A Resilient Mindset:
Coming Back Stronger After a Global Crisis
Five Things Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Burning Out and Bouncing Back
Tapping into the Wisdom of the Body
to Optimize Your Life
I smile every time I think about the virtual CLE I conducted in May for over 650 Oklahoma attorneys and judges. It’s rare to find such delightful humor and heartfelt connection through a virtual “chat box” with so many people. And yet, as we moved through the content and practices of the webinar (Calm in the Storm: Tools to Keep Your Cool in the Corona Crisis), you all did just that. I appreciated the creative banter, the genuine sharing, and the feeling of togetherness created during our hour together. If you can do that at the outset of a pandemic, Oklahoma, you can do anything!
I thought that the joy I felt at the end of the webinar after spending time with all of you would come to an end until I received an invitation from Susan Shields and John Morris Williams inviting me to present at your State Bar’s Annual Conference. Of course I accepted right away.
It is with great gratitude and anticipation that I invite you to join me for three distinct presentations, again online:
A Resilient Mindset: Coming Back Stronger After a Global Crisis (9:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11)
While most of us have honed a few coping skills for trying times, many of us are finding our skill set lacking during the pandemic and its aftermath--the unknowns are too vast and the tragedy too great. As we move forward, a resilient mindset may be the commodity that allows us to stay afloat mentally, emotionally, and financially in these rocky waters. In this session--steeped in the neurobiology of resilience--you will learn how to cultivate a mindset that supports you in recovering from the repercussions of the pandemic. I will walk you through a five-step resilience-building process that helps you consciously create a mindset that allows you to stay buoyant and come back stronger in the upcoming months.
Five Things Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Burning Out and Bouncing Back (2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11)
If you feel like your energy and enthusiasm for work is waning and you’d like to know what to do about it, this CLE is for you. In this session, I will share the key elements that lead to burnout and how to avoid them. In addition, we will discuss common beliefs in our profession that lead to burnout, challenges finding work-life balance during the pandemic, and warning signs that you or a colleague is burning out. You will learn how to build positive neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to form new connections and pathways and change how its circuits are wired) so that you have more energy and enthusiasm for life outside of the law. You will come away with new mindfulness and neuroscience-based tools to bring you back from the edge…or prevent you from ever getting close!
Tapping into the Wisdom of the Body to Optimize Your Life (4:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11 on behalf of Lawyers Helping Lawyers)
While our brains do the heavy lifting in our professional lives, our bodies possess a unique kind of wisdom. Tapping into the wisdom of our bodies allows us to better recognize when we are stressed and gives us clues about how to optimize our well-being. As we navigate the complications of doing business during these challenging times, many of us are experiencing new stressors in an already stressful profession. We need new tools and new approaches to help us cope. In this ground-breaking session, you will learn three skills to tap into your body's intelligence, turn down the dial on stress, and feel more tuned-in at work and home.
Laura Mahr is a midwestern native, a North Carolina and Oregon lawyer, and the founder of Conscious Legal Minds LLC, providing well-being coaching, training, and consulting for attorneys and law offices nationwide. Her work is informed by 13 years of practice as a civil sexual assault attorney, 25 years as a student and teacher of mindfulness and yoga, a love of neuroscience, and a passion for resilience. Find out more about her work at consciouslegalminds.com.
Never Say Never ...
The Best Part of Our Legal Careers
Dana & Keith Cutler
Award-winning trial attorneys Keith and Dana Cutler are partners in the law firm of James W. Tippin & Associates in Kansas City, Missouri, practicing in the areas of civil defense litigation, education law, and small business representation.
