TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thomas Jefferson Law School Trial Over Placement Data Goes To Jury

Thomas Jefferson Logo (2015)Times of San Diego, Deliberations Begin in Fight Against SD Law School:

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday in the trial of a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims the San Diego-based Thomas Jefferson School of Law misrepresents the ability of graduates to find jobs.

Anna Alaburda, 37, filed her lawsuit in 2011, claiming false advertising and misrepresentations by the school.

Her attorney, Brian Procel, told the jury she spent more than $100,000 for her degree but was unable to find a full-time job as an attorney because she relied on the school’s false employment figures.

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March 24, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1050

IRS Logo 2Wall Street Journal editorial, Chipping Away at the IRS Stonewall: A Federal Court Scores the Agency For its ‘Continuous Resistance’;

The media have ignored the IRS targeting of conservative groups, but the courts haven’t. On Tuesday the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals tore into the agency’s obstructionist conduct and ruled that the IRS must turn over the spreadsheets it created on the targeted groups. ...

Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Raymond Kethledge ... and excoriated the IRS for stonewalling during discovery. Charges that an executive agency targeted citizens for their political views are “among the most serious allegations a federal court can address,” he writes. In this case, he added, they are “substantial” and based on a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Equally appalling is the agency’s effort to obstruct the legal process. “[I]n this lawsuit the IRS has only compounded the conduct that gave rise to it,” Judge Kethledge wrote, calling the IRS response “one of continuous resistance.” He added: “The district court ordered production of those lists, and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders.”

Readers may remember that last autumn District Court Judge Susan Dlott said her “impression is the government probably did something wrong in this case.” Determining liability is a legal question, she continued, but “the government is doing everything it possibly can to make this as complicated as it possibly can, to last as long as it possibly can, so that by the time there is a result, nobody is going to care except the plaintiffs.” ...

Unless it appeals to the Supreme Court, the IRS now has seven days to turn over the lists to the law firm representing the tax-exempt groups, Graves Garrett in Kansas City. Perhaps we’ll now see what the IRS and Justice Department have worked so hard to hide.

Wall Street Journal, IRS Chutzpah: Taxpayer-Protection Laws Won’t Shield Abuse of Power:

Will federal employees who support President Obama ever be held accountable for hijacking the Internal Revenue Service and using it to assist Obama’s re-election bid? Thanks to a ruling yesterday from the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of appeals, it’s possible the answer is yes.

The Washington Times’s Stephen Dinan sums up the finding: “A federal appeals court spanked the IRS Tuesday, saying it has taken laws designed to protect taxpayers from the government and turned them on their head, using them to try to protect the tax agency from the very tea party groups it targeted.” ...

“The IRS’s response has been one of continuous resistance,” Judge Kethledge observes. “For example, the IRS asserted that the names of IRS employees who worked on the groups’ applications were taxpayer ‘return information’ protected from disclosure by § 6103.” That is, the IRS attempted to invoke a law designed to protect taxpayers’ privacy to shield the identities of agency employees, who are supposed to work for the taxpayer. ...

In 1972 the IRS itself had more integrity than the White House. As we noted in 2014, then-Commissioner Johnnie Walters ignored an order from White House aide John Dean to target 200 of Nixon’s political enemies. “If I did what you asked, it’d make Watergate look like a Sunday school picnic,” Walters told Dean.

Under Obama, the IRS itself appears to have taken the initiative to target political opponents of the president—and not just powerful enemies, but ordinary Americans seeking to organize lawfully to further their views.

Washington Post, Obama Administration’s ‘Continuous Resistance’ in IRS Targeting Case Slammed by Federal Appeals Court:

A federal appeals court Tuesday slammed the Internal Revenue Service for what it called three years of “continuous resistance” to turning over documents in connection with a class-action suit brought by tea party groups singled out for months of delays, excessive paperwork and scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status in 2010.

A unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit found that the IRS, in its unresponsiveness to the charges, “has only compounded the conduct that gave rise” to them. ...

The unusually severe tongue-lashing by the appellate judges followed a similar rebuke of the government in the unrelated but even more sensitive case involving a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, a conservative group, involving former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s personal email system.

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March 24, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shuldiner Presents The Deferral Effects Of Passing Through Foreign Subsidiaries’ Passive Income Today At Penn

ShuldinerReed Shuldiner (Pennsylvania) presents The Deferral Effects of Passing Through Foreign Subsidiaries’ Passive Income (with Chris Sanchirico (Pennsylvania)) at Pennsylvania today as part of its Center for Tax Law and Policy Seminar Series:

The immediate U.S. taxation of foreign subsidiaries’ passive, but not active income is a scenario of increasing practical importance. This paper builds on Alvin Warren’s recent analysis of this partially deferral-tempering case [Income of Foreign Subsidiaries: A Review of the Basic Analytics, 145 Tax Notes 321 (2014)]. It clarifies some of the legal and economic mechanics behind Warren’s formula. It also makes several points de novo. It highlights the conceptual relationship between passive-income pass-through and delayed realization of accrued gains. It points out that delayed realization inside the subsidiary effectively deactivates passive-income pass-through. And it describes when it does and does not matter that the parent takes interim distributions from the subsidiary, as when it uses such distributions to pay its interim pass-through tax liability.

March 23, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Loan Counseling For Graduate And Professional Students

Gamage & Shanske:  Tax Cannibalization And Fiscal Federalism

David Gamage (UC-Berkeley) & Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), Tax Cannibalization and Fiscal Federalism in the United States, 110 Nw. U. L. Rev. ___ (2016):

The current structure of U.S. federal tax law incentivizes state governments to adopt tax policies that inflict costs on the federal government, at the expense of national welfare. We label this the “tax cannibalization problem.”

