Joseph Monroe Best was born October 12, 1925 in Tiawah, Oklahoma. He joined the Marines at age 17 and proudly served in WWII. After being honorably discharged, Joe attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law and the University of Tulsa College of Law on the GI Bill (of Rights). He began his legal career in 1949 at the law firm of Pierce, Rucker, Mock, Tabor and Duncan where he met Joe Sharp, a young lawyer who had also served in WWII in the Pacific Theatre and with whom he shared a desk. This started an iconic partnership that lasted for 50 years.
In 1962 Joe formed the law firm of Best, Sharp, Thomas and Glass. This law firm endured with the same principal partners for over 25 years. In 1969, the firm was hired by the Tulsa County Medical Association and the Oklahoma State Medical Association to represent physicians. The firm, and particularly Joe Best, became widely recognized for representing physicians, and specifically, defending physicians in medical malpractice cases. In 1988 at age 63, he and Joe Sharp left Best, Sharp, Thomas, Glass & Atkinson and went on to form the law firm now known as Best & Sharp.
Joe Best was well respected as both a gifted lawyer and a man of extreme character and integrity. During his career Joe Best tried over 500 jury trials and mentored scores of young lawyers. While Joe’s experience was founded in trial work, his partner Joe Sharp focused on appellate work. He was quoted saying that Joe Sharp was the “the brain” of their partnership. “I made him (Sharp) the best appellate lawyer in the state because he had to correct my mistakes.”
In a 2006 interview with journalist Ralph Schaefer, Joe reflected on his long and distinguished career, stating “I enjoyed trial work. It was very exciting dealing with human nature … the client, the opposing attorney, the judge and the jury — the all-important jury.”
Joe Best retired from the practice of law in 1999. After retiring, Joe spent his time at his ranch in Skiatook, (Best Angus Ranch), with his family and continued to be involved in ranching operations up until shortly before his passing. He did extraordinary things in his life, traveled the world with his wife by his side, but he never considered himself anything more than an ordinary but blessed man. Joseph Monroe Best, died August 25, 2017 at age 91.Share This