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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Jonathan Choi To Join Minnesota Tax Faculty

ChoiJonathan Choi, a Fellow at NYU,  has accepted a tenure-track tax position at Minnesota beginning in August. He graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 2011, with a triple major in Computer Science, Economics, and Philosophy, and from the Yale Law School in 2014, where he was the Executive Bluebook Editor of the Yale Law Journal and a founding Co-Director of the Yale Journal on Regulation Online. Jonathan practiced tax law at Wachtell in 2014-18. His recent publications include:

 

May 26, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Tax, Tax News, Tax Prof Moves | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sanchirico: The Mythematics Of Capital Gains Taxation

Chris William Sanchirico (Pennsylvania), The Mythematics of Capital Gains Taxation—4 Misconceptions:

With the debate on capital gains taxation likely to heat up over the next several weeks, now might be a good time to clear up a few misconceptions concerning what the mathematics does and does not say about how investment income should be taxed.

1. Taxing investment income does not necessarily reduce investment.
The most common argument against taxing investment income is an appeal, not to some complex model, but to basic economic logic: Taxing investment reduces investment, which in turn reduces wages and employment. But that’s not what basic economic logic actually says. ...

2. The data provide no clear answer.
In principle, the outcome of that race—and so whether taxing investment increases it or decreases it—might be resolved by the careful statistical analysis of good data. In practice, the data are messy, and the question remains very open.

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May 26, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Debate: Will COVID-19 Cause A Massive Shift By Colleges (And Law Schools) To Online Education?

New York Times op-ed:  The Future of College Is Online, and It’s Cheaper, by Hans Taparia (NYU):

CoronavirusUp until now, online education has been relegated to the equivalent of a hobby at most universities. With the pandemic, it has become a backup plan. But if universities embrace this moment strategically, online education could expand access exponentially and drop its cost by magnitudes — all while shoring up revenues for universities in a way that is more recession-proof, policy-proof and pandemic-proof. ...

[U]niversities don’t need to abandon in-person teaching for students who see the value in it. They simply need to create “parallel” online degrees for all their core degree programs. By doing so, universities could expand their reach by thousands, creating the economies of scale to drop their costs by tens of thousands.

There are a few, but instructive, examples of prestigious universities that have already shown the way. Georgia Tech, a top engineering school, launched an online masters in computer science in 2014. The degree costs just $7,000 (one-sixth the cost of its in-person program), and the school now has nearly 10,000 students enrolled, making it the largest computer science program in the country. Notably, the online degree has not cannibalized its on-campus revenue stream. Instead, it has opened up a prestigious degree program to a different population, mostly midcareer applicants looking for a meaningful skills upgrade.

Similarly, in 2015, the University of Illinois launched an online M.B.A. for $22,000, a fraction of the cost of most business schools. In order to provide a forum for networking and experiential learning, critical to the business school experience, the university created micro-immersions, where students can connect with other students and work on live projects at companies at a regional level. ...

Many universities are sounding bold about reopening in-person instruction this fall. The current business model requires them to, or face financial ruin. But a hasty decision driven by the financial imperative could prove lethal, and do little to help them weather a storm. The pandemic provides universities an opportunity to reimagine education around the pillars of access and affordability with the myriad tools and techniques now at their disposal. It could make them true pathways of upward mobility again.

Bloomberg op-ed:  College as We Know It Coming to an End? Don’t Bet on It, by Joe Nocera:

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May 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

COVID-19 And Law Teaching: Developing Asynchronous Online Courses For Law Students

Yvonne Dutton (Indiana-Indianapolis) & Seema Mohapatra (Indiana-Indianapolis), COVID-19 and Law Teaching: Guidance on Developing an Asynchronous Online Course for Law Students, 65 St. Louis U. L.J. ___ (2020):

CoronavirusMost law schools suspended their live classroom teaching in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly transitioned to online programming. Although professors can be commended for rapidly adapting to an emergency situation, some commentators have nevertheless suggested that the emergency online product delivered to students was substandard. Based on our own experiences in designing and delivering online courses, we caution against embracing a broad-reaching, negative conclusion about the efficacy of online education. Indeed, much of this emergency online programming would be more properly defined as “emergency remote teaching,” as opposed to “online education.” Delivering online education to students involves more than giving the same classroom lecture on Zoom. Online education requires professors to design their courses to be delivered at a distance, with the goal being to create a course driven by pedagogy using technological tools to inform and enhance the learning experience. COVID-19 is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, and because some schools might be unable to bring all of their students back into the classroom in the fall, we urge faculty to prepare to deliver their courses online. Law schools and faculty should not wait for another emergency and should prepare to deliver at least some of their courses online in the fall. To aid with this transition, this Article offers some guidance on how to develop and implement an effective asynchronous distance-learning course for law students.

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May 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Can Law Schools Safely Teach On Campus In Fall 2020?

Ilya Somin (George Mason), Some Tentative Suggestions for Safely Restarting In-Person Teaching at Universities:

CoronavirusUniversities around the country are pondering the question of whether and how to resume in-person teaching during the upcoming fall 2020 semester. In-person instruction has major advantages over the online version many of us have experienced this spring. But it would be foolish and irresponsible to ignore the risks of spreading Covid-19. I don't have anything approaching a comprehensive solution to this dilemma. But in this post, I offer some tentative suggestions for how in-person teaching can be restarted, while minimizing risk, while also avoiding creating an unbearable dystopian on-campus environment. ...

The proposals I offer rely on three key ideas. First, the advantages of in-person education are far greater for some types of classes than for others. Second, there are ways to protect faculty and students who face especially high risks without moving to a fully on-line model for the classes they teach or take. ...

I. Exploiting Variation in the Relative Advantages of In-Person Teaching

[S]chools can potentially keep smaller classes online, while reserving limited classroom space for bigger ones. This may seem like the exact opposite of what might be useful for maintaining social distance. Obviously it is easier for a small group to do so than big one. But by moving smaller classes online, schools can free up a lot of classroom space that would otherwise be used for them. That in turn can allow them to split up larger courses between two rooms.

The professor can be in one room, along with however many students can fit in there with while maintaining social distancing. The remaining students can be in the second room. They can watch the professor (and other students) on a large TV monitor set up at the front. The professor can in turn see the students in the second room on a monitor set up in her room.

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May 26, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lesson From The Tax Court: Appeals Can Change Its Mind

Tax Court (2017)Last week’s case of Abigail Richlin v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-60 (May 18, 2020) (Judge Halpern) is a textbook example of how one hand of the IRS bureaucracy might pat your back even as another hand slaps you upside the head.  There, the taxpayer had received a favorable decision from Appeals in a first proceeding, but then received an unfavorable decision on the exact same issue in a later proceeding.  Judge Halpern’s sturdy opinion gives us a terrific lesson on the difficulties taxpayers face in navigating a bureaucracy like the IRS.  Details below the fold.

