Riley & Dunlap, P.C.

Riley & Dunlap, P.C.

Distinguished Missouri attorneys helping clients in a variety of capacities

Firm Overview

Riley & Dunlap, P.C. is an established multi-disciplinary law firm that has built its reputation in the Kingdom of Callaway since 1917. A renowned Missouri firm, Riley & Dunlap, P.C. represents governmental entities, businesses, title companies, realtors, banks, families and individuals throughout the state in various aspects of commercial, civil and criminal law:

-Real estate law
-Business law
-Personal injury law
-Real estate law
-Estate planning and administration
-Family law
-Criminal defense

A reputation for effective service:

With a history dating back nearly 100 years, Riley & Dunlap, P.C. has served some of the largest clients in Fulton for decades - including the City of Fulton itself and the majority of its largest employers - as well as individuals. Learn more about Riley & Dunlap, P.C. and its history. The firm's long-standing reputation for providing effective legal service is just one of the reasons people and businesses contact Riley & Dunlap, P.C. Individually, the lawyers also maintain strong names in the legal industry:

-Thomas K. Riley
-Thomas M. Dunlap
-Joe D. Holt
-Jacquelyn Brazas

Mr. Riley and Mr. Dunlap have both been honored with the AV Preeminent Peer Review RatingSM by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest measure of legal ability and ethics as viewed by legal professionals. All of the firm's attorneys have also made substantial contributions to the Missouri legal community through numerous lectures and publications on legal topics. Mr. Holt is a retired judge whose strong commitment to the legal community and decades of experience bring invaluable resources to the firm and its clients. Ms. Brazas is the newest member, and she brings a strong academic background to the firm. When not working on clients' cases, the firm's members also serve on numerous local charity and civic organization boards. Learn more about Riley & Dunlap's community service in Fulton and Callaway County. Also, visit our Helpful Links page for information about Missouri law, Your Missouri Courts, and other helpful websites.

Trust experience. Trust results. Trust Riley & Dunlap, P.C.:

Located in historic downtown Fulton, the law firm of Riley & Dunlap, P.C. is situated among some of Callaway County's oldest buildings including the Callaway County Courthouse, the Palace Hotel and the Clapp Building, the oldest iron building west of the Mississippi River. The firm provides legal counsel to individuals, families, companies and governmental entities in the following areas:

-Jefferson City
-Callaway County
-Boone County
-Cole County

Main Office

Main Office
13 East Fifth Street
Fulton MO 65251





Estate Planning

Guiding you and your loved ones through loss

The Fulton law firm of Riley & Dunlap, P.C. helps Missouri residents protect their assets for the future and continue providing for their relatives by creating comprehensive estate plans to distribute assets to heirs, protect loved-ones, avoid unnecessary taxes, utilize non-probate transfers, and save your money for your beneficiaries.

A complete estate plan can include any or all of the following tools, but most require skilled attorneys who are familiar with and can draft all estate planning documents to be sure you have all the options you need:

-Living wills
-Advance estate planning
-Advance healthcare directives
-Powers of attorney
-Tax planning
-Revocable and irrevocable trusts
-Charitable trusts
-Special needs trusts
-Credit shelter trusts
-Life insurance trusts
-Asset Protection Trusts
-Family limited partnerships

The firm is experienced in devising complex estate plans, business succession plans, and all the documents needed for large estates with varied assets, but the attorneys also handle simpler estate plans and modifications as well. The firm works extensively with clients on probate-avoidance and minimizing or reducing estate taxes.

Estate administration and probate litigation:

Riley & Dunlap, P.C. assists the executors of estates and the trustees of trusts to ensure that the decedent's wishes are carried out, legally, efficiently and properly.

Occasionally, family members or business stakeholders may contest the validity of a will or trust. In these cases, Riley & Dunlap, P.C. can represent the contesting party or the estate itself. The firm has extensive experience in litigating will contests, trust contests, declaratory judgments, accounting actions and other disputes regarding inheritance.

Trust experience. Trust results. Trust Riley & Dunlap, P.C.:

Located in historic downtown Fulton, the law firm of Riley & Dunlap, P.C. is across the street from the Callaway County Courthouse. The firm provides legal counsel to individuals, families, companies and governmental entities in the following areas:

-Jefferson City
-Callaway County
-Boone County
-Cole County

Thomas R. Riley

Riley & Dunlap, P.C.


