Oklahoma Bar Journal
Young Lawyers Division | The Young [sic] Lawyer’s Division
By Dylan D. Erwin
If I had a dime for every time over the last seven years a young lawyer has walked up to me and asked how they can get involved in the YLD, I would have … a lot of dimes. Enough dimes to never worry about gas prices ever again. This metaphorical dime collecting, coupled with the impending YLD elections (see the excellent article penned by the one and only April Moaning in last month’s bar journal), made me realize there may be some of you out there reading this article who are eager to get involved in the YLD but not necessarily ready to take the full plunge and throw your hat in the ring when elections roll around next year. If you’re one of those people, this article is for you.
The YLD is a unique division within the OBA. You are automatically a member simply by existing and practicing law. Under Article 2.1 of the YLD Bylaws, “[a]ll members of the Oklahoma Bar Association in good standing who were first admitted to the practice of law in any jurisdiction 10 years ago or less” are eligible. In that respect, the term “young” is a bit misleading – as it identifies the vintage of the attorney rather than the age of the individual.
“Well, that’s great, Dylan,” you say, “But what does that mean?” Excellent question. As an OBA member eligible to be an active participant in YLD activities, you have several ways you can contribute. The best way to get an idea of what’s going on and how you can help is by attending our monthly meetings. As a body, the YLD has elected to have 11 monthly meetings throughout 2022. Our most recent meeting (recent to this writer, and not necessarily to you, the reader) was in conjunction with the 2022 July bar exam, and YLD members put together BESKs (bar exam survival kits) containing such essentials as Tylenol, ear plugs and extra pencils. Our three remaining meetings will be held Sept. 24 and Oct. 22 at the Oklahoma Bar Center at 10 a.m. and in November in conjunction with the OBA Annual Meeting. These meetings are an excellent way to stay informed and an excellent way to meet other young attorneys from around the state.
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I have no issue repeating that my involvement with the YLD has been one of the most fulfilling professional choices I’ve made over the course of my career. I encourage you to join us and get involved. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me or any other board member.
It is now the duty of YLD members to select those who will ultimately lead. Please look at the candidates in your district, and don’t forget to vote! Remember: Every lawyer who was first admitted to the practice of law in any jurisdiction within the past 10 years is automatically a member of the YLD and is eligible to vote.
Please take a moment to read the candidate information and vote; voting is a quick and easy process. Voting for YLD elections is conducted by electronic ballot, which will be emailed to you Oct. 3. You may cast your vote any time before midnight, Oct. 17. To ensure you receive a ballot, verify the OBA roster contains your current email address. You may do so by logging in to MyOKBar or by calling the OBA Membership Department at 405-416-7080. If you do not receive a ballot, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Erwin practices in Oklahoma City and serves as the YLD chairperson. He may be contacted at email@example.com. Keep up with the YLD at
Caroline M. Shaffer Siex
Caroline Shaffer Siex is a December 2016 graduate of the TU College of Law. She currently works at Gibbs Armstrong Borochoff PC, handling civil litigation, nursing home defense and family law matters.
Ms. Shaffer Siex has served the OBA as a member of the YLD Board of Directors since 2017 and as the YLD Hospitality chair from 2018 to 2019. In 2020, she served as the board’s secretary, and in 2021, she served as the board’s treasurer. From 2020 through 2021, she concurrently served as the ABA YLD district representative for District 24 (Oklahoma and Arkansas).
During her time on the board, she has shown her willingness and effort to help other young lawyers, especially those just emerging into practice, from passing out bar exam survival kits, hosting a swearing-in happy hour for the newly admitted Tulsa-area lawyers and attending the TU bar preparation class to provide information about the Oklahoma bar and advice to law students. She has also contributed to publications aimed at assisting young lawyers to grow in their careers. Ms. Shaffer Siex wants to continue to serve on this board to bring more networking opportunities to the young lawyers in Tulsa and ease the daunting transition from law school into the legal field for newly admitted lawyers.
