Firm selects Employee of the Month for April 2019

Monica Ball

Monica Ball

Monica Ball, Accounting, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for April 2019.

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

“Monica is a valued member of the Accounting Department and her contributions help to make the Firm run efficiently,” Controller Stephanie Oseland said. “She is a hardworking and positive person, and it is a pleasure to work with her. She deserves this honor.”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Monica chose Infinity Farms Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.

“Infinity Farms Animal Sanctuary and Rescue is a nonprofit organization providing needy animals with shelter, food, and companionship,” said Brianna Greathouse, Foster Coordinator and Adoption Specialist for Infinity Farms. “We help animals all around the state of Oklahoma who are in urgent need.

“We take them under our wing, rehabilitate them, nurture them socialize them, and adopt them out to approved, wonderful, forever homes.”

To learn more about Infinity Farms, click here.


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

 

Kim Beight Kelly joins Phillips Murrah Dallas office

Kim Kelly Web

Kim B. Kelly

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 13, 2019) – Phillips Murrah P.C. is pleased to announce that Kim Beight Kelly has joined the Firm in its Dallas-based office as an Associate attorney. Kim is a civil litigator who represents individuals and corporations in both federal and state courts. She brings the number of Phillips Murrah attorneys serving the Texas market to fourteen.

Kim is a goal-oriented litigator who advocates for clients through every stage of litigation, from pre-suit negotiations through final resolution. Kim works closely with clients to identify strategic objectives and manage risk at each critical juncture over the life of a lawsuit. She is experienced in defending clients of all sizes in both state and federal courts.

Kim has experience defending major corporations, insurance companies, and small businesses in a wide variety of cases, including product liability, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, dealership liability, personal injury and wrongful death, and business contract disputes.

Kim is a member of the Texas Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association, and the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers.

Prior to joining Phillips Murrah, Kim practiced at a law firm in Dallas.


CONTACT:

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

Main: (214) 238-2525
Fax: (214) 434-1370

 

Phillips Murrah law firm names new Director and Shareholder

Cindy Murray Web

Cindy Hastie Murray

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 8, 2019) – Phillips Murrah proudly announces the promotion of Cindy Hastie Murray to a Director and Shareholder for the Firm. Murray’s selection brings the Firm’s total number of Directors to 40.

Cindy is a member of the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group. She represents individuals as well as privately-held and public companies in a wide range of commercial real estate matters, including purchasing and selling commercial real estate and assisting both landlords and tenants in leasing matters.

“After having been Of Counsel with Phillips Murrah, practicing with my dad in the Norman office for many years, I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to join the many fine attorneys in the Oklahoma City office and look forward to collaborating with them on a daily basis,” Cindy said.

While still in law school, Cindy co-authored The ABC’s of the UCC: Related and Supplementary Consumer Law, ABA 1999 with Professor Frederick H. Miller. She also clerked for the late Justice Marian P. Opala at the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 1999.

Born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and raised in Oklahoma City and Edmond, Cindy lives in Norman with her family.

Director to present employment law lecture for SMU School of Law

Janet Hendrick

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

Janet A. Hendrick, an employment attorney and Director in Phillips Murrah’s Dallas office, will share her insight and expertise with students of Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law later this month.

Hendrick will present on key labor and employment matters for businesses as part of the law school’s Business Law Boot Camp on May 30, 2019.

“I will be teaching the Boot Camp students, who have finished their first or second year at SMU Law School, about labor and employment laws from a business perspective, with the goal of teaching them the different sources and implications of our country’s workplace laws,” she said. “As a SMU Dedman School of Law alum, I am delighted to have this opportunity to share my experience and insight from my years of practicing in this area.”

The Boot Camp is intended to introduce vocabulary, concepts and skills needed to effectively understand how business works so students are able to communicate with and advise business clients, including as regulatory and litigation counsel, according to the law school’s website.

Alison J. Cross, Elaine D. Flores join Phillips Murrah Dallas office

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 8, 2019) – Phillips Murrah P.C. is pleased to announce that Alison J. Cross and Elaine D. Flores have joined the Firm as Directors in its Dallas office. Alison and Elaine are transactional attorneys with an emphasis on commercial lending and real estate matters. They bring the number of Texas-licensed Phillips Murrah attorneys to thirteen.

Image of Alison Cross

Alison Cross

Alison Cross works with both lenders and borrowers in commercial finance transactions. Focused primarily in the areas of commercial and industrial lending, real estate lending and health care lending, she documents loans secured by a variety of collateral, including real property, equipment, inventory, securities accounts and other assets.

Alison has experience with loan workouts and restructurings, as well as foreclosure of commercial real estate, oil and gas interests, and aircraft. Her experience also includes documentation and negotiation of construction loans and loan restructurings. She has represented national and regional banks, healthcare institutions, manufacturing companies, and non-profits, as well as other borrowers and lenders.

Image of Elaine Flores

Elaine Flores

Elaine Flores focuses her practice on a wide variety of commercial lending and real estate transactions. Her experience includes documentation and negotiation of credit facilities for both lenders and borrowers, including acquisitions, single bank and syndicated credit facilities, middle market and asset-based loans, construction financing and loan restructurings.

Elaine’s practice spans multiple industries including healthcare, oil and gas, manufacturing, real estate, retail and hospitality.

Both Alison and Elaine have also represented buyers and sellers of commercial, retail and other types of real estate, as well as landlords and tenants in leasing transactions.

