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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.”

Richard, healthcare counsel to review Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute final rules

By Phillips Murrah Healthcare Attorney Mary Holloway Richard

Oklahoma Opioid Decision by Phillips Murrah healthcare attorney Mary Holloway

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

Final Rules have been issued for both the Stark Law (“Stark”) and the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”).  Healthcare providers and their counsel have been awaiting these new rules for some time now.  In the days ahead, Phillips Murrah healthcare counsel will be studying the 627 pages of the Stark Final Rules and the 1,000 pages of the AKS Final Rules in order to advise our clients with regard to these changes.

Stark: 

The Final Rules for Stark establish new and permanent exceptions for value-based arrangements which will apply broadly to care provided for all patients and not just Medicare patients.  Stark will continue to act to limit overutilization of services, fraud and other abuse in the healthcare industry but will offer increased flexibility for current strategies and activities to encourage value-based arrangements, coordination and improvement of care which are both reasonable and beneficial to patients.

AKS: 

The Final Rule includes seven new safe harbors and modifications of four existing safe harbors.  In addition, there is a new exception for Civil Monetary Penalties Act for Beneficiary Inducements.  Of interest to counsel for both physicians and hospitals is the Final Rule’s clarification of Fair Market (“FMV”) as related to physician compensation.  FMV has been a continued troublesome of scrutiny and debate by all participants in the healthcare industry.  Also significant for many healthcare clients are the modifications and clarification of provisions related to cyber security and digital technology.

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.

NextGen Under 30 awards Kendra Norman in legal field

As the American labor force evolves to accommodate an influx of millennial-generation employees, standing out in a flooded career field grows more competitive and valuable.

Kendra Norman Web

Kendra M. Norman represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of transactional matters.

NextGen Under 30, which names top performing Oklahomans under 30 years of age across various industries, has named Attorney Kendra M. Norman to its 2020 honorary list in the Law category.

“I’m extremely honored to receive this award a few short weeks before I turn 30,” Norman said. “There are so many other amazing recipients, including several of my LOYAL XV classmates with which I am so excited to celebrate!

“I appreciate the opportunity to make a difference in the Oklahoma City as an attorney and as a volunteer in the community, and I am very grateful to be recognized for those efforts!”

NextGen recognizes strives to highlight the accomplishments of individuals who are making a difference within their respective industries and who demonstrate talent, drive and service to their communities.

“Kendra is not only outstanding in her role as an attorney with Phillips Murrah, but also impressive in the roles she’s taken upon herself in supporting her community and fostering connections with students who plan to enter the legal field,” said Joshua L. Edwards, Director and Transactional Practice Group Leader. “Phillips Murrah recognizes the potential our younger lawyers have to be successful leaders in the firm and in the community, and we seek to encourage and support them in their development.

“Kendra is a prime example of what can be accomplished when dedicated and compassionate individuals thrive in their practice and in their community involvement, and we are proud she is honored as NextGen Under 30 recipient.”

Honorees had the opportunity to meet and network at an Oct. 19 social event at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

“It was really awesome to meet so many other recipients from around the state and talk to young leaders in several different professions,” Norman said.

NextGen chose 379 Oklahomans as 2020 award winners in 20 career categories from 241 companies and organizations.

Read the full list of winners on NextGen’s website here.

Laurel Baker joins Phillips Murrah law firm’s Dallas legal team

Laurel L. Baker portrait

Laurel L. Baker – Click to view profile.

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 19, 2020) – Phillips Murrah P.C. is pleased to announce Laurel L. Baker has joined the Firm in its Dallas office as an Associate attorney. Her addition to the Firm brings the number of Phillips Murrah attorneys serving the Texas market to 16.

Laurel is a litigation attorney whose primary focus is on commercial and business litigation matters representing both plaintiffs and defendants in business and commercial disputes involving banking, corporate governance, contract disputes, mergers and acquisitions, employment, and other business litigation issues.

Laurel received her J.D. from the SMU Dedman School of Law and was a Dean’s Scholarship Recipient. While at SMU, she was Auction Director for the Association of Public Interest Law, a student attorney in the Child Advocacy Clinic, and an Articles Editor of the International Law Review Association.

She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from Baylor University where she graduated Cum Laude.

Phillips Murrah opened its Dallas office in May of 2018.


CONTACT:

Phillips Murrah – Dallas Office:
3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 900
Dallas, Texas 75219

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

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Vicarious liability – Physicians can take steps to minimize risk

The following column was originally published in The Journal Record on October 5, 2020.


