Don Lan

Don grew up in northern New Jersey, but has been in Texas since 1982. He believes he is one of only a few folks in Texas who will admit to being from New Jersey. He attended Rutgers-Camden School of Law, where at graduation he received the Prentice Hall Award for Excellence in Taxation.

Don is not sure how many of his 100 plus classmates took enough tax courses to qualify for this award, but he doubts it is more than 3.

Don’s first legal position was in 1977 as a clerk for the Hon. Murray H. Falk at the United States Tax Court in Washington D.C. While clerking, he met his bride, Debbie, on a blind date – with her then roommate. They married in 1978. After his clerkship ended, Don took a position as a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, DC. In 1980, Don was awarded the Tax Division Outstanding Attorney Award. He stayed at DOJ until September 1982, when he saw the light and moved to Dallas, Texas. Debbie is from Buffalo, NY and thought Washington, DC was the deep south. They remain married.

Don’s practice focuses on high end estate planning, charitable planning, transactions for closely held businesses (including the formation of entities and succession planning), as well as handling federal tax controversies and tax litigation. Don has handled tax cases in all federal forums (US District Court, US Tax Court, US Court of Federal Claims, and US Bankruptcy Court), and tried many, but he is proud to say his cases rarely go to trial. Don’s approach to tax controversies is to explore resolution at the earliest possible time. This saves the client significant legal fees, as well as prolonged emotional stress. If a case needs to be tried, however, Don will oblige. After all, he has clients who would rather pay him instead of the IRS.

If there remains any interest, the rest of Don’s resume follows:

Education:

Georgetown University Law Center
Washington, D.C. – LL.M in Tax (1982)
Rutgers-Camden School of Law
Camden, New Jersey – JD (1977)
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, Rhode Island – BS (Accounting) (1974)

Bar Admissions:

Texas; District of Columbia;
New Jersey (inactive);
U.S. Tax Court;
U.S. Court of Federal Claims;
U.S. District Court for Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas;
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth and Federal Circuits

Honors:

1977 – Prentice-Hall Award for Excellence in Taxation
1980 – U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division,
Outstanding Attorney Award

Lecturer:

Adjunct Professor of Law (1990 – 2005)
Southern Methodist University School of Law
Course: Federal Tax Procedure I

Frequent lecturer at local, state and national seminars on topics involving Federal tax controversies and litigation, as well as ethical obligations of tax practitioners.

Recipient:
  • Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine 2007-2009
  • Best Business Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine 2009
  • Top Personal Lawyer in Dallas, D Magazine 2009
  • Best Tax Lawyer in Dallas, D Magazine, 2010-2015
  • Texas Super Lawyer, Texas Monthly Magazine 2003-2015,
  • including voted Top 100 Lawyer in State of Texas and Top 100
  • Lawyer in Dallas/Fort Worth Region (2010-2013)
Miscellaneous:

American Bar Association – Tax Section

  • Court Procedure Committee
  • Standards of Tax Practice Committee
  • (Vice Chair — 1999-2001; Chair — 2001-2003)

State Bar of Texas – Tax Section

  • Chairman, Court Procedures Committee (1995-1997)
  • Council Member (1997-2000)

Fellow, The American College of Tax Counsel
Fellow, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
Fellow, Dallas Bar Foundation

Memberships:

American Bar Association – Tax Section

  • Court Procedure Committee
  • Standards of Tax Practice Committee
  • (Vice Chair — 1999-2001; Chair — 2001-2003)

State Bar of Texas – Tax Section

  • Chairman, Court Procedures Committee (1995-1997)
  • Council Member (1997-2000)

On Don’s first day at law school, he heard the dean say that “the law should always be a part of your life, but not your entire life”. He doesn’t remember anything else the dean said. Don likes to play golf – or play at golf. His handicap is his swing. Don fancies himself a lover of fine food and wine. Others disagree. He enjoys travel and live music, but mostly spending time with his family. He is an avid Dallas Stars fan.

Don Lan's Contact Information

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