Montana Tax Institute 2019 - Speakers


Come learn from some of the nation’s tax experts:


John Brown began working in his parents’ business in 1957. Management quickly recognized his talent with a salary increase to 25¢ an hour. Seeking to improve his financial prospects, John eventually attended law school and co-founded a Denver, Colorado law firm. John focused his practice on representing business owners and their companies. After learning that neither owners (nor their advisors) had any idea of how to prepare themselves or their businesses for their inevitable exits, John wrote his first book on exit planning in 1988. “I wanted to share the strategies my clients and I used to run their businesses and ultimately convert them into cash.” Those groundbreaking strategies appeared in John’s first book for owners, How To Run Your Business So You Can Leave It In Style. In 1996, John founded Business Enterprise Institute (BEI), a member-based organization, to train business advisors to help their businessowning clients exit their businesses “in style.” BEI has developed a host of tools, services and strategies, including tax minimization strategies, to help its Exit Planning Advisors create and implement written Exit Plans. Today, BEI serves advisor-members throughout North America. John went on to write two more books (Cash Out Move On: Get Top Dollar—and More—Selling Your Business (2008), and Exit Planning: The Definitive Guide (2016)). He speaks to groups of owners and advisors across the US, including numerous Family Business Center conferences. He is a regular contributor to, Axial’s Forum and BEI’s weekly blog for advisors.


Darren T. Case is a shareholder in Tiffany & Bosco P.A. and assists clients in the areas of estate planning, probate and tax.  He has served as president and board member of the Central Arizona Estate Planning Council. He also writes and speaks frequently. He is a co-author of the Arizona Estate Planning and Probate Handbook, published by Thomson Reuters – West, and has authored articles published by Tax Management – Estates, Gifts and Trust Journal, and Forbes. He has presented at the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, the Western Pension and Benefits Planning Council Annual Conference and for the Maricopa County Bar Association. He has earned a Martindale Hubbell Preeminent AV rating and been named as a Super Lawyers Southwest Rising Star. Darren earned his LL.M. in taxation, with a certificate in estate planning from Georgetown University, his J.D. from Chapman University, and a B.I.S. from Arizona State University.


James M. Delaney is the Winston S. Howard Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Wyoming College of Law. He began his teaching career at the College of Law in 2003 where he teaches Federal Income Taxation, Business Entities Taxation, Estate & Gift Taxation, and Estate Planning. From 2012 through 2013, Professor Delaney served as Counsel to the Chief Judge of United States Tax Court. From 2014 through 2017 he served as the Academic Associate Dean and Professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law. He is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. Professor Delaney currently authors Federal Income Tax Questions & Answers (2d Ed. Carolina Academic Press 2019), serves as update author for Planning for Large Estates (LexisNexis), and will co-author with Prof. Elaine Gagliardi, Estate & Gift Tax Questions and Answers (3d Ed., Carolina Academic Press (forthcoming 2019)). Prior to accepting his position as a professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law, he practiced tax law at Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington, served as tax counsel to General Electric Capital Assurance Corporation and served as a law clerk the Honorable Robert P. Ruwe, Judge, United States Tax Court. He earned his LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida and his JD from Gonzaga University. As an undergraduate, he earned his BA in Economics from the University of Washington. Professor Delaney is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.


Michael J. Desmond is Chief Counsel of the IRS and Assistant General Counsel in the Department of Treasury. He was confirmed March 8, 2019. Prior to confirmation as Chief Counsel, he practiced in the tax controversy area through his firm, The Law Offices of Michael J. Desmond, and earlier with the firm of Bingham McCutchen. He has served as Tax Legislative Counsel, U.S. Department of Treasury, and as trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. He clerked for Judge Ronald S.W. Lew, United States District Judge for the Central District of California. Michael received his J.D. from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, and his B.A. from UC Santa Barbara.


Christian Dietrich has served as General Counsel for the Montana Land Reliance (MLR) since 2016, after working in a small law firm in Helena where he counted MLR among his favorite clients. He grew up as a faculty brat at the University of Montana before attending St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, on Montana’s Frank Hervey Cook Scholarship. He graduated from Yale University in 2005, writing his senior thesis on the formation of Glacier National Park. After receiving his degree, he returned to Missoula to attend law school, where he focused on tax law and graduated with honors in 2009. Christian moved to Helena to serve as a law clerk for then-Supreme Court Justice W. William Leaphart, and continued clerking under Justice Beth Baker. He is the former Chair of the Nonprofit Law Section of the State Bar, and speaks frequently on conservation easement and nonprofit law topics at continuing education seminars for professional groups. He is the co-author of Conservation Easements: Tax and Real Estate Planning for Landowners and Advisors (American Bar Association, 2011) and serves on the national Land Trust Alliance's Conservation Defense Advisory Council. He is married to his law school sweetheart, Michelle, and enjoys hiking to backcountry hot springs in any and all weather conditions, playing disc golf, and pitching in with other local nonprofit organizations.


