The entire team at the Center for Economic Development Law has experience working on public-sector legal issues and on projects involving close coordination between the private and public sectors. The members of the firm value their relationships with clients and demonstrate a commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards, enjoying the opportunity to assist clients on projects for Oklahoma communities.
Dan Batchelor brings fifty years of experience to the creation of legal and financial strategies that enable communities to execute development projects, especially those involving both the private and public sectors.
As general counsel of the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority since 1966, Dan has provided legal guidance for more than $5 billion in the development and expansion of downtown Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Health Center. He has been instrumental in the development of the Presbyterian Health Foundation Research Park (now the OU Research Park).
His expertise has enabled him to assist communities throughout Oklahoma in creating financing strategies for economic development projects of all types and sizes. Dan was a primary architect of the tax increment financing provisions of Oklahoma's 1992 Local Development Act. Representative projects include serving as development counsel for the Oklahoma City Downtown/MAPS Economic Development Project, the Oklahoma Health Center Economic Development Project, the Durant-Cardinal Economic Development Project, and the Guymon-Seaboard Economic Development Project. Earlier, he worked on redevelopment projects for the central business districts of Green Bay and Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
His education and related credits include: a BS degree with honors, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 1958; University of Oklahoma College of Law, 1961; President of the American Law Student Association (designated Outstanding Officer for the years 1959-61); Board of Editors, Oklahoma Law Review; Order of the Coif; Outstanding Graduating Law Student of 1961; named Law Graduate of the Year 1961 by the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity; and member of Oklahoma's national moot court team which won first place in the region and second place in the nation in both 1959 and 1960.
Dan currently serves as a director of FNB Financial Services, Inc., the holding company for First Texoma National Bank in Durant and north Texas; and board member of A Chance to Change Foundation, a private, non-profit service organization.
Leslie V. Batchelor
Leslie V. Batchelor is president of the firm and manages a wide variety of development, financing, and public law matters. She is nationally recognized for her expertise in public-private partnerships, tax increment financing techniques, and other redevelopment strategies. Representative projects include the restoration and reopening of the historic Skirvin Hotel, creation of the Dell Business Center on a former brownfield along the Oklahoma River, formulation of Oklahoma City’s Core to Shore Urban Renewal Plan, creation of the Tulsa International Airport Economic Development Project Plan, and the Tulsa Downtown Area Economic Development Project Plan.
Leslie serves as the City Attorney for the City of The Village, Associate General Counsel to the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, as General Counsel to the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, and as development counsel to several local municipalities and authorities. Leslie is also an experienced litigator, representing public entities in claims arising from financing and development activities, and litigating claims involving land use and eminent domain.
Prior to founding the Center for Economic Development Law with her father, Dan Batchelor, Leslie served in the United States Department of Justice as Deputy Associate Attorney General, Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, and Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.
Before joining the Justice Department, Leslie was an associate at McAfee & Taft, where she concentrated on civil litigation. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable William J. Holloway, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Leslie received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Brown University and her Master’s and law degrees from the University of Virginia, where she was an instructor in philosophy and a teaching assistant in legal research and writing.
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Leslie is a long-time community volunteer and has served in leadership roles in a number of professional and community organizations, including Chair of the Urban Land Institute Oklahoma, and president of Historical Preservation, Inc., the Oklahoma County Bar Foundation, Oklahoma City Housing Services Redevelopment Corporation (Positively Paseo!), Wilson Arts, Inc., and the Ralph Ellison Foundation. She also serves on the Board of Directors for NBC Oklahoma, on the Executive Board of i2E, and the Board of Visitors for the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. She is married to Scott E. Williams, a federal prosecutor, and is the mother of twin girls.
Lisa M. Harden
Lisa M. Harden is a partner in the firm as a real estate and business transaction attorney who has extensive experience in a broad range of business, real estate, commercial, and development transactions. Lisa provides legal services and representation to public and private entities in all aspects of real estate, construction, and development projects, as well as in organizational, operational, contractual, and strategic matters.
Lisa works with local municipalities, instrumentalities, and public trusts in economic development projects. Representative clients include the Wheeler District, LLC, Cumberland Drive, LLC, the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority, the City of The Village, the City of Edmond, the Edmond Economic Development Authority, the City of Lawton, the Lawton Economic Development Authority, the City of Stillwater, the Stillwater Economic Development Authority, and the City of Midwest City.
Prior to joining the firm as a partner in 2012, Lisa spent 7 years of her career as General Counsel to the owner and developer of Gaillardia, a local 600-acre master planned community of golf, residential, and commercial activity, where she provided legal advice and representation on all business, development, organizational, operational, contractual, financial, and employment matters. Before 2005, Lisa was an associate at Phillips McFall firm where her transactional work included representation of clients in all phases of commercial real estate and business transactions.
Lisa earned her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, and her degree of Bachelor of Arts in Letters from the University of Oklahoma. Lisa is a member of the American Bar Association, the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Oklahoma County Bar Association, and Urban Land Institute Oklahoma. She has served for many years as a volunteer on the Board of Admissions for the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, has been a volunteer for Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, and has previously served on the Board of Trustees for Ballet Oklahoma.
Emily K. Pomeroy
Emily K. Pomeroy is a partner in the firm and serves as development counsel to cities and other public entities across the state of Oklahoma, assisting them in the strategic, procedural, and financing aspects of their redevelopment endeavors. Her transactional practice focuses on the adoption and implementation of public-private redevelopment projects. Her litigation practice consists of representing public entities with the power of eminent domain in land acquisition for urban renewal projects and defending clients when issues arise from redevelopment projects.