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March 23, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Luke Presents The Captive Insurance Conundrum Today At Boston College

Luke (2016)Charlene Luke (Florida) presents The Captive Insurance Conundrum at Boston College today as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by James Repetti and Diane Ring:

Premiums paid for insurance covering business or investment assets are deductible, and insurance companies are taxed favorably when compared to other corporations. At the same time, in an income tax system, managing risk by moving money into savings or investment vehicles is not deductible, and any income generated on such savings or investments is taxed to the vehicles’ owner. These alternative tax outcomes have given rise to a strategy for mimicking the benefits of savings or investments while still reducing taxes: Paying insurance premiums to a captive insurance company. In both its prior and current efforts to distinguish abusive captive arrangements from acceptable insurance structures, the central approach of the Internal Revenue Service (Service) has been to attempt to control the definition of “insurance” for tax purposes. This approach has been failing. The courts instead view themselves as the final arbiters of what constitutes “insurance.”

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March 23, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

60 American Law Profs Condemn Anonymous Student For Posting 'All Lives Matter' On Prof's Door

WACampus Reform, American Univ. Profs: Saying ‘All Lives Matter’ Is ‘White Supremacy’:

Dozens of professors from American University’s Washington College of Law (WCL) openly condemned an unknown student as a white supremacist for posting a sign with the catchphrase “All Lives Matter” on a faculty member’s door.

“The ‘All Lives Matter’ sign might seem to be a benign message with no ill intent, but it has become a rallying cry for many who espouse ideas of white supremacy and overt racism, as well as those who do not believe the laws should equally protect those who have a different skin color or religion,” the professors wrote in a statement to the WCL community. ..

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March 23, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (34)

The Best Law Schools For Practical Training

National JuristBest Schools for Practical Training, Nat'l Jurist, p. 22, Spring 2016:

Annually, The National Jurist honors those schools that go above and beyond in preparing law students for the real world in our ranking of Best Law Schools for Practical Training. We look at a number of factors, including which schools have the greatest percentage of students in clinics, externships and simulation courses. We also look at the most robust moot court options.  [Methodology (number of positions filled/number of 2Ls & 3Ls):  Clinics (38%), Externships (24%), Simulations (21%), Additional Offerings (0%), Interschool Competitions (5%).]

Jeffrey Baker witnesses the power of practical training on a daily basis. He's the director of clinical education at Pepperdine University School of Law, which finished 10th on our list, with an A+. "Students are hungry for it," he said.

Top 25

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March 23, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Georgetown Law Prof Files Defamation Grievance Against Dean in Wake Of E-mail Kerfuffle Over Justice Scalia's Death

PellerFollowing up on my previous posts:

Georgetown Law Weekly, Professor Files Defamation Grievance Against Dean in Wake of Scalia E-mails:

On Monday, March 21st, the Law Weekly obtained a Notice of Grievance filed by Law Center Professor Gary Peller [right] against Dean William Treanor with the Georgetown University Grievance Committee.  The Notice of Grievance alleges that Dean Treanor defamed Peller in retaliation for his criticism of Treanor’s public statement issued in the wake of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last month, and demands a public apology and retraction.  The grievance is available in full here.

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March 23, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (10)

DNC Failed To Get 501(c)(3) Exemption For Philadelphia Convention, Putting Donors' Charitable Deductions At Risk

DNC 2New York Post Page Six, DNC Chairman Messed Up Donors’ Taxes:

Ed Rendell, the former mayor of Philadelphia and governor of Pennsylvania, made a mistake that could cost some fellow Democrats big bucks.

Rendell — chairman of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention — failed to obtain 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt status before collecting money, and now his donors can’t get tax deductions on their contributions.

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March 23, 2016 in Political News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Melissa Murray Named Interim Dean Of UC-Berkeley Law School In Wake Of Former Dean's Resignation In Sexual Harassment Scandal

MurrayFollowing up on my previous posts:

Press Release, Melissa Murray Named Interim Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law:

Law professor Melissa Murray has been named interim dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. Her appointment, which begins today, was decided with broad input from Berkeley Law faculty, students, staff, and alumni following the March 10 resignation of former Dean Sujit Choudhry. ...

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March 23, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

IRS Scandal, Day 1049:  6th Circuit Slams IRS Treatment Of Tea Party Group

IRS Logo 2United States v. NorCal Tea Party Patiots, No. 15-3793 (6th Cir. Mar. 22, 2016)

Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address are that an Executive agency has targeted

Yet in this lawsuit the IRS has only compounded the conduct that gave rise to it. The plaintiffs seek damages on behalf of themselves and other groups whose applications the IRS treated in the manner described by the Inspector General. The lawsuit has progressed as slowly as the underlying applications themselves: at every turn the IRS has resisted the plaintiffs’ requests for information regarding the IRS’s treatment of the plaintiff class, eventually to the open frustration of the district court. At issue here are IRS “Be On the Lookout” lists of organizations allegedly targeted for unfavorable treatment because of their political beliefs. Those organizations in turn make up the plaintiff class. The district court ordered production of those lists, and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders. Instead the IRS now seeks from this court a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary remedy reserved to correct only the clearest abuses of power by a district court. We deny the petition.

Citizens for mistreatment based on their political views. No citizen—Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian—should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial: most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own Inspector General for Tax Administration. Those findings include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so-called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called “unnecessary information.” ...

