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David V. Capes

Senior Counsel

Experience at Work

For over 40 years David has handled tax and white collar criminal matters. He began his career in the public sector, first as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, then as an Attorney-Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General, and finally as a federal prosecutor , initially for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Tax Section and subsequently at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Missouri.

In 1980, David began defending individuals and businesses under investigation for and/or charged with federal tax and other white collar crimes. David has continuously been recognized as one of the top white collar defense attorneys in St. Louis.

In the Community

David has been a force in the St. Louis Community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Washington University Hillel Foundation, The Jewish Center for the Aged (President, JCA Associates), Congregation Temple Israel (Treasurer), Westwood Country Club (President) and The Anti-Defamation League.

For over 30 years he has served as an adjunct professor of law at Washington University School of Law, teaching a course on tax fraud prosecutions in the graduate tax program. David also teaches a photography class at Fanning Middle School in St. Louis City as part of an enrichment program administered by UrbanFUTURE.

Memberships & Associations

  • American Bar Association, Taxation Section (Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee)
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan Saint Louis, Taxation Section
  • Missouri Bar

Awards & Designations

  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, The POWER List – Tax, 2021
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, ICON Award, 2018
  • American College of Tax Counsel, Fellow
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year: Litigation and Controversy-Tax, St. Louis, 2014, 2017, 2019, & 2021
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year: Criminal Defense: White Collar, St. Louis, 2013
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar Litigation, St. Louis, 2008 – Present
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation and Controversy-Tax, St. Louis, 2011 – Present
    • The Best Lawyers in America, Tax, St. Louis, 2001 – Present
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers List, Super Lawyer, 2005 – Present
  • American Lawyer Media, Top Rated Lawyer in Taxation, 2013
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Best Lawyers to Call if the IRS Calls, 2007
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated


  • “Avoiding an IRS Criminal Investigation and Tax Fraud Prosecution: Effectively Representing Your Client in an ‘Eggshell Audit,’” St. Louis Bar Journal, Summer 2013

Licensed to Practice

  • Arkansas
  • Missouri
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Federal District Courts, Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • LL.M., (Taxation), Georgetown University (1976)
  • J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law (1971)
  • B.A., History and Political Science, Rhodes College (1968)
Eighteen Capes Sokol Attorneys Recognized as 2022 Best Lawyers in America
Four Capes Sokol Attorneys Selected to 2021 POWER List for Tax Law
Capes and Cohen Named as 2021 Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” in St. Louis