Category: News

Fred D. Gray, a prominent civil rights attorney who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks

Ann Keele had the pleasure of meeting Fred D. Gray, a prominent civil rights attorney who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, when she attended the ABA’s National Conference of Bar Presidents meeting in Vancouver on February 2, 2018.

Fred Gray is a civil rights attorney, preacher, and activist from Alabama. He litigated several major civil rights cases in Alabama, including some that reached the United States Supreme Court for rulings. He served as the President of the National Bar Association in 1985 and in 2001 was elected as the first African-American President of the Alabama State Bar. [1]

Mr. Gray handled several major cases which led to the desegregation of the University of Alabama and Auburn, then later all public colleges and universities in the state, along with more than 100 local school systems.[2]

Mr. Gray served in the Alabama legislature from 1970-1974. Although Mr. Gray is best known for his legal career, he began as a full-time preacher for Montgomery’s Newtown Church of Christ from 1957 until he moved to Tuskegee in 1973. After moving to Tuskegee, he helped organize the merger of the city’s black and white Churches of Christ in 1974.[3]

Mr. Gray also represented several victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. In 1932, the United States Public Health Service began a study of the effects of untreated syphilis on more than 600 African American males. After the study became public in 1972, Gray filed a lawsuit against Alabama and the U.S. Public Health Service that was settled in 1975 for $10 million and medical treatment. He has been the moving force in the establishment of the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center, which serves not only as a memorial to the participants of the Study, but also educates the public on the contributions made in the field of human and civil rights by Native Americans and Americans of African and European descent.[4]

At Monroe & Keele, P.C., the protection of civil rights are fundamental to our law firm. Our firm was founded to level the playing field.  We are committed to protecting the rights of individuals who have been harmed by the misconduct of the government by its agents and institutions. We are a premier Tulsa civil rights law firm with considerable experience in state and federal courts.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Gray_(attorney)

[2] http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1510

[3] Id.

[4]http://www.naacpldf.org/press-release/selma-montgomery-march-profiles-ldf-co-counsel-charles-stephen-ralston-fred-d-gray-and

Monroe & Keele participates in Holiday Challenge

Every year, the Tulsa County Bar Association pairs with Family & Children’s Services to challenge its members to adopt a family in need. This year, our firm adopted a family. We are so pleased to be able to give back to our community.

Monroe & Keele, P.C., is a leading Tulsa law firm providing experienced legal representation in the areas of criminal defense, family law, and civil rights law.

Led by partners Stan Monroe and Ann Keele, we are known throughout Tulsa and beyond as a law firm that is committed to our clients as well as the community at large. Our lawyers are experienced trial advocates with a proven record of success representing clients in state and federal courts throughout Oklahoma.

We have achieved this record of success one case at a time, by giving each and every client the service, attention and zealous representation they deserve.

The Value Of Integrity

We are straight shooters who do not play games with the law. Whether we’re talking to a client or a judge, we tell it like it is. Our unwavering commitment to honesty and integrity has earned us respect among people within and outside the legal community. When we speak for you, our words will carry weight.

Nobody likes to be kept in the dark, especially where a high-stakes legal issue is concerned. We keep open lines of communication with our clients, responding promptly to phone calls and emails, and notifying clients of all important developments in their cases. We understand how important this legal matter is to you and will provide you with the attentive, responsive service you deserve.

Both of our partners are AV-rated* by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating, attesting to their legal experience, ethics and reputation. To learn more about their professional qualifications, please click on the links provided below.

Whether you are seeking representation for a criminal defense, family law, or civil rights matter, we are here for you. Contact us today online or by telephone at 918-592-1144 to arrange your initial consultation with an experienced lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

*AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general practice standards.

Ann Keele selected as Attorney of the Year by the Oklahoma Bar Family Law Section

Ann Keele was awarded the Attorney of the Year Award on November 2, 2017 by the Oklahoma Bar Association Family Law Section. The Oklahoma Bar Family Law Section became a Section in 1986. In 2016, the Section had over 1,100 members, the largest membership of any Oklahoma Bar Association Section according to the 2016 annual report found here.

 

 

 

Texting While Driving; Textalyzer Legislation Proposed in New York

Texting While Driving; Textalyzer Legislation Proposed in New York

Texting While Driving; Textalyzer Legislation Proposed in New York

In Oklahoma, it is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway within this state while using a hand-held electronic communication device to manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion. Texting While Driving has been prohibited in some fashion by almost all of the states, and the New York Congress is currently considering legislation that would allow police at accident scenes in New York to immediately examine drivers’ cellphones with a device to determine if they’d been tapping, swiping or clicking. It’s been termed the Breathalyzer for texting.

