• Bio


    Mardiros H. Dakessian. Mardiros “Marty” Dakessian founded Dakessian Law to build the premier law practice dedicated to representing California taxpayers. This strong sense of purpose, combined with Marty's deep and abiding commitment to his clients, drives him to relentlessly defend their interests with loyalty, integrity and distinction. And the results he has achieved for his clients speak for themselves. Marty not only has a track record of success both at the administrative level and in court, he has shown an unprecedented ability to hold taxing agencies accountable. Four times in the last four years have the agencies paid Dakessian’s clients’ attorneys’ fees totaling over $2.7 million.

    Immediately before starting Dakessian Law, Marty ended a successful run as equity partner at Global 20 law firm Reed Smith LLP where he led his team to numerous, impactful administrative and judicial victories. For his efforts, Marty was named “Tax MVP” in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 by legal publication Law360, which lauded him as “a top-flight litigator.” Marty's efforts have even attracted the attention of the California Legislature, with legislative staff referring to him as a "noted tax attorney."

    Marty has more than 18 years of California tax experience, beginning his career with the State Board of Equalization—California’s administrative tax court and the world’s second largest taxing agency. Marty worked for two of the five members who ran the Board—first as graduate research assistant to the Honorable Dean F. Andal, and then as legal counsel to the Honorable Claude W. Parrish, who was Chair of the Board in 2000 and thus served on the three-member Franchise Tax Board, and who is the current Orange County Tax Assessor. During Marty’s time at the State Board of Equalization, he was responsible for advising Mr. Parrish regarding California franchise and income tax, sales tax and property tax issues. These issues involved taxpayer cases before the Board as well as regulatory, litigation and policy matters.

    Observing the inner workings of California’s tax agencies combined with years of experience representing taxpayers has made Marty particularly adept at navigating California’s complex and unique tax system. Law 360 agrees, stating that Marty’s experiences have given him “an easy familiarity with the public and private spheres of state tax practice and have been a boon to clients searching for the best ways to fight state assessments.” Although these qualities distinguish him from others in the field, so does his passion for representing taxpayers. As Law 360 observed, “his victories are strongly linked to the love he has for his work.

  • Employment History

    Employment History

    • 2016 - Dakessian Law
    • 2010 - Reed Smith
    • 2008 - Akerman Senterfitt
    • 2004 - Dakessian & Associates
    • 2001 - Deloitte & Touche
    • 1999 - State Board of Equalization, Hon. Claude Parrish, Member

  • Education


    • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1996, J.D.
    • University of California, Berkeley, 1992, B.A., Political Science

  • Honors & Awards

    Honors & Awards

    • Named, 2017 Tax MVP, Law360
    • Listed, 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers® (2014-2017)
    • Named, 2016 Tax MVP, Law360
    • Listed, 2016 Top Attorneys, Pasadena Magazine
    • Named, 2014 Tax MVP, Law360
    • Listed, 2014 Legal Top Guns MVP Awards, Law360
    • Named, 2013 Tax MVP, Law360
    • Listed, 2013 Legal Top Guns MVP Awards, Law360
    • Listed, 2010 Top Attorneys, Pasadena Magazine

    • Professional Affiliations

      Professional Affiliations

      • Forbes Los Angeles Business Council, Official Member (2018)
      • Council On State Taxation ("COST"), Member (2016-2018)
      • Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), Member (2017)
      • California Alliance of Taxpayer Advocates, President (2016-2017)
      • California Alliance of Taxpayer Advocates, Vice President (2015)
      • Chairman of the State and Local Tax Committee of the Taxation Section of the California State Bar (2004)
      • Served on former Board Member Parrish's Tax Advisory Committee from (2002-2007)
      • Certified by the State Board of Equalization as a Property Tax Appraiser
      • Instructor for Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) on sales and franchise tax issues
      • Member, Board of Directors, California Taxpayers’ Association

    • Speaking Engagements

      Speaking Engagements

      • November 10, 2017

        California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) Olympic Collection - West Los Angeles, CA

        Presentation concerning rules and practice of California's new Office of Tax Appeals.
      • October 25, 2017

        Council On State Taxation (COST) 48th Annual Meeting Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek - Orlando, FL

        Panel discussion concerning the State Board of Equalization's significantly reduced role in sales and use taxation and administrative hearings, and what those changes mean for taxpayers.
      • October 24, 2017

        2017 UCLA Extension - 33rd Annual Tax Controversy Institute Beverly Hills Hotel - Beverly Hills, CA

        Presentation concerning new changes in appealing California tax disputes.
      • August 11, 2017

        CalCPA, "CA FTB Appeals After BOE Reorganization: Working with the Office of Tax Appeals"
        Olympic Collection - West Los Angeles, CA

        Update on the California Board of Equalization reorganization and how to work with the new tax departments.

      • November 4, 2016

        CalCPA Federal, State, Local and International Tax Conference
        Sheraton Universal - Universal City, CA

        Franchise Tax Board Issues: California's complex and unique tax system; personal and corporate income tax issues (including residency/sourcing, apportionment, credits and incentives); and navigating an FTB controversy.

      • November 3, 2016

        ABA 27th Annual Philadelphia Tax Conference
        Union League of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

        Panel discussion addressing current and significant issues in state and local tax litigation with a focus on how in-house counsel may best anticipate and prepare for same.

      • September 22, 2016

        Crowell & Moring LLP – 30th Annual Managing Tax Audits and Appeals Seminar
        Marina del Rey Marriott – Marina del Rey, CA

        California litigation practice and procedure (with FTB Litigation Chief Bill Hilson and Crowell partner Don Griswold): Administrative and judicial process in California taxation, including audit, protest, settlement, and appeal, trial and appellate courts; Discussion of active cases from Gillette (Multistate Compact apportionment election) to Abercrombie (constitutionality of combined reporting rules for out-of-state companies) and Hyatt (residency).

      • March 1, 2016

        California Taxpayers Association, 90th Annual Meeting
        Sacramento Convention Center - Sacramento, CA

        “Law & Order: Special Taxpayer Unit”

        Discussion concerning recent decisions of the California Courts of Appeal and the California Supreme Court in tax-related cases, and what those decisions mean for taxpayers, as well as legal developments from the state’s tax regulatory bodies.