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OCBA Young Lawyers Division deems Phillips Murrah “Friend of the YLD”

Ben Grubb, YLD Chair, Hilary Clifton & David Cheek, Awards Committee Chair

YLD Chair Ben Grubb, Phillips Murrah Attorney Hilary Clifton and Awards Committee Chair David Cheek

The Oklahoma County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division honored Phillips Murrah as a “Friend of the YLD” at the annual OCBA Awards Luncheon on June 21.

“Phillips Murrah was chosen for this award because of their consistent support of the Harvest Food Drive and the Regional Food Bank,” said Debbie Gorden, OCBA Executive Director. “They have also continued to sponsor the events of the Chili Cook-Off and Striking Out Hunger Bowling Tournament by monetary donations as well as team participation.”

Many Phillips Murrah attorneys have dedicated their time to supporting OCBA’s mission. Multiple attorneys have even served on the OCBA Board of Directors.

“The Firm is honored to be acknowledged by OCBA Young Lawyers’ Division as a Friend of the YLD,” said Cody J. Cooper, Phillips Murrah Attorney and Past Chair of YLD. “Our attorneys are motivated to give back to Oklahoma’s community and privileged to support the YLD with their ongoing service efforts.”

Read more about the Firm’s past support of OCBA at the links below:

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.

Firm celebrates Halloween, raises funds for Oklahoma Regional Food Bank

Phillips Murrah staff members dress up for the Firm's annual Halloween costume contest.

Phillips Murrah staff members dress up for the Firm’s annual Halloween costume contest.

Phillips Murrah staff members were given the chance to test their creativity and help raise money for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on Oct. 31 at the Firm’s annual Halloween Party.

Contestants competed to win the annual costume contest, and Phillips Murrah raised $580 from those in attendance for Firm’s Annual Harvest Food Drive fundraising campaign.

Rachel Schones, Receptionist, won First Place by a landslide with her pregnant nun look. Second Place was awarded to Cristal Bazemore, Administrative Assistant, dressed as an alien, and Third Place was won by Tess Bromme, who dressed as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones.

“I enjoy dressing up every year,” Schones said. “It’s fun to see the creativity of the different costumes each year.

Receptionist Rachel Schones in her First Place costume

Receptionist Rachel Schones in her First Place costume

“I was very surprised this year when I heard that I won first place. I wasn’t sure what people would think about the pregnant nun costume, but it was a fun day.”

Employees dress up to compete for a popular vote in hopes of winning a cash prize.

“A lot of people didn’t know it was me and some people were creeped out,” Bazemore said. “It was the best ever, seeing people’s reactions!”

Phillips Murrah partners with the Oklahoma County Bar Association to support their annual Harvest Food Drive, which all proceeds are donated to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

If you would like to donate to the Young Lawyers Division’s Harvest Food Drive, please contact the Oklahoma County Bar Association at (405) 236-8421.


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.

Sheets, Ybarra earn Journal Record’s Leadership in Law awards

law day robert n sheets monica y ybarra leadership in law

Robert N. Sheets and Monica Y. Ybarra hold their Leadership in Law awards from the Journal Record.

Director Robert N. Sheets and Attorney Monica Y. Ybarra were presented with the Journal Record’s Leadership in Law award on May 1 at the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s annual Law Day Luncheon.

Oklahoma County District Judge Trevor Pemberton and Attorneys Judy Hamilton Morse (Oklahoma City) and M. David Riggs (Tulsa) were also recipients of this year’s Leadership in Law Award.

“I am truly honored to receive this recognition,” Ybarra said. “The list of honorees is really impressive, and I am humbled to be recognized along with these amazing attorneys that I look up to.”

Ybarra joined the Firm in 2014 and represents clients in the Firm’s Family Law Practice Group.

“As a young associate, it can be difficult to juggle work and family obligations and find time for community work, but community work and civic engagement is a vital part of connecting to the city and the people who live here and opens my eyes to the issues facing our community,” she said. “Finding ways to serve and engage not only enriches my life and experiences, but I hope it blesses others.

“Additionally, I have greatly benefited from the community service of others throughout my life and my education, so finding ways to serve feels like I’m giving back what has so generously been given to me. The OCBA provides so many opportunities to serve, both in the legal profession and the greater OKC community. I am grateful to be a part of such a service-oriented organization and I look forward to finding more opportunities to be useful and to serve.”

