Cary Bryson: Bryson Law Firm, L.L.C.: A Modern Firm with Old Fashioned Values and Extraordinary Results
Southern hospitality and the Internal Revenue Service might seem like an unlikely combination but for Cary and Angela Bryson, a husband and wife team that co-founded the Bryson Law Firm, LLC it's the only way to do business.
"It's a lot about family and service for us. We like to do good work and we take pride in that," Cary says.
With more than 38 years of experience combined, Cary and Angela lead their team of lawyers to help individuals in the state of Louisiana with their tax issues dealing with everything from audit representation, IRS account investigation, lien assistance, and more. Holding an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, Bryson Law Firm, LLC focuses 100% of its efforts on tax resolution cases and provides expertise and invaluable support to each of its clients.
"For me, I always wanted to be a public servant," Cary says. "I always thought I'd be with people and used to think I was going to be governor—it was even my nickname in high school," he laughs.
Born and raised in Louisiana, they exude a welcoming southern charm with a sincere desire to help others. When they met and married in law school, it was their goal to find firms where they could work together to accomplish that shared objective.
"We really wanted something more than an adversarial lifestyle. We've done everything except criminal defense but we really wanted to get to the deeper place with our clients to help them move forward with their lives: to solve their problems but also build a relationship," Angela says.
Their love for their work, clients, hometown, and family is unfaltering and the self-proclaimed "mom and pop shop" prides itself on the exceptional service with a down-home feel they offer their clients. It's why many clients don't want to leave the practice even after their case is solved.
"Once we solve our clients' tax problems they still don't want to leave. They continue to come back to us year to year, to do their accounting and maintenance work so we can continue the relationship," Angela says.
From the freshly baked cookies available every day to the initial free consultations that can last as long as two hours while clients share their life stories, Cary and Angela have discovered that most of the time, clients with tax problems did not intend to end up where they are and are desperate for help, expertise, and an ally.
"Most taxpayers are in tax trouble for other reasons. The tax problem is a symptom of another problem," Angela says. "Maybe they went through an ugly divorce and they were dealing with more immediate problems. Or maybe they lost a job and that has created a tax problem."
"They're afraid and avoid the problem then when the IRS does appear and levies, there's a level of compassion that is missing from the IRS. No one ever really asks these people how they got in this problem. We do. That's what makes us different," she says.
Another thing that makes the Bryson Law Firm, LLC different is that while most lawyers bill by the hour, they charge a flat fee, upfront, and agreed to by the client without adding additional hidden fees throughout the process.
"We know what the task is, what needs to be achieved, and the cost for the client. That's quoted up front and agreed to by the client. That's the deal. Our clients love that. The communication level is excellent," Angela says.
The communication level is so excellent, in fact, that they've put together a list of tips for individuals on how to deal with the IRS when approached. Listed on their website at www.brysonlawfirm.com for clients and non-clients alike, Cary advises anyone approached by the IRS to follow these three tips: One, don't give up any information voluntarily. Two, don't lie to the IRS. And three, don't answer a question you don't completely understand.
It is a scary and confusing time when dealing with the IRS and unfortunately, they say, the IRS has a lot of power, too many people, and guidelines and procedures that are so encumbering and oppressive that the government entity ends up using that to their advantage.
"The system is so big and complicated in terms of bureaucracy," Angela says. "It's not navigational for the general population. You've got to be in with it and dirty with it every day because of what's changing every day. You may deal with one person in the morning and another in the afternoon with the same issue, and get a different answer. There's a definite inconsistency in the way rules are applied."
That's one reason it's so good to have a lawyer, Cary says.
"Rules and regulations don't intimidate lawyers. We know how to handle the bureaucracy and get good results. We are able to take a complicated position, distill it and narrow it down to a few issues to get it solved. And most tax payers can't. They're all scared. You want a quarterback and a problem solver," he says.
He also points out that while the niche of tax resolution can be served by non-lawyers, it's very important and much more beneficial to hire a tax lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the IRS.
"The national firms that are our competition are salesmen selling a product but we provide a service. What makes it different is that we take the file service and we do the work," he says.
As a firm they also have Certified Public Accountants on the team to assist with all of the financial accounting paperwork needed for each case.
"There's usually accounting issues and all the accountants help with these issues. There are two levels of service they provide the firm. Most people who have tax issues haven't filed taxes and it's also necessary to present a financial statement. They provide that," Cary says.
They've even shared with individuals when they felt their assistance wasn't necessary giving them steps on how to fix their situation—free of charge.
"Several times people come in and their problem is simple enough that they can do it themselves and they are floored. We've gotten letters that say, 'I've done exactly what you said and it worked!' We do that. If they don't need a lawyer, we'll tell them so," Cary says.
It's their compassion for their clients and the family-like atmosphere that make the Bryson Law Firm, LLC stand out among other firms and while Cary and Angela lovingly refer to themselves as "mom and pop," the Louisiana natives are quite literally that to their six children, ages 7 to 16.
"Having our own practice together enables us to really take good care of our children and be a part of their lives with flexibility and that's what's important to us," Angela says.
For them, home is where their family is and that's Louisiana. Born and raised, both Cary and Angela don't intend to live anywhere else and agree that's another reason why their work at Bryson Law Firm, LLC has seen great success.
"We've traveled and been all over and we've seen the alternative and we like where we. We like a slower lifestyle and I can't imagine living in a daily buzz. I think that's part of why we are what we are," Angela says.
"I love to hunt and fish and I get to take advantage of that here," Cary says. "We're comfortable here. I'm a Louisiana boy and I don't intend to go anywhere. It's home. Our family is here. We have no reason to move."
And just as they are the biggest advocates for the clients, as husband and wife they are also the biggest advocates for each other and their family.
"I'm the person that I'm today because of my parents and Cary. My parents taught me to do the right thing. They lived that way. Cary is my best friend and my work partner. My children, once you have children, your life becomes more focused," Angela says.
Cary adds that family is what holds someone accountable and that his kids hold him accountable just as much as he does them. And because family comes first for the Bryson's, they make sure their firm has those same family values.
"Angie and I both treat this like our ministry. The practice of law is very difficult and this niche is so rewarding because we're able to help people on every level," Cary says. "Everyone has to pay taxes and we help them get to a good place. When they come in they often feel like they're at the end. We direct them to a good place. I never got a thank you before and I get thank you notes daily. That's rewarding to me."
"Not many lawyers can say they are happy as attorneys," Angela says, "but we can and that's a blessing."