5 Questions with James L. Kincaid

Tulsa World
Dec. 24, 2010

James L. Kincaid is a director and head of the litigation department of the Tulsa office of Crowe & Dunlevy. His practice is primarily focused in the area of complex commercial litigation and arbitration. He was the Oklahoma representative on the 10th Circuit Advisory Committee from 1994 to 1997. He was chairman of the U.S. Magistrate Selection Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma in 1993 and 1994, and a member of the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee in 1997. Kincaid has practiced law in Tulsa for 45 years.

1. What are your areas of expertise in Crowe & Dunlevy's litigation department?
My practice has evolved over the years, and I now concentrate on major cases involving the defense of class actions and complex commercial litigation, including corporate, securities, real estate, banking, environmental, oil and gas, and trust and estates.

2. You've been practicing law in Oklahoma for almost 50 years. What are the major changes in the profession since you began?
The most dramatic change is the erosion of the standing of lawyers in the community. When I began practice nearly 50 years ago, lawyering was considered among the most honored of professions. Attorneys were held in great respect, and nearly every successful businessman considered his attorney a close personal friend and adviser. All of that has now changed. First, litigation has become a business tool and many clients "use" lawyers in the same way they "use" any other service. Second, the constant attacks upon plaintiffs' lawyers, large judgments or settlements, and frivolous lawsuits have damaged the entire profession.

3. How has the legal practice changed in Tulsa during that time?
The growth of the city and the corresponding growth in the number of lawyers has led to a much more formal and impersonal relationship among attorneys. Early in my career, extensions of time, scheduling of depositions, document exchanges, and settings of hearings and trials were handled by a phone call with opposing counsel. A lawyer's word was binding, and documentation was unnecessary. Lawyers had clear authority to speak for their clients on all procedural and timing matters.

4. Crowe & Dunlevy in Tulsa celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, and you've been there since the beginning. What do you see in the future for the legal firm?
We've always believed that measured, conservative growth is the better course for our practice and our clients. We anticipate a continuation of that practice. As the business community grows, Crowe & Dunlevy in Tulsa will grow in partnership with its clients.

5. I understand that Crowe & Dunlevy has an extensive collection of artwork by local artists. How did the collection start, and what types of art have been collected?
We began the art collection in 1990 when our office was opened in the Kennedy Building. Consistent with our dedication to Tulsa and the business community, we have also been supportive of the Tulsa arts community. Our collection is composed exclusively of Tulsa artists and now numbers over 35 works in oil, pastel, watercolor, pencil, mixed media and photographs. We have modestly contributed to the success of many Tulsa artists and are very proud of the results.


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