Class Notes - May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Nik Jones has been named Of Counsel at the firm of Pray Walker in Tulsa. Jones has more than 35 years of experience in natural resources and real estate law with a concentration in oil and gas title work.


Julie Jacobs Daniels was recently appointed to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission by Governor Mary Fallin. Daniels is a longtime community volunteer. She previously served as mayor of Bartlesville and as a member of the city council. She is vice president of the Boys and Girls Club of Bartlesville and is on the board of the Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Richard White, shareholder with Barber & Bartz in Tulsa, was recently named by the Commercial Law League of America (Chicago) as an attorney board member for 2011-12.


Douglas Elliott has recently joined the firm of Polasek, Quisenberry & Errington as a partner in its Houston office. Elliott is an intellectual property litigator with an emphasis on patent, trademark, and copyright infringement cases.


Margaret Millikin, director at Crowe & Dunlevy in Tulsa, delivered an IP Law and Patent Bar lunch presentation at The University of Tulsa College of Law in February. Millikin’s talk focused on how intellectual property is leveraged in today’s business environment, how students can get involved in this industry, and what skills are needed.


Randall T. Duncan has joined the law firm of Pray Walker in Tulsa as a shareholder and director. Duncan has more than 20 years of experience in general civil litigation, energy law, and oil and gas title work.


Stacy Leeds has been named Dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law. She will assume her duties effective July 1. Leeds was previously Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law and Director of the Tribal Law and Government Center at the University of Kansas School of Law. Leeds has focused her teaching and extensive research on property, natural resources, and American Indian law. She is a former justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court, the only woman and youngest person ever to serve in that capacity. She has served as Chief Justice for the Supreme Court for the Kaw Nation and Chief Justice for the Supreme Court for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.


Patricia Martin is now a mediator with the Office of Dispute Resolution in El Paso County, Colorado. Martin will be mediating domestic relations and dependency and neglect cases as well as working as a court-appointed child legal representative, guardian ad litem, and counsel for incapacitated/protected persons. Previously, she was a solo practitioner in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for six years.


Scott Bennett recently became the Chief Deputy County Attorney and lead trial attorney in the office of the Graham County Attorney in Safford, Arizona. In addition to supervising the other attorneys in his office, he carries a personal case load involving murder, serious sex offenses, and child abuse crimes. Bennett was previously Deputy County Attorney in Pinal County, Arizona, where he led the felony domestic violence program. Before that, he was Deputy County Attorney in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona.

Heather Flynn Earnhart has joined the law firm of Hall Estill in Tulsa as Of Counsel. She focuses her practice in family law and civil litigation. She is an experienced trial lawyer in civil and domestic litigation issues, including divorce, child custody, and paternity actions.


Chad Elsey of Elsey & Elsey in Flower Mound, Texas, was named one of Super Lawyers Texas Rising Stars 2011. Less than 2.5% of all Texas lawyers are recognized for this peer-selected award. Elsey founded his boutique law practice in 2005 with his attorney father, Chuck, who is a 1981 graduate of the TU College of Law. Their practice includes both family law and corporate litigation.


Richard Johnson has joined the Ponca City firm of Holmes and Yates, now Holmes, Yates, Taylor and Johnson. Prior to joining Holmes and Yates, Johnson spent three years practicing law in Ponca City and surrounding areas focusing his practice on divorce, child custody, criminal law, tax disputes, and general civil litigation.


Cristin Lane began a job in April as Victims’ Assistance Coordinator/Assistant District Attorney for Nacogdoches County in Texas. She had been working at the same office as an attorney intern and was a TU Law Public Interest Fellow. Lane, who grew up in Nacogdoches County, also did a summer internship in the D.A.’s office while in law school.


Kathleen McNulty recently secured a position as an environmental protection specialist w/the Housing & Urban Development Agency Office of Energy & Environment in San Francisco. She found the position through the Presidential Management Fellowship Program.


Rene Annesley and Devon Trupp have both been hired as associates at the Boulder, Colorado law firm of Caldwell Hathcoat, LLC. The two partners of the firm, Todd Caldwell (JD ’91) and Richard Hathcoat (JD ’91), are also TU law alumni. The firm, which has been in operation for three years, focuses its practice on natural resources and energy law and insurance litigation.

Megan Tomlinson Myers, before her recent graduation, became one of 15 law students nationwide to be named a 2011 Legal Writing Award Winner by the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement. She won for her article, "Technology & Teen Sex: The Need for Legislative Action in Response to 'Sexting'," that will appear in the Tulsa Law Review. The Burton Awards were established in 1999 to reward effective legal writing. They honor law firms and law students who use plain, clear, and concise language and avoid archaic, stilted legalese. Among the other student winners this year are students from Columbia Law School, Emory University School of Law, Notre Dame Law School, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the University of Texas School of Law. The awards ceremony will be at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on June 13 and will feature Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer.

Philip Tinker wrote an article, "Is Oklahoma Still Indian Country? Justifiable Expectations and Reservation Disestablishment in Murphy v. Sirmons and Osage Nation v. Irby," that will be published in the Dartmouth Law Journal this fall. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma recently held that Allotment-Era statutes disestablished Indian tribal reservations in the former Indian Territory. This paper argues that the courts relied on the "justifiable expectations" approach adopted by the Supreme Court in the unrelated case of City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation in order to validate the state's longstanding but erroneous assumption that Congress authorized the state to assume jurisdiction over the allotted Indian reservations. In so doing, these courts have revitalized the heretofore repudiated assumption that "Oklahoma is different" and not subject to the limitations on state action in the Indian Country.

In Memoriam


Donald C. Church passed away on April 29, 2011. During World War II, Church served in the U.S. Army as trial judge advocate at Camp Perry, Ohio. He worked for several years as vice president and legal counsel for the Insurors Indemnity and Insurance Company. He opened his own general law office in 1955 and practiced for 50 years.


Arthur Peet passed away on April 5, 2011, in Plano, Texas, at the age of 84. Peet worked in the steel industry, where he was known for his keen business sense, his wit and his passion for antique cars. He was a beloved dad, grandfather, uncle and friend.


Gomer "Pat" Allan Evans, Jr. passed away March 18, 2011, in St. Louis, Missouri. He practiced law in Tulsa for over 40 years, partnering with O.C. Lassiter, Larry Oliver, and Richard Johnson. Evans was a man of great compassion and integrity. His love for his family was evident to all who knew him, and he was tireless in attending each and every one of his grandchildren’s sporting events.


David Warren Griffith passed away on April 19, 2011. In addition to his legal practice, he loved being outdoors and spending time with his family.

John N. Henderson
passed away April 13, 2011. Henderson was a retired associate district judge and attorney in Haskell County. In addition, he was a dedicated horseman.


Conrad J. Carson passed away April 20, 2011. Carson was a U.S. Army veteran who worked for the IRS and then earned his law degree from the TU College of Law. He was engaged in private legal practice in Tulsa until 2010.


Robert E. Waller passed away May 2, 2011. He served in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean Conflict and ultimately spent 30 years in the military, retiring with the rank of colonel after flying several dangerous reconnaissance missions during the Cold War. Upon retirement from the Air Force, he enrolled at the TU College of Law. He was the municipal judge in Coweta and Porter.

Scott Been