Mike has zealously represented individuals and institutions in dispute resolution and avoidance through litigation, negotiation, and practical counseling. He has tried jury and non-jury cases in state and federal trial courts and argued cases in the appellate courts.
Civil Tax Controversies: Taxpayers have engaged Mike to advance their interests in income, estate, employment, and sales tax compliance, audits, and appeals. When cases could not be resolved favorably at the administrative levels, he has represented clients in the United States Tax Court and the federal district courts.
Criminal Tax Investigations: Defendants, targets, witnesses, and victims have turned to Mike for representation in connection with pending or anticipated state and federal criminal investigations of tax and related financial crimes.
Business Litigation: Mike has also represented clients in state and federal civil litigation in which tax, accounting, trusts and estates, or fiduciary duty issues have been indirectly raised, such as disputes involving partnership accountings, real estate co-ownership, deferred compensation arrangements, and ERISA and non-ERISA retirement plan benefits.
Trusts and Estates Litigation: Mike has represented both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in disputes over trusts and estates issues such as accounts, contests, principal and income allocations, investment decisions, and transfer tax allocations.
Income and Estate Tax Planning: Clients, often in concert with their other attorneys or financial professionals, have leveraged Mike’s experience in litigating the close cases by engaging him in connection with complex or uncommon tax planning and high-worth estate planning matters.
Expert Witness and Consultant Engagements: Mike has also been retained by other attorneys as a consulting and testifying expert on tax, trusts and estates, and retirement plan issues.
Professional organizations frequently invite Mike to lecture and author in the areas of tax and trusts and estates. Examples include “Taxation of Employment Litigation Judgments and Settlements,” Contra Costa Lawyer (March 2010); “Prosecuting Claims against Deceased Tortfeasors with Assets in Revocable Trusts,” Contra Costa Lawyer (July 2006); and Criminal Tax Issues & Privileges, presented to the CalCPA, Contra Costa Discussion Group (2004). He regularly participates in the Contra Costa County Bar Association; the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Tax Procedure and Litigation Committee of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of California, and the Estate Planning Council of Diablo Valley.
Mike was born, raised, and educated in the Bay Area. After attending Lowell High School in San Francisco, he graduated summa cum laude from San Francisco State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and criminal justice. He then graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where he received Prosser awards in Evidence and in Lawyering and the Criminal Justice System.