Sunday, March 9, 2014
Interesting juxtaposition in the Weekend Wall Street Journal book review section:
The Saturday Essay: Don't Call Us Bossy:
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
Diane M. Ring (Boston College), Book Review, 73 Tax Notes Int'l 713 (Feb. 17, 2014) (reviewing Resolving Transfer Pricing Disputes: A Global Analysis (Eduardo Baistrocchi & Ian Roxan eds., Cambridge University Press 2013)):
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall Law School) & Frank McIntyre (Rutgers Business School), Populist Outrage, Reckless Empirics: A Review of Failing Law Schools, 108 Nw. U. L. Rev. Online 176 (2014):
Other reviews of Failing Law Schools:
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Christopher W. Schmidt (Chicago-Kent), How Tax Law Made Modern America (Jotwell), reviewing Ajay K. Mehrotra (Indiana), Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 (Cambridge University Press, 2013):
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Thursday, February 6, 2014
The ABA Tax Section has published Careers in Tax Law: Perspectives on the Tax Profession and What It Holds for You, by John Gamino, Robb A. Longman & Matthew R. Sontag:
- Edward D. Kleinbard (USC), Private Clients, Public Good, p. 124
- George K. Yin (Virginia), Lawyer, Teacher, Public Servant, p. 127
- Leandra Lederman (Indiana-Bloomington), It’s Not Just Teaching, p. 133
- Alice G. Abreu (Temple), The Best Job in the World, p. 136
- Mona L. Hymel (Arizona), The Impossible Dream?, p. 140
- Francine J. Lipman (Chapman), The Gift That Keeps on Giving, p. 143
Avoidance, evasion, compliance, and administration are 50 percent of the real action but only 5 percent of academic research on taxation. Joel Slemrod has been dominant in rectifying this imbalance. Tax Systems consolidates his and others’ work and leads the way forward.
—Louis Kaplow, Finn M. W. Caspersen and Household International Professor of Law and Economics, Harvard Law School
Research on tax design often overlooks essential issues of policy implementation. Tax Systems addresses this important oversight, providing insightful analysis on topics including compliance, complexity, remittance, and the design of information reports. Researchers and policy-makers will find this volume a compelling demonstration of how economic analysis can inform the key questions of tax administration.
—James Poterba, Mitsui Professor of Economics, MIT, and President, National Bureau of Economic Research
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Wall Street Journal op-ed: We Pretend to Teach, They Pretend to Learn: At Colleges Today, All Parties Are Strongly Incentivized to Maintain Low Standards, by Geoffrey L. Collier (South Carolina State University):
(Hat Tip: Greg McNeal.)
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Steve Sheppard (University of Arkansas School of Law), The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Law School Crisis (reviewing Brian Tamanaha (Washington U.), Failing Law Schools (University of Chicago Press, 2012)):
Other reviews of Failing Law Schools:
ABA Journal, David Foster Wallace’s Advice on Arguing Persuasively:
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- David Foster Wallace, The Pale King (May 11, 2011) (New York Times review; New Yorker review)
- Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), The Philosophy of Tax: A Review of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King (Aug. 3, 2012)
- Lawrence Zelenak (Duke), The Great American Tax Novel, 110 Mich. L. Rev. 969 (2012) (reviewing David Foster Wallace, The Pale King)
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Sham Transactions (Edwin Simpson & Miranda Stewart, eds., Oxford University Press 2013):
Part I: Context and History
1. Introduction: What is the Sham 'Doctrine'?, Miranda Stewart & Edwin Simpson
2. Sham: Early Uses and Related and Unrelated Doctrines, Mike McNair
3. The Judicial Doctrine of Sham in Australia, Miranda Stewart
4. Sham Transactions in the United States, Joshua Blank & Nancy Staudt
5. Sham and Purposive Statutory Construction, Edwin Simpson
Part II: Sham Transactions
6. 'Shams' in Tenancy Agreements, Susan Bright, Hannah Glover & Jeremias Prassl
7. Sham and Trusts, Matthew Conaglen
8. Sham and Trusts: A Practitioner's Perspective, Nicholas Le Poidevin
9. Sham Doctrine and Company Charges, Lord Neuberger
10. Sham Transactions in Employment Law, Anne Davies
11. Shams and Piercing the Corporate Veil, Robert Miles & Eleanor Holland
Part III: Taxation and Artificiality
12. Tracing the Boundaries of Sham and Ramsay, Malcolm Gammie
13. Sham and Tax Avoidance: What Difference does a GAAR make? - a New Zealand Perspective, Shelley Griffiths & Jessica Palmer
14. Trompe-l'oeil: Sham in the Canadian Tax Courts, Glen Loutzenhiser
15. Sham, Tax Avoidance and 'A Realistic View of Facts', John Vella
16. Sham and Tax Law: Coffee Beans, Trust Funds and Judicial Distaste, Michael Kirby
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
A fabulous book! Filled with insights on a crucially important, but underexplored, aspect of tax policy. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in the politics or sociology of taxation. -- David Gamage (UC-Berkeley)
Steve Sheffrin brings together insights from social psychology and philosophy to reconcile how economists think about tax fairness with how everyone else does. It is a fascinating ride, well worth taking, that draws on the author's familiarity with modern economics and with the details of tax systems. Sheffrin's argument that many key features of the tax system are best explained through understanding folk justice concepts is compelling and should be taken seriously by all students of taxation. -- Joel Slemrod, University of Michigan
