Nate focuses his practice on federal tax controversy, including tax litigation. Nate founded SouthBank Legal’s tax controversy practice and represents companies and individuals at all stages of a tax dispute including IRS examinations, administrative appeals, post-appeals mediation, litigation either in the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or U.S. district courts, and appellate litigation in the U.S. circuit courts of appeals. Nate also helps clients evaluate the litigation risk inherent in tax positions they are contemplating.
Before joining SouthBank Legal, Nate was one of two senior level attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Tax Division’s Appellate Section, where he was tasked with handling the government’s most significant and challenging tax appeals. Nate won multiple awards from the Department of Justice for his outstanding work and exceptional results. Nate has litigated tax cases involving a range of issues, including: serious constitutional challenges to tax laws, Administrative Procedure Act challenges to Treasury Regulations, federal law treatment of the cannabis industry (Section 280E of the Code and cost of goods sold), international tax issues (interpretation of tax treaties, the mandatory repatriation act, transfer of intellectual property to a related foreign entity, etc.), challenges to denials of tax exempt status, the alternative fuel mixture credit, and much more. Notably, Nate won every significant court of appeals case involving taxation of the cannabis industry litigated in recent years. Nate’s unique insider perspective and ego-free approach also make him a valuable member of multi-attorney tax-litigation teams.
Nate provides valued assistance to SouthBank Legal’s other litigators as a seasoned “issues and appeals” attorney. Having filed many dozens of briefs in the federal courts of appeals (as well as at least a dozen in the U.S. Supreme Court) and represented the government at oral argument more than twenty-five times, Nate has a knack for getting to the heart of any legal issue and crisply communicating winning arguments. That same deep appellate experience makes Nate an essential member of SouthBank Legal’s appellate practice.
- Nate has represented the government in dozens of cases in the circuit courts of appeals and won well over 90% of those litigated to judgment.
- Successfully represented the government in every significant appellate case involving federal taxation of the cannabis industry decided in the past five years, including Patients Mutual v. Commissioner, 995 F.3d 671 (9th Cir. 2021); Standing Akimbo v. United States, 955 F.3d 1146 (10th Cir. 2020); Feinberg v. Commissioner, 916 F.3d 1330 (10th Cir. 2019).
- Successfully represented the government in a Sixth Circuit appeal involving a significant Administrative Procedure Act challenge to a regulation addressing the conditions for deductibility of conservation easements. The Sixth Circuit’s decision in favor of the government is an important APA precedent on the question of what types of comments are significant enough that the government must respond to them in order to validly promulgate a regulatory rule. See 28 F.4th 700. Nate argued the case against a top appellate partner at an Am Law 10 firm who represented the taxpayer.
- Successfully represented the government in a Ninth Circuit appeal involving a serious challenge to the constitutionality of the mandatory repatriation tax enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That tax required certain U.S. owners of U.S. controlled foreign corporations to pay tax on earnings and profits accumulated overseas and the government estimates that it will generate more than $340 billion in tax revenue. See 36 F.4th 930 for the Ninth Circuit’s published opinion in the case, which adopts most of the arguments advanced in the appellee brief that Nate drafted and discussed in Nate’s oral argument (video here).
- Successfully represented the government in a case that addressed the appropriate estate tax treatment of a grantor retained annuity trust. The Ninth Circuit’s published opinion, which adopted the arguments set out in the brief Nate drafted, is at 957 F.3d 969.
- Notre Dame Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
- Articles Editor, Notre Dame Law Review
- Franciscan University of Steubenville, B.A., magna cum laude
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Tax Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court