Minimizing tax pain: These lawyers work to save you money and migraines
Mona Shield Payne
4 February 2013
Taxes and lawyers. Two of the most hated topics.
But find a good tax lawyer and he or she is likely to change your mind.
A well-trained tax attorney can keep you or your company on firm legal ground, prevent an IRS audit, and perhaps most importantly, save you money.
Tax attorneys perform two main functions, whether their client is an individual, small business or multimillion-dollar corporation. Simply put, they prevent problems and minimize obligations.
Tax lawyers can help you with financial planning, advise on tax strategies and, if needed, negotiate with the IRS.
Southern Nevada is rich with talent in the field.
Several local firms focus solely on tax and estate issues, while many more have specialized practice groups on the topic.
Need good advice? These are some of the top tax attorneys in Southern Nevada:
Robert C. Anderson, partner
Holland & Hart
With more than three decades of experience, Anderson advises private and public companies on federal income tax matters, as well as mergers and acquisitions. He has extensive experience working with limited liability companies.
Anderson helps clients with tax and business law issues and represents companies both in roll-up transactions and in assessing sale or exit strategies. He is well regarded for his knowledge and experience in structuring complex transactions to satisfy the needs of both buyers and sellers. He also represents companies actively pursuing buy-side acquisitions and those sought by publicly traded companies and private equity funds.
Anderson is an adjunct professor at the Boyd School of Law, where he teaches business planning, and is a guest speaker at UNLV and UNR. He is the chairman of the tax section of the State Bar of Nevada and the president of the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Nevada Society of CPAs.
Jeffrey C. Boyce, member
Boyce & Gianni LLP
Boyce received an AV rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest professional rating for an attorney. His law practice focuses on taxation trusts, estates and business planning.
Boyce is a former vice president and regional trust manager for Wells Fargo Bank, and he worked for the Internal Revenue Service as well as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is licensed to practice in Nevada and Utah and in U.S. Tax Court.
He is a member of the American Bar Association, Clark County Bar Association, the State Bar of Nevada, the State Bar of Utah and the Southern Nevada Estate Planning Council.
Boyce received his undergraduate degree at Utah State University, magna cum laude, in 1993; his juris doctorate from Brigham Young University, cum laude, in 1996; and a masters of law in taxation from New York University School of Law in 1997.
Christine A. Bricker, shareholder
Bricker is a shareholder in the corporate and real estate department. She focuses primarily on real estate finance and loan restructurings, real estate acquisitions and development, leasing and commercial transactions.
Bricker also has represented clients seeking tax credits for the acquisition, rehabilitation or new construction of rental housing targeted to underserved markets.
Prior to joining Gordon Silver, Bricker was a partner at Bricker & Eckler in Columbus, Ohio. She also served as a judicial clerk for the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Ohio.
Bricker has been listed in Best Lawyers in America from 2005 through the present. She also was recognized as a Nevada Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2008.
Kenneth A. Burns, shareholder
Kolesar & Leatham
Burns is a member of the State Bar of Nevada and is admitted to practice in U.S. District Court in Nevada, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Tax Court.
He is a co-author of “Business Law and Taxes: A Desk Guide” and a contributing author to “Legal Environment of Business, Government Regulation, and Public Policy Analysis.” He previously worked for the IRS, where he was the primary legal counsel for a study to determine whether gaming should be a national coordinated specialization. He was instrumental in developing a number of IRS positions on gaming.
Burns received his juris doctorate from the University of Miami in 1982 and was selected for the prestigious John M. Olin Fellowship in law and economics while attending law school. He received his bachelor of business administration degree from Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., in 1974 and a master of arts degree in economics from the University of Hawaii in 1976. He also completed all of the requirements for a doctorate in economics except for the dissertation.
Jeffrey L. Burr, member
Jeffrey Burr Ltd.
Burr has been recognized as one of the top tax and estate planning attorneys in Nevada. His personal client list includes many of the most prominent families in the Las Vegas Valley.
Burr’s firm has received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and he has named by his peers as one of Southern Nevada’s top estate planning attorneys in every edition of Best Lawyers in America.
Burr also is a certified public accountant, having previously worked as a tax accountant for Deloitte & Touche. He also has been a faculty member at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning at the University of Miami School of Law.
