Tulsa, the second most populous city in the state of Oklahoma, is known for a number of things: its fine examples of art deco architecture, The Philbrook Museum of Art, located in an Italian-styled villa that was once the home of an oil magnate, and the Woody Guthrie Center, a museum built as a tribute to the great American folk musician-singer-songwriter. Tulsa is also home to one of the 13 national and international offices of Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig. This expansive law practice offers a remarkable array of personalized legal services to individuals, small to mid-sized business owners, sovereign governments and Fortune 500 companies. To a certain extent, as one might expect, the services available vary from one Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig location to another. Known for their individual talents, our attorneys (numbering nearly 60 in total) have diverse backgrounds but share a commitment to represent their clients with skill, attention to detail, knowledge, and integrity.
In Tulsa, our lead attorney is Noah Fontanez, who is also a partner in the firm. A military veteran with impeccable credentials, Noah served for 20 years in the armed forces, as well as 15 overlapping years working on high level cases involving contract, fiscal, regulatory and aviation law. His impressive background includes service as the Chief of Contract and Fiscal law for United States Army Central Command while deployed to Kuwait from 2015 to 2016, during which time he served as the primary fiscal legal advisor to the Commanding Three-Star General.
Noah’s military experience involved dealing with operation contracts within 20 foreign countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq, and providing strategic direction related to a $15 billion budget. At present, Noah is an Army Reserve Judge Advocate with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
During his extended military tenure, he has served as a lead attorney covering a broad spectrum of legal core competencies, including in the areas of administrative law, government claims, intelligence oversight and litigation.Noah has also served as in-house counsel to one of the largest privately held oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world. His civilian experience also includes drafting and negotiating master service, joint operating, gas purchase and sales, leases, licenses, and procurement agreements within not only the oil and gas companies, but within the larger business community.
Like all of the attorneys of Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, whether they are serving in Wilmington, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Vienna, New York City, Toronto, Vienna, or one of our other offices, Noah has specialized knowledge and experience that make him a tremendous asset to our firm as well as to the clients he serves.
We count among our legal team not only well-trained, experienced lawyers, but business owners, MBAs, patent holders, and aerospace engineers. At our Tulsa office, our legal services revolve around Business, Litigation, Brewery and Winery Services, Aviation, Government Contracts, Estate Planning and Real Estate. Noah, in addition to his substantial knowledge in these areas, has the ability, as do all of our talented attorneys, to call upon his colleagues in our other U.S. and foreign offices for specific points of information. Just as their areas of proficiency are invaluable to him, his areas of insight are invaluable to them.
Our Tulsa attorneys, who have 30 years of combined legal experience, provide a variety of legal services for the community.
One of the areas of the law that Noah covers from Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig’s office in Tulsa is Brewery and Winery Business Law. While the brewery and winery business laws in Oklahoma had remained constant for many years, in 2016 The Oklahoma Regulations Governing the Sale of Wine and Beer Amendment, also known as State Question 792, was put on the ballot and approved by the majority of Oklahoma residents.
This law supported major changes to the laws governing alcohol sales and distribution in the state; it included provisions allowing grocery stores and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer and wine 7 days a week. Although the law was challenged as unconstitutional by the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma (RLAO), the amendment withstood the legal challenge. The new law is scheduled to take effect in 2018. As one might expect, there has been conflict surrounding the new law. While residents are, for the most part, happy to have beer and wine more readily available, and groceries and small stores are happy to be able to sell these products, liquor stores and wineries are distressed to have lost their full control of two of their mainstays.
In addition to cases stemming from this new regulation, there are a number of other legal matters related to beer and wine that our practice handles, such as those concerning licenses and permits, labeling, online sales, and issues connected to the manufacture, sale, and use of such products.
Noah Fontanez is, among his many other accomplishments, a highly skilled litigator, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases. What this means is that he is capable of following legal action all the way through, from investigation to pleading, from discovery to pre-trial, from trial to settlement, and, if necessary, to appeal. There are a number of variables involved in such work; the tactics used will depend on the type of legal dispute and whether the attorney is representing the plaintiff or the defendant.
During the initial assessment of the case, the attorney evaluates whether there is enough evidence to file (or defend) a potential lawsuit. An investigation involves locating and interviewing witnesses, gathering documents, and, of course, interviewing the client and investigating all pertinent facts. Often, it is possible to resolve the dispute and arrive at a settlement, averting the need for a lawsuit. Litigation attorneys also draft several pleadings and motions for their clients. If working for the plaintiff, the litigator drafts and summons and complaint; if working for the defendant, the attorney coordinates with the client to investigate the allegations and prepare appropriate responses.
Other actions litigation attorneys take include:
During the trial itself, the litigator identifies strengths and weaknesses in the case, developing persuasive arguments, and drafting trial motions. The litigation attorney also conducts voir dire, helps to select the jury (if needed) and presents the case. If a settlement is not reached between the opposing parties, and the verdict is not favorable to the litigator’s client, the attorney will go on to pursue an appeal.
Estate planning is an important component of the work done in our Tulsa office. Although most people are pleased to plan for retirement and grandchildren, very few of us are comfortable contemplating the possibility of our own long-term illness and the inevitability of our own death. Nonetheless, with the help of an experienced, compassionate attorney like Noah Fontanez, facing the future head-on by planning the details of your estate can be reassuring, providing a sense of order and control. Noah will also help you designate an appropriate healthcare proxy, sign a HIPAA declaration, and construct a living will so that you can be sure your end-of-life wishes will be carefully followed.
At Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig in Tulsa, we are well-prepared to handle all of your estate planning needs, from drafting your will and durable power of attorney to establishing trusts to protect your assets and your loved ones from unnecessary taxation and from the potential loss of the government benefits. Noah is well aware of all the types of trusts that may be of use in your particular situation, including trusts for minor children, trusts for those likely to make poor financial decisions (spendthrift trusts), and special needs trusts that will protect loved ones with physical or mental challenges from losing their government benefits (e.g. Medicaid).
All of the attorneys of Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig are aware that each person’s situation is unique. You can be sure we will address your particular issues, whether they involve setting up a guardianship or conservatorship, arranging for a strong business succession plan, or fighting vigorously for you in any type of estate litigation.
While many people mistakenly believe that estate planning is only necessary for the well-to-do, sharp attorneys know better. We want to help you prepare for contingencies in your own life so that you and your loved ones will benefit from the assets you worked hard to accumulate and so that your legacy remains intact. Estate planning will ensure that there is a smooth transition of your assets to your designated heirs. With Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, you can be certain all drafted documents will be well-structured and legally binding.
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