HOPKINS, W(ILLARD). DEAN (10 Nov. 1909-7 Feb. 1993) was a Cleveland lawyer and co-founder of the law firm of McDonald, Hopkins, Burke & Haber. An authority on tax law, estate planning, and professional corporations, Hopkins won a landmark federal case in 1968 against the Internal Revenue Service.
Born on a family farm near Savannah, Ohio, Hopkins' family moved to Wooster where he attended Beall Avenue Grade School, graduated from Wooster High School in 1926, and from The College of Wooster in 1930. In 1933 he graduated from Harvard Law School and passed the Ohio bar.
Hopkins' 60-year law practice began with the Cleveland firm of Fackler & Dye, which became Fackler, Dye & Hopkins in 1943. In 1946 he co-founded McDonald, Hopkins & Hood which became McDonald, Hopkins, Hood & Hardy in 1952. Hopkins specialty was tax law. In 1968 he successfully argued the case U.S. v. O'Neill which allowed professionals to incorporate and be taxed as a corporation, rather than as individuals. In 1979 Hopkins relinquished ownership interest and management responsibilities in the firm. As a result of O'Neill Hopkins became a registered Washington lobbyist in 1982 to protect the tax status of professional corporations.
Hopkins married Harriet Painter in 1936. They had five children: Angene, Frances, Walter, Lewis, and Giles. His "Language For The Law Office" column regularly appeared in Ohio Lawyer magazine. Active in community affairs, he served on the Lakewood School Board, 1957-1970. Hopkins was buried in Savannah.