information Privacy Professional designation awarded by the International Association of Privacy Professionals demonstrates that the credentialed individual has undertaken a detailed course of study in information privacy and passed a comprehensive credentialing exam,” Fred explained.

“A CIPP designation allows prospective clients to know that the attorney they are considering hiring is recognized as having significant knowledge in data breach prevention, response, mitigation, remediation and reporting, state and federal privacy law requirements, cybersecurity regulation compliance, data retention compliance, and cybersecurity insurance issues,” he continued. “The CIPP designation is important to insurance companies who are looking for an attorney to handle a cybersecurity incident for one of their insureds.”

Fred, who is also the Firm’s Chief Information Officer, has experience in defending claims and lawsuits alleging damages due to data breaches, in fortification against tactics, techniques, and procedures of cyber threat agents, in information security policies, in data breach incident response and after-action reporting, in data retention polices, in cybersecurity regulation compliance, and in cybersecurity insurance law.


For more information on how cyber security has affected or may affect your business, please call 405.235.4100 or email Fred A. Leibrock.

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Phillips Murrah Director Catherine Campbell successfully appeals client’s $4.3 million defamation jury verdict

Congratulations to Phillips Murrah Director Catherine L. Campbell on her successful appeal of a defamation jury verdict against former Oklahoma lawmaker, Wayne Pettigrew.

Portrait of Phillips Murrah Director Catherine L. Campbell

Catherine L. Campbell is a versatile and experienced appellate attorney whose practice is focused on commercial litigation and labor and employment matters.

A story about the verdict is featured in the March 18 edition of the Oklahoman newspaper, which states:

In the appeals court’s 2-1 decision issued last month, Vice-Chief Judge Barbara G. Swinton wrote that the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury on what kind of defenses could overcome a defamation challenge and did not provide a list of the alleged defamatory statements.

“As a consequence, there is a high probability the jury was misled by these errors and reached a different result than they would have reached but for the error,” Swinton wrote, reversing the decision.

Oklahoma’s Supreme Court declined to hear the case on appeal. It will be sent back to the lower court for another trial.

Click here to view the full article at oklahoman.com.

 

Jennifer Christian, Kayla Kuri join Phillips Murrah’s legal team in Oklahoma office

Attorney Jennifer Christian

Jennifer K. Christian – Click to view profile

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 1, 2021) – Phillips Murrah is proud to welcome Jennifer K. Christian and Kayla M. Kuri to the Firm’s legal team.

Jennifer Christian is an Of Counsel attorney who assists clients in a wide range of transactional matters and litigation involving business law, contractual disputes, real estate, banking, healthcare, business divorce, construction, trust administration, insurance coverage and bad faith, and employment-related matters.

Jennifer’s practice includes helping clients in understanding business challenges and finding solutions that coincide with and advance their objectives and interests, whether it relates to business formation or restructuring, risk management, or litigation. She serves as a volunteer for the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Lawyers for Learning Committee, and she is a member the OBA Client Security Fund Committee and Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class VIII.

A native Oklahoman, Jennifer attended the University of Oklahoma, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Letters with honors in 2003. In 2007, she received her Juris Doctorate, summa cum laude, from the Oklahoma City University School of Law and was honored as the Outstanding Graduate for the class of 2007.

While in law school, Jennifer was the Editor-in-Chief for the Oklahoma City University Law Review, a pupil in the Ruth Bader Ginsberg Inn of Court, a Merit Scholar and a member of Phi Delta Phi. Her article, “Whistleblower Protection Under Sarbanes-Oxley: Key Provisions and Recent Case Developments,” was selected for publication in the 2006 edition of the Oklahoma City University Law Review. Jennifer was also a recipient of the Dean’s Circle Scholarship and academic achievement awards in the areas of civil procedure, corporations, legal research and writing, evidence, bankruptcy, agency and partnership, comparative law, and conflicts of law.

Attorney Kayla M Kuri

Kayla M. Kuri – Click to view profile

Kayla Kuri is an Associate attorney who represents individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of commercial and business matters, including mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, private securities offerings, and commercial financing transactions.

Kayla has represented clients across many industries in structuring, negotiating, and documenting business transactions, with an emphasis on merger, acquisition, and divestiture transactions. Kayla counsels public and private companies on matters related to corporate governance and routinely drafts and negotiates a wide range of commercial contracts. In addition, Kayla also has extensive experience representing oil and gas industry clients in drafting and negotiating various industry-related agreements, including master services agreements.

While in law school, Kayla was Assistant Managing Editor of the Oklahoma Law Review, as well as a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council and the Ruth Bader Ginsberg Inn of Court. She received the American Jurisprudence Award in business associations, real estate transactions, wills and trusts, conflicts of law, and criminal procedure. Kayla was also a recipient of the Comfort “Top Ten” Scholarship and graduated with highest honors.

Kayla grew up in Beebe, Arkansas, but she now lives in Oklahoma City and considers herself a true “Okie.” In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, and traveling.

 


CONTACT:

Phillips Murrah – Oklahoma City Office:
101 N. Robinson Ave., Thirteenth Floor
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Main: (405) 235-4100
Fax: (405) 235-4133

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McMahan elected to OCBA Young Lawyers Division board

Attorney Natalie M. McMahan is a litigation attorney who represents individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of civil litigation matters.

The Oklahoma County Bar Association elected Attorney Natalie M. McMahan to the Board of Directors for the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) for 2021.

“I am looking forward to being connected to the larger community of young attorneys in Oklahoma County,” McMahan said. “The Board’s efforts to connect its members and contribute to the larger community through service and philanthropy are important to the profession and to me.

“I’ve already enjoyed getting to know the Board and look forward to becoming more involved as event planning resumes later this year.”

McMahan will serve as a member of the YLD Board of Directors through November.

The YLD was organized in 1966 to provide an avenue for Oklahoma’s young lawyers, who have been in practice for 10 years or less, to work on bar-related and public service-related projects.

In 2019, the Firm was honored by OCBA YLD with the “Friend of the YLD” award for the support Phillips Murrah and its attorneys have consistently displayed through volunteering and sponsorship.

Read more about McMahan and her legal experience here.

Carter accepted into Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel

Michael Carter attorney portrait

Michael D. Carter is an experienced litigator and represents a wide variety of parties in environmental and toxic tort cases in state and federal courts.

Michael D. Carter, Phillips Murrah Of Counsel Attorney, has been accepted as a new member to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC).

“As an active member of Defense Research Institute (DRI), I was aware of the FDCC as an exclusive, invitation-only sister organization of DRI. I was honored and humbled to receive an invitation to apply and be vetted for membership in FDCC, and even more honored to be accepted as a member,” Carter said. “FDCC is famous for its collegiality and camaraderie, as well as substantive law programs.”

Carter is an experienced litigator and represents a wide variety of parties in environmental and toxic tort cases in state and federal courts. In addition, he is a long-time policy advisor on workers’ compensation issues in the state of Oklahoma.

“I am excited for the pandemic to wind down so I can network and participate with these illustrious members of the civil defense bar,” he said.

The FDCC was founded in 1936 and has maintained the mission of creating a network of established defense counsel, in which members are nominated and require approval before being accepted.

Read more about FDCC at its website here.

Director’s personal style featured on local fashion blog

Nikki Edwards for Maz Modern

Director Nikki Edwards is featured as the inaugural author of Maz Modern’s Tuesday Takeover column.

A standard is set for work attire in the legal field, but Director Nikki Edwards’ fashion sense caught the eye of local blog Maz Modern.

“A colleague of mine reached out and asked if I’d be interested in writing for her new website, and I accepted,” Nikki said. “I’m thankful I had a support team behind me.”