In closing, we echo the district court’s observations about this case. The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws—all of them, not just selective ones—in a manner worthy of the Department’s name. The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition. We expect that the IRS will do better going forward. And we order that the IRS comply with the district court’s discovery orders of April 1 and June 16, 2015—without redactions, and without further delay.  

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March 23, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Kwak Presents Reducing Inequality With A Retrospective Tax On Capital Today At NYU

KwakJames Kwak (Connecticut) presents Reducing Inequality With a Retrospective Tax on Capital, 24 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 191 (2015), at NYU today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Daniel Shaviro and Chris Sanchirico:

Inequality in the developed world is high and growing: in the United States, 1% of the population now owns more than 40% of all wealth. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the economist Thomas Piketty argues that inequality is only likely to increase: invested capital tends to grow faster than the economy as a whole, causing wealth to concentrate in a small number of hands and eventually producing a society dominated by inherited fortunes. The solution he proposes, an annual wealth tax, has been reflexively dismissed even by supporters of his overall thesis, and presents a number of practical difficulties. However, a retrospective capital tax — which imposes a tax on the sale of an asset based on its (imputed) historical values — can reduce the rate of return on investments and thereby slow down the growth of wealth inequality.

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March 22, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Oei Presents The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers Today At Georgetown

OeiShuyi Oei (Tulane) presents The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums (with Diane Ring (Boston College)) at Georgetown today as part of its Tax Law and Public Finance Workshop Series hosted by John Brooks and Itai Grinberg:

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

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March 22, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Minow & Tacha:  U.S. Needs A Government Of Laws, Not People

Boston Globe op-ed:  US Needs a Government of Laws, Not People, by Martha Minow (Dean, Harvard) & Deanell Tacha (Dean, Pepperdine):

Sometimes you don’t value what you have until you experience its absence close up.

We each are deans of law schools; we each have seen, close up, nations without courts independent of political or partisan control. Plagued by conflict and distrust, countries without operating independent judiciaries struggle to earn local and international confidence. In the United States, we see how a fair, impartial, unbiased, and nonpolitical judiciary is central to American justice, permitting economic exchange and peaceful solutions to disagreements. This treasure depends upon the aspiration to maintain a government of laws, not men, focused on each case decided in light of the factual record and not political winds or personal preferences. And this treasure is in jeopardy at the highest level if the Senate refuses even to consider the president’s nominee to be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.

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March 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

Tallahassee Police Release Reports In Hopes Of Generating Fresh Leads In Investigation Of Dan Markel's Murder

MarkelThe Tallahassee Police Department has released five pages of police reports in the investigation of the July 2014 murder of Dan Markel in the hopes of generating fresh leads in the case.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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March 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Law Professor Resigns After Accusations Of Sleeping With Students

RizerAbove the Law, Professor Resigns After Accusations Of Sleeping With Students:

Arthur Rizer, until late last week a professor at West Virginia University College of Law, is a former WVU Law Professor of the Year with a focus on national security law. A retired Lt. Colonel, he served in Fallujah and has a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He’s also a candidate for a Ph.D. in Criminology from Oxford. This all adds up to a rare academic specimen. Last week came the news that Professor Rizer had resigned. ...

While the school is keeping a lot hidden, if the reports we’ve received, then frankly, consensual relationships with adults don’t seem like a big deal. Sure, the conflict of interest of sleeping with someone in your class is deserving of discipline, but, really, in a state where you can marry your sister, is it a fireable offense to hookup with a twenty-something attorney-to-be? Obviously, if there were more serious allegations that would be another matter, but so far we’ve only learned of this more benign brand of misconduct. ... Whether Professor Rizer ever returns to a classroom or goes into the think talk or civilian security advisor world remains to be seen.

March 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

The OECD’s Conquest Of The United States: Understanding The Costs And Consequences Of The BEPS Project And Tax Harmonization

Jason J. Fichtner & Adam N. Michel (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), The OECD’s Conquest of the United States: Understanding the Costs and Consequences of the BEPS Project and Tax Harmonization:

The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) attempts to fundamentally change the international tax system by protecting high-tax states at the expense of economically friendly low-tax states. The OECD is concerned that globalization and increasingly easy movement of capital and labor across borders will undermine the tax bases of its high-tax members. The proposed solution, however, favors consolidated, uniform, and transparent tax rules at the cost of compliance, diminished taxpayer rights, and diminished institutional diversity. Tax policy should remain an area of domestic decision-making, allowing each country to choose a tax system that best fits its unique needs within the global landscape. The international community should be cautious of OECD attempts to eliminate tax competition by consolidating international tax rules. Instead, the United States should lead other countries by reforming its domestic tax code and rejecting many of the BEPS Project’s new rules.

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March 22, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Think Tank Reports | Permalink | Comments (0)

IRS Issues Tax Design Crowdsourcing Challenge

IRSIRS, Tax Design Challenge (more here):

Reimagine the Taxpayer Experience of the Future
Taxpayers have the right to be informed, which includes access to their personal taxpayer data. Many taxpayers, however, might not know where to find this information or how to use it, as much of this information reads like a receipt and can be hard to understand for those who are not finance professionals.

The goal of this challenge is to reimagine the taxpayer experience and design the taxpayer experience of the future. With over 200 data fields at play, how might we design, organize, and present tax information in a way that makes it easier for taxpayers to manage their taxpayer responsibilities, and to use their own taxpayer data to make informed and effective decisions about their personal finances?

