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Rick Hartzog named director of information technology at Madison River Oaks ...

Rick Hartzog named director of information technology at Madison River Oaks …

Rick Hartzog named director of information technology at Madison River Oaks
Rick Hartzog of Ridgeland has been named director of information technology at Madison River Oaks Medical Center. Hartzog earned a bachelor of science in computer science from Belhaven College and has nearly 20 years of experience working in the IT …
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HCCN Friday Feature: J. Leslie LaReau

In an effort to spotlight our dynamic Attorneys and Staff, Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville launched the “Friday Feature” series.  In this week’s edition, we would like to introduce you to a HCCN Partner, J. Leslie LaReau.

(Photo: Campisi’s in Dallas  - OU Texas weekend 2013.  Leslie, Tyler, Emma and Claire)

Name: J. Leslie LaReau

Area of Practice: Wealth Transfer Planning, Trusts and Estates; Tax Planning and Tax Controversies,

How long have you been at HCCN: I started at HCCN in 1994.

Undergraduate University: University of Oklahoma

Law School: University of Oklahoma

Hometown: Shawnee, Oklahoma

Tell us about your family: I met my husband, Tyler, during my junior year of high school. We have been married 28 years and have two teenage daughters.

What was your favorite activity and/or sport in high school or at college? Some of my favorite memories of college involve OU basketball games. I became an OU football fan in the mid-1970’s, but didn’t become an avid OU basketball fan until I started at OU in the fall of 1983, which was Wayman Tisdale’s first year of college. I remember rushing to seats when they opened the LNC doors to the students and sitting as close to floor as possible. I also have vivid memories of Top Daug - he was my favorite OU mascot.

What was your go to study food in law school? I took a pb&j sandwich with me almost every day during law school and during finals I survived on redhots.

What’s your favorite aspect of Oklahoma City? I started with Arthur Andersen after graduating from OU and worked downtown OKC for five years before attending law school. The transformation of downtown OKC still amazes me.

What’s the last book that you read? I am currently reading Divergent.

What’s your favorite movie? E.T., Animal House, and Christmas Vacation

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I would like to take a family trip to Washington DC

What has been your favorite vacation destination so far? Snowmass, Colorado

On a typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon, what would we often find you doing? If there is a game in Norman, then our entire family is there. If we don’t have a sporting event, then my afternoons involve running errands, doing household chores, or taking my girls to their various activities.

If you could give advice to any law student today, what would it be? To work hard and enjoy the experience.

What has been one of your favorite memories while at HCCN? Overall, my favorite memories involve the friendships I’ve built with the attorneys with whom I practice. I’ve enjoyed watching their kids grow up and taking an interest in their professional and personal accomplishments. At the end of the day, it is important to like and respect your colleagues, and I feel very fortunate to work with such good people.

Tell us something about you that most people at HCCN probably don’t know: My assistant, Dana Johnson, worked as an administrative assistant for my twin sister, Judge Lynne McGuire, when Lynne was the Chief of the Criminal Division under OK County District Attorney Wes Lane. So, Dana knows my family well.

J. Leslie LaReau’s complete attorney profile here.

About Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville – Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville’s experienced legal teams serve businesses, high net worth families and individuals, and charitable organizations. Principal practice areas include litigation, business and financial transactions, tax controversies, trust and estate planning, family law, oil and gas law, and real estate.

Additional information about the firm is available at: www.HartzogLaw.com & Facebook.com/HartzogLaw.

A great image from the former NPS Director George B. Hartzog’s papers at Clemson University’s Special Collections. The then Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall (standing) and Director Hartzog (sitting) meeting with President Johnson (back to camera). 

“For George- To remember the big day we won our case with the President! Stewart Udall 1968" 

Hartzog and Udall worked together on the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

HCCN Friday Feature: John D. Robertson

In an effort to spotlight our dynamic Attorneys and Staff, Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville launched the “Friday Feature” series.  In this week’s edition, we would like to introduce you to a HCCN Partner, John D. Robertson.