Martin J. Lopez portrait

Martin J. Lopez III is a litigation attorney who represents individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of civil litigation matters.

By Phillips Murrah Attorney Martin J. Lopez III

Between 2003 and 2020, the number of certified physician assistants practicing in the United States increased by over 220%. Set against this landscape of PA’s increasing role in health care, supervising physicians must be especially mindful of their responsibilities.

According to the Oklahoma’s Physician Assistant Act, a PA may practice medicine and prescribe drugs and medical supplies only under the supervision and direction of a state-licensed physician. The OPAA requires that the supervisory relationship be articulated and agreed upon by means of a practice agreement, which accounts for protocols and the scope of practice, as well as the PA’s education, training, skills and experience.

For physicians already juggling a busy patient caseload and bearing the responsibility of supervision and delegation of decision-making authority for up to four PAs at once, it is not uncommon for them to abrogate this responsibility by taking a hands-off or passive approach to this working relationship. However, they must be aware that the governing statute establishes that “at all times, a physician assistant shall be considered an agent of the delegating physician.”

This is known in the law as establishing vicarious liability. While no reported case in Oklahoma has actually held a physician vicariously liable for the acts or omissions of a PA, the statutory language creates the possibility of the extension of PA liability to the supervising physician.

While supervising physicians need not be physically present nor consulted in each instance of PA patient care, they must be readily available through telecommunication and appropriately participate in services provided by the PA. The statute specifically notes the supervising physician must:

  • Be responsible for the formulation or approval of all orders and protocols that direct the delivery of services provided by a PA, and periodically review such orders and protocols.
  • Regularly review the services provided by the PA and any problems or complications encountered.
  • Review a sample of outpatient medical records at a site specified in the practice agreement.
  • While the OPAA sets forth the scope of physician supervision of a PA and participation in a PA’s practice, there are a number of steps that can be taken to minimize physician risks of vicarious liability:
  • Pay careful attention to credentials and qualifications during the PA hiring process.
  • Ensure that the practice agreement includes a listing of the PA’s scope-of-practice responsibilities, and the requirements and limitations of the physician’s delegation authority.
  • Specify aspects of care that require prior physician consultation or approval.
  • Include language setting out the manner in which the record review requirement will be met by the PA and physician.

Once the PA begins practice, the supervising physician is advised to actively monitor the PA to ensure compliance with the practice agreement and that the PA provides patient care in a manner that does not exceed the PA’s level of skill and competence. Likewise, the physician should foster an environment in which the PA’s consultation with the physician is not perfunctory, but is actively encouraged to a meaningful extent to further the care rendered to the patient.

As with so many issues in health care today, risk is based not only upon regulatory language but also upon an analysis of the facts. Potential vicarious liability risk is mitigated by beginning with a practice agreement that takes all of these requirements and concerns into account.

Martin J. Lopez is an attorney at the law form of Phillips Murrah.

Proactive tech considerations in the era of the virtual workplace

The following column was originally published in The Oklahoman on October 4, 2020.


Hilary Hudson Clifton Web

Hilary Hudson Clifton is a litigation attorney who represents individuals and both privately-held and public companies in a wide range of civil litigation matters. Click photo to visit her attorney profile.

By Phillips Murrah Attorney Hilary H. Clifton

As thousands of workers continue to clock in remotely each day, many businesses are still learning the ins-and-outs of the virtual collaboration platforms their employees are using.

Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Docs, BlueJeans, Trello, and, of course, the ubiquitous Zoom, are only a few of the programs that have recently evolved from helpful but perhaps underutilized tech tools, to vital aspects of daily operations.

In the rush to adapt to these new realities, however, savvy businesses should be deliberate when selecting and utilizing virtual collaboration tools.

Though only time can play out the range of virtual workplace conduct that might cause headaches for businesses and employers, cautionary tales are emerging. For example, one doctoral student at Stockton University in New Jersey found himself facing potential disciplinary action after using an image of President Trump as his screen background during a class being held via Zoom.

Though his apparent political statement was likely intentional, it’s not difficult to imagine how one might make an inadvertent statement — political or otherwise — via a video conference background.

A controversial book on a bookshelf or a political poster hanging in a home office might become pertinent, for example, in an employee’s suit against a supervisor, or a family photograph of a luxury vacation might raise questions in a collection lawsuit.

In addition, long before the pandemic, businesses have been grappling with managing, storing, and retrieving vast quantities of electronic data.

