January Class Notes

Sunday, January 25, 2009


District Judge Bruce Sewell of Wagoner announced that he will be retiring from office effective March 1. Sewell has been a district judge serving Wagoner, Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah and Muskogee counties in Oklahoma since being elected to that post in 1994.


Steven M. Tyndall, who has built an extensive legal practice in general corporate law, securities law and mergers and acquisitions, joined Baker Botts L.L.P. on January 1, 2009, as partner in the Corporate Department. He will be based in the firm's Austin, Texas, office.


Nelson Ebaugh contributed "Corporate Governance and Securities Law" to the December 22, 2008 edition of the Texas Lawyer.



Jacob Woodard was hired as an associate to practice in commercial litigation, insurance coverage and environmental law at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, a full-service law firm for businesses, banks, insurers, local government, nonprofit and for-profit corporations and individuals. 




James E. Ritchie (J.D. ’61)

James E. Ritchie, of Las Vegas, passed away December 8, 2008. He was born September 16, 1936, in Lordsburg, N.M., and was raised in Tulsa, OK.  He served in the Army Judge Advocate Generals Corps for over 30 years, attaining the rank of Brigadier General. He was selected to serve as a trial attorney for the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. He was named executive director of the Presidential Commission on the Review of the National Policy Toward Gaming.


Gerald B. Ellis (B.S. ’60, J.D. ’68) 

Gerald B. Ellis died December 6, 2008, to complications of MRSA sustained from a broken hip in December 2007. Ellis served in the 45th Infantry in the Korean War from 1950-1952.  He devoted his life to his career in the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 627.


Bruce Taliaferro (J.D. ’71)

Bruce O. Taliaferro, 61, died on December 27, 2008. He was born February 13, 1947, in Kansas City, MO. He served in the Air Force Reserves as a Judge Advocate General, was a member of both the Tulsa County and Oklahoma Bar Associations, served on the board of Hillcrest Medical Center and was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.


Vickie Ackerman-Keller (J.D. ’88)

Vickie Ackerman-Keller, 51, of Tulsa died December 21, 2008 in Wichita, Kan. She was an Attorney with Comp Source of Oklahoma and was a former Lyons (Kan.) Chamber of Commerce Manager.


Valerie K. Ryan (B.S. ’87, J.D. ’90) 

Valerie Kay Ryan, 44, died Thursday, December 11, 2008. Ryan was born in Tulsa on May 4, 1964.  An avid dog lover and supporter of animal charities, she had performed volunteer service at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless and for Animal Rescue Foundation.


Kurt Ackerman (J.D. ’92)

Kurt Ackerman, 57, passed away December 21, 2008 in Wichita, KS.  He worked in the City of Wichita’s legal department for four years in Zoning and Historic Preservation, as well as in tax increment financing. Ackerman acted as a legal advisor for the Board of Adjustment, Tulsa Preservation Commission, and the Park Department.  Before transferring to the Wichita City Attorney's Office, Ackerman worked for nearly eight years as a zoning official with Wichita’s Development Services.


Amos Black IV (J.D. ’02)

Amos Earl Black IV, 34, of Anadarko, passed away on November 25, 2008. While in law school, he received the AmJur and CALI Awards for Excellence. He was made a member of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Fraternity, and was listed on the Dean's Honor Roll. Since graduating from law school, Black returned to Anadarko to fulfill his dream of practicing law with his Father.

Jimmy Hart