Recent Events Updates
The FBA’s Section on Taxation’s Young Tax Lawyers hosted a Networking Reception on October 26, 2011 at the Edward Bennett Williams Law Library. The reception served as an opportunity for young tax attorneys and law students to network with practitioners in both public and private practice, and to learn more about the Federal Bar Association.
The 35th Annual Tax Law Conference was held in Washington, DC on February 25, 2011
. Some of the numerous highlights included remarks by William J. Wilkins, IRS Chief Counsel, discussing the IRS’s approach to the economic substance doctrine; Manal S. Corwin, Treasury’s International Tax Counsel, defending the international tax provisions in President Obama’s budget; John A. DiCicco, Justice’s Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Division, describing the Division’s current initiatives, such as combating offshore tax evasion; and Michael Mundaca, Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, speaking on the need for consensus on corporate tax reform. Attendees received an update on tax legislation from Chief Tax Counsels from the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees.
Concurrent sessions throughout the day included critical developments in Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Domestic Corporate Tax, International Tax, Tax Practice and Procedure, Partnerships and Pass-Throughs, Tax Accounting and Financial Products. Additionally, this year the conference launched the inaugural Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition awards ceremony. This year’s first place winner was Gail Eisenberg, St. Louis University School of Law and the second place winner was Stephen Faivre, University of Georgia School of Law. This year’s Tax Law Conference was chaired by James Kroger and Christian Wood.
The Conference would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. The elite sponsors for the 2011 conference include: Baker & Hostetler; Bingham McCutchen LLP; Caplin & Drysdale Chartered; Crowell & Moring LLP; Deloitte Tax LLP; Dewey and LeBoeuf LLP; Grant Thornton LLP; Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez PC; KPMG LLP; Mayer Brown LLP; Miller & Chevalier Chartered; Morrison & Foerster LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; and White & Case, LLP. Our sponsors included; Baker & McKenzie LLP, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Goodwin Procter LLP, Ivins, Phillips & Barker Chartered, Jones Day LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP, Matheson Ormsby Prentice, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Steptoe & Johnson LLP. The Section on Taxation would like to thank the sponsors for their continued support.
(l-r): Stephen A. Sherman, Chair, Section on Taxation and James A. Kroger, Co-Chair, 2011 Tax Law Conference
(l-r): Stephen A. Sherman, Chair, Section on Taxation; Stephen Faivre, University of Georgia School of Law; Gail Eisenberg, St. Louis University School of Law; Michael Mundaca, Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy
At the conclusion of this year’s annual Tax Law Conference on February 25, 2011
, the 2011 Liles award was awarded to the late Martin D. Ginsburg. Martin Ginsburg served as a Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and was Of Counsel to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Accepting the award on behalf of her late husband was United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Professor Ginsburg’s former colleagues and friends, Mr. Alan S. Kaden of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and Mr. N. Jerold Cohen of Sutherland, Asbill, and Brennan, provided remarks on Professor Ginsburg’s contribution to tax policy and administration, and to the legal profession in general.
The Kenneth H. Liles award is presented by the FBA Section on Taxation annually to recognize individuals for outstanding service and dedication to tax policy and administration, as well as their contributions to the bar and the legal profession. Ken Liles founded the modern day Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation and helped to establish its high standards for service to the Federal Bar, as well as education and policy work. Past recipients of the award include present and former Commissioners of the Internal Revenue Service, Chief Counsels for the Internal Revenue Service, Assistant Secretaries for Tax Policy at the Treasury, Federal Judges, Chiefs of Staff from the Congressional Joint Committee of Taxation, and officials from the Justice Department.
(l to r): Kari M. Larson, Co-Chair, 2011 Kenneth H. Liles Award; N. Jerold Cohen, Partner, Sutherland, Asbill, and Brennan; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, United States Supreme Court; Alan S. Kaden, Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; Mary W. Prosser, Co-Chair, 2011 Kenneth H. Liles Award
In the spring of 2010
, the Section's Women in Tax Law Program presented “Building Your Career, One Tax Day at a Time: Reflections from a Panel of Mid-and Senior-Level Attorneys.” The event featured a panel of well-known and respected women in the tax community, from all different backgrounds: Kim Boylan, a partner at Latham & Watkins, Sara Coe, trial attorney for the Small Business and Self-Employed Division of the IRS, Caryn Mark, trial attorney at the Department of Justice, Tax Division, and Norma Schrock, Executive Director, Ernst &Young. Each panelist described her unique experience in achieving her career goals and how she overcame the challenges inherent in the path to her success.
