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David H. Dickieson

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Tax Attorney in Washington, DC

Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears
901 New York Avenue Northwest, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-824-1222
Fax: 202-628-4177
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2022
Licensed in Washington DC Since: 1980
Practice Areas: Tax: Business, Business Litigation, Entertainment & Sports, General Litigation
Attorney Profile

David Dickieson has over 30 years of litigation experience. Mr. Dickieson came to Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears LLP in 2007 after spending 17 years heading up the Washington litigation team of a national law firm. In that role, Mr. Dickieson has been on the front line of numerous tax and commercial litigation matters across the United States.

The foundation for Mr. Dickieson's trial work was strengthened by his tenure at the United States Department of Justice Tax Division from 1984 to 1989. In 1988, Mr. Dickieson was the senior attorney assigned to the largest civil tax fraud case up to that time - In re Conti-Commodity Corp. --involving billions of dollars of phantom commodity trades intended to generate tax losses for commodities speculators. Mr. Dickieson's successful handling of that tax case led to an offer from a premier national tax law firm in 1989. 

Mr. Dickieson's private litigation practice has spanned virtually all forms of trial work. In 1990, Mr. Dickieson won a record jury verdict of $7.3 million in a case of optometric malpractice. He has represented clients in Bankruptcy Court, Tax Court, state courts, and federal courts.  Mr. Dickieson also has substantial experience in alternative dispute resolution through mediation or arbitration procedures. Mr. Dickieson represented the famous Swiss banker who received a $104 million whistleblower reward from the IRS for providing information about the Swiss bank, UBS.  Mr. Dickieson also has obtained favorable settlements in two recent accounting malpractice cases.  In 2015, Mr. Dickieson prevailed in a $4 million real estate dispute and recovered an award of over $215,000 in attorney fees from the opposing party.

Mr. Dickieson has taught continuing legal education courses in the area of legal ethics and he served as the ethics counselor for his previous law firm for over 15 years.  Mr. Dickieson addressed the issue of Foreign Bank Account liability issues in a national ABA Tax Section panel discussion in September 2012 and in follow up panels in 2013 and 2014. Active in community programs, Mr. Dickieson is on the board of directors of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and is currently working with the organization on an important Native American civil rights case.  Mr. Dickieson has spearheaded numerous pro bono legal activities including providing teams of lawyers for legal referral clinics for the disadvantaged sponsored by Bread For The City. 

Admitted to Practice law in:1980, District of Columbia 1981, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia 1985, U.S. Claims Court, now called U.S. Court of Federal Claims 1990, Maryland 1990, Virginia 1990, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit 1991, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 1991, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland 1992, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia 1993, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 1994, U.S. Tax Court 2000, Pennsylvania 2003, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit 2006, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Virginia.

Law School: University of Michigan, J.D., 1979. College: Cornell University, B.A., 1977.  Department of Justice experience: Trial Attorney, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1984-1988; Senior Trial Attorney, Office of Special Litigation, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1988-1989.


About David H. Dickieson

First Admitted: 1980, Washington DC

Professional Webpage:

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Mr. Dickieson is currently serving on the board of directors of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.  Mr. Dickieson has led teams of lawyers to provide assistance to Bread for the City legal clinics in Anacostia, Washington, DC. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for SquashEmpower - a non-profit organization that provides coaching and academic tutoring  to underprivileged middle school students in Washington, DC and he provided the legal work to register the organization as tax exempt with the Internal Revenue Service. He was trained and served as an election monitor/voter advocate during the 2012 election.


  • When a District of Columbia business was recently assessed a $1 million sales tax liability, Mr. Dickieson convinced the District Government to drop the claim entirely.  In 2010, Mr. Dickieson obtained a $2.4 million judgment relating to a dispute among owners of a mining business in Congo.  The judgment was confirmed following an appeal before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in 2011.  Sussman v. Mwangachuchu.     Mr. Dickieson initially defeated an IRS attempt to impose a $200,000 FBAR [Foreign Bank Account Report] Penalty against a client with a Swiss bank account.  The Government appealed the decision to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and obtained a favorable ruling on the first ever FBAR appeal.  United States v. Williams.   Also in 2012, Mr. Dickieson settled an accounting malpractice case relating to the accountants' failure to bill and collect District of Columbia sales taxes on computer services.  In the 2015 decision in Svigos v. McGregor, Mr. Dickieson successfully defended the defendant in complex real estate litigation and as the prevailing attorney, he was awarded his fees of more than $215,000.

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Mr. Dickieson has lectured on ethical matters including the legal ethics of retainer agreements and the legal challenges involving tax protesters and tax defiers. Mr. Dickieson was a panelist at the ABA Tax Conference in Boston in September 2012 to discuss litigation over foreign bank account reporting requirements. He also was a panelist on an ABA webinar addressing the IRS program for voluntary disclosure of offshore bank accounts in 2013.

Educational Background

  • Cornell University, B.A. , 1977
  • University of Michigan, School of Law -- JD, 1979


  • Mr. Dickieson was among the first group of Cornell alumni to be inducted into the Squash Team Hall of Fame.  Mr. Dickieson was the top player on the varsity squash team from 1975 - 1977 and captained the team to a sixth place national ranking.  He helped found the Friends of Cornell University Squash (FOCUS)., Cornell University - Varsity Squash Team Hall of Fame, Cornell University, 2018
  • The Outstanding Lawyer Award award primarily related to Mr. Dickieson's handling of the case In re Conti Commodity which was the largest civil tax fraud case ever pursued by the Department of Justice., Outstanding Lawyer Award, United States Department of Justice - Tax Division, 1988

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • American Arbitration Association trained Mediator.  , 2018

Representative Clients

  • Republic of Guinea - Mr. Dickieson represented Guinea in litigation concerning a $10 million attorney fee charged by an international law firm., 2020
  • Tax Whistleblower - Mr. Dickieson represented a UBS bank employee in the largest whistleblower case ever brought to the IRS Whistleblower Office.  The United States recovered over $750 million as as result of the client's inside information., 2008
  • Native Americans - Mr. Dickieson provided pro bono assistance against a Pennsylvania school district in litigation concerning the school district's refusal to change the Native American high school mascot., 2020
  • Maryland widow - Mr. Dickieson obtained "innocent spouse status" from the US Tax Court for a widow thereby helping her avoid liability for her deceased husband's multi-million tax liability., 2020

Industry Groups

  • Biotech Companies
  • Foreign Nations
  • International Bank Customers; Civil Rights Organizations
  • Law Firms
  • Sports Agents
  • Taxpayers
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Office Location for David H. Dickieson

901 New York Avenue Northwest
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20001

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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