In the age of telework, the built-in chat functionalities found in many applications allow users to forego traditional email and participate in fast-paced conversation threads that can promote informality and create huge quantities of data that might be mined by opposing parties in litigation.

Video conferencing platforms also often include a “chat” functionality, allowing participants to send private and/or public messages to one another during the course of a meeting, with those chats potentially, and potentially unbeknownst to the participants, becoming part of a memorialized “transcript” following the meeting.

Fortunately, many applications already have built-in features to deal with some of these concerns.

Zoom users can brush up on how to control private “chat” capabilities by visiting the support section of their website. For fans of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft has a page devoted to mining group chats for discoverable content.

To be truly proactive, however, businesses relying heavily on telework should consider implementing an express telework policy that covers the use of video conferencing and other collaboration platforms.

Employers could include policies stating whether video conferences will be recorded, or requiring that employees use a neutral background during business-related conferences (to make marketing lemonade out of pandemic lemons, many companies have created their own branded Zoom backgrounds).

Additionally, having a policy in place that specifies which programs employees are permitted to use for work-related communications can help streamline the retention and retrieval of important data. Though continuing to do business in the midst of Covid-19 can feel like an overwhelming minefield of uncertainties, proactive businesses can nevertheless adapt and thrive by taking control of their virtual workplaces.

Hilary H. Clifton is an attorney at the law firm of Phillips Murrah.

Phillips Murrah maintains support of National Association of Women Lawyers as 2020 Sustaining Sponsor

National Association of Women Lawyers logo

Phillips Murrah is proud to announce its inclusion as a 2020 National Association of Women Lawyers Sustaining Sponsor, continuing the Firm’s mission to promote gender equality in the legal field.

NAWL is the nation’s oldest professional organization devoted to the interests and progress of women lawyers and women’s legal rights, and members include individual attorneys, including private practice, corporate, academic, government and non-profit attorneys, and groups, including law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations.

“NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession for more than a century,” Director Janet A. Hendrick said. “I am proud of Phillips Murrah’s continued support of this venerable organization and its important work, and equally proud of our firm’s demonstrated commitment to advancing and supporting women in the legal profession.”

NAWL’s events and resources help bring awareness to gender-based topics and challenges within the legal profession, and the group’s advocacy initiatives address current and ongoing gender and racial equality issues across the country.

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

 

Phillips Murrah sponsors Positive Tomorrows at 2020 Cork & Canvas

Positive Tomorrows’ hosted its annual Cork & Canvas event, sponsored by Phillips Murrah and Director Nikki Jones Edwards, via virtual livestream on Sept. 17.

The event was originally scheduled for April 16 but was rescheduled and repurposed as an online auction event due to COVID-19. This change created an opportunity for Positive Tomorrow to air videos from supporting sponsors during the event.

Watch Phillips Murrah’s sponsor video below:

Nikki has supported Positive Tomorrows in various roles, serving as the Past President, volunteer, and four-term board member. She recently commemorated 20 years of service for the organization.

Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma’s only elementary school specifically serving homeless children and their families and prides itself on educating at-risk children by dedicating attention to their unique educational and social service needs.

Learn more about Positive Tomorrows here.

Read more about Phillips Murrah’s support of Positive Tomorrows below:

Phillips Murrah welcomes two new attorneys to litigation team

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

Attorney Laurie L. Schweinle and Natalie M. Jester

Laurie L. Schweinle and Natalie M. Jester

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

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

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

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

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

Voth accepted into LOKC’s Signature Class 39

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

Attorney Lauren Symcox Voth

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

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

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

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

Force majeure clauses and COVID-19

Gavel to Gavel appears in The Journal Record. This column was originally published in The Journal Record on September 17, 2020.


By Phillips Murrah Attorney Kendra M. Norman

Kendra Norman Web

Kendra M. Norman represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of transactional matters.

Force majeure clauses are common clauses in contracts that allocate risk between parties and release a party from liability or obligations during unforeseeable or unpredictable events that are out of the party’s reasonable control.

These events can generally be referred to as acts of God or can be specifically listed in the agreement, often including events like war, strikes, riots or government actions. However, it should be noted that there is not a specific set of events that come under the definition of “acts of God” – this often depends on the context of the contract and the jurisdiction.

Force majeure clauses are ever-evolving and the language used has been influenced by events around us. Before 9/11, most force majeure clauses didn’t include terrorism as a force majeure event. This spurred litigation between parties regarding whether terrorism was an act of God that should be covered by the force majeure clause to excuse performance. Now, terrorism and terrorist attacks are often specifically set forth in force majeure clauses.

