Firm Overview

Our focus is responsiveness, results and value. Those are the legal services that we have been providing our clients since 1983. Whether we are drafting your contracts, planning your estate or litigating on your behalf, we use proven and established technologies to keep you constantly informed and obtain cost-effective results. Your correspondence, pleadings and other documents are optically scanned and organized so that they can be instantaneously accessed, and immediately delivered to anywhere in the world by e-mail or CD-Rom. We also maintain an extensive library of computerized forms, pleadings and legal research to quickly respond to your inquiries and legal emergencies.

Our business clients include entertainers, inventors, entrepreneurs, professionals, executives and commercial enterprises ranging from closely held family businesses to multi-national corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The lawyers at Hicks, MIms Kaplan & Burns have negotiated, drafted and advised their clients of their rights and obligations regarding some of the most valuable intellectual properties of the entertainment industry.

In addition to representing clients in business disputes and lawsuits, we also represent individuals that have suffered serious bodily injuries; elders that have been physically or financially abused; and individuals, fiduciaries and charitable organizations that are involved in Will and trust contests.

Example cases

I recently filed a successful application for the abatement of interest and penalties in a tax shelter case dating from 1983-84. This was the first such application ever accepted by the Internal Revenue Service and resulted in a savings to the client in excess of $350,000.

I also handled a successful probate litigation involving the recovery of in excess of $6 million for the estate of a woman who had been the victim of financial elder abuse.

Main Office

2800 28th Street
Suite 383
Santa Monica CA 90405


(310) 399-9000

(949) 340-9737


(310) 314-1725


Free Initial Consultation?

The initial consultation is free of charge if we are not retained. If retained, it is billed in accordance with the Fee Agreement with the client.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

Estate planning and transactional matters may involve flat fees ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 plus hourly charges for conferences, special projects and substantive phone calls.

Hourly Rates

My hourly rate is $300 to $350 depending upon the nature of the case.

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
After hours as necessary.

Office Manager

Michael Puccinelli

Emergency After Hours


Languages Spoken

Spanish (Staff)

Other Offices

Laguna Niguel, CA
28202 Cabot Road 3rd Floor
Laguna Niguel

Estate Planning



How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I was attracted to tax law because of the intellectual rigor required to master it.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I would encourage them to be as informed as possible.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?


Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?


L. Westcott Hicks, Jr.

Hicks, Mims, Kaplan & Burns

I have practiced primarily in private law firms but served as tax counsel for The Signal Companies and Northrop Corporation over a period of 6 years. I founded what is now Hicks, Mims, Kaplan & Burns with three other partners in 1994. I am the firm's managing partner.

My solid education at high quality institutions is a great foundation. I constantly build upon that with continuing education and extensive reading in legal, business and current affairs. My professional experience has included all aspects of tax law including tax controversy matters. In addition, I have worked with all types of clients from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. This enables me to provide the highest quality of service within the limitations of a client's circumstances.

I am particularly good at listening to my clients, analyzing the case and assembling a creative and effective plan or presentation to meet the client's needs.

I am professional but friendly with a sense of humor, yet determined to achieve the client's objectives.

Personal interests:

I am fascinated with technology and integrate it into my daily life and practice. I also enjoy music, movies, theatre and art. Regular bike rides help me maintain my perspective. Also, there is nothing like a college football game on a fall afternoon.


Bar Number: 55729
California, 1973


University of Illinois
J.D., 1970

New York University
LL.M., 1971

Northwestern University
B.A., Psychology, 1967

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