Sheets, one of the Firm’s founders, represents both privately-held and public companies in the Firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group. This is the second time the Journal Record has recognized him with the Leadership in Law award.

“I was moved when I received the Leadership in Law award from the Journal Record in 2008, and I am honored even more so to be recognized with this award for a second time 10 years later,” Sheets said. “It’s a real testament to the work I’m permitted to do in the legal field and within the community, and I appreciate those who see me fit to hold such an honor.

“My position has afforded me the opportunity to become active in the community, specifically with the Oklahoma County Bar Association and the Voices for Children committee. Thank you to the OCBA for allowing me to give back in a meaningful way, and thank you again to the Journal Record for the acknowledgment.”

Phillips Murrah Director Nicholle Jones Edwards was honored with the award in 2017.

Firm Halloween Party raises funds for Harvest Food Drive

Phillips Murrah staff members were given the chance to test their creativity and help raise money for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma on Tuesday at the Firm’s annual Halloween Party.

Attorney Cody Cooper elected Chair of OCBA Young Lawyers Division

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

Phillips Murrah Attorney Cody J. Cooper will begin his term as Chair of the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s (OCBA) Young Lawyers Division (YLD) this September after being elected last year.

“Our focus is to keep young bar members engaged and perform community service,” Cody said. “My role will be to head the organization for the year, provide direction, and continue the success that we’ve had.”

The YLD is a division of OCBA for attorneys who have been in practice for 10 years or less. Cody has served on the YLD Board or Directors for four years.

“Cody will do a fabulous job as Chair of the Young Lawyers Division,” said Fred A. Leibrock, Phillips Murrah Director. “He is a natural leader and motivator who excels at helping groups set and achieve lofty goals, and I anticipate many more great things to come from the Division under his chairmanship.

“All of his colleagues at Phillips Murrah are proud of his election and we look forward to supporting him every way we can to make his tenure a great success.”

The YLD has several big events throughout the year, with the primary fundraising effort being for the Harvest Food Drive to benefit the Oklahoma Food Bank.

“We do several community service projects throughout the year, including a bowling tournament and typically a project involving renovating a school room or community center,” Cody said. “We’ve renovated schools in Oklahoma City in the past and recently did one for Salvation Army.”

In addition to this election, Cody recently received his patent license to officially serve as a Patent Attorney.

Learn more about the Oklahoma County Bar Association here.

Phillips Murrah attorneys volunteer for Cavett Kids Foundation

Monica Y. Ybarra, OCBA Community Service Committee Vice Chair, with attorney Ashley Schovanec

Attorney Monica Y. Ybarra, OCBA Community Service Committee Vice Chair, with attorney Ashley Schovanec.

Phillips Murrah attorneys Nicholle Jones Edwards, Kayce L. Gisinger, Monica Y. Ybarra, and Ashley M. Schovanec were on site at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center on July 6 to lend a helping hand to the children heading to Camp Cavett.

“Monica, who is on the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Community Service Committee, let the Phillips Murrah attorneys know that volunteers were needed to help with the Camp Cavett camp check-in,” Schovanec said. “On Wednesday morning, Nikki, Monica, Kayce and I helped do things like pass out camp T-shirts, help with luggage, and pass out luggage tags to help the camp check-in process go smoothly.”

Chance Pearson, OCBA Community Service Committee Chair, with Director Nicholle Jones Edwards, Jenna and Claudette Greenway, Cavett Kids Board Member.

Chance Pearson, OCBA Community Service Committee Chair, with Director Nicholle Jones Edwards, Jenna and Claudette Greenway, Cavett Kids Board Member.

The Cavett Kids Foundation serves hundreds of children with various life-threatening and chronic illnesses every year.

“Among other things, the Cavett Foundation provides a unique summer camp experience that meets the medical needs of its campers without distracting from the fun of summer camp,” Ybarra said.

Phillips Murrah attorneys, along with other volunteers from the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Community Service Committee, assisted campers and their families through the check-in process and saw the kids off to camp.

“Just because a child suffers from a life-threatening or chronic illness doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the opportunity to go to summer camp,” Schovanec said. “What a heartwarming sight it was to see the look on each of the kids’ faces as they walked (or ran) to the summer camp check-in stations.”

To learn how to get involved and volunteer with Cavett Kids, click here.

Director provides toys, lifts spirits of children at Juvenile Justice Center

Ray E. Zschiesche’s practice is focused on complex state and federal litigation with extensive experience defending insurance companies, class actions mass tort and lender liability.