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU) presents Fixing U.S. International Taxation (Oxford University Press, 2014) (purchase from amazon) at Columbia tomorrow as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Alex Raskolnikov, David Schizer, and Wojciech Kopczuk:Update: Dan has more details here.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Arthur J. Cockfield (Queen's University Faculty of Law), Walter Hellerstein (University of Georgia School of Law), Rebecca Millar (University of Sydney Faculty of Law) & Christophe Waerzeggers (IMF), Taxing Global Digital Commerce (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business (Sept. 23, 2013)):See here for Table of Contents, Preface, and Chapter 1.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Michael Simkovic (Seton Hall Law School) & Frank McIntyre (Rutgers Business School), Populist Outrage, Reckless Empirics: A Review of Failing Law Schools (reviewing Brian Tamanaha (Washington U.), Failing Law Schools (University of Chicago Press, 2012)):
Other reviews of Failing Law Schools:
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Orly Lobel (San Diego), Talent Wants to Be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free Riding (Yale University Press, Sept. 30, 2013):
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Forbes: Self-Publishing A Legal Casebook: An Ebook Success Story, by Eric Goldman (Santa Clara):
Monday, September 16, 2013
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Monday, September 9, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
The late Paul McDaniel (Florida), Jim Repetti (Boston College), and I have published a 2013 Supplement (128 pages) to our two Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation (Foundation Press, 6th ed. 2009) books: our casebook and study problems book. Faculty, students, and other interested readers are welcome to download a free copy. Here is the Preface:
We also have published a 2013 Supplement (64 pages) to our teacher's manual accompanying our Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation casebook and study problems book. The 2013 Supplement provides detailed answers to the new and revised study problems, as well as commentary on new and revised material in the casebook. Faculty who would like a free copy of the 2013 Supplement to our Teacher's Manual can email Jim or me.
Friday, August 9, 2013
The Political Economy of Transnational Tax Reform: The Shoup Mission to Japan in Historical Context (W. Elliot Brownlee et al., eds.) (Oxford University Press, July 2013):
This volume of essays explores the history of the U.S. tax mission to Japan during the occupation following World War II. Under General MacArthur, economist Carl S. Shoup led the mission with the charge of framing a tax system for Japan designed to strengthen democracy and accelerate economic recovery. The volume examines the sources, conduct, and effects of the mission and situates the mission within the history of international financial and fiscal reform. The book begins by establishing the context of progressive social investigations of taxation, including Shoup's earlier tax missions to France and Cuba. It then goes on to explore the Japanese background to the Shoup mission and the process by which American and Japanese tax experts shaped their recommendations. The book then assesses and explains the mission's accomplishments in the context of the political economies of the United States and Japan. It concludes by analyzing the global implications of the mission, which became iconic among international tax reformers.
Contributors: W. Elliot Brownlee, Ajay Mehrotra, Frances Lynch, Michael R. Adamson, Joseph J. Thorndike, Yasunori Fukagai, Laura Hein, Mark Metzler, Eisaku Ide, Ryo Muramatsu, Monica Prasad, Takatsugu Akaishi, Satoshi Sekiguchi, Martin Daunton
Thursday, August 8, 2013
What makes a great law professor? The first study of its kind, What the Best Law Teachers Do identifies the methods, strategies, and personal traits of professors whose students achieve exceptional learning. This pioneering book will be of interest to any instructor seeking concrete, proven techniques for helping students succeed.
What the Best Law Teachers Do introduces readers to twenty-six professors from law schools across the United States. These instructors are renowned for their exacting standards: they set expectations high, while also making course requirements—and their belief that their students can meet them—clear from the outset. They demonstrate professional behavior and tell students to approach class as they would their future professional life: by being as prepared, polished, and gracious as possible. And they prepare themselves for class in depth, even when they have taught the course for years.
The best law professors understand that the little things matter. They start class on time and stay afterward to answer questions. They learn their students’ names and respond promptly to emails. These instructors are all tough—but they are also committed, creative, and compassionate mentors. With its close-to-the-ground accounts of exceptional educators in action, What the Best Law Teachers Do offers insights into effective pedagogy that transcend the boundaries of legal education.
Table of Contents:
- What Is Exceptional Learning in Law School?
- What Personal Qualities Do the Best Law Teachers Possess?
- How Do the Best Law Teachers Relate to Their Students?
- What Do the Best Law Teachers Expect from Their Students?
- How Do the Best Law Teachers Prepare to Teach?
- How Do the Best Law Teachers Engage Students in and out of the Classroom?
- How Do the Best Law Teachers Provide Feedback and Assess Students?
- What Lasting Lessons Do Students Take Away?