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May 26, 2020 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Technology For Faculty Office Hours In Fall 2020

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Monday, May 25, 2020

Choi: An Empirical Study Of Statutory Interpretation In Tax Law

Jonathan H. Choi (NYU), An Empirical Study of Statutory Interpretation in Tax Law, 95 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 363 (2020):

A substantial academic literature considers how agencies should interpret statutes. But few studies have considered how agencies actually do interpret statutes, and none has empirically compared the methodologies of agencies and courts in practice. This Article conducts such a comparison, using a newly created dataset of all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publications ever released, along with an existing dataset of court decisions. It applies natural language processing, machine learning, and regression analysis to map methodological trends and to test whether particular authorities have developed unique cultures of statutory interpretation.

It finds that, over time, the IRS has increasingly made rules on normative policy grounds (like fairness and efficiency) rather than merely producing rules based on the “best reading” of the relevant statute (under any interpretive theory, like purposivism or textualism). Moreover, when the IRS does focus on the statute, it has grown much more purposivist over time.

Choi 1

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May 25, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Ten Law Schools With The Most Discounted Tuition

U.S. News & World Report, 10 Law Schools That Offer the Most Tuition Help:

Here are 10 schools where students received enough grants to cover more than half of their tuition:

  Law School     Students With Grants > 50% Tuition Median Grant US News Rank
1 Penn State - Carlisle 93.2% $49,896 62
2 Penn State - Univ. Park 90.0% $49,896 60
3 Belmont 88.2% $32,572 129
4 UNLV 85.6% $25,900 62
5 George Mason 84.7% $30,000 42
6 Nebraska 81.3% $15,800 76
7 Illinois 80.6% $35,000 31
8 Washington Univ. 79.3% $40,000 17
9 Villanova 78.0% $40,000 62
10 Liberty 77.8% $20,075 Tier 2

May 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Before COVID-19, Tuition Discount Rate Hit All-Time High Of 52.6%; Pandemic May Force 340 Colleges Out Of Business

Before COVID-19, Private College Tuition Discount Rates Reached Record Highs:

In the 2019 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study, 366 private, nonprofit colleges and universities reported an estimated 52.6 percent average institutional tuition discount rate for first-time, full-time, first-year students in 2019-20 and 47.6 percent for all undergraduates – both record highs. By providing grants, fellowships, and scholarships, these institutions forgo about half the revenue they otherwise would collect if they charged all students the tuition and fee sticker price.

NACUBO 2

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May 25, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Taxing Combat

Samuel Kan (Barry), Taxing Combat, 124 Dick. L. Rev 377 (2020):

CombatSince the Vietnam War, the United States has sent members of the Armed Forces into harm’s way long before political leaders designate the areas in which they serve as combat zones. For military families — many of whom struggle from week to week to make ends meet — the designation of combat zones has important financial consequences. Servicemembers that serve in combat are supposed to receive greater compensation and tax benefits. However, the designation of a geographic area as a combat zone often opens the door to a variety of complicated political and administrative conflicts. As a result, not only do Servicemembers have to experience the inherent dangers of serving in areas of conflict, but the financial well-being of their families can often take a back seat to beltway political disputes.

Since Congress has moved away from decisively exercising its war powers under the Constitution, the gap has been filled in a manner that has created serious inequities. While some Servicemembers like those dangerously serving in combat stricken Syria fail to get the benefits and recognition they truly deserve, other members such as those safely stationed with their families in Bahrain inequitably benefit from historic combat zone designations that no longer practically apply.

This article argues that the current system of combat zone designation is inequitable and in need of reform.

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May 25, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Faculty Cuts Begin, With Warnings Of More To Come

Chronicle of Higher Education, Faculty Cuts Begin, With Warnings of More to Come:

When the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to deplete projected budgets, college leaders ... looked to minimize expenses and make difficult choices about priorities. While decisions were still up in the air, faculty members, especially those off the tenure track, feared that their ranks would be thinned. Now, those cuts are starting to be made across academe. (The Chronicle is tracking them here.)

Chronicle

Thirty-one faculty members were laid off at Missouri Western State University, while 20 others will receive terminal one-year contracts, Inside Higher Ed reported. St. Edward’s University, in Texas, eliminated an unknown number of employee positions, including some faculty members on and off the tenure track, the Austin American-Statesman reported. City University of New York colleges have begun announcing plans to remove hundreds of adjunct positions, according to the CUNY faculty and staff union; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood in solidarity with the union, saying in a statement that “austerity is not the answer.” And rumors have swirled at Ohio University that instructor positions will be eliminated, speculation that was confirmed in a Friday-evening message to the campus from the president. ...

Faculty leaders on various campuses are scrutinizing those decisions. They say they appreciate the need to be frugal but don’t understand why contingent faculty members, who are often the lowest paid and do the bulk of the teaching, are on the chopping block. ...

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May 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Blackman: The Empty Threat Of 2Ls And 3Ls Transferring To Receive In-Person Instruction

Josh Blackman (South Texas), The Empty Threat of 2Ls and 3Ls Transferring To Receive In-Person Instruction:

TransferStudents would be foolish to transfer to another school in the middle of a pandemic when there is no guarantee in-person instruction will continue anywhere.

Many law schools may decide to bring 1Ls on campus, but hold 2L and 3L classes online. The thinking here is at once compassionate, but also pragmatic. The first-year of law school is a surreal experience. The pressure of classes forms something of a crucible: students are forced to acclimate to a brand new environment in a short period of time. By the time students get to the second year, they have developed a certain familiarity with the process, and are able to deal with classes more efficiently–even though they do not prepare as well for class. I see a world of difference between Property I students (in the second semester) and Property II students (in the third semester). If law schools have to make tough choices about who to admit on campus, objectively, 1Ls should be given priority.

There is also a pragmatic dimension to this choice. Incoming 1Ls, who feel they will be shortchanged by online instruction, may not enroll. Maybe they will decide to defer a year. Or maybe they'll pick a law school that promises in-person instruction. Rural campuses over urban campuses may be more desirable. These promises should be taken with some caution. Shut-down orders may come in October, requiring everyone to go back online. And the experience in class may soon become intolerable. But, incoming 1Ls demand in-person instruction. And law schools, dependent on tuition, will be pressured to oblige.

But what about 2Ls and 3Ls? Do they need the same in-person experience? The old adage may have some truth: 1L scares you to death; 2L works you to death; and 3L bores you to death. But 2Ls and 3Ls will be quite upset if their classes move entirely online. What can they do? Some will demand tuition refunds. This option is not viable. A school's costs stay roughly the same, whether operations are inside our outside the building. You can only save so much money by turning off the lights and lowering the air conditioner.

