Rusty Smith of the Rusty Smith Law Group had his heart set on building a new office on York Street for his firm — until he heard through the grapevine that the Leader Mortgage building at 555 W. Okmulgee was available for a steal.
“It was a great building that has been a fixture in downtown since the 1960s, but it was not quite what I needed,” he said today. He had somewhat of a vision what he wanted the place to be, but he didn’t know how to pull it off himself. “Luckily, my wife is really good friends with a great local designer, Ann Davis. Ann took the concept and ran with it.”
The result is a work of art with mid-century modern overtones and sleek, clean lines.
Until very recently, the firm only handled civil litigation, including a few whoppers of cases against a huge insurance company, a suit generated after a well-known college and NFL football player attacked and severely injured a female college student, and a huge verdict resulting from a semi collision on US 69.
But with the addition of former Muskogee County prosecutor Dan Medlock, now a criminal defense attorney, the firm is expanding from its civil roots.
“We will continue to focus on complex, catastrophic civil litigation,” Smith said. “Dan will also handle all criminal and domestic/family cases. My goal is for the firm to be a one-stop shop, even though the foundation of the firm has been kind of a unique trial practice.”
The renovated downtown stalwart building is a key part of that expanding vision, he said.
“My mentor, Mike Masterson, taught me how to not only practice law, but to try and make good business decisions. My father is also a small business owner,” he said. “I realized from being around Mike and my father that there are great benefits in owning your own building.”
“In the end, I think the building will be a great addition to downtown Muskogee for a long time. Ann, my contractor Travis Steward and my wife, Toni Bradley Smith, really made this happen, and they deserve a lot of the credit.”
Disclaimer: Smith represented MuskogeeMUGS.com in an action over acquiring mugs early last year. In addition, he is an advertiser on this site, but he did not pay for this story, which is about the building’s complete overhaul.