Alison is a member of the National Association of Women Lawyers and Texas Wall Street Women as well as a Board Member of the Southwest Association of Bank Counsel. She has served as a member of the United Way Young Leaders Society since 2008.  D Magazine recognized Alison as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas in 2018 and 2019.

Elaine is a member of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association and the Texas Association of Bank Counsel. She is a member of the Junior League of Dallas, the Baylor University Women’s Council of Dallas, and Park Cities Republican Women’s Club. She has also been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers Under 40 by D Magazine and named a Texas Super Lawyers’ Rising Star.

Prior to joining Phillips Murrah, Alison and Elaine practiced with in the Dallas office of an international law firm.


CONTACT:

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

Main: (214) 238-2525
Fax: (214) 434-1370

 

 

 

 

 

Phillips Murrah sponsors OU Law’s 2019 Best Brief Award

Best Brief Award Winners

Attorneys Ashley M. Schovanec and Erika K. Halley presented the Best Brief award to winners in the 1L Class.

The University of Oklahoma’s Competitions and Clinic Awards Luncheon offered first-year law students the chance to compete and show how their studies have paid off on April 18.

“We celebrated the hard work our students have put into our competitions and clinic programs,” said Camal Pennington, Director of Annual Giving at OU College of Law.

Attorneys Erica K. Halley and Ashley M. Schovanec presented the $5,000 Best Brief Award sponsored by Phillips Murrah law firm. The Firm also sponsored the award in 2018. 

“The First Place award is granted to one student from each of the four sections in the 1L Class for best written brief,” Pennington said. “$500 is awarded to each of the First Place winners.

“Phillips Murrah also grants a $250 award to the second place brief for each section.”

OU Law competition teams traveled all over the U.S., from New York City and Albuquerque to Dallas and Washington, D.C. to Denver, San Diego, and Chicago, he said.

“Faculty members, alumni and outside attorneys helped coach these teams,” Pennington said. “For two consecutive years, OU Law has been ranked in the Top 5 in the country for our competitions program.

“OU Law competition teams have won four national championships in the last two years including the 2019 Federal Bar Association Moot Court National Championship.”

Halley and Schovanec are OU College of Law alumni. Halley represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of transactional matters, and Schovanec is a litigation attorney who represents individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of civil litigation matters.

Click here to learn more about the OU College of Law.

Firm selects Employee of the Month for March 2019

Timi Mitchell, Legal Assistant, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for March 2019.

“I am very honored to be Employee of the Month,” Timi said. “I think we have a great team atmosphere at our firm, and am blessed to be a small part of it.”

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

“Timi is the perfect example of an Employee of the Month,” Director Lyndon W. Whitmire said. “She works incredibly hard, and always with a smile on her face. She is always ready to help others.”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Timi chose the Oklahoma Lung Cancer Initiative in honor of her father who recently passed away due to lung cancer.

To learn more about the Oklahoma Lung Cancer Initiative, click here.


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

2018-2019 OKC Thunder season slideshow

Phillips Murrah featured in Oklahoman article about female leadership

In the April 14 issue of Oklahoma City’s metro daily newspaper, The Oklahoman, Phillips Murrah was prominently featured in an article titled, “OKC law offices seek to continue boost in female leadership.” The article highlights a transformation in the gender makeup of law firms, where women, who have historically been underrepresented in ownership and leadership of law firms, are making leadership gains.

Phillips Murrah gender equity article in OklahomanThe story states: “The women are shareholders, or equity partners in the firm, meaning they are part owner in the business and have a say in how its resources are used. In the United States, women make up just 19 percent of shareholder positions at major law firms. In Oklahoma offices, the average is slightly higher (at) 22 percent…”

Bucking this historic tradition since long before it was a cultural hot-topic, Phillips Murrah is far out in front, as the article points out: “At Phillips Murrah P.C., more than four in 10 partners are women.”

The article, by reporter Dale Denwalt, was featured as a part of The Oklahoman’s “Outlook” series, which is published as a special section each Sunday in April, and which addresses the topic of diversity and inclusion.

Read the article excerpt below that features Phillips Murrah:

A firm commitment: OKC law offices seek to continue boost in female leadership

Three of Oklahoma’s biggest law firms have more women in leadership positions than the state and national average, a sign that gender equality in the Sooner State is growing stronger, some say.

The women are shareholders, or equity partners in the firm, meaning they are part owner in the business and have a say in how its resources are used.

In the United States, women make up just 19 percent of shareholder positions at major law firms. In Oklahoma offices, the average is slightly higher 22 percent, according to the National Association of Women Lawyers and the local firms’ own reporting.

A long way

At Phillips Murrah P.C., more than four in 10 partners are women.

Nicholle Edwards, one of those shareholders, said clients want decision-makers to look more like they do.

“I think that’s good for everyone. It’s diversity of viewpoint,” Edwards said. “It’s a different perspective than the older white male, which has been historically seen as the shareholder or equity position.”

Half a century ago, it was hard for women to advance in the legal field, much less earn a living as a lawyer. Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the nation’s first female high court justice, had to work for free as a young attorney in California.

Edwards said there is a perception that women don’t make it into law firm leadership because they might pause their careers to have a family.

“I think that’s the perception, and that’s 180 degrees opposite of our firm culture. Our firm culture is very pro-women, pro-diversity, pro-gender equality and pro-family,” she said. “We cultivate and promote capable women without any notion that they have to work harder or faster or more than their counterpart who is a male. One way we can do that is by having alternative practices that would include working from home if they have a sick child.”