For sure, some students will threaten to transfer to another law school. Let me voice some skepticism for that option. ...

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May 24, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Yes, Online College Sux. You Should Do It Anyway.

Rebecca Schuman, Yes, Online College Sux. You Should Do It Anyway.:

CoronavirusA few days ago I was leading my five-year-old daughter along the stretch of block we walk every day, half-assedly scanning for errant joggers to shame, and I snapped this photo of some sidewalk art by the occupants of a student house share. “BE NICE :),” they wrote. “ONLINE SCHOOL SUX.”

I mean, they’re not wrong. Online school — “remote learning” as we like to call it, “hybrid pedagogical delivery models” if you’re feeling fancy — does, indeed, sux, when that’s not the specific experience you signed up for. Deliberately-online programs, on the other hand, (entire degrees or just single course offerings) are different; not only are they often less expensive than their in-person counterparts, online courses are just built differently. Deliberately online courses often use a “flipped,” partially asynchronous model, where the “lecture” component is actually a series of short, digestible videos that students can watch on their own time, supplemented by videoconference sessions with small groups that work through problems or issues in the “homework” in more depth.

Intentionally online courses are also taught by instructors who have specific training in digital pedagogy and “remote course delivery.” The same cannot be said for the thousands of poor souls who, in Spring 2020, had to put all of their courses online with zero notice and less experience, a fact which contributes mightily to the extent to the current state of sux.

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May 24, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

There is a bit of movement in this week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads, with a new #1 paper and a paper returning to the list at #5:

  1. SSRN Logo (2018)[842 Downloads]  The Transformation of International Tax, by Ruth Mason (Virginia)
  2. [353 Downloads]  Summary of the Tax Provisions of the CARES Act, by David Miller, Muhyung Lee, Kathleen Semanski & Sean Webb (Proskauer, New York)
  3. [208 Downloads]  Taxation of the Digital Economy: Preliminary Analysis of OECD Pillar 1 Impact Assessment + KPMG Transfer Pricing Study of Amounts B & C, by Allison Christians (McGill)
  4. [187 Downloads]  COVID-19 and Us Tax Policy: What Needs to Change?, by Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan)
  5. [156 Downloads]  Wealth Transfer Tax Planning After The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, by John Miller (Idaho) & Jeffrey Maine (Maine)

May 24, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 23, 2020

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Coronavirus Leadership Lesson From Margaret Thatcher: 'Great Love That Stirs Others'

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  The Iron Lady and the Coronavirus Age, by Peggy Noonan:

Thatcher BiosColumnists often say things like “the tectonic plates are shifting.” They are shifting as never before and all at the same time. We have never seen this earthquake.

What is essential now from our political class? I find inspiration in a monumental work, the journalist Charles Moore’s three-volume biography of Margaret Thatcher. It is a masterpiece of fairness and insight. It is also something new, a work of justice done to a woman in modern politics.

At its heart it is not a story about political survival but about seriousness—about the purpose of politics, which is to guide your nation safely through the world while creating the conditions and arrangements by which your people can flourish. It is about winning the argument about how to achieve safety and flourishing.

In his stirring epilogue, Mr. Moore sums up Thatcher’s career, legacy, and essential nature. She cannot be understood, he writes, based only on her public statements. She must be seen also in light of her character: “Its contradictions were striking. She was high-minded and highly educated, yet had a common touch. She was fierce, but kind; rude, and courteous; calculating, yet principled; matter-of-fact, yet romantic; frank, yet secretive; astute, yet innocent; rational, yet capricious; puritanical, yet flirtatious.” She “combined an immense assurance about following her own way with a permanent uneasiness in life.” ...

What at bottom drove her? “If there was one uniting force in everything Mrs. Thatcher did, it was her love for her country.” All truly great political leaders have this love, which involves a heightened vision of their nation. Thatcher’s love was not always requited. “But great loves such as hers go beyond reason, which is why they stir others, as leaders must if they are to achieve anything out of the ordinary.”

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May 23, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Graduation In Your PJs? Law School Commencements Go Virtual

Karen Sloan (Law.com), Graduation in Your PJs? Law School Commencements Go Virtual:

Zoom MeetingThis year’s law graduates won’t have to worry about tripping on their gowns as they get their  diplomas or mugging for the camera as they shake the dean’s hand.

Law schools have been forced to ditch the in-person pomp and circumstance routine, with many holding “virtual” affairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first digital ceremonies [began two weeks ago] and will continue through mid-June as new lawyers wrap up their studies and launch their careers at an unprecedented time. Many law schools have said they plan to hold an in-person celebration at a later date, but, for now, ceremonies will be online. ...

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May 23, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blaine Saito Posts Tax Papers On SSRN

Blaine Saito (Northeastern) has posted several tax papers on SSRN:

Collaborative Governance and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, 39 Va. Tax Rev. 451 (2020):

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is the largest federal program focused on increasing the supply of affordable housing. The credit is designed as a collaboration among the federal government, states, localities, developers, and investors. But it is not meeting its goals. Budget hawks have noted that costs have increased while units have fallen and that there is waste and fraud. Civil rights and equity advocates focus on how LIHTC exacerbates segregation and traps children in poverty. But the solutions proposed are atomized and disparate.

This Article seeks the root cause of these disparate problems. It draws on the concept of collaborative governance from public administration and administrative law as a framework for analysis. This analysis reveals that there are divergent preferences between the parties and the federal government. These divergent preferences are poorly managed and ineffectively monitored as-is, and the incentives indeed exacerbate these different preferences.

The Article then proposes a series of reforms based on these insights. It first suggests some internal reforms to the program, mainly directed at better aligning party incentives with federal goals and at having IRS improve its financial monitoring of the projects. But, most importantly, the proposal seeks to draw in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist IRS in the management and administration of LIHTC. It provides a detailed framework as to how to achieve an effective interagency effort that can improve monitoring on other dimensions where IRS lacks expertise. This use of interagency efforts and the collaborative governance framework in LIHTC also serves as a case study of how to analyze and manage other social policy related tax expenditures.

Building a Better America: Tax Expenditure Reform and the Case of State and Local Government Bonds and Build America Bonds, 11 Geo. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 577 (2013):

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May 23, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, May 22, 2020

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Layser Reviews Ryznar's Extending The Charitable Deduction Beyond The COVID-19 Pandemic

This week, Michelle Layser (Illinois) reviews Margaret Ryznar (Indiana-Indianapolis), Extending the Charitable Deduction Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic, 167 Tax Notes Fed. 463 (Apr. 20, 2020).

