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.