A Chinese proverb says if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. John C. Buckley, III has never worked since 1994 when he converted his international law practice to a boutique law practice in Colorado Springs. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and Harvard Law School, John owns a business and estate planning law office, which his wife Melinda runs as the legal administrator. The Firm includes John's daughter Brittany, who provides marketing and legal assistance.
Many clients are farmers and ranchers as well as closely-held businesses in Colorado Springs, the Western Slope, ski country (Summit County) and the Eastern Plains. John grew up in Kentucky on a horse farm and Melinda's father was a Kentucky equine veterinarian. John and Melinda love ranches and farms and the laid-back atmosphere of Colorado Springs. They often conduct business in the homes of their clients. Dressed in a plaid flannel shirt and denim jeans, John's eyes light up with enthusiasm when he explains how he uses advanced planning tools to solve problems and save money for his clients.
Buckley Law is a boutique practice which works with teams of professionals in a multi-disciplinary fashion. This futuristic practice model is primarily used in larger law and accounting firms, but has been modified by John Buckley to meet the needs of his community. Knowing his clients want to be the "hub" of all information flow regarding their business and estate planning, John builds teams of professionals to work together transparently for the clients' benefit. These teams can include John, along with a nationally-renowned business valuation expert, an insurance professional, a financial planner and a CPA. Together, the team looks for the best available tools to maximize the client’s benefit in each of these disciplines.
John is one of the top attorneys in the Front Range when it comes to restructuring businesses to get current income tax deductions, as well as save money on capital gains tax, estate tax and gift taxes when the owners exit the business. Planning for exiting one's business in a tax-efficient manner is another of the firm's specialties. Justice Learned Hand said there are two tax systems in America – one for the educated and one for the ignorant. John specializes in helping his clients do business in an educated manner.
Buckley Law doesn't do stereotypical planning. The Firm focuses on paying its fees as much as possible through pre-tax savings. John tries to work himself out of a job at end game. To do this he uses legal tools like carpenters use hammers and saws. John's tools include (but are not limited to) limited partnerships, tax-exempt entities, and sophisticated trust planning. If the client only needs a simple will and powers of attorney, our Firm stands ready to serve that client as well.
Once used only by the rich and famous, John makes sophisticated business and estate planning tools available to everyone. J. Paul Getty, who among other financial wizards used tax-exempt planning to live the lifestyle of a billionaire but own little, is reputed to have said: "It's amazing how much [money] you can make when you're willing to give it away" John's philosophy is that a person can either give an involuntary charitable contribution to the IRS (the government is a charity under the Tax Code), or can create wealth using tax-exempt tools while taking care of his or her heirs as well.
To accomplish this, John conducts a first meeting with potential estate planning clients at no charge for one to two hours. They discuss the potential client's family as well as the client’s goals, dreams and aspirations. At that point (if the client wishes to work with the Firm), Buckley Law prepares and coordinates a plan that will achieve the client's immediate as well as long-term goals.
In addition to his law practice John is very involved with his community. He is an active member of the Colorado Springs Rotary Club, and has been on the board of directors of the Champions Foundation for local scholar athletes. He served on the board of directors of the National Lawyers Association (www.nla.org) and was a board member of Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful. He incorporated the Colorado Parkinson Foundation, Inc. and serves proudly on its Board of Directors.
He serves on the Advisory Board of the 4th Judicial District Veterans Treatment Court, as well as the Statutory Review Committee of the Colorado Bar Association. John has been very involved in the drafting of two major statutes in Colorado and has also been a leader preventing adoption of statutes that are not in the best interest of Colorado citizens. He also conducts short seminars on business tax, charitable asset protection, and estate planning free of charge. Buckley Law is a member of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Also, John donates numerous days each year to pro bono work as a member of the Christian Legal Society, providing legal services through Ecumenical Services Ministries (ESM) to the homeless and disadvantaged, This means if anyone coming from ESM, and Northern Churches Care needs him on the days he serves, they take priority over all other clients. John's passion for kids led him to co-write a statute for presumption of shared parenting time which went before the Colorado Legislature in 2002-2004.
John is a member of Wealth Counsel, LLC, comprised of approximately 1500 of America’s top business and estate planning lawyers. He was also a member of Business Enterprise Institute, a leading group of business exit planners in America. Every year he invests a great deal of time and treasure (tuition plus travel expenses) to attend conferences in these key areas of the Firm's practice. There, he interacts with the best of the best in estate and business planning. He does this because it keeps him on top of very advanced planning tools that save money and build wealth for his clients.
The vision of Buckley Law is to remain the pre-eminent business and estate planner along the Front Range. Our goal is that the people of the Front Range think of only one name - Buckley Law - when it comes to saving money on taxes in their businesses or passing legacies to their families.
Setting lofty goals does not mean that our Firm seeks to become a big-city law practice with dozens of lawyers. It means there is more space for smart men and women - paraprofessionals, CPAs, financial planners and insurance professionals - to work with the Buckley Law team. It means our staff will continue to grow as it expertly and ethically serves our clients.