Paul L. Caron

Monday, August 15, 2022

Ordower: Block Rewards, Carried Interests, And Other Valuation Quandaries In Taxing Compensation

Henry Ordower (St. Louis; Google Scholar), Block Rewards, Carried Interests, and Other Valuation Quandaries in Taxing Compensation, 175 Tax Notes Fed. 1551 (June 6, 2022):

Tax Notes (2021)In this article, Ordower contextualizes block rewards litigation with historical failures to tax compensation income paid in kind. Tax fairness principles demand current taxation of the noneconomically diluting block rewards’ market value.

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August 15, 2022 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Legal Ed News Roundup

Assaf Harpaz Joins Drexel As A Tax VAP

Assaf Harpaz has joined Drexel Kline School of Law as a Visiting Assistant Professor:

HarpazHis principal areas of interest include tax policy and international taxation. His prior publications include Tax Policy and COVID-19: An Argument for Targeted Crisis Relief, forthcoming in the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and Taxation of the Digital Economy: Adapting a Twentieth Century Tax System to a Twenty-First-Century Economy, published in the Yale Journal of International Law in 2021.

Professor Harpaz earned his LLB from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law. He earned his LLM in International Taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and his SJD from Duke University School of Law. He was also a Nathan J. Perilman Fellow at the Duke Center for Jewish Studies. Before coming to the U.S., Professor Harpaz practiced commercial law in Israel.

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August 15, 2022 in Fellowships & VAPs, Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

Tenured-Terminations, 2000-2021

Deepa Das Acevedo (Alabama; Google Scholar), Tenured-Terminations:

The debate over faculty tenure has proceeded despite a glaring absence of data on tenure’s real-world operations as an employment practice. I use an original, manually-assembled dataset of “tenured-terminations” from 2000 to 2021 to offer a first look into the landscape of tenured employment via instances where tenure was overcome. The data show reveal remarkable patterns in the demographics and circumstances of tenured-terminations. The data also trouble assumptions about the misuse of academic freedom by illuminating the narratives and counternarratives advanced by the universities and faculty who are involved in tenured-terminations. These findings have implications for supporters and critics of tenure alike.

Tenured-Terminations by Race:

Tenured-Terminations by Age:

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August 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: Taxpayer Could Not Prove His Way Out Of §162(f)

Camp (2021)The basic rule is simple: the taxpayer bears the burden of proof.  That is, all income is gross income unless the taxpayer proves a statutory entitlement to an exclusion; and no expenditure is deductible unless the taxpayer proves a statutory entitlement to a deduction.

Complexity comes in the statutes that allow exclusions and deductions.  But the basic burden does not change: it is ultimately the taxpayer who must persuade either the IRS or the Tax Court of their entitlement to the exclusion or deduction claimed.

Clement Ziroli and Dawn M. Ziroli v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2022-75 (July 14, 2022) (Judge Nega), shows us how the burden of persuasion applies in the complexity of a deduction statute.  There, the taxpayer sought to deduct an expenditure that was allowed by §162(a) but might or might not be disallowed by the §162(f) prohibition of deductions for penalties.  The taxpayer was unable to persuade the Tax Court that the expenditure was not a penalty.  He could not prove the negative.  Hence, no deduction.

The lesson relates back to the idea we looked at last week: the ambiguity of penalties.  Here, that ambiguity worked against the taxpayer because of the burden of persuasion.  Details below the fold. 

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August 15, 2022 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (5)

The Politics Of Bar Admission: Lessons From The Pandemic

Leslie C. Levin (Connecticut; Google Scholar), The Politics of Bar Admission: Lessons from the Pandemic, 50 Hofstra L. Rev. 81 (2021):

The controversy over how and whether to administer the July 2020 bar examination during the COVID-19 pandemic upended the usual process of lawyer regulation. New actors—including bar applicants—very publicly challenged regulators’ decisions and questioned the safety and fairness of plans for the bar exam. Some advocated for emergency admission without the need to satisfy the bar examination requirement. Joined by law school deans and faculty, the advocacy occurred against the backdrop of the politicization of COVID-19, street protests over police misconduct and racial inequality, and long-standing skepticism about the value and fairness of the bar exam. Regulators throughout the United States reached very different decisions about how to proceed.

Bar Exam

This article uses eight case studies of states’ responses to explore why these differences occurred. They reveal how a state’s political culture and political attitudes toward the pandemic seemingly informed some regulators’ responses.

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August 15, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, August 14, 2022

NY Times Op-Ed: A Model For An Evangelical Christianity Committed To Justice

New York Times Op-Ed:  A Model for an Evangelical Christianity Committed to Justice, by Tish Harrison Warren (Priest, Anglican Church; Author, Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep (2021) (Christianity Today's 2022 Book of the Year)):

Warren 3HIn my first couple years of college I had a minor crisis of faith. I had grown up going to a large Southern church that prided itself on preaching the Gospel, but leaders there did not talk much about systemic injustice or economic disparity. I was taking a class on poverty in the United States and another course taught by an avowed socialist passionately committed to radical politics. I was volunteering with a ministry that worked with undocumented immigrants and among the economically disadvantaged. I felt increasingly disconnected from my evangelical community on issues of nonviolence and social and economic justice.

One night, feeling frustrated and cynical, I walked into a bookstore and stumbled on a book titled Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity by Ronald J. Sider, which argues that vast global wealth inequality is a moral failure resulting from systems of oppression and sin. I didn’t know it at the time, but this book, which was first published in 1978, is considered a classic. In 2006, it was listed at No. 7 in The Top 50 Books that Have Shaped Evangelicals by the flagship evangelical magazine Christianity Today and has sold 400,000 copies in nine languages.

The book changed my life — probably not as much as it should have. Its call to generosity is something I still wrestle with and need to grow toward, even now. But more than the particular contents of the book, what discovering Sider offered me was hope that there was a movement of Christians who cared deeply about the Bible and also about the Bible’s call to seek justice here on Earth. Sider introduced me to an entire world of Christians whose passion for God defies political and cultural categories.