On May 25, 2010
, the Section sponsored "Textron vs. United States: Are Tax Accrual Workpapers Protected Work Product?" a breakfast discussion of the recent denial of certiorari in the hotly watched Textron v. United States case. Hosted by Morrison & Foerster, the panelists engaged in a lively exchange with the attendees (two of whom were Department Justice attorneys who had litigated the Textron case in the district court). The panelists expressed differing views on the scope of the work product protection and included Professor Dennis J. Ventry Jr. of the University of California–Davis, whose extensive article on the subject of protection of workpapers was cited by the First Circuit on rehearing, Charles P. Hurley of Mayer Brown LLP, a noted tax litigator, and Amar D. Sarwal, the General Litigation Counsel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who drafted an amicus brief in favor of Textron's cert petition. Edward L. Froelich, of Morrison & Foerster, a tax controversy specialist and co-author of the BNA Portfolio on Section 7525 and related privileges, moderated.
On July 29, 2010, the FBA Section on Taxation hosted its annual "Careers in Tax Law" luncheon. The event was held at the Department of Justice and provided a forum for summer associates, law clerks, and young lawyers considering a career in tax law. Panelists from several agencies and all three branches of government discussed their own career paths, provided valuable insider advice, and shared their perspective on the practice of federal tax law. The panelists included the Honorable Mark Holmes, U.S. Tax Court; Clarissa Potter, Deputy Chief Counsel (Technical), Internal Revenue Service; Ellen McCarthy, Managing Director of Government Affairs for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association; Karen E. Kelly, Assistant Chief, Criminal Enforcement Section–Northern Region, U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division; Ginny Chung, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Tax Policy, U.S. Department of Treasury; and Jim Lyons, Tax Counsel, Senate Finance Committee. After short presentations, the speakers answered a number of questions from attendees, and several of the panelists remained after the program to provide one-on-one advice for the prospective tax attorneys.
On August 12, 2010, the law firm of Miller & Chevalier hosted the FBA Section on Taxation’s first Young Tax Lawyers Division event: "The Revolving Door Between the Private Sector and Government: Why, When, and How." The panel discussion featured Richard Jacobus from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Nicole Reuling from Mayer Brown, and Norma Schrock from Ernst & Young. With over forty young tax lawyers in attendance, the panelists discussed their experiences in both the private and public sectors. Moderated by Stephen Schaeffer from the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Chief Counsel, the panel also fielded audience questions on such topics as networking and finding a mentor. “This was a great opportunity,” said IRS attorney Siri Buller, “all three panelists have been successful in both sectors so it was extremely valuable to hear them talk so candidly about their careers.” The Young Tax Lawyers Division is planning another panel discussion for early 2011.
In the fall of 2010, the Section's Women in Tax Law Program presented “Personal Finance 101 – Helping You See the Big Picture: It’s Not Just 401Ks and the Thrift Savings Plan.” The panel featured two accomplished financial planners, Christy Mistr of Dominion Financial Consultants, and Marjorie A. Burnett of MAB Financial Planning. The audience learned about a variety of financial and tax planning techniques and was able to gain the perspective of the esteemed panel on more immediate issues, such as debt management, as well as more long-term issues, such as retirement and estate planning.
On November 1, 2010, the Section sponsored "Schedule UTP and Related Guidance," a breakfast discussion of the recently issued final guidance regarding the new form requiring certain corporate taxpayers to disclose their uncertain tax positions. The proposal and draft of the form elicited a substantial number of comments from the tax bar and others. With the finalized schedule a number of concerns expressed in the comments were addressed. This breakfast discussion focused on how the IRS addressed those concerns in the final guidance. The discussion featured Kathy Zuba, the IRS's principal author of the guidance, Nicole Reuling, tax litigation partner at Mayer Brown and Norma Schrock, executive director at Ernst & Young. Edward L. Froelich, Of Counsel at Morrison & Foerster, moderated.
The 11th Invitational Conference on Tax Administration and the Legislative Process was held November 3-4, 2010, at the Airlie House Conference Center in Airlie, Virginia, approximately 50 miles outside Washington, D.C. The conference is limited to approximately 50 participants and invitees included current senior Congressional staff, current and former senior Administration officials, academics and tax practitioners. The round table discussions seek to promote a wide-ranging discussion of topics related to tax policy and tax administration, with a view to lessons learned and possible improvements.