Welcome to Our Law Firm
Welcome to our law firm! We are the premiere practitioner helping Americans comply with United States laws concerning foreign financial accounts, an area of practice we call “foreign accounts compliance.”
We are also a leading practitioner representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service in tax controversies.
We also perform estate planning for our clients. We are expert in estate planning and federal estate and gift taxation.
Our clients are individuals located throughout the United States and beyond.
I manage the firm and, at the moment, practice all if its law.
I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the youngest of four brothers. I earned my B.S.B.A. cum laude in Accounting from Aquinas College in 1978. In my last year at Aquinas, I interned in the Tax Department of BDO in Grand Rapids. Upon graduating from Aquinas I joined the Audit Staff of Ernst & Young’s Grand Rapids office. I passed all four parts of the Uniform CPA Examination with high scores in my first sitting. I could have made a career at E&Y, but after three years matriculated at Notre Dame Law School. I served as Staff Member and Associate Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review.
Since earning my J.D. from Notre Dame in 1985, I have practiced tax and estate planning law. I earned a Master of Laws, an LL.M., in Tax Law from Washington University in St. Louis in 1991.
Two characteristics stand out above all others for a lawyer. The first is honesty. Honesty in all matters, large or small. If an attorney is not honest, no one will rely upon him—not judges, not juries, not opposing counsel, not clients. An attorney who is not honest is worthless.
The second essential characteristic for an attorney is passion. Passion impels a lawyer to marshal the facts, to find the law, to give the soundest advice possible, to effectively advocate for clients, to win for clients.
I take seriously my fiduciary duties to clients. They include duties of—
- Loyalty—I cannot and will not have a conflict of interest in representing a client.
- Due care—In representing a client I must be competent and diligent.
- Disclosure—I must keep my client informed of developments in his or her case.
No one knows the facts of a client’s case better than the client. I welcome input from clients.
Fees and Retainers
A note about fees and retainers—a very important subject. My hourly rate is $495 for foreign accounts compliance matters, and $395 for all other matters. I charge for all of my time, including initial consultations.
Our hourly rates are inclusive of Westlaw and Thomson Reuters Checkpoint electronic legal research services. They also include USPS postage, but not UPS shipping charges. We charge for all other out-of-pocket charges we incur on a client’s behalf, such as court filing costs, court reporter charges, and travel and lodging costs.
When we begin representing a client, we request a payment of a retainer. We bill against the retainer. When we have used up a retainer, we may request payment of an additional retainer. Our bills are payable upon issuance. Unpaid balances bear interest at the annual rate of 7 percent.