Paul J. Dostart



Paul enjoys a broad legal practice centered on qualification, operation and governance of tax-exempt organizations.  Paul also leads the firm’s internal investigations and whistleblower practice, advises closely held businesses on matters of corporate governance and structure, and maintains an active but limited tax controversy practice.  Several of Paul’s clients have appeared on the Inc. magazine list of America’s 500 most rapidly growing closely held businesses.

Before establishing Dostart Hannink & Coveney LLP in 1994, Paul chaired the tax department of the law firm then called Gray Cary Ames & Frye (since merged into DLA).  Paul has also chaired the San Diego County Bar Association Tax Section, and the Tax Exempt Organizations Committee of the State Bar of California; he is currently a committee officer of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation.  Paul has contributed to three legal treatises (tax exempt organizations, pension plans, litigation forms), and to two non-legal books (business ethics, life lessons from sports).  He has authored or co-authored over 50 articles focused on taxation and enterprise governance.

Paul’s CPA-qualifying experience was with the Congressional agency now called the United States Government Accountability Office. Paul participated on several GAO teams conducting performance audits of various federal programs.  One such audit earned the Rockefeller Public Service Award.  Paul’s GAO training and experience provided part of the foundation for the internal investigations, whistleblower and tax litigation components of his law practice.  Paul has testified as an expert witness at deposition and in court, and is listed as counsel in over 20 reported opinions before federal and California courts and boards.

Paul has served as a classroom instructor at three universities. Paul was a teaching fellow in the Department of Accounting of the University of Houston Bauer College of Business while attending law school.  While enrolled at the UH Law Center, Paul was elected an editor of the law review, and president of the academic honorary fraternity.  Following recognition as a Lasker Scholar by NYU School of Law, Paul was named an adjunct professor in the graduate tax program of the University of San Diego School of Law.  Paul taught as an adjunct professor in the USD SOL graduate tax program over a quarter-century span, and served two terms on that law school’s Board of Visitors.  In the 1980s, Paul co-taught the ERISA and Pension Plans course for paralegals at UCSD Extension.

Paul is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation,  a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, and a Fellow of the American Board of Forensic Accounting.  Paul serves as an independent trustee and on the audit committee of a mutual fund (MUNDX), on the Audit Committee of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and on the investment committee of his church.  Paul co-founded two San Diego biotech companies (Q3DM, Vala Sciences), serving as vice-chair of both and audit committee chair of one.  He is a co-inventor of US Patent 5,582,128.  Paul is registered as a Certified Public Accountant in Illinois (239.025898), and is a member of the state bars of Texas (06022400) and California (81841).  Paul has attended UCSD Extension (biotechnology, global nuclear deterrence), SDSU Extension (corporate governance), UCLA Anderson School of Management (executive MBA program), and Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business (accounting theory).  Paul holds degrees from Iowa State University Ivy College of Business (B.S., Distinguished Alumnus Citation of Achievement 2015), University of Houston Law Center (J.D.), and New York University School of Law (LL.M. in  Taxation).

Paul is married to Joyce Dostart, a former Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.  The couple have two sons (Zachariah, Samuel), both of whom hold the CPA, MBA and JD designations.