Dana has served in several positions of bar leadership during her career, including being the first woman of color elected as President of The Missouri Bar, in 2016. Her numerous bar-related awards include three President’s Awards from The Missouri Bar; a President’s Award from the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association; the Ronda F. Williams Spirit of Diversity Award; and the Sly James Diversity and Inclusion Award, just to name a few. She has been recognized as a Missouri Super Lawyer since 2014, and was honored as the 2018 Woman of the Year by Missouri Lawyers Weekly at their Annual Women’s Justice Awards Luncheon. Dana’s practice is concentrated in Education Law with a focus on charter schools and general liability defense. She has tried more than twenty bench and jury trials. Dana received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with honors, from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and her J.D. degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
In 30 years of practice, Keith has first-chaired over 75 civil trials in addition to arguments before the Courts of Appeals in Missouri and Kansas, and the Missouri Supreme Court. He is also very active in the Bar -- he has served as president or chair of several bar associations and bar committees, is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law, and is a frequent seminar speaker on trial practice, ethics, and professionalism. His awards include the Lewis W. Clymer Award from the Jackson County Bar Association, the Decade Award from the UMKC School of Law, and the prestigious Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Award, given annually to three lawyers across the state of Missouri under the age of 36 who have demonstrated unusual proficiency in the art of trial advocacy. Keith received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and his J.D. degree from UMKC.
When not practicing law, Dana and Keith are co-judges on the two-time Emmy-nominated, nationally syndicated daytime television courtroom show “Couples Court with the Cutlers,” which features couples who are having conflicts, complications, or disagreements in their relationships. The show, distributed by MGM’s Orion Television, is in its 3rd season and is seen daily in over 85% of the United States.
The Cutlers have been married for over 30 years and have three adult sons.
The Client Centered Law Firm
Jack Newton, author of The Client Centered Law Firm, has spearheaded efforts to educate the legal community on the security, ethics, and privacy issues surrounding cloud computing, and has become a nationally recognized writer and speaker on these topics. As the CEO and Co-founder of Clio and a pioneer in cloud-based legal technology, Jack created Clio’s annual Legal Trends Report to provide unique, data-driven insights on the most important issues within the legal profession, and also co-founded and is President of the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA), a consortium of leading cloud computing providers with a mandate to help accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in the legal industry. He was also named a 2019 fellow to the College of Law Practice Management, sits on the board of ROSS Intelligence, an AI-powered legal research provider, and is an investor in and advisor to early-stage legal tech startups.
COVID-19 and the HIPAA Privacy Rule
By Stacey Ann Tovino
Professor Stacey Tovino joined the faculty at The University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2020. She is a leading expert in health law, bioethics, and the medical humanities and has particular expertise in the civil, regulatory, operational, and financial aspects of health law. Professor Tovino's current research focuses on patient privacy and health information confidentiality, COVID-19 and the law, mental health law, and health technology and the law. An elected member of the American Law Institute, Professor Tovino is formally trained in both law and the medical humanities. She publishes her interdisciplinary research in textbooks, casebooks, encyclopedias, law reviews, medical and science journals, and ethics and humanities journals. Professor Tovino's recent non-symposium scholarship has placed in the Alabama Law Review (2020), Notre Dame Law Review (2019), Iowa Law Review (2019), Alabama Law Review (2018), Washington and Lee Law Review (2017), Minnesota Law Review (2016), Boston College Law Review (2016), and Washington Law Review (2016). An enthusiastic teacher, Professor Tovino earned law school-wide teaching awards in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2020.
Elizabeth Bowersox, shareholder, McAfee & Taft, Oklahoma City, represents employers because “people do wild things at work. I love that every day brings a new challenge, and I can act as a business partner with my clients to navigate through whatever unique workplace issue they are facing.” Elizabeth’s practice encompasses both representing employers in lawsuits and government investigations, and counseling and advising employers when no lawsuit has been filed. In court, Elizabeth has experience with all the full “alphabet soup” of federal employment laws, including the ADA, ADEA, ERISA, FLSA, FMLA, OSHA, and Title VII. “I’ve been fortunate to have a wide variety of trials or trial-like experience in my career, including jury, bench, and administrative trials, as well as both private arbitrations and public sector union arbitrations.” Outside of court, Elizabeth counsels and trains employers on best practices and risk avoidance on a wide variety of employment law topics, including wage and hour issues. Elizabeth is a frequent speaker on employment law topics and is a contributing author to the Oklahoma Employment Law Letter, Midwest Employment Law Letter, HRlaws.com, and Employer LINC, a legal blog dedicated to employers and workplace issues. Her achievements have earned her inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (labor and employment law – management; labor and employment litigation) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s up-and-coming attorneys.
