Tulsa Lawyer Magazine February 2018
Photo Winner Harry Lentz Jr.
Legal Careers - Women in Law Issue
In this Issue TULSA LAWYER
A Message from
2017-2018 TCBA President
Judicial Dinner 2018
Liberty Bell Nominations
Firm Focus - McAfee & Taft
10 Committee & Section News Children & Law Holiday Challenge Litigation Update 12 Marriage Musings 13 TCBA Video Replay Schedule 18 Santa Brings a Law Suit Review Ashley Webb - Community Outreach Chair
19 TCBF Charity Golf Tourney-May 7th! 21 Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner By Stefan Mecke
The Visitor By Lawrence Savelle
24 Professionalism as a Moving Target, Part II By Tom Vincent II 26 Everyone Has a Story- Why I'm a Lawyer 27 Health & Wellness - Take Care of Yourself 29 Grapevine 30 Resources for Women in Law 31 Classifieds
@tulsabar Tulsa Lawyer 1
A Message from the President
Christina M. Vaughn Blazing a Path: Norma Wheaton Greetings Tulsa County Bar Association members. This issue of the Tulsa Lawyer is dedicated, in part, to the topic of women in the law. So, I thought it apropos to begin with a quote by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (a/k/a The Notorious RBG), one of my women in the law role models. In an interview at a Tenth Circuit Bench & Bar Conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Justice Ginsberg was asked about the right number of women on the United States Supreme Court. Her response:
the last twelve years. And while there is no doubt that each one of my six predecessors is remarkable, I would like to share with you some information about our first female president, Norma Frazier Wheaton, who paved the way and left tremendously large shoes to fill for those of us who have followed.
If you happen to visit the board room at the Bar Center, you will find a collection of framed photographs on the north wall of the room. These photographs are headshots of all TCBA past presidents. The photos are [W]hen I’m sometimes asked when will in chronological order, starting with the first TCBA there be enough [women on the supreme president, in 1903. Many of the pictures are in black court], and I say ‘When there are nine,’ and white and are not necessarily eye catching. If you people are shocked. But there’d been look closely, however, you may be surprised to find, in nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a a sea of black and white images of male faces, a picture question about that. of Norma Frazier Wheaton. Below Ms. Wheaton’s photo is a marker denoting the year of her term as Truth be told, until I heard this quote, I had president as 1946-1947. Not only was Ms. Wheaton never thought about the dichotomy in this way, but her the first female president of the TCBA, she was the words, so simply and logically stated, struck a chord only female president for over ninety years. with me. While I don’t believe we have yet reached the point where a body that has been historically comprised Born in 1899 and admitted to the bar of Oklahoma of solely or mostly men can be constituted with solely in 1927, Ms. Wheaton was a trailblazer. In addition to or mostly women, or, in some cases, simply led by a being the first female president of the TCA, she was woman, and it not be noteworthy, I do believe we are the first woman lawyer on the Board of Governors of making strides in that direction. These strides are due, the Oklahoma Bar Association. She was also the first in large part, to the determined women leaders who woman named as a partner in a major Oklahoma law have blazed the path for many to follow. Included in firm (Hudson, Hudson & Wheaton) in the late 1940s, those impactful, trailblazing women are our very own twenty-five years before any other woman was made TCBA presidents. a partner. In the 1950s, Ms. Wheaton also chaired the Insurance Section of the OBA for numerous years. The TCBA was founded in 1903 and in its one hundred and fifteen year history it has been led by seven female presidents, with all but two of those being in 2 Tulsa Lawyer
third, Renee DeMoss, served in 2006. Ms. DeMoss was immediately followed by The Honorable Martha Rupp Carter, who served in 2007. Deirdre Dexter served in 2009 as the fifth woman president, and she was followed in 2011 by D. Faith Orlowski. Each of these women has boldly taken up the mantle as leaders, mentors, and role models and has served as an inspiration to many. According to a 2017 report produced by the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, women comprise approximately 36% of practicing lawyers. However, they were awarded 47.3% of J.D.s and made up 49.3% of the 1L class. These numbers show a growing trend of women entering the profession. I believe we will see a corresponding increase in the number of women in our profession serving in leadership roles, both in firms, where in 2017 women comprised only 18% of equity partners, and in organizations such as the TCBA.
The statistics presented in the above mentioned ABA report are eye-opening. I encourage you all to take a look at the report. It can be found at https://www. americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/marketing/women/ Not only was Ms. Wheaton a remarkable leader, she current_glance_statistics_january2017.authcheckdam. was also known as an outstanding lawyer. She was pdf. a litigator whose cases ranged from commercial law, domestic relations, insurance subrogation and life I hope your year is off to a great start, and I hope insurance law, as well as contested wills and inheritance to see many of you at the Judicial Dinner on February matters. And as if that was not enough, Ms. Wheaton 27, 2018. was also bilingual, speaking fluent Spanish. Sincerely, Nearly fifty years after Ms. Wheaton served as the TCBA president, the TCBA elected its second Christina M. Vaughn woman president, The Honorable Millie Otey. The TCBA President, 2017-2018
A message from the TCBA Executive Committee The TCBA has recently undergone a change in management. Kevin Cousins is no longer serving as executive director of the organization, and Greg Gordon has been named interim executive director while a search for a permanent leader is conducted. We appreciate Kevin's years of service to the Tulsa County Bar Association, its members and the local legal profession. We believe there are great things in store for the future of the organization and look forward to continuing to serve each of you and the Tulsa community at-large. We will keep you informed as appropriate on the search process, and please feel free to reach out to TCBA President Christina Vaughn directly if you have any questions. Tulsa Lawyer 3
4 Tulsa Lawyer
Judicial Dinner 2018 Mark your calendars now for the 2018 Judicial Dinner!