- Suggestions for Using This Book
This book fills an enormous vacuum in law teaching literature. Based on painstaking, methodical, individual attention to 26 carefully-selected law professors from around the country, it presents cogent, inspiring, and concrete approaches to teaching and student–teacher relationships in the voices of the teachers and their students themselves.—Jean Koh Peters, Yale University
Reading this book is like sitting down and having extensive conversations with excellent teaching mentors. It is a wonderful addition to the professional mentorship that is so important yet often so lacking in faculty development.—Alison Grey Anderson, University of California, Los Angeles
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Joni Larson (Professor of Law and Assistant Director, Graduate Tax Program, Thomas M. Cooley Law School), A Practitioner's Guide to Tax Evidence: A Primer on the Federal Rules of Evidence as Applied by Tax Court (ABA Press, 2013):
A must-read for anyone preparing for trial before the U.S. Tax Court, this new guide from the American Bar Association Section of Taxation takes the reader step-by-step through the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) as applied by the Tax Court. This compilation results in an easy-to-read collection of cases to support or guide a practitioner facing an evidentiary problem before the Tax Court. The condensed and well-organized sections allow one to easily spot a particular issue or the Evidentiary Rule at hand and to find the supporting cases, and the case discussions have sufficient detail to allow the reader to know whether to go and read the full case. The brief summary of requirements of the major rules presented along with dozens of practice pointers assist the practitioner in charting the proof necessary to succeed.
Professor Larson has done a great service for all Tax Court practitioners. Her book provides a detailed passage through the FRE as applied by the Tax Court. This compilation results in an easy-to-read collection of cases to support or guide a practitioner facing an evidentiary problem in a Tax Court case. ... Having a book that focuses on the Tax Court’s rulings regarding FRE issues greatly aids the bar of that Court. Professor Larson’s condensed and well-organized sections allow one to easily spot a particular issue or the Evidentiary Rule at hand and to find the supporting cases. The case discussions have sufficient detail to allow the reader to know whether to go and read the full case. The brief summary of requirements of the major rules assists the practitioner in charting the proof necessary to succeed. Overall, those practicing in the Tax Court owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Larson for her work to assist in preparing for trial. T. Keith Fogg, Professor of Law and Director of the Federal Tax Clinic, Villanova Law School.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation (Janet E. Milne (Vermont Law School) & Mikael Skou Andersen (Aarhus University (Denmark)), eds., Edward Elgar 2013):
The Handbook of Research on Environmental Taxation captures the state of the art of research on environmental taxation. Written by 36 specialists in environmental taxation from 16 countries, it takes an interdisciplinary and international approach, focusing on issues that are universal to using taxation to achieve environmental goals.
The Handbook explores the conceptual foundations of environmental taxation, essential elements for designing environmental tax measures, factors that influence the acceptance of environmental taxation, the variety of ways to implement environmental taxes, their environmental and economic impact and, finally, the larger question of the role of taxation among other policy approaches to environmental protection. Intermixing theory with case studies, the Handbook offers readers lessons that can be applied around the world. It identifies key bodies of research for people who are already working in the field or entering the field and highlights issues that call for more research in the future.
With systematic analysis of key issues in environmental taxation, this book will appeal to researchers, governments, think tanks, NGOs, and academics in law, economics, political science and public finance, as well as students specializing in environmental taxation and other market-based instruments.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU), Trade, Currency, and International Cooperation (Jotwell), reviewing Benn Steil (Council on Foreign Relations), The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order (Princeton University Press, 2013):
It’s always nice when you can combine outside reading for fun with something that is educational and at least indirectly professionally relevant. Benn Steil’s economic and diplomatic history of the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, which established the post-World War II global framework for currency relationships and international trade (while also creating the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) filled this niche for me during a quiet weekend. While the subject is not literally or directly related to taxation, it touches so closely on finance, macroeconomic policy, and international trade as to occupy a common universe with overlapping concerns.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Daniel N. Shaviro (NYU) participated in a symposium at Hebrew University Law School last week on his forthcoming book, Fixing U.S. International Taxation (Oxford University Press, 2014). The commentators were Steve Shay (Harvard), Yariv Brauner (Florida), and Fadi Shaheen (Rutgers-Newark). Here is a dscription of the book:
In today’s global economy, the U.S. international tax rules, which govern how we tax cross-border investment, are increasingly important. Nearly everyone agrees that the existing rules are terrible. Their defects largely reflect the difficulty that both U.S. policymakers and analysts have experienced in choosing between two sharply etched approaches, known in the literature as (1) worldwide or residence-based taxation of U.S. taxpayers, including resident companies, and (2) source-based or territorial taxation, also known as exemption as it involves exempting U.S. companies’ foreign source income (FSI).
Unfortunately, evaluation of these and other choices in international tax policy is impeded by the fact that the underlying literature, despite a more than fifty year history of frequently intensive academic study by exceptionally talented and knowledgeable economists and lawyers, at some point went badly off the rails. Its main terms of debate reflect crucial misunderstandings of key issues and distinctions, along with a misguided focus on concepts that verge on being completely unhelpful. A major rethinking is therefore needed, taking advantage of tools that are routinely used elsewhere in the public economics and tax policy literatures.