Jacob S. Crawford, associate, McAfee & Taft, Tulsa, is a trial lawyer whose practice is focused on the representation of employers exclusively in all aspects of labor and employment law, including the litigation of disputes involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act. Jake also counsels clients on best practices and compliance matters involving employee handbook policies and procedures, wage and hour law, the proper classification of workers, discipline and termination, drug and alcohol testing, and employment agreements and restrictive covenants. A significant portion of his counseling practice is devoted to assisting clients in avoiding discrimination, harassment, retaliation and unlawful termination charges. Jake currently serves as vice president of legislative affairs for the Tulsa Area Human Resources Association, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management. Jake’s achievements have earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (labor and employment law – management).
Charles S. Plumb, shareholder, McAfee & Taft, Tulsa, represents management in all phases of employment law and labor relations. Much of his practice is dedicated to counseling employers on compliance with a broad range of state and federal employment laws and regulations and educating management on best practices for avoiding disputes arising from the employer/employee relationship. He also has extensive litigation experience before federal and state courts, regulatory and administrative agencies, and in arbitration matters involving claims of discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliatory discharge, breach of contract, and constitutional law violations. His clients include numerous municipalities throughout Oklahoma and companies engaged in the manufacturing and distribution, construction, energy, public utility, technology and business services industries. Charlie is a member of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section and the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Labor Council. He is also the designated representative of McAfee & Taft as the exclusive member firm representing Oklahoma in the Employers Counsel Network, a nationwide affiliation of leading law firms providing legal assistance and representation to employers. He has previously served as leader of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. Charlie is a frequent speaker on labor and employment issues before state, regional and national audiences, has been interviewed by local and national media on a variety of state and federal employment law matters, and has been a guest Admissions Oklahoma, 1982 U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Education J.D., with honors, The Ohio State University, 1982; Editor, The Ohio State Law Journal B.B.A., Southern Methodist University, 1979 Professional Organizations and Memberships Tulsa County Bar Association Oklahoma Bar Association (Labor Council) American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section) Employers Counsel Network Civic Involvement and Leadership Circle Cinema Foundation (Board of Directors) Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, Inc. (Board of Directors) The Booker T. Washington Foundation (Former Member, Board of Directors), legal columnist and contributing author to numerous business and professional publications, including The Oklahoman, The Journal Record, HRlaws.com, and EmployerLINC, a legal blog dedicated to employers and workplace issues. He is also co-editor of the Oklahoma Employment Law Letter, a monthly review of new court decisions, regulations and laws that affect state employers, as well as co-editor for the Oklahoma section of the annual guidebook for employers and human resources professionals, 50 Employment Laws in 50 States.
Everything a Law Firm Should Know About Microsoft 365
Catherine Sanders Reach is Director for the Center for Practice Management at the North Carolina Bar Association, providing practice technology and management assistance to lawyers and legal professionals. Formerly she was Director, Law Practice Management and Technology for the Chicago Bar Association and the Director at the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center.
Free Online Client Development
Google My Business, Social Networking, and Communities
Gyi Tsakalakis founded AttorneySync, a digital legal marketing agency, to help lawyers get found and hired online. As a non-practicing lawyer, Gyi is familiar with the unique considerations of ethically and effectively marketing a law practice online. He served on ABA TECHSHOW 2020 planning board. He is also a legal marketing technology advisor and investor. He is passionate about his family, Michigan football, stoicism, and coffee.
