About Goodwin Weber

Doing the right thing can be hard.  It helps when you have the right lawyers.  We are a boutique law firm in Maryland, Washington DC, and New York.  At our core, we are lawyers with big city experience and small town values.  We focus on Estate Planning, Administration and Litigation; Non-Profit and Tax-Exempt Organizations; Small Business Planning; Fraud Examination and Forensic Investigation; Federal Banking Law; Employment Law and Defense; and all areas of Litigation. We, as a law firm, deeply care about providing personal, reliable and prompt service to every client.  We believe people have a right to quality legal services at a reasonable hourly rate.  We chose to practice law on Main Street, not Wall Street.  We pride ourselves on being responsive to the individual needs of each client, on each client’s schedule, and in a personalized manner.  Contact us to discuss how we can help.

The Attorneys

David P. Weber

David P. Weber, CFE

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Julie Goodwin Weber

Julie Goodwin Weber

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Dominic S. DePersis

Dominic S. DePersis, of Counsel

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Practice Areas

We chose to practice law on Main Street, not Wall Street.  We are a boutique law firm in Maryland, Washington DC, and New York.  At our core, we are lawyers with big city experience and small town values.  We focus on Estate Planning, Administration and Litigation; Non-Profit and Tax-Exempt Organizations; Small Business Planning; Fraud Examination and Forensic Investigation; Federal Banking Law; Employment Law and Defense; and all areas of Litigation. We, as a law firm, deeply care about providing personal, reliable and prompt service to every client.  We believe people have a right to quality legal services at a reasonable hourly rate.  We pride ourselves on being responsive to the individual needs of each client, on each client’s schedule, and in a personalized manner.  Contact us to discuss how we can help.

Estate Planning

We advise all types of clients on their estate planning needs, from individuals with modest estates who want “simple wills” with no trusts to wealthier clients who require complex tax-savings techniques.

We represent individuals in all stages of life, from young families who need guardians and trusts for their minor children to older individuals who want to gift to grandchildren while still ensuring they have sufficient assets for their own needs.  We have experience in setting up estate plans for “non-traditional families,” including same-sex couples, single-parent families, second-marriages, blended families and grandparents raising grandchildren.    We also work with pet-owners to plan for future care of their pets, whether through wills or stand-alone pet trusts.

An estate plan is very individualized and we do not provide cookie-cutter documents or even approach any two clients in the same manner.  Estate plans typically include, at minimum, a will (with or without trusts), a power of attorney document, and a living will/power of attorney for health care.  Depending on the particular client’s needs and goals, it may also include other features, such as beneficiary designation changes for life insurance or retirement assets, stand-alone trust documents, or other instruments.  We will review all of your assets to be sure they are appropriately titled and that you have proper financial and insurance vehicles in place.  An estate plan encompasses many aspects of an individual’s or family’s financial plan, but also addresses non-financial components such as nomination of guardians for minor children and recipients of specific assets.  For the business owner, a complete estate plan also addresses business succession and ownership issues.

The estate planning process can be a very daunting experience for many people, and we strive to make it a pleasant and personalized one.  Our hope is that when you come to us, you will feel “at home” and comfortable discussing some of your most personal matters.

We start the process with an initial intake form, which will help us determine the type of estate plan that may be right for you and will also help us to determine any tax or other issues that we need to consider.  Then, we will have an initial meeting in which we will ask you a series of questions and go through several hypothetical situations.  This is not meant to scare you, but it is important to allow you to fully consider every aspect of your estate plan.  After our initial meeting, we will send you draft documents with an explanatory letter and ask you to follow up with any questions or changes you may have.  Finally, we will meet to sign the documents,  which must be done with particular formalities, in accordance with local law in order for the documents to be valid.

We are available to meet with you on your time, either during business hours or in the evenings, and can meet at our office, at your home or another location preferred by you.  Please contact our firm if you would like to discuss the estate planning process further or are ready to begin.

