Richard "Frank" McDivitt
November 24, 1924 – September 11, 2019
Richard Frank McDivitt was born in OKC in November of 1924 to Grayson Earl and Alta Marie McDivitt. He was the best big brother to sisters Marie and Natalie. As a teenager, he delivered groceries on his bicycle to folks in his neighborhood for Leafgreens Grocery Store. Frank enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 1942 as soon as he was 18. He served 3 years, including 29 months in the Aleutian Islands. He graduated from Classen High School in absentia in 1943. Upon discharge in 1945, he enrolled at Oklahoma City University and got his Accounting Degree. He attended evening classes at the OCU Law School and earned his law degree 5 years later.
Frank was employed for 15 years with the Internal Revenue Service, first as a Revenue Agent 1950-1953, then a Special Agent 1953-1960 (including graduation form Enforcement Law and Criminal Investigation School in 1959 at the Treasury Dept. in Washington D.C., and then Senior Attorney in Regional Counsels office 1960-66 (in reviewing reports and directing criminal investigations by Special Agents, and working with United States Attorneys and Justice Department Attorneys, regarding prosecutions in six-state Southwest Region. ) He was designated a Special Assistant United Sates Attorney in one high profile case, and he was designated a Special Trial Attorney in another case by the Justice Department.
Mr. McDivitt joined the well-known Felix Law Firm in OKC in 1966. He specialized in representing businesspersons in criminal investigations by the IRS and Oklahoma Tax Commission as well as investigations by the Anti-Trust Division and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many cases involved joint investigations by special agents of both the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation. He represented clients in over one thousand cases, most located in states West of the Mississippi River.
In addition to criminal tax cases, Frank’s legal services involved litigation in United States Tax Court and particularly business analysis and tax planning for multi-entity clients in real estate operations such as land development, subdivisions, homebuilding, apartment projects, commercial real estate and buildings in OKC, Tulsa, Kansas City, Dallas Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, etc. His “fun work” included being program speaker for Homebuilder Associations and similar groups in the mentioned cities and seminar speaker for Oklahoma County Bar Association, Oklahoma City Federal Bar Association, and Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
After being employed for two years as an Associate Attorney in the law firm, Mr. McDivitt was made partner in 1968 and designated the office manager. Later, in 1976, Mr. McDivitt became a Senior Partner and Managing Partner for the twelve attorneys and fourteen secretaries then comprising the law form, before becoming “of counsel” for the same firm (then McDivitt & Casey) in 1980. Frank also acted as General Counsel for a few clients, including Oklahoma City University from 1977 to 1992. Thereafter, his part-time practice mostly consisted of estate planning, wills, trusts and probate, general counsel , pro bono assistance with varied legal matters, as well as both paid and pro bono consulting work with other attorneys in tax cases.
With respect to Oklahoma City University, Mr. McDivitt’s contributory services have been varied and many, including Guest Speaker in 1954 and 1955 to the Accounting Club; Member, Administrative Liaison committee, Board of Trustees, 1978-1998; Member, Board of Directors, OCU Law School Alumni Association, four years in the 1980’s and two years in 1990’s; Chairman, Law School Advisory Committee, 1978-1983, being a committee of eight attorneys, something working almost full time for first year in resolving accreditation problem with American Bar Association; and Moot Court Judge for various years over fifteen year period. He was an Adjunct Professor, 1990-1992, teaching Business Law course and Taxation course in Business School and the Tax Practice and Procedure course in Law School.
Mr. McDivitt was given the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1980 by the OCU Alumni Association. In 1985, he received the honorary Doctor of Laws. In 1986, Mr. McDivitt received an appreciation Award from the Moot Court Board in recognizing his being sponsor and financial supporter for first two years of Moot Court and having served for many years as a Moot Court Judge. In 2001, he received the Justice Marian P. Opala Award for Lifetime Achievement in Law.
Mr. McDivitt had articles published in the Oklahoma Bar journal and in other publications. He served the Oklahoma Bar Association with work on the Taxation Committee, the Criminal Law Committee, and Law Schools Committee, the Task Force on Criminal Law Reform, and the Task Force on Advertising.
He was active in the Oklahoma County Bar Association. Mr. McDivitt received an Outstanding Service Award in 1978, and Service Award in 1980, and a Service Award in 1981 (for having served as Secretary and Treasurer and Member of Board of Directors for five years of 1977-1981). He also served for several years as an active member of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He served as Program Chairman in 1980 and 1981 and as President in 1982. He has been a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association for over 60 years.
He was also an active member of the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Mr. McDivitt was a Charter Member in 1976, and served as President in 1985. He received an Outstanding Service Award in 1985, and the Founder’s Award in 1995. Mr. McDivitt served on the Board of Directors for eighteen years.
He was admitted to practice in the United States Tax Court: United States District Courts (s) for Western District of Oklahoma, for Eastern District of Oklahoma, and for Northern district of Texas; United states Circuit Courts(s) of Appeals for fifth Circuit and for Tenth Circuit; and Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. McDivitt was earlier active in his church, serving as youngest deacon at Crown Heights Christian Church, and as Sunday school teacher, Boy Scout Leader, and evangelism work. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner.
Mr. McDivitt said “I have been truly blessed – making it through the war and later working as a lawyer. Each day was an adventure and a challenge –with both the people and the work. But, God’s true Blessings have been my two sons, two stepsons and two daughters, nine grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren. And, most especially my wonderful wife.”
- Celebration of Life Monday, September 16, 2019