David Dietrich graduated from Whitman College with a BA degree with honors in 1979. He served in the Peace Corps in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He attended the Alexander Blewett School of Law in 1984. David is a fourth generation Montanan with a ranching, real estate and estate planning background. His firm, Dietrich & Associates, P.C., has provided real estate, tax and estate planning services to high net worth clients, including tax sensitive estate and valuation planning, income tax planning, the negotiation of conservation easements, and business succession planning. David is the Past Chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trusts Law Section (2016 to 2017) of the American Bar Association and a fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates counsel. He is a past Co-Chair of the ABA’s Property Preservation Task Force, which resulted in the Uniform Law Commission’s adoption of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, now law in over 12 states, and introduced in 11 others including, recently, Illinois and New York. David is currently on the University of Montana Tax Institute Advisory Board and serves on the Board of Trustees of Rocky Mountain College in Billings. He served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Montana Land Reliance, a private land trust in Montana, having in excess of 1,000,000 acres under protection. David’s publications include: a 2018 presentation at the ACTEC Regional Meeting (Coeur d’Alene, ID) meeting on Quid Pro Quos in Conservation Easements; his program on the “Strategies and Considerations in the Use of Business Entities” for estate planning, for the New York Law School/ABA-RPTE “Skills Training for Estate planners” (2012 to 2018), a 2011 ABA Book entitled Conservation Easements: Tax and Real Estate Planning for Landowners and Advisors; “Selected Post-Mortem Estate Tax Elections for the Small Business Owner” RPTE 2003, “Pleasing Mother Earth and the IRS: Using Conservation Easements to Save Open Space, Income and Estate Taxes” for the Heckerling Institute for Estate Planning for the University of Miami in January 2003 and other tax and real estate related topics for the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Montana. David and his family enjoy living in the Big Sky Country; he engages outdoor activities in any season.


Nick Dietzen is Philanthropic Advisor, Montana Office of Gift Planning of the Montana Community Foundation.  As a philanthropic advisor, Nick provides thoughtful analysis regarding annual philanthropy and creating philanthropic legacies through planned gifts. Nick has traveled the Treasure State extensively working with local community foundations, nonprofits, donors and businesses alike to establish and grow charitable funds.  Nick obtained his Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation in 2019. Previously, Nick was a Major Gifts Officer and Sports Information Director at Carroll College in Helena, MT. Nick is a graduate of the Annenberg School for Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California.  Nick currently lives in Bozeman.


Samuel A. Donaldson is a Professor of Law at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Georgia State faculty in 2012, he was on the faculty at the University of Washington School of Law for 13 years. At UW, Professor Donaldson served for two years as Associate Dean for Academic Administration and for six years as the Director of the law school’s Graduate Program in Taxation. He teaches a number of tax and estate planning courses, as well as courses in the areas of property, commercial law and professional responsibility. Professor Donaldson is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and a member of the Bar in Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. Among his scholarly works, he is a co-author of the West casebook, Federal Income Tax: A Contemporary Approach, and a co-author of the Price on Contemporary Estate Planning treatise published by Wolters Kluwer. Professor Donaldson has served as a visiting professor of law both at Northwestern University and at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. An amateur crossword constructor, his puzzles have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other outlets.


Dana G. Fitzsimons, Jr. is Principal and Fiduciary Counsel at Bessemer Trust. In this role, he is responsible for working with clients and their advisors to develop practical and efficient wealth transfer plans and for guiding the firm on fiduciary issues. Prior to joining Bessemer, Dana was a partner with McGuireWoods LLP, where he practiced in the areas of fiduciary litigation and estate planning. He is a fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and serves on its Long Range Planning, Business Planning, and Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations Committees. Dana has been recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, serves in the ABA RPTE leadership, and frequently lectures on fiduciary topics. Dana earned a J.D. from William & Mary Law School, where he was a member of the law review and graduated Order of the Coif, and a B.A. in music from Ithaca College School of Music. He continues to perform actively as a jazz drummer.


Elaine Gagliardi is a Professor of Law at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana and teaches in the areas of business and estate planning. She currently co-directs the law school’s Montana Tax Institute, and served as director from 2012 through 2018. Gagliardi is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and of the American College of Tax Counsel. She served as a past Chair of the State Bar of Montana’s Business, Estates, Trust, Tax and Real Estate Section. She co-authors, with J. Martin Burke and Michael K. Friel, Modern Estate Planning (2d ed.) (LexisNexis); currently authors How to Save Time and Taxes Handling Estates (Matthew Bender), currently co-authors updates for Planning with Large Estates (LexisNexis), and co-authors with James Delaney, Estate and Gift Tax Questions and Answers (2d Ed.) (Lexis Publishing 2013). Prior to teaching, Gagliardi practiced with Perkins Coie LLP in Seattle, and Day, Berry & Howard LLP in Hartford, Connecticut, and clerked for Hon. James R. Browning, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Hon. William J. Jameson, U.S. District Court, District of Montana. She earned her B.A. from Yale University, her J.D. from University of Montana, and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University.


