Quality. Integrity. Excellence.

graphite drawing of Whitten Burrage office

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well I’ve been in the courtrooms now for

about 50 years in some capacity either

as a lawyer or a federal judge and when

I was on the federal bench bill I talked

to every jury after the trial for an

hour or two hours about what they

thought was important what they thought

a lawyer should do in the courtroom what

they thought the judge should do in the

courtroom and the number one answer to

that is candor

I mean if your case has got a problem

don’t try to cover it up deal with it if

you’re candid with a jury and honest

with a jury and they know you’re sincere

then they’re going to do the right thing

for you


the length of time that I’ve been in the


uh the fact that we’re involved in the


we know what the community needs are but

I think that just the everyday

experience of dealing with clients being

in the courtroom trying cases my

experience on the federal bench gives me

a perspective that most lawyers don’t

have when they’re in the courtroom so

the 50-year career

and all the different aspects of my

career in the legal profession I think

is what

prepares me to be in a courtroom and

doing a very effective job

Michael Burrage


Michael Burrage is a Co-Founder of Whitten Burrage. Michael became the first Native American Federal Judge when he was appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1994. In 2016, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and in 2013, the University of Oklahoma College of Law inducted Michael into the Order of the Owl Hall of Fame. Michael is an inductee of the prestigious fellowship of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Michael has been selected as one of Oklahoma's Top 10 Attorneys by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Michael earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, where he served as editor of the Oklahoma Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif before graduating with honors in 1974.

Michael began his career as a partner in the law firm of Stamper & Burrage from 1974 to 1994. In 1977, he was voted Outstanding Young Lawyer in Oklahoma and served as a member of the Board of Governors from 1984 through 1986. Michael served as president of the Oklahoma Bar Association in 1990 and was awarded the Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award in 1991.

He subsequently served as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma from 1994 to 2001. Michael also sat by designation of the Chief on approximately 40 cases for the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. In 2011, he returned to private practice and enjoys a success career litigating in various areas of the law.

Michael served as Chair of the Oklahoma State Committee from 2008-2009 for the American College of Trial Lawyers and in 2008, was selected as one of the Top Attorneys in Oklahoma by Oklahoma Magazine. He is a member of the Oklahoma and American Bar Associations, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and is a member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Committee for Civil Jury Instructions. Michael lectures at a variety of Continuing Legal Education seminar programs.



  • University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, Oklahoma
    • J.D. - 1974
    • Honors: Order of the Coif
    • Honors: with Honors
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, Oklahoma
    • B.S. - 1971

Bar Admissions

  • Oklahoma, 1974

Professional Associations

  • Oklahoma Bar Association, President, 1990
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, 1993
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Chair, Oklahoma State Committee, 2008 to 2009
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Oklahoma Supreme Court Committee for Civil Jury Instructions, Member


  • Outstanding Young Lawyer in Oklahoma
  • Neil E. Bogan Professionalism award
  • "Top Attorneys in Oklahoma", Oklahoma Magazine
  • Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Inductee
  • Order of the Owl Hall of Fame
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Prestigious Fellowship, Inductee
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow

Classes & Seminars

  • Continuing Legal Education

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Board of Governors, 1984 to 1986

Past Positions

  • Stamper & Burrage, Partner, 1974 to 1994
  • Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of Oklahoma, United States District Judge, 1994 to 2001
  • Eastern District of Oklahoma, Chief United States District Judge, 1996 to 2001
  • Federal Judge, appointed in 1991