Jim Walsh was born and raised in a small steel town in Western Pennsylvania. At Kennedy Catholic High School, Jim excelled on his 3 member debate team, winning many debate competitions and setting the path for his future career in law. Jim also served many years as an altar boy at the family’s local Catholic Parish. Jim attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, then the University of Toledo College of Law, where he graduated summa cum laude. Throughout his post-secondary education, Jim worked as a certified public accountant at several firms, including Ernst & Young, and Warren Bock & Associates, where he met his wife Laura.
In 1983, Jim and his wife fell in love with Howard County and left Ohio to make their home here. After spending 15 years in Columbia, they moved to their current home in Woodbine in 1999. Their two adult daughters had an active Howard County childhood: playing sports, participating in 4-H, attending church, and learning music and dance.
READY ON DAY ONE
Since moving to Howard County, Jim has been a member of the Maryland Bar Association and practiced law in Maryland since 1983. In 1995, he opened his own practice, focusing on estate and trust matters. As a small business owner, Jim joined a weekly networking group called LeTip, where they frequently discuss the impact county decisions have on small businesses. As an attorney, Jim works with a diverse client base in Howard County, and has developed a reputation for listening to his clients to learn what is important to them and their families. His law experience makes him an excellent candidate. Jim has successfully argued a case regarding an important inheritance tax issue before the highest court of Maryland, winning an unanimous decision and setting a precedent for the state. In law, as in government, there are often competing viewpoints that all need to be considered to reach a consensus. Jim has honed these skills with over 3 decades of experience in Howard County.
Jim has extensive experience with government members, officials, and courts. He understands how the government system works and how to get things done. In 2007, Jim was appointed by the County Council to use his legal skills in public service on the Howard County Board of Appeals. He served on the board for 10 years, for the two maximum terms, and was elected as the Chairman of the Board three times by his fellows. On the Board of Appeals, Jim heard hundreds of cases presented by county residents and attorneys, giving him a unique position to hear what Howard County residents care about.
In 2011, Jim was appointed to the Charter Review Commission by the County Council and the County Executive. The Howard County Charter is the constitution of the county, and is reviewed every 8 years to study not just mundane issues like punctuation, but also to consider substantive changes to the legislation process. One such issue discovered was how budgets were written. The Commission’s recommendations coordinated the County’s budgets to better align with Wall Street credit evaluation firms’ process, saving Howard County millions of dollars in interest on its debt. Ultimately, the five revisions recommended by the Commission were approved by Howard County voters.
Jim’s experience on the Board of Appeals and the Charter Review Commission required knowledge of not just Howard County law, but also Howard County residents. For over 10 years, Jim has studied Howard County law, heard public testimony, and worked across the aisle to achieve real solutions that are based in law, rather than personal biases or special interests. He has the experience working with land use issues and county residents as a public servant making him ready on day one!
To Be Clear
Jim is both a CPA and a Tax and Estate Planning Attorney.
A CPA (certified public accountant) is a trusted financial adviser who has passed the rigorous CPA Exam, met work experience requirements, and takes continuing professional education courses to maintain the CPA certification. These additional requirements for licensure ensure CPAs maintain the highest standard of knowledge and ethics when operating in financial positions.
Tax attorneys are lawyers who specialize in the complex and technical field of tax law. They're best for handling complex, technical and legal issues associated with tax situations. A tax attorney can step in after someone has a problem, but consulting with one in advance can also help someone avoid problems.
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person's life, for the management and disposal of that person's estate during the person's life and at and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax. Estate planning includes planning for incapacity as well as a process of reducing or eliminating uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximizing the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. The ultimate goal of estate planning can be determined by the specific goals of the client, and may be as simple or complex as the client's needs dictate. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity
IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE
On his days off, Jim has several hobbies and interests outside the office. He has several hundred pets: a beehive, and two golden retrievers. He enjoys taking his dogs for swims and hikes at the Patapsco River, and visits the beach every summer with his family. He enjoys watching sports, visiting local breweries, and regularly attends church service.