YLD on www.OKbar.org

Young Lawyers Division

Election for 2017 YLD Leadership: Vote by Thursday, Oct. 27

Elections will be conducted electronically. The OBA is sending an email on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, to the email address you have on file containing a link to the ballot. If you did not receive an email, please let LeAnne McGill 
know at leanne@mcgillrodgers.com. Ballots must be cast no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, to be considered. Election results will be announced at the YLD November meeting Thursday, Nov. 3 at 4:30 p.m. held in conjunction with the OBA Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City.

Contested Elections

The following persons have been nominated and are running contested for the following positions. Results will be announced at the YLD Annual Meeting.

Offices up for election are:

District 1: One seat; Craig, Grant, Kay, Nowata, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Rogers and Washington counties
District 3: One seat; Oklahoma County
District 5: One seat; Carter, Cleveland, Garvin, Grady, Jefferson, Love, McClain, Murray and Stephens counties
District 6: Two seats; Tulsa County
District 7: One seat; Adair, Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Mayes, Muskogee, Okmulgee and Wagoner counties
District 9: One seat; Caddo, Canadian, Comanche, Cotton, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa and Tillman counties
At-Large: Two seats; all counties
At-Large Rural: One seat; all counties except Oklahoma and Tulsa counties


Jordan Haygood

Jordan Haygood has been an OBA YLD board member for two years as an at large representative. During his time as an OBA YLD member, he has served on the Kick It Forward Task Force, as co-chair for the Membership Committee and serves as the OBA YLD liaison to the OBA Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committee. He is also an OBA Law Day Committee member.

Mr. Haygood was recently appointed to serve on a national scale as the American Bar Association YLD District 27 representative for Oklahoma and Arkansas for 2015-2017. As part of his duties he is a voting member for the ABA YLD board of representatives, serves as both Oklahoma and Arkansas’ liaison to the ABA YLD National Disaster Legal Services Committee and facilitates and manages communication between the ABAYLD and OBA YLD affiliate programs and communication between ABA YLD and Arkansas Bar Association YLD affiliate programs.

He is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma and is certified to practice in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. He is a member of the Oklahoma County Bar Association and Central Oklahoma Alumni Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity International member where is has served as the chapter clerk for two years. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Ruth Bader Ginsburg American Inn of Court.

Mr. Haygood graduated from the OCU School of Law in 2013 where he received the 2013 Deans Service Award from Dean Valerie K. Couch for his outstanding service to the OCU School of Law. He is also a 2005 graduate of Texas Christian University where he received his Bachelor of Science in new-editorial journalism.

Because of his service and dedication to the OBA, ABA and the legal community, Mr. Haygood believes he is the best candidate for the OBA YLD secretary and at large representative.

Blake Lynch

Blake Lynch has a law practice in southeast Oklahoma with his law partner Brecken Wagner. He has been a YLD board member for many years and has served on multiple committees and participated faithfully in most YLD events. He is married to Amanda Lynch, has three small children, two dogs. He has very little spare time, but what he has he dedicates a significant portion to bar functions and activities. He is an OBA Leadership Academy graduate, serves on multiple boards for state agencies and charitable organizations and is a Trial Lawyer's College graduate. He graduated from OU for both his undergraduate degrees and law school.

District Three

Melanie Christians

Born in Oklahoma City and raised in Newark, Delaware, Melanie Christians attended Oklahoma Christian University where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications/public relations and advertising in 2005. Ms. Christians received her J.D. from the OCU School of Law in 2009. While in law school, she served as the staff editor for the Oklahoma City University Law Review, was an officer of the honors legal fraternity Phi Delta Phi, a member of the William J. Holloway Jr. American Inn of Court, an American Bar Association Law School Division member, a Dean’s List recipient and a recipient of academic achievement awards in the areas of legal research and writing and trial practice.

After graduating from the OCU law school, Ms. Christians began her legal career in Washington, D.C. working for the United States Department of Justice, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Fraud Section. At the Department of Justice she handled complex healthcare and government contract fraud litigation. After returning to Oklahoma in 2012, she joined Nelson, Terry, Morton, DeWitt & Paruolo. Her practice is exclusively devoted to litigation with concentrations in insurance defense, insurance coverage and bad faith and False Claims Act whistleblower litigation.  She is a member of the OBA Women in Law Committee, Bench and Bar Committees, the Edmond Chamber of Commerce where she serves on the Women’s Council, the Oklahoma County Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel.

Mithun Mansinghani

Mithun Mansinghani serves as deputy solicitor general in Oklahoma’s Attorney General’s Office. In that role, Mr. Mansinghani litigates appeals and constitutional issues on behalf of the state, including all of the state’s cases before the United States Supreme Court. He also represents the state in its interactions with and litigation against the federal government and other states. In addition to his litigation role, Mr. Mansinghani provides advice to the attorney general on key legal and policy issues, including the issuance of formal attorney general opinions. Prior to joining the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Mansinghani was a lawyer for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., focusing on appeals and administrative law cases.

