Stephen Howard has drawn extensively upon his background as a business attorney and certified public account in litigating many financial and tax matters. Several years ago, he successfully defended a large nightclub in Center City Philadelphia against the assessment of amusement tax by the City upon exotic dancing performances. This case drew national news coverage and a great deal of local notoriety as a result of the City’s attempt to levy a tax on the performance of “lap dances” within private venues of the nightclub. As a result of his representation, he was able to save his client hundreds of thousands of dollars in local tax and prevent the assessment of new taxes in the future.
He has also litigated extensively in the commercial and business law area. Most recently, he overturned the decision of a trial Judge in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas and had the Appellate Courts extend the implied doctrine of good faith in contract law to the duties performed by a general partner in a real estate investment partnership. In so doing he persuaded the Courts to extend this doctrine found in other areas of Pennsylvania law to limited partnerships, notwithstanding the terms of the partnership agreement vesting exclusive management of business affairs with the general partner. This case represented a landmark decision in Pennsylvania contract law and the first time the Pennsylvania Appellate Courts have extended the implied doctrine of good faith to the context of a limited partnership agreement. He also has significant experience working with certified public accountants, appraisers and economic advisers in the litigation of shareholder and partner disputes and business valuations.
He has litigated many cases in the United States Tax Court and has successfully represented clients in audit proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and the New Jersey Division of Taxation. He has tried numerous guardianship proceedings, will contests, surcharge hearings and estate accountings in the probate courts. He has drawn upon his significant financial experience as a CPA to prepare both his documents and pleadings and to present his cases in court to obtain the best result for his clients. He brings a level of expertise to all of his cases which only an attorney with a thorough knowledge of accounting, financial and tax principals can bring to the table.