Nikki was tasked with writing Maz Modern’s inaugural Tuesday Takeover column, and Phillips Murrah’s Family Law team used their resources to band together and shoot portraits of her around the Firm’s office with just an iPhone.

Molly E. Tipton, Phillips Murrah Family Law Attorney, shared the article on social media telling readers to surround themselves with those that motivate and inspire them saying she’s “proud to call this intellectual powerhouse and stylish woman” her mentor.

“As a busy working mom/litigation director at Phillips Murrah, I have less time to shop than ever; hence my wardrobe reflects a cacophony of items, which create my style,” Nikki writes.

Visit Maz Modern to learn more about Nikki and find her tips for shopping local.

Gardner assumes role as adjunct professor for OCU Law

Melissa Gardner speaks at OCU Law

Director Melissa R. Gardner is teaching the Corporations course for Oklahoma City University School of Law’s Spring 2021 semester.

Director Melissa R. Gardner is sharing her expertise with future lawyers, leading a class at Oklahoma City University School of Law for the Spring 2021 semester.

“I’m teaching the Corporations class this semester as an adjunct professor at OCU Law,” Gardner said. “I’m covering all of Corporations, which is a bit intimidating for both the students and myself!

“It’s a pretty important class, as it’s on the bar exam and a required course. It’s been such a joy and a new challenge and a bit like taking the class all over again.”

Gardner is a Director in Phillips Murrah’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group. She represents both privately-owned and public companies in a wide variety of oil and gas matters, including oil and gas title examination, bankruptcy, probate, quiet title and liens.

“Professor Gardner is that perfect combination of qualified expertise on the subject and also a heart for the student experience,” said Jim Roth, Phillips Murrah Director and Dean of OCU Law.

Gardner regularly presents Continuing Legal Education seminars and was recently recognized as one of the Journal Record’s Achievers Under 40 for 2020.

“Teaching for the first time during a pandemic does present unique challenges,” Gardner said. “However, teaching is something I’ve always been interested in, so I’m very grateful to Dean Roth for giving me this opportunity.”

Phillips Murrah Director Jim Roth featured in USA Today energy article

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

On Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, Phillips Murrah Director Jim Roth was featured as a source in the USA Today energy article titled “Biden’s administration could affect Oklahoma’s energy industry in surprising ways.”

From the article:

Presidential administrations and Congresses throughout the past 40 years undoubtedly worked to nudge the nation’s energy and climate-related policies one way or another.

Debates about ways to support the energy industry both in Oklahoma and across the nation have been part of every presidential and congressional election since the 1980s, and subsequent governmental actions have prompted applause or angst as they have helped or hurt energy production along the way.

That’s no surprise. While the number of Oklahomans employed by oil and gas companies in the state is relatively small, the industry’s impact on the overall health of the state’s economy and the services provided by state and local governments is huge.

Roth is referenced and quoted after after remarks by Mike Cantrell, co-chairman of the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance.

“I have done my fair share of that, looking back and asking whether or not the positions I took were right,” Cantrell said. “The question is, should we have let the marketplace decide?”

His thoughts are similar to those of Jim Roth, an attorney who is the dean of Oklahoma City University’s School of Law and a past Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner.

Roth said past Congresses and administrations indeed have been able to influence rises and falls in domestic energy production through regulatory and tax-related policies.

“But there are market forces that are evolving, regardless who is in control,” Roth said.

To read the entire story, click HERE.

Phillips Murrah honored as Top Workplace for sixth consecutive year

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

“We are proud to be recognized for the sixth consecutive year as a Top Workplace in Oklahoma,” said Phillips Murrah Marketing Director, Dave Rhea. “The work environment at our Firm is important to us, and we’re happy that our workplace culture is recognized and appreciated by the people who work at Phillips Murrah.”