When: April 17, 2016, 11AM to 3PM. At this event, you’ll have the opportunity to:

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March 22, 2016 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Michael Cahill (Former Vice Dean, Brooklyn), Ronald Chen (Acting Dean, Rutgers) Named Co-Deans At Rutgers

RutgersPress Release, Noted Legal Education Innovator and Criminal Law Scholar Named Co-dean of Rutgers Law School in Camden:

Michael T. Cahill, a noted criminal law scholar and an experienced law school administrator committed to promoting affordability, public engagement, and student success, was named today as the first permanent co-dean of the Rutgers Law School location in Camden by Phoebe A. Haddon, chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden. The appointment takes effect on July 1.

Cahill will join Ronald Chen as co-deans of Rutgers Law School, New Jersey’s only public law school. In July 2015, the ABA approved the unification of Rutgers’ two legacy law schools to become one Rutgers Law School with locations in Camden and Newark. Chen serves as co-dean in residence at the Rutgers University–Newark campus.

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March 22, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

House Holds Hearing Today On Fundamental Tax Reform Proposals

House LogoThe Subcommittee on Tax Policy of the House Ways & Mean Committee holds a hearing today on Fundamental Tax Reform Proposals:

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, will testify in support of his bill, H.R. 4377, the American Business Competitiveness (ABC) Act of 2015. This proposal would tax a business based on its actual cash-flow instead of its income.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) will discuss the merits of his bill, H.R. 1040, the Flat Tax Act. This proposal gives businesses and individuals the choice to opt-in to a 17% flat tax and to be taxed on a cash-flow basis for business activities.

Rep. Robert Woodall (R-GA) will speak in support of his bill, H.R. 25, the FairTax Act of 2015. This proposal would repeal all federal income, payroll and withholding, and estate and gift taxes. The taxes would be replaced with a national sales tax on gross payments of taxable property or services.

In connection with the hearing, the Joint Committee on Taxation has released Background On Cash-Flow And Consumption-Based Approaches To Taxation (JCX 14-16):

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March 22, 2016 in Congressional News, Gov't Reports, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1048

IRS Logo 2Politico, Garland's Tax Record:

REMEMBER Z STREET? Close followers of the controversy surrounding the IRS’s improper scrutiny of tea party groups certainly do. But you might not know about Merrick Garland’s role in the case.

Garland, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, took the IRS to task and ruled for the conservative pro-Israel group in what our Toby Eckert called “the most notable tax case” Garland saw during his tenure at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The appeals court found last year that Z Street could proceed with a suit asserting that its tax-exempt application received more scrutiny and faced delays because the group didn’t agree with the Obama administration about Israel, in what conservative activists called an opening act to the IRS’s tea party controversy.

For his part, Garland spared no scorn with the IRS’s argument that it had a 270-day cushion protecting it from the suit. "You don't really mean that, right? Because the next couple words would be the IRS is free to discriminate on the basis of viewpoint, religion, race [for 270 days]. You don't actually think that?" Garland said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Imagine the IRS announces today a policy that says as follows: No application by a Jewish group or an African-American group will be considered until one day short of the period under the statute."

The Times of Israel, Garland Previously Blasted IRS Over Case Against Pro-Israel Group:

Merrick Garland may be best known for his work on the Oklahoma City Bombing case, but last year he was one of three judges who blasted the US Internal Revenue Service for trying to squelch information about the Obama administration possibly discriminating against a far right pro-Israel group that was seeking tax exemption status.

The case came to Garland’s court of appeals after a lower court found the IRS could not have a case by Z Street, which was suing and claiming the IRS had discriminated based on the group’s point of view, thrown out.

IRS lawyer Theresa McLaughlin came to court trying to argue that one can’t sue over collection of taxes, but the judges threw it back, citing it was not the point of Z Street’s suit.

When the lawyer tried to argue that Z Street could wait 270 days and then sue, Garland became angry.

“Imagine the IRS announces today a policy that says as follows: No application by a Jewish group or an African-American group will be considered until one day short of the period under the statute… Is it your view that that cannot be challenged,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Z Street case is still going on. If it reaches the Supreme Court, Garland may have a chance to rule on it again.

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March 22, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Kleinbard Presents The New Political Economy Of Capital Income Taxation Today At USC

Kleinbard (2015)Edward Kleinbard (USC) presents The New Political Economy of Capital Income Taxation at USC today as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

The standard view in the U.S. tax law academy remains that capital income taxation is both a poor idea in theory and completely infeasible in practice. But this ignores the first-order importance of political economy issues in the design of tax instruments. Taxing capital income is responsive to important political economy exigencies confronting the United States, including substantial tax revenue shortfalls relative to realistic government spending targets, increasing income and wealth inequality at the top end of distributions, and the surprising persistence of dynastic wealth.

More surprisingly, a flat-rate (proportional) income tax on capital has attractive theoretical and political economy properties that can be harnessed in actual tax instrument design.

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March 21, 2016 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

U.S. News Data:  Law School Costs, Starting Salaries For Grads

8th Circuit Affirms Exotic Dancer's Tax Fraud Sentence, Holds $1.1 Million From Customer Were Payments For Sex, Not Gifts

ExoticUnited States v. Fairchild, No. 14-3517 (8th Cir. Mar. 17, 2016):

In 2009, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Special Agent Daniel Wright opened an investigation on Fairchild and her husband. Agent Wright discovered that Fairchild and her husband had not filed income tax returns since 2004. Agent Wright obtained records from Fairchild's two primary bank accounts dating back to January 1, 2005. These bank records showed that a number of large cashier's checks had been deposited into her accounts. Specifically, there were 37 deposits of checks from David Karlen totaling $1,103,647.84. Fairchild's accounts reflected another six checks totaling $50,000 from Paul Pietz deposited into two main accounts in 2008. The bank records also showed $210,348.39 in total cash deposits from 2005 to 2008.

