Jeffrey L. Oakes was born in Lenoir, North Carolina. His father was a carpenter and his mother a postal worker. His interest in a legal career began when he was cast as the judge in a class play in the third grade. Oakes is an Eagle Scout. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and received a degree in mathematics from Western Carolina University, where he worked as a math tutor and copy editor of the school newspaper.
After college Oakes got married, then decided to go to law school. He and his new wife moved from Asheville, North Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Oakes earned a law degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU. While in law school Oakes was selected to the Louisiana Law Review and the Order of the Coif; won the Societe Henri Capitant Award for his published note on quasi-contractual liability under the Louisiana Civil Code, and won the ABI Excellence in Bankruptcy Award. After law school Oakes spent two years as a law clerk in the federal courts. For the next five years he represented commercial lenders such as GE Capital, The CIT Group, and Lighthouse Financial in documentation of secured transactions and in bankruptcy cases involving distressed borrowers.
From 2005 to 2019 Oakes worked in New Orleans, representing a variety of businesses in transactional matters, in litigation and in bankruptcy court. Oakes' clients have come from a wide range of industries, including hospitals, physicians, real estate investment, securities, manufacturing, broadcasting, construction, retail and gaming. Oakes has extensive experience in regulatory compliance issues and in negotiating and drafting governance documents for corporations and limited liability companies, private placement memoranda, purchase agreements, leases, loan agreements, noncompetition agreements, employment agreements, forbearance agreements and a variety of other contracts. Oakes has also represented and continues to represent individuals in successions and probate proceedings in Louisiana and Texas, real property transactions and disputes and corporate governance issues. He has litigated cases in Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi and California, appearing in state courts, federal courts, bankruptcy courts, trial courts and courts of appeal. Oakes joined the Slidell firm of Brice Jones and Associates, LLC in February 2020.
Oakes is an active member of the American Bar Association, Louisiana Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, North Carolina State Bar, and State Bar of Texas. When he isn't practicing law, Oakes is an avid reader and enjoys hiking, travel, wine and chess. His wife of twenty-eight years, Karen, is a writer, painter, musician and passionate gardener.