William Oldfield appointed Osage Nation Trial Court Chief Judge

Photo caption: William Oldfield is sworn in to serve as the Osage Nation Trial Court Chief Judge on Aug. 10 at the tribal courthouse in Pawhuska. BENNY POLACCA/Osage News

Ponca City attorney William Ladd Oldfield is now appointed to serve as Osage Nation Trial Court Chief Judge and will be subject to confirmation consideration during the 2018 Congressional Tzi-Zho Session.

Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear appointed Oldfield to the Chief Judge post after his July 14 inauguration for his second term. The 2006 Osage Constitution states the Principal Chief shall appoint the Trial Court Chief Judge, by and with the advice and consent of the Osage Nation Congress. After serving an initial four-year term, the Chief Judge will be subject to a retention vote by Osage voters and at the expiration of each four-year term thereafter.

Oldfield succeeds former Trial Court Chief Judge Marvin Stepson who stepped down when his term ended with this year’s inauguration of Osage officials elected and re-elected in the June 4 general election.

According to the Osage Constitution, the Trial Court is established to have original jurisdiction – not otherwise reserved to the ON Supreme Court – over all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution, laws and customs and traditions of the Nation. Also, per the Constitution: “Any member of the Osage Nation, duly licensed to practice law for no less than five years, is eligible for the office of Chief Judge.”

Oldfield took his oath on Aug. 14 at the ON Trial Courthouse in Pawhuska with ON Trial Court Associate Judge Lisa Otipoby-Herbert presiding.

According to his resume, Oldfield graduated from the University of Oklahoma with his Juris Doctorate in 2005 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University. Oldfield is currently an associate attorney and partner with the Northcutt Law Firm in Ponca City where he’s worked since 2011 and is also a member of the ON Bar Association.

“I have been a licensed attorney in good standing since September of 2005,” Oldfield stated in his resume. “During that time, I have worked in the areas of plaintiff and defense litigation as both an associate attorney and partner. I am licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state courts, as well as the United States District Courts for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma.”

According to the Northcutt Law Firm website, Oldfield has served as president of the Kay County Bar Association and his practice areas include civil litigation, family law and oil and gas law. “Throughout my practice, I have been involved in courtroom litigation, representing both corporate and individual clients in the following areas: insurance defense, class action litigation, oil and gas litigation, probate, estate planning, family law, child support, contracts, personal injury, adoptions, criminal defense, real estate, consumer advocacy, partition, condemnation and more,” he wrote in his resume.

Oldfield previously served as counsel for Kaw Nation Child Support Services and has practiced in the Kaw, Ponca, Iowa, Tonkawa and Otoe-Missouria tribal courts during that time, according to his resume.

The Sixth ON Congress meets for its first Tzi-Zho Session starting Sept. 4, which lasts 24 days. During that session, the Congress will consider for confirmation Oldfield and several individuals appointed by Standing Bear to other government posts and boards and commissions.