Ben Lieberman, a father who lost a son in a crash where the other driver was texting and proponent of the legislation, has partnered with an Israel-based tech company Cellebrite to develop the plug-in device that’s been nicknamed the “textalyzer”. [1]

Of note, Deborah Hersman, the CEO of the National Safety Council and a supporter of the “textalyzer” legislation, noted that in 2016, 40,000 people died on the road, a 14 percent jump from 2014 and the biggest two-year jump in 50 years.[2]

Cellebrite said its technology sidesteps privacy concerns because it’s designed only to determine usage, not access data. Company officials said the device would only be able to tell if someone physically clicked or swiped the phone during the time of the accident, and then investigators could use that to determine if they should get a warrant for more detailed information.

We have discussed the Fourth Amendment protections against warrantless searches relating to stop-and-frisk, and breathalyzer testing in past posts. It would be interesting to see what restrictions would be put in the legislation in order to pass constitutional muster, if it is to pass constitutional muster at all. In all fifty states, an “implied consent” law exists when it comes to administering blood and breath tests, because states consider driving a privilege and not a right. Therefore, any change that would allow for such broad police power following a traffic accident, would be effected through the implied consent laws.

Our Tulsa criminal defense attorneys provide a thorough and aggressive legal approach. We begin by listening to you and analyzing every detail of your case before developing a strategy. From the first moment you reach out to us for help, you are treated with respect. To learn more or to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced defense lawyer in Tulsa, contact us today online or by telephone at 918-592-1144.

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/york-eyes-textalyzer-combat-distracted-driving-47401758

[2] Id.

Stan Monroe and Ann Keele - Tulsa Lawyers

Monroe & Keele at the Annual Tulsa County Bar Association Charity Golf Tournament

Stan Monroe and Ann Keele had the pleasure of participating in the Tulsa County Bar Foundation annual charity golf tournament on May 15 at LaFortune Park Golf Course. The event raised money to benefit Disabled American Veterans, Tulsa Lawyers for Children, and South Tulsa Community House. Monroe & Keele was a sponsor of the tournament. Team Monroe & Keele comprised of Stan Monroe, Ann Keele, and special guests Matt Schultz, Esq., and Tom Keele. It was a wonderful event!

New Oklahoma Expungement Amendments Effective November 1, 2016

Oklahoma Expungement Amendments Effective November 1

Oklahoma Expungement Amendments Effective November 1

The term “expungement” means that a person’s arrest or conviction is “sealed” or erased from their public record.[1] There are two different types of expungement Once a full expungement is granted, a person usually does not need to reveal or answer any question concerning that arrest or charge. However, this does not mean that an arrest or a conviction is completely erased from all records; an expungement remains an integral part of an individual’s criminal record and readily accessible by criminal courts, government agencies, and law enforcement. Depending on what background service provider a potential employer or landlord uses to conduct a background check of a person’s criminal record, the record could be inaccurate if they did not update to show an expungement was granted.  One should keep a certified copy of the Order of Expungement for life in case it is ever an issue.

On November 1, 2016, the revised statute went into effect:

Persons authorized to file a motion for expungement, as provided herein, must be within one of the following categories:

