SCOTT M. FARKAS
SCOTT'S BACKGROUND: Scott is an attorney at law and principal member-owner of the Firm. Scott was admitted to the California Bar in 1998; he is a graduate of University of Southern California (B.A., Sociology, 1994), Loyola Law School of Los Angeles (J.D., 1998) and University of Southern California (Master of Business Taxation, 1999). Before joining the Firm in June 2001, Scott first served as a law clerk with the Firm during the summers of 1996 and 1997. Thereafter, Scott worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, from 1999 to June 2001, in the Technology Information, Communication and Entertainment ("TICE") practice. His responsibilities included tax consulting for corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and individuals. Scott is married and has two children. Scott's outside interest include travel, soccer, golf, tennis, movies, USC Football and USC Basketball.
SCOTT'S QUALIFICATIONS: In 1999, Scott received his Master of Business Taxation degree with an emphasis in estate planning and individual tax issues. Scott worked side by side with Glenn M. Alperstein as his mentor and now carries on his excellent work. Scott is a true counselor at law for our clients. His membership and participation in numerous bar and legal professional committee memberships include being a Member of the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association and Member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He participates in section memberships within each organization in tax, trusts and probate. Scott is on the Board for the Junior Blind of America where he chairs the Planned Giving Committee.
Scott's area areas of expertise include:
Federal and California Estate, Gift, and Generation Skipping Tax Planning and Tax Controversy Work. Scott encourages the creative use of revocable living Trusts to satisfy family and personal objectives, including the avoidance of probate and probate expenses, the elimination or substantial reduction of federal estate taxes and the avoidance of conservatorship proceedings.
Estate, gift and post mortem tax planning. Scott has extensive experience in the areas of estate, gift and post mortem tax planning including marital deduction and generation skipping planning, sophisticated gift planning, the use of so-called "estate freeze" techniques, including the use of family limited partnerships, limited liability companies, grantor retained income trusts ("GRITS"), charitable remainder and charitable lead trusts, and irrevocable gift trusts (including so-called "crummey" trusts, generation skipping trusts and life insurance trusts). Scott is also experienced in handling probate, and testamentary trusts and trusts requiring probate supervision.
FEDERAL AND CALIFORNIA INCOME, GIFT, ESTATE AND AUDITS AND LITIGATION. Scott provides a complete range of counseling, representation and tax compliance assistance in matters involving federal and state estate, gift, generation skipping, post mortem tax, and real property tax matters, including audit, appeal and tax court litigation relating thereto.
JOEL M. SIMON
JOEL'S BACKGROUND: Joel is an attorney at law ("av" rated in Martindale-Hubbell) and one of the principal member-owners of the firm. Prior to attending law school, Joel graduated from California State University At Northridge, obtaining his Master of Arts Degree in History. Joel taught American History, Political Science and Far Eastern History at Rio Hondo and Cerritos Colleges. While working as an instructor, Joel attended and graduated Cum Laude from Whittier College of Law in 1978, where he distinguished himself as a member of Law Review and was awarded the prestigious American Jurisprudence Award in Commercial Transactions and Constitutional Law. Joel has served as an Adjunct Instructor at Whittier College of Law, teaching Legal Research and Writing. Joel is married to Sylvia for more than 35 years. His primary outside interests include community service, hiking and every aspect of computers (including assuming full responsibility for the computerization of the firm).
JOEL'S QUALIFICATIONS: Joel is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee, serving as Chairman of the Committee in 1993-94. He is also an actively participating Judge Pro Tem assigned on a "pro bono" basis to sit for both the Superior Court hearing civil matters, unlawful detainer, small claims and appeals. Joel also acts as an arbitrator/mediator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Dispute Resolution Services, mediating and hearing fee arbitration disputes and since 2003, serving as Vice Chair of the Attorney-Client Arbitration and Mediation Services Executive Committee. He is a member of Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, the American Bar Association and is a former Trustee of the Hollywood Bar Association. Joel is a certified mediator, on the panel of probate mediators and has developed negotiation skills to utilize the mediation process to produce effective, economical results for the firm's clients.
JOEL'S BUSINESS LAW, REAL ESTATE, COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS, CIVIL LITIGATION AND "LPS" CONSERVATORSHIP PRACTICE: Joel's practice is uniquely balanced between transactional documentation and litigation in the following areas:
Business Law: Joel's business law experience includes all aspects of business formations, business operations (including maintaining corporate Directors & Shareholder minutes up to date), business agreements (including "Buy-Sell", Redemption Agreements and succession planning) it also includes planning, advising and drafting agreements relating to purchases, sales, reorganizations and liquidations of businesses. Joel is familiar with every conceivable type of legal entity, including both "C" and "S” Corporations, Limited Liability Companies ("LLCs"), Limited Liability Partnerships ("LLPs"), general partnerships, limited partnerships, Family Limited Partnerships ("FLPs"), sole proprietorships and tax exempt entities, including charitable foundations and charitable trusts.
Business and Commercial Law, Dispute Resolution & Litigation Practice: Joel is experienced in counseling, advising and representing clients in all aspects of business, commercial law and real estate dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration and litigation. Joel has extensive experience, including actual in court jury and non jury trial litigation. Joel's experience in drafting and litigating business matters, and his training and conducting of mediations provides a sensitive but aggressive approach to resolving disputes and providing concrete, well reasoned advice to the firm's clients to achieve maximum net economic results in resolving disputes.
Property & Property Tax Matters: Joel also performs services in connection with the purchasing, selling, exchanging (on a tax deferred basis), leasing, financing, refinancing and gifting of both real estate and personal property. Joel is experienced in all aspects real property tax practice, including utilizing Prop 13 and Prop 58 Exemptions as well as dealing with both the Tax Assessor's office to resolve reassessment matters and to avoid adverse determinations.
Pre & Post Marital Agreement: Joel and Scott each render consulting, negotiating, designing and drafting services in connection with all aspects of property agreements between: (i) parties to anticipated marriages, (ii) spouses and (iii) domestic partners, relating to: the preservation of separate property rights; the transmutation of joint tenancy and separate property into community property
Conservatorship/Elder Abuse Matters: Joel's practice includes every aspect of representing clients in both probate conservatorship and Department 95A of the Los Angeles Superior Court in connection with LPS Conservatorship matters (including representing clients in jury trials). Additionally, Joel's practice includes extensive experience making court appearances in general probate and probate conservatorship matters and vindicating the rights of the gravely disabled and persons subjected to elder abuse.
Legal Services In Carrying Out Sophisticated Gift Plans: Joel's practice includes every aspect of carrying out sophisticated gift programs designed by Scott, including the design, formation and funding of the Limited Liability Company ("LLC") or Family Limited Partnership ("FLP"), including dealing with control issues, Prop 13 issues, title insurance issues, gifting (assigning) LLC or FLP interests to donees and other interrelated issues thereto.
Joel's extensive background in both the transactional and litigation process gives him a highly practical approach to the law with the ability to provide advice and counsel in transactional matters based upon his court room, mediation, arbitration and experience as a litigator.