Because of Steve’s passion, education, and experience, Tax is the Kauffman Group’s strong suit. Steve has over 30 years of relevant tax experience, and has carefully selected a team of attorneys and CPAs who have nearly a century of combined experience in Tax Planning [link], Return Preparation [link], and Tax Controversy (i.e. representing clients in disputes with taxing authorities) [link].
Most people think of litigation as involving dramatic cross examinations of hostile witnesses or inspiring closing arguments in high-stakes jury trials. While these events sometimes occur, litigation involves a lot more than trial work. It starts with planning to avoid disputes before they even arise, and includes informal negotiations, includes alternatives to litigation, including mediation, and arbitration. Steve has extensive experience in all of these areas.
Most tax and business lawyers do not litigate cases. It’s not what they do. Steve is an exception to that rule. He has litigated hundreds of cases, many of which were actually tried as opposed to being settled on the courthouse steps [link]. Many attorneys, even those who do nothing but litigation, have little if any experience trying a case to a jury. Steve has tried nearly 20 jury trials. Most of his trial work involves the representation of clients with serious tax issues in the U.S. Tax Court and other federal courts [link], as well as before state and local courts and boards.
Steve also represents business clients in disputes with co-owners, competitors, vendors, customers, or other third parties [link]. Steve believes that being a trial attorney makes him a better tax and business attorney, while practicing tax and business law makes him a better trial attorney in cases involving tax and business issues [link].
Steve has extensive experience assisting small to mid-sized business clients with myriad business-related concerns, such as (a) business formation (including choice of entity)[link]; (b) drafting, reviewing and negotiating [link]: (i) co-ownership agreements (including stockholder agreements for corporations and their stockholders, partnership agreements for general and limited liability partnerships and their partners, and operating agreements for limited liability companies and their members [link]; (ii) lease, employment, customer, and vendor agreements, including terms and conditions [link]; and (iii) purchases and sales of businesses, including asset sales, stock sales, statutory mergers, and other business combinations [link], and (c) business-related litigation.