  1. The person has been acquitted;
  2. The conviction was reversed with instructions to dismiss by an appellate court of competent jurisdiction, or an appellate court of competent jurisdiction reversed the conviction and the prosecuting agency subsequently dismissed the charge;
  3. The factual innocence of the person was established by the use of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence subsequent to conviction, including a person who has been released from prison at the time innocence was established;
  4. The person has received a full pardon on the basis of a written finding by the Governor of actual innocence for the crime for which the claimant was sentenced;
  5. The person was arrested and no charges of any type, including charges for an offense different than that for which the person was originally arrested, are filed and the statute of limitations has expired or the prosecuting agency has declined to file charges;
  6. The person was under eighteen (18) years of age at the time the offense was committed and the person has received a full pardon for the offense;
  7. The person was charged with one or more misdemeanor or felony crimes, all charges have been dismissed, the person has never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and the statute of limitations for refiling the charge or charges has expired or the prosecuting agency confirms that the charge or charges will not be refiled; provided, however, this category shall not apply to charges that have been dismissed following the completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence;
  8. The person was charged with a misdemeanor, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, the person has never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and at least one (1) year has passed since the charge was dismissed;
  9. The person was charged with a nonviolent felony offense, not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the charge was dismissed following the successful completion of a deferred judgment or delayed sentence, the person has never been convicted of a felony, no misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against the person, and at least five (5) years have passed since the charge was dismissed;
  10. The person was convicted of a misdemeanor offense, the person was sentenced to a fine of less than Five Hundred One Dollars ($501.00) without a term of imprisonment or a suspended sentence, the fine has been paid or satisfied by time served in lieu of the fine, the person has not been convicted of a felony, and no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person;
  11. The person was convicted of a misdemeanor offense, the person was sentenced to a term of imprisonment, a suspended sentence or a fine in an amount greater than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), the person has not been convicted of a felony, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least five (5) years have passed since the end of the last misdemeanor sentence;
  12. The person was convicted of a nonviolent felony offense, not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the person has received a full pardon for the offense, the person has not been convicted of any other felony, the person has not been convicted of a separate misdemeanor in the last fifteen (15) years, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least ten (10) years have passed since the felony conviction;
  13. The person was convicted of not more than two nonviolent felony offenses, not listed in Section 571 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the person has received a full pardon for both of the nonviolent felony offenses, no felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against the person, and at least twenty (20) years have passed since the last misdemeanor or felony conviction; or
  14. The person has been charged or arrested or is the subject of an arrest warrant for a crime that was committed by another person who has appropriated or used the person’s name or other identification without the person’s consent or authorization.
  15. For purposes of this act, “expungement” shall mean the sealing of criminal records, as well as any public civil record, involving actions brought by and against the State of Oklahoma arising from the same arrest, transaction or occurrence.
  16. For purposes of seeking an expungement under the provisions of paragraph 10, 11, 12 or 13 of subsection A of this section, offenses arising out of the same transaction or occurrence shall be treated as one conviction and offense.
  17. Records expunged pursuant to paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of subsection A of this section shall be sealed to the public but not to law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes. Records expunged pursuant to paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of subsection A of this section shall be admissible in any subsequent criminal prosecution to prove the existence of a prior conviction or prior deferred judgment without the necessity of a court order requesting the unsealing of the records. Records expunged pursuant to paragraph 4, 6, 12 or 13 of subsection A of this section may also include the sealing of Pardon and Parole Board records related to an application for a pardon. Such records shall be sealed to the public but not to the Pardon and Parole Board.

In June 2016, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2397, which amended several sections of the prior Expungement of Criminal Records statute. These new amendments primarily focus on changing the wait times for expungement records (which depend on the sentence), separating out misdemeanor fines from misdemeanor suspended and jail sentences, and removing misdemeanor convictions from the expungement analysis regarding deferred sentences.

The amendments did the following:  

  • Allow expungement for a person convicted of a misdemeanor, if the offense/fine was less than $501 and the person served no term of imprisonment or suspended sentence.
  • Allow expungement for two felony convictions, after a Governor’s pardon and 20 years has passed;
  • Allow expungement of civil records relating to the underlying criminal arrest;
  • Prospectively, limit the listing of date of birth records and social security numbers on court documents;
  • Will make expunged DNA records inadmissible in future prosecutions;
  • Notify the “Prosecuting Agency” instead of the “District Attorney;”
  • No longer disqualify deferred sentence expungements for misdemeanor convictions

The changes above are not an exhaustive list of amendments to the law, but the most relevant, in our opinion. For a final version of the bill signed by the Governor, please view it here

If you have questions about how the new law impacts your ability to seek an expungement in Oklahoma, please contact our office for a consultation.

[1] Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 18(B).

[2] Id.

Oklahoma Super Lawyers | Monroe & Keele, P.C.

Stan Monroe & Ann Keele Named 2016 Oklahoma Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters

Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

Stan Monroe and Ann Keele were both named to the Oklahoma Super Lawyers list for 2016. Stan Monroe has been named to the Oklahoma Super Lawyers list in every year since 2007. Ann Keele has been named to the Oklahoma Super Lawyers Rising Star list every year since 2013.


Monroe & Keele, P.C., is a leading Tulsa law firm providing experienced legal representation in the areas of criminal defense, family law, estate planning and civil rights law.

Led by partners Stan Monroe and Ann Keele, we are known throughout Tulsa and beyond as a law firm that is committed to our clients as well as the community at large. Our lawyers are experienced trial advocates with a proven record of success representing clients in state and federal courts throughout Oklahoma.

We have achieved this record of success one case at a time, by giving each and every client the service, attention and zealous representation they deserve.

The Value Of Integrity

We are straight shooters who do not play games with the law. Whether we’re talking to a client or a judge, we tell it like it is. Our unwavering commitment to honesty and integrity has earned us respect among people within and outside the legal community. When we speak for you, our words will carry weight.

We’ll Keep You Informed

Nobody likes to be kept in the dark, especially where a high-stakes legal issue is concerned. We keep open lines of communication with our clients, responding promptly to phone calls and emails, and notifying clients of all important developments in their cases. We understand how important this legal matter is to you and will provide you with the attentive, responsive service you deserve.