The Tulsa County Bar will host a special celebration for
The Honorable William J. Musseman Jr., Presiding District Court Judge for Tulsa County and the Judicial Members of the Tulsa County Bar
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
Cocktails & Silent Auction at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Camp Loughridge, 4900 W. 71st Oak Leaf Dr., Tulsa, OK 74131 ~ Business Attire ~ * Individual tickets available online beginning Monday, January 29th at 9 am.
Members : $90 Individual / $160 Couple Non-members: $150 Individual / $300 Couple * Sponsorships will be available beginning Tuesday, January 23rd at 9 am.
Sponsorship Details Platinum = $5,000.00 - only two available for this event (Incl. 6 preferred seating tickets to the event) Firm will be listed as the Platinum sponsor Firm logo will be prominently featured on all advertising Larger signage prominently displayed at the event Firm will be introduced during the event Gold = $3,000.00 - only four available for this event (Incl. 4 preferred seating tickets to the event) Firm will be listed as a Gold sponsor Firm logo will be prominently featured on all advertising Signage will be displayed at the event Silver = $1,750.00 - (Includes 2 preferred seating tickets to the event) Firm will be listed as a Silver sponsor Firm logo will be prominently featured on all advertising Signage will be displayed at the event
Please contact Jody Geiger (918-584-5243 ext. 223) to reserve your sponsorship level . Please remember this event honors all of the Judges that are members of the TCBA. Tulsa Lawyer 5
Advertising in Tulsa Lawyer is EASY!
Contact Jody at 918-584-5243 Visit www.tulsabar.com for rates and more information.
6 Tulsa Lawyer
Congratulations to this month's Cover Photo Contest Winner!
Harry Lentz, Jr.
TULSA COUNTY BAR SECURITY MEASURES: Recently the Tulsa County Bar Association underwent a series of security upgrades to our facility. These security upgrades were installed just this past week in an effort to ensure the safety of the all of those who are served by the Tulsa County Bar Association and who use its facility. We have installed security cameras in several key locations, and will be monitoring entry into the building. The main entrance is now secured with a magnetic lock controlled by staff. As of December 18th, when you arrive, you will need to press the intercom button and announce yourself by name, bar number and purpose of visit. Staff will then remotely unlock the door. This is similar to security systems installed inside some courthouses, such as Rogers County, controlling access to court chambers. We at the TCBA will continue evaluating the best methods of providing for the safety and comfort of those who use the facility. Thank you for your continued support of this effort.
Liberty Bell Award Nominations
The Liberty Bell Award was established more than 35+ years ago to acknowledge outstanding community service. The award is presented to a person who is not a lawyer, but who has demonstrated a dedication to the law through activities that support lawyers and their work in the legal system. Nominees may be an individual or a group that has: • Promoted better understanding of the rule of law • Encouraged a greater respect for law and the courts • Stimulated a sense of civic responsibility • Contributed to good government in the community
Please forward all nominations to
Deadline for nominations is Monday,
March 12, 2018
Firm Focus McAfee & Taft (Tulsa Office) went above and beyond years past in providing toys for 73 DHS foster kids in the Tulsa area. We began in November with our Annual Chili Cookoff that raised nearly $1000! We were able to sponsor 12 children on behalf of “McAfee & Taft” while enjoying great food and fellowship together. Due to the devoted efforts of paralegals Pam Mappin, Anna DeShazo, and Julia Wallis, and a little help from Gerald Hilsher, and the generosity of our staff and lawyers (and some of Pam’s friends she put the arm on), we raised our goal from 40 adopted kids last year to exceed 70 this year and realized a total financial commitment of nearly $6000. Even after shopping for more than 40 of the sponsored children, Pam, Julia and Anna identify their Christmas for Kids role as their unanimous favorite Christmas activity.
Christmas for Tulsa Foster Kids and TCBA Holiday Challenge Results Once again, McAfee & Taft had close to 100% participation in the Tulsa office. Many of our staff and lawyers sponsored one, two, and even three kids. Chuck Greenough sponsored his usual 2 children and an additional 2 children as we got closer to our goal! Pam decided on a “last push” and sent out an email, which said, “It’s not too late to sponsor a child. We have sponsored 69 so far and our goal is 70!” Anna immediately responded, “We can all do a couple dollars and this child will be taken care of. Count me in!” The response was immediate, and it became an avalanche. We raised $300 in less than an hour, which took us up to and over the target goal of 70. We were able to apply additional monies for the two families adopted by TCBA Board members Jessica John Bowman and Gerald Hilsher as part of a TCBA Holiday Challenge project with Children and Family Services in Tulsa. This generosity to the less fortunate and families and children in distress is exactly what Christmas is all about. Pictured here are Pam, Julia, Anna, and Gerald readying the toys for delivery to DHS Foster Kids.
Like & follow our Facebook page to keep up with the TCBA. 8
TCBA Committee & Section News Children & the Law ~ Natalie Sears, Chair
Second, a big shout-out and thank you to all those who donated!! Here is the list of the stellar donors from this year’s Holiday Challenge:
As you can see by the wonderful pictures, people went above and beyond this holiday season to make sure that needy families were provided. The TCBA Children and the Law Committee want to say THANK YOU to all who contributed this year to making 2017’s Holiday Challenge a great success! We couldn’t have done it without every one of you! First, I want to thank all who stepped up to adopt families this year: the Children & the Law Committee, Tulsa County 3rd Floor Judges & Staff, the Hinson family, Hinson & Staff, Conner & Winters, Natalie & Friends, Monroe & Keele, GableGotwals, L&L Construction, Bowman Family, McAfee & Taft, Cordell & Cordell, the Vaughn Family, and the Smith Family. Thank you for taking the time to go shopping and give to those in need!
