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D. Alex Onstott

D. Alex Onstott

Ciolino, Pritchett & Onstott, LLC
  • Business Law, Estate Planning, Gov & Administrative Law...
  • Louisiana
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Summary

Ciolino, Pritchett & Onstott provides high-quality, cost-effective outside general counsel services to small and medium-sized businesses in Louisiana and across the United States. We represent clients across various industries, including niche areas, such as non-profit, entertainment, medical marijuana, and tax liens.

Practice Areas
  • Business Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Gov & Administrative Law
  • Probate
  • Cannabis & Marijuana Law
Fees
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    We accept payments for services rendered through Venmo.
  • Contingent Fees
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    We offer a range of alternate fee arrangements to suit the needs of our clientele, including: Hard and soft caps, incentivized payment structures, subscription-based services, and more.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Louisiana
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • German: Written
Professional Experience
Member
Ciolino, Pritchett & Onstott, LLC
- Current
Associate
Murray Law Firm
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Law Clerk
Murray Law Firm
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Intern
City of New Orleans
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Assisted the City of New Orleans, pro bono, in opposing a class certification in a toxic tort claim against them.
Education
Tulane University School of Law
J.D. (2015)
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Honors: Moot Court Board, Special Projects Chair Head Coach, Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team
Activities: Student Attorney, Tulane Juvenile Law Clinic
University System of Georgia - Georgia Institute of Technology
B.S. (2010) | International Affairs
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Honors: Best Witness, 2007 Southeast Regional Collegiate Mock Trial Tournament
Activities: President, International House, 2007-2008 Steering Committee, International House, 2006-2008 Member, Georgia Tech Mock Trial, 2006-2010
Awards
Eric Bergsten Award – Best Claimant Memoranda Honorable Mention
Willem C. Vis International Moot Court Competition
Award received for submitting one of the top 20 briefs out of a field of 100 competing teams.
Professional Associations
Louisiana State Bar Association # 36611
Member
Current
Speaking Engagements
Contracts for the New Business Owner, Fund 17 Spring Cohort 2018, New Orleans
Fund 17
Invited by a start-up incubator to present on common pitfalls in contract to a cohort of entrepreneurs
Contracts for the New Business Owner, Fund 17 Fall Cohort 2017, New Orleans
Fund 17
Invited by a start-up incubator to present on common pitfalls in contract to a cohort of entrepreneurs
Legal Answers
6 Questions Answered