Name: John D. Robertson

Area of Practice: Business Transactions, Business/Corporate Law, & Employment Law

How long have you been at HCCN: 28 years in May

Undergraduate University: Oklahoma State University

Law School: University of Oklahoma College of Law

Hometown: Bartlesville, OK

Tell us about your family: Wife Sharie; married for 30 years. We met her first day of college at Central State University. Son Jeff (24) who is finishing up his Masters of Health Administration Degree at OU. Jeff has accepted a fellowship with Mercy Hospital following graduation in May. Daughter Nikki (22) who is in her first year of Occupational Therapy program at OU.

What was your favorite activity and/or sport in high school or at college? Played basketball and baseball at Sooner High School in Bartlesville. Was an invited walk-on to the OSU baseball team my freshman year and then went to Central State University to play baseball my sophomore year. Was injured and returned to OSU for last two years of college.

What was your go to study food in law school? Turkey sandwiches from the turkey that HCCN sent to law clerks each Christmas.

What’s your favorite aspect of Oklahoma City? Oklahoma City Thunder, and all the friendly people

What’s the last book that you read? Sycamore Row by John Grisham

What’s your favorite movie? Forrest Gump

What has been your favorite vacation destination so far? New York City with my family.

On a typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon, what would we often find you doing? Playing golf or watching sports on TV.

What has been one of your favorite memories while at HCCN? Accompanying Chris Paul to several events the day that he was named NBA Rookie of the Year. We represented the New Orleans Hornets during the time that they were playing in OKC.

Tell us something about you that most people at HCCN probably don’t know: I had a morning paper route in Bartlesville for 5 years (5th grade through 9th grade). Got up every morning (except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day) at 5 AM to deliver the Tulsa World.

Read John D. Robertson’s complete attorney profile here.

About Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville – Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville’s experienced legal teams serve businesses, high net worth families and individuals, and charitable organizations. Principal practice areas include litigation, business and financial transactions, tax controversies, trust and estate planning, family law, oil and gas law, and real estate.

Additional information about the firm is available at: www.HartzogLaw.com &Facebook.com/HartzogLaw.

HCCN Friday Feature: Heather Turner

In an effort to spotlight our dynamic Attorneys and Staff, Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville launched the “Friday Feature” series. In this week’s edition we are spotlighting a Legal Administrative Assistant that has worked for HCCN for 6 years, Heather Turner.

Name: Heather Turner

Title: Legal Administrative Assistant

How long have you been at HCCN? 6 years 

Undergraduate university: Rose State College

Hometown: Edmond, OK

Tell us about your family: I married my long time sweetheart after 5 years of dating. We have been married for three years now. We have no children. However, we do have two dogs and a cat.

What was your favorite activity and/or sport in high school or at college? My favorite activities growing up were Basketball, Softball, Band and Art.

What’s your favorite aspect of Oklahoma City? The Oklahoma City Thunder, Restaurant options, Ballet of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic

What was the last book you read? Tess Gerritsen’s The Mephisto Club

What’s your favorite movie? Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Italy, Greece or Ireland

What has been your favorite vacation destination so far? Northern Spain is amazing! Southern Spain is awesome too, but it’s a little too hot for me.

On a typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon, what would we often find you doing? If I’m not cleaning the house, I’m either watching a good movie, reading a book or knitting.

What has been one of your favorite memories while at HCCN? The Staff Christmas party for 2013 was probably one of the best times I have had. Everyone was in such good spirits and we really enjoyed each other outside of the office. It was nice to get to know one another on a more personal level.

Tell us something about yourself that most people at HCCN probably don’t know: I play the guitar and sing with a group of people every now and then.

About Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville – Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville’s experienced legal teams serve businesses, high net worth families and individuals, and charitable organizations. Principal practice areas include litigation, business and financial transactions, tax controversies, trust and estate planning, family law, oil and gas law, and real estate.

Additional information about the firm is available at: www.HartzogLaw.com & Facebook.com/HartzogLaw.

HCCN Friday Feature: Kevin B. Ratliff

In an effort to spotlight our dynamic Attorneys and Staff, Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville launched the “Friday Feature” series.  In this week’s edition, we would like to introduce you to a HCCN Attorney, Kevin B. Ratliff.

