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Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1998, cum laude
  • M.P.P., Harvard University, 1994
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1992

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • California (inactive)
  • New York (inactive)
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Other Professional Affiliations

Washington Area Women's Foundation Board of Directors

American Bar Association

D.C. Bar Association (Tax Section)

Women's Bar Association

Government Experience

International Economist, Office of International Trade and Mexico Task Force, U.S. Department of Treasury, 1994-1995

Diara M. Holmes

Member, Washington, D.C.
(202) 862-7829
dholmes@capdale.com | v-card | PDF
In 2003, Diara M. Holmes joined the Exempt Organizations Group of Caplin & Drysdale. She became a Member of the firm in 2007.

Ms. Holmes counsels nonprofit organizations - including large public charities, colleges and universities, U.S. affiliates of foreign charities, megachurches and other religious organizations, and trade associations - on a broad range of tax and corporate governance issues. In 2013, she was recommended by The Legal 500 for her work in the nonprofit legal community.

Services

Clients benefit from Ms. Holmes' expertise and practical guidance on both tax planning and tax controversy matters. She frequently represents organizations before the IRS in private letter ruling requests and complex audits involving an array of issues, such as lobbying, alleged campaign intervention, executive compensation, UBIT, private foundation excise taxes, and structuring transactions. She has also advised numerous organizations through the process of reinstating their exempt status following automatic revocation.

Professional Activities

Ms. Holmes is an active member of the ABA Tax Section's Committee on Exempt Organizations, and has served as Co-Chair of the Subcommittee on Audits and Appeals since 2008.  She is also actively involved with the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association's (WMACCA) Nonprofits & Associations Forum, which Caplin & Drysdale sponsors.

Recent News

Click here for a full list of media coverage.

Recent Speaking Engagements

Ms. Holmes is a frequent speaker at national professional conferences on exempt organizations, including the Annual Nonprofit Law Conference, the National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference, and the ABA Tax Section Mid-Year Conference Panel on IRS Enforcement.  A list of recent speaking engagements can be found below.
  • Speaker, NonProfit Sector Leaders: From Legal Regulations to Proactive Solutions, 2014 BoardSource Leadership Forum, Governance by Design, October 10, 2014
  • Speaker, Observing Corporate Formalities—Tax and Corporate Law Implications, Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Non-Profits and Associations Forum: Wearing Multiple Hats - Common Challenges for GCs Advising Related Organizations, October 1, 2014
  • Speaker, Common Pitfalls/Attribution Issues (e.g., UBIT, Lobbying, Self-Dealing, Excess Benefit Transactions, Controlled Foreign Corporations), Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Non-Profits and Associations Forum: Wearing Multiple Hats - Common Challenges for GCs Advising Related Organizations, October 1, 2014
  • Speaker, Luncheon Program Ethical Issues for Lawyers Wearing Multiple Hats, Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Non-Profits and Associations Forum: Wearing Multiple Hats - Common Challenges for GCs Advising Related Organizations, October 1, 2014
  • Speaker, SESSION B: Finding "Reasonable" in Non-Profit Executive Compensation, July 17, 2014
  • Panelist, Exempt Organizations Year in Review, WMACCA Non-Profits and Associations Forum, January 16, 2014
  • Speaker, Policy: Why are Colleges and Universities Exempt?, National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University School of Law, October 24, 2013
  • Speaker, 2013 Tax Law Update, National Association of College and University Attorneys, June 20, 2013
  • Panelist, Shaking the Money Tree: Corporate Sponsorship and Other Revenue Generating Strategies for Non-Profits, WMACCA Non-Profits and Associations Forum, May 22, 2013
  • Presenter, Hot Topics for Exempt Organizations, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), 13th Annual Nonprofit Law Conference, April 10, 2013
  • Speaker, Dealing with the Most Challenging Charitable Gifts, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), 13th Annual Nonprofit Law Conference, April 10, 2013
  • Chair, Exempt Organizations Subcommittee on Audits, Appeals, and Litigation, American Bar Association, 2013 Midyear Meeting, January 25, 2013
  • Chair, Exempt Organizations Subcommittee on Audits, Appeals and Litigation, and Educational Organizations: Roundtable Discussion on Current Developments, American Bar Association, 2012 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, September 14, 2012
  • Panelist, Non-Profit Executive Compensation – Getting to "Reasonable" Without Making Headlines, WMACCA Corporate Governance Conference, March 22, 2012
  • Moderator, Exempt Organizations Subcommittee on Audits, Appeals, and Litigation: Automatic Termination Project and Unanticipated Issues Roundtable Discussion of Current Developments, American Bar Association, 2012 Midyear Meeting, February 17, 2012
  • Panelist, Exempt Organizations Year in Review – Lessons Learned from 2011 and What to Expect in 2012, Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Non-Profits and Associations Forum, January 25, 2012
  • Panelist, Just One More Couldn't Hurt: When to Use Joint Ventures, Subsidiaries, and Affiliates - And When Not To, National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), 2011 Tax Forum, November 3, 2011
  • Panelist, Exempt Organizations Year in Review - Lessons Learned from 2010 And What to Expect in 2011, Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Non-Profits and Associations Forum, February 10, 2011
  • Panelist, Unrelated Business Income Tax, National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), November 3, 2010
  • Chair, Role of the IRS National Office Counsel and Area Counsel in Exempt Organization Audits and Roundtable Discussion of Current Developments, American Bar Association, 2010 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, September 24, 2010
  • Panelist, Colleges and Universities - Current Audit Activity and What We Have Learned from the IRS Interim Report, American Bar Association, 2010 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, September 24, 2010
  • Speaker, A Speed Audit of Tax Issues for Your Institution, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), June 27, 2010
  • Presenter, Managing IRS Audits: Issues, Processes, and Tactics, National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), Webcast, December 16, 2009
  • Speaker, Managing Complex IRS Audits: Issues, Process, and Tactics, National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), 2009 Tax Forum, October 21, 2009
  • Panelist, Finding $$ Under the Cushions: A Roundtable Discussion Among In-house Attorneys, WMACCA Non-Profits and Associations Forum, October 13, 2009

Click here for a full list of speaking engagements.

Recent Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.