Now that I’ve been nominated by LexisNexis to be one of the top 25 Estate Planning Blogs, I’d like to introduce myself to new readers, and possibly re-introduce myself to old ones. I am an attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a practice focused on estate planning, asset protection, probate, guardianship, and tax planning. I grew up in a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, known as Plantation, in Broward County.
After graduating South Plantation High School in 1991, I attended Brandeis University, in Waltham, MA for my undergraduate degree, and then I went to George Washington University, in Washington, DC, for law school. Going into law school, I never imagined that I would end up a tax lawyer some day. In fact, it was furthest from my mind. But during the summer between my first and second year of law school, I landed an internship with the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, in a Civil Section. That means that they didn’t prosecute criminals who evaded taxes, but instead sued to collect taxes owed. While I didn’t necessarily like the litigation side of it, the technical tax side, with its talmudic like detail, fascinated me.
Starting with my second year of law school, I began to take as many tax classes as I could. My basic Federal Income Tax class was taught by Judge James Halpern of the US Tax Court. Having a sitting Judge teach the class is one of those experiences that you can only get in DC, and the real world knowledge that he brought to the class made for a great experience.
After law school I was hired by the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel, in the Passthroughs and Special Industries division. There, I specialized in the income taxation of partnerships, subchapter S corporations, and trusts. At the IRS I wrote Private Letter Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Notices, and Regulations. I also worked on the IRS’s war against abusive tax shelters, including being the primary docket attorney on Notice 2000-44, the “Son of BOSS” Notice. Although I was in the division that was focused on the income tax of those entities, I worked closely with the division that specialized in the estate and gift tax, and that area always appealed to me.
I stayed at the IRS for seven years. After a while, I got tired of the snow and being cold, and I missed my family and the South Florida community. In 2005, I moved back to South Florida, where I received my Masters in Law (LLM) in Estate Planning at the University of Miami Law School. To me, Estate Planning allowed me the opportunity to be a tax attorney, but also to work with “every day” people. After I finished the LLM program, I then was an associate with a large South Florida law firm for almost three years, at which point I decided to leave and start my own practice.
Which brings us to the present.
I love being a solo practitioner, because it allows me to run my practice the way I want to, and can devote the individual attention to my clients that they deserve.
Thanks for reading, and there is plenty more to come.