Name: Kevin B. Ratliff

Area of Practice: Tax planning, tax controversies, estate planning, complex post-mortem planning and probate, business succession planning, state and local taxation, general business and the legal ethics associated with these practice areas.

How long have you been at HCCN: 12 years

Undergraduate University: University of Oklahoma

Law School: Oklahoma City University School of Law

Hometown: I was a government brat. Oklahoma City is home.

Tell us about your family: My wife, Catherine, and I have been married for over ten years, and we have a wonderful seven year old son named Brock.

What was your favorite activity and/or sport in high school or at college? In high school, playing football and participating in model united nations. In college, my work as philanthropy chair for my fraternity.

What was your go to study food in law school? Anything I could heat in the microwave and serve.

What’s your favorite aspect of Oklahoma City?  Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma City Redhawks, Oklahoma City Barons, Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City Boathouse District, Restaurant options, and the people

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Europe

What has been your favorite vacation destination so far? New Zealand

On a typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon, what would we often find you doing? Spending time with my family. We spend a lot of time with our son’s youth sports and ice skating. We also enjoy all that downtown Oklahoma City has to offer, including professional sporting events, museums, art shows, Lyric Theatre, restaurants, food trucks and the special events like the Festival of the Arts, the DeadCenter Film Festival.

If you could give advice to any law student today, what would it be? Put forth the effort, it gets easier as you go through.

What has been one of your favorite memories while at HCCN? I enjoy the work and the people we serve.

Tell us something about you that most people at HCCN probably don’t know: I am red/green color blind.

Read Kevin B. Ratliff’s complete attorney profile here.

About Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville – Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville’s experienced legal teams serve businesses, high net worth families and individuals, and charitable organizations. Principal practice areas include litigation, business and financial transactions, tax controversies, trust and estate planning, family law, oil and gas law, and real estate.

Additional information about the firm is available at: www.HartzogLaw.com & Facebook.com/HartzogLaw.

HCCN Friday Feature: Billy M. Croll

In an effort to spotlight our dynamic Attorneys and Staff, Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville launched the “Friday Feature” series.  In this week’s edition, we would like to introduce you to a HCCN Partner, Billy M. Croll.

Name: Billy M. Croll

Area of Practice: Litigation; Oil and Gas; Real Property; Estate and Trust Litigation; Contracts

How long have you been at HCCN: 13 years

Undergraduate University: Oklahoma State University

Law School: University of Oklahoma School of Law

Hometown: Tulsa but I consider OKC my hometown since I was 35

Tell us about your family: Married to Beth since 1983. We met at Interurban in Norman where I was a waiter and bartender. Her passion was volunteer work for Oklahoma Public Schools for 15 years. We have 2 great children. Son Alex, 25, graduated from USC as a mechanical engineer and is working at being a stand-up comic in LA. Daughter Elizabeth, 23, graduated from OSU as a chemical engineer and is loving her job as a drilling engineer at Continental Resources.

What was your favorite activity and/or sport in high school or at college? I was a newspaper writer in high school and at OSU, which took up a lot my time. My favorite activity was very amateur acting and impromptu comedy.

What was your go to study food in law school? Sandwiches and anything they would feed me at Interurban.

What’s your favorite aspect of Oklahoma City?  The Oklahoma City Thunder, Restaurant options, we love OKC all around.

What’s the last book that you read? Eric Clapton: An autobiography

What’s your favorite movie? Forrest Gump

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Europe in general

What has been your favorite vacation destination so far? Southern France

On a typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon, what would we often find you doing? Watching OSU sports, hanging outside at Grand Lake or maybe playing some bad golf

If you could give advice to any law student today, what would it be? Find a study partner(s) who you like to be with

What has been one of your favorite memories while at HCCN? Working on a case with Drew Neville in southern Oklahoma that provided more stories and laughter than any movie I have seen.

