James David Foliart
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James David Foliart
  • October 29, 1919 - April 8, 2017
  • Oklahoma

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Jim Foliart was born in McAlester, Oklahoma on October 29, 1919, the only child of educator parents. Through the course of his lifetime, he saw his home state which he deeply cherished transform into the thriving metropolis it is now. In 1949 he founded, along with his mentor, Draper Grigsby, the law firm Foliart, Huff, Ottaway & Bottom, one of the most respected legal practices in the state today.
He spent his early life traveling with his parents to the many towns they would call home: McAlester, Mound Valley, Tahlequah and finally, Enid, where he graduated high school at the age of 16 in 1936. An illustrious career in debate would follow with a full scholarship at Northwestern in Alva. In 1940, he entered graduate school at the University of Oklahoma, completing all requirements for a Masters Degree in history and government. He concurrently pursued his law degree, graduating with an L.L.B degree in 1948. His educational studies were interrupted when he entered the Army Air Corps as a cadet in 1943.
His legal career was resplendent with commendations from his alma mater, Northwestern, where he received the Outstanding Alumni Professional Award. His memberships in the most prestigious organizations internationally included the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel, International Academy of Trial Barristers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, all of which he served as Fellow. He was particularly proud of his membership in the Oklahoma and Oklahoma County Bar Association.
Although he was called upon to lecture throughout the state and beyond, his passion was the courtroom where he specialized in the trial of damage suits. He once estimated that during the height of his career, he averaged two cases a week to jury verdict and had the opportunity to try cases in over sixty counties in the state. Later in his life, he would comment that he found the perfect career path and would have lived his professional life in no other way.
His respect among his colleagues was unsurpassed. He was listed in the Best Lawyers in America for over twenty-five years beginning with its initial publication. Among his most endearing attributes were his uncompromised ethics, his outgoing personality, sense of humor and his warmth and generosity. All who crossed his path knew this well.
He was predeceased by his loving wife, the former Mary Lou Wilson, who he married in 1947. She was the daughter of the prominent Judge John B. Wilson from Frederick. He is survived by his son, Dan Foliart, his daughter-in-law, Cheryl and two grandchildren, Matthew and Lauren all of California.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Historical Society. 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr., Oklahoma City, OK 73105. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in the Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Chapel, 6600 Broadway Extension. Oklahoma City, OK 73116.
ments under the direction of Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Directors, Oklahoma City, OK.