Thomas K. Riley was born and raised in Fulton, Missouri. Riley graduated with a major in history from Westminster College, cum laude. After graduation, Riley attended law school at one of the nation's premier law schools, Washington and Lee, of Lexington, Virginia. Riley was a member of, and author for, the Washington and Lee Law Review. He was subsequently inducted into law's most prestigious honorary society, the Order of the Coif. Tom graduated 3rd in his class, Magna Cum Laude. During breaks from law school, Riley served as an intern to the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court and worked for a firm serving Virginia and Washington, D.C. After graduation, but before entering private practice, Riley served as law clerk for the Hon. Ann K. Covington on the Missouri Supreme Court.

Riley joined the firm in 1998 and established a practice in complex transactional work and litigation in estate planning, real estate, business, insurance, and governmental practice. Riley has represented individuals, businesses, and trade associations from over a dozen states in Missouri trial courts, the Missouri Court of Appeals, the Missouri Supreme Court, and federal court. Riley has the highest possible peer-review rating - an AV Rating - from the industry standard rating agency, Martindale-Hubble. In estate planning, Riley creates documents ranging from simple powers of attorney and wills to complex credit shelter and QTIP trusts, Qualified Family Trusts, Asset Protection Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, Crummey trusts, Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts, and comprehensive business succession plans. Riley's work in estate planning has resulted in invitations to speak and write on estate planning topics for the Missouri Bar, including writing the an article in the Journal of the Missouri Bar on trusts and the Missouri Uniform Trust Code. Riley's work also includes an extensive use of Missouri Asset Protection Trusts.

Riley's work in real estate includes representing the majority of realtors, the leading bank and title company in Callaway County, and hundreds of landlords and landowners. His work in real estate has included creating subdivisions, commercial developments, landfill and utility agreements, contracts, leases, 1031 or like-kind exchanges, and financing agreements as well as extensive litigation in quiet title suits, boundary disputes, partition actions, and breach of contract claims. Riley has been a frequent lecturer for the Missouri Bar symposiums on real estate law and is the author of a chapter in the Missouri Bar's deskbook for attorneys on Real Estate Law regarding partition lawsuits, including the supplement to his chapter.

Riley's related experience in business transactions and litigation includes creating corporations and limited liability companies, drafting complex financing contracts, buy-sell agreements, business sales, and a wide range of corporate and contractual litigation. This contractual litigation includes extensive experience in lawsuits against insurance companies that have denied coverage for claims, including entering and enforcing 537.065 agreements, pursuing equitable garnishments and extensive experience in insurance coverage litigation. Due to the complexity of insurance issues, Riley prepared an article on Insurance Law in Missouri. Riley also authored an article for Missouri Lawyer's weekly on drafting contracts in light of litigation risk and assisted the Missouri Bar in creating a new deskbook on contractual issues while drafting the chapter on litigating breach of contract claims. Riley's experience in contractual litigation includes lawsuits in federal court, state trial courts, the court of appeals, and the Missouri Supreme Court.

Thomas M. Dunlap

Riley & Dunlap, P.C.


Thomas M. Dunlap was born in Fulton, Missouri. He graduated from Westminster College (B.A. 1971) and from the University of Missouri-Columbia (J.D. December, 1974) and was admitted to the bar in 1975. Dunlap is a member of the America Bar Association, the Missouri Bar Association, and a Past-President of the Callaway County Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before Missouri State Courts, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, and the United States Supreme Court. Dunlap's practice includes civil and criminal trial practice to judges and juries. He represents plaintiffs in wrongful death (including a one million dollar [$1,000,000.00] verdict in Callaway County) and personal injury cases (including a two million dollar [$2,000,000.00] settlement in Boone County)*. He has tried cases to juries in six central Missouri counties and regularly handles civil cases, including domestic relations matters in Callaway, Boone, Audrain, and Montgomery counties.

Dunlap's defense practice involves representing persons charged with criminal law violations, ranging from driving while intoxicated to homicide. Dunlap has won victories in several civil and criminal cases at the Western District Court of Appeals. Please see our Representative Cases page for more information.

