James M. Parker - Modrall Sperling

James M. Parker

Listed in Best Lawyers since 1993

Jim Parker has more than 40 years experience giving advice and counsel to his clients in the areas of federal taxation, estate planning, employee benefits, and health care law.  A large part of Jim's practice is devoted to the representation of family businesses, succession planning, professional practice groups.  Because of Jim's expertise, he is a sought after speaker and has made presentations at professional meetings for the New Mexico Family Business Alliance, the New Mexico Estate Planning Council, and the Santa Fe Estate Planning Council.   

Jim Parker is widely considered "one of the deans of business law in New Mexico," recently reported Chambers USA, where he has been continuously selected since 2003.  He has been recognized as a Fellow by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (Charter Fellow), and by the American College of Tax Counsel.  Jim was named Lawyer of the Year in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law – Albuquerque in 2012 by Best Lawyers of America®, where he has been listed each year since 1993.  In addition, he has attained Martindale-Hubbell'sAV® rating and is named among those listed in Southwest Super Lawyers®. 

Oklahoma State UniversityBS 1964University of Oklahoma
American College of Trust and Estate CounselAmerican College of Employee Benefits CounselAmerican College of Tax CounselAmerican Bar AssociationState Bar of New MexicoNew Mexico Family Business AllianceSmall Business Council of America

Case History

Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law
  • Long-term representation of a construction-industry company.  Recently facilitated the third transition of this small business to its new owners. Succession planning for closely held businesses often requires creative solutions that balance competing business and personal objectives, all in the context of complex family dynamics.  This most recent sale of the business was by the owner-father to his two sons, their spouses, and a key employee, the company's in-house accountant. When bank financing requirements became too cumbersome and restrictive to meet some of the family's personal priorities, we restructured the asset purchase agreement to include owner-financing. The terms were crafted both to accommodate the realities of the business's anticipated income and cash flow and to address the seller's retirement needs and income and estate tax objectives. To minimize the disruptions that inevitably occur during shifts of management control, we negotiated an employment agreement for the out-going owner to remain employed by the company in a meaningful consulting role. Ongoing employment also allowed seller to continue to participate in company benefits, such as healthcare and profit-sharing. 
Tax-Free Reorganization
  • Represented corporate shareholders in a tax-free reorganization achieved by having each of three of the shareholders exchange their stock in the parent company for stock in one of the three subsidiary entities while the fourth shareholder retained his interest in the parent corporation. To meet the IRS requirements for a tax-free spinoff, the shareholders agreed to continue to operate the four ranches for a minimum of five years. 
Estate Planning
  • Prepared estate plan for client who owns a company very similar to a separate entity that was owned by his brother. When our client's brother died, his estate found it necessary to sell the company.  In the course of preparing the estate tax return, the estate had the company appraised. The appraised value, in tandem with the then-applicable 35 percent gift tax rate, presented a very favorable estate planning opportunity for our client. Pursuant to a Confidentiality Agreement, we are able to use the appraisal as the basis for valuing our client's company and remove a significant asset from his estate by arranged for lifetime gifts of shares in the company to his beneficiaries at a tremendous discount. 
  • Advised physician practices, including negotiating individual physician contracts, executive compensation and employee benefits, and HIPAA compliance.  On behalf of practice groups we have negotiated agreements with hospitals. 

Client Comments

"Jim Parker has provided our company with excellent counsel over many years."

"I have known Jim Parker for about 35 years and know him to be a man of integrity and extremely knowledgeable in the area of contracts and tax law, which are the areas that I have worked with him most. He is one of first names that come to mind when someone asks me for a name of an attorney because I know that they will be treated honestly and professionally."

-Bill Avery
Professional Practice Sales & Appraisals, Inc.

Office Location

500 Fourth Street, NW, Suite 1000
P.O. Box 2168
Albuquerque, NM 87103
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2013 Lawyer of the Year in Trusts and Estates of the Albuquerque Metro Area2012 Lawyer of the Year in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law of the Albuquerque Metro Area
James M. Parker has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!James M. Parker has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law
Corporate Law
Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
Health Care Law
Litigation and Controversy - Tax
Mergers and Acquisitions Law
Tax Law (Corporate)
Trusts and Estates (Estate Planning)