Estate Administration & Litigation

Estate Administration

We represent the estates of deceased individuals, and counsel individuals in administering the estates of deceased loved ones.  Our firm has administered estates in Maryland, the District of Columbia, the State of New York and New York City.  We assist the estate’s executor, or Personal Representative, in navigating the probate system, and advise as to any necessary transactions and associated tax ramifications.  We also prepare and file any necessary estate tax returns, and work with a decedent’s existing CPA and financial advisor where appropriate and requested by the executor.  We can be as much or as little involved in the process as you require, thereby helping you control the cost of the administration.  Above all, we are available to answer all questions and assist in all aspects of the administration, whether they are legal or nonlegal in nature.  We are available to meet outside of normal business hours, and can meet you either at our office or at your home.

Estate Litigation

Our clients include interested persons in estate litigation matters involving fraud, undue influence, inappropriate transfer of assets and other questionable transactions.  Where appropriate, an individual may use the courts to challenge the actions of an executor, the deceased or individuals who have mishandled estate property or committed other kinds of diminution, waste, fraud, or abuse.  We have experience in identifying, tracing and pursuing missing assets, including forensic investigation, conducting accountings and undertaking other investigative measures to protect the rights of our clients.

General Litigation

We represent clients in all manner of disputes — business and personal.  Our skilled attorneys have handled a wide variety of cases, ranging from representation of whistle-blowers, individuals accused of misconduct by federal and local authorities, to prosecution of claims in which hundreds of millions of dollars were in dispute.  We also have extensive experience with banking and regulatory compliance, federal consumer protection, contract disputes, estate and trust disputes, and professional misconduct by accountants, attorneys, appraisers and title companies. We have investigated allegations of misconduct by prosecutors, handled mortgage fraud cases, fraudulent mortgage flips, bid and contract fraud, and pay-to-play schemes.

We have appeared in matters involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Credit Union Administration (federal credit unions), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (state chartered banks), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (national banks and federal thrifts), the Office of Thrift Supervision (merged into the OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (state chartered banks), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, FinCEN, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Special Inspector General for Troubled Asset Programs (SIGTARP), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  We have particular knowledge of the operations of both Government Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as their federal regulator, FHFA.  We have successfully brought multimillion dollar consumer protection cases involving thousands of victims.  We have successfully pursued claims against law firms, lawyers, accountants, real estate appraisers, settlement agents, insurance corporations, title companies, and nationally chartered and state chartered banks of all sizes.  We believe the “P” in CPA stands for public trust.

If you need resolution for a personal, financial, criminal, regulatory, enforcement, or compliance matter, we believe timely intervention with the appropriate federal or state regulator is key.  If it is too late for timely intervention, we can assist you in mitigating your damages through arbitration, mediation, or criminal or civil courts.  We have flexible schedules and can meet you within or outside of normal work hours and at a location of your choice.

Investigation

We have investigated misconduct by attorneys, tax preparers and accountants, tracked stolen credit cards and vehicles, advised clients on avoidance of contract fraud, and helped small business address theft and embezzlement concerns.  We handle cases throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia and New York, and in select cases, other states, as permitted by our licenses.  Our firm has staff to conduct investigations, including licensed attorneys, a certified fraud examiner, a private investigator, a personal protection specialist, and a certified nurse practitioner.

If you have a personal, financial, criminal, regulatory, enforcement, or compliance problem, we can help in court, or through timely intervention with the appropriate regulator or criminal authorities.  If it is too late for timely intervention, we can assist you in mitigating your damages.  Please contact us for further information; we would be happy to meet with you at a time and place convenient to you.

Forensic Consulting and BusinessValuation

We have deep and extensive experience in conducting investigations, forensic accountings, and business valuations.

Business valuation is the process and set of procedures used to estimate the economic value of a party’s interest in a business.  Valuation services are used by financial market participants to determine the price they are willing to pay or receive to effect a sale of a business, as part of the process of divorce, or in an insurance claims process.  In addition to estimating the selling price of a business, the same valuation tools are often used to resolve disputes related to estate and gift taxation, divorce litigation, allocate business purchase price among business assets, establishing a formula for estimating the value of partners’ ownership interest for buy-sell agreements, and many other business and legal purposes (such as in the event of shareholders deadlock, divorce litigation and probate disputes).