While in private practice, Mr. Mansinghani also devoted significant time to working on pro bono cases in the areas of human trafficking, asylum and religious liberty. He is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma’s LOYAL program. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jerry E. Smith on the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. He received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in both political science and policy studies from Rice University and his law degree with honors from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

April Moaning

April J. Moaning received a Bachelor of Arts in economics from OSU and earned her J.D. at the TU College of Law. While pursuing her law degree, she served as the Black Law Students Association vice president and maintained active involvement in community service organizations. She also received numerous honors and awards, including the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in torts and the Rocky Mountain Black Law Students Association Best Oral Advocate Award.

Ms. Moaning began her legal career practicing family and criminal defense law. She later served as staff counsel at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company where she gained experience in the areas of insurance defense and civil litigation matters involving personal injury and property damage. Currently, Ms. Moaning represents clients in family, personal injury, premises liability, property damage and criminal law matters.

Sarah Stewart

Sarah Stewart is an Oklahoma City native. She attended college at OSU and received a J.D. from the OCU School of Law in 2009. She was Senior Law Resource Center executive director in Oklahoma City. 

She left to open her own office in 2015 and focuses her practice on bringing peace to families in estate planning, guardianship, adoption and probate matters. She serves on the boards of Easterseals OK, the OBA Young Lawyers Division and OKCPS Law and Public Safety Academy. She also serves as vice president of the Edmond Dig N Chapter. She volunteers regularly to teach the public, and other attorneys, about estate planning, starting a business and probate procedure.

She lives in Oklahoma City and celebrates six years of marriage to her husband this year. She has a 3-year-old son and two fur babies.

District Six

Bradley J. Brown

Bradley J. Brown was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 2012 and admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma and the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

He received is Bachelor of Arts for OU and his J.D. from the TU College of Law in 2012.

His academic honors include being the two-time recipient of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation Fellows Scholarship, a Letzeiser Award recipient at OU and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Brown was also a member of the Tulsa Law Review.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, Tulsa County Bar Association and National Association of College and University Attorneys.

In the community, Mr. Brown serves on the OBA Clients’ Security Fund Committee, the OBA YLD Board of Directors representing District 6 and the Cascia Hall Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is also an Oklahoma Bar Foundation Fellow.

Gary Davis

Gary L. Davis II is the founding partner of Gary Davis Law Group PLLC. He is a former assistant United States attorney and Tulsa County supervisory assistant district attorney. While at the Department of Justice, Mr. Davis was appointed cyber-security coordinator and national security cyber specialist for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma. He was also appointed computer hacking and intellectual property specialist. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Davis lead investigations involving international smuggling and money laundering; wire, bank, and tax fraud; international narco-trafficking; public corruption; TIII wiretaps; organized crime and computer crimes. As a Tulsa County ADA he was in charge of major prosecutions and investigations including murder, robbery, drug trafficking and sexual assault. His firm specializes in trial advocacy and cyber security and privacy law.

At Large

Brad Brown

See bio above.

Melanie Christians

See bio above.

Mithun Mangsinghani

See bio above.

April Moaning

See bio above.

Sarah Stewart

See bio above.

Uncontested Elections

The following persons have been nominated. They are running uncontested and will be declared elected at the OBA YLD Annual Meeting. 


Brandi Nowakowski

Brandi N. Nowakowski is an associate with the law firm of Stuart & Clover in Shawnee. She focuses her practice on probate, adult guardianship, estate planning and real property matters. She, her husband Chris, and their two sons, Ethan and Zachary, reside in Shawnee.

Ms. Nowakowski received her B.B.A. in management from OU, where she graduated magna cum laude in May 2006. She received her J.D. from the OU College of Law in May 2010 and was admitted to the practice of law before all Oklahoma state courts in September 2010. She was later admitted to practice before the United States District Court in the Western District of Oklahoma. She also serves on the Absentee Shawnee Tribe Supreme Court.

She has actively served on the YLD Board of Directors since January 2012 and is currently serving as the secretary and the District 8 director. In addition, she has served as YLD Community Service Committee chairperson since 2013. As such, she was responsible for coordinating the 2013 OBA Day of Service activities throughout Oklahoma, as well as the YLD Day of Service activities for 2014 and 2015. She enjoys working with the many attorneys who make these events successful and make our bar association great!

Ms. Nowakowski has also been an active member of the OBA Law Day Committee and has been selected to serve on the Credentials Committee for the annual OBA House of Delegates Meeting each year since 2012. Additionally, she served on the Client’ Security Fund Task Force and this year’s OBA Budget Committee. She would be honored by the opportunity to continue serving the young lawyers of Oklahoma and the entire bar through the YLD Board of Directors as the 2017 treasurer.

District 1

Aaron Pembleton

Aaron Pembleton is solo practitioner at Pembleton Law Firm PLLC in Bartlesville where he is primarily engaged in criminal defense and family law matters for the residents of Osage, Washington and Nowata counties. Mr. Pembleton received his undergraduate degree in agricultural and applied economics from Texas Tech University and his J.D. from the OU College of Law.

Mr. Pembleton began his legal career as a licensed legal intern at the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. After being admitted to the bar he became prosecutor for the 10th Judicial District in Pawhuska. He seized an opportunity to move to the 11th Judicial District in Bartlesville and then Nowata. During Mr. Pembleton’s time as a prosecutor, he had the privilege to handle all magnitudes of cases from deprived child cases to traffic tickets to murders. In October 2015, Mr. Pembleton left the public sector to open his solo practice.

Mr. Pembleton has served on the OBA Young Lawyers Division Board of Directors for District 1 since 2011. He is the current Washington County Bar Association vice president and also serves on the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.

District 5

Brittany Byers

Brittany J. Byers is an attorney in the south Oklahoma City law firm Voorhees Voorhees & Byers. She graduated from Oklahoma City Community College with an Associates of Science in business in 2006 and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelors of Business Administration focused on legal studies with a minor in political science in 2008. Ms. Byers received her J.D. from the OU College of Law in 2011. She was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in April 2012 and is admitted to practice before all Oklahoma courts and the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Ms. Byers is a member of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, Oklahoma City Real Property Lawyers Association and South Oklahoma City Lawyers Association. She has served as secretary and vice president of the South Oklahoma City Lawyers Association and is currently serving as president.

She is also currently serving as the OBA Young Lawyers Division District 5 director. Her primary practice areas are general civil litigation, probate, guardianship, wills, trusts, estate planning, real estate, creditor collections and business and commercial.

District 7

John Hammons

John Tyler Hammons is an assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah. An enrolled member of the tribe, he represents the Cherokee people in general civil litigation in state and tribal courts.

A fourth-generation Oklahoman, Mr. Hammons is deeply connected to his hometown of Muskogee. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Hammons served as the 47th mayor of the city of Muskogee. Serving from 2008 to 2012 and first elected at the age of 19, he is among the youngest mayors in American history. Mr. Hammons has served on the boards of directors of the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce and the City of Muskogee Foundation and continues to be actively involved in the Muskogee community.

Mr. Hammons earned his Bachelor of Arts from the OU in May 2012. He received his J.D. with honors from the OU College of Law in May 2015 where he earned a certificate in business law. While in law school, he received the American Jurisprudence Award, which denotes the highest grade in the class, for transactional law I and II, tax practice and procedure and torts I. He was admitted to the practice of law in September 2015. Mr. Hammons is currently attending OSU where he is a candidate for a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance.

Mr. Hammons currently serves as the Muskogee County Bar Association secretary. He is admitted to practice law in the courts of the state of Oklahoma, the United States District Court for Eastern District of Oklahoma, the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, the courts of the Cherokee Nation, and the courts of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Mr. Hammons has served on the OBA Young Lawyers Division Board of Directors since 2016.

District 9

Grant Kincannon

Grant Kincannon was born and raised in Altus where he now makes his home with his wife, Elisabeth, and son, Graham. He is an associate with Latham, Nelson & Associates and practices in many areas of the law including civil litigation, personal injury, business/commercial, real estate and wills/probate. Mr. Kincannon is a Jackson County Bar Association member and currently serves as president. Mr. Kincannon was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 2014 and is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Mr. Kincannon received his J.D. from the OCU School of Law. While in law school, he received the CALI Award for Excellence in Oklahoma Land Titles. He is an officer in the Rotary Club of Altus, and also serves as the treasurer of the OSU Alumni Association Jackson County Chapter. This year, Mr. Kincannon was nominated and elected to serve as the OBA YLD Board of Directors District 9 representative.

At Large

Matthew T. Sheets

Matthew T. Sheets currently serves as the OBA Young Lawyers Division Board of Directs as the at large rural representative. He served on the YLD CLE Committee and the OBA Law Schools Committee. He has been an active member as the board has refocused itself as the philanthropic wing of the bar association, including conducting service days across the state. Mr. Sheets previously served as the Pittsburg County Bar Association president.

Mr. Sheets graduated with a Bachelor of Science. from OSU, before obtaining his J.D. from the OU College of Law. He has previously served as an assistant district attorney for Pushmataha County and a special district judge for Pittsburg County. 

Mr. Sheets is a founding member of Sheets Law Firm PC in McAlester, a general litigation practice focusing on criminal defense in southeast Oklahoma. Mr. Sheets would like to continue representing you and helping the board focus more on its philanthropic goals.