Q. What are my rights ??
A: Don't panic! Disputes like this one are very common in all businesses, and more oftentimes they are settled without the need for expensive litigation. Typically these types of claims are handled by your insurance, who will provide legal defense and indemnification (payment of your damages) on claims under your policy. Unfortunately, if there was no active policy at the time of the incident, then you may be on your own. The first thing you need to know when dealing with a dispute is that it is the accuser's job to prove their case, it is not your job to prove that you are innocent (though when you are able to do so, it resolves these problems much faster); however, remember that you are still dealing with a customer! It is important to protect your business from direct liability for the damages, but also from impacts to your marketing and good-will. So, stand your ground, ask them for what proof they have that you or your company damaged their property, but remain courteous and professional. You then need to honestly evaluate their evidence against your documentation, and what you know, and determine if your company may have actually caused the damage. Sometimes the best strategy is to simply apologize and do what you can to make things right with the client. Other times, you need to stand up for yourself, show your client that you will not be bullied and make them back down. This decision, and how you communicate it to the client, is difficult and may have long term effects on your business, which leads me to the best advice I can give: hire an attorney! The biggest mistake that we see from business clients is waiting to call us until they are being sued. The earlier your attorney is involved, the better your financial outcome is likely to be, even accounting for the attorney's fees. For instance, an attorney may find coverage in your policy for the issue that you didn't think that you had. Business lawyers are particularly sensitive to the business needs of their clients, and can help you make decisions which will benefit your company in the long run. After all, a profitable client is a happy client!
Q. If a phone conversation was recorded without your knowledge, though Legal, can it be made public or are there rules?
A: There is no easy way to answer this question without knowing the content of the conversation and the method by which it was "made public". However, I can say that there are rules. There are rules based on the First Amendment; there are rules based on contract; there are rules that based on statute; and there are rules which may be implicated by circumstances or by the relationship between the parties. The importance of free exchange of ideas and facts to our democracy is enshrined in the Constitution through the freedom of expression and freedom of the press. So the court, as a government body, will not prohibit speech unless it is needlessly harmful, like hate speech or defamation. So as it relates to this situation, the person cannot publicize the conversation if it contains private information about you (i.e. sexuality, health, or finance), unless there is a compelling reason why the public should know those facts, beyond "morbid and sensational prying." However, if the information informs the public in a way that could help them protect themselves, or make political decisions (such as voting) about the people involved, then the disclosure is likely to be protected. This is a complex analysis which should only be undertaken with the assistance of experienced counsel. Additionally, certain situations may restrict a person's ability to publicize certain facts. Most obviously, if there is any sort of non-disclosure agreement. Non-disclosure agreements are powerful tools in these situations, but must be properly constructed to be enforceable, so do not assume that any NDA which might cover the conversation will protect you. Again, you should consult with an attorney to determine if an NDA exists, and if it does, whether or not it gives you any protection. Other than express contractual arrangements, some information is protected by statute, such as health information, which is protected by HIPAA. There are many different laws which may apply to different categories of information, you would need to consult with an attorney to determine if there are any particular laws which apply to your case. Finally, intellectual property and information which is privileged generally may not be publicized unless the information is crucial to prevent an imminent harm to the public. This encompasses information which is shared to a doctor, lawyer or similar professional, or information which could be considered a "trade secret". Sharing of privileged information may or may not create legal liability on the discloser, but it is often grounds for censure and punishment by the associations or agencies which regulate their profession. As with the other circumstances, I highly recommend that you speak with an attorney about your particular circumstances in order to get an accurate impression of your rights and exposure.
Q. Found 2 original stock certificates in grandfather’s bank box . Co. is not publically traded. Son now runs the business.
A: Securities law is very complex and fact specific. The easiest way to figure out the current status of the shares is to simply contact the company and ask. Without seeing the stock papers, knowing the company's position on the stock, and reviewing the current and historical operating agreements, it is impossible to know exactly whether or not the company must honor them. However, if the value of the shares is potentially substantial, you should contact an experienced securities lawyer to determine your rights, and potential obligations, before contacting anyone else.
Q. I formed an LLC in Louisiana, but I'm planning to drop the LLC for the business. Do I need to file a DBA with the state?
A: Depending on your usage need, you are generally allowed to use the registered business name with or without the "LLC," without filing a DBA. The DBA is typically used when a substantially different name is used in commerce than the business's legal name, or when an entity, typically banks or the government, require the name used on their paperwork to match the name used in commerce. If you are running into an issue with the latter, you can file an amendment to your current registration changing the name of your business to include "d/b/a NAME" or simply to the same name without "LLC". Whichever method you choose, you should clear it with the entity requiring the DBA to ensure that they are okay with your proposed solution. As usual, the particular facts of your case may or may not allow that type of fix, and you should contact an attorney to get personalized advice.
Q. Is lease still valid if no guarantor signed yet
A: The answer depends on the exact language of your lease. However, generally, when you sign a document, you are agreeing to its terms. A guarantor is typically required by the lessor; and provisions of a contract which exist to protect the lessor may not be relied upon by the lessee to invalidate the lease. You also mentioned roommates who might have forged or altered your signature, and a landlord who seems to be changing the rent. These are issues that should be discussed with an attorney who has experience in lessee's rights.
Q. A contract between two family members with two witness signatures is that legal paper without a notary stamp
A: As with most legal questions, the devil is in the details when it comes to contract validity. Most contracts don't require notarization or witnesses, nor do they need to be written, in order to have effect. Writing your agreement is almost always advisable, since it memorializes the intentions of the parties for later reference, and to settle any disputes about the agreement that may come up in the future. For that reason, most attorneys will advise you to get all agreements that you intend to have legal effect written, but it is not necessary. Most oral agreements are enforceable if you can prove that they exist. However, some contracts do require certain formalities in order to be binding. For instance, a transfer of interest in real estate ("immovable property" in Louisiana), would not be valid without notarization, and other necessary formalities. If the answer to this question will have an important impact on you or a loved one, you should consult an attorney who can review your particular document and give you specific legal advice.
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Ciolino, Pritchett & Onstott, LLC
1010 Common St.
Suite 2700
NEW ORLEANS, LA 70112
USA
Telephone: (504) 603-6691