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Joseph A. Rieser

Joe's practice primarily focuses on federal income taxation.
Joe Rieser, Counsel, Washington DC at Arent Fox

Joe Rieser is a retired partner of Arent Fox and continues to practice with the firm as counsel. He provides tax planning and advice on real estate and partnership matters (including REITs), corporate mergers and acquisitions, exempt organizations, taxation of foreign activities of US residents, taxation of foreign investors in the United States, and workouts and restructurings. Joe has worked on cross-border matters involving all of the continents except Antarctica. In the last several years, a number of matters on which he has been the lead tax advisor have been identified as “Deals of the Year.” He also has had considerable experience with state taxation and successfully argued one of the leading Commerce Clause cases involving DC taxation.

Previous Work

Before joining Arent Fox, Joe was a partner at another prominent law firm.

Professional Activities

Joe has been an active member of the District of Columbia Bar. He served for six years on the Steering Committee of the DC Bar’s Tax Section, and co-chaired the Section for three years. Previously, he chaired several of the Section’s committees, including service as the founding chair of the Section's state and local taxes committee.

Joe is also a member of the American Bar Association and served, by appointment of the ABA president, as a member of the Advisory Commission to the ABA’s Committee on Law and the Electoral Process.

Other Significant Legal Activities

Joe has served in a number of national political positions, including serving, pro bono, as General Counsel of the 1984 Democratic National Convention Committee (1983-84) and later as General Counsel of the national Democratic Party (DNC) (1985-89). He was a senior legal advisor to the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign and also a member of the 1992 Clinton Presidential Transition Team.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Joe’s publications include the following:

  • “'Tax Shelter’ Disclosure and List Maintenance Rules,” The Practical Tax Lawyer; 2005 (vol. 19, no. 3), co-written with Wendi L. Kotzen and David B. Bailey
  • “Obtaining an Abandonment or Worthlessness Deduction for a Partnership Interest,” J Part. Tax; spring 1998 at 42
  • Editor, tax chapters supplement to Real Estate Development: Long-Term Care and Retirement Facilities (Matthew Bender); 1989-1991
  • Income and Franchise Taxation chapters, District of Columbia Bar Practice Manual

Life Beyond the Law

Joe is married, with one son. His first full-time job was as the state-wide deputy director of field operations for the Democratic nominee for US Senate in a large, heavily-industrialized Midwestern state. Although he declined a request a year and a half later to return to that state to manage the gubernatorial campaign of his party’s nominee for governor, opting instead to return to his home state and begin the practice of law, he has maintained an interest and involvement in politics and public policy ever since. Over the years, Joe has held leadership positions in various exempt charitable and educational organizations, including chair of the Kennedy School’s world-wide alumni association, president of a DC public school PTA, trustee of a center and school for children and adults with learning disabilities, and board member of the supporting organization for a major DC public recreation facility. In his spare time, Joe is generally reading or fixing something around his home, but wishes he were loafing at a beach.

  • Industries
  • Bar & Court Admissions
    • District of Columbia Bar
    • Pennsylvania Bar
    • Supreme Court of the United States
    • US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
    • US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
    • US Court of Federal Claims
    • US District Court, District of Columbia
    • US District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
    • US Tax Court
  • Education
    Harvard Law School
    cum laude
    Harvard University
    Princeton University
    Phi Beta Kappa, Woodrow Wilson School Scholar