• Dalesandro’s • Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson, LLP • Barbara Eden • Robinett, Swartz & Aycock • Greuel Law Firm • Truman Rucker • Georgenia A. VanTuyl • Ken Underwood • TCBA’s Board of Directors • Jennifer Struble • Jennifer Kern • Conner & Winters • Honorable Martha Rupp Carter Because of these wonderful donors, the TCBF was able to write a check to Family and Children’s Services for $2,294.23!! And, another special thank you to Dalesandro’s Italian Restaurant for donating a portion of their dinner sales to this wonderful cause of helping Family & Children’s Services. Please look forward to the 2018 Holiday Challenge – see you later this year!
Sonny Dalesandro with Ashley Webb, TCBF Community Outreach Chair
10 Tulsa Lawyer
Ryan Fulda and Trevor Hughes, Section Chairs
Join the Litigation Section at the Tulsa County Bar Center February 15, Noon – 1:00 p.m. for a panel discussion on preparing for, defending, and deposing expert witnesses in litigation. Topics of discussion will include:
The Litigation Section was founded by trial lawyers for trial lawyers of all practice areas with a goal of improving as advocates.
• • • • • •
Establishing/ Overcoming bias, Rules of Evidence – Hearsay & Exceptions How to maximize value of using medical experts How to deal with “very difficult experts” Setting up / defending Daubert challenges The expert’s prior record/ testimonies
Please register from the Section’s email blast, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the provided lunch.
DO YOU LOVE TO READ?
Join us for a
Tulsa Lawyer Meeting!
UPCOMING MEETING DATES • February 22nd • March 29th
Share a book review with Tulsa Lawyer!
11:30am-1:00pm TCBA Small Conf. Room Email email@example.com the day before for lunch count.
Contact Michael Taubman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marriage Musings 2014 United States Marriage Data:
Number of marriages: 2,140, 272 (49 reporting States and D.C) Number of divorces: 813,862 (45 reporting States and D.C.) (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs)
Average cost of a wedding dress in the United States - $1564.00 (theknot.com 1/17/18)
In Oklahoma 29,018 marriage licenses were issued in 2015. 4,768 of those were in Tulsa County. https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/HCI_MarriageandDivorce_1990_2015.pdf
In 2016, 4% of Las Vegas visitors asked said they came for a wedding. (Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)
Las Vegas is located in Clark County, Nevada. In 2016, the Clark County clerk’s Marriage License Bureau issued 81,325 marriage licenses, about 80 percent of those licenses were given to tourists. 12 Tulsa Lawyer
It's not too late to finish your MCLE requirements!
The Visitor By Lawrence Savell
“community service” to help put their Ivy college applications over the top. Others were at the other end Annabelle stirred on the couch, as yet another of the academic or behavioral spectrum, who had been dream of her childhood faded from her mind. She assigned to come there as the “sentence” for some slowly opened her eyes, confirming that she was in the misdeed at school. In both situations, Annabelle’s usual first-floor sitting room of the assisted living facility that sense was that the person would rather be somewhere had been her home for several years. else. “Julie is here to see you.” Julie sat down on the couch and the facility manager walked away. Annabelle saw two people in front of her. The first she recognized by sight and sound as one of the “Nice to meet you,” Annabelle said, turning facility managers, whom she believed was put on this toward the girl. “So what brings you here today?” She earth for the sole purpose of constantly waking her up was usually pretty good at assessing rather quickly and interrupting her dreams. which category of visit she was experiencing, but this The second person was more of a challenge. time she had some trouble. She appeared to be a teenager, but Annabelle did not Julie smiled mischievously. “Well…,” she recognize her as one of her granddaughters. She felt began, “I got into a little trouble at school.” that gnawing upset she experienced whenever she had trouble remembering the people who were in her life, A “category two,” Annabelle thought, but a little and bafflement at how she could seemingly precisely different than the others. recall things from decades ago but struggle with current information and reality. “So what did you do?” Annabelle asked directly.
“Annabelle, wake up, you have a visitor.”
“Hi, Annabelle. I’m Julie from the high school.” Julie smiled again. “I got into a fight with another girl.” With that trigger, Annabelle remembered. From time to time, students of Julie’s age would appear at “What about?” the facility to spend some time with them. Some kids This was already going differently than Julie had were among the top students, taking on a bit of extra 14 Tulsa Lawyer
“Wow,” Julie exclaimed, “that’s a lot worse expected. She had assumed she would be prompting Annabelle to answer questions, instead of the other than getting beat up. How do we make that happen?” way around. But she liked that someone was taking an “There’s got to be some kind of procedure interest in her. spelled out somewhere,” Annabelle suggested. She “She took something from me and I wanted it flipped through the pages. “Here it is,” Annabelle said. “You have the right to bring violations to the attention back.” of school authorities.” “I see,” Annabelle said. “Did you think that was “I’m not a tattle,” Julie protested. the best way to deal with that?” “What else could I do? I couldn’t just let her “You’re not tattling,” Annabelle insisted. “You’re just sticking up for yourself and asserting your rights. You take it.” should probably mention the fight you had, and that “I’m not saying you should have just let her you realize it was not the appropriate way to try to get do it, but weren’t there other ways to get it back than back what was taken from you.” fighting? Julie agreed, took her booklet and said goodbye, “I asked her for it but she refused. She denied with a more determined gait as she headed out the front she had taken it.” door of the facility, promising to come back the next “Doesn’t your school have some sort of code or Tuesday. She wondered how this woman in assisted rules of conduct, which say that taking other people’s living knew so much about people’s rights. stuff is a violation?”
“I don’t know; I never thought about that.”
“And maybe there’s a procedure for doing something about it that doesn’t involve getting physical.” They talked a bit more, and Julie agreed to look into what Annabelle had mentioned. Julie said goodbye, and Annabelle smiled, closed her eyes, and drifted off again.
