Master of Science in Taxation


John Balian, M.S. (Taxation), J.D.

Managing Partner, the Balian Law Group

Photo of John BalianProfessor Balian is an alumnus of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at California State University, Northridge. Prior to becoming an attorney, he was a revenue agent with the Los Angeles District of the IRS, where he conducted tax audits of corporations, trusts and individuals, generally focusing on understated income or overstated deductions. He has practiced law since 1993 and is currently the managing partner of the Balian Law Group, a tax and estate planning law firm in Encino, California. Professor Balian is a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the California State Bar. His law firm represents clients in IRS audits/appeals and before the U.S. Tax Court, and advises clients on income, estate & gift tax issues. He received both his B.S. in Accounting and M.S. in Taxation degrees from CSUN and his J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. He is the past chair of the California Society of CPAs Los Angeles Chapter's West Valley CPAs. Professor Balian teaches the Culminating Experience.

James Chapman, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation)

Photo of James ChapmanProfessor Chapman specializes in advising on the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate and partnership restructuring and financing transactions. He is a Senior Counsel in the Real Estate and Tax Practice Groups of Buchalter Nemer. Professor Chapman's experience includes practicing tax in both law firms and national accounting/tax firms. He has assisted clients in a wide range of industries, including the technology, financial services, real estate, entertainment, manufacturing and hospitality industries. Professor Chapman is a former chairman of the Entertainment Tax Committee and Corporate Tax Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He graduated with an LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Professor Chapman earned his B.A, magna cum laude, from the University of Oregon. He teaches for us Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders and Income Taxation of Partnerships.

Rafi Efrat, CPA, J.D., J.S.M., J.S.D.

Director, M.S. in Taxation Program, Professor, Accounting and Information Systems

Photo of Rafi EfratDr. Efrat is an alumnus of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at CSUN, where he graduated with an accounting degree, magna cum laude. After becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois, Dr. Efrat obtained his law degree from the University of Southern California. He practiced law for five years, including a period of time at Ernst & Young tax practice. Dr. Efrat then became a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School, where he taught legal research and writing. He subsequently obtained a master's in law and a doctor of science of law degree from Stanford Law School. Dr. Efrat is the recipient of CSUN's Preeminent Publication Award, Visionary Community Service Learning Award, and the University's Outstanding Service Award. He joined the faculty of CSUN in 1999. He teaches Tax Research and Communication.

Sharyn M. Fisk, J.D., LL.M

Principal, Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez, P.C.

Photo of Sharyn M. FiskProfessor Fisk specializes in civil tax and criminal tax controversy. She earned her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark and her LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law. She is also a certified specialist in taxation law, The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization; a member of the executive committee for the Taxation Section, State Bar of California; secretary of the Taxation Procedure Committee of the Taxation Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association; and a member of the Standards of Tax Practice Committee of the Taxation Section, American Bar Association. She also coauthors a quarterly update on Important Civil Tax Controversy Developments for the ABA Section of Taxation. Professor Fisk is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of California, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She has also been an attorney-advisor for the Honorable Maurice B. Foley, United States Tax Court. She teaches Federal Tax Procedure.

Robert Johnson, CPA, M.S. (Taxation)

Tax Partner, KPMG LLP

Photo of Robert JohnsonProfessor Johnson is a Managing Director with KPMG's State and Local Tax (SALT) practice. He has more than 20 years of experience serving the state and local tax needs of a wide variety of clients, ranging from publicly held Fortune 500 companies to privately held emerging growth firms. He holds a master of science degree in taxation from Golden Gate University and a bachelor of science in accounting from California State University, San Bernardino. He teaches State and Local Taxes.

Moshe Kushman, J.D., M.B.T.

Tax Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Photo of Moshe KushmanProfessor Kushman represents clients in a wide range of federal income tax matters, with an emphasis on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, tax-free spin-offs, leveraged buyouts, restructurings and workouts, controlled foreign corporations, and international tax planning. Professor Kushman also has served as chairman to the Corporate Committee of the Tax Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is a frequent lecturer and panelist at conferences on tax matters, including the USC Institute on Federal Taxation, the Practising Law Institute, the Tax Executives Institute, and the Council for International Taxation, and has been a contributing author to the Practising Law Institute Tax Strategies and Pepperdine Law Review. Professor Kushman received his J.D. from Loyola Law School and his M.B.T. and M.B.A. from USC. He teaches Taxation of Foreign Transactions and Taxpayers.

John Lilly, M.B.T., CPA

Tax Partner, HCVT

Photo of John LillyProfessor Lilly began his career with Deloitte & Touche LLP's tax department. In 1994 he left Deloitte for a brief stint in industry with a client, Big Dog Sportswear. He then joined the Westlake Village office of HCVT the following year. Professor Lilly specializes in providing tax planning and consulting services primarily to large corporate taxpayers, high-net-worth individuals and owner-managed businesses in a variety of industries. Professor Lilly's 19 years of experience also includes advising clients on accounting for income taxes, buy/sell issues, corporate reorganizations, multi-state tax minimization strategies, tax credit maximization, formulating tax efficient exit strategies for business owners, estate planning and representing clients before federal and state taxing authorities.

Professor Lilly is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, he has been called upon by financial institutions to conduct in-house seminars and provide lectures regarding the impact of tax legislation.
Professor Lilly graduated with honors from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and he holds a master's degree in business taxation from the University of Southern California. He teaches Real Estate Taxation.

Rob Razani, CPA, M.S. (Taxation)

Subject Matter Expert – Corporate Distributions & Adjustments, Internal Revenue Service

Photo of Rob RazaniProfessor Razani has worked for the Internal Revenue Service as a Revenue Agent for over 23 years. He currently works as a subject matter expert in the Corporate Distributions and Adjustments Issue Practice Group, where he provides guidance to IRS internal stakeholders on corporate and M&A transactions. His experience with the IRS includes over 14 years as a Senior Team Coordinator in the Large Business and International (LB&I) Division of the IRS, coordinating the tax examination of some of the nation's largest multinational public corporations. Professor Razani has extensive experience conducting trainings within the IRS, as well as teaching CPA review courses. Professor Razani earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from San Diego State University and his Master of Science in Taxation from California State, Northridge. He teaches Income Tax Concepts and Their Business Application.

Karen Ritchie, CPA, MBT

Tax Principal, Hothouse Carline & Van Trigt, LLP

Photo of Karen RitchieProfessor Karen Ritchie is a tax principal at Hothouse Carlin & Van Trigt, LLP with over 25 years of experience providing tax consulting and compliance services to closely held private companies and high net-worth individuals. She has extensive experience addressing complex partnership taxation issues and primarily serves clients within the real estate industry. Professor Ritchie received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in business administration, and a master’s in business taxation from the University of Southern California. Professor Ritchie is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California and she is a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Karen began her career at KPMG LLP. Professor Ritchie teaches Accounting Methods and Periods.

Jacob Stein, J.D., LL.M (Taxation)

Partner, Boldra, Klueger and Stein, LLP

Photo of Jacob SteinProfessor Stein is a partner with the law firm Boldra, Klueger and Stein, LLP. The firm's practice is limited to domestic and international tax planning, tax controversy and litigation, estate planning and asset protection. Professor Stein received his law degree from the University of Southern California and his master's of law in taxation from Georgetown University. He is a Certified Specialist, Taxation Law, from the State Bar of California, Board of Specialization and is admitted to practice law in California and before the Tax Court. Professor Stein is a frequent lecturer to various attorney and accountant professional groups and is an instructor with the California CPA Education Foundation. He is the past chair of the tax section of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. He teaches the Contemporary Tax Planning Issues Seminar.

Frederick E. Wooldridge, CPA, J.D.

International Tax Partner, Ernst & Young, LLP

Photo of Frederick E. WooldridgeProfessor Wooldridge is an International Tax Partner in the Los Angeles office of Ernst & Young, LLP. He has more than 25 years of experience in providing international tax services to a wide range of public and privately held companies. As a full-time international tax consultant, Professor Wooldridge's primary responsibility is to help clients establish and operate their international activities in the most efficient manner from a worldwide tax and operational standpoint. Professor Wooldridge graduated from San Francisco State University (B.A. Economics) in 1978, and the University of Kansas School of Law (Juris Doctor) in 1981. He is a California CPA and member of the AICPA, and also is a member of the Los Angeles County (past Chairman, Foreign Tax Committee), California, Missouri and American Bar Associations. He is also a public speaker and author on various international tax topics. He teaches Taxation of Foreign Transactions and Taxpayers.

Advisory and Program Planning Board

Name Roles/Representing
John Balian Managing Partner, The Law Office of John Balian
Harvey Bookstein Partner, Armanino, LLP
James Chapman Director of Tax, World Disney
Mrunal Patel Senior Manager, Moss Adams, LLP
Jim DeBree Partner, Deloitte, A Professional Corporation
Keith Dolabson Partner, Gursey | Schneider LLP
Sharyn M. Fisk Assistant Professor, Cal Poly Pomona
Michael S. Fredlender Michael S. Fredlender, CPA, A Professional Corporation
Monica Gianni Assistant Professor, California State University, Northridge
Robert Grimes Partner, Ernst & Young, LLP
Dean Joaquin Partner, McGladrey LLP
Robert Johnson Tax Partner, KPMG, LLP
Karen Ritchie Holhouse Carlin & Van Trigt, LLP
Brian Compton Co-Founder and C.E.O. Tax Defense Partners
Charlie Osaki Principal, Armanino, LLP
Rob Razani Senior Team Coordinator, Internal Revenue Service
Karen Ritchie Partner, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP
Shannon L. Roskowick Deck & Associates
Robin N. Rousselet President and CEO of Rousselet Accountancy
Carl H. Sasaki Partner, BDO Seidman, LLP
Leslie S. Sobol Partner, Lucas, Horsfall, Murphy & Pindroh, LLP
Jacob Stein Partner, Klueger & Stein, LLP
Norm Tamkin Partner, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt, LLP
Lior Temkin Partner, SingerLewak, LLP
Mark Tracht Territory Manager, Internal Revenue Service