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March 21, 2016 in New Cases, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Texas A&M Law School Shrinks Entering Class By 42% (To 140), Vaults 38 Spots (To 111) In U.S. News Rankings

Texas A&M Law Logo (2016)Texas Lawyer, Which Texas Law School Zoomed Up in Rankings?:

Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth zoomed up in the 2017 Best Law Schools rankings compiled and made public this week by U.S. News & World Report.

Texas A&M ranked 111th on the list this year, up from 149th the previous year.

Andrew Morriss, dean of the Texas A&M law school, wrote in an email that the school's investment in new faculty (12 hired last year) paid off in its reputation scores, used for the magazine's ranking. The dean also credited for the ranking rise the school's decisions to cut class size over two years from 240 to 140, boost scholarships, and slash tuition by more than 15 percent. "That enabled us to be the fifth most selective school in the country," Morriss wrote.

Fort Worth Star Telegram, Our A&M Law School Climbs in Rankings:

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March 21, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Pressure Builds To Repeal The Estate Tax

Forbes:  Gallup: Most Americans Side With Trump, Cruz To Ditch The Estate Tax, by Ashlea Ebeling:

Most Americans side with Republican presidential candidates, saying they would ditch the federal estate tax, according to a new Gallup poll on reactions to the candidates’ tax proposals. When asked about the proposal to “eliminate the estate tax that is paid when a person dies,” 54% agreed, only 19% disagreed, and 26% said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.

Yet, the other proposal to get majority support in the Gallup poll was Trump’s proposal to “eliminate most federal income tax deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.” For that one, 63% of Americans agreed, 17% disagreed, and 19% said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.

Gallup

Tax-News.com, Pressure On US Senate To Repeal Estate Tax:

A March 15 letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky) from the Family Business Coalition, and signed by more than 100 organizations and business groups in the United States, has called for the US Senate to take action to repeal the estate tax. ...

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March 21, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (7)

After Topping Florida State Law School Again With #48 U.S. News Ranking, University Of Florida's New Dean Sets Sights On #35 Ranking Within 3-5 Years

Florida Logo (GIF)Daily Business Review, Florida Law School Proves to be King of State:

The University of Florida has done it again.

Its law school, one of the oldest and largest in the state, scored highest overall among Florida's law schools on the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of the nation's law schools.

UF landed in 48th place, two spots ahead of its top rival, Florida State University. This is the second consecutive year UF took the number one spot, stealing it from Florida State two years ago.

UF law dean Laura Ann Rosenbury, who took over this year, was pleased but nowhere near satisfied with the score, which was down one from last year. "I still think we are undervalued as far our overall score, and I'm going to work hard to make sure we move up the national rankings," Rosenbury said, adding she hopes to move to the mid 30s within three to five years. Boosting the school's ranking was one of the goals she listed in her job interview with UF, she said. ...

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March 21, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

Brooks:  The Missing Tax Benefit Of Donor-Advised Funds

John R. Brooks (Georgetown), The Missing Tax Benefit of Donor-Advised Funds, 150 Tax Notes 1013 (Feb. 29, 2016):

Donor-advised funds are often billed, by both their critics and advocates, as providing a preferred from of charitable donation relative to typical giving. This is because the tax law allows for a full deduction of the money or property contributed to the fund in the year of the contribution, even if the money does not go to operating charities until a future year.

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March 21, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Alternative Non-J.D. Revenue Sources For Law Schools:  Is A 40% University Tax 'Typical'?

LLM 2Jose Gabilondo (Florida International), Business Model Changes at Law Schools:

Law schools are experimenting with ways to diversify revenue in response to declining state support and tuition shortfalls, including those caused by smaller entering classes. This report [Alternative Revenue Generation Practices for Law Schools] reviews the range of things that schools have done. A common strategy has been to supplement the juris doctorate degree with other programs. This one [Alternative Non-JD Programming for Law Schools] does a good job of surveying these programs.

Jason Yackee (Wisconsin):

[At the Wisconsin of Wisconsin Law School,] any "extra" income a campus unit generated would just find its way into the state (or University) coffers; units didn't get to "keep" the new money. The obvious effect is to disincentivize entrepreneurial activity. Even where a law school does get to keep "new" money, it may have to pay a hefty "tax" to central campus; I understand that 20% would be very much on the low end; maybe 40% would be more typical. Once you take account of a University "tax", the economics of the most obvious money-raisers (e.g. LLM programs) looks a lot less promising. It takes *a lot* of LLM students to generate a meaningful amount of $$ when you face a large University tax.

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March 21, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1047

IRS Logo 2USA Today op-ed:  How David Brooks Created Donald Trump, by Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee):

Last week, in assessing the rise of Donald Trump, New York Times columnist David Brooks engaged in an uncharacteristic bit of self-reflection. ... Brooks is, of course, horrified at Trump and his supporters, whom he finds childish, thuggish and contemptuous of the things that David Brooks likes about today’s America. It’s clear that he’d like a social/political revolution that was more refined, better-mannered, more focused on the Constitution and, well, more bourgeois as opposed to in-your-face and working class.

The thing is, we had that movement. It was the Tea Party movement. ... One of the most famous things about the Tea Partiers was that — as befits a relentlessly bourgeois protest movement — they left things cleaner than they found them. ...