Layser (2018)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act made two changes to the charitable contributions deduction: it increased the cap on deductible contributions for itemizers, and it created a new above-the-line deduction for charitable donations up to $300. While the first of these is limited to the 2020 tax year, the latter change is permanent and applicable to taxable years beginning in 2020. Professor Margaret Ryznar has argued that the new above-the-line deduction is good tax policy and supports its extension beyond the current pandemic.

In her brief essay, Ryznar comments on the value of the above-the-line charitable contribution deduction in two contexts. First, she considers the value of the deduction as a policy intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ryznar notes that charities “seeking donations to help during the coronavirus pandemic range from procuring food for school children to locating equipment for hospitals” and argues that such charitable activities are “important supplements to the government response to the pandemic.”

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May 22, 2020 in Michelle Layser, Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

July Bar Exam Update: Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada

CoronavirusMichigan Supreme Court, Revised Format for July 2020 Michigan Bar Examination (May 18, 2020):

In recognition of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, in light of various current and projected pandemic-related restrictions, and pursuant to the Court’s constitutional and statutory authority to supervise and regulate the practice of law, 1963 Const, Art VI, Sec 5, and MCL 600.904, and in consultation with the Board of Law Examiners (Board), the Court orders that in lieu of the two-day exam previously scheduled for July 28-29, 2020, a one-day exam will be administered on July 28, 2020. The exam will be conducted online, and will consist solely of the essay portion of the traditional exam. ...

Supreme Court of Minnesota, July 2020/September 2020 Bar Examination (May 20, 2020):

The Minnesota Board of Law Examiners met on Friday, May 15, 2020 to discuss whether to move forward with the administration of the July 2020 Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). The Board carefully considered information provided by many sources both before the meeting and during the public meeting on May 15, 2020. The Board determined that it plans to administer the UBE as scheduled on July 28 and 29, 2020. In order to accommodate as many of the registered applicants as possible, the Board also plans to administer the UBE on September 9 and 10, 2020. This will permit the Board to provide adequate social distancing for all registered applicants. Applicants registered for the July 2020 examination will be provided with an opportunity to select their preference for the July or September administration of examination on or before June 3, 2020. Applicants registered for the July 2020 examination who do not wish to sit for the examination in July or September will be provided with additional options. ...

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May 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shattering Harvard Law School’s Glass Ceilings

Harvard Law Record, Shattering Harvard Law School’s Glass Ceilings:

HLS12For five consecutive years, the Women’s Law Association (WLA) has published a statistical analysis of Latin Honors and gender at Harvard Law School. For all five years, that study has found a statistically significant difference between the number of men and women graduating with Latin Honors, as compared to the expected numbers based on the gender breakdown of each class.

Women in the Class of 2015 received only 36.9% of Latin Honors awarded. For the Class of 2016, women received 43.2% of the awards. In 2017, the number decreased to 41.7%. For the Class of 2018, this number decreased again to 39.7%. Last year, women received 44.5% of the Latin Honors awards for the Class of 2019. This means that 45.6% of the men in the class of 2019 received Latin Honors, compared to only 34.1% of women. This is not the kind of improvement we would have hoped to see over a five-year period, especially one in which massive strides have been made for equity elsewhere on campus.

In stark contrast to the persistent Latin Honors gender gap, the past five years have seen three of HLS’ most prominent by-application student organizations –  Harvard Legal Aid Bureau,  Board of Student Advisors, and Harvard Law Review – achieve gender parity. All three organizations have even had majority female membership at times. This is the kind of progress that we would have hoped to see for Latin Honors disparities. ...

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May 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

ABA Finds Texas Southern Law School Out Of Compliance With Admissions Accreditation Standard Amidst Fraud Investigation

Following up on my previous posts (links below):   ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Council Decision, Notice of Finding of Significant Noncompliance With Standard 501(a) (Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law) (May 2020):

Thurgood Marshall Logo (2017)At its May 14-15, 2020, meeting, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (the “Council”) considered the status of the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (the “Law School”) and concluded that the Law School is not in compliance with Standard 501(a).

In accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations (34 C.F.R. § 602.26) applicable to recognized accrediting agencies, the Council is required to post a notice describing the basis for an action when it finds significant noncompliance with one or more of ABA Standards pursuant to Rule 11(a)(4). The Council considers any finding of noncompliance with Standard 501 to be such a finding. Consequently, pursuant to ABA Internal Operating Practice 5 of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, this public memorandum is being issued within 24 hours of the time the Law School was notified of the Council’s decision.

The Law School has been asked to submit a report by August 1, 2020, and to appear before the Council at its November 19-21, 2020, meeting. The Council will consider the written report at its August 13-15, 2020, meeting. If the information provided in the written report demonstrates compliance with the Standard listed above, then the Council will find the Law School to be in compliance with the Standards and cancel the hearing.

ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Council Decision, Notice of Compliance and Removal of Requirements of Specific Remedial Actions Standard 501(b) and Interpretations 501-1 and 501-2 (Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law) (May 2020):

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May 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

University Of Minnesota Law Professor Falsely Accused of Rape Wins $1.2 Million Defamation Judgment

Following up on my previous post, Minnesota Law Prof Francesco Parisi Accused Of Rape; His Lawyer Says Charges Are Frivolous:  Minnesota Star-Tribune, University of Minnesota Law Professor Falsely Accused of Rape Wins $1.2 Million Defamation Judgment:

ParisiIn what appears to be the largest award of its kind in state history, a University of Minnesota Law School professor has won nearly $1.2 million in his defamation case against a woman whose false rape allegation had him locked up in jail for three weeks and charged with a felony.

Francesco Parisi prevailed Monday in Hennepin County District Court after a bench trial in September. Judge Daniel Moreno ruled that more than $800,000 of the award will go to Parisi for economic losses, along with $325,000 to cover emotional, punitive and reputational damages.

The County Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against Parisi in March 2017 after saying there was no evidence to support the allegations that he raped the woman in 2015. ...

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May 22, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Transcending Tax Sovereignty And Tax Standardization

Luis C. Calderon Gomez (J.D. 2019, Yale; Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York), Transcending Tax Sovereignty and Tax Standardization: Three Questions, 45 Yale J. Int'l L. 191 (2020):

The Panama and Paradise Papers shocked the world by displaying the extent to which tax avoidance and evasion were running amok. Estimates of tax avoidance and evasion facilitated by tax havens and tax competition differ, but most agree that tax avoidance and evasion are significant and are of the order of tens of billions of U.S. dollars. But, the world has changed since then for both corporate and individual taxpayers. Corporate income tax rates keep dropping, with "business friendly" tax reforms sprouting everywhere, most prominently through the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act ("TCJA") in the United States in 2017. Emerging global information-sharing regimes like the OECD's Common Reporting Standard ("CRS") are under implementation in Switzerland, Panama, and Singapore. At the same time, global pressure against tax havens is at all-time highs. The European Union is weaponizing its strong antitrust laws and the state aid doctrine against members' aggressive tax practices. Moreover, States seem to be cooperating on a global scale pursuant to the OECD's recent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting ("BEPS") initiative.

