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Firm selects Employee of the Month for December 2019

Kat Mach

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

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

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

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

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

To learn more about METAvivor, click here.


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

 

Director’s Woman of the Year honor shared in hometown newspaper

Dawn Rahme

Dawn Rahme

Phillips Murrah Director Dawn Rahme was featured in an article in the Ponca City News noting her achievement as one of the Journal Record’s Women of the Year.

“Hard work, integrity and passion will guide me to success throughout my life,” Rahme said in the article. “Though my life has been much easier than his – thanks to him and my mother – my goal remains to follow his example in life: take pride in what I do and work hard to achieve success.”

Read more about the Woman of the Year honor given to Rahme and Phillips Murrah attorneys Sally Hasenfratz and Mary Holloway Richard here.

50 Making a Difference profile: Dawn Rahme, J.D.

From The Journal Record / by Jessica Mitchell
Published: November 3, 2016
Click to see full story – 50 Making a Difference profile: Dawn Rahme, J.D.

Dawn M. Rahme represents individuals and businesses in an array of transactional matters. The focus of her practice is assisting corporations, partnerships and individuals in general tax planning.

Inspired by her father’s success in overcoming challenges, Dawn Rahme is driven to work her hardest in the face of adversity.

Rahme’s father, at the age of 25, moved from Lebanon to the United States. Without money, an education, employment or knowledge of the English language, his chances of success were slim. However, he overcame the odds to build a successful business through hard work, perseverance, integrity and commitment.

“Hard work, integrity and passion will guide me to success throughout my life,” Rahme said. “Though my life has been much easier than his – thanks to him and my mother – my goal remains to follow his example in life: take pride in what I do and work hard to achieve success.”

Rahme earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1998 and her juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 2001. She then went on to obtain her master of law in taxation at New York University School of Law.

She joined Phillips Murrah in 2004 and today is a shareholder and director of the Oklahoma City firm and serves on the firm’s executive committee.

She is a member of the firm’s tax, estate planning and corporate law practice groups, has been involved in several complex mergers and acquisitions, and frequently advises clients on the best structure to hold existing assets as well as effects of tax planning with limited partnerships and limited liability companies.

“I believe where Dawn truly sets herself apart from her peers is in her unique ability to evaluate complex transactions from a business perspective, in addition to the legal perspective one would expect,” said Robert O’Bannon, a director of Phillips Murrah. “Her proficiency in this arena is not due merely to her excellent analytical abilities, but because she has extensive professional experience.”

Phillips Murrah Director Thomas G. Wolfe describes Rahme as a natural leader.

“Her willingness to accept challenges and listen to input from her colleagues enables her to contribute thoughtful, well-reasoned approaches to help solve difficult problems,” Wolfe said.

Rahme’s civic involvement has included volunteering with Positive Tomorrows, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Oklahoma Family Network, Regional Food Bank and Susan G. Komen Foundation. She said she is proud of her work in co-founding Phillips Murrah’s Holiday Family project more than a decade ago.

“As lawyers, we are fortunate enough to provide for our families, but there are so many who cannot afford even the most basic necessities, let alone Christmas gifts,” she said. “It was – and still is – hard for me to imagine a child not experiencing the surprise of Christmas morning, the joy of running to the tree and finding a present waiting to be torn into.”

Firm selects June Employee of the Month

Pat Murano

Legal Secretary Pat Murano is Phillips Murrah’s Employee of the Month for June 2016.

“Phillips Murrah really is like a big family – we all look out for one another and help when we can,” Murano said. “This year the firm greatly improved the look of our work environment with beautiful artwork and updates.”

“Pat not only excels in her work, but she is also a thoughtful coworker,” Phillips Murrah Director Dawn Rahme said. “She’s been a great asset to the Phillips Murrah family.”

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


Top Workplaces shield for web 150

Phillips Murrah is the only law firm recognized as an Oklahoma Top Work Place by The Oklahoman/WorkplaceDynamics. Our Firm strives to recognize and reward our employees for excellence. Each Employee of the Month is chosen by a monthly survey of peers.

Phillips Murrah attorneys support i2E 2015 BrewFest

Attorneys Monica Ybarra, Dawn Rahme, and Erica Halley at Brewfest

Attorneys Monica Ybarra, Dawn Rahme, and Erica Halley at Brewfest.

Hundreds of patrons filled the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Nov. 5 to support i2E’s (Innovation to Enterprise) annual OKBio BrewFest.

“The intellectual activity surrounding the annual i2E BrewFest channels the exciting physical changes in downtown Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Health Center, Bricktown, Deep Deuce and the state,” Attorney Mary Holloway Richard said. “Where else can you find entrepreneurs mingling to discuss their business plans and dreams with one another and with support professionals like the Phillips Murrah team that supports technical businesses as they establish themselves and expand?”

“From conversations with a graduate student physiologist focusing on lessening the impact of retinitis pigmentosa to discussions with an OCU Botany professor and a young distiller known for his marketing genius who is expanding into new markets—all this on a beautiful fall evening at the ballpark.  Helping clients achieve their business goals in research, health care, product development is a exciting as it gets.”

