Our Dedication to Mother’s Day!

Brooke and Debbie DicksonSmith Dickson would like to congratulate and thank all the great moms around California – and beyond – on Mother’s Day!  There should be more than one day each year to thank moms for all that they do! May your day be filled with happiness, beauty and love.

Twenty One Pilots and Smith Dickson?

Our founder, Debbie Dickson, is a proud mom of six great children.  Did you know she is a “rocker mom” when not working?

Some of our clients may know that one of Debbie’s daughters, Brooke Dickson, works at Smith Dickson when she is not on tour.  What you may not know is that Brooke is a member of LA-based punk rock band The Regrettes.  The Regrettes recently joined the band Twenty One Pilots, one of the hottest bands in the world, for their “Bandito” UK and European tour.

Twenty One Pilots received a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.  The Regrettes played with Twenty One Pilots from February 2nd to March 17th, joining the tour in Finland, then proceeded with stops in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. Whew, what a whirlwind experience!

Brooke Dickson playing for The Regrettes

Debbie was able to join Brooke for one of the concerts at London’s famous Wembley Arena.  Said Debbie as she left, “I’m just about ready to board a plane to London to go see Brooke perform three nights to sold out audiences at Wembley.  Can’t wait to see Brooke, I’m so happy for her!”

Brooke later posted on Instagram with a special note to her mom on “International Women’s Day” (see above).

Another interesting aspect of Brooke’s musical side of life is her love of classical music.   Brooke attended opera school in Rome and was further trained at the Opera Conservatory at Chapman University.  Brooke and Debbie recently performed at a special donors-only concert  at Segerstrom Concert Hall.  Watch a video of their previous performance at Segerstrom in 2017.

Tiger Rider

Heather Dickson - Tiger Rider

Debbie has another rocker daughter, Heather Dickson, who will graduate soon from business school at the University of Washington.  Her band, Tiger Rider, plays extensively at clubs and festivals in the Pacific Northwest.  Heather also earns side-money with a casino band playing “cover songs” on weekends, earning money for college — dressing in sparkly clothes and playing the part of a ’70s rocker.

Congratulations, Brooke and Heather!  All of us at the Smith Dickson family are very proud of you!  Maybe you can play a set for us at the office at lunch sometime?

Litigation Support for Real Estate Disputes

Richard Warner

Editor’s note: Debbie Dickson recently wrote an article in the Orange County Business Journal’s “Real Estate Law” special supplement.  The article is reprinted below, which we think will be of use to our clients and business contacts.  Please let us know of your feedback!

Real estate disputes are more common that you think!  Smith Dickson, CPAs has provided litigation support on real estate matters since 1995. These engagements are as diverse as they are complex. Here are a few recent examples:

Misappropriation of Funds / Fraud – Co-ownership of properties can often result in disputes.  One of our clients had an ownership interest in multiple apartment LLCs which were managed by the other member – who also separately owned additional complexes.  The managing party was accused of commingling all of his property and family expenses with the apartments owned jointly with our client.  Smith Dickson was hired to provide forensic analysis of expenditures, disbursements, and supporting invoices, resulting in the identification of millions of dollars that were siphoned out over several decades.  Another client who managed properties for overseas relatives was accused of over $3 million in misuse of funds; after our testimony, the jury reduced the damage award to $1 million.

Creditors’ Rights – Loan defaults aren’t always straightforward, especially when millions of dollars are at stake in commercial properties. When our bank client foreclosed on $15 million in loans for buildings, the borrower claimed that the loans were not technically in default due to the manner in which penalties and interest were applied.  Our work involved damage calculations and expert testimony.

Probate/Trust Beneficiary Disputes – Those who inherit properties often contest use of trust money for personal gain and ownership percentages, such as our client who was involved in litigation over beachfront properties with siblings.  Smith Dickson reconciled the beneficiary proceeds in this matter.

Development and Contractor Disputes – These matters involve all facets of development and construction.  A recent case involved a multi-phase project in which multiple owners funded different phases.  Ownership percentages and land boundaries were disputed, and contractors sued over payment.  Our work in this complex case involved tracing of capital and debt transactions as well as construction disbursements.

Escrow and Title – Mistakes in these matters can involve millions of dollars in damages.  A recent case involved title disputes on over 100 properties owned by an LLC with numerous members located in multiple states.  The underwritten title company issued clear title reports when there were actually liens. Our damage calculations proved instrumental in educating the jury to provide a resolution in this Federal criminal case.

High-Stakes Marital Dissolution Matters – One of our largest matters involved multiple real estate brokerages and properties owned throughout southern California.  Litigation between the ex-spouses ensued for many years.  Our work involved asset tracing, valuations, and asset equalization. 

About the author: Deborah Dickson, CPA, CFF, MAFF is President of Smith Dickson, An Accountancy Corporation (www.smithdickson.com) based in Irvine. Ph. 949.553.1020.  




OCBJ article: “Litigation Support for Real Estate Disputes”

Real Estate Law imageDebbie Dickson recently wrote an article in the Orange County Business Journal’s  “Real Estate Law” special supplement. The article “Litigation Support for Real Estate Disputes” covered several recent Smith Dickson engagements:

  • Misappropriation of Funds / Fraud
  • Creditors’ Rights
  • Probate/Trust Beneficiary Disputes
  • Development and Contractor Disputes
  • Escrow and Title
  • High-Stakes Marital Dissolution Matters