Sider died last month at 82 and as I’ve read tributes to his work, I find myself grateful for his legacy and struck by how his countercultural voice remains vital and important even now. Christianity Today described Sider as the burr in “‘the ethical saddle’ of the white evangelical horse.” ...

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August 14, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Justice Alito's Keynote Address At Notre Dame's Religious Liberty Summit In Rome

Following up on my previous post, Notre Dame Dean Marcus Cole's Address In Rome On Religious Liberty:  Notre Dame News, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Delivers Keynote Address at 2022 Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit in Rome:

The Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative hosted the 2022 Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit in Rome last week to highlight that freedom of religion or belief is a global issue.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito — who delivered the keynote address at the Religious Liberty Summit’s gala dinner on Thursday, July 21 — noted that the Roman setting also brought to mind how religious freedom has been challenged and championed throughout history.

“I find myself thinking about the proud civilization that was centered here two millennia ago,” Alito said near the beginning of his remarks.

“As I think back, I also think ahead, and I wonder what historians may say centuries from now about the contribution of the United States to world civilization,” he said. “One thing I hope they will say is that our country, after a lot of fits and starts, and ups and downs, eventually showed the world that it is possible to have a stable and successful society in which people of diverse faiths live and work together harmoniously and productively while still retaining their own beliefs. This has been truly an historic accomplishment.”

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August 14, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Faith, Forgiveness, And Little League Baseball

Following up on my posts on the power of forgiveness (links below):  Deseret News, Think There’s No Crying in Baseball? Then Don’t Watch This Viral Little League Moment:

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August 14, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

The Top Five New Tax Papers

This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list. The #1 paper is #923 among 16,951 tax papers in all-time downloads:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[674 Downloads]  Tax Administration and Technology: From Enhanced to No-Cooperation?, by João Félix Pinto Nogueira (Catholic University Portugal & IBFD; Google Scholar)
  2. [342 Downloads]  Congress Takes Its War On Cash To Digital Assets: Understanding Tax Code Section 6050I, by Abraham Sutherland (Virginia; Google Scholar)
  3. [329 Downloads]  The Treatment of Tax Incentives under Pillar Two, by Belisa Ferreira Liotti (Google Scholar), Joy Waruguru Ndubai, Ruth Wamuyu, Ivan Lazarov (Google Scholar) & Jeffrey Owens (all of Vienna University of Economics and Business)
  4. [275 Downloads]  Preventing Unacceptable Tax Treaty Overrides, by Craig Elliffe (Auckland; Google Scholar)
  5. [247 Downloads]  Would the Securing a Strong Retirement Act Secure More Retirement Equity?, by Albert Feuer (Law Offices of Albert Feuer, New York; Google Scholar)

August 14, 2022 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink

Saturday, August 13, 2022

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Deans' Advice To The Law School Class Of 2025, Self-Care, Time Management and Typing Skills: How (and How Not) to Prepare for Law School:

Class of 2025First-day-of-school jitters can happen no matter how old you are, but for those about to start law school, the anxiety can be particularly intense.

So how does one prepare to enter the unknown of law school? Turns out, there are several schools of thought on that topic. gathered tips from interviews with law deans and from discussions on social media in an effort to help new law students prepare for the journey ahead. ...

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August 13, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Stanford Law Profs' Son — A 'Vegan Crypto Billionaire' Megadonor — Seeks To Change Washington, D.C.

Following up on my previous post, Stanford Law Profs' Son Is A 'Vegan Crypto Billionaire':  Los Angeles Times, A Young Crypto Billionaire’s Political Agenda Goes Well Beyond Pandemic Preparedness:

Joe Barbara SamIn May, an eccentric 30-year-old cryptocurrency billionaire named Sam Bankman-Fried made a startling proclamation. In a podcast interview, Bankman-Fried said he would spend as much as $1 billion of his estimated $12.8-billion fortune on American politics by the 2024 election, joining the ranks of megadonors such as George Soros and the Koch brothers.

At the time, Bankman-Fried, raised in the Bay Area by two Stanford law professors, was far from a household name. FTX, the crypto exchange he founded and runs, makes most of its money overseas, and was perhaps best known in America for buying the naming rights for the Miami Heat’s arena.

In Washington, though, Bankman-Fried — known as SBF online — has become a familiar sight on Capitol Hill, meeting with lawmakers, chatting with aides and testifying before congressional committees.

This week, an FTX ad featuring a giant image of the mop-topped billionaire graced a billboard in D.C.'s Union Station, towering over Hill staffers on their way to work. (Bankman-Fried’s famous hair, which makes him look even younger than his years, is available for purchase as an NFT.) And he has opened his pockets as promised, giving at least $34 million to political candidates and causes since January. ...

Bankman-Fried is the largest donor to Protect Our Future, a super PAC focused on advancing Democrats who “will be champions for pandemic prevention — candidates who, when elected, will have their eyes on the future,” according to its website. He has donated $27 million of POF’s $28 million total raised. His younger brother, Gabe, is the founder and director of the Guarding Against Pandemics, a super PAC which has raised $362,000. Bankman-Fried donated just $5,000, according to FEC records. ...

Bankman-Fried can afford to spend a lot more: The $34 million he’s handed out so far this year amounts to only 0.26% of his reported $12.8-billion net worth. “I think that there are, in some ways, surprisingly little money in politics,” he said in the podcast back in May.

Politico, How the Newest Megadonor Wants to Change Washington:

Sam Bankman-Fried has a big fortune and big plans for how to spend it — including an unusual political power-building strategy.

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August 13, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink

Millennial Leadership In Law Schools: Essays On Disruption, Innovation, And The Future

Millennial Leadership in Law Schools: Essays on Disruption, Innovation, and the Future (Ashley Krenelka Chase (Stetson; Google Scholar), ed. 2021):

Millenial Leadership 3This book explores the role millennials will play—as faculty, administrators, or staff members—in shaping the future of legal education, and what the academy can do to embrace the millennial generation as colleagues, not students.

Section I brings together chapters that focus on the culture of law schools, and the need to embrace a new, forward-thinking and innovative way of defining what law schools are and do and how we educate students. The chapters in Section II focus on relationships: the relationships millennials in the academy have with ourselves, our institutions, and the community. Section III includes chapters that detail how Millennial leaders work in the classroom, how they use things like feedback and assessment to change the dynamic in the classroom and to innovate law school pedagogy to educate well-rounded lawyers. Section IV is an essential read for anyone who spends time thinking about the current legal economy and law schools’ roles in educating practice-ready lawyers. Finally, Section V includes chapters on change. Legal education has no choice but to evolve, and these authors present ideas on how to embrace millennial ideology to do just that.

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August 13, 2022 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, August 12, 2022

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Layser Reviews Opportunity Zones: A Program In Search Of A Purpose By Eldar & Garber

This week, Michelle Layser (San Diego; Google Scholar) reviews Ofer Eldar (Duke; Google Scholar) and Chelsea Garber (J.D. 2023, Duke), Opportunity Zones: A Program in Search of a Purpose, 102 B.U. L. Rev. 1397 (2022).

Layser (2018)

When I give talks about place-based tax incentives, the discussion nearly always turns to an important question: What is the purpose of providing tax breaks for investment in low-income communities? Or, more directly, am I sure that the purpose of these laws is to benefit low-income residents? My answer: Not really (see here), but they tend to be sold as such, so it’s worth thinking about how they could be designed to advance that purpose. (Some of my thoughts about that are set forth in How Place-Based Tax Incentives Can Reduce Geographic Inequality, 74 Tax L. Rev. 1 (2020)).

That said, it is overwhelmingly clear that most place-based tax incentives are not designed to benefit low-income communities, and they may even harm them. 

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August 12, 2022 in Michelle Layser, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Biden Administration

Price Of Law School Hits New High At Columbia ($110,450), With Others Close Behind

Reuters, Price of Law School Hits New High at Columbia, With Others Close Behind:

Columbia (2017)A degree from Columbia Law School opens doors to lucrative law firm jobs, but attending the highly ranked law school in expensive New York City comes with a hefty price tag.

Columbia now pegs its cost of attendance at $110,450 for the current academic year, appearing to beat the estimate of any other law school. The figure includes the Manhattan law school’s $75,572 tuition, plus living expenses and various university fees.

That means a Columbia law student could spend more than $330,000 to complete their three-year degree.

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August 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Blue J: Accurate Financial Recordkeeping And Business Deductions

Benjamin Alarie (Osler Chair in Business Law, University of Toronto; CEO, Blue J Legal) & Kathrin Gardhouse (Legal Research Associate, Blue J Legal), Situational Awareness: Accurate Financial Recordkeeping and Business Deductions, 176 Tax Notes Fed. 713 (Aug. 1, 2022):

Tax Notes Federal (2022)In this article, Alarie and Gardhouse explore the Tax Court decision in Skolnick [v. CommissionerT.C. Memo. 2021-139 (Dec. 16, 2021)], which emphasizes the importance of keeping accurate financial records for activities that may be subject to IRS scrutiny regarding their business nature.

The Tax Court decision in Skolnick emphasizes the importance of keeping accurate financial records of activities that may be subject to IRS scrutiny regarding their business nature. Whether this is the case can be most easily determined with a machine-learning tool such as Blue J’s section 162 trade or business predictor.

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August 12, 2022 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

WSJ: Chinese Student Visas To U.S. Plunge 50% From Pre Pandemic Levels, Imperiling University Finances

Wall Street Journal, Chinese Student Visas to U.S. Tumble From Prepandemic Levels:

The number of U.S. student visas issued to Chinese nationals plunged by more than 50% in the first half of 2022 compared with pre-Covid levels, with the U.S. losing ground as the most-coveted place for Chinese students to pursue higher education abroad.

Even before the pandemic, Chinese students were shifting their study-abroad sights elsewhere, driven by doubts about whether they would feel welcome in the U.S. and the emergence of more domestic and international alternatives. Travel restrictions and heightened safety concerns during the pandemic accelerated that decline.

In the first six months of 2022, the U.S. issued 31,055 F-1 visas to Chinese nationals, down from 64,261 for the same period in 2019, according to data from the U.S. State Department. The drop has hit revenue at big and small colleges and universities around the country, including state flagships.


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August 12, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Shaviro Reviews Rebellion, Rascals, And Revenue: Tax Follies And Wisdom Through The Ages

Daniel Shaviro (NYU; Google Scholar), Tell Me a Tax Story (JOTWELL) (reviewing Michael Keen (IMF) & Joel Slemrod (Michigan; Google Scholar), Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages (Princeton University Press 2021)) (reviewed by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar), Steven Bank (UCLA; Google Scholar), and Frank Colella (Pace)):

RebellionAs the saying ought to go, those who forget history are doomed to miss out on a lot of great stories. In Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages, Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod do their formidable best to save us from this dire fate. They also amply fulfill their aim of proving the truth of their opening quotation, from H.L. Mencken, to the effect that taxation is not just “eternally lively” but of greater interest than “either smallpox or golf.”

Keen and Slemrod are also so impressively comprehensive in their self-set task of combing thousands of years of history, across multiple continents, for enjoyable or illuminating tax anecdotes that I started to take it as a challenge. I read a lot of history books on the side. So, could I think of stories worth including that they had left out?

This did not go so well. Taxes as the subject of the Rosetta Stone? Check. Window taxes, salt taxes, beard taxes, and taxes on bachelors? Of course. Classic-era British rock lyrics complaining about high taxes? Everyone knows about the Beatles in “Taxman,” but what about the Who in “Success Story”? Or the Kinks in “Sunny Afternoon”? Yes, they have all three. ...

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August 11, 2022 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

The ABA Should Be Required To Disclose Law School Accreditation Information

Henry Webb (Palm Beach Atlantic), Patrick Baker (Tennessee; Google Scholar) & Kaleb Byars (J.D. 2021, Tennessee), Accreditation Information Produced by United States Law Schools to the American Bar Association Should be Made Available to the Public From Both Law and Policy Perspectives, 34 Loy. U. Chi. Consumer L. Rev. 79 (2021):

ABA Legal Ed (2021)This article argues that, from a legal perspective, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) is the functional equivalent of a government agency and so is subject to the United States Freedom of Information Act. Under Soucie v. David and related cases, the fact that the ABA has the final decision-making authority to decide whether a United States law school is or is not to be accredited renders it the functional equivalent of a government agency, and the ABA’s refusal to make available to the public the voluminous amount of important information produced to the ABA by law schools going through the accreditation and accreditation review processes is illegal and would not likely survive a challenge in court.