The Firm has previously been recognized as one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Partnering with The Oklahoman, Philadelphia-based company Energage  evaluates internal components of healthy workplace dynamics in companies across the country to determine Top Workplaces recipients.

The Oklahoman newspaper listed interesting facts for each winner, writing for Phillips Murrah:

Over the past 30 years, the firm’s attorneys have been involved in nearly every major initiative that has helped transform Oklahoma City from a Midwestern metropolitan upstart to the thriving business center that it is today. From Urban renewal in the ’80s to post-century Bricktown and back again with sustainability and historic preservation projects, the firm has been a part of the city’s growth and success.

Every year, the newspaper encourages Oklahoma companies and organizations to participate in a survey that employees complete anonymously, 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.

Phillips Murrah donates to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on behalf of ALFA International

On Friday, Nov. 20, Phillips Murrah Director Byrona J. Maule presented a donation of $2500 to Jennifer Eckert, Director of Development for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The donation is a part of ALFA International‘s 40 Days of Giving program.

Phillips Murrah Byrona Maule donation check to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

Phillips Murrah Director Byrona Maule, on left, presents a social distancing-friendly check to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Director of Development, Jennifer Eckert, as a part of ALFA International’s 40 Days of Giving campaign.

Byrona chose Regional Food Bank, Oklahoma’s largest domestic hunger-relief 501(c)(3) nonprofit, as the beneficiary to help fund their important and effective work in the fight against hunger, especially as related to their Food for Kids program. Food for Kids serves children directly through four programs: Backpack Program, Kids Café, Summer Feeding and School Pantries.

“There is a critical connection between childhood nutrition and cognitive and physical development,” Byrona explained. “Nutritional deficiencies, of even a relatively short-term nature, can negatively impact a child’s health, behavior, and the ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks.”

Byrona presented our social distancing-friendly, six-foot presentation check to Jennifer to mark the occasion. Through this donation, Phillips Murrah’s ALFA #40DaysofGiving donation will be included in RFB’s Holiday Match program, which will double its impact in the community.

“The donation comes at a crucial time, as our neighbors across the state are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn and a devastating ice storm,” said Stacy Dykstra, Chief Executive Officer of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “Thanks to the generosity of Phillips Murrah, we will be able to provide 20,000 meals to Oklahomans living with food insecurity.”

To donate to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, go to RFBO.org.

About ALFA International

ALFA International is the premier network of independent law firms, of which Phillips Murrah is the exclusive Oklahoma City member.  Founded in 1980, ALFA International was the first and continues to be one of the largest and strongest legal networks.  We have 150 members firms throughout the world.  Our 80 U.S. firms maintain offices in 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas.  Our 70 international firms are located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America.

Director Nikki Edwards honored with OBA Mona Salyer Lambird award

The Oklahoma Bar Association’s Women in Law Committee has named Phillips Murrah Director Nicholle Jones Edwards as a 2020 Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award recipient.

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.

“Mona Lambird was a trailblazer and paved the way for me and so many others, serving as the first woman OBA president,” Edwards said. “I was only a young lawyer when she died tragically in 1999 and recall the loss to our legal community.

“The Mona Lambird award is the highest honor as the award represents ultimate leadership and mentorship in our profession.”

The Spotlight Awards were created in 1996 to annually honor five women who have distinguished themselves in the legal profession and who have “lighted” the way for other women. The award was later renamed to honor 1996 OBA President Mona Salyer Lambird.

Edwards is director in the Firm’s Family Law practice and has been recognized by The Journal Record with the Leadership in Law Award and as one of the 50 Women Making A Difference (2017). She is also active in community service, serving in leadership roles with Positive Tomorrows, the Oklahoma City Ballet, the Oklahoma Single Parent Scholarship Program, and previously with the University of Oklahoma’s Women & Gender Studies advisory board.

Phillips Murrah is proud of our efforts toward equity among female partners and is a regular supporter of the National Association of Women Lawyers. The Firm was also deemed a “Ceiling Smasher” by Law360 for ranking among the top 10 law firms of its size with the highest representation of women equity partners.

