TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Death of Jack Bierman

Bierman Jacquin D. Bierman, former Director of the Miami Graduate Tax Program and the first Professor-in-Residence in the IRS Chief Counsel's Office, died on March 23 at the age of 95.  From the New York Times obituary:

A product of the New York City school system who graduated first in his class at NYU, and obtained his law degree from Yale, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Quarterly, Mr. Bierman began his career with the chief counsel's office of the IRS in Washington. ... In 1947, Mr. Bierman left the chief counsel's office for private practice. He became a partner in both the national accounting firm of J.K. Lasser & Co. and its legal advisor, the law firm of Chase & Bierman.

During Mr. Bierman's career, he was a prodigious writer and lecturer. Among many other works, he co-authored "Income Tax Differentials" with William J. Casey, former director of the CIA. He taught at the NYU Law School and was instrumental in developing the NYU master of laws program in taxation. He was a major force and frequent chairman at the NYU Practising Law Institute, NYU's continuing legal education program for tax lawyers. ...

He was undoubtedly one of the pre-eminent tax lawyers of his day. In 1977, at age 62, he moved to Florida, and began a second career. He became a professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where then Dean Soia Mentschikoff appointed him director of the graduate law program in taxation. At age 67, the IRS asked Mr. Bierman to return as professor-in-residence. ...

Returning to Miami at age 77, Mr. Bierman began his third career by enrolling as a student at the University of Miami and earning a master's degree in mental health counseling. At age 81, as a mental health counselor, he spent a number of years counseling troubled youths in Miami's Liberty City. Until he was 90, he guided a large number of young people into useful and productive lives

Mr. Bierman was a religious man and a major philanthropic force in the Miami Beach Jewish community. Among the many beneficiaries of his philanthropic efforts were the Talmudic University, the Ascent Institute, and a Jewish women's homeless shelter. The endowed chair in taxation at Yale Law School bears his name.

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Jack was a "mensch" in the fullest sense of that term. I got to know him when I was a young lawyer in the L&R Division of the Chief Counsel's office of the IRS. He was one of the select group of legislative people who were interested making the law better and more workable. I also taught at Miami when he was there (Judge Tannenwald of the T.C. and I taught a course there for many years. Jack was a great help whenever you needed him. He would always pitch in to make the system work better. We will miss him...but we and the system are better because he showed us how to work to make the system work. Sheldon

Posted by: Sheldon S. Cohen | Apr 8, 2010 1:25:52 PM