Julie didn’t show up the next week, although Annabelle had put on her best outfit — and drank an entire cup of coffee — in anticipation of her arrival. Annabelle was disappointed, which surprised her. It had been some time since she had looked forward to anything. When Julie did not come the following week, Annabelle’s long-cultivated defense mechanisms kicked in. I guess she had a two-visit sentence, Annabelle silently concluded. Or maybe she just had something better to do.
But the next week, Julie came again. A week later, Julie showed up again, clutching “I got my ear buds back from the girl that took a large envelope. them,” she reported. “What do you have there?” Annabelle asked. “That’s great,” Annabelle responded, not being completely sure what ear buds were. Julie opened the envelope and handed Annabelle an apparently unopened copy of the Centerville High Julie nodded but did not seem happy. Maybe she School Student Handbook. Annabelle lifted into really does not want to be here, Annabelle wondered to position the reading glasses that were suspended from herself. “Is anything wrong?” she bravely asked Julie. the silver chain around her neck. “I don’t know…” Julie trailed off. “Let’s find the 10 Commandments first,” she said, as she read the index. “Here it is, ‘Student “You can tell me. Whatever happens in assisted Code of Conduct.” Annabelle ran her finger down the living stays in assisted living.” paragraphs. “Here’s the reason we first met, under The slightest sign of a smile appeared on Julie’s ‘Unacceptable Behaviors,’ item one is ‘Fighting.’” face. “I don’t know — I guess, I guess I don’t feel Julie smiled guiltily. like I’m going anywhere.” “And here we go — ‘Theft’ — And the ‘Range of Consequences’ includes ‘Parent/guardian contact, restricted participation in school activities, loss of privileges, suspension, restitution, referral to police and superintendent’s hearing.’”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t want to end up like my parents trapped in boring, dead-end jobs they hate, with no hope of things ever getting better,” Julie said. Tulsa Lawyer 15
“But you’re in school, getting an education,” well, you really had to look carefully to find us.” Annabelle said, surprised. “Your whole life is in front of So Annabelle had been a lawyer, Julie thought. you, and I’m sure you will have lots of choices.” Maybe that was why she knew so much. “Yeah, maybe, but I haven’t done very well in “That must have been scary,” Julie offered. school. The guidance counselor says I don’t apply myself enough. But there’s no point in it.” “It was,” Annabelle agreed. “But we women stuck together and supported each other. I’m not sure I “Why do you feel that way?” could have been successful in law school without that.” “Because the ones who succeed are born smarter, “Did you work as a lawyer after you graduated?” or have more money or know important people who can give them an advantage.” “I did, but getting a job was not easy. Back then, a lot of firms would not hire a woman lawyer. But I got Again Annabelle felt a sense of disappointment lucky, and found a top firm that took me on.” — that emotion that she thought had moved on long ago but was now like the party guest who won’t go home. “Wow, you were really ahead of your time.” And right behind that was another feeling that had long gone AWOL: compassion. “I didn’t think of it that way. I was not looking to stand out or break through any walls.” “That’s crazy,” she said, surprising herself with her directness. “If you put your mind to it, you can do “Did you like it?” anything.” “I did for the most part. Even though most of “How do you know?” Julie countered. the other lawyers accepted me as an equal, some never could. I worked very hard and made many sacrifices, “Because I was there once also,” Annabelle including in my personal life. Several years later I ended replied. “When I started out, I had a dream. But in what up becoming the firm’s first female partner." I wanted to do, there were almost no women who did that, or who were encouraged to do that. My own family “That’s fantastic,” Julie said, impressed. told me not to do it, that the odds were too high, that I “It was great, although even then I still sensed would be disappointed, and — worst of all — that maybe some resentment. But I dealt with it, and over time I I didn’t have what it took to succeed.” sensed it less and less. Julie, the point is you can never Julie hung her head down and nodded. Annabelle sell yourself short. Nothing is impossible if you really reached for her walker next to her chair, unfolded it and want it and if you are willing to commit yourself to it stood up. “I think we need a nice cup of tea,” Annabelle completely, with hard work, time and sacrifices. It’s not said. easy, but I think you owe it to yourself to try.” Annabelle’s room was one floor above. As they Julie nodded. Why did you become a lawyer?” rode the elevator upward, Julie noticed the bright green she asked. “Was it the money?” tennis balls that had been sacrificed to smooth the glide Annabelle smiled. She was sure Julie would be of Annabelle’s walker. amazed if she knew how little she was paid when she Her door had her name beside it, and hanging started. below the peephole was a small, pretty arrangement of “That’s a good question. I had two reasons. The artificial flowers. Annabelle fumbled through a purse first was that I was fascinated by the law — that there congested with facial tissues, finally fishing out her key. was a system that tried to allow people to live together Annabelle’s room was just as Julie expected — and pursue their goals and happiness in a reasonable immaculate, sunny and decorated with more photographs manner. And that when someone broke the rules, that than she had ever seen in any frame store. Most of her the situation would be assessed fairly, and that where pictures seemed to be of family, but there were a few in a wrongdoing was found, the person who was hurt could small collection from her school days. expect and would receive justice. I was also intrigued by the way the law could evolve, as new issues arose and “In my high school, there were just about as new situations and technologies appeared. I was certain I many girls as boys. That was good. But in college, we would never be bored.” Annabelle paused. were definitely a small minority. And in law school — 16 Tulsa Lawyer
“But for me there was a second and probably even more important reason. I needed to find something that allowed me to help others. Being a lawyer is in some ways like being a doctor or a nurse, or a teacher, police officer, fire fighter or EMS technician. You encounter people who feel like they are all alone, and who look to you to help them somehow get through it. As a lawyer, I had clients who found themselves at the end of their rope, in desperate and seemingly hopeless situations. I comforted and stood by all of them, and fought with everything I had for their rights.” Julie was riveted, but hesitated. “I would like to do that” she said, swallowing audibly, adding, “to have the power and opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.” “It is a kind of power,” Annabelle agreed, “but, like they say, with power comes great responsibility. I’ve held in my hands the careers, livelihoods, futures and freedom of clients who depended on me. The stress of that enormous responsibility never really goes away, and it probably never should go away.” Annabelle looked at her clock. “It’s nearly five p.m., and as you may know, around here that means dinner time." “I’ve really enjoyed our talks,” Julie said. “I only have to come here three times, but if it’s okay with you I’d like to come back.” “I would like that very much,” Annabelle replied. Julie waved as she headed out the door of Annabelle’s room. Annabelle sighed and closed the door. Annabelle guided her walker toward her closet and opened that door. There, among the outfits, was the long black robe she had worn when she retired from the bench. She ran her fingers softly down one of the sleeves, as a flood of memories flowed through her mind. She closed the closet and turned toward the hallway, listening to the muted but unmistakable thunder of rubber-soled shoes, cane and walker leg tips, and, yes, tennis balls, as they made their way to a dining room full of steaming meat loaf, chicken soup and shared experiences. “I’m going to look out for this girl,” Annabelle said, walking slowly toward the hallway door.
Lawrence Savell is an attorney with the law firm Herbert Smith Freehills New York LLP. His email address is Lawrence.Savell@hsf.com.
Santa Brings a Law Suit The Tulsa County Bar F o u n d a t i o n ’s Community Outreach Committee would like to thank the generosity of Tulsa County Bar members again for the donations received this past November and December as part of our annual Santa Brings a Law Suit campaign.
Thank you to all who donated!
A special acknowledgement to Maureen Knudson, Christina Vaughn, and Meg Webb for their collection and distribution efforts as part of this campaign, and a heartfelt thank you to Phoenix Cleaners for their continued participation and contribution to this program.
History Channel history.html
African American History Month africanamericanhistorymonth.gov
18 Tulsa Lawyer
Beneficiaries this year included Women In Recovery, Dress for Success, 12 & 12 men’s and women’s programs, John 3:16, and for the first time this year, the 1st Step Men’s Diversion Program.
This year over 1500 gently-used professional apparel items were donated, helping men and women across Tulsa County proudly pursue job opportunities and obtain meaningful employment in our community. Ashley Webb, TCBA Community Outreach Chair
FORMAT: Four-person scramble. 18 hole stroke play. Mulliganâ€™s $10.00 each - limit 3 per player.
TIME: Registration 10:00 am Lunch 11:00 am Shotgun start at 12:00 Awards & Dinner to follow
TEAMS: Tournament is open to all golfers, including non-lawyers.
Teams of four (4) - players with a combined handicap of 40 or greater only one (1) player may have a handicap of 9 or less. Individuals are welcome to sign up - we will assign you to a team. Proper golf attire required. If you have additional questions, would prefer to call or email to sign up as a sponsor or would like to see if you are eligible to participate with In-Kind Sponsorship please contact Jody Geiger at 918-584-5243 ext. 223 or email@example.com
Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner By Stefan Mecke – Tulsa Area Business/Employment Attorney
Dirty Dancing at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art recently featured an 80s movie classic during its Film on the Lawn series in honor of the thirty year anniversary of Dirty Dancing with Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. It remains one of the greatest movies ever made and the most memorable part is the very last dance number when Johnny (Swayze) takes Baby’s (Grey) hand and says to her dad... “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Baby and the film highlight the point that if you want something badly enough you will take action, work at it and ultimately achieve it. Baby wanted to learn to dance, and specifically, to dance with Johnny. She knew what she wanted and she went after it by practicing all summer, learning new skills, and even falling flat on her face. Despite all of this effort, Baby’s parents (who were mad at her) refused to let her dance that night and forced her to sit with them at a table in the dark corner of the banquet hall and merely observe the highly anticipated dance finale. Baby had learned to dance and all she wanted was a floor (and Johnny perhaps). Baby outwardly expressed anger, disappointment and resentfulness while sitting at that banquet hall table in the back corner with her parents. Baby was trying to grow and literally soar into Johnny’s arms while at the same time her wings were being clipped and her talons tied down. She needed the chance to be who she had trained to be and she was being told to stay where she was. While watching Baby’s struggles with her parents my mind wondered where it often does…into the workplace. I wondered what the workplace would be like for Baby. How would Baby handle the corners and obstacles she would likely face? Would Baby allow her employer to hold her back and put her in yet another corner, or would she dance her way out? Corners in the Workplace The workplace has many corners, barriers and even ceilings employees must navigate to achieve success. I spent a great deal of my corporate life in various corners. The thing about corners is that you might not know you are in one at the time. You may be backed into one with no way out and no knowledge of it even happening. I learned of my first corner early in my career when working within an organizational structure
that involved autonomy and decision making at the division level with oversight from corporate HR. After receiving a freshly printed MBA degree I was informed by a mentor that I would still just be “Stefan” if I stayed where I was. My mentor surmised that I needed to go elsewhere to transform into “MBA Stefan”. I didn’t know what an “MBA Stefan” was exactly but thought it sounded promising and I trusted my mentor’s advice. After all, I didn’t suffer through five years of night school to just keep doing what I had been doing. I had aspirations of soaring much like Baby did in the film. Shortly after turning in my formal resignation I was ushered into corporate HR. The Director was there to greet me with a definitive “this is not going to happen” demeanor. She was not going to let me leave without a fight, and as I would soon discover, the company was actually in need of whatever an “MBA Stefan” was. She asked me why I would possibly leave an organization that I thrived in and outwardly appreciated. I explained continued on page 23 Tulsa Lawyer 21
Tulsa Lawyer Cover Photo Contest
Not a writer but love the lens?