Among the common errors in existing literature that the book addresses are the following:
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
James E. Moliterno (Washington & Lee), The American Legal Profession in Crisis: Resistance and Responses to Change (Oxford University Press, 2013):
- Helps the reader understand the full range of the broad history of the legal profession
- Focuses on and explains discrete historical periods and important crisis points in American legal history
- Makes provocative recommendations and prescriptions for reform for the entire legal profession
- Identifies the underlying causes of the legal profession's anachronism in response to change
For more, see:
- Washington & Lee Press Release
- ABA Journal, Why Not Let Nonlawyers Help Regulate the Legal Profession? Law Prof Makes Case for Change
- Herbert M. Kritzer (Minnesota), Book Review, 23 L. & Pol. Book Rev. 227 (2013)
- James E. Moliterno (Washington & Lee), The Trouble With Lawyer Regulation, 62 Emory L.J. ___ (2013)
- Wall Street Journal: Do Lawyers Know Best?
Sunday, June 16, 2013
In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s Fatherhood, Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.
My father was definitely old school. He rarely swore, drank only an occasional beer in the high summer heat, and generally lived the solid decent life of what he called "a gentleman." From him I learned the values of decency, honor and pride.
During his lifetime I occasionally felt he was totally behind the times with his regular injunctions that I do my best and honor the family name. Yet now I realize the value of his legacy, which is summed up in the following set of commandments:
- Always be a gentleman
- Always keep your shoes shined
- Save your money
- Any week in which you do not put some money aside for a rainy day is a wasted week
- A car is the most expensive thing you can own
- A pension is important
- If your boss or employer is not making money on you, you will eventually lose your job
- It is more important to be able to write and speak well than it is to be able to succeed in athletics
- There is no such thing as an honest politician
- Don't get old
- The finest legacies are often not material things
Monday, May 6, 2013
Law schools are under siege. Applications have dropped to around 54,000 annually, from around 100,000 in 2004. First-year enrollment has slipped to under 40,000 students, from 50,000 in 2010. Jobs are scarce—especially for students coming from lower-tier law schools. The average annual tuition has risen to just over $40,000 per year, from about $23,000 in 2001. Average debt on graduation has followed suit, jumping to about $125,000 in 2011, from $70,000 in 2001. No wonder many experts expect perhaps a dozen schools to close their doors within a year while other schools slash their class size, faculty and staff to stay open.
Meanwhile "Big Law"—the largest 200 or so law firms, which serve elite corporate clients in major urban areas—are under stress. Firm size has topped out, and both partnership shares and entry salaries are treading water at best. Clients now scour bills and disallow certain fees. Alternative, transaction-based fee arrangements are now more common. Competition has replaced cushy long-term relationships.
Terrible news, for sure. But is the "Profession in Crisis," as the subtitle of Stephen J. Harper's "The Lawyer Bubble" has it? The answer is no. A bubble may have burst, but not for the high end of the profession or for the thousands of attorneys working in specialized niches. ...
[T]he author ignores the more salient fact that the vast majority of big firms have avoided this grisly fate. Mr. Harper never looks into how these savvy firms survive in a tough environment. They do so, in part, by avoiding overstaffing, by cutting bad clients and by paying premium wages to young associates—many of whom, debts paid, happily bail out for less stressful work as in-house counsel for companies or in the government and nonprofit sectors. Over all, the model proves stable: With Congress passing monstrosities like Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act, top-flight legal talent is needed more than ever to guide well-heeled clients through the growing regulatory maze.
Ironically, Mr. Harper misses the most significant recent dislocation in the practice of law, which is at the consumer end of the market: the rise of low-cost online law firms like LegalZoom and RocketLawyer that aid clients in drafting standard partnerships, wills, leases and the like. These firms pose a mortal threat to sole practitioners, not to Big Law.
So what does the new legal environment mean for legal education? Mr. Harper thinks that law schools fail because their faculties won't sully their hands with people with "actual experience" but seek out people "who are good at big ideas." ... Mr. Harper charges that academics like me, who are obsessed with high theory, cause "institutional inertia" in law schools and prevent the sort of evolution necessary to gear students up for the 21st-century legal market. The author's recipe for change includes large doses of hands-on instruction on business relations and practice skills. But law schools can't just be "practical training" centers, as Mr. Harper would have them; they must make sure that their students grasp the fundamentals of legal theory and doctrine. Future lawyers must also be capable of connecting law with collateral disciplines ranging from corporate finance to game theory to cognitive psychology. ...
Mr. Harper's blunderbuss condemnation of most large firms and most law schools is off-target. By and large, they have proved resilient in a competitive legal climate.
WSJ Law Blog, Pricking the "Lawyer Bubble":
Mr. Harper told Law Blog by email that “despite Professor Epstein’s contrary assertion, my book doesn’t advocate that law schools abandon the ‘fundamentals of legal theory’ in favor of practical training.” And as to the question of Mr. Epstein’s experience, Mr. Harper stands by his description, saying, “The perspective of a retained expert for a client is much different from that of anyone who has worked inside a big firm.”