You can read the entire story here: https://newsok.com/article/5627756/a-firm-commitmentbrokc-law-offices-seek-to-continue-boost-in-female-leadership

 

Blocks for Bucks: End-of-season check presentation to Thunder Cares for over $20,000!

Blocks for Bucks image(April 9, 2019) – Tonight is the final home game of the regular season, and that means it’s time, once again, to tally up the blocks and present a giant check (literally!)

Phillips Murrah Directors present Blocks for Bucks check.

Directors from Phillips Murrah present our Blocks for Bucks donation to Thunder Cares.

Just before tip-off at tonight’s Oklahoma City Thunder game against the Houston Rockets, Phillips Murrah Directors G. Calvin Sharpe, Nikki Edwards and Marc Edwards will participate in the check presentation ceremony at mid-court. The amount is for $20,600, which reflects the amount our Firm has donated thus far in the 2018-2019 regular season, prior to tonight’s action. For the final tally, blocks from tonight’s game will be added to the final amount, which will go directly to the Thunder Cares Foundation.

“Our Firm likes being involved in the Oklahoma City community, and The Thunder Cares Foundation is a great way for us to do that,” said G. Calvin, whose litigation practice focuses mainly on matters involving medical malpractice, products liability and insurance.

“We are huge Thunder fans and take great pride in partnering with Thunder Cares and all they do in the community,” said Marc, who represents both private business and public entities in a broad range of litigation with an emphasis on public utility, public pension, governmental and administrative laws.

This is the second year that Phillips Murrah has partnered with the OKC Thunder with the Blocks for Bucks campaign. The check presentation from the 2017-2018 season can be seen here.

What is Blocks for Bucks?

Russell Westbrook Phillips Murrah

Russell Westbrook on @okcthunder Instagram with Phillips Murrah logo.

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

Blocks for Bucks began in November of 2017, when Phillips Murrah initiated our partnership with the Thunder organization. Helping to improve the community is at the heart of of our Firm’s mission, and the prospect of achieving that through the Thunder Cares Foundation with such an exciting and entertaining campaign was irresistible.

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

As the Thunder team racked up blocks throughout the season, video highlights were posted at the Blocks for Bucks page on the Thunder’s website, along with a blocks counter and a running donation amount tally.

“Working with the Thunder is an absolute pleasure,” said Phillips Murrah Marketing Director, Dave Rhea. “Being able to support Thunder Cares with this blocks campaign allows us to give back to the community while also driving home the point that, at the end of the day, we’re also huge Thunder fans!”

The Thunder Cares Foundation helps support the team’s community outreach projects, including Thunder-themed basketball courts in parks, schools and community centers across Oklahoma, as well as learning labs and activity rooms at organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, City Rescue Mission, and Positive Tomorrows, a school that serves homeless children in Oklahoma City. In celebration of the Thunder’s 10th season, the Thunder Cares Foundation is funding a matching grant through

Phillips Murrah looks forward to continuing to partner with the Oklahoma City Thunder and The Thunder Cares Foundation in the years to come.

OCU Law names Ybarra 2019 Outstanding Young Alumna

Monica Ybarra Web

Monica Y. Ybarra is a litigation attorney whose practice focuses on representing individuals and companies in wide range of commercial litigation matters. She also practices in the area of family law, including litigation, custody issues and valuation issues.

Monica Y. Ybarra, Family Law attorney and Oklahoma City University School of Law Class of 2014 alumna, will be honored as Outstanding Young Alumna at the OCU Law Awards Dinner.

“These awards were created in the late 1990s to honor individuals, alumni and non-alumni, in the legal community who have exemplified themselves as champions of the legal profession, established themselves as a community advocate, and supported the endeavors of OCU Law,” said Ally Rodriguez, Director of Alumni Relations at OCU Law. “To be a recipient of an award demonstrates their commitment to excellence in their career and we hope this shines a light on their good works.”

The 2019 OCU Law Awards Dinner will be hosted at 6 PM on April 6 at OCU School of Law.

“Working with Monica, both as a Phillips Murrah team member and now in our mutual roles for our alma mater OCU School of Law, is a real gift,” said Jim Roth, Phillips Murrah Director and OCU Law Dean. “Monica wonderfully embodies the exceptional brain and heart you want in a colleague, a leader and a friend.”

This year’s awards are especially important as they signify the first major event of the OCU Law Alumni Association after being re-established in the fall of 2018 under the direction of Dean Jim Roth, she said.

“As a classmate of Monica’s and a member of the OCU Law Class of 2014, it is an honor to be able to work with her as the Chair of the OCU Law Alumni Association,” Rodriguez said. “Monica brings an excitement to her work and motivates those around her.

“As the 2019 recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumna Award, Monica has exemplified significant achievements in the practice of law since graduation, and is a wonderful representation of the hard work and servant leadership mentality that OCU Law instills.”

Ybarra joined the university’s Alumni Association in September 2018 to oversee development and progress of the organization and was elected Chair by the Board of Directors soon after.

“Dean Roth’s vision to reestablish the OCU Law Alumni Association was one of his top priorities upon assuming his role as the new Dean,” Ybarra said. “He brought together a group of interested alums to serve on the Board of Directors and they elected me as Chair at our inaugural meeting.

“So, I’ve hit the ground running in that role since day one.”

