Tom thrives on helping clients navigate the confusing landscape of federal regulation and law enforcement, thanks to his forty year legal career beginning with seven years as a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Combining his experience in government and private practice, Tom has taught courses in federal tax procedure as an adjunct professor at SMU's Dedman School of Law for over 25 years. Tom has also been privileged to represent some of the largest physician groups in Texas on an on-going basis in the numerous business, tax and regulatory issues that arise in their practices. He routinely represents clients in civil and criminal matters stemming from examinations conducted by the IRS, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal and state agencies. He has tried numerous cases the United States District Courts, the U.S. Tax Court, and the state courts.
Tom's philosophy is simply: "We look for solutions that fix the problem in the simplest way possible. If we can avoid trouble by planning, we will. If we can avoid trial by negotiation, we will. If negotiation doesn't work, we will try the case and we will win it."
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- United States Court of Federal Claims
- United States Tax Court
- United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court, Western District of Texas
Civil Tax Controversies
- Forced the IRS to concede that imposition of federal excise taxes on diesel fuel sold for export is unconstitutional.
- Successfully represented a group of physicians in their investment of over $1 million in an alleged "tax shelter".
- Successfully represented a South Texas dentist in connection with the IRS' "hobby loss" disallowance of his ranching operations.
- Obtained an order requiring the IRS to withdraw jeopardy assessments of over $35 million in trust fund recovery penalties.
- Successfully represented numerous "family limited partnerships" in estate tax examinations.
Criminal Tax / White Collar Crime
- Successfully defended an East Texas attorney against conspiracy charge in connection with the promotion of a fraudulent tax shelter.
- Successfully defended an Austin attorney against charges that he conspired with his clients to commit tax evasion.
- Successfully defended a former IRS attorney against charges of obstruction of justice.
- Successfully represented a gasoline wholesaler against charges of tax evasion and money-laundering.
- Successfully represented an East Texas real estate appraiser against charges of conspiring to prepare a fraudulent estate tax return.
- Successfully represented the owner of an environmental waste firm against charges of tax evasion.
- Successfully represented the owner of an Oklahoma City construction firm against charges of tax evasion.
- Restructured the Texas operations of Mednax National Medical Group. (NYSE: MD), a publicly traded medical practice management company.
- Structured Transplant Associates of Baylor Healthcare Systems, P.A., believed to be the largest and most successful organ-transplant IPA in the country.
- Negotiated the purchase or sale of numerous medical and dental practices.
- Successfully defended an Austin physician against proposed assessment of $8.5 million in "civil monetary penalties" for violation of Medicare/Medicaid regulations.
- Negotiated the first structured settlement under the federal "Vaccine Act", a fund established for the benefit of children injured by measles and other childhood-disease vaccines.
- Ongoing representation of numerous health care providers including the formation or acquisition and operation of medical practice groups, particularly in regard to tax and managed care issues.
- Counsels companies, executives and boards of directors on executive compensation matters, including design and drafting of executive compensation plans such as incentive and non-qualified stock option plans and other equity-based compensation arrangements, Phantom Stock plans, performance bonus and profit sharing plans, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock awards, SERPs, and more. Tom’s work in executive compensation matters extensively involves complex issues related to Code Section 409A (deferred compensation), 280G (change in control or "golden parachute" arrangements), and executive retention agreements (“golden handcuffs”).
- Obtained an injunction against the United States government against its threat to disclose the identity of a person guaranteed anonymity under the federal witness protection program.
- Obtained an injunction against the United States government against its threatened seizure of privileged client documents from an attorney.
- Obtained a federal "Civil Rights Act" injunction against the Texas Highway Commission for violating a client's bidding rights on highway construction projects.
- Successfully represented an accountant in connection with the IRS' efforts to disbar him from practice under the IRS' "Circular 230" regulations.