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August 11, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Emory Seeks To Hire 1-2 Entry Level Or Lateral Tax Profs

Emory University Careers, Tax Law Professor (Open Rank):

Emory Law (2018)Emory University School of Law seeks to fill one to two positions in tax law beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year. The positions are open to entry-level and lateral candidates at the rank of assistant or associate professor (with or without tenure).

Candidates must have a J.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree, and a distinguished academic record. Candidates should have a strong track record and/or show outstanding promise in research in tax law or related fields, and the ability to teach at least one tax course. Where a candidate has met the law school’s standards for scholarly excellence and demonstrated the ability to teach tax-related courses, a candidate’s interest in teaching in the 1L curriculum will be an additional positive factor.

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August 11, 2022 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Jobs | Permalink

What Do Law Professors Believe About Law And The Legal Academy?

Eric Martínez (Graduate Student, MIT) & Kevin Tobia (Georgetown; Google Scholar), What Do Law Professors Believe about Law and the Legal Academy? An Empirical Inquiry:

Legal theorists seek to persuade other jurists of certain theories: Textualism or purposivism; formalism or realism; natural law theory or positivism; prison reform or abolition; universal or particular human rights? Despite voluminous literature about these debates, tremendous uncertainty remains about which views experts endorse. This Article presents the first-ever empirical study of American law professors about legal theory questions. A novel dataset of over six hundred law professors reveals expert consensus and dissensus about dozens of longstanding legal theory debates.

Law professors also debate questions about the nature of the legal academy. Descriptively, which subjects (e.g. constitutional law) and methods (e.g. law & economics) are most central within the legal academy today? And prescriptively, should today’s legal academy prioritize additional areas (e.g. legislation) or methods (e.g. critical race theory)? There is great interest in these questions but no empirical dataset of experts’ views; this results in uncertainty about which views experts endorse. This Article’s empirical study also clarifies these questions, documenting law professors’ evaluation of over one-hundred areas of law.

Top 10

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August 11, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

The Tax Treatment Of The Metaverse Economy And The Potential For A New Offshore Tax Haven

Jeffrey Owens & Nathalia Oliveira Costa (Vienna University of Economics & Business), The Tax Treatment of the Metaverse Economy and the Potential for a New Offshore Tax Haven, 176 Tax Notes Fed. 657 (Aug. 1, 2022):

Tax Notes Federal (2022)In this article, Owens and Oliveira Costa consider how the development of the metaverse, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens could fundamentally change established tax concepts and the way tax compliance functions.

Future Research
The metaverse, with its unimaginable potential, will continue to be the subject of a complex and wide-ranging discussion. Virtual worlds are still part of our physical world and, as such, they must be subject to laws, taxes, and rules. This article merely scratches the surface of some of the metaverse’s tax challenges, and there are more questions than answers.

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August 11, 2022 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Trailblazing And Living A Purposeful Life In The Law: A Dakota Woman’s Reflections As A Law Professor

Angelique EagleWoman (Mitchell|Hamline; Google Scholar), Trailblazing and Living a Purposeful Life in the Law: A Dakota Woman’s Reflections as a Law Professor, 51 Sw. U. L. Rev. 227 (2022):

SWThis Essay is a reflection from my perspective as a Dakota woman law professor on my fifth law school faculty. In the illuminating work of Meera Deo, light is shone on the experience of women of color legal academics. Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia is a book that should be required reading at every law school. As women of color are faculty members in every law school in the United States, the research, analysis, and recommendations tailored to the experience of women of color law faculty should be a priority topic in those same law schools. As a Native American woman law professor, my experience and journey in legal academia resonate with many of the topics in this important work.

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August 11, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Tax Lawyer Publishes New Issue

The Tax Lawyer has published Vol. 75, No. 4 (Summer 2022):

August 10, 2022 in ABA Tax Section, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation In Law School And Legal Profession

Ahmuan Williams (J.D. 2023, Oklahoma), A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation in Law School and Legal Profession:

Diversity in the legal profession does not have to be a myth, but we have to put in the effort to do it. A Supreme Dilemma: Admissions v. Representation in Law School and Legal Profession gives you an idea of the challenges and history of being a minority in the legal profession created exclusively for white men. This paper examines affirmative action and its need to diversify the legal profession. It starts by examining the controversies in diversity and the legal profession. Then it acknowledges the positive impacts of diversity initiatives in the legal profession. It concludes by recommending that we adopt long-term diversity initiatives through our state constitutions, amendments, and education.

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August 10, 2022 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Cato: IRS Funding Hypocrisy In The Inflation Reduction Act

Chris Edwards (Cato Institute), Senate Bill: IRS Funding Hypocrisy:

The Senate’s Inflation Reduction Act includes an $80 billion increase in the Internal Revenue Service budget over a decade, which would roughly double the agency’s budget by 2031. ...

Senators supporting the bill talk about “tax cheats” and “closing tax loopholes.” But this is a huge hypocrisy. The Senate bill itself creates new loopholes and tax breaks, and complicated breaks drive noncompliance with the tax system. The Senate bill would expand a slew of special‐​interest credits and other breaks within a $370 billion orgy of green subsidies and corporate welfare.

This chart illustrates the relationship between politicians and special‐​interest tax breaks:


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August 10, 2022 in Tax, Tax News | Permalink

Tax Prof Rankings By H-Index Since 2017 (Google Scholar)

Google Scholar (2015)Brian Leiter recently ranked the Top 75 law professors by citations as measured by Google Scholar H-Index All. Only two tax professors ranked in the Top 75:  Alan Auerbach (#8; UC-Berkeley) and James Hines (#24; Michigan). As Brian notes, many law professors do not have Google Scholar pages and citation counts vary by field. For more on the use of Google Scholar to measure law professor scholarly influence, see Gary Lucas (Texas A&M), Measuring Scholarly Impact: A Guide for Law School Administrators and Legal Scholars, 165 U. Pa. L. Rev. Online 165 (2017).