Yet the tea party movement was smeared as racistdenounced as fascist, harassed with impunity by the IRS and generally treated with contempt by the political establishment — and by pundits like Brooks, who declared "I'm not a fan of this movement." After handing the GOP big legislative victories in 2010 and 2014, it was largely betrayed by the Republicans in Congress, who broke their promises to shrink government and block Obama’s initiatives.

So now we have Trump instead, who tells people to punch counterprotesters instead of picking up their trash.

When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly. Brooks closes his Trump column with Psalm 73, but a more appropriate verse is Hosea 8:7 "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” Trump’s ascendance is a symptom of a colossal failure among America’s political leaders, of which Brooks’ mean-spirited insularity is only a tiny part. God help us all.

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March 21, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Good Samaritan Tax Lawyer: The Blessing of Taxes

SamaritanJim Burklo (Associate Dean of Religious Life, USC), The Good Samaritan Tax Lawyer: The Blessing of Taxes:

A lawyer whose specialty was tax avoidance for rich clients and corporations stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who happened to be a tax lawyer, came near him while traveling; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’

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March 20, 2016 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (8)

Former UC-Berkeley Dean Obtained Appointment Of Provost To Law School Faculty While Provost Was Investigating Sexual Harassment Claim Against Him

UC Berkeley Primary Logo Berkeley BlueFollowing up on my previous posts:

Los Angeles Times, UC Berkeley Chancellor Defends Provost Under Fire in Sexual Harassment Case:

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks defended the campus provost Friday, saying concerns that he imposed lenient sanctions in a sexual harassment case in exchange for a faculty appointment at the law school were completely unfounded. "This is absolutely untrue," Dirks said in a statement regarding Provost Claude Steele's action in the case.

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March 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Top 5 Tax Paper Downloads

SSRN LogoThere is quite a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new #1 paper and new papers debuting on the list at #3, #4, and #5:

  1. [397 Downloads]  What Now? A Boomer's Baedeker for the Distribution Phase of Defined Contribution Retirement Plans, by Richard Kaplan (Illinois)
  2. [382 Downloads]  Uncle Sam Wants … Who? A Global Perspective on Citizenship Taxation, by Allison Christians (McGill)
  3. [263 Downloads]  Lexisnexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance: Chapter 1, by Willliam Byrnes (Texas A&M) & Robert J. Munro (Texas A&M)
  4. [207 Downloads]  The Tax Lives of Uber Drivers: Evidence from Internet Discussion Forums, by Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane) & Diane M. Ring (Boston College)
  5. [193 Downloads]  Taxing Wealth Seriously, by Edward J. McCaffery (USC)

March 20, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Former Washburn Law Student At Center Of New Kansas Freedom Of Religion Law

Washburn LogoKSNT, Mormon Scolded by Christian Group Is at Center of Kansas Law:

Daniel Arkell was leading a Bible study for a Christian group at Washburn University Law School in Kansas back in 2004 when the group’s president reprimanded him for saying that people’s eyes offer a glimpse into their souls. Arkell, who is a Mormon, was asked to sign a statement recognizing the Bible, not the Book of Mormon, as the word of God.

He refused, and the organization temporarily lost its public funding after Arkell complained to the dean. That led to a legal dispute at the center of a proposed law Kansas is expected to enact soon, which would allow such faith-based groups to limit membership to the like-minded.

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March 20, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1046

IRS Logo 2Forbes:  Obama Administration Learned From Lois, Dodging IRS Scandal, by Robert W. Wood:

Deny, stonewall, deny. For a time, the IRS scandal looked serious, enough for heads to roll. But with a dogmatic and unwavering narrative, the administration made it go away. It was aided by Lois Lerner’s refusal to testify, generous bonuses and pension. You have to hand it to the administration for pulling off a tour de force that could have brought a lesser administration down. Disagreeing with any of it can sound like being against recycling.

President Obama always fervently denied there was any IRS problem, not even a smidgen of corruption. Any missteps were innocent, entirely the fault of bonehead decisions in local IRS offices. On his final Daily Show appearance, the President capped his ‘no targeting’ mantra. There was no targeting. Emails show there was no directive about targeting. Sorry, it turns out some of our emails are missing? Well, hard drives crash. We recycle them–which helps the environment. Besides, liberals got targeted too. There’s no smidgen of corruption. Cash bonuses? Those are unrelated. And the latest in the long line of excuses: it was all the Republicans’ fault.

With all this unwavering devotion to mission, there could be no other conclusion. It was no surprise that the current Justice Department wrote a letter to members of Congress announcing that Lois Lerner will face no criminal charges. If you worried about the email’s sent from Ms. Lerner’s dog’s email account, don’t be, the dog is safe too. The most the DOJ would say was that there was mismanagement down at the IRS. Hey, perhaps some poor judgment, even institutional inertia, but that was it.

Stay on mission. It may have looked like targeting. But the DOJ said there was no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives. Not even Ms. Lerner, despite her history, including at the Federal Election Commission, before she moved on to IRS targeting. Disparate impact on the tea party? That was just mishandling. 

Ms. Lerner was handsomely rewarded while she presided over alleged discrimination against conservative nonprofits. In fact, records revealed that she received $129,000 in bonuses between 2010 and 2013, averaging $43,000 a year—on top of her regular salary. Ms. Lerner came off as a kind of folk hero in the DOJ report, stepping forward to bring this whole issue up! The fact that Ms. Lerner planted and then answered her staged question made her a kind of whistleblower.