2023 Immediate Past Chair
Dylan D. Erwin
Dylan Erwin joined the Oklahoma City law firm of Holladay &
Chilton in 2018. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Erwin was an assistant district attorney for Comanche and Cotton counties. During his time in the DA’s office, he was able to hone his skills as a trial attorney while serving the people in his hometown of Lawton. After leaving the DA’s office, he brought his trial experience with him into the private sector with Andrews Davis, where he worked primarily in their criminal law and civil litigation practice areas. As a criminal defense attorney, he has represented clients in matters ranging from speeding tickets and misdemeanor DUIs to felony drug charges and multi-defendant racketeering prosecutions. As a civil litigator, he has handled cases ranging from small claims disputes to large-scale construction litigation, complex business litigation and employment and labor claims on behalf of both the employer and the employee.
A fifth-generation Oklahoman, Mr. Erwin graduated magna cum laude from OU in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in classical cultures. He received his J.D. from the OU College of Law in 2014. While in law school, he served as president of the Student Bar Association and vice justice of the Harlan Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. He received the Student Bar Association Prize for his service to the student body, the Public Service Award for his pro bono work in both civil and criminal legal clinics, a Top Ten Speaker Award in moot court and was included on the dean’s list for his academic achievements. In his free time, he enjoys reading all the books he didn’t have time to read while in law school, writing short fiction, traveling and attempting to live out his high school dream of being the frontman of a garage band.
The following persons have been nominated. They are running uncontested and will be declared elected at the OBA YLD meeting in November.
Laura Talbert is a shareholder at Stockton Talbert PLLC in Oklahoma City. Her practice primarily focuses on complex civil litigation, employment law and cannabis law. Ms. Talbert graduated from the OU College of Law in 2012. After graduating, she worked as a prosecutor. Prior to starting her own firm, she also worked for the General Counsel’s Office for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball and cheering on the Sooners. She has been on the YLD board for five years and is excited to continue serving.
Taylor C. Venus
Taylor C. Venus is a solo practitioner at the Venus Law Firm PLLC in northwest Oklahoma. His practice focuses on civil litigation and transactional law for individuals and companies. Mr. Venus is a native of Ponca City and graduated from OSU with bachelor’s degrees in economics and finance. During his time at OSU, he had the honor to be Pistol Pete. Thereafter, he obtained his J.D. and MBA at OU. While in law school, he served as the articles editor for the Oil & Gas, Natural Resources & Energy Journal and served as an officer or representative in multiple student organizations.
He has a passion for serving in his local community and with organizations that have transformed his life. In Enid, Mr. Venus is the president of the Enid Public Schools Foundation, a member of Rotary and AMBUCS and actively participates and volunteers with several other groups in northwest Oklahoma. Outside of his local community, he is the secretary for the OBA YLD, a member of his fraternity alumni board and an active member of the Pistol Pete and Cherokee Strip OSU Alumni chapters. In his time out of the office, Mr. Venus enjoys spending time with his friends and family, playing golf, hunting and being an armchair expert on his favorite sports teams and political views.
Alexandra “Allie” Gage graduated from the TU College of Law in 2019. She currently works as a civil litigation attorney at Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson LLP.
Ms. Gage has always had a strong commitment to community service and mentorship. Before attending law school, she lived and worked in the eastern European country of Kosovo, where she served as a community center coordinator for a center in the nation’s capital. After returning, she chose to follow her call to a legal career at TU. She enjoyed serving as a mentor in law school and continues to support and encourage new lawyers and law students entering their legal careers.
After the COVID-19 pandemic left its mark on Oklahoma, Ms. Gage sought to find a way to further serve her recovering community. In that effort, she joined the OBA YLD as a member of the Board of Directors for District 6. Her time on the board has been short, but she dove headfirst into her duties and continues to show her willingness to serve the YLD and its members. She now seeks to continue her service on the Executive Committee as the board’s secretary.
Matthew Shelton is an associate attorney with Stockton Law, where he practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation, employment law and cannabis law. He is currently a member of the OBA YLD board and is the leader of the Membership and New Attorney Orientation committees.
Mr. Shelton was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and comes from a family of firefighters. He moved to Oklahoma City four years ago for law school after receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. His goal for his career is to gain as much knowledge of the law to be able to help anyone with any legal issue that comes his way.
Taylor C. Venus
See bio above
Dayten Israel is a May 2021 graduate of the OU College of Law. He currently works for OU as the director of Startup Programs, providing management consulting and entrepreneurial coaching to emerging startups and small businesses. He is also a founding member of the OU Entrepreneurial Law Center.