Burr received a bachelor of science in accounting from Brigham Young University and his juris doctorate from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in 1979.
Thomas E. Crowe, member
Thomas E. Crowe
Crowe focuses primarily on tax and bankruptcy law with an emphasis in dispute resolution and litigation.
In 1992, he became the sole shareholder of the Thomas E. Crowe Professional Law Corp. The firm has handled more than 1,000 tax matters on behalf of taxpayers challenging the government.
Crowe spent eight years working as an attorney for the IRS in Philadelphia and Las Vegas. He is licensed to practice in Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and in U.S. District Court, U.S. Tax Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
He is a member of the State Bar of Nevada Section of Taxation Executive Committee, the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Clark County Bar Association. Crowe also is a former special assistant U.S. attorney.
Crowe graduated summa cum laude from Temple University and was in the top half of his 1979 Cornell Law School class. He also attended the Villanova Law School Graduate Tax Program.
Krisanne S. Cunningham, of counsel
Holland & Hart
Cunningham’s clients include people, entities and nonprofit groups. She provides guidance on asset and stock sales both from the buyer and seller’s perspective, business structuring and planning and secured financing advice. She has experience working with limited liability companies and has represented nonprofit groups in obtaining federal and state tax exemptions.
Cunningham’s mergers and acquisitions practice includes small, closely held businesses and corporations making acquisitions worth more than $100 million.
She is an active member of the State Bar of Nevada and also is admitted to state bars in Georgia and the District of Columbia.
Cunningham also gives continuing education seminars on limited liability companies and 1031 exchanges.
Bryan D. Dixon, associate
Woods Erickson Whitaker & Maurice LLP
Dixon concentrates on tax law in which he can use both his legal and accounting backgrounds. He helps clients with as federal excise tax, corporate and partnership income tax and state and local tax issues.
In addition, Dixon’s practice includes general corporate law matters with a focus on organization and operation of limited liability companies, the preparation and analysis of deferred compensation plans and estate planning.
Dixon received his juris doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, where he also received master of business administration and master of science in taxation degrees.
Heidi C. Freeman, member
Oshins & Associates LLC
Freeman’s practice areas include estate, business and asset protection planning with an emphasis on dynasty trusts, Nevada asset protection trusts and grantor retained annuity trusts.
From 2008 to 2010, she was listed as one of Nevada’s Rising Stars by Mountain States Super Lawyers magazine, an honor earned by less than 3 percent of attorneys.
Freeman has co-authored several articles and has given presentations on advanced asset protection and wealth-shifting techniques.
She received a bachelor of arts in accounting from the University of Oregon in 1999 and earned her juris doctorate with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 2003. Freeman is a member of the State Bar of Nevada and is vice president of the Southern Nevada Estate Planning Council.
Kristin Genc, shareholder
Genc works in the corporate and real estate department and represents clients in mergers, corporate and limited liability issues, acquisitions and sales and other commercial matters. She also advises on structuring transactions, compensation issues and tax controversies.
She earned her juris doctorate with distinction from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of Pacific in 1998 and her master of laws in taxation from New York University School of Law in 1999.
Russel J. Geist, associate
Hutchison & Steffen LLC
Geist is an associate in the trust and probate litigation department and handles cases involving will, trust and probate disputes. He previously worked for local estate planning firms.
Geist earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and a juris doctorate from the UNLV Boyd School of Law. He received a master of laws degree in taxation from the Dedman School of Law at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Cody Noble, partner
McDonald Carano Wilson LLP
Noble focuses on federal income tax, gift tax, estate tax and generation-skipping tax planning, as well as sales, use and transfer tax and business transactions involving entity formation, trust administration and estate planning. He also has experience in the law of tax-exempt organizations.
Noble joined McDonald Carano Wilson in 2003 after earning a master of laws in taxation from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida. He received a juris doctorate from Brigham Young University, graduating magna cum laude, and a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Southern Utah University, graduating summa cum laude.
Noble also interned for the Utah Supreme Court.
Maria Nutile, shareholder
Nutile Pitz & Associates
Nutile’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, IPAs, MSOs, antitrust cases, fraud and abuse, federal and state compliance issues and health care legal issues.