Yesterday I posted Google Scholar H-Index All rankings of the Top 105 tax professors with Google Scholar pages (data collected on August 5). Here are the Google Scholar H-Index Since 2017 rankings of the Top 101 tax professors with Google Scholar pages. If you are a full-time law school tax professor with a Google Scholar page and we missed including you, please contact me.

Rank Name School

Google Scholar H-index (Since 2017)

1 Alan Auerbach UC-Berkeley 43
2 James Hines Michigan 36
3 Reuven Avi-Yonah Michigan 25
3 Dhammika Dharmapala Chicago 25
5 Kimberly Clausing UCLA 20
5 David Weisbach Chicago 20
7 Jacob Goldin Chicago 19
7 Edward McCaffery USC 19
9 Dan Shaviro NYU 18
9 Robert Sitkoff Harvard 18
11 Brian Galle Georgetown 17
11 Kristin Hickman Minnesota 17
13 Daniel Hemel NYU 16
13 Eric Zolt UCLA 16
15 Leandra Lederman Indiana (Maurer) 15
15 Kyle Logue Michigan 15
17 Yariv Brauner Florida 14
17 Chris Sanchirico Penn 14
19 Bridget Crawford Pace 13
19 Nancy Knauer Temple 13
19 Diane Ring Boston College 13
22 David Gamage Indiana (Maurer) 12
22 Zachary Liscow Yale 12
22 Ruth Mason Virginia 12
22 Michael Simkovic USC 12
26 Hugh Ault Boston College 11
26 Clifton Fleming BYU 11
26 Rebecca Kysar Fordham 11
26 Sarah Lawsky Northwestern 11
26 Ajay Mehrotra Northwestern 11
26 Shu-Yi Oei Boston College 11
26 Darien Shanske UC-Davis 11
33 Steven Bank UCLA 10
33 Joshua Blank UC-Irvine 10
33 Victor Fleischer UC-Irvine 10
33 Anthony Infanti Pittsburgh 10
33 Omri Marian UC-Irvine 10
33 Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Notre Dame 10
33 Nancy McLaughlin Utah 10
33 Susan Morse Texas 10
33 James Repetti Boston College 10
33 Kyle Rozema Washington Univ. 10
33 Stephen Shay Boston College 10
44 Ellen Aprill Loyola-L.A. 9
44 Leslie Book Villanova 9
44 John Brooks Fordham 9
44 John Coverdale Seton Hall 9
44 Kathleen Delaney Thomas North Carolina 9
44 Andrew Hayashi Virginia 9
44 Linda Jellum Idaho 9
44 Leigh Osofsky North Carolina 9
44 Jay Soled Rutgers 9
44 Linda Sugin Fordham 9
44 David Walker Boston Univ. 9
55 Samuel Brunson Loyola-Chicago 8
55 Paul Caron Pepperdine 8
55 Heather Field UC-Hastings 8
55 Francine Lipman UNLV 8
55 Henry Ordower St. Louis 8
55 Gregg Polsky Georgia 8

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August 10, 2022 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Avi-Yonah & Gamage: Billionaire Mark-To-Market Reforms

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan; Google Scholar) & David Gamage (Indiana; Google Scholar), Billionaire Mark-to-Market Reforms: Response to Susswein and Brown, 176 Tax Notes Fed. 555 (July 25, 2022):

Tax Notes Federal (2022)In their essay, Is It Time to Tax Disney’s Unrealized Capital Gains From 1965?, [176 Tax Notes Fed. 1717 (June 13, 2022),] Donald B. Susswein and Kyle Brown argue that a mark-to-market reform like the recent proposals for billionaire income tax reforms would amount to double taxation. We explain here why their arguments are incorrect. Instead, the primary impact of enacting a billionaire income tax reform would be to close the loopholes and combat the harmful political-optionality dynamics that enable many billionaire and megamillionaire taxpayers to fully and permanently escape income taxation on the majority of their true investment gains.

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August 10, 2022 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

College Endowments Post 10.2% Loss, Biggest Decline Since 2009's 17.6% Loss

Bloomberg, College Endowments Post Biggest Losses Since Financial Crisis:

Investments in US college endowments declined the most since the global financial crisis, owing in part to double-digit losses in US equity markets.

Endowments lost a median 10.2% before fees for the 12 months through June, according to data to be published Tuesday by Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service.


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August 10, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Tax Prof Rankings By H-Index All (Google Scholar)

Google Scholar (2015)UpdateTax Prof Rankings By H-Index Since 2017 (Google Scholar)

Brian Leiter recently ranked the Top 75 law professors by citations as measured by Google Scholar H-Index All. Only two tax professors ranked in the Top 75:  Alan Auerbach (#8; UC-Berkeley) and James Hines (#24; Michigan). As Brian notes, many law professors do not have Google Scholar pages and citation counts vary by field. For more on the use of Google Scholar to measure law professor scholarly influence, see Gary Lucas (Texas A&M), Measuring Scholarly Impact: A Guide for Law School Administrators and Legal Scholars, 165 U. Pa. L. Rev. Online 165 (2017).