This first year has been focused on getting the word out about the Alumni Association, building partnerships with community businesses for the rewards program, setting goals and bringing the Association’s vision into focus, she said.

“OCU Law has produced some very dynamic leaders and so many of our alums are doing great things all over the world, so it is incredibly humbling to receive this award,” Ybarra said. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be recognized in this way.

“I hope that my role and involvement with OCU Law will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the law school. I enjoy helping with local and national recruiting, and certainly enjoy contributing to the law school experience of OCU Law students in any way that I can.”

To learn more about OCU Law and the Alumni Association, click here.

Director named Alpha Phi sorority’s Woman of the Year

Kathryn Terry Web

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.

After 30 years of service to her sorority, one Alpha Phi alumna is being recognized by her peers.

Director Kathryn D. Terry will be honored at the Greater Oklahoma City Alumnae Panhellenic Association’s Women of the Year luncheon on April 3.

The annual fundraising event recognizes one extraordinary, local alumna member from each of the eighteen alumnae member sororities in Oklahoma City, said Kathleen Stevenson, President of the Greater Oklahoma City Alumnae Panhellenic Association.

“Each alumnae sorority group selects their own Woman of Year based on their own criteria, but I am sure you would agree that each is an accomplished woman whose contributions to her sorority and/or the community make her stand out,” Stevenson said. “Last year, we had over 400 attendees gathered at our luncheon at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club to recognize these women, and we look forward to honoring Kathy along with seventeen other outstanding Panhellenic women.”

Terry’s history with the sorority dates back to 1989 when she first pledged. She is currently President of the House Corporation Board which manages sorority house operations—including managing all staff, food service, maintenance and improvements—to support active members.

“I love working with smart, talented women in Alpha Phi and here in Oklahoma City,” Terry said. “I have made close friendships with successful women all over the country and right here in Oklahoma that I never would have known.

“Also, working with collegiate women to support them in their growth and new opportunities during the college years is terrifically rewarding, and well, fun!”

Terry’s legal practice has allowed her the opportunity to provide training to other house boards and house directors for Alpha Phis across the country on issues related to both employment law and insurance coverage, further fueling her commitment to the organization.

“I’ve always been proud to be an Alpha Phi,” she said. “Being recognized by my sisters and the women of the Greater Oklahoma City Alumnae Panhellenic Association is touching, and I am honored to be recognized among such terrific women who also give their time and talents, not only to their sororities after college, but to the Oklahoma City community in all of our endeavors.”

The Greater Oklahoma City Alumnae Panhellenic Association is a 501(c)(3) comprised of alumnae sorority members from the metro area dedicated to encouraging higher education for young women and promoting the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service which Panhellenic women have embodied for over one hundred years. All net proceeds from the luncheon support scholarships for graduating seniors from area high schools planning on attending Oklahoma colleges or universities, Stevenson said.

“In 2018, we were able to award fourteen $1,500 scholarships to outstanding high school senior women from the greater Oklahoma City area,” she said. “Over the past 21 years, we have awarded over $310,000 in scholarships.

“As college costs are continually rising, there are more young women in need of help to be able attend college.”

For more information about the Greater Oklahoma City Alumnae Panhellenic Association and scholarship opportunities, please visit the website here.

Firm selects Employee of the Month for February 2019

Lisa McAlister

Lisa McAlister, Paralegal, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for February 2019.

“It gives me much encouragement to be recognized,” Lisa said. “I am very fortunate to work with such a great team of co-workers and friends.”

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

“Lisa is an exceptionally talented paralegal and a critical part of Phillips Murrah’s litigation practice,” Director Fred A. Leibrock said. “She brings a wealth of talent and experience to our cases. She has an outstanding work ethic and her work is always top notch.”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Lisa chose Jesus House.

“With such cold weather, this homeless shelter provides for more people who normally spend nights outdoors, to come inside to the warmth,” Lisa said.

To learn more about Jesus House, click here.


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

Phillips Murrah celebrates International Women’s Day

Phillips Murrah Women Empowered

Today, March 8, 2019, is International Women’s Day. Phillips Murrah would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the achievements and importance of women leaders in the workplace. The theme of this year’s IWD is gender balance, and Phillips Murrah is doing our part to help realize this important societal goal.

We are proud to have sponsored the OKC International Women’s Day Celebration last night, hosted by Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, held at Ponyboy. This event was the second annual celebration of International Women’s Day in Oklahoma City.

“57 attendees joined to network and learn more from women’s organizations, such as Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, YWCA, ReMerge of Oklahoma County, Sally’s List, the Metisse Group and more,” said Caroline Cotton, co-creator of the International Women’s Day OKC celebration.

Group photo from International Women's Day celebration.

From left: Caroline Cotton, Lacey Lett, Dawn Rahme, Melissa Gardner, Sam Newton and James Linhardt.

“For me, the importance stems from remembering that the pursuit of equality is an infinite process,” said Phillips Murrah attorney Sam Newton, who initiated the sponsorship. “As time passes, we tend to generalize our own lack of prejudice and declare the issue resolved. Yet, the reality isn’t that simple. Acknowledging the fact that inequality exists moves us forward. IWD serves that goal but is also a day to pause and remember the impact women, both well-known and not, have had on the world today.”

Phillips Murrah is proud to be leaders in the area of promoting women into positions of leadership and equity within our Firm. Our comparatively high percentage of women shareholders and executive leaders is a manifestation of our corporate culture, which celebrates talent, skill, character and collegiality.

