What is the best part of your job?
Teaching and training younger lawyers and other team members the skills needed to perform at the highest levels of which they are capable.
Who has inspired you in your career?
I have had several mentors at Sirote, many of whom would not have thought of themselves in that light. I am blessed to have had a broad practice that brought me into the orbit of many good lawyers. From each of them, I studied the best of what they did and tried to incorporate it into my practice. Technical legal skills, of course. But of most importance are the “soft” skills required to work effectively with clients and their other advisors, with opposing lawyers, judges, and other stakeholders.It’s important to communicate with each person at their level of understanding and abilities. The content, tone, and manner of each communication is critical to a person’s grasp of the situation.
What are you most proud of in your practice?
Having developed over 40 years a highly skilled practice and, over the last 20 years, having built a highly skilled practice team to support and extend that practice. At this point, my team can independently provide our clients with every bit of expertise and skill that a client might come to me for.
What do you think are the three most important things you do to serve your clients?
1. Provide them my technical expertise, naturally. But I try to help them understand our recommendations and why we make them. 2. I try hard not to be a “two-handed” lawyer-on the one hand this, and on the other that. 3. Clients are entitled to advice that is as practical and useful as I can make it. They are also entitled to understand the advice at a practical level and depth.
2. I try hard not to be a “two-handed” lawyer-on the one hand this, and on the other that.
3. Clients are entitled to advice that is as practical and useful as I can make it. They are also entitled to understand the advice at a practical level and depth.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I now read extensively, which I was unable to do earlier because of career and family demands. I play golf when I can, and I love to travel. My most cherished time is that spent with my grandchildren. Having lost both of my grandfathers early, I take every opportunity to build memories with each grandchild.
Awards and Accreditations
•The Best Lawyers in America
•AV-Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
•Mid-South Super Lawyers
•The Best Lawyers in America
•Tax Law (1993-2019)
•Litigation and Controversy - Tax (2011-2019)
•Best Lawyers Litigation and Controversy - Tax Lawyer of the Year
•AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
•Mid-South Super Lawyers (2011-2016)
•Alabama State Bar
•Award of Merit (2009)
•WM Scruggs Service (2013)
•Best of US Inc., Tax Law (2006)
•Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorney in Tax Law
•Corporate Counsel Magazine, Best Lawyers in America in Tax Law (2003)
•Handles substantial tax controversies and litigation with federal and state authorities involving audits, administrative appeals, and litigation in federal and state courts
•Handles business, corporate, and shareholder controversies in federal and state courts
•Performs tax planning and corporate planning for individuals and closely held businesses, including income, estate, gift, state, and local taxes; business transactions; and family succession planning
•Extensive knowledge of subjects related to tax practice and procedure and the handling of tax controversies and tax litigation
•Taught for 28 years on tax practice and procedure at the University of Alabama School of Accounting (Master of Tax Accounting) and School of Law (LLM in Taxation)
Outside the Office
•Homewood City Schools Foundation
•Focus on Recovery
•United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham
•Honorable Irene F. Scott, Senior Judge of the United States Tax Court
•Law Clerk (1976-1978)
Speeches and Publications
•Speaker, Federal Tax Clinic on tax procedure and on ethics and standards of tax practice for several years
•Editor, The Defender , Sirote's Tax Controversy Blog
•Editor, The Preserver , Sirote's Conservation Easement Blog
•Co-author, Navigating the Defenses to Valuation Penalties in Charitable Deduction Cases, Journal of Taxation, December 2014
•Co-author, “Conservation Easement Confusion in the Tax Court and Fifth Circuit,” Real Estate Taxation, 2014