Lester Law is a member of Franklin Karibjanian & Law PLLC and divides time between the Naples and Washington offices. Lester is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel (ACTEC), and serves on the Fiduciary Income Tax and Transfer Tax Study committees. He is also an active member of the American Bar Association’s Real Property Trusts and Estate (ABA RPTE) Section, serving as co-chair of the ABA RPTE’s Income and Transfer Tax Planning Group, as well as being a member of other committees. An active member of and board certified in Wills Trusts and Estates law by the Florida Bar, Lester has held many leadership roles at the Florida Bar’s Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section, including chairing committees, being an editor of the Tax Notes for the Florida Bar Journal and currently co-chairing a subcommittee exploring the utility of Community Property Trusts in Florida. Lester is a nationally recognized speaker and author. Recent presentations and venues include, University of Miami Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute, ABA-RPTE meetings, Washington School of Law – Annual Estate Planning Council, Portland Estate Planning Council, Ave Maria School of Law Estate Planning Symposia, and Florida Attorney / Trust Officer Liaison Conference. He has lectured for the past decade at the Florida Banker’s Trust School, was an adjunct professor at the Ave Maria School of Law, and will also serve as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law, Graduate Estate Planning Program. Lester’s writings have been published in many national journals and publications, including Trusts & Estates, The Florida Bar Journal, Probate and Property, Bloomberg/BNA Estates, Gifts & Trusts Journal, Estate Planning, and Steve Leimberg’s – LISI’s Newsletters. Lester is also a co-author of a book on estate planning titled, Tools and Techniques of Trust Planning. Prior to joining Franklin Karibjanian & Law, Lester was a managing director at US Trust and Abbot Downing (Wells Fargo’s ultra-high net worth boutique) focusing on planning for the ultra-high net worth clients for a dozen years. Prior to law school, Lester was a CPA in Florida with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (formerly Price Waterhouse) for several years.


Bruce A. McGovern is a Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law Houston, where he teaches in the areas of taxation and business organizations. For many years he also served as its Vice President and Associate Dean of Academic Administration. He currently serves as Director of the school’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Bruce is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. He speaks nationally and has presented at more than 25 different tax conferences. He co-authors Agency, Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies (Carolina Academic Press) and has authored numerous chapters in Consolidated Groups, CCH Tax Research Consultant (online treatise) (Chicago, Illinois, Commerce Clearing House Tax Research Network 2006). Prior to teaching, Bruce served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Thomas Meskill, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, and practiced law with Covington and Burling in Washington, D.C. Bruce received his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and his B.A. from Columbia University.


Charles A. “Clary” Redd is a partner with the firm of Stinson Leonard Street in St. Louis, Missouri. His practice concentrates in the areas of estate planning, and estate and trust administration and litigation. He is a nationally recognized speaker and author. He is the lead presenter in Cannon Financial Institute’s monthly estate planning teleconference series and an adjunct instructor in the Cannon Trust Schools. For many years he taught as an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law. Clary serves as Co-Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board of, and writes a regular column in, Trusts & Estates magazine. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a fellow and past regent of the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel. Clary has chaired the Missouri Bar’s Health Care Durable Power of Attorney Subcommittee, and served as an active member of the Missouri Bar Probate and Trust Committee and the Illinois Bar Section on Trusts and Estates.


Ramsay H. Slugg is a Managing Director and member of the National Wealth Planning Strategies Group at Bank of America. Previously, he was the National Practice Director of Bank of America’s Philanthropic Management group. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Texas Christian University and Texas A&M College of Law. Mr. Slugg speaks frequently on tax and financial planning topics, especially as they relate to art and collectibles, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Barron’s and other business publications. He authored the Handbook of Practical Planning for Artists, Art Collectors and Their Advisors, 2d Edition, published by the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. Mr. Slugg is admitted to practice law in Texas and has chaired the Tax and Estate Planning Section of the Tarrant County Bar. He currently serves as Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Real Property Trust and Estate Law Art and Collectibles Committee, as well as holding several other leadership positions. Mr. Slugg received his J.D. degree from the Ohio State University College of Law, and his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University.


Amy Sullivan is Director of the Montana Office of Gift Planning of the Montana Community Foundation (MCF). Amy has been in the planned giving world for close to two decades specializing in complex charitable gifts. She works closely with donors, nonprofits and professional advisors to develop estate plans that give donors creative solutions to individual challenges while including charity in the mix. Prior to MCF, Amy was the CEO of the Montana History Foundation, a statewide nonprofit whose mission is to save and protect Montana’s historical assets. She has owned her own association management and lobbying business and worked as a communications director for many elected officials. Amy has a bachelors and master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She is a fifth generation Montanan and she currently lives in Missoula with her husband and two children.