Robert Don Gifford

  • Adjunct Professor of Law


B.A. (3), Southwestern College, 1993

J.D., University of Oklahoma, 1996

M.S., U.S. Army War College, 2015


Mr. Gifford is a trial attorney with the firm Gungoll, Jackson, Box, & Devoll, a Colonel in the Army Reserves, Chief Judge for the Kaw Nation, Associate Justice for the Iowa Nation tribe, and an elected officer in the Oklahoma Bar Association.  He is also an adjunct member of Oklahoma City University School of Law and previously taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law and the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Learning Center and School.

 A long-time federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Gifford has served on the Board of Governors for the Oklahoma Bar Association, Chair of the Military & Veterans Law Section (2012-14) and the OBA Military Assistance Committee (2015-16), and is Chair-elect (2018) for the OBA’s Criminal Law Section.  Mr. Gifford was also recognized in 2013 by the defense bar as the "Professional Advocate of the Year" as an Assistant United States Attorney, and in 2016 was awarded the Cardozo Award for his contributions to criminal law.  Mr. Gifford began his legal career as an active duty Army Judge Advocate serving in Bosnia, Fort Knox, KY, and Fort Sill, OK.  Mr. Gifford has also served as an Assistant District Attorney in Tulsa County. Mr. Gifford was called back to active duty in 2007-08 to work on the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay where he served as the Legal Spokesman to the world-wide media and Deputy Director of Legal Operations.

 Mr. Gifford, a member of the Cherokee Nation and former law clerk under Chief Wilma Mankiller, also serves in a part-time capacity as the Chief Judge for the Kaw Nation Tribal Court and as a Justice on the Iowa Nation Supreme Court.

 Mr. Gifford is a graduate from The University of Oklahoma College of Law where he served as an editor on the American Indian Law Review and graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, KS where he was an honor graduate and a varsity athlete as a member of the football and track teams for four years.

Additional Information

Awards & Honors

  • Professional Advocate of the Year, 2013
  • Cardozo Award, 2016
  • FBI Director’s Award for Work in International Human Trafficking Case
  • FBI Director’s Award for Service to the FBI in the District of Nevada
  • United States Marshal Service’s Award for Efforts in Sex Offender Investigations
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Forestry Service Award for Prosecutions in Archeological Protections of Antiquities

Professional Associations

  • Chair-elect OBA’s Criminal Law Section, 2018
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • Board of Governors, OBA (2013-2016)
  • Criminal Law Section, OBA (Chair-elect 2018)
  • Oklahoma County Bar Association
  • Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Life Time member)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Judge Advocates Association
  • Oklahoma Indian Bar Association
  • National District Attorney’s Association (former)

Oklahoma Bar Journal Articles

  • A Primer for Ye Ol'Woodshed: Witness Preparation – 87 Okla. B.J. 1605 (Nov. 2016)
  • "Your Witness Counsel" – Cross-Examination – 87 Okla. B.J. 2329 (Nov. 2016)
  • The Time is Twenty Years past 9:02 a.m. – 86 Okla. B.J. (April 2015)
  • Human Trafficking: Beyond Pretty Woman and Huggy Bear - 84 Okla. B.J. 1605 (Aug. 2013).
  • The Fourth Amendment – the Airport and Borders, 83 Okla. B.J. 2361 (Nov. 2012)
  • Groucho was Wrong about Military Justice, 82 Okla. B.J. 2711 (Nov. 2011)
  • Employment Protection for the Citizen-Soldier, 82 Okla. B.J. 2727 (Nov. 2011)
  • The OBA’s ‘Draft’ – Will you Answer the Call?, 82 Okla. B.J. 2711 (Nov. 2011)
  • Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Q&A, Newsletter of the Criminal Law Section of the OBA (Summer, 2008)
  • Foregoing the Scorched Earth Policy: Ethical Cross-Exam, 79 OBJ 2803 (Dec. 2008)
  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles – the Fourth Amendment & your Vehicle, 78 OBJ 2803 (Mar. 2007)
  • Very Appealing Ethics, 77 Okla. B.J. 3471 (Dec. 2006)
  • Ethics & the Criminal Prosecutor – Guilt shall no escape, nor innocents shall suffer, 76 Okla. B.J. 2845 (Dec. 2005)
  • The Fifth Amendment & the Federal Grand Jury, 76 Okla. B.J. 1799 (Aug. 2005)
  • The Law Language and Humpty Dumpty, 76 Okla. B.J. 2016 (Sep. 2005)
  • Let’s Kill all the Lawyers, 75 Okla. B.J. 1456 (May 2004)
  • Stepping on the Battlefield:  Military Justice Primer, 71 Okla. B.J. 2479 (Oct. 2000)
  • The Legalities of the Properly Shined Boot, Tulsa Lawyer (March 2000)