•Speaker, Amendment, Modification, and Termination of Conservation Easements, Land Trust Alliance Rally, 2013
•Speaker, Understanding Conservation Easements and Section 170(h) of the Tax Code, Advanced Seminar on Conservation Easements, September 2013
•Speaker, “Tax Planning with Conservation Easements,” Strafford CLE Seminar, March 2013
•Speaker, Alabama Association of Accountants and Tax Preparers, on tax procedure, 2013, 2016
•Speaker, Maximizing the Financial Advantages of Land Conservation, Conservation Easements Seminar, September 2013
•Co-author, Circuit Courts Speak on Conservation Easements-But Is the IRS Listening?, Taxation of Exempts, January/February 2013
•Author, Proving the Value of a Charitable Donation May Be the Least of Your Problems, Journal of Taxation, August 2011
•Co-author, Tax Court Analysis of Land Conservation Easement Values-Developments Since Kiva Dunes, Taxation of Exempts, May 2011
•Co-author, Simmons-Substantial Compliance Revisited, Tax Notes, January 2010
•Co-author, A Guide to Donating Conservation Easements and Substantiating Their Value, Valuation Strategies, May 2010
•Author, Alabama Announces Tax Amnesty Program: Operation Clean Slate, The Counselor, Spring 2009
•Co-author, Kiva Dunes-Making and Substantiating the Value of Conservation Easements, Journal of Taxation, 2009
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 47 Attorneys Selected as The Best Lawyers in America for 2016
•Sirote & Permutt Presents Alabama Society of CPA Seminar Series
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2015
•Sirote & Permutt's Ronald Levitt and David Wooldridge Quoted in Business Alabama Article on Kiva Dunes Case
•Sirote & Permutt Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2015
•Sirote & Permutt Presents ASCPA Webinar Series
•Sirote's Tax Litigation Lawyers File Brief in Appeal of $2.1 Million Conservation Easement Deduction
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 28 Attorneys Selected As Alabama Super Lawyers 2014
•Sirote's Wooldridge Quoted In Bloomberg Article
•Ronald Levitt and David Wooldridge Speak about Conservation Easements
•Attorneys Speak about Tax Issues to the Alabama Association of Accountants & Tax Preparers
•Sirote Attorneys Ronald Levitt and David Wooldridge to Serve as Panelists for the Land Trust Alliance
•Sirote Attorney David Wooldridge Recognized by Alabama State Bar
•Sirote & Permutt Announces 30 Attorneys Selected as Alabama Super Lawyers 2013
•Sirote Attorney David Wooldridge to Speak about Tax Planning with Conservation Easements
•Sirote Legal Alert: The Changing Tax Climate
•Best Lawyers Recognizes 43 Attorneys from Sirote & Permutt as the Best Lawyers in America for 2013
•Register Now for ASCPA CLE Tax Seminar Presented by David Wooldridge
•Sirote's David Wooldridge Will Present ASCPA Tax Webinar
•Sirote's David Wooldridge Featured Speaker for Conservation Easement Workshop
•Register Now for ASCPA Tax Webinar, Presented by David Wooldridge
•David Wooldridge Presenter for ASCPA Webinar
•Sirote Attorneys Levitt and Wooldridge Elected to American College of Tax Counsel
•Sirote & Permutt Successfully Defends Case Against IRS
•Birmingham Magazine Names 14 from Sirote as Top Attorneys
•David Wooldridge Panelist at American Bar Association Tax Institute
•Ronald Levitt and David Wooldridge to Present at Conservation Easement Conference
•Sirote Tax Attorneys Publish Land Easement Article
•Best Lawyers has selected 32 attorneys from Sirote & Permutt for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America for 2011
•Birmingham Magazine Names 5 From Sirote As Top Attorneys
•31 Sirote Attorneys Listed In Best Lawyers
•Alabama State Bar Award Of Merit Presented To David Wooldridge
•Sirote & Permutt Attorneys Have Successful Outcome In Landmark Conservation Easement Case Before US Tax Court
•Sirote Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2009
•Admitted to practice
•United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 4th, 5th, and 11th Circuits
•United States Tax Court
•United States Court of Federal Claims
•Alabama State Bar
•Chairman, Tax Section (1987-1988)
•Chair, Lawyer Assistance Committee (2004-2007)
•Committee Member, Lawyer Assistance Committee (2001-2019)
•Founding Director, Lawyer Assistance Foundation (2004-2016)
•American Bar Association
•Tax Section Court Procedure Committee
•ABA Liaison, IRS Southeast Region (1988-1992)
•American College of Tax Counsel
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