Three members of our firm have experience in business valuations; two are members of the Accounting faculty at the University of Maryland University College, the nation’s largest public university.  David P. Weber, an attorney and certified fraud examiner, is a Professor of Accounting, and teaches courses in forensic accounting, investigations and fraud examination.  Julie Goodwin Weber, an attorney, is an Assistant Professor of Accounting, and teaches courses in federal income taxation.  In addition, Goodwin Weber PLLC works with a core team of Certified Public Accountants, each of whom has experience in business valuation.

We are available to meet with you on your time, either during business hours or in the evenings, and can meet at a location of your convenience.   If you are interested in engaging us or in learning more about our forensic consulting and business valuation practice, please contact us.

Tax Exempt Organization

We advise Tax-Exempt Organizations / non-profits with regard to corporate formation and existence within the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia and New York.  We also assist non-profit organizations in obtaining tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.  This includes 501(c)(3) charitable, religious and educational organizations, 501(c)(4) social welfare groups, 501(c)(6) trade associations, and other exempt organizations.   Our firm advises existing tax-exempt organizations to ensure ongoing compliance with the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations and IRS procedures and administrative decisions, and address any legal issues.  We also work with 501(c)(3) organizations to review their endowment funds, planned giving strategies, and address any corporate-related questions.

Small Business Practice

Existing Small Business

We also represent existing businesses, including corporations, partnerships, joint ventures and limited liability companies, with regard to tax and corporate issues, including compliance, licensing, insurance, or litigation.  We can assist small businesses with assessment of internal controls, and response to concerns regarding employee embezzlement, or other fraud risks suffered by small businesses in particular.

Thinking of starting a Business?

We represent individuals in setting up a small business, advising on entity choice, formation, and associated legal representation, including drafting and reviewing charters/Articles of Incorporation, bylaws/operating agreements, board resolutions, unanimous consents, employment agreements, stockholder agreements,and  buy-sell agreements.

Medical Malpractice, Misconduct & Investigation

Goodwin Weber PLLC has experience investigating and consulting on medical malpractice and medical misconduct cases brought by other attorneys. Our team includes a certified nurse practitioner.  We consult with law firms and clients on standards of care applicable to health care providers in medical malpractice cases.  We will review allegations of medical malpractice in the initial stages of attorney case intake, to determine if claims are valid.

When medical malpractice claims are found to be valid, we can also offer services in tracing and recovering assets hidden by providers after suit has commenced.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation on the Medical Malpractice, Misconduct and Investigations Practice at Goodwin Weber PLLC.

Federal Employment, Law & Defense

Doing the right thing can be hard.  It helps when you have the right lawyers.  We help you tell the truth, without fear.

Goodwin Weber PLLC represents federal employees in all manner of employment disputes.  From conduct or performance concerns, raising one’s hand as a whistleblower, to being a witness or subject of an Office of Inspector General (OIG) or other agency investigation, we can help.

We have proven experience representing and defending federal, state and private employees.

David P. Weber, a member of the firm, has extensive experience as the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, investigating federal employee misconduct.  He has also defended federal employees from the other side of the table as an National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) lawyer, officer and steward.  Mr. Weber also serves as a Lieutenant Colonel Judge Advocate in the Maryland Defense Force, formerly known as the Maryland State Guard.  Mr. Weber has been involved in cases before the Military, EEOC, MSPB, U.S. District Court, and in providing information to Congress.  We offer one of the few practices in the DC metro area that has represented parties, on all sides, of federal employment disputes.  This gives us unique insight in representing federal or state employees.  Please contact us, so that we can discuss helping you.