While international taxation has been the subject of intense academic and policy examination, scholars have ignored how these phenomena evidence a broad push towards standardization taking place around the world.

May 22, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Mason Presents The Transformation Of International Tax Today At The Indiana/Leeds Summer Zoom Tax Workshop Series

Ruth Mason (Virginia) presents The Transformation of International Tax, 114 Am. J. Int'l L. ___ (2020), today as part of the Indiana/Leeds Summer Zoom Tax Workshop Series hosted by Leandra Lederman (Indiana) and Leopoldo Parada (Leeds):

Mason (2019)The recession of 2008 precipitated a political crisis that motivated an unprecedented international project to curb corporate tax dodging. This Article argues, contrary to dominant scholarly views, that this effort transformed international tax — changing its participants, agenda and institutions, norms, and even its legal forms. Perhaps most important, efforts to close corporate tax loopholes opened a rift over the resulting revenues that threatens a hundred-year-old tax treaty framework. This Article identifies and critically evaluates these changes from the perspectives of revenue, inclusivity, legitimacy and accountability, innovation, and durability.

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May 21, 2020 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Avi-Yonah: The Human Rights Dimension Of Corporate Tax Practices

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), Taxation and Business: The Human Rights Dimension of Corporate Tax Practices:

If we want to narrow the North-South divide that threatens our world, some limits on tax competition are inevitable. The world faces a crucial choice in the 2020s. We can either continue retreating from globalization in favor of xenophobic nationalism, tariffs, immigration restrictions, and exchange controls. That road leads ultimately to war, as it did in the 1930s. Or we can revive globalization by investing in a robust social safety net, infrastructure, education, and job creation.

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May 21, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dean Amar: Why It Is Unconstitutional For State Bars, When Doling Out Bar-Exam Seats, To Favor In-State Law Schools

Following up on my previous post, New York's Discrimination Against Graduates Of Out-Of-State Law Schools Is Unconstitutional — 'Whether It’s Toilet Paper Or Bar Exam Seats, Hoarding Is Wrong':

Vikram Amar (Dean, Illinois), Why It is Unconstitutional for State Bars, When Doling out Bar-Exam Seats, to Favor In-State Law Schools:

Amar 3As bar examiners around the country grapple with administering bar exams this summer (either in July, as originally scheduled, or a month or two later) in the kind of socially distanced format the COVID-19 pandemic seems likely to require, a troubling pattern is emerging. Starting with New York (three weeks ago), a number of states—anticipating that there will be more demand for exam seats than can be accommodated—have announced policies that give formal priority for exam registration to people who graduated from in-state law schools, and that discriminate openly against out-of-state schools and the graduates therefrom. Massachusetts and Tennessee (like New York) recently made clear they will give formal preference to, and only to, graduates of all in-state law schools. So too with Maine and North Dakota (the only law school in each state being that of the public flagship university). And Connecticut and Missouri will give preference to graduates of in-state law schools along with some graduates of out-of-state (but often nearby) schools.

This trend is disturbing, because of the message it sends (about selfishness in times of crisis) and also, even more importantly, because the actions of most of these state bars (Connecticut and Missouri may be more complicated) are unconstitutional.

To be sure, administering a professional licensure exam in these times is challenging. And many states—especially those states that give the so-called Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), a test whose score can be used to seek admission in over 30 states in the nation—are probably correct in expecting that more people will seek to take the test in their states than can, given social distancing, be accommodated. (I am fully supportive of efforts of my law dean colleagues around the country to brainstorm about ways to expand the number of exam seats, but the reality is that demand for exam spaces could easily exceed supply in many states this summer). Scarcity is unfortunate. But as public agencies (generally overseen by state high courts), bar examiner bodies must manage that scarcity in ways that are consistent with the United States Constitution. And treating all in-state law schools more favorably than all out-of-state schools simply won’t fly, constitutionally speaking. (Although many constitutional challenges might be made, in this essay I limit myself to Commerce Clause concerns.) ...

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May 21, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Harvard Makes Online Zero-L Course Free For All U.S. Law Schools Due To Coronavirus

Zero-L

Harvard Crimson, Harvard Law School Makes Online Zero-L Course Free for All U.S. Law Schools Due to Coronavirus:

Harvard Law School announced Wednesday it will offer its online, pre-term “Zero-L” course for free for all United States law schools this summer in an effort to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the success of incoming law students.

The Law School and the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning created the Zero-L program in 2018 to ensure students from all backgrounds could enter the school with foundational knowledge about the legal field. The name Zero-L refers to the names of 1L, 2L, and 3L for first, second, and third-year law students.

The program is taught by Law School professors and features self-paced modules that students can refer back to throughout their entire first year. It covers topics such as how to read a case and the stages of civil litigation. ...

In 2019, four other law schools — Seton Hall University, Northeastern University, Boston College, and the University of Baltimore — adopted the program.

The Law School had planned to make the Zero-L program available to other schools for a fee, but decided to waive that fee in light of the pandemic. All law schools in the United States who wish to participate can offer the course to their incoming students starting July 1. ... [T]he Law School has not eliminated the possibility of reinstating the fee in future years.

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May 21, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

University Of North Carolina And Tax Policy Center Host A Virtual Conference Today On Responding To Income Shifting By Multinational Corporations

The University of North Carolina and Tax Policy Center host a virtual conference on Responding to Income Shifting by Multinational Corporations today at 9:30 am to 12:00 pm EDT (register):

UNCTPCOver the past few decades, corporate income tax rates and revenues have eroded worldwide as multinational corporations have shifted their reported profits from intangible assets to low-tax jurisdictions. In its study of base erosion and profit shifting, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recommended ways to limit abusive transactions that shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions and to improve corporate income reporting worldwide. The OECD is now considering more fundamental revisions of global rules for taxing multinational corporations that would either assign more profits to countries where goods and services are sold or impose new global minimum taxes on the intangible profits of a country’s resident companies.

Keynote Address:  Pascal Saint-Amans (Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD)

Panel #1: How Big a Problem is Income Shifting?