The conversation about force majeure clauses now revolves around whether the COVID-19 pandemic qualifies as an act of God and how this will affect contracts. As always, this depends on the type of contract, the language set forth in the contract, the context of the contract, the intent of the parties, and the governing law of the contract. Therefore, this determination is highly fact-specific and depends on several factors.

It is possible that COVID-19 could be considered an act of God in some contracts, or it could fall under force majeure clauses that contain specific references to disasters, national emergencies, government regulations or generally acts beyond the control of the parties. With the extraordinary potential consequences from COVID-19 yet to be determined, businesses should begin ascertaining whether their material contracts contain force majeure provisions and how such provisions may affect their rights and responsibilities going forward. However, given the widespread impact of COVID-19, it is possible that parties may be more likely to negotiate amendments to agreements that have been impacted by COVID-19 rather than forcing parties to rely on and litigate force majeure clauses.

Nevertheless, going forward, those entering into contracts should consider whether adding more specific terms such as epidemic, pandemic or infectious disease as force majeure events will be advantageous for them in the future.

Kendra Norman is an attorney with the law firm of Phillips Murrah.


Phillips Murrah’s attorneys continue to monitor developments to provide up-to-date advice to our clients during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Keep up with our ongoing COVID-19 resources, guidance and updates at our RESOURCE CENTER.

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Gardner to present ethics CLE for in-house corporate counsel

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

Melissa Gardner is a Director who practices in the Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group. She represents both privately-owned and public companies in a wide variety of oil and gas matters, with a strong emphasis on oil and gas title examination.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

thomson reuters practical law

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

Cooper elected 2021 OCBA Vice President

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

Cody Cooper online photo

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

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

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

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

To learn more about OCBA, visit their website here.

Does COVID-19 constitute a material adverse effect?

Gavel to Gavel appears in The Journal Record. This column was originally published in The Journal Record on August 6, 2020.


In addition to a vast human toll, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on businesses, markets and supply chains. With infections still spreading, businesses have suffered cash and liquidity constraints and anticipate such suffering to continue.

The pandemic also presents unique risks to parties in acquisition agreements, such as risks concerning the financial viability of the target company. Parties often address these risks by including material adverse effects, or MAE, clauses.

Generally speaking, an MAE is an event, circumstance, change or effect that presents a material threat to the business of the target company. MAE clauses account for this possibility and allocate risk among the parties.

Such clauses are frequently used as conditions to closing and qualifiers to the seller’s representations. If the target company suffers an MAE as defined in the agreement, the clause allows the buyer to unilaterally terminate the deal without being considered in breach of contract. The seller can qualify representations made about the condition of the target company, making it more difficult for a buyer to assert a breach. Also, exclusions to the definition of an MAE are identified, such as industrywide market conditions.

One increasingly common issue is whether COVID-19 constitutes an MAE. The following questions may help determine the answer and assist parties in the negotiation stages:

  • Are there MAE exclusions such as epidemics, pandemics and natural disasters?
  • Has COVID-19 resulted in unique issues for the target company that are disproportionate to other companies in the same industry?
  • Is the buyer obligated to use certain efforts to close the deal notwithstanding events that affect the financial condition of the target company?
  • What other limitations apply to an MAE? For example, can events only occurring after executing the agreement qualify as an MAE?
  • Have the parties contractually shifted the burden to the seller to prove that an MAE has not occurred?

While these questions may provide guidance on the issue, establishing whether an MAE has occurred is a highly fact-intensive issue that depends on the unique circumstances involved and the specific language used in the acquisition agreement. It should also be noted that buyers have faced a significant burden in court to show that any event meets the criteria of an MAE. As more parties litigate the issue, the courts will play an important role in establishing precedent that will shape how parties negotiate acquisition agreements.

 

GIP names Jim Roth as new board member

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency programs help reduce energy load, costs

The following column was originally published in The Journal Record on June 30, 2020.


Eric Davis

Eric Davis is an attorney in the Firm’s Clean Energy Practice Group and the Government Relations and Compliance Practice Group. He represents clients in a range of regulatory and energy matters.

By Phillips Murrah Attorney C. Eric Davis

Summer’s here. That means warmer weather – and higher electric bills. However, there are ways to reduce your energy usage and save money. And chances are your utility company already has programs in place to help you do it.