Reggie Whitten is Co-Founder of Whitten Burrage. In 2013, Reggie was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and in 2015, the University of Oklahoma inducted him into the Order of the Owl College of Law Hall of Fame and later that year presented Reggie with an honorary degree for his contributions to the university, state and nation. Reggie has been inducted into the prestigious fellowship of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Reggie is from Seminole, Oklahoma, and was the first of his family to graduate from college. He received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1977 and his Juris Doctorate from OU Law in 1980.
In 2008, Reggie and his law partner Michael Burrage obtained one of the largest verdicts in the United States, Burgess v. Farmers Insurance Co. It is believed to be the largest verdict in State of Oklahoma history.
He is past president of the Oklahoma Association for Justice and has been the recipient of several honors including Journal Record Leadership in Law, Oklahoma Association of Justice Tommy D. Frasier Award, and the Oklahoma Bar Association Trailblazer Award.
In 2004, Reggie co-founded the Whitten-Newman Family Foundation in memory of his eldest son, Brandon Whitten, who passed away in 2002 as a result of a traffic accident caused by alcohol and drug addiction. Reggie and his lifelong friend, John Hargrave, created the Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery and FATE (Fighting Addiction Through Education). Reggie has spoken to thousands of high school and college students throughout Oklahoma about the dangers of addiction and substance abuse.
In partnership with the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, Reggie's family foundation co-founded the ExplorOlogy and Native Explorers educational programs which has impacted over 50,000 young people in Oklahoma. His family foundation is also the leading supporter of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, of Gulu, Uganda, a CNN Heroes Award recipient and the first Veritis Splendor laureate, in honor of Saint John Paul II. Reggie has co-authored two books about his life experiences, titled, What's Your Fate?, and Sewing Hope. He also served as Executive Producer of the Netflix documentary, Sewing Hope, a powerful film about Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, narrated by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker.
Michael Burrage is a Co-Founder of Whitten Burrage. Michael became the first Native American Federal Judge when he was appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1991. In 2016, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and in 2013, the University of Oklahoma College of Law inducted Michael into the Order of the Owl Hall of Fame. Michael is an inductee of the prestigious fellowship of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Michael earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, where he served as editor of the Oklahoma Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif before graduating with honors in 1974.
Michael began his career as a partner in the law firm of Stamper & Burrage from 1974 to 1994. In 1977, he was voted Outstanding Young Lawyer in Oklahoma and served as a member of the Board of Governors from 1984 through 1986. Michael served as president of the Oklahoma Bar Association in 1990 and was awarded the Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award in 1991.
He subsequently served as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma from 1996 to 2001. Michael also sat by designation of the Chief on approximately 40 cases for the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. In 2011, he returned to private practice and enjoys a successful career litigating in various areas of the law.
Michael served as Chair of the Oklahoma State Committee from 2008-2009 for the American College of Trial Lawyers and in 2008, was selected as one of the Top Attorneys in Oklahoma by Oklahoma Magazine. He is a member of the Oklahoma and American Bar Associations, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and is a member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Committee for Civil Jury Instructions. Michael lectures at a variety of Continuing Legal Education seminar programs.
Larry Ottaway has tried more than 75 cases to verdict in Oklahoma. In addition, he has tried cases in Texas, Arkansas, Idaho, Colorado, New York, California, and several other states.
Mr. Ottaway has been named one of Oklahoma’s SuperLawyers and one of the state’s “Top 10 Attorneys” by Oklahoma Magazine. He is considered one of Oklahoma’s preeminent attorneys, according to his peers and Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Ottaway concentrates his practice in civil litigation involving products liability, professional and general negligence, insurance related issues including extra contractual liability and business disputes.