  • Kimberly Clausing (Reed College; moving to UCLA)
  • Scott Dyreng (Duke)
  • Leslie Robinson (Dartmouth)
  • Gabriel Zucman (UC-Berkeley)
  • Edward Maydew (University of North Carolina Tax Center) (moderator)

Panel #2: The OECD’s Response to Income Shifting

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May 21, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

More On ABA's Decision To Approve Power To Permit Online Legal Ed During Pandemics, New Distance Ed Rules; Reject Call To Suspend 75% Bar Passage Requirement

Following up on my previous post:  ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Summary of Actions of the Section’s Council at its Public Meeting (May 15, 2020):

ABA Section On Legal Education (2016)The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar met virtually on May 15 to consider recommendations, reports and other issues on its agenda. The Council took these key actions:

• Adopted the first formal steps, including a revision to Rule 2 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedures for the Approval of Law Schools, to permit the Council to take action to provide law schools appropriate and necessary relief from the requirements of the Standards in the event of disasters or emergencies. The Council’s Standards Review Subcommittee recommended the proposed change because of uncertainty surrounding the next academic year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the absence of such authority in the current rules.

Currently, Standard 107(a)(1) provides for a variance to a particular school for emergencies and disasters. That authority will continue, but the proposed change would permit the Council to provide temporary relief from a rule or the requirements of a standard to allow law schools to respond to a regional or national emergency, such as weather disasters and pandemics. The relief granted would be effective only for the duration of the extraordinary circumstance and only to the extent specifically provided. The proposed change will go out for Notice and Comment with the intent to submit it to the House of Delegates for its August 2020 meeting so that the Council will be in a position to address potential issues for the 2020- 2021 academic year.

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May 21, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Valparaiso Graduates Its Last Law School Class Of 14 Students

Following up on my previous post, Valparaiso Law School To Close In May 2020:  The Times, Valparaiso University Graduates Last Class of Law Students in Midst of Coranvirus Pandemic:

Valpo (2019)In the last three years, Valparaiso University’s final class of law school graduates have studied under extraordinary circumstances — first learning their school, a 141-year-old institution, would be closing upon their graduation, then completing their legal education in the midst of a sweeping global pandemic. ...

On Friday, VU Law students participated in a modified celebration — including the awarding of Latin honors, distribution of regalia and participating in an end-of-year VU tradition, the "Cane Walk." Fourteen law school students make up this spring's Class of 2020. ...

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May 21, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gladriel Shobe Named Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law At BYU For 2020-21

Shobe (2018)Gladriel Shobe has been named Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law at BYU for 2020-21 in recognition of her exceptional achievements in scholarship, teaching, and citizenship. She was named 1L Professor of the Year in both 2016-17 and 2017-18. Her recent scholarship includes:

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May 21, 2020 in Tax, Tax News, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Kim: Digital Services Tax — A Cross-Border Variation Of The Consumption Tax Debate

Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah), Digital Services Tax: A Cross-Border Variation of the Consumption Tax Debate, 72 Ala. L. Rev. ___ (2020):

The rise of highly digitalized businesses, such as Google and Amazon, has strained the traditional income tax rules on nexus and profit allocation. Traditionally, profit is allocated to market countries where consumers are located only if the business has physical presence. However, in the digital economy, profits can be easily generated in market countries without a physical presence, resulting in tax revenue loss for market countries. In response, market countries have started imposing a new tax, called the digital services tax (“DST”), on certain digital business models, which has ignited heated debate across the globe. Supporters defend the DST, designed as a turnover style consumption tax, as an effective measure to make up the foregone revenue in the digital economy because it is not bound by the traditional rules of income taxation. Opponents criticize DST as “ring-fencing” or segregating certain digital business models, discriminating against American tech giants, and arguably imposing a disguised income tax. The debate has been focused on the imminent impact, such as who is the immediate winner and loser, but the discussion lacks efforts to understand the fundamentals of DST, especially with regard to the consumption tax aspect.

This Article is the first academic paper that highlights DST as a consumption tax and provides normative implications for policy makers deliberating a DST.

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May 20, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Taxation Of The Digital Economy: Adapting A 21st-Century Tax System To A Twenty-First Century Economy

Assaf Harpaz (S.J.D. 2020, Duke), Taxation of the Digital Economy: Adapting a Twentieth-Century Tax System to a Twenty-First Century Economy, 45 Yale J. Int'l L. ___ (2020):

This article analyzes the tax challenges of digitalization and the solutions to address them. The article argues in favor of a multilateral approach and proposes applying a new tax based on a worldwide de minimis amount. As more companies conduct business online, current international tax law and its principles have failed to adapt to global commercial practices. Digital-tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have been able to exploit the international tax framework by avoiding a physical presence in the jurisdiction of their consumers. As a result, profits of highly digitalized enterprises are often stashed in low tax countries and left untaxed in markets where substantial economic activity occurs.

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May 20, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. Department Of Education Extends Online Education Flexibility Through Fall 2020 Semester

UPDATED Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (May 15, 2020):

Department of Education LogoThe Department appreciates that postsecondary institutions and their students face continued challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This guidance provides updated information that expands upon the Department’s March 5, 2020 and April 3, 2020 guidance. Here, we provide additional regulatory flexibilities due to the President’s declaration of a national emergency due to COVID-19 and provide information about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Pub. L. No. 116-136, signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020. We will provide additional guidance on our COVID-19 webpage as needed.

Department Guidance

Distance Education
We are aware of the need for institutions to plan how they will offer instruction for upcoming periods of enrollment. Many institutions have informed us of their intent to offer both the summer and fall terms using distance education. To provide the necessary flexibility for institutions to make timely decisions, we are expanding the broad approval for the use of distance education as provided in the April 3, 2020, EA to include payment periods that overlap March 5, 2020, or that begin on or between March 5, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

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May 20, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

COVID-19 May Cause Higher Ed To Finally Confront Runaway Academic Spending, Including 67% Of Tenured Faculty Who Are Underproductive

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  How to Address the Elephant in the Room: Academic Costs, by Paul N. Friga (University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School): 

American higher education is widely regarded as the best in the world. At the same time, critics have suggested that it is slow to change, unresponsive to student demands, bloated, and expensive. With Covid-19, higher education is now facing its most significant challenge. We have an opportunity to do everything we can to make strategic shifts not only to survive but also to thrive through this crisis. It won’t be easy. ...

In early March, I predicted scenarios with damage up to 50 percent to universities’ operating expenses. Other surveys, including one just completed in late April of chief financial officers, suggest potential negative impacts closer to 10 to 15 percent of revenues, as shown below.

Chronicle

I believe that the time has come to discuss the elephant in the room. No doubt this will be a delicate subject on many campuses. Even with the recognition that we are facing dire financial situations, the initial reaction often is that academic spending is “core to our mission and must be maintained.” My recommendation is to approach this conversation carefully, strategically, and inclusively, with three key steps — organize, analyze, and prioritize. ...