All attorneys at Phillips Murrah are expected to meet high standards of professional ability and interpersonal intelligence. Additionally, our workplace expectation is that each attorney is able to thrive in his or her practice, unencumbered by underlying considerations about individual characteristics unrelated to the practice of law.

Liz Charles, Executive Director of Oklahoma Women's Coalition

Liz Charles, Executive Director of Oklahoma Women’s Coalition

Phillips Murrah’s high percentage number of women partners and leaders isn’t motivated by societal pressure. Rather, it has occurred in an authentic way due to our inclusive corporate culture, and can be seen as an accomplishment for everyone at the Firm.

“We didn’t have a structured push to reach any kind of percentage, we just foster a culture that genuinely gives women the opportunity and support to succeed,” said Phillips Murrah Director Melissa Gardner. “I believe that’s the most sustainable kind of change and the coolest part of our equality.”

Phillips Murrah is also a proud Sustaining Partner of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL). We are pleased to be able to support NAWL’s mission, which is to provide leadership, a collective voice and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession, and to advocate for the equality of women under the law.

We are proud of the many strengths and advantages that women leaders bring to our Firm and to society in general, and we are happy to help celebrate this each day – and especially on International Women’s Day!

Firm selects Employee of the Month for January 2019

Curt Bauer

Curt Bauer

Curt Bauer, File Manager, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for January 2019.

“It always feels great to be recognized by your peers as we all have the same ultimate goal: to serve our clients as well as we possibly can,” Curt said. “I love working here as we are making great strides toward becoming paperless, although we still have a ton of work to do.

“It is an honor to be one of the driving forces behind reducing our carbon footprint while still continuing to serve our clients just as well as we did when we used paper, if not even more efficiently. While it is sometimes a daunting project, and one that cannot be done overnight, it is very rewarding to see the money we spend on storage continuing to go down, while finding more and more efficient ways to use technology to everyone’s advantage. Computer documents are much easier to store, much easier to find, and cheaper to maintain.”

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

“Curt is one of the most conscientious people I have ever worked with and he will help in any situation,” said Michelle Munda, Executive Director. “When he’s asked to do anything, I can always be sure it’s done and done right!”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Curt chose the Epilepsy Foundation of Oklahoma.

“I am giving to them as I have had epilepsy my entire life,” Curt said. “I have been seizure free since 1984 due to the ‘experimental’ medication my neurologist put me on in 1982 that actually worked!”

To learn more about the Epilepsy Foundation of Oklahoma, click here.


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

Attorney Mary Holloway Richard authors update to AHLA publication

Mary Holloway

Mary Richard is recognized as one of pioneers in healthcare law in Oklahoma. She has represented institutional and non-institutional providers of health services, as well as patients and their families.

Mary Holloway Richard, Phillips Murrah Healthcare Law Attorney, lent her expertise to an update of the American Health Lawyers Association‘s Institutional Review Boards publication.

In preparing the third edition, the AHLA recognized the need to update the previous edition based upon changes in statutes and regulations and to incorporate new guidance reflecting expertise and current, in-depth experience with clinical research and IRB’s.

An important addition is the new chapter 17 “IRB Compliance and Internal Audits” authored by Richard.

Richard has recognized expertise in regulatory requirements and risk management in clinical research based upon involvement with both researchers and the IRB process for many years in the largest health system in the state.

The chapter brings to life a clinical research compliance plan by including the key elements and sample policies, procedures and other forms for use by researchers and research facilities, she said.

Richard advises clients regularly about FDA, HHS and OHRP requirements and lectures and writes on related topics, including regulatory requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation applicable in clinical research performed in the European Union.

For more information on the latest edition of the publication, click here.

Phillips Murrah attorneys team up to win big at annual chili cook-off

Phillips Murrah chili team

Phillips Murrah’s chili cook-off team celebrates another successful year.

The new year signals a new race to claim a trophy at the annual Oklahoma County Bar Association Chili Cook-Off.

Phillips Murrah attorneys competed in teams against local law firms in OCBA’s Young Lawyers Division to show off their chili-making prowess Jan. 25 at Twisted Spike Brewing Co.

Representing Phillips Murrah were attorneys Hilary Hudson Clifton, Cody J. Cooper, C. Eric DavisTravis E. Harrison, Mark E. Hornbeek, Martin J. Lopez IIISamuel D. Newton, Morgen D. PottsAshley M. Schovanec, and Monica Y. Ybarra.

The competition formally kicks off the YLD’s year-long commitment to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, raising funds and awareness within the community to support the mission of the Regional Food Bank and the Oklahomans who rely on its services.

Attorneys Travis Harrison, Mark Hornbeek, and Ashley Schovanec

Attorneys Travis Harrison, Mark Hornbeek, and Ashley Schovanec get festive for the annual chili cook-off.

“This year’s chili cook-off was a huge success for the OCBA YLD and its year-round fundraising efforts for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma,” Clifton said. “It’s always a fun event with a great turn-out, and this year Phillips Murrah definitely showed up.”

Teams were judged in different categories including Best Overall, Traditional, Non-Traditional, and Hottest Chilis.

“In addition to having two serious chili contenders, Ashley Schovanec brought a smorgasbord of sides and toppings, Mark Hornbeek kept it festive with a light-up chile necklace, and we had an awesome turnout of other associates there wearing PM aprons and talking up our entries,” Clifton said. “It seems like our team gets bigger and more enthusiastic every year, which is awesome, because it’s a really fun event for a great cause.”