Here are the Google Scholar H-Index All rankings of the Top 105 U.S. tax professors with Google Scholar pages (data collected on August 5). If you are a full-time law school tax professor with a Google Scholar page and we missed including you, please contact me

Rank Name School Google Scholar H-index (All)
1 Alan Auerbach UC-Berkeley 91
2 James Hines Michigan 63
3 David Weisbach Chicago 35
4 Reuven Avi-Yonah Michigan 34
4 Dan Shaviro NYU 34
6 Dhammika Dharmapala Chicago 31
7 Edward McCaffery USC 30
8 Kimberly Clausing UCLA 26
8 Brian Galle Georgetown 26
8 Kyle Logue Michigan 26
8 Chris Sanchirico Penn 26
8 Eric Zolt UCLA 26
13 Robert Sitkoff Harvard 24
14 Nancy Knauer Temple 23
15 Kristin Hickman Minnesota 22
15 Steven Bank UCLA 22
17 Leandra Lederman Indiana (Maurer) 21
18 Jacob Goldin Chicago 20
19 Daniel Hemel NYU 19
19 Richard Kaplan Illinois 19
19 Diane Ring Boston College 19
22 Ellen Aprill Loyola-L.A. 17
22 Yariv Brauner Florida 17
22 Ruth Mason Virginia 17
22 Nancy McLaughlin Utah 17
22 Jay Soled Rutgers 17
27 Hugh Ault Boston College 16
27 Paul Caron Pepperdine 16
27 John Coverdale Seton Hall 16
27 Bridget Crawford Pace 16
27 Victor Fleischer UC-Irvine 16
27 Clifton Fleming BYU 16
33 Anthony Infanti Pittsburgh 15
33 Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Notre Dame 15
33 Ajay Mehrotra Northwestern 15
33 Gregg Polsky Georgia 15
33 Richard Pomp Connecticut 15
33 Linda Sugin Fordham 15
39 David Gamage Indiana (Maurer) 14
39 Shu-Yi Oei Boston College 14
39 James Repetti Boston College 14
39 Darien Shanske UC-Davis 14
39 Stephen Shay Boston College 14
39 David Walker Boston Univ. 14
45 Bradley Borden Brooklyn 13
45 Sarah Lawsky Northwestern 13
45 Michael Simkovic USC 13
48 Samuel Brunson Loyola-Chicago 12
48 Terrence Chorvat George Mason 12
48 Linda Jellum Idaho 12
48 Rebecca Kysar Fordham 12
48 Francine Lipman UNLV 12
48 Zachary Liscow Yale 12
48 Omri Marian UC-Irvine 12
48 Theodore Seto Loyola-L.A. 12
48 Peter Wiedenbeck Washington Univ. 12
57 Joshua Blank UC-Irvine 11
57 Neil Buchanan Florida 11
57 Stephanie Hoffer Ohio State 11
57 John Miller Idaho 11
57 Susan Morse Texas 11
57 Henry Ordower St. Louis 11

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August 9, 2022 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Prof Rankings, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Socialism, Progressive Taxation, And The Fiscal State

Sol Picciotto (Lancaster, London; Google Scholar), Socialism, Progressive Taxation, and the Fiscal State:

This paper traces the philosophical, political, sociological and economic underpinning for the advocacy by socialists of progressive taxation, from the Communist Manifesto to recent supporters of tax justice campaigns. Socialists’ attitudes to taxation have been tied to their primary aim of socialisation of the ownership of the means of production, reflecting the view that inequality and exploitation are inherent in capitalism, which rests on private property enforced by state power. Communism, as developed particularly by Marx and Engels, aimed to transcend capitalism and end the separation of the state from civil society, by the socialisation of property, including through progressive taxation. Marx’s view in Capital volume 3 that the emergence of large scale enterprises already entailed the ‘abolition of capital as private property within the framework of capitalist production itself’, when it was published in 1894 became central to the debates among German socialists (Liebknecht, Kautsky, Bernstein and Luxemburg), and the Austro-Marxists (Renner, Hilferding), but socialists split when graduated direct taxes were introduced to help fund the welfare-warfare state. Goldscheid’s outline for a social science of the state centred on fiscality underpinned his radical and influential wartime proposals to finance the socialisation of large corporations through taxes on capital.

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August 9, 2022 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

WSJ: Recent Court Ruling In Covid-19 Tuition Refund Case Could Send Shock Waves To Universities Throughout The Country

Wall Street Journal, Colleges, Parents Fight in Court Over Tuition Charged During Pandemic Closures:

Colleges and universities faced a barrage of lawsuits in the peak pandemic days of 2020 after schools shut down their campuses and moved classes online while charging students their usual tuition rates.

Two years later, the Covid-19 tuition wars are building toward a decisive phase.

A number of courts have issued rulings that provided a boost to students and parents seeking refunds, including last week in a case against a small private university in California. That decision followed a recent federal appeals court ruling that allowed claims to proceed against Loyola University Chicago. But those rulings stand in tension with other decisions for schools that said students don’t have valid claims. Pending cases from higher-level courts could bring more clarity.

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August 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Shu-Yi Oei Leaves Boston College For Duke

Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College; Google Scholar) has accepted a lateral offer from Duke beginning January 2023. Her recent publications include:

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August 9, 2022 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink

The Effect Of Tax Reform And COVID-19 On Tax Flight Among U.S. Millionaires

Cristobal Young (Cornell; Google Scholar) & Ithai Lurie (U.S. Treasury Department; Google Scholar), Taxing the Rich: The Effect of Tax Reform and the COVID-19 Pandemic on Tax Flight Among U.S. Millionaires:

Taxing the rich is one of the central policy debates in this time of rising inequality. Elite taxation can change the distribution of income in society, support equitable growth, and finance public goods and services that improve the quality of life for everyone. None of these goals are well served, however, if taxes lead to high levels of tax flight among U.S. millionaires. Progressive taxation, especially at the state level, ultimately depends on the embeddedness of the tax base. In other words, are the rich “mobile millionaires,” readily drawn to places with lower tax rates? Or are they “embedded elites,” who are reluctant to migrate away from places where they have been highly successful?

Supply-side economics has long argued that taxes on the rich cause avoidance behavior and reduce the incentive to work, invest, and innovate. Amid the growing red state/blue state rivalry in the United States, tax incentives for migration have become a new focus of debate. Why would rich people continue to live in New York, New Jersey, or California when they could save large sums in taxes by moving to places such as Florida, Texas, or Nevada? Of course, taxes also fund public goods that the rich consume—not even the richest city dweller can get to work without public infrastructure—but top earners have greater ability to opt out of many public services such as schools and social services. From this view, the rich seem motivated and mobile—sensitive to taxation and readily capable of exit.