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May 20, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

McCormack: Taxing Parents — Welfarist Theories

Shannon Weeks McCormack (Washington), Taxing Parents: Welfarist Theories, 2020 BYU L. Rev. ___ :

The Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) taxes parents inequitably. Couples with a sole earner are under-taxed compared to couples with dual earners or single parents. Previous scholarship has identified these inequities and then argued that this sole earner bias should be eliminated. These arguments, however, have often been incomplete. Simply establishing that an inequity exists does not create a full argument for legal reform. After all, the Code plays favorites all the time. Scholars have traditionally turned to theories of distributive justice when evaluating whether tax preferences are warranted. These theories offer competing visions about the way resources should be allocated. Rather than advocating blanket equality, these theories identify higher order principles that justify preferential-ism. But scholars who have asked Congress to eliminate the Code’s preference for sole earners have often failed to connect their arguments with this distributive literature.

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May 20, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why Bill Cartwright, Not Michael Jordan, Was The Chicago Bulls' Most Valuable Leader

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Michael Jordan Didn’t Manage People, He Lit Them on Fire, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

Captain ClassEight episodes into The Last Dance, ESPN’s 10-part docuseries about the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s, the same old question continues to bedevil us.

Was Michael Jordan a brilliant leader, or a merciless tyrant?

In the time I’ve spent studying leaders, I have never succeeded at stuffing Michael Jeffrey Jordan into any categorical box. We’ve all worked with talented, demanding people. But very few of them were hypermagnetic global icons. The only other name that comes to mind is Steve Jobs.

It’s indisputable that both men possessed thermonuclear competitive drive and pushed their organizations to unprecedented success. And yet, was that because of or despite the fact that they scared the hell out of people?

“The Last Dance” is a Jordan-sanctioned production that occasionally sands down its protagonist’s rough edges. But it does a surprisingly thorough job of showing how punishingly high Jordan’s standards were and how he ridiculed anyone who failed to meet them. “He was a jerk,” former teammate Will Perdue said in the film. “He crossed the line numerous times.”

Both Jordan, and Steve Jobs, were staunchly unapologetic about this. “My job is not to be easy on people,” Apple’s co-founder once said. “My job is to make them better.” Or as Jordan put it: “Winning has a price. And leadership has a price. So, I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled.” ...

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May 20, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Horwitz: A Skeptical Comment On The Wisconsin Diploma Privilege

Following up on last week's post, Using The Diploma Privilege To Reflect On What We Do And What We Ought To Do:  Paul Horwitz (Alabama), A Skeptical Comment on the Wisconsin Diploma Privilege:

Wisconsin BarAnent my previous post on using the Wisconsin diploma privilege to "reflect on what we do and what we ought to do" in legal education, I heard from Jason Yackee, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin's law school. My post featured a piece quoting Wisconsin lawyers and regulators discussing the privilege--a useful source of information to those of us who have discussed or invoked the privilege without first-hand experience. More information is better, and Prof. Yackee offers his own experience-based judgment, which is more skeptical than that of the people I quoted earlier. With his permission and my thanks, I offer his response below, with some comments following.

The Covid-19 pandemic has called into question the ability of states to safely administer in-person examinations for admittance to the bar. One potential solution, perhaps only temporary in nature, is to substitute some version of a “diploma privilege”, through which students who have graduated from certain law schools are granted permission to practice without taking a traditional bar exam. Recent posts on Prawfsblawg and on Paul Caron’s Taxprof Blog have suggested that Wisconsin’s long-standing diploma privilege regime might serve as a model. Wisconsin is, famously, the only state to allow graduates from in-state law schools (of which there are only two, at UW-Madison and Marquette University) to bypass the Wisconsin bar exam. That exam consists of the Multistate Bar Exam, which is developed by an organization based—note the irony—in Madison, Wisconsin. Graduates of all other law schools in the union, from Yale on down to Thomas Jefferson, must take and pass the test. This system has very occasionally and never successfully been challenged in federal court as impermissibly discriminatory (under dormant commerce clause or equal-protection logics) against students who have graduated from out-of-state law schools.

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May 20, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Remembering Jim McGoldrick

McGoldickPepperdine University Mourns the Passing of Professor James M. McGoldrick:

Pepperdine University is saddened to announce the passing of Jim McGoldrick (’66), professor of law at the Caruso School of Law, who died today, May 16, 2020, following complications related to COVID-19. He was 76.

“The passing of Professor Jim McGoldrick is a profound loss to our community,” says President Jim Gash, long-time associate and former student of McGoldrick. “Jim was one of my favorite professors when I was a law student at Pepperdine and was a beloved colleague during my 20 years of teaching alongside him. His dry wit and easy laugh will be greatly missed.” 

Prior to his nearly 50-year career at Pepperdine, McGoldrick spent his first few years as an attorney working for the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice and as a trial lawyer with California’s Tulare County Legal Services. Ron Phillips, the senior vice chancellor and Caruso School of Law Dean Emeritus, reflects, “Jim McGoldrick was the third full-time professor ever hired by Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, and the longest serving by a wide margin, beginning in 1971. He likely taught more of our students than anyone else. Jim entertained his students as he taught them. He made friends easily, including me. Jim was one of a kind, and will be sorely missed—and fondly remembered.” ...

McGoldrick 1976“Professor McGoldrick was a larger than life figure in his 50 years on the Pepperdine Caruso Law faculty, beloved by generations of students, staff, and faculty,” says Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean Paul Caron. “He leaves a lasting legacy at the law school and in the lives of all who passed through here.”  ...

McGoldrick is survived by his wife, Jan; his daughter, Julie M. McGoldrick (’92, JD ’04); his son, John T. McGoldrick (JD ’00); and his granddaughter, Sadie B. White.

In Memory of Jim McGoldrick:

Pepperdine mourns the loss of Professor Jim McGoldrick who was beloved by generations of students in his 50 years on the Caruso School of Law faculty. He will be deeply missed. For those who wish to leave a lasting tribute, please share your memories of Jim by clicking on the Comments tab. You may also make a gift to the Jim McGoldrick Memorial Law Scholarship in his memory by clicking the Make My Gift tab.

I shared this memory of Jim on the tribute page:

I first met Jim when he walked into my office as a brand new visiting professor to invite my wife and me to dinner with some other Pepperdine professors at one of his favorite Malibu restaurants. Courtney and I were especially touched as this was our first social occasion as members of the Pepperdine community. Other dinners followed through the years, and we will always remember Jim's kindness and wit. As a faculty member and then Dean, I witnessed first hand Jim's incredible talent and dedication as a teacher. Courtney and I have hosted hundreds of students in our home for dinners in my three years as dean, and we always go around the table asking students which professor has had the biggest impact on them. Jim's name is mentioned time after time after time -- the students simply loved him. And Jim loved his students. I will never forget discussing with Jim how we could minimize the impact of his COVID-19 illness on his students moments before he was to be put on a ventilator. I am in awe that, in that scary moment, Jim's main concern was his students. Pepperdine Caruso Law School will not be the same without Jim physical presence. But we will strive in our own ways to put our students first in everything we do, as Jim did for 50 years.

