My approach to problem-solving is simple but effective. I look for the practical or outside-the-box solution that will fix the problem in the easiest, most cost-efficient way possible, whether it’s planning on the front end to avoid trouble altogether or negotiating a favorable settlement to keep my client out of the courtroom. If planning and negotiation don’t work, I’m always ready to take the case to trial and do whatever it takes to win.
Chair of the Tax Department, Tom Rhodus combines his early experience as a government trial lawyer with over 30 years of private practice to help clients navigate the complex landscape of federal regulation and law enforcement. With diverse clients ranging from healthcare groups and publicly-traded companies to non-profits and wealthy entrepreneurs, Tom focuses primarily on resolving tax and other regulatory controversies involving civil and criminal liability. He has tried numerous cases to successful verdicts in federal and state courtrooms across the country and has also guided clients through investigations conducted by the IRS, the Department of Health and Human Services and other government agencies.
During his seven-year tenure as a trial lawyer for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Tom prosecuted countless civil and criminal tax cases and gained an insider perspective that most private-practice lawyers can’t bring to the table. With his first-hand knowledge of how government lawyers think and what they need to get settlements approved, Tom can work more efficiently and focus on creative, realistic solutions, instead of wasting his clients’ time and money chasing impossible outcomes.
Clients rely on Tom’s skillful guidance outside the courtroom as well. He provides ongoing strategic counsel to some of the largest physician groups in Texas and a variety of other businesses that need proactive business planning and efficient structures to minimize tax liability and avoid government intervention. He also advises clients on the tax and regulatory consequences of various strategic transactions and guides them through a broad range of day-to-day business decisions and corporate governance issues.
Tom ensures that numerous tax controversies and planning matters are in the right hands and always on track to a timely, successful outcome. More recently, the tax group has devoted substantial time to bringing business owners up to speed on the recently-enacted federal tax legislation and helping clients resolve the increasing number of fiduciary claims within trusts and family businesses.
Dedicated to educating future lawyers and giving back to the legal community, Tom has taught as an adjunct professor at the SMU Dedman School of Law for over 35 years, including courses in federal tax procedure and criminal tax fraud.