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Andy Lester

Partner

Spencer Fane attorney Andy Lester square

Andy Lester has a civil litigation and appellate practice in both state and federal court. His fields of emphasis include complex business, civil rights, commercial, constitutional, and state and local government law. He has faced off against the White House over the use of Executive Privilege, has appeared as counsel before committees of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, and has been a featured guest on television shows such as Hardball with Chris Matthews and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. He has also served as Acting General Counsel for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and has twice served as Chief Counsel to Special House Committees investigating public corruption.

While in law school, Lester served on President Ronald Reagan’s Transition Team for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2002, he chaired Governor Brad Henry’s Law Enforcement/Corrections Transition Team and, as a member of the Budget/Finance Transition Team, helped write Governor Henry’s first State budget.

He is a former United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma, and has served as Adjunct Professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law, having taught State & Local Government, Employment Law, Criminal Law, and International Law. Lester has written over 100 articles and papers on professional and public policy issues, and has published one book, Constitutional Law and Democracy, a collection of speeches he gave in 1993 in the former Soviet Union.

Lester is a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. He previously served as a member and chairman of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents. He served on the board of Eureka College (President Reagan’s alma mater), is a former chairman of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and is a past president, past board chairman, and current board member of the Tenth Circuit Historical Society. He co-chaired the bipartisan Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, which conducted the first-ever independent, objective, and thorough review of the state’s entire capital punishment system.

In 2012, Lester was named Citizen of the Year of Edmond, Oklahoma. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Edmond, and in 2011 was named Rotarian of the Year.

Highlights of Andy Lester’s experience include:

  • Won a precedent-setting, multi-million dollar decision establishing state court jurisdiction to order an estate administrator to file a federal estate tax return and to elect portability of the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion amount under 26 U.S.C. § 2010 – Vose v. Lee, 2017 OK 3, 390 P.3d 238.
  • Guided the Oklahoma House of Representatives through an impeachment inquiry of a state-wide elected official.
  • Led a Special Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives through the first ethics inquiry in state history of a sitting Legislator.
  • Represented an insurance pool to reverse $1 million judgment, interpreting Oklahoma Insurance Code, Governmental Tort Claims Act and Interlocal Cooperation Act – City of Choctaw v. Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group, 2013 OK 6, 302 P.3d 1164.
  • Represented business owners against the Federal Trade Commission to reverse a $39 million contempt citation – FTC v. Kuykendall, 371 F.3d 745 (10th Cir. 2004).
  • Successfully litigated Congressional and state legislative reapportionment efforts in 2002 and 2011 – Alexander v. Taylor, 2002 OK 59, 51 P.3d 1204; Wilson v. Fallin, 2011 OK 76, 262 P.3d 741.
  • Successfully guided a Superfund cleanup agency through major state and federal investigations.

Memberships

  • Member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
  • Co-Chair, Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission
  • Served as member (2007-2016) and past Chairman (2012-2013) of the Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents
  • Served on the board of Eureka College (President Reagan’s alma mater)
  • Past president, past board chairman and current board member of the Tenth Circuit Historical Society
  • Served as Chairman of Law Enforcement/Corrections Team for the office of Governor-Elect Brad Henry. Also served as advisor to Governor-Elect Henry on matters related to the State budget.
  • Served as member of Recommendations Task Force of the eight-person Transition Team for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Other members included the Honorable Clarence Thomas and J. A. Parker, Team Chairman.
  • Oklahoma Advisory Committee, United States Commission on Civil Rights, 2009-present, Chairman, 2009-2014
  • Board of Advisors, Salvation Army, Oklahoma City Command, 2002-present
  • Board of Directors, St. Mary’s Episcopal School of Edmond, 1999-2001
  • Deacon, First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City
  • Chairman, Enid Police Civil Service Commission, 1985-87
  • Board of Directors, Enid Habitat for Humanity, Inc., 1986-89
  • Board of Directors, Booker T. Washington Community Center, Inc., of Enid, 1987-90
  • Member, Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Commission of Enid, 1989-1992
  • Field Reviewer, Office of Community Service, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 1983-88
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • Oklahoma County Bar Association Member, Legal Ethics Committee (2001-2004)
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association
  • Fellow, Oklahoma Bar Foundation

Distinctions

  • Former United States Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
  • Named Edmond, Oklahoma’s Citizen of the Year in 2012
  • Past president of the Rotary Club of Edmond, and in 2011 was named Rotarian of the Year
  • Oklahoma Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2011, 2013 – 2018

Presentations and Publications

  • 1991 Supreme Court Review—Municipal Judges’ Version, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Judges, November 8, 1991.
  • A Civil Rights Primer, Oklahoma County Bar Association, April 16, 1996.
  • A Client Perspective on Ethics, Oklahoma Bar Association, Government & Administrative Law Section, December 11, 2009.
  • A Governmental Tort Claims Primer, Oklahoma Bar Association, November 4, 1988.
  • A Primer on Municipal Liability, OML Municipal Assurance Group, Liability Study Committee, February 8, 1989.
  • A Short History of Federalism, Central & East European Law Initiative, American Bar Association, Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, The Soros Foundation, July 7, 1993, Chisinau, Moldova.
  • Affirmative Action and Equal Protection: Ruminations on Current Events in Civil Rights Law, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 11, 1997.
  • Alphabet Soup: An Overview of Employment Law. The Women’s Network, Edmond Chamber of Commerce, June 26, 2003.
  • An Election Law Primer: Redistricting, Voter ID, and other Trends, with Vaughn, Carrie L., Oklahoma County Bar Association, November 6, 2012.
  • Auditing the Auditor, or, How to Respond when the Auditor Arrives in Your Client’s Office and Demands to Check the Books, Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants, May 8, 1998.
  • Auditing the Auditor: A Tactical Response to a State Audit, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 24, 1998.
  • Blamegame Baloney – Michael Brown and FEMA, Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, March 28, 2007.
  • Chairman’s State of the Society, The Historical Society of the Tenth Judicial Circuit Newsletter, Spring, 2009, at 1.
  • Chairman’s State of the Society, The Historical Society of the Tenth Judicial Circuit Newsletter, Fall, 2009, at 1.
  • Charles Banks Wilson Tribute Remarks
  • Civil Rights Actions under Section 1983, Oklahoma Bar Association and Federal Bar Association, March 18, 1986.
  • Clarence Thomas Will Endure, The Daily Oklahoman, December 8, 1994, at 12.
  • Closing Remarks to the Board of Regents
  • Commentary: Municipal Antitrust Liability After Boulder, 36 Okla.L.Rev. 827 (1983).
  • Conflicts of Interest and Other Ethical Dilemmas: City Attorneys and the Rules of Professional Conduct, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, March 17, 1995.
  • Constitutional Law and Democracy, Part 1
  • Constitutional Law and Democracy, Part 2
  • Constitutional Law and Democracy, Part 3
  • Constitutional Law and Democracy/Конституционное Право и Демокпатия/Dreptul Constitutional Şi Democratia, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Mission to Moldova, Central and East European Law Initiative: Chisinau, Moldova, 1994.
  • Constitutional Law and Democracy: A Challenge for the Emerging States of the Former Soviet Union, 11 The Lincoln Review, Summer-Fall, 1995, at 11.
  • Constitutionalism in the 21st Century: Is the Rule of Law Still Relevant
  • Constitutionalism, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Central & East European Law Initiative, American Bar Association, Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, The Soros Foundation in Moldova, July 16, 1993.
  • Creating Public Law in the Former Soviet Union: A Comparative Review of Approaches to Individual Rights in the United States and the Republic of Moldova, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 30, 1993.
  • Decisions and Actions of 1983 Affecting Federalism, 54 Okla.B.J., December 31, 1983, at 3282.
  • Defending Actions under Section 1983, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, March 18, 1983.
  • Defending Civil Rights Actions, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, June 6, 1986.
  • Discharge of Public Employees, Oklahoma Municipal League, April 10, 1990.
  • Distinguished Judges’ Biographies: Chief Judge Robert H. Henry, The Historical Society of the Tenth Judicial Circuit Newsletter, Spring, 2009, at 3.
  • Doing Business in Ukraine, International Section, Oklahoma Bar Association, Oklahoma Friends of Ukraine, Catholic Lawyers Guild, International Trade Council at Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City International Trade Association, March 11, 1994.
  • Don’t Count Russian Empire Out, The Sunday Oklahoman, October 24, 1994, at A27.
  • Education Policy is Job of Legislators, Not Judges (with Kobach, Kris W., and Spiropoulos, Andrew C.), The Wichita Eagle, July 8, 2007, at 11A.
  • Electoral Choices in a Democratic Society, Central & East European Law Initiative, American Bar Association, Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, The Soros Foundation, July 12, 1993, Chisinau, Moldova.
  • Employment as Contract – The True Relationship Between Employer and Employee, International Scientific-Practical Conference on Condition of the Transition to a Market Economy – State Committee of the Republic of Belarus for Labor and Social Security, May 24, 1993, Minsk, Belarus.
  • Ethical Considerations in the Defense of Cities and Their Employees, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 20, 1990.
  • Ethical Issues in the Defense of Municipalities and Municipal Supervisors/Employees, Defense Research Institute, February 8-9, 1990, Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • Ethics and Municipal Law, 1 The Municipal Counselor, No. 4, at 1 (1988).
  • Ethics and Municipal Law, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, May 15, 1987.
  • Ethics: The Role of the Government Lawyer, Oklahoma Bar Association, March 1996.
  • Expert Q&A: Federalism, 15 okcBIZ, No. 2, February 2012, at 19.
  • Fighting City Hall, 18 Litigation, No. 3, Spring 1992, at 37.
  • First Amendment Basics, Oklahoma Bar Association, May 15, 2014.
  • First Amendment Update, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 30, 2004.
  • First Things of the First Amendment, Oklahoma Bar Association, May 24, 2012.
  • Forum – The Grand Jury, Enid News & Eagle, January 7, 1989.
  • Full-Time Ethics for Part-Time Judges, Oklahoma Municipal Judges Association, April 24, 1998.
  • Government Attorney Ethics, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 27, 2007.
  • Government Limits Elusive for Ex-Soviets, The Sunday Oklahoman, October 17, 1994, at A23.
  • In Defense of Higher Education: A Brief Response to Certain Political Attacks against Public Universities
  • Indian Country – A Brief Survey, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, October 5, 1995.
  • Individual Rights—Liberty at Work, Central & East European Law Initiative, American Bar Association, Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, the Soros Foundation in Moldova, July 14, 1993.
  • Insurance Receiverships: A Primer, Oklahoma Bar Association, April 6, 2006.
  • Introduction of Professor Jeffrey Rosen on the Occasion of Constitution Day at Oklahoma State University
  • Introductory Remarks to the Big 12 Internal Auditors’ Conference
  • Is Federalism Dead? 48 Human Events, December 10, 1988, at 12.
  • Keynote Address to the Annual Convention of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association
  • Keynote address to the LeFlore County NAACP
  • Keynote Address to the Oklahoma State University Faculty Council
  • Keynote Address to the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business Ph.D. in Business for Executives Cohort
  • Lies Permeate Post-Soviet Life, The Sunday Oklahoman, October 10, 1993, at A23.
  • Media Maelstrom Over Michael Brown, Human Events Online, March 15, 2006.
  • Media Mania: A Practical and Ethical Approach for Attorney Contacts with Reporters, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 28, 2006.
  • Moldova’s Flawed Constitution: With a Prescription for Limited Government, 2 Demokratizatsiya/Демократизатця: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, No. 2, Spring 1994, at 297.
  • Municipal Law Ethics, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 14, 1989.
  • Negligent Maintenance of Playground Equipment, OML Municipal Assurance Group, Risk Management Seminar, May 8, 1986.
  • Noted Federal Jurist Decries Judicial Activism, 31 Briefcase, August 1999, at 1.
  • Opening Remarks to the Texas Map Society
  • Oklahoma State University Commencement Address, Spring 2013
  • Oklahoma State University Commencement Opening Comments
  • Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Commencement Address, Spring 2013
  • Other Areas of Liability in Employment Discrimination, chapter in Employment Discrimination Update in Oklahoma, National Business Institute, May 3, 2002.
  • Perspectives on Public Employment: A Business Approach, Lorman Educational Services, March 23, 2001.
  • Police Civil Liability: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Governmental Tort Claims Act, OML Municipal Assurance Group, Risk Management Seminar, April 11, 1991.
  • Politics 1980 – Parris, 40 Human Events, June 7, 1980, at 5.
  • Potential Personal Liability of Municipal Managers, City Management Association of Oklahoma, January 19, 1990.
  • Prelitigation Policies, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 14, 1990.
  • Privilege Problems in Public Practice, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 11, 2003.
  • Public Construction Contracts: Change Orders You Wouldn’t Believe!, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 25, 1997.
  • Public Employment Perspectives: A “PEP” Talk, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 6, 2001.
  • Recent Developments in the Oklahoma Pleading Code, Garfield County Bar Association, October 13, 1987.
  • Recent Governmental Tort Claims Cases, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, May 25, 1988.
  • Redistricting Retrospective: A Behind the Scenes Look at Alexander v. Taylor, The Oklahoma Reapportionment Case, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 19, 2002.
  • Relief: The Road to Recovery Under Section 1983, Oklahoma Bar Association, June 2, 2006.
  • Remarks at 2013 Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Commencement
  • Remarks on the Occasion of an Open House at the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade & Development
  • Remarks on the Occasion of the 2013 Induction Ceremony of the Gamma of Oklahoma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa
  • Remarks On The Occasion of The Investiture of President Bill Path
  • Remarks to Operation Orange – Enid Oklahoma
  • Remarks to the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, 78 Oklahoma D.O., No. 1, May/June 2013, at 21.
  • Remarks to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Legislative Forum
  • Representing the Government Employer: Special Ethical and Legal Issues, Oklahoma Employment Lawyers Association, December 15, 2006.
  • Retaining Outside Counsel – The Private Practitioner’s Perspective, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September, 2001.
  • Review of “Salvation for Sale”, 7 The Lincoln Review, Winter, 1987, at 57.
  • Review of “The Berlin Wall”, 8 The Lincoln Review, Summer-Fall, 1987, at 97.
  • Running the Gauntlet: Perspectives on Public Employment, Oklahoma Employment Lawyers Association, August 22, 2000.
  • Sanctions – Tenth Circuit Version, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 13, 1989.
  • Section 1983 Primer, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 14, 1988.
  • Section 1983, the First Amendment and Public Employment, Oklahoma Bar Association, June 4, 2010.
  • Separation of Powers – The Great Protection Against Tyranny, Central & East European Law Initiative, American Bar Association, Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, The Soros Foundation, July 9, 1993, Chisinau, Moldova.
  • Separation of Powers – The Great Protection against Tyranny, United States Information Service, June 8, 1993, Kiev, Ukraine.
  • Separation of Powers – The Key to Constitutional Rule of Law, Scientific Workshop on the Draft of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, May 27 & 28, 1993.
  • Simultaneous Representation of Civil Rights Defendants, DRI – Governmental Liability, September-October 1989.
  • Supreme Court Review 1991 – Municipal Attorneys’ Version, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 20, 1991.
  • Supreme Court Review 1995 – Municipal Attorneys’ Version, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, October 5, 1995.
  • Tapes Show Brown as a Victim of Politics, Albany Times Union, March 29, 2006.
  • Termination of Public Employees, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 17, 1986.
  • Termination of Public Employees, Oklahoma Transit Association, June 24, 1987.
  • The 48 Hour Rule, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Judges, November 8, 1991.
  • The Affirmative Use of the Qualified Immunity Defense: Recent Developments, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, April 26, 1996.
  • The Constitution – A Fundamental Law, Central & East European Law Initiative, American Bar Association, Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, The Soros Foundation, July 5, 1993, Chisinau, Moldova.
  • The First Amendment and Public Employment, Oklahoma Bar Association, June, 2008.
  • The First Amendment and Section 1983, Oklahoma Bar Association, June, 2004.
  • The Future of Federalism, 53 Okla.B.J., December 31, 1982, at 3079.
  • The Future of Higher Education: Brief Introductory Comments
  • The Liability Insurance Crisis – Myth & Reality, 7 The Lincoln Review, Fall, 1986, at 43.
  • The Most Fundamental Right: Property and the Constitution, Oklahoma Bar Association, Publication No. 453, May 1992.
  • The Offensive Use of the Qualified Immunity Defense, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, May 3, 1991.
  • The PIG & the Law, Chapter in muni.ok.us: An Oklahoma Academy Town Hall on Municipal Governments, November 14-17, 2010.
  • The Sources of Governmental Power, Central & East European Law Initiative, American Bar Association, Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, The Soros Foundation, July 6, 1993, Chisinau, Moldova.
  • The Washington Wringer, Guest Column, Accuracy in Media, September 29, 2005.
  • Traditional Roots of Morality – Scriptural Basis, Oklahoma Conference of Churches, February 10, 2004.
  • United States Supreme Court Review 1998 – Municipal Attorneys’ Version, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 24, 1998.
  • United States Supreme Court Review, 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 Terms—Municipal Attorneys’ Version, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 14, 2000.
  • Voting Rights & Voting Power, 6 The Lincoln Review, Fall, 1985, at 57.
  • Washington Wringer Guest Column
  • Women and the Law: A Workplace Perspective, Business and Professional Women, Oklahoma City Chapter, October 22, 1998.
  • Wrongful Discharge – State Law Theories, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 23, 1987.
  • Zealous Advocacy: A Client Perspective, Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys, September 23, 2009.

Contact Andy Lester at 405.844.9900 or alester@spencerfane.com.