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Brian Tamanaha’s Failing Law Schools argues that American law schools now cost far too much to attend, given long-term trends in the employment market for people with law degrees. ... Professor Jay Sterling Silver criticizes Tamanaha’s proposals. [The Case Against Tamanaha’s Motel 6 Model of Legal Education, 60 UCLA L. Rev. Disc. 52 (2012).] Silver believes the proposals will lead to a stratified hierarchy of law schools, with only a few elite institutions continuing to provide the high-quality pedagogical experience that Silver assumes everyone now enjoys by attending law schools accredited by the ABA. Silver argues that Tamanaha’s reforms would force the vast majority of law schools to provide their students a “cut-rate education,” much to the detriment of the students’ future clients.
Professor Silver’s response contains a number of unsubstantiated assertions. This Essay addresses three of them: the current cost of legal education is an accurate reflection of the real cost of producing adequately trained lawyers, the scholarship produced by tenured law faculty has enormously beneficial effects on the operation of the legal system, and Tamanaha’s reform proposals would stratify legal education. These claims illustrate how, in my view, the crisis of the American law school is in large part a product of the tendency of law school faculty to indulge in platitudinous self-congratulation.
1. Market Failures. ... Silver does not dispute Tamanaha’s diagnosis. Instead he recommends the budgetary equivalent of a couple of aspirin and some bed rest: Law schools must “tighten their belts, reduc[e] the size of incoming classes, cut administrative costs, and forgo hiring for a while,” rather than the more aggressive treatments Failing Law Schools advocates.
2. Tenured Faculty and Legal Scholarship. ... Silver argues that tenure and low teaching loads are necessary for the production of valuable legal scholarship. ... This argument makes several assumptions: (1) That the production of valuable critiques of the legal system is a common outcome of the current publication requirements for tenure-track faculty at American law schools; (2) That seriously suboptimal amounts of these valuable critiques of the legal system would be generated by law schools if Tamanaha’s reforms were adopted; and (3) That these valuable critiques of the legal system constitute an important practical counterweight to the invidious effect self-interested actors have on the legal system. These three assumptions strike me as, respectively, implausible, incredible, and utterly fantastic. ...
3. Two Tiers of Legal Education and the Socratic Method. Silver then turns from the more general, societal benefits of law review article publication to what he calls “the needs of students and clients.” Tamanaha’s suggested reforms would result, Silver says, in a stratified system of legal education with Ritz-Carlton law schools for a favored few and a Motel 6 education for their less privileged peers. ... [I]n the 1970s teaching loads for law faculty were much higher, salaries were much lower, law reviews were publishing approximately one-sixth as many articles as they do now, and not coincidentally tuition at private law schools was a quarter of what it is today in constant dollars, while resident tuition at almost all public law schools was essentially nominal. If Silver is to be believed, this state of affairs should have produced a generation of Motel 6–quality attorneys, while allowing the wielders of power to operate without facing the various trenchant critiques that otherwise would have been appearing in the nation’s law reviews. Again, does Silver or anyone else have any evidence that either the quality of legal education or the social value of legal scholarship are substantially higher than they were a generation ago?
Conclusion. I have gone to the trouble of critiquing Silver’s attempt to reply to Tamanaha’s criticisms of contemporary legal education because Silver’s essay displays the same characteristic weakness as American legal academic culture: a tendency to make bold assertions about the value of legal scholarship and the effectiveness of law school pedagogy, while at the same time providing no support for these assertions beyond a willingness to repeat self-congratulatory platitudes about who we are and what we do. Self-congratulatory platitudes, however, do not become true merely through constant repetition.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Daniel S. Goldberg (Maryland), The Death of the Income Tax: A Progressive Consumption Tax and the Path to Fiscal Reform (Oxford University Press, 2013):
The Death of the Income Tax explains how the current income tax is needlessly complex, contains perverse incentives against saving and investment, fails to use modern technology to ease compliance and collection burdens, and is subject to micromanaging and mismanaging by Congress. Daniel Goldberg proposes that the solution to the problems of the current income tax is completely replacing it with a progressive consumption tax collected electronically at the point of sale.
- takes a fresh look at what kind of tax system a 21st century nation should have and can achieve
- offers to change the way every American will relate to his government by eliminating the annual tax return for many of them
- proposes a transformational change in how the U.S. will be funded by taxation, which will have far-reaching ramifications
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Comprising original essays written by top legal scholars, this innovative volume is the most comprehensive collection to date of independent academic work exploring the relationship between tax, law and development. Contributors cover a range of tax issues, drawing on economic, political, social, and institutional perspectives to offer a comprehensive view of how tax laws affect and are affected by human economic development.
Hailing from across the globe, contributors offer expert insight into tax issues in China, Brazil, South Africa, India, and other developing countries. Following a thorough examination of current policy approaches to tax problems in developing nations, the writers conclude that new solutions are needed, and outline a number of groundbreaking ideas and proposals designed to mitigate many of the problems associated with tax law and economic development.
Professors, students, and researchers with an interest in tax, law, development, and globalization will find much to admire in this critical and groundbreaking addition to the literature.