Submit your photos for a chance to be featured on the cover of a future Tulsa Lawyer Magazine. The deadline is always the first of the month prior to the month of publication. Example: Dec. 1st to be considered for the January issue. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each winner will be awarded a $25.00 gift card! Photo must be your work and you must own the rights to it.
22 Tulsa Lawyer
to her the words of my mentor and my need to use the skills I had worked so hard to obtain. I needed opportunities to grow and be challenged. I needed more work not less. I needed achievement and was ready to work as hard as it took to obtain it. After hearing all of this, she calmly explained I had been put in a corner and she was going to get me out. She was my Johnny/Swayze. She proceeded to tell me the story of an exciting new division being formed behind the scenes which was in need of my skills, including the type of perspective that comes with an MBA. She then apologized that I was unaware of the internal opportunity. She explained that the President of my current division had aggressively fought against any internal recruiting/poaching of me for the new division. He had wanted me to stay right where I was and HR acquiesced. I had been left in the corner with no way out and had no idea. Had I not resigned from the company in pursuit of more growth opportunity I may have been stuck in that corner for a very long time. Failure to Promote Baby Corporate HR quickly ushered me out of the corner and into a dream job, saving a committed and valued employee from exiting the organization. The HR Director also reflected on the matter and commented that my division President had likely learned a valuable lesson. His attempt to keep an achiever in a corner without opportunities for growth, learning and new experiences could have easily led to the loss of a valuable resource for the overall organization. Losing valuable employees is just one downside for employers to consider. There is also the possibility an employee will challenge an employer’s practices through a “Failure to Promote” legal claim. Unfortunately, women like Baby are still being passed over for promotions in the workplace. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate based on sex of the applicant for hiring or promotion under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Oklahoma AntiDiscrimination Act. Okla. Stat. tit. 25, §§ 1101-1706. A plaintiff may recover damages if he or she proves that the employer promoted another employee instead of the plaintiff because of the plaintiff’s protected characteristics. A Plaintiff can do this by offering direct evidence (written or spoken words) or through the burden-shifting framework established for cases alleging circumstantial evidence. The plaintiff would need to challenge the employer’s reasons for promoting another and show that it was just pretext for discrimination.
One Supreme Court “Failure to Promote” case hit a $500k verdict when a female employee was repeatedly refused promotions and even asked to train inferior male candidates after they were promoted instead of her. After awarding $25k in compensatory damages (including lost wages), the jury took issue with the type of systematic and willful conduct involved and tacked on an additional $475k in punitive damages. Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 US 541 (1999). More recently, in 2016, two Failure to Promote cases were filed against Salesforce.com Inc. After being repeatedly denied promotions, both female plaintiffs sued the company claiming they were denied promotions on multiple occasions (and later retaliated against) because of their gender. Blackwell v. Salesforce.com, Inc.; 1:2016cv00765-Indiana Southern District Court; Boyd v. Salesforce.com, Inc., 1:2016cv00570-Indiana Southern District Court. The company’s CEO later publicly apologized and proceeded to spend $3 million on closing the pay gap between women and men in the organization. Foster a “Corner Free” Culture When I meet with employers I often encourage them to foster an environment that helps employees become proud and successful and one that provides employees with the training, skills and resources they need to achieve success within the organization. Employers that allow or condone placement of valuable employees into corners by (i) holding them back, (ii) stifling their growth, or (iii) not seeing or utilizing their knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) risk creating a culture that can foster disappointment and resentment. This type of culture can lead to presenteeism and/or the loss of valuable employees. Employers that allow or condone adverse employment actions (such as a Failure to Promote) based on discriminatory intent will likely find themselves defending inquiries and claims from government agencies and plaintiff’s attorneys.
Tulsa Lawyer 23
Professionalism as a Moving Target:
The Blurry Line Between “Best” and “Required” Practices, Part II
In the first part of this article we considered the changing pursuit of “professionalism” – i.e., adopting practices “above and beyond the minimum” – in light of higher and higher standards required as that “minimum.” These higher and higher standards are particularly evident with respect to client confidentiality, where the ever-increasing ways to collect, store, and communicate can result in correspondingly numerous ways that the confidentiality of that information can be violated. As discussed in Part I, recent guidance with respect to confidentiality regarding client information was provided by the American Bar Association in its Formal Opinion 477R (the “Opinion”). While in some instances such guidance may be considered “above and beyond,” it serves to remind attorneys of the minimums that may be implicated – and required – with particular types of client information.
By Tom C. Vincent II
While each of the considerations is generally discrete, they do have common elements that can and should be both understood and implemented together (as described below). Understanding All of the considerations speak to what an attorney and their staff need to know about cybersecurity before doing anything. Put another way, an attorney should understand three important issues before anything happens – their process, their risks, and their controls – and make sure that others in the firm or company understand them as well:
a) Process refers to the lifecycle of confidential information in the firm: i) how it’s identified as confidential, ii) how it enters and exits the firm, and iii) where it stays while it’s in there. This As provided in Part I, The Opinion outlines also includes who has access to the information – seven considerations for lawyers when communicating internally and externally - and how they protect it. (and storing) electronic client information: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)
b) The Risks to information include not only how it may be exposed by third parties – for example, Understand How Client Confidential Information vendors – but how third parties may work to get the is Transmitted and Where It Is Stored; attorney or staff to expose it for them. Understand and Use Reasonable Electronic Security Measures; c) Finally, to address those risks the firm should have Determine How Electronic Communications particular Controls in place that are designed to About Clients Matters Should Be Protected; prevent, detect, or mitigate the effects of those risks. These include firm policies, limitations on access, Label Client Confidential Information; encryption requirements for sensitive information, Train Lawyers and Nonlawyer Assistants in and required clauses in vendor agreements. Technology and Information Security;and Understand the Nature of the Threat;
Conduct Due Diligence on Vendors Providing Because of the interplay of these three elements, Communications Technology. it is difficult to fully understand one without having a similar understanding of the others. For example, if the attorney is unaware that part of the firm’s process
24 Tulsa Lawyer
involves client exchange of information with assistants via e-mail, she may not realize that a significant risk to that process is a Spearphishing or spoofing1 attack designed to elicit client information from that assistant. Similarly, without an understanding of how information may be communicated/stored, any electronic security measures identified may not be fully responsive to those risks. 2
falls into the category of personal information covered by one or more state statutes, then those measures may need to include other proactive measures.5 Implementing After the processes and risks are identified by the firm, and the necessary controls determined, those controls should be implemented, and not just “on paper” – not only to prevent the identified risks from resulting in breaches of client confidentiality, but also to reduce the risk of financial penalties resulting from the breach.6 Everyone at the firm who may have access to confidential information – and certainly everyone who has e-mail – should understand these controls and be regularly reminded of their responsibilities. As technology changes, processes may change as well – controls should similarly be updated to reflect both the new processes and the resulting risks.