American Bar Assocation Articles

  • Cross-Examination - The 101 Practice Series – Breaking Down the Rules (Young Lawyer Division, 2007)
  • Preparing a Witness - The 101 Practice Series – Breaking Down the Rules (Young Lawyer Division, 2007)
  • Planning for Trial - The 101 Practice Series – Breaking Down the Rules (Young Lawyer Division, 2007)
  • Trial Witness Preparation, PP&O, publication of the Committee on Pre-Trial Practice and Discovery, Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 15 (Fall 2007)
  • Become an Authority, GP Solo – publication of General Practice, Solo, Small Firm Section, Vol. 23, No. 5 (July/Aug 2006)
  • A Federal Grand Jury Primer, The Young Lawyer (July/Aug 2005)
  • Appellate Advocacy, The Young Lawyer (March 2005)
  • Understanding the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, The Young Lawyer (Feb. 2004)

Legal Encyclopedias Entries

  • Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties, 3 vols., New York; Routledge, 2006.  Entries on Arraignment and Probable Cause Hearings (p. 79); Grand Jury Indictment (p. 705); Jackson v. Denno (p. 831); Material Witnesses (p. 981); Rehnquist Court (p. 1286); Subpoenas to Reporters (p. 1579); Justice Byron R. White (p. 1778)
  • Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States, Macmillan Reference USA (2008).   Entries on the Justice Harlon Stone Court (p. 478).
  • Affirmative Action: An Encyclopedia, Vol. II, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004.  Entries on John F. Kennedy (p. 539), Chief Justice William Hobbs Rehnquist (p. 743); and Justice Clarence Thomas (p. 882)

Department of Justice Articles

  • Sex Offender Registration in Indian Country, USA Bulletin, p. 30 (July 2010)
  • Guideline Departures at Sentencing, USA Bulletin, p. 31 (September 2006)

Military Articles

  • Administrative Separations, The Griffon, p. 47 (Winter 2011)
  • Protection at a Bargain Price, Military Money, p. 12 (Fall 2008)
  • Protect Yourself from Credit Card Billing Errors, Military Money, p. 34 (Fall 2007)
  • Co-Signing a Loan is a Risky Business, Military Money, p. 9, (Fall 2006)
  • Bankruptcy Just Got A Lot Tougher, Military Money, p. 8 (Winter 2005-06)
  • An Eye Friendly to Those Who Answer the Call, Deployment Guide, p. 34 (2005)
  • JAG’s Corner, Tough ‘Ombre (Oct-Dec 2004)
  • Crime & Punishment: Article 15, The Reserve & National Guard, p. 18  (Summer 2004).

Newspapers Articles

  • War Courts Make Sense, The Daily Oklahoman (Sept. 7, 2009, p. 15A)
  • Fort Sill Cannoneer (contributing columnist - multiple “preventive law articles” to inform servicemembers and military families) – 1999-2000
  • Fort Knox Turret (contributing columnist - multiple “preventive law articles” to inform servicemembers and military families) – 1997-1999
  • Mannford Eagle (contributing columnist - multiple sports articles on local athletes) 1992-1993
  • Who Really Plays for the Love Game, The Sporting News (Dec. 14, 1992) (article on playing small college football)


  • Adjunct Law Professor, Oklahoma City University School of Law (Trial Practice, Military Law, Indian Gaming, National Security Law, Homeland Security Law)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Arkansas School of Law (National Security Law)
  • Federal Bar Association’s Tenth Circuit Review (2007-2011)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Annual Convention, Plenary Panel (2011)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Boot Camp, Veteran’s issues (2011)
  • Sovereignty Symposium, Criminal Justice Panel - (2007-2011)
  • National District Attorney’s Association, Las Vegas, NV (2004)
  • Army Reserve Judge Advocate (JAG) CLEs (On-Sites) – (2003-2010)
  • Instructor at Army JAG School, Trial Advocacy and Criminal Law (2004-2009)
  • National Judicial College, Tribal Judge CLE (2005)


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