Amy Sherry Fischer joined the firm of Foliart Huff Ottaway & Bottom in 1995. She has extensive experience in the areas of products liability, particularly drug and medical products, personal injury, and medical liability. Ms. Fischer is actively involved in mass tort litigation, including class actions and toxic torts. She serves as local counsel to a number of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Along with other members of the firm, she serves as national counsel for a company in its products liability matters, particularly assisting with the retention and preparation of expert and company witnesses. She has been recognized as both an Oklahoma Rising Star and a SuperLawyer in the area of products liability defense. In addition, Ms. Fischer represents businesses in commercial disputes and employment related matters. She also handles cases for insurance companies, including extra-contractual liability. Before joining the firm, Ms. Fischer was an intern with Justice Marian Opala at the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
A former Latin teacher, Diana Pittet with Night Owl Hospitality traded in the classical world for classic cocktails after she earned a master’s degree from NYU in Food Studies. She is now back at NYU teaching a graduate seminar on the history, culture, and politics of drinking. Also in New York City, Diana leads walking tours about Prohibition and the birth of the cocktail. Raised in Atlantic Highlands and now living in Asbury Park, Diana is an avid traveler and has visited over 50 countries.
Phil Fraim been at OAMIC since 1989 and has served as President and CEO since 1993. He is past-President of the National Association of Bar Related Insurance Companies (NABRICO) and currently serves as Secretary of the organization. He also serves as Secretary of the Bar Plan Surety & Fidelity Company, is a board member of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), and is also a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS). Phil has a Bachelor’s degree from Central State University (now University of Central Oklahoma) and is Chair of the Edmond Economic Development Authority.
Isaac Fraim has been on the OAMIC team since 2005, and now serves as Vice President, Director of Operations. He is a licensed insurance producer with two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to his time at OAMIC, Isaac was part of the engineering team that developed banking software for some of the largest banks in the United States.
Alison Cave joined OAMIC in 2008 and currently serves as Senior Vice President, Claims. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1985, where she was a member of Phi Delta Phi. She was a law clerk with the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Court of Civil Appeals. Alison has also taught legal research and writing, as well as appellate advocacy as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University. Before joining OAMIC, Alison worked at several law firms and served as a solo practitioner. Alison is a past-recipient of the OBA President’s Award, the Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award and the Sovereignty Symposium Award.
COVID 19 Housing Issues for Lenders: Foreclosures, Replevins, Evictions, and Bankruptcy
Gretchen Latham, Phillips Murrah
Gretchen Latham’s practice focuses on representing creditors in foreclosure, bankruptcy, collection and replevin cases. She offers these services to her clients on a statewide basis as well as in all three Bankruptcy and Federal Court Districts in Oklahoma.
Gretchen brings over 15 years’ experience in creditor representation to the table, assisting local lenders as well as national creditors including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, and 21st Mortgage Corporation. Gretchen has been active in local consumer collection groups over the course of her career, and has a published bankruptcy opinion to her credit. In re: Dennis, BK CT. W,D. OK, 206 B.R. 793 (2002).
Prior to joining Phillips Murrah as an Associate Attorney, Gretchen began her career with a local collection law firm and then moved to an in-house position with one of the nation’s largest lenders.
Gretchen is married with one child. She was born in St. Charles, Missouri but has been a “native” Oklahoman since 1986. A graduate of a local high school, she went on to receive her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and her J.D. from Oklahoma City University.
What I Wish I'd Learned in Law School:
Running the Ethical Office in the 21st Century
Claude Ducloux is a seasoned attorney with over 40 years of experience. He is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Trial and Civil Appellate Law, and has conducted a broad trial and appellate practice.
He previously served as the President of the Austin Bar Association, as well as chair of almost every bar-related organization, including the Texas Bar Foundation, Texas Center for Legal Ethics, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and College of the State Bar.
His passion for practicing law and educating attorneys has earned him honors including the State of Texas’ highest honors for Teaching CLE, Pro Bono Service, Legal Ethics, and Professionalism, and has authored more than 200 articles and bar journal columns. As Director of Education at LawPay, he lectures nationwide on office practice, ethics, conflicts of interest, and corporate ethics.
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