Ogletree Deakins is a management-side labor and employment law firm with more than 1,000 attorneys in 56 offices in North America and Western Europe. Ogletree has a global legal practice and presently is the 64th largest law firm in the world. Sam Fulkerson is Ogletree’s Oklahoma City Managing Shareholder and he is a member of the Firmwide Management Committee. Sam Fulkerson has been included for the past twenty plus years in Chambers
USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; The Best Lawyers in America (employment law – management labor law – management; labor and employment litigation), which also selected him as Oklahoma City Employment Lawyer of the Year for 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2021; and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, which has named him to its list of “Top 50 Oklahoma Lawyers.” In 2019 Sam was elected a Fellow of the International College
of Labor and Employment Lawyers, only the second Oklahoma attorney ever selected.
Sam represents private and public entity management in all areas of employment law, including counseling clients on best practices and compliance; employee training; counseling on disciplinary, organizational and general business issues; policy drafting and implementation, including multi-state employer policies, drug testing, and dispute resolution programs; issues arising from reorganizations, reductions-in-force, mergers, sales, acquisitions and board disputes; and workplace investigations, including board misconduct.
Sam has extensive trial experience, including a 2020 $112 million federal jury verdict in a trade secrets and trademark infringement trial; and, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral
arguments on the case on March 21. Sam also recently has been lead counsel in lawsuits in federal district courts in Atlanta, Nashville, Brownsville, Houston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, Sacramento and New Mexico; the state courts of Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and California; and administrative agencies in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, California, Oregon and Washington.
Sam also represents legislative bodies, including the Oklahoma State Senate, and special interest groups, and he frequently drafts proposed legislation and reviews legislative proposals affecting the workplace.
Chair of the Day
Jim practiced law in Amarillo, Texas for 12 years after law school, before returning to Oklahoma in 1985 to join McAfee & Taft, where he became a shareholder. On December 10, 2015, he called the firm to retire after being added to the waiting list for a heart and liver transplant. He rejoined the firm in 2016 after it worked. He retired again at the end of 2017.
Jim served as President of Club 29 and two terms as Chair of the Club 29 Foundation. He has also served Leadership Oklahoma City, Rebuilding Together OKC, and the Edmond Public School Foundation as President, and Youth Leadership Exchange as Chair. He has and continues to serve on the boards of other community organizations.
He has been recognized for his professional and community service work including listing in Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers in Business and The Best Lawyers of America. He received the Oklahoma Bar Association Outstanding Service to the Public Award, the Rotary International Four Avenues of Service Award, The Journal Record Leadership in Law Award (twice) and the Leadership Oklahoma City Taylor Servant Leadership Award.
Five years ago, Jim spoke to the Club about his experience as a heart/liver transplant recipient. Since that time, he has become very involved in the transplant community. In 2017, he joined the board of LifeShare Oklahoma, where he now serves as Chair. In 2018, he was named as the Region 4 representative to the Patient Affairs Committee of the Organ Procurement and Transportation Network, representing Oklahoma and Texas. In 2019, he was asked to serve the remaining term of an open seat on the boards of the OPTN and the United Network for Organ Sharing and has since been reelected to a three-year term. The OPTN and UNOS are the national organizations that set transplant allocation policy and manage the network that matches donor organs with recipients.