Ray E. Zschiesche’s practice is focused on complex state and federal litigation with extensive experience defending insurance companies, class actions mass tort and lender liability.

The season of giving is year-round for Phillips Murrah Director, Ray Zschiesche. He has made a habit of continuing his community service efforts, most recently, by helping children at the Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice Center.

“Ray has given generously and repeatedly to the children here at the Oklahoma County Juvenile Justice Center,” Lisa Davis, Oklahoma County District Judge, said. “I know firsthand of his generosity since I’ve been here.”

In February 2014, the center started looking for professional organizations, attorneys, friends, and others to donate toys for the deprived children who entered the five courtrooms there.

“Ray was one of the first to donate—like 150 Hot Wheels, 100 rubber light-up balls, 150 coloring books with 150 24-count boxes of crayons,” she said. “He always (and still does) brought in a large numbers of toys at a time. Through the past couple years he has been a steady source of donations.

“At Christmastime he brings in hundreds of stuffed animals from the Disney store and Mathis Brothers.  He makes toy donations several times throughout the year, always in large amounts.”

The Juvenile Justice Center provides toys for every child who comes to court through the deprived system. There are currently 1,900 Oklahoma County children ranging from 1 day old to 18 years old who are in DHS custody and involved in the court deprived system, Davis said.

“Ray told us at any time we needed more toys for the children to contact him, but he usually beats us to the call, asking if it was time for him to deliver some more toys and what type of toys would we like,” she said. “He might just show up with a bunch of toys. Always so humble and, oh, so giving.

“He continues to lift the spirits of the children, and he, without a doubt, most definitely lifts ours!  He is the Juvenile Justice Center’s children’s silent hero.”

Ray’s donations to the Juvenile Justice Center are just part of his community service efforts. He also works heavily with the Oklahoma County Bar Association and Oklahoma Lawyers for Children on community projects.

“I’ve had a chance to work with Ray on several projects through our service on the OCBA Community Service Committee,” Attorney Monica Ybarra said. “I’ve witnessed his compassion for children and the elderly. He makes it a point to always be present and give of his time and energy, as well as his finances.

“He has a genuine desire to reach out to others and be helpful in meaningful ways…and he’s a great dancer too!”

The Juvenile Justice Center collects toys and stuffed animals for younger children and collects headphones, journals, and Thunder gear for older children.

Those interested in donating toys to the Juvenile Justice Center may contact Rachel Dorsett at 405-468-4219 or via email at rachel.dorsett@okdhs.org to organize a drop-off. Monetary donations can be made out to Citizens for Juvenile Justice.

Other PM stories featuring Ray:

 

Phillips Murrah attorneys and summer clerks visit nursing home

REZ Luau

From left: Marchi McCartney, Kendra Norman, Nancy Parrot, William Sobral, Hilary Hudson, Judge Patricia Parrish, Ray Zschiesche, Monica Ybarra, Travis Weedn and Chance Pearson.

Friday afternoon, Aug 7, the Oklahoma County Bar Association Community Service Committee had a Luau-themed party for the residents of the Edwards Redeemer Nursing Home.

Phillips Murrah attorneys Director Ray Zschiesche and Monica Ybarra were on hand to dance and visit with the Edwards Redeemer Nursing Home residents, along with our summer clerks, Hillary Hudson, Kendra Norman, Jace White and Ben McCaslin.

 

 

Congratulations: PM Director Ray Zschiesche elected to OCBA Board of Directors

Ray Zschiesche's practice is focused on complex state and federal litigation and appeals.

Ray Zschiesche’s practice is focused on complex state and federal litigation and appeals.

The Oklahoma County Bar Association Nominations & Election Committee have announced members for its 2015-2016 Board of Directors.

Phillips Murrah Director Ray Zschiesche has been elected to the Board of Directors and will take office Sept. 1, 2015.

“I am honored to have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, and look forward to working with the incoming officers and other board members to continue the mission of the OCBA and its tradition of excellence,” Ray said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve the OCBA in this capacity and hope to contribute as much as I anticipate learning.”

OCBA announced nominations for board members in June and took ballots through the end of July.

Ray was awarded OCBA’s Committee of the Year award in June for his work as chairman of the Community Service Committee.

Other PM stories featuring Ray:

Director wins Committee of the Year award from OCBA

Ray Zschiesche's practice is focused on complex state and federal litigation and appeals.

Ray Zschiesche’s practice is focused on complex state and federal litigation and appeals.