Our representation of federal, state and private employees includes:

  • Representation of whistle blowers;
  • Representation of employees accused of poor performance or misconduct issues;
  • Representation of employees who are witnesses or subjects of OIG or other agency investigations;
  • Representation of employees or contractors in security or suitability clearance matters;
  • Representation of employees who have been retaliated against, or subject to unlawful personnel action due to protected EEO status; and
  • Representation of uniformed military service members or veterans in employment and reemployment disputes, benefit claims, or criminal matters.

Federal BankingLaw & Defense

Goodwin Weber PLLC has extensive experience in federal banking and financial services law.

We consult with and advise federally insured depository institution officers, directors, employees and agents in matters pertaining to supervisory bank examinations conducted by each of the federal bank regulatory agencies to assess compliance with all applicable federal banking laws, rules and regulations governing the operations of such institutions.  We also accept engagements to represent Audit or Supervisory Committees of banks or credit unions, or special litigation or investigation subcommittees.  We will defend officers and directors in regulatory inquiries from the examination and investigation stage, through trial and appeal, if required.  We also will conduct internal investigations at the direction of bank or credit union boards of directors as part of our services.

David P. Weber, a principal of the firm, has extensive experience in state and national bank regulatory matters.  Mr. Weber previously served as the Supervisory Counsel of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Enforcement Unit I, overseeing all bank enforcement and investigations concerning state chartered banks in the Kansas City, San Francisco, Dallas, Memphis, and Chicago Regions of the FDIC.  While at the FDIC, Weber helped investigate and initiate the first actions brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  In addition, prior to his service at the FDIC, Mr. Weber served as the Special Counsel for Enforcement at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for more than a decade, directing investigations and enforcement actions involving national banks and their officers and directors.  Mr. Weber has personally handled some of the largest enforcement actions ever brought against state and national banks, including those concerning consumer protection, alleged insider abuse and misconduct, the Bank Secrecy Act/AML concerns, and mergers, acquisitions, failures, and troubled institutions (those rated 3 or worse).

Mr. Weber has personally handled many regulatory enforcement actions including commitment letters, memorandums of understanding, supervisory agreements, cease and desist orders, prompt corrective action directives, safety and soundness orders, civil money penalties, orders of suspension, prohibition and removal orders, restitution orders, and orders placing institutions into receivership or conservatorship. His matters have been litigated before agency Administrative Law Judges, U.S. Bankruptcy Courts (discharge of civil penalty orders), U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeal.  One matter has even been been argued before the United States Supreme Court (by an Assistant Solicitor General).

The firm has a nationwide practice, and represents officers and directors before all of the federal banking agencies, including the FDIC (state chartered non member banks and state chartered thrifts); OCC (national banks and federal thrifts); Federal Reserve Board (FRB) (state chartered member banks and bank and financial holding companies); CFPB (large bank consumer matters and non bank consumer matters); FinCEN (BSA); the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) (credit unions).

If you have a matter that requires an experienced bank regulatory attorney, please contact us.  Timely intervention with the appropriate federal regulator is key.  If timely intervention is too late, we can also help you with crafting the appropriate response – from soft touch to heavy hand.

National Security Law, Right to Financial Privacy Act and Response to Data Compromise

Goodwin Weber PLLC offers representation in National Security Law, Right to Financial Privacy Act (“RFPA”), and response to data compromise.  This practice includes representing businesses served with national security letters (“NSLs”), subpoenas, summonses or requests for information, as well as private citizens who believe that their personal information has been obtained by the government using national security-related process, or in violation of the RFPA.  In addition, the firm’s national security law practice includes representing employees and businesses in national security clearances and industrial security clearances for businesses engaged in contracts for the federal government. Finally, the practice also involves responding to regulatory concerns of data compromise.

A member of the firm, David P. Weber, is the former Assistant Inspector General for a major federal agency.  Prior to this experience, he represented the U.S. Department of the Treasury in matters involving the RFPA, NSLs, and access to customer data based on authorities contained within the USA PATRIOT Act, as amended.  He was widely regarded as the leading expert on the RFPA within the Treasury Department.  He has investigated major lapses of security procedures (including allegations of foreign espionage), employees who have had their security clearances put at risk, and assisted large business organizations in crafting a response to breaches or compromises.  If you have a national security, RFPA or data compromise matter, contact Goodwin Weber PLLC for assistance.

