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History Briefs

2022 officially marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of McAfee & Taft. Over the course of this milestone year, we’re celebrating with weekly flashbacks from our firm’s illustrious and interesting history.

History Documentary Video Thumbnail

History Documentary

The McAfee & Taft Story:

An Enduring Legacy of Distinction, Innovation and Collaboration

In this first episode of a multi-part docuseries looking at McAfee & Taft’s history and its people, we take a journey through the histories of the founders and earliest attorneys, the origins and early years of the firm, and the extraordinary growth and impact in the city, state and beyond over the last 70 years.

History Book

McAfee & Taft: The First 70 Years

As a part of its 70th anniversary, McAfee & Taft has published a commemorative book about its rich history. Dozens of people have shared their time and their stories. Hundreds of documents, artifacts and memorabilia have been collected and archived. Contributors include current, retired and former attorneys and staff, as well as family and friends of the firm’s founders and early partners.

Authored by award-winning reporter and writer M. Scott Carter, a sixth-generation Oklahoman, the book recounts fascinating anecdotes and illuminating backstories about the firm, its founders, its precedential cases won and landmark deals done, and the pivotal roles the firm has played in the history of Oklahoma City, the state of Oklahoma, and beyond. This is our story.

Timeline

1950
1950

Attorney Kenneth McAfee registers the nation’s first drilling fund for Blackwood & Nichols Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

1951
1951

Richard G. Taft (right) joins Kenneth McAfee in practice.

1952
1952

The law firm of McAfee & Taft is officially founded. The firm’s offices are located at 1316 Liberty Bank Building.

[Photograph taken in October 1951 of the Ramsey Tower in Downtown Oklahoma City, also known as the Liberty National Bank Building, the first home of the McAfee & Taft law offices. Credit: Meyers Photo Shop; Courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society]

1957
1957

Firm renamed McAfee, Taft & Cates.

Offices relocated to 2020 First National Building.

1958
1958

Eugene Oscar Kuntz joins firm.

Firm renamed McAfee, Taft, Cates & Kuntz.

1960
1960

Firm renamed McAfee, Taft, Cates, Kuntz & Mark.

1962
1962

Kuntz, A Treatise on the Law of Oil and Gas is published. The multi-volume treatise, authored by Eugene O. Kuntz, provides an exhaustive survey of oil & gas conveyancing and operations and continues to this day to be widely cited by courts and lawyers alike.

1963
1963

Firm renamed McAfee, Dudley, Taft, Cates, Kuntz & Mark.

1966
1966

After Eugene Kuntz leaves to become dean of OU Law, firm is renamed McAfee, Dudley, Taft, Cates & Mark.

1968
1968

Jerry A. Warren hired as first associate out of law school.

1971
1971

Firm renamed McAfee, Taft, Cates, Mark, Bond & Rucks after merger with Fowler, Rucks, Baker, Jopling, Gramlich & Mee, a successor to the Richardson, Shartel & Cochran firm.

Also that year, Eugene Kuntz re-joins the firm as of counsel.

1972
1972

McAfee, Taft, Cates, Mark, Bond & Rucks relocates offices to fifth floor of 100 Park Avenue Building.

Terry R. Barrett and Dewey D. Dobson hired as first clerks.

1973
1973

Firm announces change of its name to McAfee, Taft, Mark, Bond, Rucks & Woodruff.

1975
1975

Becky Marshall and Connie Gore are first female attorneys to be hired at the firm.

1980
1980

Articles of incorporation amended February 29, 1980; Firm renamed McAfee & Taft A Professional Corporation.

1985
1985

Firm moves into newly opened Leadership Square in downtown Oklahoma City, initially occupying the 8th, 9th and 10th Floors.

1993
1993

McAfee & Taft establishes global Aviation practice to assist clients with aircraft title, registration, finance, and regulatory matters.

1998
1998

In January, McAfee & Taft significantly expands its labor and employment practice with the addition of nine lawyers from Lytle, Soule & Curlee. The next month, McAfee & Taft establishes an intellectual property law practice by merging with Dougherty & Hessin, a boutique IP firm.

2006
2006

Firm surpasses 115 lawyers, becoming the state’s largest law firm.

2008
2008

McAfee & Taft opens Tulsa office located in ONEOK Building in downtown Tulsa.

2009
2009

McAfee & Taft merges with Joyce & Paul, PLLC, continuing to add to the depth and expertise in the firm's Tulsa office.

Renovation of Oklahoma City offices completed, occupying five floors of the Two Leadership Square. The $4 million construction project was performed in 18 phases over 20 months.

2010
2010

Tulsa office moves to MAPCO Building (8th, 9th and 10th Floors) at 1717 S. Boulder on the southside of Downtown Tulsa.

2011
2011

McAfee & Taft merges with Eldridge Cooper Steichen & Leach, PLLC, a boutique litigation firm specializing in high-profile product liability defense.

2016
2016

Firm moves its Tulsa office to Williams Center Tower II (11th and 12th Floors).

2017
2017

Firm opens office in Springfield, Missouri, its first office outside of Oklahoma.

2021
2021

Firm completes renovation of its Oklahoma City offices.

Firm further expands Tulsa office to include all of the 12th floor of the Williams Tower II building.

2022
2022

In August, more than 500 colleagues, family and friends gathered at the new Omni Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City to formally celebrate McAfee & Taft's 70th anniversary. Attendees included current, retired and former attorneys and staff, their “plus-ones,” and relatives of the firm’s founders and early partners. Stories were retold, the departed commemorated, legacies honored, achievements lauded, a rich history celebrated, and new memories created.

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