Stephen E. Shay
PART I: INTRODUCTION: TAX REFORM AND FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT
1. Introduction: Tax, Law and Development
Yariv Brauner and Miranda Stewart
PART II: TAX COMPETITION AND TRAGIC CHOICES
2. The Future of Tax Incentives for Developing Countries
3. The Tragic Choices of Tax Policy in a Globalized Economy
4. Economic Development and the Role of Tax in Southern Africa: The South African Headquarter Company Structure
5. Tax Sparing: A Reconsideration of the Reconsideration
Luís Eduardo Schoueri
PART III: IN SEARCH OF ‘SEARCHERS’ TO FIND UNIQUE SOLUTIONS TO COMMON TAX CHALLENGES
6. Is this a Pipe? Validity of a Tax Reform for a Developing Country
Ana Paula Dourado
7. The Place of Law in the Evolution of Chinese Fiscal Federalism
8. The Globalization of Tax Expenditure Reporting: Transplanting Transparency in India and the Global South
PART IV: TAX EQUITY, REDISTRIBUTION AND AID
9. Internation Equity and Human Development
Anthony C. Infanti
10. The Role of Developed World Tax Incentives in Microfinance
Charlene D. Luke
PART V: TAX COOPERATION
11. Geographical Boundaries of Tax Jurisdiction, Exclusive Allocation of Taxing Powers in Tax Treaties and Good Tax Governance in Relations with Developing Countries
12. Tax Activists and the Global Movement for Development through Transparency
13. Global Tax Information Networks: Legitimacy in a Global Administrative State
Monday, April 22, 2013
This extremely short book review discusses why Tamanaha's book is a must-read for anyone in the legal education business, even if we don't always agree with what he's saying.
Other reviews of Failing Law Schools:
- Jennifer Bard (Texas Tech)
- Ray Campbell (Peking University School of Transnational Law)
- Jim Chen (Former Dean, Louisville)
- Chronicle of Higher Education
- Ronald Den Otter (California Polytechnic State)
- Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara)
- Stanley Fish (Florida International)
- Scott Greenfield (here and here)
- Bill Henderson (Indiana)
- Paul Horwitz (Alabama)
- Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State)
- Orin Kerr (George Washington)
- Brian Leiter (Chicago)
- Andy Morriss (Alabama)
- National Law Journal
- Philip Schrag (Georgetown)
- Robert Steinbuch (Arkansas-Little Rock)
- Washington Post
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Teaching the Law School Curriculum draws upon the wisdom of hundreds of legal educators to provide ideas, materials, and alternatives for teaching a variety of law school courses. The book offers guidance for new and experienced law teachers to plan and deliver effective courses. ...
- Teaching Tax through Stories – Paul L. Caron
- Goals, Philosophy, and Coverage – Nancy Shurtz
- Statutory Interpretation and the Development of a Civic Perspective – Kim Brooks
- Problems, Previews, Participation, and Preparation – Leandra Lederman
- Providing a Framework for Learning – Mary L. Heen
- Statutory Analysis, Not Arithmetic – Eric Lustig
- TaxProf: A Virtual Tax Community – Paul L. Caron
- Tax Case Limericks – Leandra Lederman
- Tax Stories: An In-Depth Look at Ten Leading Federal Income Tax Cases – Paul L. Caron
- Tax Returns, Casebooks, and Slides – Eric Lustig
- Text and Handouts – Nancy Shurtz
- General Outline of Federal Income Tax (Handout) – Leandra Lederman
- Computing Taxable Gain (Handout) – Leandra Lederman
- Introduction to Deductions Problems (Handout) – Leandra Lederman
- Introducing Statutory Interpretation with Song Lyrics – Kim Brooks
- Role-Playing – Nancy Shurtz
- "Boot" – Leandra Lederman
- Cartoons – Nancy Shurtz
- IRC 212 Area Code – Leandra Lederman
- Getting the Class Started and the Power of Bruce – Kim Brooks
- "How Would the IRS Ever Know . . ." – Leandra Lederman
Feedback and Evaluation
- Designing Writing Assignments and Exams Based on Course Objectives – Kim Brooks
- The TaxProf Exam Bank: Practical Help for the Tax Professor – Paul L. Caron
- Research Paper, Midterm, and Final Exam – Nancy Shurtz
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Everyone engaged in legal education and not utterly asleep agrees that there is a "law school crisis." Building on recent works by Brian Tamanaha [Failing Law Schools] and Walter Olson [Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America], this paper discusses its causes and potential solutions, using a typical dichotomy in recent populist movements -- the "one percent" versus "99 percent" meme -- as a lens. It examines arguments that the problem is economic and that it is primarily cultural; although I conclude the problem is economic and structural far more than cultural, I also argue that one of Tamanaha's primary recommendations for reform -- that law schools ought to display more experimentation and institutional pluralism, and that ABA accreditation requirements ought to make this more possible -- goes some way toward addressing both diagnoses. The paper is more descriptive than prescriptive, although I offer some thoughts on solutions. I emphasize three things: 1) law schools would be better off focusing on regional than national markets, although the US News rankings make regionally oriented approaches more difficult; 2) a serious increase in meaningful faculty governance and involvement is needed; and 3) the role and needs of the client have been surprisingly marginal in recent discussions of law school reform. The client needs to be a prominent part of reform discussions, which suggests, contrary to some extant views, that curricular reform ought to continue to be part of the discussion along with economic and structural reform.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Lawrence Zelenak (Duke) presents Learning to Love Form 1040: Two Cheers for the Return-Based Mass Income Tax (University of Chicago Press, 2013) today at the University of Florida College of Law Graduate Tax Program Tax Colloquium:
In Learning to Love Form 1040, Lawrence Zelenak argues that filing taxes can strengthen fiscal citizenship by prompting taxpayers to reflect on the contract they have with their government and the value—or perceived lack of value—they receive in exchange for their money. Zelenak traces the mass income tax to its origins as a means for raising revenue during World War II. Even then, debates raged over the merits of consumption-based versus income taxation, as well as whether taxes should be withheld from payroll or paid at the time of filing. The result is the income tax system we have today—a system whose maddening complexity, intended to accommodate citizens in widely different circumstances, threatens to outweigh any civic benefits.