President Obama’s testy “not even a smidgen of corruption” remark to was convincing, despite the Government Accountability Office report that internal controls for exempt organization audit selection should be strengthened. The GAO said organizations can be picked for examination in an unfair manner, based on religious, educational, political, or other views. Inconveniently, IRS documents revealed Lois Lerner’s email warning IRS staffers of the pitfalls of revealing too much information to Congress. Forget email, use instant messaging system that automatically deletes. House Oversight Committee documentation suggests that IRS officials used it deliberately to evade public scrutiny. 

Ms. Lerner professed her innocence and then took the Fifth. When she broke her silence to Politico, she said she did nothing wrong, claiming she was the victim. Staying on mission was key, even though Ms. Lerner had met with the DOJ about prosecuting conservative groups. Former IRS Commissioner Shulman testified there was “absolutely no targeting” of conservative or Tea Party organizations. Ms. Lerner admitted targeting, calling it “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

Four days later, on May 14, 2013, the Inspector General issued a report confirming the targeting. Ms. Lerner professed her innocence, then took the Fifth. She was placed on administrative leave, and shortly thereafter retired with full pension. The House held Ms. Lerner in contempt. Only then–on June 13, 2014, did the IRS first say it lost Lerner’s emails from 2009 to 2011, destroying hard drives and backups.

Eventually, the IRS said it spent millions to try to recover them. Republicans were repeatedly accused of wasting money on this, since the IRS was above reproach. The narrative saying the Republicans were just wasting money sure turned out to be right. There was no smidgen of corruption, after all.

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March 20, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

ABA Says New 75% Bar Passage Requirement Is Not Attempt 'To Play Jack Welch, Forcing Law Schools To Fire 10% Of Their People Each Year'

BloombergBloomberg BNA:  New Bar Passage Rates Could Set ABA Up for a Fight, by Blake Edwards:

Law schools face no shortage of challenges today, and the ABA may have just created a new one.

On Monday, the ABA asked for comment on a proposed change to Standard 316, which sets the bar passage rates law schools must maintain to be accredited. Under the proposal, law schools would need to show a 75 percent bar passage rate within two years — rather than the current five-year standard.

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March 19, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Jury Rejects Unsuccessful Faculty Applicant's Age Discrimination Lawsuit Against Iowa Law School

Iowa Logo (2016)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  The Gazette, University of Iowa Wins Second Case Involving Age-Discrimination Accuser:

The University of Iowa, once again, has prevailed in a lawsuit filed by a College of Law applicant accusing the institution of passing him over for a professorship due to his age.

Donald Dobkin, a now 62-year-old immigration and administrative law attorney, first sued the university in 2009 after he didn’t land an interview for a teaching position in 2008, when he was 55. According to that suit, the job went to a younger candidate with inferior qualifications even though administrators said they were impressed with Dobkin’s resume.

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March 19, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The IRS Scandal, Day 1045

IRS Logo 2Forbes:  IRS And Liquor By The Wink, by Peter J. Reilly:

Groucho Marx is supposed to have sent a telegram to a club stating – “Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”  That sentiment is not exactly a tax principle, but it is very akin to one.  The idea is that for an organization to be recognized as a social club exempt under 501(c)(7) belonging to it has to mean something, maybe not much, but something. That was the essence of Private Letter Ruling 201605021.  Private letter rulings are redacted, so I’m going to call “the club” – How Dry I Am (HDIA).

HDIA has some high sounding purposes in its Articles of Incorporation.  It is intended to provide for the social, cultural and civic betterment of its member, support charitable endeavors, provide for recreation and the like and establish and maintain facilities where all this good stuff can go on. That’s the Articles of Incorporation.  It advertises itself a little differently.

HDIA advertises itself as a family restaurant and bar and grill.  The facility is leased from two of its members.  It seems like a pretty convoluted way to run a restaurant, but there is a reason from it.  HDIA is in a dry county where restaurants are not allowed to serve liquor.  Private clubs are another matter.  They can serve liquor to members.  Thus the proliferation of private clubs in dry counties where liquor is served "by the wink." ... The IRS broke HDIA the bad news that it did not qualify as an exempt organization. ...

This little comedy may seem far removed from the interminable IRS scandal now on Day 1043 by TaxProf Count. We privilege not for profit organizations in a variety of ways, not just through federal tax benefits but also by letting them sell liquor, where other cannot, run gambling, or make significant political expenditures without disclosing donors.  There is even an entirely unmerited dose of credibility that organizations get for having achieved exempt status.

Yet we lay the regulation of entities seeking exemption from a variety of rules at the doorstep of our tax collection agency, even when the status has little or no tax significance as was the case with the 501(c)(4) organizations that made up the core scandal and this particular attempt at 501(c)(7) that just wants to serve liquor. ...

In a recent article in Tax Analysts – The IRS’s Multi-Mission Mismatch Problem – Kristin Hickman makes a strong argument for moving Exempt Organization regulation out of the IRS as part of a larger effort to focus it on its core competency.

IRS personnel have tremendous capacity to process and evaluate hundreds of millions of taxpayer filings and collect the taxes owed. But they are not typically social workers, environmental scientists, health policy experts, or First Amendment scholars. Consequently, however talented IRS employees may be at pursuing the IRS’s traditional revenue-raising mission, they may not be as good at addressing the needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged persons, promoting new sources of energy, remaking the healthcare system, or recognizing when administrative decisions implicate politically sensitive values like freedom of speech or religion.

Perhaps Congress could spin off exempt organization determinations and monitoring wholesale and have the responsible agency just provide the IRS with a list of approved entities. If the IRS suspects a problem with a particular entity, it could refer the matter back to the responsible agency.