Yet there are myriad social dimensions that rich households face when migrating to avoid taxes. Top earners are often the “working rich,” with many roots in the places where they built their careers. Others are business owners with complex ties between customers, suppliers, and workers that are not easily relocated. Top earners are often married, have school-aged children, and have lived in their state for many years—social factors that tie people to places. These ties represent place-specific social capital, a form of embeddedness that makes migration costly.

Our new working paper, Taxing the Rich: How Incentives and Embeddedness Shape Millionaire Tax Flight, examines the joint effect of incentives and embeddedness on the mobility of the rich in the United States. Drawing on administrative tax data from IRS tax returns of top income earners, we study two large-scale “natural experiments,” which are contrasting real-life situations that social scientists investigate to determine cause-and-effect relationships. The first is the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which changed tax incentives to favor low-tax states. The second is the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020 in the United States and which deeply disrupted people’s socioeconomic attachments to places. ...

In a typical year, a small number of millionaires circulate between states: Roughly 2.7 percent of the millionaire population moves across state lines, exchanging one state for another. How much did the 2017 tax reform influence this migration? In our working paper, we examined migration rates for every income group, starting from those with the lowest incomes to those making $5 million a year or more. We also examined migration rates for those living in low-tax states, who were incentivized to stay, and high-tax states, who were incentivized to move. Migration patterns before and after the tax reform law passed were essentially identical. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1

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August 9, 2022 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Think Tank Reports | Permalink

ABA Loosens Distance Learning Accreditation Standard; Council Withdraws Diversity Proposal After Public Criticism

ABA Legal Ed (2021)Resolution 301: Amendments to Definitions (7) and (8) and Standards 306 and 311 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.  Approved.

  • Definition (7): Distance Education Course
  • Definition (8): Distance Education J.D. Program
  • Standard 306: Distance Education
  • Standard 311: Academic Program and Academic Calendar
  • Resolution With Report
  • Final Resolution

Summary of the Resolution:

Definitions (7) and (8) and Standards 306 and 311 provide clarification on the Council’s current distance education limits, incorporate new information from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), provide guidance on remote participation by students as an ADA accommodation or in exceptional circumstances, and clarify credits included in the 20 percent limitation., ABA House of Delegates Votes to Loosen Restrictions on Distance Education for Law Students:

”Distance Education J.D. Program” means a program in which a law school grants a student more than one-third of the credit hours required for the J.D. degree for distance education courses or more than 10 credit hours during the first one-third of a student’s program of legal education.

The following language was added to Standard 306:  “Distance Education law school courses for which credit is given towards the J.D. degree must provide regular and substantive interaction between the students and faculty teaching the course. Distance education credits may not be counted towards the J.D. degree if they exceed the credit hour limitations in Standard 311(e).” ...

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August 9, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, August 8, 2022

Haneman & Weber: The Abandonment Of International College Athletes By NIL Policy

Victoria J. Haneman (Creighton; Google Scholar) & David P. Weber (Creighton; Google Scholar), The Abandonment of International College Athletes by NIL Policy:

A new era in college sports dawned on July 1, 2021. College sports generate billions of dollars in revenue, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that college athletes were (subject to various limitations and restrictions) entitled to earn money based upon name, image, and likeness (NIL) without losing eligibility to compete. It is estimated that more than $917 million in NIL deals have been generated in the first twelve months alone. The more than 450,000 college athletes across the United States are now able to leverage NIL to make paid appearances, endorse products or services on social media, receive compensation for autograph signings, and promote local and national businesses. Excluded from most NIL opportunities, however, are the 12% of athletes recruited from outside of the United States. Most international athletes enter the United States on student (F) visas, which are subject to very specific rules for when employment is permissible in the United States. The creators of the F visa had no reason in 1952 to include an NIL exception to the work prohibition, which consequently results in serious inequity for these athletes today. 

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August 8, 2022 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Legal Ed News Roundup

The Tax Consequences Of Name, Image, And Likeness Rules For College Athletes

Camp (2021)Following the Supreme Court’s decision in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston, 594 U.S. ___ (2021), the NCAA started allowing college athletes to accept payments for use of their name, image and likeness, effective July 1, 2021. That change in policy has created a host of various compliance issues, such as trademark licensing issues. It also has created tax issues for the student-athletes. Frank Messina (Alabama) and Marena M. Messina (Alabama) address the basics in their article “A Primer on the Income Tax Consequences of the NCAA’s Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) Earnings for College Athletes, 4 Journal of Athletic Development and Experience 189 (2022).  From the article's abstract: "Athletes must learn to understand the tax rules associated with the income from the NIL.”  Click the "continue reading" button for the full abstract .

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August 8, 2022 in Bryan Camp, Miscellaneous, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink

Welcome, Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class Of 2025

Launch Week

Welcome to the members of the Pepperdine Caruso Law School Class of 2025 who begin their legal education today in a week-long introduction to law school and professional formation, as well as the over 400 students pursuing jointLL.M., and masters degrees and certificates, including our LL.M. and certificate programs in Entertainment, Media, and Sports and our online masters in Legal Studies and Dispute Resolution and our online LL.M. in Dispute Resolution.

We are thrilled that, despite the 12% nationwide decline in the number of law school applicants (and the 14% nationwide decline among applicants in the highest LSAT bands), we exceeded our enrollment target of 180 and enrolled a class with the highest credentials in the 54-year history of our law school (3.85 median UGPA and 164 median LSAT). 

This is my sixth year as Dean, and I am thrilled that you have decided to join our very special law school community. You will learn and study on our spectacularly beautiful campus in Malibu with easy access to Los Angeles, one of the world's most vibrant cities for young professionals. Beginning today you will experience the faculty and staff's faith-fueled commitment to you and to your success that manifests itself in various ways, large and small, in daily life at Pepperdine Caruso Law. My fervent wish is that you will love your time here as I have since joining the faculty in 2013, and that you will leave here with a deep sense of your professional and personal calling in law and in life.