If you’re unfamiliar with these programs, you’re not alone. Most people don’t think to turn to their electric company to learn how to use less energy. But in fact, utilities across the state, including Oklahoma’s two largest, have a variety of programs to help consumers avoid energy waste and lower their bills. Despite their effectiveness, many customers are unaware of these programs, and this knowledge gap was a topic of discussion at a recent multi-day Town Hall held by statewide nonprofit The Oklahoma Academy. The conclusions from the Town Hall were subsequently announced at a press conference with elected officials.

At the press conference, The Oklahoma Academy released recommendations concerning the state’s energy future. These included increasing Oklahomans’ awareness of energy efficiency and demand response programs that are designed to avoid energy waste or shift energy usage to times when the grid is less strained. The aim of the programs is to reduce utilities’ overall electricity demand, which has several benefits. One, it reduces the need, thus expense, for utilities to build additional generation plants and power lines. As a result, associated environmental impacts are reduced and customers’ electricity bills decrease. Moreover, dollar for dollar, experts consider these programs to be among the most cost-effective investments for utilities to serve their load.

So, what types of programs are available? Depending on your utility, you may be eligible to have an energy efficiency consultant visit your home, have your HVAC system tuned up, or even have your home weatherized. Likewise, specialized energy efficiency and demand response programs may be available to commercial and industrial customers, such as rebates for upgrading to more efficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems, or lower rates for customers who shift energy usage to periods when the electric system has more capacity.

Because the costs of these services may be spread among all customers, many times there is no additional cost for those taking advantage of them. So, take the advice of The Oklahoma Academy and explore what programs are out there. You can save money, help the environment, and give the grid a break.

Eric Davis is an attorney at Phillips Murrah and a member of The Oklahoma Academy. Davis also participated in The Oklahoma Academy’s town hall on Oklahoma’s energy future.

Village Animal Shelter renovation project makes significant progress

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

thomas wolfe village animal shelter okc friday phillips murrah

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

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

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

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

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

Abernathy reported they are making significant progress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Oklahoma Humane Society is accepting donations for this project through The Village Animal Shelter so that donations will be tax deductible.

Here’s How to Donate

  • Make checks payable to Oklahoma Humane Society, write in the memo line: “Village Animal League” or “VAL Fund,” and mail to PO Box 18471, OK 73154.
  • To donate online, go to www.okhumane.org/donate/one-time-donations, click the “Donate Now” button, reference “Village Animal League” or “VAL Fund.”
  • Or, call 405-286-1229.

Success Story

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

village animal league okc friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Beau M. Patterson joins Phillips Murrah Dallas office

Attorney Beau M. Patterson

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

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

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

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

Phillips Murrah opened its Dallas office in May of 2018.


CONTACT:

Phillips Murrah – Dallas Office:
3710 Rawlins Street, Suite 900
Dallas, Texas 75219

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

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405 Magazine selects Phillips Murrah for 2020 Oklahoma Top Attorneys

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

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

Oklahoma Top Attorney for Banking and Financial Law:

. Mark Lovelace Oklahoma Top Attorney Banking and Financial Law

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

 

Donald A. Pape Oklahoma Top Attorney Banking and Financial Law

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Business Law:

Robert O. O'Bannon Oklahoma Top Attorney Business Law

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Commercial Litigation:

Thomas G. Wolfe Oklahoma Top Attorney Commercial Litigation

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Health Care Law:

Mary Holloway Richard Oklahoma Top Attorney Health Care Law

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Intellectual Property Rights:

Martin G. Ozinga Oklahoma Top Attorney Intellectual Property Rights

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Labor and Employment:

Byrona J. Maule Oklahoma Top Attorney Labor and Employment

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Land Use – Environment:

Jim A. Roth Oklahoma Top Attorney Land Use Environment

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Medical Malpractice Defense:

G. Calvin Sharpe Oklahoma Top Attorney Medical Malpractice Defense

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Oil and Gas:

Elizabeth K Brown Oklahoma Top Attorney Oil and Gas

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Real Estate:

Sally A. Hasenfratz Oklahoma Top Attorney Real Estate

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


Oklahoma Top Attorney for Tax Law:

Robert O. O'Bannon Oklahoma Top Attorney Business Law

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

 

Dawn M. Rahme Oklahoma Top Attorney Tax Law

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

 

View the full list of attorneys here:

Phillips Murrah sponsors OU Law’s 2020 Best Brief Award

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

OU law best brief 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More: Phillips Murrah sponsors 2019 Best Brief Award