Since joining the OBA in 2021, Mr. Israel has served on several committees, including the Strategic Planning, Diversity and Law Schools committees. His involvement in the Law Schools Committee has allowed him the opportunity to explore gaps in legal education and perceived access issues for soon-to-be attorneys in the state.
Mr. Israel seeks a position on the YLD board to take a greater role in supporting newly admitted and other young attorneys to grow in their legal careers. In this role, he intends to establish new opportunities for development and a greater connection to the OBA among young attorneys practicing in this state.
Keaton Taylor is the founder and managing partner of the Tulsa law firm of Taylor Martuch, practicing primarily in the areas of civil litigation, business formation and disputes, personal injury claims and criminal defense. Mr. Taylor represents clients from every walk of life and takes each client’s situation into account when developing a solution. In the representation of his clients, his focus is always to get the best possible result for each individual client’s goals.
A native Tulsan and a graduate of Northeastern State University and the TU College of Law, Mr. Taylor is licensed to practice law in all Oklahoma state courts, Muscogee (Creek) Nation courts as well as the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Tulsa County Bar Association and a District 6 representative for the OBA YLD. He is also active in the Tulsa Young Professionals, the Tulsa County Bar Association and the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association (OCDLA). In his spare time, he enjoys getting outdoors and volunteering in the community.
The following persons have been nominated and are running contested for the following positions. Results will be announced at the YLD November meeting.
See bio above
Nick Marr is an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm of Nix Patterson LLP. He represents plaintiffs in a wide array of mass tort and complex matters, concentrating on insurance bad faith, medical device liability and False Claims Act litigation.
Born and raised in Norman, Mr. Marr is an alumnus of OU and the OU College of Law. He continues to live in Norman with his wife, Daniela, who owns and operates her own bakery, Coop Cake. Their dog, Lando, serves as his unenthusiastic work-from-home legal assistant. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, going to the movies and investing a dangerous amount of his self-worth into the success of the OU football program.
Chase McBride has served on the YLD board for three previous terms. He has his own firm based in Pryor and primarily practices in the northeast Oklahoma area. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in economics from TU and graduated from OU with both his J.D. and MBA. He also received a certificate in law and entrepreneurship from the OU College of Law.
Mr. McBride is primarily a litigator. He has successfully argued in front of Oklahoma’s highest court, defended federal business litigation actions, organized multi-million-dollar business transactions and transfers, represented high-asset divorce estates and successfully defended two first-degree murder charges, a first-degree manslaughter and other felonies.
He has also successfully represented three separate Oklahoma police chiefs in wrongful termination and employment disputes and successfully defended multiple politicians in the Tulsa area against defamation claims filed against them. Mr. McBride currently represents several large businesses across the state.
He is also active in continual learning for lawyers. His articles have been published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal regarding court-ordered grandparental rights, interlocutory appeals and construction trusts in Oklahoma, all of which he has presented continued learning education courses for other lawyers across the state.
Mr. McBride is the current president of the Mayes County Bar Association and has served as the Mayes County Law Day Chair from 2018 to 2022. He also serves on the OBA Technology Committee and Clients’ Security Fund Committee. Outside of law, he resides in Owasso with his wife and two daughters and can often be found playing golf at the Patriot Golf Club or fly fishing.
Phoebe Mitchell is a third-year litigation attorney with Phillips Murrah PC. She represents individuals and both privately held and public companies in a wide range of civil litigation matters. Ms. Mitchell received her J.D. from the OU College of Law, where she earned the American Jurisprudence Award for Civil Procedure II and was on the Dean’s Honor Roll. She served as research editor and candidate mentor for the Oklahoma Law Review and was a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal honor society. She also served as a mentor on the Dean’s Leadership Council, was selected as a Dean’s Leadership Fellow and served on the Academic Appeals Board. While in law school, she had the opportunity to clerk as a judicial intern for Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Rob Hudson.
Ms. Mitchell was born and raised in Oklahoma City and received her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a member of Make-A-Wish Oklahoma’s Young Professionals Council and an alumni advisor for OU’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter. Phoebe lives downtown with her mini aussiedoodle, Rumble, and enjoys Thunder basketball, OU football and cheering on her Vanderbilt Commodores in her spare time.
See bio above
See bio above
Taylor C. Venus
See bio above
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 7 (September 2022)