Jessie V. Pilgrim is a member in good standing of the Oklahoma Bar Association, having been engaged in the practice of law for thirty-four years. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, Oklahoma Supreme Court, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States District Court for all federal district courts in Oklahoma. During 1997 and 1998, he was on the list of approved defense counsel for indigent suspects and accused before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Pilgrim’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts, with an emphasis in environmental and oil and gas matters. Mr. Pilgrim also represents clients in matters involving commercial law, property law, contract law, and tort law. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Tulsa College of Law. Mr. Pilgrim also holds a BS degree (1981) from Oklahoma State University.
In addition to his Oklahoma legal practice, Mr. Pilgrim consults frequently with international organizations and has provided legal opinions or reviews in the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, UN administered Kosovo, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe.
Mr. Pilgrim has contributed to the following publications as an author or editor: Principal author of Guidelines for Reviewing a Legal Framework for Elections (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Warsaw 2001); Contributor to Election Obligations and Standards (The Carter Center, Atlanta 2014); Contributor to Guidelines on Political Party Regulations (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Warsaw 2011); Contributor to Handbook for European Union Election Observation (European Commission, Brussels 2008); Contributor to Existing Commitments for Democratic Elections in OSCE Participating States: A Progress Report (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Warsaw 2003); Contributor to Guidelines to Assist National Minority Participation in the Electoral Process(Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Warsaw 2001); Author of Manual for Drafting Election Legislation prepared for Bipartisan Committee on Election Reform in Albania, Parliament of Albania (2003).
Mr. Pilgrim is a former member of the Oklahoma Legislature. He was a Member of 42nd, 43rd, and 44th Oklahoma Legislatures (1989-93); Chairman of Judiciary Committee (43rd and 44th Legislatures); Member of standing committees: Judiciary; Economic Development; Revenue and Taxation; Energy, Environment and Natural Resources; Member of special committees: House- Senate Joint Committee on International Development; General Conference Committee on Appropriations and Budget; Legislative Bond Oversight Commission; Legislative Advisory Committee for the Judicial System; Task Force on Oklahoma Pollution Control Coordinating Board (Chairman); Task Force on Oklahoma Corporation Commission; Joint Interim Committee on Judgments and Post-Judgment Procedure(Co-Chairman). His national committee memberships included: National Conference of State Legislatures, Law and Justice Standing Committee of the State Federal Assembly (1991-93); Council of State Governments, Committee on Suggested State Legislation (1991-93); Southern Legislative Conference, Justice and Consumer Affairs Committee (1991-93); South/West Regional Energy Council (1990-91); Energy Council (1992-93). He was the principal author or co-author of three hundred (300) legislative measures.