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Bar Journal 2017

Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award Winners Announced

Since 1996 the Spotlight Awards have been given annually to five women who have distinguished themselves in the legal profession and who have lighted the way for other women. The award was later renamed to honor 1996 OBA President Mona Salyer Lambird, who died in 1999, the first woman to serve as OBA president and was one of the award’s first recipients. 

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Spotlight Awards, sponsored by the OBA Women in Law Committee. The 2017 recipients are:

Mary Quinn Cooper
Mary Quinn Cooper is a shareholder with McAfee & Taft in Tulsa. She serves as national trial counsel for major corporations and defends product liability claims and class actions across the country. For the last 25 years she has represented Ford Motor Co. and General Motors nationally. She currently serves as co-leader of the firm’s Litigation Group. She is an appointed member of the OBA’s Professional Responsibility Tribunal. She previously served as a member of the admissions and grievances committee of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma from 1994 – 1998 and as the chair from 1998 – 2015. She was inducted into the TU College of Law Hall of Fame in 2014 and inducted into the Bishop Kelley High School Hall of Fame in 2013. 

She is a volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, trustee on the Saint Francis of Assisi Tuition Assistance Trust and board chair of the St. Philip Neri Catholic Newman Center at TU. She also serves on the Tulsa Literary Coalition Board of Directors and TU College of Law Dean’s Advisory Board. She obtained her law degree from the TU College
of Law.

Theresa G. Dreiling
Theresa G. Dreiling is a special district judge in Tulsa County, beginning her service in January 2007. Since August 2012, she has presided over a family court docket. She has also presided over various other dockets, including guardianships, small civil cases and civil mental health. Prior to being appointed a special district judge, she served as a law clerk
at the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, working for Judges Jane Wiseman (a past Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award recipient), Joe Taylor, Daniel Boudreau and William Means. She also has several years of private practice experience. 

She is a 1987 graduate of the TU College of Law and a 1984 graduate of Washburn University of Topeka. In 2015, she received the Neil E. Bogan Award for Professionalism from the Tulsa County Bar Association and was selected as Judge of the Year by the OBA Family Law Section. She is on the boards of the Tulsa Artists Coalition and the Oklahoma Heart Gallery. She is married to Bruce Neimi and has two daughters. 

Kathy R. Neal
Kathy R. Neal is an attorney with McAfee & Taft in Tulsa. Her practice focuses on the representation of employers with respect to all aspects of their relationships with employees. She has broad experience in both state and federal courts, before administrative and regulatory agencies, and in arbitration and mediation. She has particularly unique experience counseling employers that are federal contractors on equal employment opportunity compliance-related matters. She currently serves as an adjunct settlement judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma and previously served as an administrative law judge for the Oklahoma Department of Labor.

She obtained her law degree from the TU College of Law and earned her undergraduate degree with honors from OU. She was inducted into the TU College of Law Hall of Fame in 2015 and honored with the law school’s W. Thomas Coffman Award for Community Service the same year. The Tulsa County Bar Association bestowed its Neil E. Bogan Award for Professionalism on her in 2013. She is a recipient of the TU College of Law Women’s Law Caucus’ Fern Holland Award for her work with Springboard – Educating the Future, a nonprofit organization responsible for building 200 schools for young girls in rural Egypt. She served on the organization’s Board of Directors from 2005 – 2015. She is a former board member for The Tristesse Healing Hearts Grief Center and Family & Children’s Services. 

Beverly Ann Palmer

Beverly Ann Palmer is a 1992 graduate of the OCU School of Law, summa cum laude. She has been an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County for 23 years, serving as first chair in numerous criminal, civil and juvenile cases. She has been a part-time municipal court judge in Warr Acres for the past nine years. 

She has provided many years of leadership in female lawyer groups, including Iota Tau Tau and the monthly networking luncheons started by the late Judge Arthur Lory Rakestraw. She is a member of the OBA Criminal Law Section, Government Lawyers Section and General Counsels’ Forum. She is starting her 20th year of membership in the Ruth Bader Ginsburg American Inn of Court, where she is a master of the bench. She is passionate about mentoring younger attorneys to help them develop their skills.

In addition to her service to the legal profession, she has also given back to the community by organizing nonpartisan “Meet the Candidate” events, serving as team captain in the “Light the Night Walk” for leukemia and lymphoma research, chairing the White Fields’ Christmas Project for the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court, and volunteering at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, OKC Arts Festival and Feed the World through St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. 

Shannon L. Prescott
Shannon L. Prescott serves primarily as a family law practitioner in Okmulgee County. She received a B.S. in criminal justice from Northeastern State University and a J.D. from the TU College of Law. A citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, her native culture has influenced her legal career greatly. She previously served as a tribal prosecutor for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is currently a partner in the firm of McKenna & Prescott in Okmulgee. In her nearly 18 years of practice, she has focused on representing other tribal citizens in tribal courts as well as state courts. Her current practice areas encompass all family law issues, including divorce, paternity, juvenile deprived/delinquent, guardianship, adoption and GAL appointments. She currently serves as a contractor for Okmulgee County and Creek County representing parents and children in juvenile deprived matters. She works primarily in cases involving Indian Child Welfare Act matters. She is currently serving the Delaware Nation as the district judge in Anadarko.

She also provides domestic violence training and courtroom security training as a contract instructor with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Department of Homeland Security and the National Sheriff’s Association. Her training focuses on the successful prosecution of domestic violence offenders and consults with courts to assist in assessing courtroom security and developing safety plans. She also provides ICWA training to the Department of Human Services, tribal agencies and CASA. She serves as an editor on the Oklahoma Bar Journal Board of Editors. Most importantly, she is married to Tim, a law enforcement officer, and is mother to two beautiful girls, Perri and Lillian.



Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- OBJ 88 pg. 1740 (Sept. 9, 2017)

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