Leonard began his career as a Trial Attorney with the Tax Division, United States Department of Justice. A major focus of his practice continues to be tax controversies. Leonard has represented taxpayers in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, United States District Courts, The United States Tax Courts, trial and appellate courts of the State of Mississippi as well as administratively before the Internal Revenue Service and Mississippi State Department of Revenue.
Leonard has been a leader in media access issues. He has represented clients in the areas of courtroom closures, open meeting violations and public records access under Mississippi law and Freedom of Information Act issues under Federal law. Indeed, his work resulted in the establishment of procedures Mississippi trial judges must follow before they can close a courtroom or restrict access to court records.
With a J.D. from the University of Mississippi and an LL.M. from Georgetown University, Leonard has been practicing law for more than 40 years having been admitted in Mississippi State and Federal Courts, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Tax Court and United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. His dedication to the legal profession has been demonstrated over the years through his positions as President of the Hinds County Bar Association, President of the Mississippi Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Taxation Chair of the Mississippi Bar and selection as a fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation.
Speeches & Publications
•L. Van Slyke and T. Rushing, “Sunshine in Mississippi: The Open Meetings Act,” 60 Mississippi Law Journal 283 (1990)
•Open Meetings and Public Records Law: Case Law and Ethics, Lorman Educational Services (2002)
•Mississippi Sales Tax, National Business Institute (1998-2005)
•Tax Controversy Procedure, Mississippi Society of CPAs (2000)
•Open Meetings and Public Records, Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information (2002)
•Access to Court Records & Proceedings, Mississippi Press Association (1992)
•Presenter for Galloway United Methodist Church: “Wills, Advance Health Care Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney”. September 26, 2012 and October 3, 2012.
•Panelist for Galloway United Methodist Church: “End of Life” series. November 7, 2012.
•Presenter for Mississippi Municipal League: “Open Meetings and Public Records”. November 15, 2012.
Honors & Awards
•Best Lawyers in America : Media Law; Tax Law; Trusts & Estates; Litigation-Trusts & Estates; Litigation & Controversy-Tax; and
•Mid-South Super Lawyers in Tax
•Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Tax
•fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation
•Brunini Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers
•2016 Mid-South Super Lawyers
•Twenty- seven honored by Best Lawyers 2017, Four attorneys named “Lawyer of the Year”
•Brunini’s 2014 Super Lawyers
Community & Professional Activities
•Mississippi Bar, Former Chair Tax Section
•Hinds County Bar Association, President 1990-91
•Capital Area Bar Association
•Adjunct Professor, Mississippi College School of Law
•Jackson Tax Forum
•Federal Bar Association, Mississippi Chapter, Former President
•Mississippi Tax Institute, Trustee 1982-84
•Mississippi Chapter of Common Cause, Board 2003-05
•Meritas Law Firms Worldwide, Board 2005-08
•Jackson Touchdown Club, President 2008
•University of Southern Mississippi. Alumni Director 2002-05
•Galloway United Methodist Church, Chair, Board of Trustees 2008
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