Nutile is a member of the State Bar of Nevada, the Arizona and Colorado bar associations, the American Bar Association, the American Health Lawyers Association, the Health Care Compliance Association, the Medical Group Management Association and the Clark County Bar Association. She also is trained as a mediator and arbitrator with the American Health Lawyers Dispute Resolution Program.
She received her undergraduate degree from Montclair State University in New Jersey, her master of business in accounting from Farleigh Dickinson University, her juris doctorate from Franklin Pierce Law Center (now the University of New Hampshire School of Law) and her master of laws in taxation from Boston University School of Law.
Nutile previously was a partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP before starting her own firm in 2002.
Richard A. Oshins, member
Oshins & Associates LLC
Oshins focuses on tax and estate planning with an emphasis on multi-generational wealth planning, particularly with regard to closely held businesses. He is regarded as one of America’s top estate planning lawyers and is an advisor to many of the largest financial institutions in the United States.
Oshins has been listed in both the Best Lawyers in America and Martindale-Hubbell’s Preeminent Lawyers since their inception and has been honored as a “Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner” by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils.
Prior to coming to Nevada, Oshins served in Washington, D.C. as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Claims and as an attorney for the U.S. Treasury Department.
He has lectured extensively on innovative tax and estate planning strategies and is the author of numerous articles.
Oshins received a juris doctorate from St. John’s School of Law and earned a masters of business administration in taxation with honors from the University of California at Berkeley. He also received a master of laws degree in taxation with honors from the George Washington University School of Law.
Steven J. Oshins, managing partner
Oshins & Associates LLC
Oshins has played a pivotal role in getting some of the most valuable trust and creditor protection laws passed in Nevada.
During the 2001 legislative session, he co-authored a law for limited liability companies and limited partnerships making a charging order the exclusive remedy for a judgment creditor under Nevada law. He also helped write several subsequent changes to that law, including a bill for the 2011 legislative session that included protecting single-member LLCs and disallowing equitable remedies for limited liability companies, limited partnerships and corporations.
Oshins is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and was named the Las Vegas Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year by the same organization. He was inducted into the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame in 2011. He also has been named one of the Top 100 Attorneys by Worth magazine, one of the Best Lawyers in America by the American Lawyer, one of the Best Lawyers in America by Corporate Counsel and a Mountain States Super Lawyer by Law and Politics.
Oshins has written numerous estate planning and asset protection articles and received an EPIC Award for Best Young Author from Trusts and Estates magazine in 1998.
Kristen E. Simmons, member
Oshins & Associates LLC
Simmons focuses on estate, business and asset protection planning.
She has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and from 2008 through 2011 was listed as one of Nevada’s Rising Stars by Mountain States Super Lawyers magazine.
Simmons was admitted to the State Bar of Nevada in 2004 and to the Florida Bar in 2005. She is a member of the Southern Nevada Estate Planning Council and since 2010 has served on the editorial board of Nevada Lawyer.
Simmons graduated cum laude from the University of Florida in 2001 with a bachelor of arts in English and a minor in business administration. She received her juris doctorate cum laude from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida in 2004.
David A. Straus, member
Law Offices of David A. Straus
Over the past 20 years, Straus has built a successful practice and continuing education/lecture series on the idea of forming alliances and “planning for life.” Straus advises on the estate planning industry, including life insurance, annuities, long-term care insurance, pension planning and other retirement options. He also focuses on trusts, estates, corporate and business planning, with an interest in charitable planning.
He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named a Nevada Super Lawyer.
Straus graduated from Whittier Law School in Los Angeles and in 1991 earned a master of laws in taxation from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
James M. Susa, counsel
Snell & Wilmer
Susa represents clients in both Nevada and Arizona. He has represented governments and private individuals in property, sales, use and income tax matters before administrative and judicial tribunals.
He is recognized as a tax law specialist by the State Bar of Arizona and has more than 20 years of experience litigating appeals before the Office of Administrative Hearings, County and State Boards of Equalization, Tax Commission, Board of Tax Appeals, Tax Court, Court of Appeals, District Court and Supreme Court.