As legal counsel to the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, Emily assisted in the real estate transactions and financing authorizations for the development of the Devon Energy World Headquarters, including the establishment of a tax increment financing district, which funded the Project 180 infrastructure improvements in downtown Oklahoma City. Emily led the effort to establish the Midwest City Urban Renewal Authority and served as legal counsel to the City of Midwest City in their efforts to redevelop and revitalize the City’s original downtown area. Emily also served as development counsel to the City of Norman for Norman’s development of Norman University North Park, a project that includes a large retail center, public park, and property dedicated to attracting companies creating quality employment opportunities.
Emily joined the firm in 2003 after receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. She received her undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She serves as a board member for the Plaza District Association, Historical Preservation, Inc., and Wilson Arts, Inc., and is a member of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, the Urban Land Institute, and Phi Beta Kappa of Oklahoma City, for which she formerly served as President of the Board. Emily was born in Oklahoma City and attended Casady School. She and her husband live in a historic neighborhood near downtown with their twins.
Jeff Sabin is a partner in the firm and advises clients on zoning and land use, community development program compliance, municipal law, and general real estate and economic development issues. He works with public and private sector clients to guide projects through community and governmental approval processes, and assists clients in assessing the impacts of redevelopment projects and proposals.
Jeff has significant experience interpreting municipal land use regulations and guiding clients through community development planning efforts. Relevant experience includes the drafting and adoption of numerous development-related ordinances, including general land use codes and focused overlay and form-based zoning districts. Recent projects include helping the City of Oklahoma City meet new statutory requirements for assessing the economic impacts of its recent amendments to the Downtown/MAPS Economic Development Project Plan and adoption of the Core to Shore Economic Development Project Plan. Jeff also serves as the Assistant City Attorney for The City of The Village.
Prior to joining the firm as a law clerk in 2012, Jeff worked as a city planner in the Austin, Texas metropolitan area. Jeff received his Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. While in law school, Jeff was a Dean’s Scholar, received the Excellence in Real Property Law Award from the Oklahoma City Real Property Lawyers Association, and the Technical Editing Award from the Oklahoma City University Law Review. Jeff is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, American Bar Association, the American Planning Association, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Urban Land Institute.
Bill Mejía is an associate attorney* with the firm and advises clients on real estate and economic development matters. Bill has significant experience in the financing of commercial developments and real estate transactions. Utilizing this experience, he assists the firm’s clients with all aspects of their economic development efforts, including real estate transactions, establishment of public instrumentalities, creative financing strategies, affordable housing policies, and the establishment and implementation of community programs. Bill works extensively with the Oklahoma City Housing Authority and Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority in the implementation of their programs and economic development projects.
Prior to joining the firm, Bill was an associate in the real estate finance group at Polsinelli, a law firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, where he specialized in commercial mortgage-backed security loan origination and loan servicing matters. Before joining Polsinelli, Bill was an attorney-advisor with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. While at HUD, Bill advised the Department in the implementation and enforcement of its programs. Bill closed numerous HUD-insured loans for the construction, substantial rehabilitation or refinance of large multifamily housing projects and healthcare facilities.
Bill received his Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. While in law school, Bill was a member of the editorial board for The Urban Lawyer and assisted in the establishment of an abandoned housing clinic at UMKC. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where he majored in economics and political science. Bill is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the Urban Land Institute. Bill and his wife, Alex, live in Norman, Oklahoma with their two demanding dogs.
*Licensed to practice in Missouri; Oklahoma license pending
Zach Christ is a legal assistant with the firm. Zach’s responsibilities include agenda coordination and preparation for the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority, the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, the Community Enhancement Corporation, and The Village City Council and Planning Commission. Zach provides administrative support to the attorneys through schedule coordination, assisting with document preparation and review, and organizing and maintaining case files, attorney notebooks, databases, spreadsheets, and other materials. Zach handles information technology needs by ensuring the firm’s systems are running smoothly and providing help-desk support. He also manages the reception desk.
Prior to joining the firm, Zach worked as an Administrative Coordinator for the Oklahoma City Planning Department. In that role, he provided administrative support to the Planning Director and Assistant Director. He also served as staff to the City’s Arts Commission. Before working for the City, Zach managed an upscale Italian restaurant, Trattoria il Centro, in the historic Montgomery building in downtown Oklahoma City and was a sales manager for Aunt Pittypat’s Catering. Zach attended the University of Oklahoma and is a member of the Urban Land Institute.
Nancy Dennis is the lead certified legal assistant with the firm. She has extensive experience in business, real estate, transactional, litigation, administrative, and other areas of law, and has been instrumental in the procurement of hundreds of utility easements through the process of eminent domain. For the firm, she assists in the preparation of a wide range of complex legal documents, forms and other business communications, including leases, real estate purchase documents, title reports, and title research.
Nancy received her Certified Legal Assistant designation through NALA in 1996, and, her RPA (Real Property Administrator) designation form OSU-OKC in 2002. Nancy lives in Tuttle, Oklahoma, where she grew up. She enjoys time with her five grandchildren and extended family, leading women’s bible study groups and chairing the events committee at Tuttle First Baptist Church.
Olivia Gutierrez is an administrative assistant with the firm. Olivia handles a number of activities, including client billing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, scheduling for attorneys, as well as various design-oriented tasks for clients.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design from Oklahoma State University. She lives in Oklahoma City and loves spending time with her two nephews.