Beyond those elements listed above, it’s also important for the attorney and staff to understand the specific type of information communicated and/or stored, as that will inform and direct all of these considerations. If the information falls into the category of “protected health information3,” then the determination of “reasonable electronic security measures” may include an analysis of the firm’s safeguards for such information as required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Just as with professionalism generally, maintaining Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”)4. Similarly, if the client confidentiality is less a destination than a journey. firm is communicating and/or storing information that – not a single accomplishment but a continuous effort. While the primary focus may be on surpassing client 1 Spearphishing typically refers to an e-mail request sent to expectations, simply meeting legal and regulatory an individual, using information particular to that individual, requirements must be a consideration as well. designed to create a false sense of authority or familiarity resulting in the fulfillment of the request (which is often for information or fuds which should not be provided). Spoofing refers to the use of a website or e-mail address that is similar to an expected website/address often with the same objective as Spearphishing.
5 See e.g. 201 CMR 17.04 (requirements for a computer system that electronically stores or transmits information about a Massachusetts resident). 6 For example, in 2016 a business associate which failed to conduct an assessment of the risks to protected health information in its possession, and to implement corresponding security measures, was fined $650,000.00 by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Tom C. Vincent II is an attorney with Gable Gotwals
Why I'm a Lawyer... Profiles of the TCBA Board of Directors & Committee Chairs
I wanted to become a lawyer so that I would be able to help people. I’ve enjoyed helping others since childhood, and knew that I wanted to do something that would give me an opportunity to make people’s lives better. I initially started college majoring in Pre-Medicine, but quickly realized that I did not have the stomach for it. Not sure what to do, I ended up majoring in business since it was versatile and would afford me plenty of career options. I worked at an investment firm throughout my undergraduate time, and my manager encouraged me to become a broker after graduation, but that really did not seem to fit me. I had other opportunities to move in the direction of journalism, and education, but
neither of those options seemed to be quite right for me either. When I took Business Law my junior year of college, that sparked my interest. I loved that class, and looked forward to our mock trial and team projects. My teacher, a lawyer, strongly encouraged me to go to law school because he saw my potential. That was a pivotal moment, that set me on this course.What drives me now is still the desire to help people – especially children and families. The idea of making a child’s life better motivates me more than anything else. I truly believe that lawyering is a noble profession. We have the opportunity to effect change in our society, and we should take every opportunity to make a positive difference every chance we get. I gladly serve on the Executive Committee for TCBA as part of my efforts to help improve our community.
Lots of girls in 1981 dreamed of being a Princess, riding in a carriage in a poufy white wedding dress and marrying a prince just like Diana. This young girl, however, dreamed of wearing a black robe, using a gavel and resolving disputes with the Wisdom of Solomon. There were diversions along the way from the dream of being a judge. The path less traveled had to be explored. Nursing school was another option that clouded the judicial dream. But, any vision of nursing as a profession came to a rapid end by way of organic chemistry. Law school reinvigorated my dream of being a judge. Seeking the advice of one Solomon in the law, I asked my uncle, the Honorable Thomas R. Brett, how a dreamer turns her dream of becoming a judge into reality. Uncle Tom responded, “It is necessary to be a good lawyer and it does not hurt to get involved in politics.” I am not a political person so I decided I could work to
be a good lawyer and hope that the opportunity would arise through hard work. Fortunately, in 2002 Judge Tom Crewson announced that he was retiring and I set about winning the election for Seat 11 in the Fourteenth Judicial District. Dreams do come true. With the active support from those who believed in me, victory was ours. The 2002 election was won and I took the bench January, 2003. So—Why me? Why this dream? Public service is what I am called to do. It is an honor to serve as a District Judge for the State of Oklahoma. There are challenges to being a judge. There are also great rewards, the enjoyment of meeting new jurors, listening to learned arguments and analyzing facts. I don’t like every ruling I have ever made. I don’t like every misperception there is of me out there. Public service requires thick skin. But, when given the opportunity to drill down on issues in cases, it is very rewarding to make decisions and help litigants resolve disputes. I am blessed to serve in a job that I am called to do.