Blog

December 17, 2014

Great day for pets in Maryland – Maryland Court of Special Appeals Recognizes Emotional Value of Pets

Despite Maryland’s progressive stance on many social issues, love and respect of pets, particularly dogs, has not been high on the list. Until today, MD Code § 11-110 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article has been understood by attorneys to cap money damages on tortious injury to pets to a maximum of $7,500, no […]

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August 2, 2014

GWPLLC Attorney David P. Weber featured as one of nation’s top 5 whistleblowers on National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

On July 30, 2014, by a unanimous resolution the U.S. Senate declared July 30 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” for the second year in row.   The resolution comes on the anniversary of the first ever whistleblower protection law, enacted on July 30, 1778. Our revolutionary founders acted swiftly when they learned that two whistleblowers, Richard […]

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July 15, 2014

IRS introduces new 501(c)(3) application process for certain prospective non-profits

On July 1, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service introduced a shortened application for organizations applying for 501(c)(3) status, known as the Form 1023-EZ, which is 3 pages long.  Those who have applied for 501(c)(3) status in the past or are familiar with the process know that the application (Form 1023) is upwards of 20 pages […]

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May 16, 2014

Maryland Governor Signs Estate and Trust Bills Into Law

Today, Governor O’Malley signed two bills that will significantly affect estate planning in Maryland going forward.  House Bill 739 (Maryland Estate Tax – Unified Credit) increases the Maryland estate tax exemption from the currently $1 million to $1.5 million in 2015, $2 million in 2016, $3 million in 2017, $4 million in 2018, and eventually […]

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March 25, 2014

Maryland Legislature Makes Death Less Taxing – Estate and Trust Law Alert

Coming towards the end of the 2014 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill on March 20, 2014, to increase the Maryland estate tax exemption over the next few years and eventually recouple with the federal estate tax exemption.  It is expected, despite the election year, that Governor Martin O’Malley will sign the […]

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February 27, 2014

Goodwin Weber PLLC attorney David P. Weber featured author on Maryland Military Law in the March 2014 Maryland Bar Journal

Goodwin Weber PLLC is pleased to announce that the March 2014 edition of the Maryland Bar Journal features an article authored by David P. Weber, focused on the role, history and law authorizing the Maryland Defense Force, formerly known as the Maryland State Guard.  A link the article can be found below. Mr. Weber, a […]

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August 28, 2013

Largest Class Action Discrimination Suit Settled

On the day of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I have a Dream Speech, the largest settlement ever reached in a federal discrimination case was announced. In the settlement, which you can read more about here, approximately 700 current and former African American brokers at Merrill Lynch will be paid $160 million.  […]

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August 24, 2013

Goodwin Weber PLLC attorney attends the Hague Academy of International Law

Goodwin Weber PLLC Attorney Dominic S. DePersis has returned from study of Public International Law at the Hague Academy of International Law.  Mr. DePersis attended the Hague Academy during July 2013.  Mr. DePersis attended the Academy at the Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands.  Since its creation in 1923 with funding received from the Carnegie Foundation, […]

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July 21, 2013

Tony Soprano failed to engage in proper estate planning. Don’t make his mistake.

Recently, we lost a talented and relatively young actor, James Gandolfini, best known for his long-standing role as Tony Soprano in the HBO hit series, The Sopranos.  However, that may not be the biggest tragedy.  He is another example of an ultra-wealthy individual who did not engage in sufficient tax and estate planning.   And when […]

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July 3, 2013

Goodwin Weber PLLC announces Dominic S. DePersis has joined the firm as Of Counsel

Goodwin Weber PLLC announces Dominic DePersis has joined as Of Counsel to the firm.  Dominic is licensed in New York, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Minnesota. He is a member of the UN Global Compact Anti Corruption Working Group and will be an invaluable attorney to those involved in international whistleblowing and compliance […]

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