In addition, Susa has lectured extensively on property, sales and use tax matters and is licensed as a certified public accountant in Arizona.
He earned his bachelor of science in business administration with distinction from the University of Arizona in 1995, his juris doctorate with distinction from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law in 1985 and his master of laws in taxation from the University of Florida’s College of Law in 1989.
Scott A. Swain, partner
McDonald Carano Wilson LLP
Swain has almost 25 years of legal experience and is chairman of the firm’s tax and estate planning group.
He focuses his practice on taxation law issues, estate planning, charitable planning and business planning. His clients consist of high net-worth individuals, business owners, public and private charities and fiduciaries of large trusts and estates. Swain represents clients in tax and estate planning matters, business entity structure and formation, asset protection and charitable giving, as well as income and transfer tax planning and federal estate tax, gift tax and generation-skipping transfer tax returns.
Swain is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Mountain States Super Lawyers. He also is co-chairman of the Nevada Taxpayers Association’s Policy Advisory Committee.
R. Glen Woods, member
Woods Erickson Whitaker & Maurice LLP
Woods has worked both in a law firm setting and as in-house counsel for a publicly traded firm.
He has been a member of the Utah State Bar since 1984, the State Bar of Nevada since 1990 and the Arizona Bar since 2001. He founded Woods Erickson Whitaker & Maurice in 1995 with John Erickson.
Woods specializes in taxation and estate planning and has considerable experience in handling federal and state securities registrations, commercial and real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions and litigated matters. He also has represented individuals and companies in federal and state tax disputes, in the courts and before the IRS and state tax agencies and has helped clients establish charitable foundations, charitable trusts, limited partnerships, revocable and irrevocable trusts, dynasty trusts and asset protection trusts.
Woods studied accounting at Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor’s degree with the highest honors in 1981. He received his master’s degree in taxation in 1981, graduating with distinction and completed the certified public accountant examination the same year. He received the highest score in the state.
More top tax attorneys
• Jerome L. Blut, managing partner, Jerome L. Blut Chtd.
• Robert L. Bolick, shareholder, Durham Jones & Pinegar P.C.
• Russell K. Bowler, member, Bowler Dixon & Twitchell LLP
• Jonathan C. Callister, partner, Callister & Frizell
• Robert E. Clark, of counsel, Jeffrey Burr Ltd.
• Catherine M. Colombo, associate, Oshins & Associates, LLC
• Cecil Glenn Foster Jr., counsel, Jeffrey Burr, Ltd
• Christian Gianni, member, Boyce & Gianni LLP
• Dara J. Goldsmith, shareholder, Goldsmith & Guymon P.C.
• Daniel V. Goodsell, member, Goodsell & Olsen
• Garry J. Hayes, partner, Law Office of Hayes & Welsh
• Steven E. Hollingworth, of counsel, Solomon Dwiggins & Freer Ltd.
• A. Collins Hunsaker, associate, Jeffrey Burr Ltd.
• Kirk D. Kaplan, member, Roland & Kaplan
• Michael I. Kling, managing partner, Kling Law Offices
• Bryan A. Lowe, member, Bryan A. Lowe & Associates
• Stephen J. Mayfield, associate, Hutchison & Steffen LLC
• Zachary E. Redman, associate, Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
• Corey Schmutz, associate, Jeffrey Burr Ltd.
• Mark Segal, senior partner, Mark Segal Chtd.
• Thomas Robert Sheets, partner, McDonald Carano Wilson LLP
• Michael H. Singer, principal, Law Offices of Michael H. Singer
• Jeremy B. Spackman, associate, Oshins & Associates LLC
• Briar K. Stahl, associate, Holland & Hart LLP
• Brian K. Steadman, partner, Solomon Dwiggins & Freer Ltd.
• W. Leslie Sully Jr., member, Leavitt Sully & Rivers
• Geraldine Tomich, shareholder, Marquis Aurbach Coffing P.C.
• Justin Townsend, member, Woods Erickson Whitaker & Maurice LLP
• Kristin M. Tyler, associate, Gordon Silver
• Jason C. Walker, associate, Jeffrey Burr Ltd.
• Justin J. Zarcone, partner, Atkin Winner & Sherrod
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