Tell us something about you that most people at HCCN probably don’t know. My mother was a Belgian immigrant who came to the US after the war when she was 20. She lived under Nazi occupation for many years. She was a “war bride” who spoke no English but was quite intelligent and learned English on her own. She was forced to do unskilled labor as a young woman and she showed me what discrimination looks like. My father was a US soldier who liberated my mother’s small town and he never spoke French or Flemish. They raised three children on a very modest budget who are all successful with wonderful families. I did not really understand what they did for me until I was middle aged.

Read Billy M. Croll complete attorney profile here.

About Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville – Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville’s experienced legal teams serve businesses, high net worth families and individuals, and charitable organizations. Principal practice areas include litigation, business and financial transactions, tax controversies, trust and estate planning, family law, oil and gas law, and real estate.

Additional information about the firm is available at: www.HartzogLaw.com & Facebook.com/HartzogLaw.

Another Chapter of the Enron Saga Ends

By: Charles E. Geister III, Partner

  

Much has been written of the rise and fall of Enron Corporation, the energy and commodities giant headquartered in Houston, Texas.  Before its bankruptcy filing on December 2, 2001, Enron had been named “America’s Most Innovative Company” by Fortune for six consecutive years.  Enron claimed revenue of over $100 billion dollars in 2000.  In August 2000, its share price reached $90.00; as late as December 31, 2000, the stock stood at $83.00.

The fall happened quickly.  In part through the creation of special purpose entities, Enron excluded substantial debts and financial losses from its financial statements.  Analysts began to question Enron’s accounting practices and financial strength.  Investor confidence waned.  In August 2001, Enron’s CEO Jeffrey “Jeff” Skilling abruptly resigned.  In October 2001, Enron announced third-quarter losses in excess of $600 million and a $1.2 billion reduction in shareholder equity. Rating agencies downgraded Enron’s credit rating.  The SEC began an investigation, and Enron’s stock price reach $1.00 in November 2001.

Enron’s financial demise had significant consequences.  It influenced the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, making significant changes to federal securities laws.  Enron’s auditing firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice in 2002 for destroying audit-related documents.  Although the conviction was overturned in 2005, Andersen, founded in 1913, closed its practice.  Numerous lawsuits ensued against a host of defendants, including Enron,  officers and directors, financial institutions, lawyers, and auditors and accountants.  I was fortunate to have been involved in the representation of one of Enron’s financial institutions and, in that regard, attended numerous depositions in Houston, New York City and Chicago during much of 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Enron’s demise also spawned criminal proceedings, resulting in several guilty pleas and convictions.  Enron’s former CFO Andrew Fastow was sentenced to ten (10) years in prison.  Enron’s founder Kenneth Lay was convicted, but died before sentencing.

Last but not least, Jeff Skilling was convicted on May 25, 2006 of multiple felony charges related to Enron’s collapse, including counts of insider trading, false statements to auditors, and securities fraud.  Skilling was sentenced to 24 years, 4 months in prison and fined $45 million dollars. After years of appellate proceedings, including the Supreme Court’s vacation of part of Skilling’s conviction, and a 5th Circuit ruling that he should be resentenced, Skilling and federal prosecutors reached an agreement reducing the sentence by 10 years.  The agreement, accepted by Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas during a hearing on June 21, 2013, bars Skilling from further challenging his conviction or sentence.  According to Skilling’s lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, Skilling is likely to be released from prison by 2017 as a result of the reduction of his sentence.

About the author: Charles E. Geister III, Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville Partner, specializes in litigation, with emphasis in areas of business and commercial disputes, securities and antitrust cases, products liability, insurance and employment law. He has over 25 years of experience representing defendants in business, insurance and employment-related lawsuits, including securities and antitrust cases. For his complete professional biography and contact information click here.

OCU's High Ideals - Thank you!

Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville hosted four prospective law school students as part of Oklahoma City University School of Law’s High Ideals program, a recruiting event for high-achieving law school candidates.

During this event, the candidates learned about our law firm and about the Oklahoma City legal community. We enjoyed meeting the candidates and sharing our experiences with them. Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville is proud to have hosted this wonderful group of prospective law school students.