The Decatur‑based law firm of Carrillo|Sipes|Tibbels, PLLC traces its roots to 1905 when Cicero T. Gettys, a newly licensed attorney and the maternal grandfather of retired partner, Mason L. Woodruff, entered into partnership with T.J. McMurray. With Mr. McMurray, a veteran lawyer with an established reputation, Mr. Gettys built a thriving practice representing the interests of clients from Wise County and the surrounding region. In 1917, the two partners built the McMurray‑Gettys Building which still stands on the southwest corner of the Decatur Town Square.
Shortly after Mr. McMurray’s death in 1926, Mason L. Woodruff’s great‑uncle H.G. Grady Woodruff entered into the practice of law; although he never joined Mr. Gettys’ practice, he maintained offices in the McMurray‑Gettys Building. Mason L. Woodruff’s father, W.B. Woodruff, Jr. joined Grady Woodruff in practice in 1949. Their firm eventually expanded to include two additional partners, Jack Morgan and Bill Nobles. Although Bill Nobles left the firm for a brief period of time to serve as County Attorney, the firm was known for most of the 1950s as Woodruff, Morgan, Woodruff, & Nobles.
Cicero T. Gettys practiced law until his death in 1960. At that time, Grady Woodruff moved into his corner office in the McMurray‑Gettys Building. W.B. Woodruff, Jr. left the firm after the Cuban Missile Crisis to return to active military duty. In 1963, Grady Woodruff passed away and the remaining partners in the firm, Bill Nobles and Jack Morgan, founded their own firm in a different location. Upon his military retirement, W.B. Woodruff, Jr. launched a new practice in the McMurray‑Gettys Building. Later, he purchased and remodeled the old Plaza Theater on the Decatur Town Square and relocated his practice there until his retirement in 1988. This historic building is the current home of Carrillo|Sipes|Tibbels, PLLC. W.B.’s son, Mason L. Woodruff, joined the firm in 1983 and became partner in 1987. Upon W.B. Woodruff, Jr.’s retirement in 1988, Mason L. Woodruff and Stephen J. Wren continued the firm as Woodruff and Wren.
The firm had other partners join and depart throughout its history including established attorneys John H. Fostel, Melton Cude, Derrick Boyd, Dana Manoushagian, and Mike Simpson, and others, who have all been part of its historic past. It’s most recent history includes Jennifer Wren joining the firm in 2002 and Stephen J. Wren leaving in 2011 to accept an appointment as the Wise County Court-At-Law No. 2 Judge.
Decatur native, Mary Lois Spain-Sipes began her legal career as a solo practitioner serving the DFW area as an oil and gas attorney. She later joined The Reeves Law Firm which eventually became Reeves Spain-Sipes Law, LLP in Decatur. Spain-Sipes left the firm in 2018 and began a solo practice in the Woodruff and Wren building. Then, in January 2019, Woodruff and Wren brought her in as a partner. They became known as Woodruff, Wren & Spain-Sipes, L.L.P. Mason L. Woodruff retired and Jennifer Wren left private practice in December 2019 leaving Spain-Sipes as the remaining partner.
J. Michael Carrillo began his legal career in Decatur, Texas when he joined the firm of Simpson and Boyd in 1999. He later left Simpson and Boyd to begin a successful solo practice known as the Law Office of J. Michael Carrillo. After interning with Carrillo during law school and only seven months after Tibbels’s graduation from law school, they began Carrillo|Tibbels, PLLC in January 2013. Located on the same Decatur Town Square as Woodruff, Wren, & Spain-Sipes, LLP, they emerged as a growing firm, successfully representing clients from Wise County and surrounding areas.
January 2020 brought change to both Woodruff, Wren, & Spain-Sipes, L.L.P. and Carrillo|Tibbels, PLLC. The two firms joined forces to become Carrillo|Sipes|Tibbels, PLLC. The merger of these two successful firms will offer the citizens of Wise and surrounding counties the same outstanding legal services that have been offered by this firm since 1905. Mike, Mary Lois, and Charlie look forward to continuing the legacy of the men and women that laid the foundation of this historic firm.