August 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink

Lesson From The Tax Court: Non-Receipt of 1099 Does Not Get You Out of Penalties

Camp (2021)When we think of penalties we naturally think of punishment.  I mean, to channel Steven Wright, if a penalty is not punishment when why does the word start with “penal”?  Both this week and next week’s lesson teach us how penalties serve other purposes as well.  Today, in Lionel E. Larochelle and Molly B. Larochelle v. Commissioner, T.C. Summ. Op. 2022-12 (July 12) (Judge Leyden), we learn why non-receipt of a Form 1099 does not constitute reasonable cause to escape the §6662(a) penalty for making a substantial understatement of tax.  Next week we will look at whether a court-ordered disgorgement of illegal gains is a penalty for purposes of a §162(f) prohibition on  deductions for governmental fines or penalties.  Today’s short lesson awaits below the fold. 

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August 8, 2022 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (2)

Katherine Magbanua Transported To Florida State Prison, Begins Serving Life Sentence In Dan Markel’s Murder

WCTV, Magbanua Transported to State Prison, Begins Serving Life Sentence in Dan Markel’s Murder:

Magnauba (2021)Florida Department of Corrections records show that Katherine Magbanua has now been booked into state prison to begin serving a life sentence in the murder of FSU professor Dan Markel.

Magbanua was picked up from the Leon County Jail at 3:03 a.m. Thursday, Leon County court records show, and has since arrived at the Florida Women’s Reception Center in Ocala.

Magbanua is the third person convicted and sent to prison in the murder for hire plot. She was arrested in October 2016 and accused of being the link between Markel’s ex-brother-in-law Charlie Adelson and the men who traveled to Tallahassee to kill Markel in the summer of 2014. Prosecutors contend the plot was fueled by a bitter custody battle between Markel and his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, who is Charlie’s sister.

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August 8, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, August 7, 2022

NY Times: What's God Got To Do With It? The Rise Of Christian Nationalism In American Politics

New York Times, What's God Got to Do With It? The Rise of Christian Nationalism In American Politics:

Mccaulley stewartEsau Macaulley and Katherine Stewart on how the G.O.P weaponized Christianity — and where we go from here

Christian nationalism has been empowered in American politics since the rise of Donald Trump. From “Stop the Steal” to the storming of the U.S. Capitol and now, the overturn of Roe v. Wade — Christian nationalist rhetoric has undergirded it all. But given that a majority of Americans identify as Christian, faith also isn’t going anywhere in our politics. So what would a better relationship between church and state look like?

To discuss, Jane Coaston brings together two people who are at the heart of the Christian nationalism debate. Katherine Stewart is the author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism and has reported on the Christian right for over a decade. Esau McCaulley is a contributing writer for Times Opinion and theologian-in-residence at Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago.

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August 7, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

The Secret Of Vin Scully's Success: Faith

Los Angeles and baseball fans everywhere are mourning the death of Vin Scully at age 94. Vin was the voice of the Dodgers (and Los Angeles) for 67 years. My dear fried and former colleague Bob Cochran sent me this wonderful interview with Vin for my Sunday faith posts: 

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August 7, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Christian University Sues Attorney General, Says Investigation Of Anti-LGBTQ+ Hiring Practices Violates Its Religious Freedom

Inside Higher Education, Seattle Pacific Sues Washington AG:

Seattle Pacific 2Facing a state investigation for discriminatory hiring practices against LGBTQ+ individuals, Seattle Pacific University is going on the offensive, suing Washington attorney general Robert Ferguson.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, accuses Ferguson of violating the Free Methodist Church–affiliated university’s constitutional right “to decide matters of faith and doctrine, to hire employees who share its religious beliefs, and to select and retain ministers free from government interference.”

At the root of the lawsuit is a policy that has long been a source of friction at Seattle Pacific: a prohibition on the hiring of openly gay faculty and staff members, which the president and Board of Trustees have vigorously defended despite opposition from students, employees and alumni. Students have walked out and sat in to protest the policy; the board refuses to budge out of concerns that doing so would end its 130-year membership in the Free Methodist Church. ...

SPU subscribes to the belief that “sexual experience is intended between a man and a woman,” according to its Statement on Human Sexuality. Its policy holds that “employees are expected to refrain from sexual behavior that is inconsistent with the University’s understanding of Biblical standards, including cohabitation, extramarital sexual activity, and same-sex sexual activity.”

In the lawsuit, lawyers for the Christian university accused Washington’s attorney general of “wielding state power to interfere with the religious beliefs of a religious university, and a church, whose beliefs he disagrees with. He is using the powers of his office (and even powers not granted to his office) to pressure and retaliate against Seattle Pacific University.”

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August 7, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education | Permalink

Forty Democratic Lawmakers Call For IRS Investigation Into Family Research Council's ‘Church’ Status

Following up on my previous post, ProPublica: Family Research Council Is Now A Church In The Eyes Of The IRS:  Washington Post, Democrats Call on IRS to Review Right-Wing Group’s ‘Church’ Status:

FRCCongressional House Democrats are asking the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of a prominent conservative advocacy group recently reclassified as a church, arguing the organization may be exploiting the designation to avoid scrutiny.

Forty Democratic lawmakers, led by U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene (Wash.) and Jared Huffman (Calif.), outlined their concerns about the Family Research Council in a letter sent to the head of the IRS and the secretary of the Treasury on Monday. According to a recent report from ProPublica, the FRC successfully applied to be reclassified as a “group of churches” in 2020.

Lawmakers say that while the FRC often appeals to faith and advocates for a “biblical worldview,” the status change “strains credulity” because the group operates primarily as “a political advocacy organization.”

“They do not hold religious services, do not have a congregation or affiliated congregations, and do not possess many of the other attributes of churches listed by the IRS,” the letter reads. “FRC is one example of an alarming pattern in the last decade — right-wing advocacy groups self-identifying as ‘churches’ and applying for and receiving church status.” ...

Among the letter’s signatories are U.S. Reps. Jamie Raskin (Md.), Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), Rosa L. DeLauro (Conn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.).

Washington Times, Democratic Lawmakers Demand IRS Probe of Family Research Council’s Tax Status:

The head of the Family Research Council said Tuesday evening that a call by 40 Congressional Democrats for a Treasury Department/IRS investigation of the group’s “association of churches” tax-exempt status was “factually challenged” and asserted the organization isn’t “trying to hide anything” from the public.

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August 7, 2022 in Faith, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink