Michael "Mike" Minnis

Of Counsel
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
D: 405.319.3503
F: 405.319.3533
210 Park Avenue
Suite 1200
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-5600
Michael Minnis

Michael Minnis has represented numerous newspapers, television and radio stations to protect rights protected by the First Amendment.  His over 40 years’ of experience includes several cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.  He also represents Indian tribes in litigation matters arising out of their tribal sovereign immunity, and has served several Indian tribes as General Counsel.  He has twice argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Before beginning his private practice, Mike served as a Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, CA, and Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan. He retired as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force.

Representative Experience

  • Oklahoma Public Employees Ass’n v. State ex rel. Oklahoma Office of Personnel Management, 267 P.3d 838 (W.D. Okla. 2011)
  • Stewart v. NYT Broadcast Holdings, L.L.C., 240 P.3d 722 (Okla. Civ. App. 2010)
  • Garage Storage Cabinets, L.L.C. v. Mitchell, 169 P.3d 1211 (Okla. Civ. App. 2007)
  • Erickson v. City of Tahlequah, 82 P.3d 114 (Okla. Civ. App. 2003)
  • C & L Enterprises, Inc. v. Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Oklahoma, 532 U.S. 411 (2001)
  • Wright v. Grove Sun Newspaper Co., Inc., 873 P.2d 983 (Okla. 1994)
  • City of Lawton v. Moore, 868 P.2d 690 (Okla. 1993)
  • Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Oklahoma v. Oklahoma Tax Com'n, 888 F.2d 1303 (Okla. 1989), aff’ in part, rev. in part, 498 U.S. 505 (Okla. 1991)
  • Continental Cas. Co. v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., 860 F.2d 970 (1988)
  • McCain v. KTVY, Inc., 738 P.2d 960 (Okla.App. Div. 3 1987)
  • Oklahoma Pub. Co. v. City of Moore, 682 P.2d 754 (Okla. 1984)
  • S.E.C. v. Switzer, 590 F.Supp. 756 (W.D.Okla. 1984)
  • McCormack v. Oklahoma Pub. Co., 613 P.2d 737 (Okla. 1980)
  • Oklahoma Pub. Co. v. District Court of Oklahoma County, 555 P.2d 1286 ( Okla. 1976), rev; 430 U.S. 308 (Okla. 1977)

Professional, Community and Pro Bono Involvement

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Best Lawyers for First Amendment Law, Litigation - First Amendment 1991-2020
  • Listed in Super Lawyers, 2006
  • Volunteer of the Year – St. John’s Parish 2001
  • Presidential Citation for Outstanding Service, Rotary Club 29, 2000
  • First Amendment Award, Society of Professional Journalists, 1996
  • Recipient, Commendation, Federal Bar Association, Oklahoma City Chapter
  • AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Oklahoma Bar Association, 1969-Present
  • Federal Bar Association, 1976-Present
  • Rotary International, 1985-2003
  • Oklahoma County Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • United States Marine Corps, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Trial/Defense Counsel
  • United States Air Force Reserve, Lieutenant Colonel (ret.)
  • Court of Appeals Temporary Division No. 174, Judge
  • Town of Valleybrook, Chief Judge, 1982-1983

Past Press Releases

  • Civil Discovery in Oklahoma Revisited Under Discovery Code, Tulsa Law Journal, 18, 1982
  • House Bill 1912; New Oklahoma Discovery Code-Legal History, Oklahoma Bar Journal 1291, 53, 1982
  • Oklahoma Current Developments Media Libel and Invasion of Privacy, MDRC 50 – State Survey, 1982
  • Judicially-Suggested Harassment of Indian Tribes: The Potawatomis Revisit Moe & Colville, American Indian Law Review, 16, 1991

Past Events

  • Moderator, Seminar on Expert and Opinion Testimony, Federal Bar Association, Oklahoma City Chapter, June 6, 1979
  • Speaker, Society of Professional Journalists (Sigma Delta Chi), Oklahoma City Chapter, September 13, 1979
  • Appearance, Radio Talk Show (Bob Durgin, Host), KTOK, November 26, 1979
  • Moderator and Organizer, First Amendment Panel Discussion,, Oklahoma Bar Association Annual Convention, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, November 30, 1979
  • Speaker, Law of Libel, Oklahoma Broadcasters Association Winter Meeting, General Session, March 1, 1980
  • Moderator and Speaker, First Amendment Panel Discussion, Oklahoma Bar Association, Bar/Media Relations Committee, Annual Bar Association Convention, Tulsa, Oklahoma, December 5, 1980
  • Speaker, Law of Libel, School of Journalism, University of Oklahoma, February 25, 1981, February 25, 1981
  • Speaker, Updating Media Coverage of Juveniles, Oklahoma Press Association News Clinic, April 12, 1981
  • Speaker, Law of Libel, Associated Press Oklahoma News Executives Annual Meeting, Western Hills Lodge, June 1, 1981
  • Speaker, Legislation Recently Passed by State House and Senate, Capitol Hill Business and Professional Women's Club, October 20, 1981
  • Speaker, What Do You Have to Fear from Invasion of Privacy?, Oklahoma Press Association News Clinic, April 4, 1982
  • Speaker, Law of Libel, Oklahoma United Press International State Convention, May 1, 1982
  • Oral Presentation, The First Amendment and Related Protections of Free Speech and Press, Oklahoma Publishing Company, May 11, 1983
  • Speaker, Panel Discussion of Questions Regarding Libel, Slander and Privacy, Region IV Radio-Television News Directors Association Conference, August 27, 1983
  • Panel Speaker, Law of Libel, Sigma Delta Chi, Oklahoma City Chapter, August 31, 1983
  • Speaker, Ceremony Honoring Federal Judicial Service of Stephen S. Chandler, Luther Bohanon and Fred Daugherty before the Honorable Luther B. Eubanks,, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, October 6, 1983
  • Speaker, Jim Richstad's Public Affairs Reporting Class on Open Records and the Moore, Oklahoma, Police Records Case, October 13, 1983
  • Speaker, Bad Words Lead to Dangerous Sentences, Oklahoma Press Association News Clinic, April 8, 1984
  • Presented Oral Discussion, Access to Places and Records in Oklahoma, The Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma City Times, June 13, 1984
  • Lecture, Department of Journalism Class, Libel and Right of Privacy, Central State University, December 10, 1986
  • Speaker, Oklahoma City University Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, October 22, 1987
  • Lecture, Broadcast Libel and FCC Rules and Regulations, Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Winter Meeting, February 12, 1988
  • Panel Discussion, Whose First? The First Amendment and the Media, Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters Annual Convention, March 26, 1988
  • Lecture, Freedom of Information Association, Central State University Society of Professional Journalists, April 11, 1989
  • Speaker, Freedom of Information Association, Sigma Delta Chi, May 13, 1989
  • Lecture, Libel and Slander, Central State University, Department of Political Science, May 17, 1989
  • Speaker, Issues of Open Records, the Privacy Act and the Accessibility of Government Information by the Public, International Credit Association of Oklahoma City, October 10, 1989
  • Speaker, The Potawatomi Cigarette Tax Case: The Background and What the Future May Hold in Store, Oklahoma Indian Bar Association, October 26, 1990
  • Participant, Panel Discussion, Taxation, Sovereignty Symposium IV - The Circles of Sovereignty, June 12, 1991


  • J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law, American Jurisprudence, Insurance Award, 1969
  • B.S., Journalism, University of Oklahoma, 1966

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Oklahoma, 1969
  • California, 1972
  • United States District Court Eastern District of Oklahoma, 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit, 2003
  • Potawatomi Indian Tribal Court, 1986
  • Court of Indian Offenses, 1985
  • United States Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit, 1981
  • United States District Court Northern District of Oklahoma, 1976
  • United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit, 1976
  • United States Supreme Court, 1976
  • United States District Court Western District of Oklahoma, 1974

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