Dunlap is a founding member and has served as President of The Callaway County Industrial Development Authority and the Fulton Area Development Corporation. He has also served as President of the Fulton Board of Associates for Westminster College William Woods University and the Kingdom Supper.

The Dunlap family has been in Callaway County since 1819. David "Peg Leg" Dunlap was the first public school teacher in Fulton and Robert Spence Dunlap, a Revolutionary War Veteran, spearheaded changing the name of "Volney" to Fulton. Dunlap's wife, Julia, is the Director of Parent Relations and Event Planner at Westminster College and they have two children, Jill, a literacy consultant and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Missouri and Andy, a banker with The Callaway Bank.

Dunlap recently authored an article for the Journal of the Missouri Bar entitled "People You Should Know: The Court Reporters" which discusses the history of verbatim court reporters and include practice tips for working alongside these valuable individuals.

Joe D. Holt

Riley & Dunlap, P.C.

Of Counsel

Joe D. Holt, a descendant of the Holt family who were settlers of Callaway County in 1819, Joe is a graduate of rural Callaway schools, Fulton High School, Westminster College and the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and has a Certificate from the center for Dispute Resolution at MU-C. Admitted to the Bar in 1967, he is a past president of the Callaway Co. Bar Association, and from 1967 to 1982 served as State Representative for Callaway County, being the Majority Floor Leader of the Missouri House of Representatives from 1977 to 1980. He was twice given the Outstanding Legislator award by the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

He served as Associate Circuit Judge for Callaway County 1998 to 2006, during which time he heard all the Probate matters in Callaway and many in Boone Co. As a Judge in the 13th Circuit, he heard contested Dissolution matters in both counties and numerous other types of cases. He has lectured for the Missouri Judicial College on Dissolution and Probate matters.

Before taking the bench, as a private attorney, he tried cases across Mid-Missouri, and practiced estate planning, probate and real estate law. He was Counsel for Levy and Drainage Districts, water districts and fire districts, as well as for the cities of Mokane, New Bloomfield and Fulton.

Joe has served as President of Serve, Inc., The Kingdom Supper, The Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, and the Missouri Collation for Alternatives to Incarceration. He is currently on the Board of the Fulton High School Band Boosters, and is assisting in fund raising for the Band's 2009 London England trip. A 40 year member of the Fulton Breakfast Optimist Club, he has twice been President of the club.

Joe is married to Virginia A. Young, former professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, and the City Editor of the Columbia Tribune, who is now the Bureau Chief for the St. Louis Post Dispatch in Jefferson City, MO. They with their two children Zachary and Jenna live west of Fulton in the Central Community. He, also, has three older sons.

Joe's practice is in the area of estate planning, estate management, real estate and mediation and arbitration.

Jacquelyn Brazas

Riley & Dunlap, P.C.


As a native small-town Missourian, Jacquelyn Brazas is honored to begin her legal career with Riley & Dunlap in Fulton, Missouri. Jacque graduated from high school in Lebanon, Missouri, and subsequently began her collegiate education at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. While at Harding, she studied psychology and political science, and was an active participant of the women's basketball team. Jacque graduated from Harding in 2008 with a 4.0 grade point average, and began law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia in August 2009. At Mizzou Law, she was an Ambassador for the admissions office, a leader of the Mizzou Christian Legal Society, and was a co-chair for the 3L Class Campaign, a pledge drive for third-year law students. She excelled academically, making the Dean's List every semester and graduating in the top 20% of her class. During law school and the summers, Jacque worked for Mingus Law Office and Brown, Willbrand, Simon, Powell & Lewis, P.C., both in Columbia, Missouri; served as a research assistant for two professors, R. Wilson Freyermuth and Carl H. Esbeck; and clerked with Associate Circuit Judge Carol England of the 13th Judicial Circuit. Jacque joined the firm in 2012, and has started practicing in the areas of real estate, estate planning, contractual litigation, and municipal government. She has recently authored a paper on Guardianship Law in Missouri and contributed to a article by Insurance and Missouri Law. Jacque lives in Fulton with her husband Shawn, and their two dogs, Max and Harley.