Judge Rebecca Nightingale
26 Tulsa Lawyer
Health & Wellness Benefit Suite For TCBA Members
This Valentine's Day
Citibike.Tours • The only 7-person circular bike in Oklahoma (and probably the whole Midwest! • Ride around Tulsa offering various tours of the city, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. • Whether you want a leisure ride, or a team-building opportunity, this one-of-a-kind experience is a must-do. • Citibike.Tours offer a $25 discount (reg.$45) and also a portion of their purchase will go to provide rides for the deaf/blind community and teambuilding for at risk schools. To book online go to: https://citibiketours.acuityscheduling.com/ schedule.php?appointmentType=4205510 Stephen Lindsey of Legacy Fitness & Performance • Health and fitness services, including personal training and virtual coaching. • Private and small group personal training, workout and performance programming, as well as nutrition services like meal planning available. • Pricing on private training is $40 for 30 minutes and $75 for 60 minutes. Small group training starts at $40 per person. Pricing on workout and nutrition programming is $159. • Stephen is offering 10% off all services at this time for TCBA members. • Contact Stephen at email@example.com or call him at (918) 813-0121 for more information. T-Town Training & Fitness • Discounted membership to their gym. • They offer a fun and encouraging environment – with challenging workouts – that support their member's health and wellness lifestyle. • conveniently located in the East Village District in Downtown Tulsa. It's close to all major highways, which makes it easily accessible from anywhere in the Tulsa metro area. • Indoor training area of more than 3,000 square feet and more than 3,500 square feet of outdoor functional workout space.
The Hungry Ninja • Convenient and customizable ways to nourish yourself and your family. • Personal concierge service for you to order fully customized meals that can be delivered to your home or office or picked up from them. • Meals are prepared, packaged, delivered so all you have to do is refrigerate and heat when you are ready to enjoy them. • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, so you may never have to cook again! • Delivery is available in the greater Tulsa area either weekly or bi-weekly. • Call Ryan or Maegan at (918) 973-1963 to get started. Sacred Wellness Ashley Anne Ashton, LMT • Specializes in Trigger point, Sports, Active Release, Myo Fascial, I.A.S.T.M, Cupping, and Raindrop therapy • Facebook.com/aaa.sacred • Instagram: @aaa.sacred • Located off 51st between Yale and Harvard • Call for appointment: (253) 820-8708 and refer to TCBA member discount • Discount: 1 hour massage discounted to $55 (normally $70) Massage & Bodyworks by Michelle Michelle Hodges, LMT • Located at 1099 S. Aspen Ave., BA OK 74012 • Call for appointment: 918-641-4104 and refer to TCBA member discount • Discount: 50% off your first 1hr massage • 25% off any and all massages for the next year • Discount can apply to house-calls, or office setup • 50% off massage during birthday month
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28 Tulsa Lawyer
Hall Estill, Oklahoma’s leading law firm, with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Denver and Northwest Arkansas, announces that Kristen Pence Evans has been elected Shareholder in the Tulsa office and Matthew R. Gile and Moira C.G. Watson have been elected Shareholders in the Oklahoma City office. Kristen joined Hall Estill in 2013 and concentrates her practice in the areas of business and commercial litigation, labor and employment and tort defense. She has represented, counseled and advised clients ranging from local, family-owned companies to national, Fortune 500 companies in a wide array of industries, including energy and energy services, manufacturing, construction, logistics and heavy haul, financial services and healthcare. Matt joined Hall Estill in 2013 and his practice focuses on family law, trust litigation, and general civil litigation. He has experience at all stages of litigation, including first-chair trial experience as well as serving clients successfully at the appellate level. Moira joined Hall Estill as Special Counsel in 2016 practicing primarily in banking and commercial finance. While maintaining her active legal practice, in 2015, Moira received her doctorate from the Law Faculty at the University of Oxford (Brasenose College) and joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Law where she currently teaches courses such as Secured Transactions and Corporate Finance as a Professor in Practice. “All three of these attorneys have earned this accomplishment through both their talent and their commitment to their respective communities,” said Mike Cooke, Managing Partner for Hall Estill. “Kristen, Matt and Moira are all great representatives of our firm and we could not be prouder of them. ”Kristen received her J.D. with honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Since 2015, she has been named an Oklahoma Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Kristen also devotes time to improving opportunities for youth in Tulsa, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Street School. Matt received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He is active in the family law section of the Oklahoma Bar Association where he has served on the CLE
committee and given CLE lectures. Moira received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She stays active in the community as the co-founder and president of the Oxford Society of the Great Plains, a board member for Susan G. Komen Central and Western Oklahoma, and a member of the Downtown Oklahoma City Rotary Club 29.
Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson, LLP is proud to announce that D. Benham Kirk, Michael J. English and Rebecca D. Bullard have been named partners of the Firm. The announcement was effective January 1, 2018 and was made by managing partner, Tom Q. Ferguson. “I am proud to be able to call each of these attorneys my partner,” said Ferguson. “Ben, Michael and Becky have each distinguished themselves in their own unique ways through their commitment to clients and our Firm.” Kirk’s 35 year practice is concentrated in the areas of commercial transactions and litigation. His clients include large multi-unit restaurant operators, commercial lenders, entrepreneurs, service industry companies, and real estate developers and investors. Kirk is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and works in Doerner’s Oklahoma City office location. English joined the Firm in 2015, after eight years as an Assistant District Attorney in Tulsa. He focuses his practice primarily on commercial litigation in state and federal courts. The clients he represents span an array of industries, including oil and gas, manufacturing, construction, software, retail and media. English is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and works in Doerner’s Oklahoma City office location. Bullard has been in practice since 2009, after graduating from Washington and Lee University School of Law, and works in Doerner’s Tulsa office location. She represents clients primarily in labor and employment litigation and counsels clients regarding everyday employment matters. She joined the Firm in 2014.
How many Sweethearts Candies does NECCO Candy Company make every year? Approximately 2 BILLION between the mid-January and late February of the following year. They sell out in six weeks! http://www.necco.com/About.aspx
Resources for Women in Law The National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms namwolf.org National Association of Women Judges www.nawj.org National Association of Women Lawyers www.nawl.org American Bar Association Directory of Associations for Women Lawyers https://www.americanbar.org/groups/women/resources/directory_of_associations_of_women_ lawyers.html 30 Tulsa Lawyer
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Legal careers-Women in the Law