Potts won the Best Non-Traditional Chili category on behalf of Phillips Murrah’s teams at this year’s cook-off with her and her husband’s recipe which includes elk, deer, chorizo, coffee, molasses, and different types of peppers.

Attorney Morgen Potts and her husband John

Attorney Morgen Potts and her husband John hold their trophy for Best Non-Traditional Chili.

“The chili was inspired by all the hunting trips my husband and my brother-in-law take together,” Potts said. “The unique flavors of the different types of wild game combined with coffee and molasses always make their long days of hunting worth it.”

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.

Cooper and Ybarra currently serve on OCBA’s Board of Directors.

For more information on the OCBA and the Young Lawyers Division, click here.

Director speaks to Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association members on protecting aerial spray businesses

Patrick Hullum

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

Phillips Murrah Director Patrick L. Hullum advised aerial spray applicators on ways to defend themselves in court to round out the annual Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association convention on Jan. 23.

Hullum relayed steps individuals and businesses can take to protect themselves from claims of alleged “drift” from aerial spray.

If the company is notified of a Department of Agriculture complaint or subsequent lawsuit, it needs to notify its attorney immediately, Hullum said.

“The attorney can quickly determine if the complaint and/or lawsuit was properly and timely filed and served, and whether the court has proper jurisdiction and venue,” he said. “The attorney can also quickly organize an inspection of the property and gather crucial maps, imaging, Satloc flight information, chemical testing, etc. and can determine whether the lawsuit has diversity of the parties and an amount in controversy to transfer from state to federal court.”

Hullum spoke to OAAA members in 2018 on similar issues.  Phillips Murrah was a Platinum-level Sponsor at this year’s convention.

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

Phillips Murrah Blocks for Bucks campaign breaks $10K mark

Firm provides for Oklahoma Family Network for holidays

Gifts provided to families for 2018 holiday season through Oklahoma Family Network

Gifts provided to families for 2018 holiday season through Oklahoma Family Network

Attorneys at Phillips Murrah wrapped up the holiday season by collecting donations for the Oklahoma Family Network. The firm raised $6,000 for the 2018 holiday season.

“The Firm’s Holiday Family project is one of my favorite Christmas season projects,” Attorney and co-coordinator Monica Y. Ybarra said. “The excitement that is generated among our Phillips Murrah family about helping these special Oklahoma families is contagious and truly embodies the spirit of the season.

“I love being a part of organizing this project every year, and I’m always blown away by the generosity of our firm and our employees.”

The Oklahoma Family Network serves families whose members are critically ill or have other health issues or disabilities. Phillips Murrah raises funds to buy gifts for families and provide funds to OFN for emergency medical bills, food shopping, utility payments and other basic needs each year.

“Every year, this is an opportunity for the firm and its employees to share joy and holiday spirit with families who might not otherwise be able to celebrate the seasons,” Attorney and co-coordinator Cody J. Cooper said. “It’s a chance for Phillips Murrah to help families in need by donating gifts to them and helping them have a happy holidays while also easing some of the burdens that accompany this time of year.”

To make a donation to Oklahoma Family Network or learn more about their mission, click here.

Sign of the Times – The Nuts and Bolts of Raising Awareness

What’s in a name? For Phillips Murrah, our name represents over 30 years of dedication and partnership with our clients and our community. We are proud to announce our new exterior sign, which proudly hangs on OKC’s Corporate Tower, wherein our headquarters is located.

It’s no secret that Phillips Murrah has ramped up our effort to raise the profile of our Firm’s name and recognition of our logo, and our new Corporate Tower sign is a fine example of “pure branding.” However, it is important to also point out that “pure branding” has not been our recent promotional path.

Over the years, our Firm, as well as our individual attorneys and staff, has been very active in the community through dedicating time, energy and funding to many causes and organizations throughout Oklahoma City.  However, many of these efforts have flown under the radar regarding our position in the consciousness of the community. The fundamental motivation for these actions simply does not include praise or recognition.

However, from a branding standpoint, it is important to tie our innate philanthropic spirit, both as individuals and as a corporation, into a larger campaign designed to share who Phillips Murrah is and what we do outside of providing excellent representation for our clients. This is why many of our recent promotional campaigns are concerted efforts to achieve two goals: One, to raise awareness of our brand in the community, and two, to ensure that each of these campaigns demonstrate our commitment to the community.

For example, our partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder, through our Blocks for Bucks campaign, directly benefits the Thunder Cares Foundation. For each shot blocked by our home team during home games, Phillips Murrah donates $100 to Thunder Cares, which helps fund the great work they do in the community. For the 2017-2018 season, Phillips Murrah donated a total of $17,000 to Thunder Cares. We are happy to say that we’re on our way to exceed that amount for the 2018-2019 NBA season.

Another example of this two-pronged strategy is our sponsorship of the Six Day Cellars tent at the 2018 Festival of the Arts. While helping provide a great area for leisure and refreshment to patrons of OKC’s annual art festival, we are also proud to help fund one of our city’s great non-profit organizations, Arts Council Oklahoma City. We are repeating our sponsorship of Six Day Cellars at the 2019 Festival of the Arts.

Through these and other campaigns, including with the StoryCorps Mobile Recording Booth, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Cristo Rey, Phillips Murrah goes beyond “pure branding” to ensure that those who become more aware of our Firm’s name through our promotional efforts also understand that, while we are committed to the success of our clients, we are also committed to helping build a better community.

Phillips Murrah announces new Director, Shareholder for 2019

Director Zachary K. Bradt

Director Zachary K. Bradt

Phillips Murrah proudly announces the promotion of Zachary K. Bradt to a Director and Shareholder for the Firm. Zac’s selection brings the Firm’s total number of Directors to 37.

“I feel very honored and fortunate to be a part of the outstanding team at Phillips Murrah,” Zac said. “During my time here, the Firm has placed great emphasis on developing its Energy and Natural Resources practice to meet the ever-growing needs of our clients. I look forward to using this new role to facilitate further growth and continue providing services that help our clients succeed.”

In his practice, Zac has prepared numerous drilling title opinions, division order title opinions and acquisition title opinions, and conducted due diligence in the acquisition and divesture of oil and gas properties. His growing oil and gas transactional practice is focused around the preparation of various oil and gas agreements, instruments, and conveyances as well as the drafting of curative documentation to clarify record title for his clients.

“Since joining Phillips Murrah almost five years ago, Zac has shown considerable commitment to his clients and to improving and growing his practice at the Firm.” said Thomas G. Wolfe, President and Managing Partner. “We are confident Zac’s experience and success at the Firm will thrive in his position as Director and Shareholder.”

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Zac makes his home in Edmond, with his wife, Amy, and son, Jude. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, traveling, and golf.

He officially assumed his new role on Jan. 1, 2019.

Phillips Murrah helps empower women as 2019 NAWL Sustaining Sponsor

National Association of Women Lawyers logoContinuing its dedication to diversity and inclusion, Phillips Murrah is proud to announce its inclusion as a 2019 National Association of Women Lawyers Sustaining Sponsor. Founded in 1899, NAWL’s goal is to empower women in the legal profession while cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support and collective success. The organization’s mission is “to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law.”

NAWL’s initiatives and activities include:

  • National and regional programming focused on giving women lawyers the legal and business skills to succeed in the legal profession.
  • Increasing the percentage of women equity partners in law firms with talented high-potential women who are on the equity partner track.
  • Amicus support in the Supreme Court of the United States and in other federal courts on issues of concern to women.
  • Liaison relationships and partnerships with other professional organizations.
  • Publications of interest to women in law and opportunities for NAWL members to publish scholarly articles.

NAWL’s events and resources help bring awareness to gender-based topics and challenges within the legal profession, such as diversity scholarships, workplace equality in areas of compensation and influence, and guidance and networking opportunities for women in a variety of practice areas.

For more information, visit the NAWL website at https://www.nawl.org.

 

Sheets presents on issues related to title opinions, examination

Robert N. Sheets is a commercial litigator, director and one of the firm’s founders. He represents construction and energy industry clients in a broad range of real estate, land use and business litigation matters.

Robert N. Sheets is a commercial litigator, director and one of the Firm’s founders. He represents construction and energy industry clients in a broad range of real estate, land use and business litigation matters.

Director Robert N. Sheets presented issues related to title examination and opinions on Dec. 13 for Continuing Education professionals.

Sheets spoke in morning and afternoon sessions at the National Business Institute’s seminar titled “Title Law in Oklahoma.”

His presentations, “The Process of Title Examination” and “Preparing the Title Opinion and Issues in Title Insurance,” covered record examination, proper procedures, execution defects and examination of the abstract of title for title examination issues and drafting/negotiating title insurance policies, the role of the state and governmental control for title opinion issues.

Those interested in registering can get more information at www.nbi-sems.com. Attendees receive CLE credit for participating.

Firm selects Employee of the Month for November 2018

Stacye Snow, Accounts Payable, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for November 2018.

“I am truly blessed to be a member of the Phillips Murrah family and honored with the recognition for my part with the firm and my work family,” Stacye said.

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

“Stacye is a valued member of the Accounting Department and her contributions help to make the Firm run efficiently,” Controller Stephanie Oseland said. “She is a hardworking and positive person, and it is a pleasure to work with her. She deserves this honor.”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice, and Stacye chose the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

“I believe that the suffering of animals is one of the most heartbreaking injustices, and that we as a society cannot allow to go unchecked by supporting those who give of themselves, their time, love and compassion to champion these lives, both great and small, that cannot defend themselves is vital,” Stacye said.

To learn more about ASPCA, click here.


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

The Oklahoman honors Phillips Murrah as Top Workplace for fourth year

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce its inclusion as one of Oklahoma City’s Top Workplaces for the fourth year in a row.

The Oklahoman newspaper published their annual list of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces on Dec. 10 ranking the Firm No. 20 out of 40 in the small employer category (fewer than 125 employees), up one spot from last year.

“Being recognized for our workplace culture for the fourth year in a row is a thrill for us,” said Phillips Murrah Marketing Director Dave Rhea. “It affirms to us that not only do we excel at the practice of law, we also provide a positive work environment for everyone on our team – attorneys and staff, alike.”

The Firm was first named to the Top Workplaces list in 2015 and moved up the list in 2016 and 2017.

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

Every year, the newspaper encourages local participants in Oklahoma City to nominate businesses for the program. The methodology of candidate evaluation is determined from anonymous surveys, 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: http://phillipsmurrah.com/careers.

Director Nikki Edwards quoted by Journal Record on divorce settlements

Nicholle Jones Edwards

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.

A change in tax deductions regarding alimony has lead to an influx of clients looking to expedite their divorces.

Nikki Edwards, Phillips Murrah Director and Family Law Attorney, was quoted in a Journal Record article addressing the circumstances agreeing with Ron Little, McAfee & Taft Family Law Attorney.

Phillips Murrah Family Practice Law Director Nikki Edwards said she’s seeing the same issues from her clients as Little. She has clients who are trying to get the agreement finalized in a few weeks, while others are willing to push it into 2019.

“It was a surprising change because it’s been well-settled for many years,” she said. “The impact will be to restructure the settlement negotiations.”

She said from a practitioner’s standpoint, the change gets back to why alimony was created, which is predicated on one’s ability to pay versus one’s need.

“(The new law) will take out the thoughts of paying more because of the tax benefit,” she said. “It takes out the incentives for both sides.”

Read the full article by The Journal Record here.

OKC Beautiful appoints Newton treasurer

Sam Newton

Samuel D. Newton is an attorney practicing in Oil and Gas, Construction, and Healthcare Law.

OKC Beautiful, Oklahoma City’s only nonprofit organization dedicated to the beautification of Oklahoma City, elected Phillips Murrah Attorney Samuel D. Newton to its Board of Directors to serve as the organization’s treasurer.

“I feel that, at some point in the not too distant past, aesthetics gave way to efficiency,” Newton said. “Cities and towns often fail to think about how the atmosphere of the city helps attract businesses and promote civic involvement.

“Coming from Austin, where the city is very deliberate about growth, I was heartened to see that Oklahoma City also had an understanding of the importance of atmosphere and aesthetics in an overall plan.”

Newton said Attorney Mary Holloway Richard suggested he consider OKC Beautiful. He met with Carla Sharpe, past OKC Beautiful President, to discuss the organization and how his skills and abilities could be of use and was nominated to be on the Board.

“As treasurer, I will be responsible for working with the Executive Director and Finance Committee to ensure that budgets are met and kept,” he said. “More importantly, for my new role, I want to work to increase the OKC Beautiful endowment to ensure sustainable growth and future successes.”

Newton’s appointment comes at the same time as Attorney Ellen K. Spiropoulos’s role as President of the organization comes to an end.

“Finishing my two year term as President of OKC Beautiful is bittersweet since it also means I will soon be leaving the Board per our mandatory term limits,” she said. “I have been privileged to be President as the organization prepared for and celebrated its 50th anniversary, which was a great opportunity to reflect on all the individuals and achievements of our past and how the mission of OKC Beautiful continues and into the future.

“Sam will bring to his new position as Treasurer all the qualities that he make him an outstanding lawyer—attention to detail, strategic insights and problem solving skills. When you add to that his passion for Oklahoma City, he was a perfect choice for the OKC Beautiful board and now its executive committee.”

Newton will begin his role next year.

“Coming from a small town that didn’t put much stock in beautification and being a big proponent of the ‘broken windows’ theory, the mission of OKC Beautiful speaks to me as does its inter-meshing of educational and beautification programs,” Newton said. “So, I look forward to working with the organization and our other board members as we strive to build our endowment and grow our programs.”

To learn more about the organization or make a contribution, please visit the OKC Beautiful website here.

Firm selects Employee of the Month for October 2018

Cory Everett

Cory Everett

Cory Everett, Information Technology, is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for October 2018.

“It is truly an honor being voted Employee of the Month,” Cory said. “We have so many great people that work here and do far more important work than what I do.

“My Phillips Murrah family has given me more than I could even begin to describe.”

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

“It has been a pleasure and honor to work with Cory,” said Sam Lincoln, Information Technology Director. “No matter the task, Cory always has a positive and professional attitude.

“His work ethic and dedication to excellence is immeasurable.”

The Firm recently began making a donation to the winner’s charity of choice.

“The work at Hough Ear Institute of restoring hearing for people all over the world is truly a modern miracle,” Cory said. “This is the future we are living in and to see a group dedicated to reaching ‘all who have ears will hear’ is so awe inspiring.”

Hough Ear Institute is currently running a campaign to raise $300,000 to dedicate to the Institute’s research efforts and will match contributions.

“Our research is truly cutting edge and is on the way to restoring one’s natural hearing for less than the cost of one hearing aid,” said Justin DeMoss, Director of Development at Hough Ear Institute. “This will revolutionize the way hearing loss and tinnitus is treated.”

To learn more about Hough Ear Institute or make a personal contribution to their fundraising campaign, click here.


Top Work Places 2017Phillips Murrah has been recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/Energage four years in a row. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence.

Phillips Murrah helps bring NPR’s StoryCorps to OKC

In February of 2018, Phillips Murrah partnered with local NPR radio station, KOSU, to bring the nationally renowned StoryCorps MobileBooth to Oklahoma City.

Through StoryCorps, Oklahomans were able to record their meaningful, intimate personal stories in the MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer containing their travelling recording studio. From February 8 to March 9, 2018, as part of a cross-country tour, the famed MobileBooth was parked at Pop-Up Park at NW 10th St. and N. Hudson Ave.

From KOSU’s website:

In StoryCorps’ MobileBooth, two people are able to record a meaningful conversation with one another about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides them through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

Phillips Murrah is proud to partner with KOSU to help facilitate our community’s ability to tell their stories.