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Samuel D. Brotman comes from humble beginnings in Dallas, Texas, a city known for its cosmopolitan feel fueled by the booming oil industry. As a part of his upbringing, Sam took part in cotillion, a coming of age exercise in dance and social manners that created many of the values and characteristics he enjoys today.  


Ambitious, even as a young man, Sam applied for a year-long study-abroad program with the American Field Service when he was sixteen and was chosen to spend a year as a high school exchange student in Joetsu, Japan. He quickly learned the language and over the course of his time there, experienced the differences in business, mindset and values that are a unique part of Japanese culture.


Having the ability to engage in such a dramatic cultural shift sharpened his sense of being a “student of the world” and led to his ongoing love for travel, something he now is teaching to his three children. From that experience, he came home a much more mature young person energized to set out and create his own path in life.


Sam attended Wabash College in Indiana and later St. Catherine’s College at Oxford University, where he received a “highest honors” standing in 2004. At this formative point in his education, Sam decided to pursue a career in law. He applied to law firms all over the country and was offered the position as a legal assistant at the prestigious New York City law firm Covington & Burling LLP.


Working in their corporate law group for the next two years, Sam was a key representative on over twenty major corporate transactions and was assistant to special counsel for, at the time, two of the largest bankruptcies in United States history. One of his most memorable deals was taking a healthcare company public through a six-month process where he realized he wanted to be an advocate for businesses of all sizes.


After deciding to attend law school at the University of San Diego, Sam earned a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree, a Master of Laws, Taxation (LL.M.), and then, an MBA degree at San Diego State University, focusing on entrepreneurship, finance and accounting. While in law school, he was professionally certified as a mediator and won numerous awards for oral and written advocacy. He was also a past president of the USD Vis Moot International Arbitrations team and led his team to the most accolades in school history. 


As part of Sam’s MBA capstone work, he made recommendations implemented by the City of San Diego’s Economic Development Department and was commended by the city and the university for exemplary work in helping to create jobs and grow the city’s economy.


Initially employed as an in-house for a management consulting company, Sam refined his legal work at a boutique tax firm in San Diego where he realized his love for tax controversy work. Specifically, he aligned himself with small to midsize business owners who had been treated unfairly by the government and owed more than they could pay. In this capacity, he began employing his knowledge of tax law and how the law is enforced to find collaborative solutions that save his clients from having to fight it out in court.


In 2013, Sam founded Brotman Law, recognized in 2018 by Law Firm 500 as the 14th fastest-growing law firm in the United States. In 2016 – and every year since – Sam has been nominated as a “Super Lawyer – Rising Star” which recognizes the top 2.5% of lawyers, nationwide. And in his home base of San Diego, Sam has been nominated to San Diego’s “Best of the Bar” list of recommended attorneys.



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Samuel D. Brotman - America's Top 50 Lawyer - Tax Law - California

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