If sitcoms and political cartoons are any indication, public understanding of the income tax is badly in need of a corrective. Zelenak clears up some of the most common misconceptions and closes with suggestions for how the current system could be substantially simplified to better serve its civic purpose.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
This collection of case stories illustrates the balance, continuity, and evolution in substantive criminal law doctrine in light of the social and political contexts in which those doctrines are perennially tested. These stories focus on the pre-litigation behavior of defendants, raising important moral and cultural questions about human nature and human society and how social norms get translated into workable legal doctrines. They survey the typical variety of doctrines addressed in a standard criminal law course, elucidating the classic themes of common law jurisprudence.
Other titles in the Law Stories Series (for which I serve as Series Editor) are:
- Administrative Law Stories (2006), edited by Peter L. Strauss (Columbia)
- Antitrust Stories (2007), edited by Eleanor M. Fox (NYU) & Daniel A. Crane (Cardozo)
- Bankruptcy Law Stories (2007), edited by Robert Rasmussen (Dean, USC)
- Business Tax Stories (2005), edited by Steven A. Bank (UCLA) & Kirk J. Stark (UCLA)
- Civil Procedure Stories (2d ed. 2008), edited by Kevin M. Clermont (Cornell)
- Civil Rights Stories (2008), edited by Myriam Gilles (Cardozo) & Risa Goluboff (Virginia)
- Constitutional Law Stories (2d ed. 2009), edited by Michael C. Dorf (Cornell)
- Contracts Stories (2006), edited by Douglas G. Baird (Chicago)
- Corporate Law Stories (2009), edited by J. Mark Ramseyer (Harvard)
- Criminal Procedure Stories (2006), edited by Carol S. Steiker (Harvard)
- Death Penalty Stories (2009), edited by John H. Blum (Cornell) & Jordan M. Steiker (Texas)
- Education Law Stories (2008), edited by Michael A. Olivas (Houston) & Ronna Greff Schneider (Cincinnati)
- Employment Discrimination Stories (2006), edited by Joel William Friedman (Tulane)
- Employment Law Stories (2007), edited by Samuel Estreicher (NYU) & Gillian Lester (UC-Berkeley)
- Environmental Law Stories (2005), edited by Richard J. Lazarus (Harvard) & Oliver A. Houck (Tulane)
- Evidence Stories (2006), edited by Richard O. Lempert (Michigan)
- Family Law Stories (2008), edited by Carol Sanger (Columbia)
- Federal Courts Stories (2010), edited by Vicki C. Jackson (Georgetown) & Judith Resnik (Yale)
- First Amendment Stories (2011), edited by Richard W Garnett (Notre Dame) & Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern)
- Human Rights Advocacy Stories (2008), edited by Deena R. Hurwitz (Virginia) & Margaret L. Satterthwaite (NYU), with Doug Ford (Virginia)
- Immigration Stories (2005), edited by David A. Martin (Virginia) & Peter H. Schuck (Yale)
- Indian Law Stories (2011), edited by Carole E. Goldberg (UCLA), Kevin K. Washburn (Dean, New Mexico) & Philip P. Frickey (UC-Berkeley)
- Intellectual Property Stories (2005), edited by Jane C. Ginsburg (Columbia) & Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss (NYU)
- International Law Stories (2007), edited by John Noyes (California Western), Mark Janis (Connecticut) & Laura Dickinson (Connecticut)
- Labor Law Stories (2005), edited by Laura J. Cooper (Minnesota) & Catherine L. Fisk (Duke)
- Legal Ethics Stories (2005), edited by Deborah L. Rhode (Stanford) & David Luban (Georgetown)
- Presidential Power Stories (2008), edited by Christopher H. Schroeder (Duke) & Curtis A. Bradley (Duke)
- Property Stories (2d ed. 2009), edited by Gerald Korngold (New York Law School) & Andrew P. Morriss (Alabama)
- Race Law Stories (2008), edited by by Rachel F. Moran (Dean, UCLA) & Devon Carbado (UCLA)
- Statutory Interpretation Stories (2011), edited by William N. Eskridge, Jr. (Yale), Philip P. Frickey (UC-Berkeley) & Elizabeth Garrett (USC)
- Tax Stories (2d ed. 2009), edited by Paul L. Caron (Cincinnati & Pepperdine)
- Torts Stories (2003), edited by Robert L. Rabin (Stanford) & Stephen D. Sugarman (UC-Berkeley)
- Trial Stories (2008), edited by Michael E. Tigar (American) & Angela J. Davis (American)
- Women and the Law Stories (2011), edited by Elizabeth M. Schneider (Brooklyn) & Stephanie M. Wildman (Santa Clara)
Thursday, April 4, 2013
On behalf of LexisNexis and the Graduate Tax Series Board of Editors (Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.), Joshua Blank (NYU), Michael Friel (Florida), Philip Postlewaite (Northwestern), and Scott Schumaker (U. Washington)) I am delighted to announce the publication of Estate and Gift Taxation (2d ed. 2013), by Robert Danforth (Washington & Lee) & Brant Hellwig (Washington & Lee).