Read more about the Mona Salyer Spotlight Awards recipients here.

Sharpe accepted into Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel

Director G. Calvin Sharpe has been accepted as a new member to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC).

Calvin Sharpe Web pic

G. Calvin Sharpe

“After many years of primarily focusing on medical malpractice defense, I began diversifying my practice about 15 years ago and now represent numerous corporate clients,” Sharpe said. “FDCC is well-known as the best professional trade association for linking defense attorneys—like myself—with corporate counsel and executives who—also like myself—greatly value integrity, professionalism, and civility.

“The educational opportunities that FDCC affords are incomparable and will no doubt be invaluable to my practice. I am honored to have been invited to FDCC’s membership and look forward to getting very involved.”

Founded in 1936, the FDCC has maintained the mission of creating a network of established defense counsel, in which members are nominated and require approval before being accepted.

“Networking has long been an important part of the career of most lawyers,” Sharpe said. “I met most of my current clients through networking events or networking through friends and colleagues. What sets FDCC apart is that it not only provides many networking opportunities through many different means, but it provides those opportunities with individuals and companies of diverse backgrounds and expertise who have been vetted and proven themselves to have met FDCC’s very high standards.

“To have the opportunity to engage with the FDCC membership is a unique privilege that would give anyone a leg up in the path toward a successful career.”

Sharpe has 30 years of experience in Oklahoma courtrooms, representing a diverse list of business clients in matters relating to medical malpractice, medical devices, products liability, insurance and commercial litigation.

Read more about FDCC at its website here.

Latham to present CLE on home lending issues, COVID-19’s impact

Gretchen M Latham Web

Gretchen M. Latham’s practice focuses on representing creditors in foreclosure, bankruptcy, collection and replevin cases.

Attorney Gretchen M. Latham will present “COVID-19 House Issues for Lenders: Foreclosures, Replevins, Evictions, and Bankruptcy” this Thursday afternoon as part of a series of Continuing Legal Education courses for Oklahoma Bar Association’s annual meeting.

The virtual presentation will give an overview of the topics important to home lenders with a special focus on how COVID-19 has changed ways to navigate each.

“It is important for landlords to be sure they know what can and can’t be done before starting an eviction or foreclosure,” she said.

Viewers will be advised on how the CARES Act and Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines will continue to impact home lenders through the end of 2020 when CDC regulations on foreclosures and evictions are set to expire.

Latham brings over 15 years’ experience in creditor representation to her practice, assisting local lenders as well as national creditors. Her practice focuses on representing creditors in foreclosure, bankruptcy, collection and replevin cases in which she offers on a statewide basis as well as in all three Bankruptcy and Federal Court Districts in Oklahoma.

To see the full meeting agenda covering a scope of COVID-19 issues, visit OBA’s website here.

Phillips Murrah named among 2021 Best Law Firms in 47 practice areas

Phillips MurrahPhillips Murrah is proud to announce that our law firm has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 “Best Law Firms” for professional excellence for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area and 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 Finance Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Transactions / UCC Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Energy Regulatory Law
  • Financial Services Regulation Law
  • Government Relations Practice
  • Information Technology Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Litigation – Labor & Employment
  • Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
  • Litigation – Real Estate
  • Litigation – Tax
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Real Estate Law
  • Trusts & Estates Law

Tier 2

  • Employment Law – Management
  • Energy Law
  • Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Litigation – Banking & Finance
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Oil & Gas Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Public Finance Law
  • Securities Regulation
  • Tax Law
  • Water Law
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Tier 3

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Health Care Law
  • Labor Law – Management
  • Litigation – Antitrust
  • Litigation – ERISA
  • Litigation – Trusts & Estates
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Technology 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 61 of our attorneys are recognized by Best Lawyers in America for 2021.

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.