Principal, Karen J. Lapekas, Esq.
Karen J. Lapekas, Esq. is board-certified in tax law by the Florida Bar. She grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and attended Michigan Technological University (coursework: Civil Engineering), Western Michigan University (Bachelor’s: Psychology, Minor: Mathematics), and Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Juris Doctor: Litigation), before earning a Master’s in Tax Law (LLM) from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. She teaches Federal Tax Practice & Procedure at the University of Miami School of Law as an Adjunct Professor.
As a Senior Attorney with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, she was the lead attorney for the IRS on over 170 cases in the United States Tax Court. These cases involved taxpayers who were entrepreneurs, couples, single parents, students, high-profile and high-income athletes and business persons, unemployed or retired individuals, estates, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, trusts, and current and former partners or shareholders. Of the 170+ cases, several went to trial. She conducted trials before at least 6 different Tax Court judges. As a former Special Assistant United States Attorney, she also represented the United States’ interests in collection of tax liabilities in Bankruptcy Court. Through intense study of the Internal Revenue Code and years of working as an attorney for the IRS, she believes that many people are paying too much and the IRS often demands more money than people can afford to pay. She also knows that the Internal Revenue Code and the IRS offer relief to taxpayers in these situations and that countless people are needlessly burdened with the stress associated with tax audits and the IRS’ collection efforts.
This is why Karen founded Lapekas Law: to ensure that her clients do not give the IRS one dollar more than they owe or one dollar more than they can afford to pay.
Outside of the office, Karen is a “Big Sister” to “Little Sister” Anahay. They were matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2012. Karen is also devoted to philanthropic activities for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. She is Chair of the South Florida Tax Litigation Association, on the Board of Directors for Legal Services of Greater Miami, the Board of Directors for the Tax Section of The Florida Bar, and the Board Certification Committee (Tax) for The Florida Bar. She is also the pro bono coordinator for the U.S. Tax Court Calendar Call Program for Miami, and volunteers as an attorney for children in foster care through Lawyers for Children America. She enjoys cycling, ballroom dancing, SCUBA, and long walks with “Romeo,” a Greyhound rescue.
Karen is admitted to practice law in the Michigan, New York, and Florida State Courts, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and the United States Tax Court. In matters before the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court, she can represent clients in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.