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Director Juston Givens joins Board of American Banjo Museum

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Dustin Pyeatt, Development and Outreach Manager for American Banjo Museum, and Phillips Murrah Director Juston R. Givens

Phillips Murrah Director Juston R. Givens was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the American Banjo Museum.

The American Banjo Museum is a $5 million, world-class 21,000 square foot facility honoring the rich history of the banjo. The museum’s collection contains more than 400 instruments, recordings, film, video, printed music, instructional materials, ephemera and memorabilia associated with the banjo and contains the largest collection in the world of banjos on public display.

“Being a person who has a strong interest for music, specifically different styles of music that range from roots rock country to west coast rock (i.e. the Eagles) and traditional country and bluegrass, the American Banjo Museum’s all-encompassing style of banjo music was particularly appealing to me,” Givens said. “In addition, I saw an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the American Banjo Museum.

“That is very important to me as I believe the American Banjo Museum to be a significant international element in the music industry and tremendous asset for Oklahoma and Oklahoma City metro community.”

Originally located in Guthrie, Oklahoma, the museum was founded as a non-profit organization in 1998 by Midwest City attorney, Brady Hunt and Indiana industrialist, Jack Canine under its previous name, The National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame Museum. The museum is now located in downtown Oklahoma City at 9 E. Sheridan Ave.

“While I am ‘brand new’ to the Board of Directors, I see the American Banjo Museum growing into a very well-known significant international museum that not only provides extensive education in the Oklahoma City and Oklahoma communities, but also on a national basis,” Givens said.

For more information on upcoming events, or to become a member of the American Banjo Museum, visit americanbanjomuseum.com or call at (405) 604-2793.

Phillips Murrah sponsors Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake event

Information Technology Director Sam Lincoln

Information Technology Director Sam Lincoln

Five teams of Phillips Murrah employees, families and friends showed off their bowling talents to celebrate the firm’s fundraising efforts toward Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake annual event.

Heritage Lanes welcomed Phillips Murrah for the firm’s night of bowling on May 14, made possible by donations from firm employees and members of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Phillips Murrah Director Byrona Maule spearheaded the campaign, raising $3,700.

“Bowl For Kids’ Sake is the single largest fund raiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters – it’s a great way to provide financial support for matches and the bowling party is a lot of fun,” Byrona said. “It was an easy decision on my part to facilitate Phillips Murrah’s participation in BFKS! “

The firm hosts a series of events and raffle drawings to garner support for the BBBS campaign.

“I’ve been a Big Sister/volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters for the vast majority of the last twenty five years,” Byrona said. “The children I have mentored are bright, intelligent, caring people who just needed an additional adult in their lives to help them through the unfortunate challenges that underprivileged children face. After experiencing first-hand the changes that having a mentor can have on a child’s life, it’s become my passion to do everything in my power to help provide a mentor to every child who needs one – and that takes financial resources. “

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma or to make a donation, visit their website here.

Director Juston Givens featured in article on law firm diversity

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Juston R. Givens is a director and shareholder of the firm. Juston represents a diverse group of individuals and businesses covering a wide range of industries, from construction to agriculture to entertainment.

Phillips Murrah Director Juston Givens was featured in the Journal Record as a source in an article by journalist Molly M. Fleming.

Titled “Hot commodities: Tax, tribal law attorneys among most-desired legal specialties,” the cover story is about the difficulty in filling attorney positions for specialized fields.

From the article:

In Oklahoma City, Phillips Murrah recruiting head Juston R. Givens said the biggest specialty in which they have trouble hiring is corporate mergers and securities. But diversity in knowledge is important to his firm as well.

“It helps the legal industry any time you can add diverse backgrounds and communities,” he said.

Read the full article here.

Phillips Murrah celebrates Grand Opening of OCU Law School

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OKC mayor Mick Cornett speaks to the crowd in McLaughlin Hall.

On Friday, Mar. 27, Oklahoma City University School of Law held their grand opening ceremony in downtown Oklahoma City.

On hand for the event were Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, host of ABC’s hit show, The Bachelor/OCU Law alumnus Chris Harrison and others were on hand to welcome OCU to the Central Business District.

Phillips Murrah was excited to be a part of the grand opening events all week and we are proud to boast of Directors who are also OCU Law grads:

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Phillips Murrah Directors and OCU Law graduates Juston Givens and Jennifer Miller were in attendance at the Grand Opening ceremony.

Phillips Murrah is also proud to support the school and their great program as well as to have a new media-enabled conference room named for our firm.

We are excited about the beautiful restoration project and and eager to witness what the new location of the OCU School of Law adds to the vibrant downtown OKC culture. As mayor Cornett alluded to in his presentation, it is every metro central business district’s dream to have such an addition of bright, young, energetic people circulating through the shops and restaurants during the day.

Oklahoma City University School of Law is housed in the Central High School building located at NW 8 and Harvey, about 200 feet north of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

Tips for bands: What to consider when hiring a manager

By Juston R. Givens, Director

We’ve all heard stories about the wild lifestyle of a modern musician – days on the road, nights of debauchery, money, fun and more money. But more often than not, we also hear stories of the flip side of stardom, when young bands get stifled because of poor business decisions and bad professional relationships.

small ampFor a band in its early stages, deciding on who to trust and how to make wise choices on the “business” side of show business is critical. Enter the band’s manager: the person who oversees the operations side of the effort. The manager helps assemble a team which can include the road manager, merchandise manager, publicist – and even the band’s attorney.

But how does a band know the difference between a manager who could take them places vs. one who could stall their career before it even begins?

Band managers have incredible influence on the success, direction and partnerships of the band’s business, so finding, retaining and empowering a manager is critical. Here are some issues for a band to consider when hiring a manager:

  • Who’s in charge?
    Remember, your manager works for the band, not the other way around. Even though they may have more industry experience and better contacts, ultimately decisions need to be made with the band’s best interest in mind.
  • Legal advice
    Your manager may be great at managing the operations and logistics of the band, but that doesn’t not make him an attorney. Get good legal advice about any contract your band signs to ensure there is an absolute understanding of the agreement.
  • The Yoko Rule
    When deciding on a manager, beware of bringing in relatives to fill that role (or any other important decision-making function in the band). It’s a common mistake, especially among younger artists. Pitfalls can include a lack of experience in the industry, unrealistic expectations for what the band can and can’t do, and conflicts with members of the band who aren’t related to them. Also, if a relative is your manager and doing a poor job, it’s harder to fire them. So don’t hire them in the first place.

Management agreement red flags

When signing a management agreement, a band ought to keep in mind the ramifications, short- and long-term, that document will have. It’s this moment, more than any other, when a fledgling artist can sacrifice future success because of early, naive decisions.

  1. First and foremost, don’t give away the future just because you can’t imagine it (whether it has great or middling success) or that it just seems too far away. Don’t begin by handing over rights to a manager without an exchange that also has long-term benefits, such as a substantial investment or significant opportunity.
  2. Also when looking at an agreement – and this is where good legal counsel is valuable – make sure you and your band know exactly what the agreement contains and what it means. The more details the better, especially in terms of the manager’s and the band’s expectations and who has decision-making authority over specific areas. You also want to avoid open-ended contracts. Just with typical employment, your manager should have a set period to accomplish certain goals and then be evaluated on their performance.
  3. Finally, to ensure the artistic integrity of everyone in the band, make sure that when you sign a management deal, signing as a band doesn’t prevent individuals from pursuing other projects as a solo artist or upon leaving the group.

Not every band’s story has to be an E! True Hollywood story. With the right forethought in who helps the band in its journey, a band can have a long and healthy career and – possibly – a very happy ending.