University of California at Davis, J.D., 1973
University of California at Santa Barbara, B.A., 1970
American Bar Association
State Bar of California
Santa Barbara County Bar Association
Dennis focuses on the tax and valuation issues of family-owned businesses, farms and ranches. Dennis advises a broad clientele (with a particular emphasis on family-owned businesses) on issues of tax, estate, valuation and business planning, complex estate and trust administration and tax controversy. His forty five years of experience in working with owners of family businesses, farms and ranches, coupled with his knowledge of the tax law, make Dennis uniquely suited to address the complex challenges of the family business. Dennis prides himself on using a quantitative approach to better explain to clients the desired outcome of various wealth transfer strategies. Dennis has developed a subspecialty in the valuation arena, effectively working with appraisers to resolve the many types of valuation issues that can affect a family business and its owners, such as appropriate wealth transfers, business owner buy and sell planning, executive compensation, business owner disputes, and purchases and sales of businesses. Dennis believes in what he calls the PET Approach to estate and business planning – People issues are more important than Economic issues which are more important than Tax issues. He uses his many years of experience to counsel clients on complex planning strategies and problem-solving appropriate to the family dynamic, amount and type of wealth, and goals of the family. For instance, Dennis has been involved with the formation of several private trust companies to carry out unique goals of families whose ownership of business interests are held in irrevocable trusts.
Dennis is an avid outdoorsman. He spends significant time in Montana where he enjoys upland bird hunting with his dogs, fly fishing and downhill skiing.
Dennis is past Chairman and a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Francis Hospital Foundation as well as United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara.