Brett Chapman is a highly experienced Oklahoma attorney who combines his highly comprehensive knowledge of Oklahoma law with a passion for justice that finds its roots in his unique family history as his ancestors were involved in a landmark civil rights decision granting the first Native American civil rights in American history.
Chapman's maternal great great great grandfather Chief White Eagle was the hereditary chief of the Ponca during the illegal Ponca Trail of Tears in 1877 which killed hundreds of his people, including his wife and four of his children. White Eagle's father Chief Iron Whip — Chapman's great great great great grandfather — who negotiated the broken treaty with President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and was the first Native American to participate in a presidential inauguration that year was also killed.
White Eagle and Standing Bear, the vice chief of the Ponca, fought the United States government for the freedom to leave the confinements of their reservation in the Indian Territory and return to their ancestral lands in Nebraska. In the landmark civil rights case Standing Bear v. Crook, the Ponca became the first Native Americans to be legally recognized as "persons" under the meaning of the law and granted civil rights under the Constitution in 1879 — fourteen years after the United States ended slavery during the Civil War. The Ponca Trail of Tears controversy forced President Rutherford B. Hayes to end Andrew Jackson's policy of Indian removal that started decades earlier in 1830 with Jackson's infamous Indian Removal Act. As the leader of the Ponca, Chief White Eagle was credited for being responsible for the change in government policy.
Chapman never forgets his ancestor's against-all-odds fight for justice when he practices criminal defense and civil rights litigation throughout Oklahoma courtrooms. As a result, he has become an experienced trial attorney, having acquired his extensive experience in criminal law during the course of his seven-year career in the District Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted every type of criminal case possible, from misdemeanors to homicides. He has earned many accomplishments during his career as a prosecutor in the criminal justice system that makes him well suited to defend any case. As an Assistant District Attorney, he prosecuted multiple high-profile homicide cases featured on the news. He also successfully changed Oklahoma’s DUI case law as a prosecutor in 2015 by advocating for the change in a comprehensive legal briefing which persuaded the state's highest appellate court to change the law.
His intricate knowledge of DUI law is evident in courtroom transcripts opposing some of Oklahoma's most knowledgeable DUI attorneys as well as written motions. His strong command of all aspects of the criminal justice system is most evident in the many cases he prosecuted which made headlines. Chapman's expertise in DUI law is also evident on the pages of his successful 2015 appellate motion at the bottom of this page.
Upon leaving the District Attorney’s Office, he became a defense attorney for the Union Pacific Railroad Company and the BNSF Railway Company and defended these distinguished Fortune 500 companies in complex wrongful death cases with potential liability in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. He now maintains a practice in Tulsa focused on criminal defense and civil rights litigation while advocating for Native American civil rights in the spirit of his ancestors.