I have been a licensed practicing attorney in Tulsa since 1993. I went to Bishop Kelley High School here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri and The University of Tulsa College of Law. I moved back to Tulsa after college to attend law school and because I have a lot of family and friends in the Tulsa area. While I was at TU Law School I went to work for a group of well respected sole practitioners as a legal intern. As a legal intern I was fortunate to work for a few really good trial attorneys and I learned a lot about actually trying a case and the importance of ethics. Upon passing the bar and getting sworn in as an attorney, I joined the attorneys I had worked for and set up my own solo practice law firm and continued in trial practice and family law. Ever since opening my own firm in 1994, I have absolutely enjoyed self employment and not having to bill a large number of hours or have staff meetings every day or charge big firm prices. Most importantly, working for myself allows me to get to know my clients on a more personal level which I feel is the most important part of being an advocate for my client. My grandfather always told me that if you want to know a man, walk a mile in his shoes and listen to his stories. I think this approach is the only way to get the best result possible in litigation and mediation.
I have personally gone through the divorce process and, even though we had an agreed divorce, it was an emotional roller coaster. But my ex and I made a commitment to put the children first and the result was co-parenting two fantastic children, Michael and Madalene. I still learn things from them that legal seminars cannot teach. The “hands on” training of being a parent cannot be taught and I learn something new every day. My free time is spent with them or playing volleyball. I love to read and socialize. I also am active in the legal community in various lawyer groups and subscribe to a number of news feeds to keep current on legal trends. You never stop learning unless you stop listening…grandma always said that.
When I started over two decades ago family law was far less complex than it is today. The law is continually changing and more and more requirements are made upon families going through the Court system. I attend continuing education seminars annually to stay abreast of the ever changing cases and laws affecting family law. I have spoken and taught at a number of continuing education seminars as well. I have also been very involved in making contacts with other divorce lawyers, mediators, custody evaluators, counselors and other professionals in an effort to help clients with whatever needs they may have. My practice is family law and I have found that the more help you have in the community, the easier it is for the client to get all the resources they need to make the process as peaceful as possible.
Personal Injury law was also much more simple than it is today. Tort reform and insurance companies not wanting to pay claims is the mantra of the day. Our society has lost it’s understanding that injured people who have been hurt through no fault of their own should be treated with respect and compensated for their losses. Negotiating with an insurance company is not advised for non-lawyers. Statistics have shown that you often get far more compensation when hiring an attorney than not an attorney. Additionally experience matters. Practicing law for twenty years and having experience trying personal injury cases matters just as much as having an attorney who returns your calls and pays attention to your case.
Despite all the changes with the Courts and the law, I believe that I work in a service profession and that service and profession define what I do. To me, service is meant to be personal. When you hire me to help you, you meet with me, you can contact me whenever you have a question, and, you are never given to an associate or paralegal. I know my clients on a first name basis and will work your case as if it is my own. You get to look me in the eye and shake my hand. It is important to me because I work on a referral basis meaning that when I do a great job for you, you will tell someone about my services and they will call. I also am a professional. When you discuss your personal and private details, no one ever gets to know our conversation. You are treated with respect. You will always get my honest opinion, even when it isn’t what you were expecting to hear. I feel that my job is to give you all the pros and cons of all the legal options and together we resolve your case in your and your family’s best interests. I also enjoy trial work and have enjoyed a lot of success in the Courtroom. As an alternative to trial and litigation, I perform meditations for parties who prefer to settle matters with someone with a lot of knowledge and experience in family and personal injury law cases.