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Gov. Fallin's husband quits law firm to avoid possible conflict

Wade Christensen said he started his own firm as a precaution over questions of his representing state entities while his wife is governor. His previous firm's clients included the University of Oklahoma and the state's workers' compensation agency.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT, Modified: January 15, 2011 at 12:28 am •  Published: January 15, 2011

— Mary Fallin's pledge as governor to create new businesses had one immediate result. By the time Fallin took her oath of office Monday, her husband had resigned from the law firm he has been with for nearly 20 years and started his own practice.

Wade Christensen said Friday he branched out on his own because clients for his previous law firm, Day, Edwards, Propester & Christensen, included the University of Oklahoma and CompSource Oklahoma, the state's workers' compensation agency. He wants to avoid anyone claiming favoritism or the appearance of a conflict of interest.

“Basically, I decided that in order to avoid any conflict ... I felt that this was the best and safest way to avoid any appearance of impropriety and any impropriety at all,” Christensen said while attending his youngest son's wrestling match at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City. “I'll continue to represent private employees and private small and large businesses.”

Christensen, who specializes in workers' compensation cases, said he will continue to represent clients not affiliated in any way with the state. Christensen last week established a professional limited liability corporation, Christensen and Associates.

“Right now, my living won't be as good as it used to be,” he said. “I'm going to be back out hitting the streets looking for clients. Giving up the clients I gave up is a substantial part of my practice.”

Christensen said his office will be near his old firm, which will continue to have Christensen in the name because his brother, Clay, is with the firm. The offices are in the Oklahoma Tower, 210 Park Ave.

“We just want to make sure we do the right thing and so far I think we've gone beyond what is doing right,” he said.

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