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May 20, 2020 in Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Saving The Planet Through Corporate Tax Policy

Roberta F. Mann (Oregon), Fiona Martin (New South Wales) & Bill Butcher (New South Wales), Saving the Planet by Cutting Corporate Taxes: A Comparative Case Study Analysis, 23 Fla. Tax Rev. 238 (2019):

Florida Tax Review (2019)This Article examines corporate tax trends in the context of the pressing global issue of climate change. Multinational corporations play a huge role in the global economy. We argue that the role of for-profit corporations should not be limited to making short-term profits for their shareholders. If corporations benefit from corporate tax reductions, some of that benefit should be shared with society. This Article explores the connection between climate change and corporate activity through a new lens: corporate tax policy. It expands the current inquiry about the impact of taxes on corporations by connecting that discussion to the impact of multinational corporate activity on the global environment. To date, while research has been done on the interaction between corporate tax avoidance and corporate social responsibility, no research has examined the connection between the global trend of corporate tax rate cuts and the increasingly important influence of corporate environmental social responsibility.

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May 19, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rosenberg: What You Need To Know About The New International Tax Provisions

Rebecca Rosenberg (Ohio Northern), It's All About the DRD, What's Wrong with Foreign Branches, and a Few Other Things You Should Know About the New International Tax Provisions, 53 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. ___ (2020):

This Article highlights and analyzes some important points about the new international tax rules. For example, such provisions do not create an entirely territorial system. The partial movement towards territorial objectives is accomplished largely through the new 100% dividends received deduction (DRD) for certain foreign dividends from foreign corporations. However, this new DRD is much more limited in its application than most taxpayers may realize (for example, due to a very long holding period requirement). Even when the DRD potentially applies, taxpayers may attempt to claim foreign tax credits instead.

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May 19, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Flaws Of Implicit Bias — And the Need For Empirical Research In Legal Scholarship And In Legal Education

Adam Lamparello (Former Associate Dean of Experiential Learning, Indiana Tech), The Flaws of Implicit Bias — And the Need for Empirical Research in Legal Scholarship and in Legal Education:

Nowhere is the necessity of using empirical research methods and statistics in formulating legal arguments more obvious than in recent legal scholarship concerning implicit bias.

By way of background, the concept of implicit, or unconscious, bias has recently enjoyed its ‘fifteen minutes of fame,’ garnering substantial support from many scholars, including some law professors, who contend that implicit biases cause discriminatory behavior, including behaviors that disparately impact traditionally marginalized groups. Indeed, scholars have advocated for programs and policies that instruct incoming law students and faculty regarding the existence of its implicit bias and its alleged role in perpetuating overt and subtle racism.

But there is a problem — a very big problem — that plagues legal scholarship in this area and that casts doubt on these policies.

Specifically, recent empirical studies by social psychologists strongly suggest that implicit bias is not predictive of biased behavior. In fact, the science regarding implicit bias’s connection to biased behavior is so flawed that social psychologists doubt its validity and question the utility of policies that attempt to link implicit bias to biased behavior.

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May 19, 2020 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (5)

Citing Covid-19, Minnesota Law Graduates Seek To Bypass Bar Exam To Practice In Wisconsin

Newsweek, Citing Covid-19, Minnesota Law Graduates Seek to Bypass Bar Exam to Practice in Wisconsin:

Wisconsin BarAs jurisdictions across the country continue to evaluate whether it will be possible to administer state bar examinations as scheduled this July during the coronavirus outbreak, recent law school graduates have requested a temporary suspension of requirements that currently prevent them from practicing without taking the test.

In a Saturday report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, three graduates from University of Minnesota's law program filed a petition with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April with that objective in mind. Each student has already secured fall employment at firms based in Wisconsin, according to the outlet, pending results of their respective examinations.

May 19, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Clausing: Business Tax Principles For Economic Recovery In The Time Of Coronavirus

Kimberly Clausing (Reed College; moving to UCLA), Business Tax Principles for Economic Recovery in the Time of Coronavirus:

CoronavirusAs 2020 began, the U.S. business tax system was ill-suited to the nation’s economic challenges. After the excessive tax cuts of 2017, the U.S. corporate tax raised only one-third as much revenue, relative to gross domestic product (GDP), as those of U.S. trading partners in 2018 and 2019. The system of taxing pass-through businesses—businesses that do not pay the corporate tax—was already leaky, but it was further weakened by the inefficient pass-through deduction of the 2017 tax law. These business tax cuts lavished rewards on those at the top of the income distribution without demonstrably boosting either business investment or wages. As a result, the U.S. tax system is less progressive than what came before, despite prior decades of uncontested increases in income inequality. The new tax law is also ill-suited to a global economy, explicitly favoring offshore earnings, rather than those in the United States.

Now, the COVID-19 crisis has raised unprecedented threats to public health and the economy. Both the Federal Reserve System and Congress have leapt into action. Congress passed multiple relief packages, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March, which provided about $2 trillion in funding for response and relief.

While many of the provisions of the CARES Act provide critical relief at this urgent time, the business tax cuts in the bill should have been more carefully targeted. It is also essential that Congress counter the expectation that crisis measures will be extended post-crisis and instead pursue revenue-raising business tax reform once the crisis is past. This column outlines three principles for an efficient and equitable business tax system that is fit for purpose.

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May 19, 2020 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax News, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Clinical Law Faculty And Their Courses, 2019-20

Tax Prof Blog op-ed:  A Sneaky Peek at CSALE 2019-20: Clinical Law Faculty and Their Courses, by Robert Kuehn (Associate Dean for Clinical Education, Washington University):

Kuehn (2019)The Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) is in the final weeks of collecting data for its 2019-20 tri-annual survey of clinical legal education.

The CSALE Master Survey was completed in the fall by over 94% of law schools; the follow up CSALE Sub-Survey was sent earlier this year to almost 2,000 law clinic and externship instructors. The ongoing Sub-Survey collects information on each instructor’s position and courses and will remain open for additional respondents until the end of May. CSALE will publish a detailed report on the 2019-20 survey, its fifth, in late summer, available with prior reports on its website.

But there’s no need to wait. Some of the data in the CSALE Master Survey is available now, and it shows both stability and change in clinical legal education. Relatively unchanged was the number of law clinics, with schools reporting 1,521 clinics, a median of 7 per school, unchanged over the last three surveys. Six schools offer no law clinics and three offer just one, while seven schools reported more than 20. There are some significant changes in the substantive focus of clinics. The most common now is Immigration (displacing Criminal Defense), offered at 63% of schools, a 34% increase in just three years. Intellectual Property clinics also greatly increased in number (at 35% of schools, up 50% from the last survey), as did Entrepreneur/Small Business (now at 36% of schools).

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May 19, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)