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Joseph R. Viola

Fax: (215) 854-4091

Tax attorney Joseph R. Viola is a Penn Law graduate who also holds a Master of Laws degree in Taxation from Temple. He offers to clients the knowledge, skill and judgment he has developed over 30 years of successful trial and appellate litigation experience in federal courts, state courts and administrative agencies.

Mr. Viola represents individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations in federal tax disputes of all types and at all levels.

Mr. Viola has chosen this area of focus in the belief that every federal tax dispute boils down to investigating and proving facts and applying the applicable law to those facts in a just and reasonable manner. That territory ultimately belongs to the litigator, not the tax "specialist." Being able to navigate through the maze of federal tax laws, regulations and other pronouncements remains an important skill — but it is not enough.

Every federal tax dispute requires effectively advocating for the taxpayer's position. Developing a compelling case at an early stage may leave the government reluctant to take a chance in the courtroom. A seasoned litigator with broad tax law expertise will often be in a better position than a former "insider" — with narrower training and experience — to bring about a quick, cost-effective and fair resolution of the tax dispute. Of course, if resolution cannot be achieved at the administrative level, Joe Viola stands ready, willing and able to file an action in the most advantageous court and to proceed as far as is necessary and appropriate to obtain the optimal result.

Mr. Viola believes the key to effective representation — in federal tax and any other matters — is developing a cordial relationship of mutual respect and trust with each client. This can only be achieved through personal attention, responsiveness and accessibility on the attorney's part, as well as with openness and cooperation on the part of the client. The process works best when the client is kept informed and regularly consulted.

Learn more about why clients choose to work with Joe Viola or read client testimonials about his work.

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1989
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2008
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 1981
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey, 1989
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America, 1994
  • U.S. Tax Court, 2008


  • Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    LL.M. in Taxation (January, 2010)
    Graduate Tax Program Estate Planning Certificate (May, 2009)
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    J.D. (May, 1981)
    Top Quarter of Class
  • City University of New York Graduate School, New York, New York
    Doctoral Program in Comparative Literature
  • Hunter College, New York, New York
    B.A., English, summa cum laude (June, 1976)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
    Section Member: Taxation, Real Property, Probate and Trust, and Appellate Practice sections
    Member: International Law and International Tax Law Section Committee
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
    Section Member: Tax Law, Real Property, Probate, Trust, and Civil Litigation sections
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
    Section Member: Tax, Probate and Trust sections
    Member: Appellate Courts Committee

Past Employment Positions

  • Feder, Della Guardia & Viola - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Partner, 2003 - 2005
  • Murphy & Viola - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Partner, 1999 - 2001
  • Lewis M. Levin & Associates - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Senior Associate, 1989 - 1999
  • The Hon. Robert N.C. Nix, Jr., Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, Chief Staff Attorney, 1984 - 1988
  • The Hon. Robert N.C. Nix, Jr. Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Chief/Senior Law Clerk, 1983 - 1984
  • The Hon. Henry X. O'Brien, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, Law Clerk and Administrative Assistant for Philadelphia Office, 1981 - 1982

Pro Bono Activities

  • Judge Pro Tem, Philadelphia Dispute Resolution Center, 2008 - Present
  • Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP), 2009 - Present