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Until Lionel Sawyer & Collins dissolved in 2014, I was for over 20 years a tax attorney and shareholder in its Las Vegas office, specializing in Nevada business entity formations and operations - - especially tax planning, financial analysis, and negotiation of operating agreements for partnerships and limited liability companies. I continue to practice in those areas for business clients, but now also provide personal financial planning, tax planning, investment planning and retirement planning for individuals.
Before switching to the legal field, I was an aeronautical engineer with the US Air Force. I worked on developing flight simulators for fighter pilot training, first at an Air Force base near my hometown in Ohio, then at a base outside of Phoenix, Arizona. During the time in Phoenix I also attended Arizona State University, earning an MBA and Ph.D. that researched the underlying theories and value of technical trading methods for stock investments (tip: buy high, sell higher).
I attended UCLA law school from 1986 to 1989, where I was an editor on the UCLA Law Review. After graduation I joined the Los Angeles office of Skadden Arps as a litigation attorney. I handled depositions and drafted motions in complex financial litigation matters, including defense of claims by a group of Japanese banks regarding massive student loan servicing defaults. Along the way I also acquired credentials as a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Analyst.
I joined Lionel Sawyer & Collins in 1994 as an associate after completing the LL.M. (masters in taxation) program at New York University, and became a shareholder in 2000. My practice was grounded in taxation, financial issues, and business entity formation/selection advice. I also act as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA, formerly NASD) regarding broker customer claims of unsuitable investments and churning.
I have been responsible for hundreds of LLC operating agreements, partnership agreements, S corporation formations, close corporations, C corporation transactions/reorganizations, tax-deferred (1031) property exchanges, and non-profit foundation formations. On several occasions clients have appreciated being advised of provisions drafted by their venture partners that could, under certain scenarios, produce economic or tax results contrary to their understandings from the oral business deal. Noticing and resolving those issues early helped avoided later disputes and expensive litigation.
Outside the office I can be found looking for the best pizza in Las Vegas, or playing in national poker and bridge tournaments.
I have authored legal and financial journal articles, including "The Trader's Edge" published in Barron's, comparing the curious taxation of investors, traders, sports professionals, gamblers and criminal activities (tip: be a golf pro if you can; or a criminal; but never a gambler). Most recently, an article in Nevada Lawyer, "Tips on TIPS," described the unusual taxation of inflation-protected Treasury securities.
"Tips on TIPS," Nevada Lawyer (April 2014)
"The Trader's Edge," Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly (March 31, 2008)
"Allocations of Profits and Distributions in Partnership/LLC Agreements: A Trap for the Unwary (and Sometimes the Wary)," Communique (March 2006)
Law: New York University School of Law, LL.M. (May 1994)
UCLA School of Law, J.D. (May 1989)
Finance: Arizona State University, MBA (August 1981), Ph.D. (May 1985)
Engineering: Purdue University, B.S. (December 1971)
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & DESIGNATIONS
Member, Clark County Bar
Member, State Bar of Nevada
Member, State Bar of California (inactive)
Admitted to Practice before the United States Tax Court
Certified Financial Planner (inactive)
Chartered Financial Analyst
Best Lawyers in America (Tax)
Top Lawyers in Southern Nevada (Tax)
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|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Best Lawyers in America||Best Lawyers in America||2014|
|Top Lawyers in Southern Nevada||Las Vegas Inc.||2014|
|Top Lawyers||Desert Companion Magazine||2014|
|Business Attorney||Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom||1989 - 1993|
|Aerospace Engineer||US Air Force||1973 - 1986|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|United States Tax Court||Admitted to Practice||1995 - Present|
|Clark County Bar Association||Attorney||1994 - Present|
|Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts||Member||1993 - Present|
|Nevada Lawyer Magazine||Tips on TIPS||2014|
|Barron's||The Trader's Edge||2008|
|Communique (Clark County Bar)||The Sorry State of Taxation of Gambling||2006|
|Communique (Clark County Bar)||Are You Sure You Want To Abolish The Death Tax?||2006|
|New York University School of Law||Taxation||LL.M - Master of Laws||1993|
|University of California at Los Angeles School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1989|
|Arizona State University||Finance||PhD - Doctorate||1985|
|Arizona State University||N/A||MBA||1981|
|Purdue University||Aeronautical Engineering||BS - Bachelor of Science||1973|