Director Ray Zschiesche received an award for Committee of the Year by the Oklahoma County Bar Association for his work as chairman of the Community Service Committee.

“Phillips Murrah is proud to have Ray as a representation of the firm,” President Tom Wolfe said. “He is rightly deserving of praise in accepting the Committee of the Year award given his selflessness in his work as chairman of the Community Service Committee.”

Ray was recently recognized in an Oklahoma Bar Journal article for the Community Service Committee’s continued annual holiday tradition of providing some holiday cheer to the less fortunate.

Ray received the award at OCBA’s Annual Awards Luncheon on June 12.

Attorneys provide cheer for less fortunate through Oklahoma County Bar Association Community Service Committee

Originally published in the May 2015 edition of the Oklahoma Bar Journal

Since the last update, the Community Service Committee continued its annual holiday tradition of providing some holiday cheer to the less fortunate. For many years, members of the Committee have provided Christmas gifts to juvenile residents of Family Junction, a youth shelter that is part of Youth Services of Oklahoma County.

Family Junction houses juveniles who, due to circumstances beyond their control, are not able to live at home. These children are placed at Family Junction because their parents are incarcerated, have drug or alcohol problems or a myriad of other issues that prevent them from providing a safe environment for the children at home.

Members of the Committee received wish lists from the children and either purchased gifts from the wish list or donated money to be used for the purchase of gifts.

In December, the Committee sponsored a holiday pizza party for the children at the shelter, during which Committee members and OCBA staff provided the children with stockings containing candy and a small amount of cash for fast food treats.

Committee members Judge Patricia Parrish, Ray Zschiesche, Ken Stoner, Chance Pearson and Honorary member Sam Stoner with residents of Oak Hills.

The Committee also provided a holiday party for residents of the Oak Hills Nursing Home in Jones, Oklahoma. Oak Hills is a facility that cares for those who are destitute and cannot otherwise afford nursing care at other facilities. Committee members provided snacks, sparkling cider and reindeer antlers for residents to wear, and Judge Parrish arranged for John Hochgraefe and Steve Coleman, “The Elderly Brothers,” to perform oldies hits. Committee members visited and danced with the residents, and some residents even got up out of their wheelchairs to join in the dancing. Committee member Ken Stoner attended and brought nine year-olds Sam Stoner and Easton Chavez to join in the festivities. Sam and Easton brought an energy to the party and the dance floor that was much appreciated by the committee and residents, alike.

In February, the Committee collected donations to refurbish visitation rooms at the Juvenile Justice Center. DHS has a number of rooms at the Center, which are used to allow parents to have supervised visitation with their children. The funds collected by the Committee were used to purchase furniture and changing tables, to help provide a comfortable setting for these supervised visits. The refurbishing activities at the Center continue, and if anyone would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help with this work, checks can be made payable to Citizens For Juvenile Justice, a 501(C)(3) corporation, and dropped off at the OCBA office.

In March, the Committee provided Spring Break activities for the residents of Family Junction and in April the Committee provided plastic eggs filled with treats and dollar bills for an Easter egg hunt for the kids.

Committee members Chance Pearson, Monica Ybarra, Ray Zschiesche and Judge Patricia Parrish, Honorary member Taylor and guests Ivonne Molina and Travis Weedn with the Elderly Brothers at the Spring Fling party.

Committee members Chance Pearson, Monica Ybarra, Ray Zschiesche and Judge Patricia Parrish, Honorary member Taylor and guests Ivonne Molina and Travis Weedn with the Elderly Brothers at the Spring Fling party.

In April, the Committee hosted a Spring Fling party for the residents of Edwards Redeemer Nursing Center. Judge Parrish again arranged for the “Elderly Brothers” to entertain the residents with music and recruited her granddaughter, Taylor, to help with party preparations and dancing. All of the residents received straw hats and sunglasses so they can be in style for the summer, and all the cookies they could eat. Judging from the smiles on the faces of the residents and Committee members, the Spring Fling was a great success.

The Community Service Committee always welcomes new members to participate and make a small difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Anyone interested may contact Ray Zschiesche at (405) 235-4100 or Chance Pearson at (405) 239-6040.

Phillips Murrah law firm forms new partnership

By M. Scott Carter

[ SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 – OKLAHOMA CITY ] The Oklahoma City law firm of Phillips Murrah P.C. is 25 percent bigger today – thanks to a new partnership with the Kline, Kline, Elliott and Bryant firm and other new additions.

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