Jim primarily works with business and corporate tax matters and the taxation of pass-through entities. He represents publicly and privately held enterprises in analyzing the federal, state, and local income tax consequences of corporate transactions, including corporate reorganizations, divisions, debt restructurings, joint ventures, and other business transactions.
Jim devotes a significant amount of his practice to resolving taxpayer disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. He particularly enjoys working with business clients to develop the practical solutions that will help them achieve their financial and operational goals.
Jim has garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings. He has been recognized in Pittsburgh's Top Rated Lawyers (2012-2019 editions) for Business, Corporate, and Taxation law by The Legal Intelligencer. Jim has also been included in The Best Lawyers in America® list each year since 2017. He was named “Lawyer of the Year” in 2020 by The Best Lawyers in America® for Tax Law in Pittsburgh. Only one lawyer in each practice and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on voting conducted by The Best Lawyers in America®.
Jim is the author of BNA Tax Management Portfolio 765-4th "Stock Rights and Stock Dividends - Sections 305 and 306." BNA Tax Management Portfolios are often cited in federal tax cases as containing the most persuasive thinking on cutting-edge topics. This portfolio analyzes potential tax problems that could arise in connection with dividend distributions of common or preferred stock and stock rights. It provides a framework for analysis of the tax treatment of such distributions by analyzing the issues regarding when a distribution will be taxable; what factors must be considered in determining whether stock is common or preferred stock; when a distribution of preferred stock will be subject to taint under § 306; and the basis and holding period issues surrounding stock distributions. Jim is also co-author of the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2020 Guidebook to Pennsylvania Taxes published by CCH.
Jim earned his bachelor’s degree from West Liberty State College. Jim earned his law degree from West Virginia University and was Order of the Coif. Jim went on to earn his LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida.