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Joe Rivera, Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee, PLLC Photo

Joe Rivera



Joe’s practice is devoted to civil litigation, with a focus on business litigation, employment matters, civil rights defense, and tax litigation and controversies. 

While earning his degree in accounting, Joe trained as a Revenue Agent with the Internal Revenue Service. Being a Revenue Agent gave him thorough understanding of the investigation and enforcement procedures used by a government agency, which Joe applies in representing clients in dealing with the IRS and other governmental entities such as the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Texas Workforce Commission. His knowledge of the tax system and procedures is especially helpful to his efforts on behalf of taxpayers in dealing with government agencies. Joe has represented clients in proceedings involving the Internal Revenue Service, Texas Comptroller’s Office, and local taxing authorities.

Joe also represents local governmental entities, such as cities and counties. Joe's practice involves advising such entities and their officials and defending them in lawsuits including against claims of discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower claims and claimed civil rights violations. 


Best Business Lawyers, Wacoan Magazine, 2022

Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star, Thomson Reuters Legal, 2015-2020


Civic & Professional

Waco-McLennan County Bar Association

Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit

News & Insights


Joe Rivera and Kyle Knas, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: The Impact on Settlement of Employment Claims, Today's CPA, Jan/Feb 2019

Roy L. Barrett and Joe Rivera, Law Enforcement: Beyond Excessive Force—Terry Stop Review and Specific Issues, Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool 2015 Annual Attorney Workshop

Steven J. Willis, Marcus J. Brooks, and Joe Rivera, Transferee Liability: Fifth Circuit’s Opportunity to Stop Injustice, Tax Analysts – Tax Notes Today, 2014 TNT 14-4, (January 22, 2014)

​Joe Rivera, NOTE AND COMMENT: Comment: When is Good Faith Good Enough?–The History, Use, and Future of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 38.23(b), Baylor Law Review, 59 Baylor L. Rev. 919 (Fall 2007)


  • State Bar of Texas, 2008
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Tax Court


Baylor University School of Law, J.D., 2008

  • with Highest Honors
  • Baylor Law Review, Technical Editor
  • Order of the Barristers

University of North Texas, B.S. in Accounting Control Systems

  • with High Honors


  • Law Clerk to Honorable Terry R. Means, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas
  • Intern to Honorable Priscilla R. Owen, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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