Burton Mitchell is chair of the Firm's Taxation, Trusts & Estates Department. Burton's practice spans more than 30 years and focuses on taxation, estate planning, probate, trust law and administration, trust disputes, non-profit entities, and tax-effective financial planning within a family.
Burton generally represents individuals, closely-held businesses, institutional trustees, partnerships, limited liability companies, entrepreneurs, other professionals and various members in the entertainment industry.
Taxation – Burton understands the business concerns of his clients, and works closely with attorneys throughout JMBM to ensure that business and tax counseling is comprehensive and seamless. Addressing taxation issues as part of a greater business plan helps Burton's clients maintain the tax efficiency of organizational and transactional decisions.
Estate Planning – Burton's estate planning practice focuses on the use of revocable living trusts as a primary tool to support the transfer of assets to designated beneficiaries in an orderly and efficient manner. He provides his clients with tax-efficient plans that help them accomplish their goals while minimizing or eliminating future conflicts and disputes.
Probate, Trust Law and Administration – Burton represents trustees, estate executors and administrators in probate proceedings and trust and estate administration across a wide range of matters and issues. His expertise includes allocation of assets among trusts, preparation and review of Federal estate tax returns, distributions and accountings to beneficiaries, resolution of IRS disputes, the Principal and Income Act, modification of irrevocable trusts, interpretation of trust provisions, environmental issues, community and separate property, trustee removal and settlements of claims against trustees, and trustee compensation, advice and representation.
Trust Disputes – Burton offers extensive expertise and experience in trust litigation and dispute resolution. Disputes often arise in the administration of an estate or trust, generally between beneficiaries and the administrator. Most disputes are resolved without litigation through negotiated settlements; however, when necessary, Burton can call on JMBM's formidable litigation capacity.
Non-Profit Entities – Burton organizes, advises and dissolves all types of non-profit entities, including private foundations and public charities. His expertise includes preparing the documents required to obtain tax exempt status for a non-profit entity, and advising non-profit entities on substantive laws and federal and state tax rules that are essential to maintaining their tax-exempt status.
International – Burton's practice includes international tax planning and international estate planning, when relevant issues go beyond the California border.
Tax Controversy – Burton handles all tax disputes at the Federal, State and local level.
LL.M., Taxation, New York University School of Law, 1978
J.D., Georgetown University, 1977
CPA, Maryland, 1975
B.B.A., City University of New York at Baruch College, 1974
summa cum laude
Bar Admissions State Bar of California
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Tax Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, Taxation Law, 1984
American Bar Association
Awards & Recognition
- Recognized in the Los Angeles Business Journal: Top 100 Lawyers 2023
- Recognized in Los Angeles Times Magazine: Southern California's Best Lawyers 2008-2012
- Recognized in Best Lawyers in America® 2008, 2012-2024
- Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review, AV Rating
2014 Top Rated Lawyer, Taxation
- Honoree, "Who's Who in LA Law—The Best of the Bar, The Standout Lawyer for Trusts and Estates," Los Angeles Business Journal, August 20, 2007
- Bylined article in the American Bar Association Journal 565 cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Powell's dissent in Dickman v Commissioner
- Recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer, 2009-2023
- Recognized as a Power Lawyer in the Hollywood Reporter’s list of “Top 20 Troubleshooters” in 2017 and 2018.