Perhaps the best place to start the story of Parent & Parent LLP is with the story of how we came to name our website www.irsmedic.com
In 1990, Co-Founder David G. Parent, at age 51, found himself pulled away from his job as a Business Manager for the State of Connecticut. He was called up for active military to serve in the Persian Gulf War. This was a shock. While David was in the Connecticut National Guard, 142nd Medical Clearing Company based out of New Haven Connecticut, he never thought he would be called into active duty. But rather, he could tack on a few more years of service to his Navy career to qualify for a federal pension.
Yet there he was, under the big Saudi Arabian sky, serving with fellow Army medics and doctors.
Before this, years earlier, in the 1980s. his children asked him what he did in the Army. He responded that he was a medic. Then he was asked “well, what a medic do?”
He answered “OK kids, so what happens when a solider is in trouble our job is to get him out of trouble as soon as we can.”
These words would not be forgotten.
Now back in Saudi Arabia, there was not much action and David was “promoted” to bus driver (a job he loved) as he happened to get his bus driver’s license in a previous summer camp.
His tour, fortunately was short, and he flew back home to Connecticut in April 29th 1991, on his 52nd birthday, He retired shortly thereafter.
His next surprise was a “golden handshake” from the State of Connecticut.
In an effort to make budget goals, the State of Connecticut essentially forced many senior staff into an early retirement. But for David, his issue was that the early retirement was not actually enough to retire on, especially with four children in college.
It took him some time, but he eventually found a new position with the City of New Haven as an accountant. But to make ends meet during his search, he worked as a Security Guard second shift, looking for overtime anywhere he could. Anthony noted “While working as a security guard, he never felt sorry for himself – and then I started to have even more pride in him. My dad does what it takes.”
In 1997, David received an inheritance from his father’s estate. He and his wife Cathy, were deciding what to do. Should they put a downpayment on a vacation home or something else?
For David, he knew what he wanted to do. He had a burning desire to go to law school. It was something he wanted to do when since he was younger, and he wanted to work on civil rights, and work for justice.
But the four kids that made this dream impossible. So he asked Cathy in 1997, if she would give her blessing. Sweetening the pot was this fact: the University of Bridgeport School of Law was just bought by Quinnipiac University (then it was still a college) and now there was a law school with a beautiful facility underneath the majestic Sleeping Giant State Park, which happened to 12 minutes from his house.
Cathy agreed, and David was elated. David applied, was accepted and started law school in August of 1998. He was on the part-time track going at nights, meanwhile keeping his full-time position with the City of New Haven. He would be in law school for four years.
David would wake up at 4 am, and study until about 6:30 am. He would then drive to get to work. He would work a full day, then he would drive straight from work and would get at law school at around 6 pm. He would be there until 10 pm. He would get to bed at around 11 am. He would then wake up the next day at 4 am, starting the process all over again. But it would be all worth it – assuming David could hang on. If all went according to plan, he would graduate on May 12, 2002, which was also Mother’s Day.
Watching all this was was one of his sons and co-founder, Anthony E. Parent.
Anthony just graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Finance and was looking for a job in publishing.
He applied to the trade publications in New York but the meager pay they offered wasn’t enough – especially with the expenses of living in New York City. So instead, he took a job at Ford Motor Credit, 15 minutes away.
So while Anthony was living with Cathy and David, he became both impressed and frightened by how hard his dad was working.
He explains, “I know myself to be like my dad in many ways. And for my whole life people told me I’d be a great lawyer. And I just thought to myself, I’m single, not a lot of obligations, there is no better time for me to go to law school than right now.”
So with his dad in his first year of law school, Anthony applied to Quinnipiac University School of Law in 1999. He got the fat envelope one day and could wait to share the news with his parents. Well everyone actually.
But unlike David, he was a full-time student on the three-year track. So what that meant is if all went according to plan, he too would graduate on May 12, 2002 which was also Mother’s Day.
Anthony and David did not have any classes together until Anthony’s second year and David’s third. And the class they had was Federal Income Taxation. David’s knowledge of bureaucracies not only helped him master the material quickly, but it also turned him into the classes’ most valuable asset. He held study sessions and helped explain everything to ten fellow classmates. All whom like David, earned an A’s. One of those classmates was Anthony. Anthony, however, had no interest in tax or any administrative law. He was thinking of himself as a “Johny Cash” of attorneys -to represent those who no one cared about. So he entered in to the Quinnipiac University School of Law Defense Appellate Clinic.
David recalls Anthony’s experience. “He loved it. And I was so proud of him, I remember his case. It was a violation of probation. Anthony took it so seriously as if it was the most important case in the history of law. He found a great issue – the defendant never actually signed that he agreed with the conditions of probations that he was violated on. He told his professor, Marty Zeldis, Esq. who went on to become Chief Public Defender of the State of Connecticut. But Marty said it won’t a great issue. He wanted Anthony to argue the authority of a probation officer. Well I used to work in the Adult Department of Probation for the State of Connecticut. So Anthony and I discussed how that issue really wouldn’t be a winner. Yet he still argued it. But Anthony being Anthony, while argued the what was a sure-losing issue in the argument, he subtly argued his possibly winning issue in the facts of the brief.
David continues “I was excited for his big day in the Appellate Court. He was focused. And at oral argument, Anthony only argued the authority of a probation officer issue. I could tell the judges were having fun throwing everything they could at Anthony. They had a live one! But there he was – remaining clam and focused and unflappable.”
Anthony explains what happened after. “It was the most surprising thing. Marty called me to tell me the Appellate Court was requesting supplemental briefing on the issue I raised in the facts. Marty laughed and laughed. ‘You were right! You were right!”
David continues “With that, the charges were dropped against his client. Anthony won against the wind.”
With such an incredible victory, Anthony felt confident that Marty would hire him after law school.
David on the other hand, wanted to dabble in a bit of everything – closings and constitutional law claims. Anthony explains ’There was no one who perhaps enjoyed law school more than my dad. He understood what a privilege it was to attend. And that helped me understand how I lucky I was. Not only to be able to go to law School, but I was able to go with the man who I trust more than anyone, my dad.”
Things did go according to plan and on May 12, 2002, which was Mothers’ Day.
Anthony and David were hooded a juris doctorates simultaneously, in what is believed to be the first time this has happened in US history or any history.
Anthony tells the story.
“The ceremony was moved inside. And I was sitting next to my dad near the back. I started thinking to myself ‘well if I didn’t go to law school, I’d still be here today. I’d be here standing next to my brother Frank.’ I looked up to see Frank and I noticed he had this incredible look of pride. And then it hit me, if I would be up there in those stands, and I’d be so proud of my dad. And then with that thought ,I started crying uncontrollably. And yet, just then that’s when they called my dad and I up for our hooding. They stopped the procession to make a special announcement. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen for the first time ever, Quinnipiac University has the privilege of hooding father and son candidates at the same time.’ I was trying to hide my tears, I couldn’t. And then Tax Professor Toni Robinson hooded my while Tax Professor Mary Ferrari hooded my dad. There as a moment it was quiet and then there was the enthusiastic standing ovation that blew me away. But I know it wasn’t for me. It was for my dad. No one loved law school as much as he did. He really was everyone’s best friend – always encouraging, always helpful, always cheerful. And it is only as I get closer his age, can I begin to appreciate just what an amazing man he is.”
The two did not intend to go into partnership. Anthony was confident that he would get a job with the public defender, doing what he loved, and David was confident he’d find a job that needed someone experienced in life and in business, but was new to law.
But they found out, after passing the bar exam, Anthony was too young, and David was too old. So after a year of fruitless attempts to find jobs, on January 2, 2004, the partnership known as Parent & Parent LLP began.
After hanging their shingle, Anthony focused on criminal appeals, he even won another case – overturning a plea of guilty. And David was working on real estate closings and federal litigation. However, the business was not as robust as Anthony and David needed it to be. And his criminal clientele seems rather… repetitive. So in 2006, the two decided to focus their law firm on tax resolution.
But what to name the website?
Anthony couldn’t help but to think about their prospective clients. How do they feel? “It’s like they need an emergency room for taxes.” He told David. He thought about calling it taxdoctor.com but that url was already taken. But then it came to him.
“Dad, I think I got the name” he said to David.
David asked back “OK son, so what it is?”
Anthony “Well we are helping people with tax emergencies, so really the only fitting name is IRS MEDIC!”
David agreed and in June of 2006, Anthony pulled the trigger on the domain. And in a few days had the first version of this website up – using Microsoft Publisher!
Since that day in 2006, IRSMedic has helped thousands of soldiers get out of IRS trouble. The firm grew into a national and even international presence with particular expertise in offshore disclosures and international reporting forms.
The firm has been featured on major media. Anthony wrote an Amazon business best seller in 2014, “IRS Confidential.”
From its resolution beginnings the firm has branched out into tax preparation and compliance along along with tax advisory services.
“Ultimately I think, we all have to resolve the IRS. Each and every year. Some years it is easy. Other years can be more trying. Sometimes it is just one year we need to resolve. Sometimes there are many. But no matter what, until the tax code is repealed, if ever, the IRS can be one of the most important issues to handle, but unfortunately to to the fear and intimidation it projects, it can be too easy to run and hide and pretend the IRS isn’t there, and just simple get bad advice. What we consider our mission is eliminate this cause of stress and fear and make it manageable for our clients. So they can act rationally in business and focus on the things that are a bit more enjoyable.”
David has been retired from day-to-day practice since 2014. He still comes by nearly every day to check in on his partnership.