Joel Stafford has served as a trusted tax advisor for more than 40 years, initially as a certified public accountant and later as a lawyer. He began his legal career at McAfee & Taft in 1989 and learned to practice tax law from the best tax lawyers in Oklahoma, some of whom still practice law at the firm. Many years later, in 2022, Joel proudly rejoined the firm’s tax practice.
For the eight years prior to rejoining McAfee & Taft, Joel served as senior tax counsel at Devon Energy Corporation, a leading independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Oklahoma City. At Devon, he oversaw and managed all income tax planning, strategy, and transactional matters. He also oversaw all federal and international tax audit and controversy matters, which included U.S., Canadian, and other international tax audit matters. And, for a portion of his time at Devon, Joel also served as tax director, where he was ultimately responsible for all tax compliance and financial reporting.
This Oklahoma native brings a unique blend of technical knowledge and experience to his practice at McAfee & Taft. Joel is a certified public accountant and, early in his career, was the controller for a closely held Oklahoma-based oil and gas company. When he later attended law school, he earned the rare distinction of graduating first in both his J.D. and LL.M (Taxation) graduating classes. Over the years, including those early years at McAfee & Taft, later as a small town lawyer serving local entrepreneurs and energy industry service companies, and most recently at Devon, Joel’s legal and tax experience has focused primarily on corporate and partnership transactional planning and on tax audit and controversy matters. His practice at McAfee & Taft continues that focus.
Finally, in addition to practicing law, Joel loves to teach tax law and has done so from time to time throughout his career. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, the Oklahoma City University School of Law, and the East Central University Department of Accounting. Most recently, Joel taught Oil & Gas Taxation at OCU Law for the Spring 2023 semester, Individual Income Taxation at OU Law for the Fall 2022 and Fall 2021 semesters, and coached the National Tax Moot Court team at OU Law for the Spring 2022 semester. Joel plans to teach Corporate Income Taxation at OU Law for the Fall 2023 semester, Partnership Income Taxation at OU Law for the Spring 2024 semester, and coach the Tax Moot Court team at OU Law for the Spring 2024 semester.
Joel’s achievements have earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (tax law; tax litigation and controversy).Download Bio (PDF)
Honors and Awards
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (tax law; tax litigation and controversy)
Professional Organizations and Memberships
- Oklahoma County Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- American Bar Association (Tax Section)
- Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants
- American Institute of CPAs
- Mineral Lawyers Society of Oklahoma City