For nearly 25 years, James has focused on state and local tax issues including state and city sales, use, gross receipts, privilege, excise and severance taxes, as well as income, luxury, tobacco, real, and personal property taxes. Before entering private practice, James served as Chief Auditor for the Transaction Privilege (Sales) and Use Tax Division of the Arizona Department of Revenue. He has advised and represented clients of all sizes and from many industries in a wide range of tax matters. During his time at the Department of Revenue, James argued and settled cases for the Department, advised the Director on tax policy issues as a member of the Uniformity Committee, and acted as liaison to the Attorney General’s office. As Chief Auditor, he administered Arizona’s sales, use and severance tax audit programs, including the Cities Program, which conducts audits for 74 Arizona municipalities.
James is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 27th edition of The Best Lawyers in America© for Real Estate Law. He lectures extensively on state and local tax topics, co-authored the chapter regarding the Judicial Review of Taxation in the Arizona Appellate Handbook published by the State Bar of Arizona, writes a column related to Arizona tax issues for State Tax Notes entitled SALT From My Saddle, and authors a column on state and local tax topics for the AZ CPA Magazine entitled A Dash of SALT.
Some of the state and local tax services James provides include: • Amnesty and Voluntary Disclosure Negotiations • Assistance with Controversies (Audits, Appeals, Negotiations & Litigation) • Credits and Incentives • Due Diligence and Planning for Mergers and Acquisitions • Nexus Studies • Personalized In-House Training • Private Taxpayer Rulings • State, County and City Taxes, including Speculative Builder Taxes • Tax Policy Assistance (Review, Analyze, and/or Draft Proposed Legislation) • Tax Reviews (Reverse Audits) and Refund Claims • Transactional Analysis and Strategic Planning.
Associations & Activities
- State Bar of Arizona, Tax Law Section, Past Chair
- State Bar of Arizona, Tax Law Section, Legislative Liaison
- State Bar of Utah, Member
- Arizona Legislature’s Property Tax Appeals Study Committee, Member
- Arizona Tax Research Association, Board Member
- Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, Arizona Tax Liaison, Tax Legislative Committee, Past Member of Board of Directors
- Arizona State Board of Accountancy, Law Review Advisory Committee, Past Member
- Streamlined Sales Tax Business Advisory Council, Member
- Phoenix Tax Advisory Board, Member
- American College of Tax Counsel, Fellow since 2017
- Boy Scouts of America, Assistant Varsity Coach
- Boy Scouts of America, Former Venturing Crew Advisor
- Dayspring Preschool and Kindergarten, Past Board Member
Awards & Recognition
- Best Lawyers in America, 2021, Real Estate Law
- Arizona, 1996
- Utah, 1997
News & Publications
After review of the Biden/Harris campaign literature,1 the Biden/Harris Transition Fact Sheet: List of Agency Actions for Review (January 20, 2021), and the most recent “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” (Executive Order January 27,...
Cavanagh Attorneys Mear and Stafford Successfully Ensure a General Contractor’s Duty to a Subcontractor’s Employee is Not Expanded
Summary. The Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s summary judgment to a general contractor in a negligence and premises liability suit brought by an employee of a painting subcontractor. The Court recognized the limited duty of general contractors under...
The Cavanagh Law Firm Senior Member Loren Suddes was recently certified by the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) as a Certified Litigation Management Professional (CLMP) at the 2020 Litigation Management Institute (LMI). LMI is the first certification...
The Cavanagh Law Firm is pleased to announce that 14 of the Firm’s attorneys have been recognized in the 27th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. We are also deeply proud to announce that The Best Lawyers in America also named Phil C. Gerard the Family Law...
America's Most Honored Lawyer Recognition The Cavanagh Law Firm is proud to recognize that many of our attorneys have recently received professional honors as America's Most Honored Lawyers by American Registry. Thirteen of the Firm’s attorneys have been awarded the...
265 F.3d 1193 (11th Cir. 2001)
202 Ariz. 397, 46 P.3d 408 (2002)
276 F. Supp. 2d 1237 (S.D. Fla. 2003)