John N. (Nick) Fountain

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John N. (Nick) Fountain is the most experienced attorney in North Carolina handling professional licensure issues and occupational licensing boards. He has appeared before dozens of the numerous boards and commissions in Raleigh, including the Real Estate Commission, the Appraisal Board, the Banking Commission, the CPA Examiners, N.C. Medical Board, the Dental Board, the Psychology Board, Licensed Professional Counselors and others. He is General Counsel to the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors and to the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. He prosecutes matters on behalf of the Board of Law Examiners. His experience includes cases with the Property Tax Commission, Purchase and Contract and Department of Motor Vehicles. He has assisted clients in more than 80 of the 100 courthouses in North Carolina.

In addition to licensing boards and administrative law matters, Nick has assisted clients in solving business acquisition and shareholder disputes, real estate disputes including boundaries, condemnation, zoning, and restrictive covenants, estate problems and will caveats. Nick is a  N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission certified mediator in Superior Court and in the Office of Administrative Hearings. His varied practice and contacts with numerous lawyers and regulators have given him wide recognition and frequent use as a mediator, particularly in business and healthcare matters, including mediation of Certificate of Need (CON) and licensure. Nick has been involved in more than 40 reported decisions in the North Carolina Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, the Business Court, U.S. District Court and the Fourth Circuit. He has held an AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell for more than thirty years.

Nick heads one of the Business/Administrative practice teams within the firm and is a past member of our Practice Management Committee. He has served as President of the Wake County and 10th District Bar, on the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association, as a Bar Councilor and Advisor to the State Bar, and as president of the Raleigh Kiwanis Club. He has received multiple awards for Bar leadership and historic preservation. After graduating from Duke University and receiving his law degree from Wake Forest University, Nick was honored to have begun his practice with a clerkship with Judge (later Justice) David M. Britt.

Education & Bar Admissions

  • J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, 1968
  • B.A., Duke University, 1965

Admitted in

  • North Carolina, 1968
  • U.S. District Courts for North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Achievements

  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Administrative / Regulatory Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Raleigh
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2008 in the field of Administrative / Regulatory Law
  • Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers®  2007-2016
  • Award of Merit for “Dedicated and Exemplary Professional Service” for over forty years as Counsel to the North Carolina State Board of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors

Activities

  • Wake County Bar Association
    • President, 1989
    • Chair, Bar Candidate Committee
    • Chair, Endowment/Scholarship Committee
  • North Carolina State Bar Council 2007-
    • Grievance, Authorized Practice and Legislative Committees
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Board of Governors, 1985-1988
    • Chair, Administrative Law Section, 2000-2001
    • Chair, Administrative Law Committee, 1982-1984
    • Chair, Administrative Law and Procedure Task Force, 1988-1989
    • Chair, Legislative Advisory Committee, 1991-1992
    • Chair, Alternative Billing Commission, 1996-2000
    • Chair, Endowment Committee, 2001-2004
  • Legal Services of North Carolina
    • Chair, Finance Committee, 1982-1985
    • Chair, Access to Justice Campaign
  • Raleigh Kiwanis Club
    • President 2008-09
    • Past-President of Kiwanis Foundation
    • Kiwanian of the Year 2015
    • Diamond Zeller Award 2016
    • Co-Chair Centennial Committee 2014-2020
  • Raleigh Historic Districts Commission, 2005-2011, 2017-
    • Chair of Hearings Committee, 2006-2011
  • Raleigh Historic Resources and Museum Advisory Board
    • Inaugural Chair and member 2011-2017
  • North Carolina Supreme Court Museum Board, 2011-2014
  • Badger Iredell Law Office Foundation Board, 2009-2015

Publications & Presentations

  • Lecturer on Administrative Law, the North Carolina Administrative Code, and Issues in Occupational Licensing
  • LegalZoom Litigation and Legislation: Progress or Problem? North Carolina State Bar Journal, Summer 2017