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Donald L. Gursey, CPA

Donald L. Gursey, one of the founding partners of the predecessor of Gursey | Schneider LLP, passed away on November 15, 2007. Recognized as the Father of Divorce Forensic Accounting and a former president of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, his legacy lives on at the firm.

After graduating from UCLA, Don Gursey joined a local accounting firm and, very soon, started his own. In 1979, he and Stanley Schneider merged their respective firms to become Gursey, Schneider & Co. LLP. In 2008, the firm officially changed its name to Gursey | Schneider LLP.

The accounting profession didn't have quite the niche he was looking for, so Don created one for himself. This came about with the passage of the Family Law Act of 1970 which eliminated fault in California divorces. Marital dissolution was now about the equal division of assets, an ideal game for an accountant with an interest in the law. He began consulting for attorneys working on high stakes divorce cases of many celebrities, sports figures and titans of industry. As he built his business, he built his reputation with his peers both for his in-depth knowledge of the constantly changing law and for his outstanding personality.

Don lectured throughout the state on the tax ramifications of divorce and wrote numerous articles on litigation support, tax matters and other accounting issues. He also served as the tax editor for Family Law News, a publication of the State Bar of California. Don pioneered the concept of professional goodwill in marital dissolutions, and still today, the methodology utilized to value such goodwill is often referred to as the "Gursey" method.

Since 1984, Don was active in the California Society of CPAs and its new litigation committee. He served on the Government Relations and the Amicus Curiae committees and was the former litigation sections steering committee chairperson. This committee is responsible for the oversight of all four litigation sections: family law, business valuation, fraud and economic damages. In 2000, he was elected president of the California Society of CPAs. In 2005, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the family law section; the award was recently renamed the Donald L. Gursey Lifetime Achievement Award.