Lauren Branch and her husband Phillips Murrah Director Doug Branch.

Lauren Branch and her husband Phillips Murrah Director Doug Branch at Brewfest.

The event featured samples from 23 of Oklahoma’s local craft beer, wine and spirits producers.

“OKBio BrewFest is an annual fall event to shine a spotlight on bio in Oklahoma and provide support for OKBio, which among other things provides BIO International scholarships to Oklahomans every year,” said i2E President Scott Meacham in an article about BrewFest.

Other event sponsors include Crowe & Dunlevy, Foundation HealthCare, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Oklahoma Gazette, Hall Estill, Caisson Biotech, Hit Design, VWR International, McAfee & Taft, Dunlap Codding, and Woodland & Associates.

Read more about BrewFest here.

Taxing behavior

Gavel to Gavel appears in The Journal Record. This column was originally published in The Journal Record on Oct. 8, 2015.


Dawn M. Rahme represents individuals and businesses in an array of transactional matters. The focus of her practice is assisting corporations, partnerships and individuals in general tax planning.

Dawn M. Rahme represents individuals and businesses in an array of transactional matters. The focus of her practice is assisting corporations, partnerships and individuals in general tax planning.

By Phillips Murrah Director Dawn Rahme

Generally, people think of taxes as money that governments charge citizens in order to facilitate infrastructure. However, in many cases, governments also use the tax system to modify behavior by using the power of the purse.

Behavior is undoubtedly affected by the tax code. For example, when Congress increases the expense deduction for businesses, it encourages businesses to spend money through equipment purchases or other qualifying expenditures. When they allow for charitable deductions, it encourages giving to qualified organizations.

Oklahoma also offers a variety of tax incentives, including the Quality Jobs Program and the Oklahoma Film Act, which offer credits and rebates to make Oklahoma more attractive to those deciding where to do business.

On the flip side, behavior can also be discouraged by the tax code. Some excise taxes are imposed on items deemed unhealthy, commonly referred to as sin taxes. For example, Oklahoma levies an additional tax on tobacco products, including cigarettes. The intent is to discourage tobacco use with the implication of having an overall effect on health care. Additionally, according to Bloomberg, Oklahoma sin tax revenue has risen about 200 percent in the past decade.

Some argue that sin taxes are regressive, or that they have a disproportionately higher burden on the poor because they spend a larger share of their income on consumption. However, in the case of luxury taxes, or taxes on products or services that are deemed to be unnecessary or nonessential, it can be difficult to make the argument regressive taxes affect only lower tax brackets.

There are some rather notorious examples of efforts to influence behavior, including a poorly conceived idea in Dallas to place a 5-cent fee on disposable plastic grocery store bags. The tax passed, only to be repealed six months later. And who can forget New York City’s failed effort to ban sugary drinks from being sold in containers larger than 16 ounces? Although their efforts failed, the city of Berkley, California, was able to pass a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on soft drinks.

The next time you are making a purchase, it may be an interesting exercise to ask yourself how much of an influence taxes have on your decision.

Taxes and new businesses

Gavel to Gavel appears in The Journal Record. This column was originally published in The Journal Record on Aug. 26, 2015.


Dawn M. Rahme represents individuals and businesses in an array of transactional matters. The focus of her practice is assisting corporations, partnerships and individuals in general tax planning.

Dawn M. Rahme represents individuals and businesses in an array of transactional matters. The focus of her practice is assisting corporations, partnerships and individuals in general tax planning.

By Phillips Murrah Director Dawn Rahme

Starting a new business can be exciting. However, it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to determining tax obligations.

While income tax obligations are the most obvious, other decisions you may make when starting out will affect your business. Below are some tax tips to consider.

Structure: When starting your business, you must choose a business structure that is right for you. Your choices are many, including sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, partnerships and corporations. The most common type of business structure is a limited liability company or corporation because of the potential benefit of liability protection offered to owners.

Business structure will also determine how business taxes will impact your business. Generally, there are four types of business taxes: income, self-employment, employment and excise tax. Depending on the type of business you operate, there may be additional state and local taxes that could apply. It’s important to determine those obligations at the start of your business so you can register with the appropriate federal or state agencies and obtain any licenses or permits necessary to run your business.

Accounting: Another item to consider when starting your new business is an accounting method, which your business will need to track the organization’s income and expenses. In most cases, you can choose the cash method or accrual method, as long as you use a consistent method.

As a business owner, you should know how each method works as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can choose the better one for your business.

Health care: If your new business is going to have employees, make sure to consider the tax issues that come with employee health care. Depending on the number of employees you have, you may be subject to the Affordable Care Act and information reporting responsibilities to the Internal Revenue Service regarding minimum essential coverage that you offer.

These are just a few of the decisions that you will consider when starting your new business. With proper information and planning, you can get your new business up and running and minimize the risk of being caught off guard later.