The Graduate Tax Series is the first and only series of course materials designed for use in tax LL.M. programs. Like all books in the Series, Estate and Gift Taxation was designed from the ground-up with the needs of graduate tax faculty and students in mind:
- More focus on Internal Revenue Code and regulations, less on case law
- Analysis of complex, practice-oriented problems of increasing sophistication
- Teacher’s manual with solutions to problems and other guidance
- On-line access to the comprehensive and current Code and regulations, designed to complement the book
This new edition of Estate and Gift Taxation transitions from the temporary estate and gift tax regime that prevailed for the last decade by incorporating the provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that places the federal wealth transfer tax regime on a permanent footing. In addition to noting these fundamental legislative changes, the book devotes additional coverage to a number of recent estate and gift taxation hot topics, including:
- Defined value transfers and the increasing acceptance of this technique by courts;
- Portability of the unified credit from a predeceasing spouse to a surviving spouse;
- Availability of the gift tax annual exclusion for transfers of restricted beneficial interests in closely held entities; and
- Recent cases examining challenges to the use of family limited partnerships as estate planning vehicles.
Like the first edition of Estate and Gift Taxation published in 2011, the second edition consists of discrete chapters addressing the estate and gift tax regime in a context specific manner (i.e., jointly held property; life insurance; powers of appointment; retained-interest transfers, etc.). Each chapter contains a narrative explanation of the material, with important cases typically summarized rather than reproduced in full. Each chapter closes with a problem set requiring students to apply the relevant doctrine in the context of realistic hypothetical examples. A common technique in the problems is to present students sample trust language and then to ask students to identify tax pitfalls and to suggest drafting solutions around them. The authors provide their suggested answers to the problems in the comprehensive Teacher's Manual for the second edition, which also will be available in July.
Ten other books in the Graduate Tax Series also are available for adoption:
- Civil Tax Procedure (2d ed. 2008) & 2011 Supp.), by David Richardson (Florida), Jerome Borison (Denver) & Steve Johnson (Florida State)
- Corporate Taxation (2012), by Charlotte Crane (Northwestern) & Linda Beale (Wayne State)
- Employee Benefits Law: Qualification Rules and ERISA Requirements (2d ed. 2012), by Kathryn Kennedy (John Marshall) & Paul Shultz (Former Director, IRS Employee Plans Rulings & Agreement)
- Federal Tax Accounting (2d ed. 2011), by Michael Lang (Chapman), Elliott Manning (Miami) & Mona Hymel (Arizona)
- Federal Taxation of Property Transactions (2012), by Elliott Manning (Miami) & David Cameron (Northwestern)
- Partnership Taxation (3d ed. 2012), by Richard Lipton (Baker & McKenzie, Chicago), Paul Carman (Chapman & Cutler, Chicago), Charles Fassler (Greenebaum, Doll & McDonald, Louisville) & Walter Schwidetzky (Baltimore)
- Regulation of Tax Practice (2010), by Linda Galler (Hofstra) & Michael Lang (Chapman)
- Tax Crimes (2008), by Steve Johnson (Florida State), Scott Schumacher (Washington), Larry Campagna (Adjunct Professor, Houston) & John Townsend (Adjunct Professor, Houston)
- Taxation and Business Planning for Real Estate Transactions (2012), by Bradley Borden (Brooklyn)
- United States International Taxation (2d ed. 2011), by Allison Christians (Wisconsin), Samuel Donaldson (Washington) & Philip Postlewaite (Northwestern)
- For more details about the Graduate Tax Series, see here.
- Click on these links to purchase a copy of Civil Tax Procedure, Corporate Taxation, Employee Benefits Law, Estate and Gift Taxation, Federal Tax Accounting, Federal Taxation of Property Transactions, Partnership Taxation, Regulation of Tax Practice, Tax Crimes, Taxation and Business Planning for Real Estate Transactions, and United States International Taxation. Faculty can request a complimentary review copy by emailing here (in the body of your email, note the title of the book you are requesting and your contact information).
- Email me if you would like more information about the Graduate Tax Series or if you would like to submit a book proposal.