Emma J. Payne


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Bio overview

Emma Payne is a trial lawyer whose civil litigation practice is primarily focused on complex business litigation, with specific emphasis on matters affecting the energy industry, including disputes involving breach of contract claims, leases, titles, royalty payments, environmental and surface damages, bodily injury, negligence and products liability. Her clients include oil and gas producers, midstream companies, oilfield service providers, and renewable energy developers.

A portion of her energy practice is devoted to transactional matters, including negotiating and drafting oil and gas agreements, curing title defects, and performing complex analysis of ownership rights in surface, mineral, royalty and leasehold estates. She also counsels clients on operational matters and litigation avoidance strategies.

Prior to joining McAfee & Taft, Emma served as a judicial clerk to The Honorable Robin J. Cauthron of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Her previous career experience also includes working as an oil and gas attorney for an Edmond, Oklahoma-based law firm.

Emma is a 2016 graduate of the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she served as managing editor of the Oklahoma City University Law Review, was named to Phi Delta Phi honor society, and was a member of the Moot Court Society, Organization for the Advancement of Women in Law, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court. While in law school, she also served as a judicial intern for The Honorable Kenneth Buettner of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals and as an OCU Law Academic Property Fellow.

Prior to law school, Emma was a senior alumni relations consultant for Pennington & Company. In that role, she led a team that established and cultivated relationships with more than 40 client organizations and was responsible for organizing and implementing campaigns to meet their fundraising and public relations goals.


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Experience, Honors, & Awards

Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • Oklahoma Bar Association

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Attorney Articles


Let the Sun Shine In: A Judicially Implied Timeliness Requirement Creates a Murky Standard for Federal Judges and Litigants and Perpetuates an Appearance of Bias in the Federal Judiciary

Oklahoma City University Law Review |

Industry Groups



  • Oklahoma, 2018
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma


  • J.D., Oklahoma City University, 2016
    • Managing Editor, Oklahoma City University Law Review; Phi Delta Phi
  • B.A. (Political Science and Spanish), University of Kansas, 2010


2020 Firm Announcement

2020 Firm Announcement

January 7, 2020