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March 19, 2016 in IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tax Notes Symposium:  The Future Of Tax Administration

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March 18, 2016 in Conferences, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Tax Roundup

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Weekly SSRN Tax Roundup

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March 18, 2016 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Student Tax Note Roundup

2017 U.S News Law School Rankings:  Average Student Debt

2017 U.S. News LogoFollowing up on my posts (links below) on the 2017 U.S. News Law School Rankings:  Matt Leichter, Record 16 Law Schools Didn’t Report 2015 Graduate Debt to U.S. News:

[F]or some reason U.S. News didn’t rank law schools by debt, generously offering me an opportunity to do so in its stead. Each year U.S. News lists the amount of debt law schools’ recent graduates took out. Importantly, the figure excludes accrued interest, which can be quite considerable. However, these figures are probably the best estimate of the cost of attendance at a particular law school, presented in a comparable form. The ABA does not publicize graduate debt in the 509 information reports, making U.S. News an unfortunately necessary source.

Here are the 25 law schools with the highest amount of average law school debt (among those students with law school debt).

# SCHOOL 2014 DEBT 2015 DEBT PCT. CHANGE
1. Thomas Jefferson 172,445 172,726 0.2%
2. Columbia 154,076 168,627 9.4%
3. New York University 147,744 166,022 12.4%
4. San Francisco 154,321 162,434 5.3%
5. John Marshall (Chicago) 143,518 162,264 13.1%
6. California Western 151,197 162,260 7.3%
7. New York Law School 166,622 161,910 -2.8%
8. Florida Coastal 162,785 160,942 -1.1%
9. Georgetown 150,529 160,606 6.7%
10. American 159,316 160,274 0.6%
11. Vermont 156,713 156,710 0.0%
12. Miami 143,845 155,796 8.3%
13. Northwestern 163,065 155,796 -4.5%
14. Tulane 140,965 153,606 9.0%
15. Harvard 137,599 149,754 8.8%
16. Pacific, McGeorge 140,517 149,470 6.4%
17. Fordham 140,577 149,058 6.0%
18. Pepperdine 145,525 148,959 2.4%
19. Widener (Commonwealth)   148,496  
20. Whittier 151,602 148,316 -2.2%
21. Loyola (CA) 147,701 148,035 0.2%
22. Virginia 132,182 146,907 11.1%
23. Charleston 147,031 146,230 -0.5%
24. California-Berkeley 143,546 144,981 1.0%
25. Pennsylvania 130,002 144,153 10.9%

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March 18, 2016 in Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (9)

The Cost Of Legal Scholarship:  3 Law Review Articles = 1 Habitat For Humanity House

HabitatJeffrey Harrison (Florida), The Cost of Scholarship (and Peeps):

In an article I wrote with Dean Amy Mashburn [Citations, Justifications, and the Troubled State of Legal Scholarship: An Empirical Study, 3 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 45 (2015)] we estimated that $240 million a year is spent on legal scholarship. ... There are about 8000 law review articles published every year. That means about $30,000 per article. ...

But let's play with the 240 million and 8000 and 30,000 per article. I read the other day that the  average Habitat for Humanity House costs $85K. So the tab for legal scholarship is equal to 2800 houses per year for the less affluent. Yes, that would be just less that three law review articles. There may be three law review articles out there that are worth a house for a relatively poor person. In fact, I bet there are. None of mine are and I have a hunch that goes for about 80% or more of the articles written.

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March 18, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (8)

Why Has Yale Beaten Harvard In The U.S. News Law School Rankings For 22 Consecutive Years?

Harvard YaleBusiness Insider, Yale Law Has Beaten Harvard for the Past 22 years in US News Rankings — And It's a Complete Mystery Why:

On Wednesday, US News & World Report released its annual ranking of top law schools. Yale Law took the highest award as the No. 1 law school in the country.

This makes Yale Law the reigning champion every single year US News has rated law schools based on data metrics. "Yale has been No. 1 every year since 1994. US News may have published law rankings before that based only on reputation, but our data team doesn’t have rankings that go back further," Sophia Sherry, communications and PR coordinator at US News, told Business Insider.

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March 18, 2016 in Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (7)

Merritt:  Improving Bar Passage

Deborah Jones Merritt (Ohio State), Improving Bar Passage:

Scott Johns, Professor of Practice and Director of the Bar Success Program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, has posted a thoughtful empirical analysis of the college’s bar preparation program [Empirical Reflections: A Statistical Evaluation of Bar Exam Program Interventions, 54 U. Louisville L. Rev. 267 (2016)]. Johns analyzed 642 students who graduated from the college in 2008–2010 and then immediately sat for the Colorado bar exam. He knew the exam score for each graduate, rather than simply pass-fail status, which allowed for a particularly nuanced analysis. Using multiple linear regression, Johns found the following associations with bar exam score:

  • Law school GPA showed the strongest association. An increase of one point in GPA was associated, on average, with an increase of 46.5 points in bar exam score.
  • LSAT score was the next strongest predictor. A one-point increase on the LSAT correlated with a 1.1 point increase in bar exam score.
  • Participation in two of the college’s bar success programs each correlated with higher bar exam scores. A third program did not show a significant correlation.
  • Neither sex nor minority status correlated significantly with bar exam scores.
  • Age correlated negatively with bar exam scores; on average, older students achieved lower scores.
  • Participation in the college’s part-time program likewise correlated significantly with lower bar exam scores.

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March 18, 2016 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)