Paul L. Caron

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Spotlight_1_1Jeffrey A. Maine (Maine)

        • B.B.A. 1989, Florida Atlantic
        • M.B.A. 1990, Florida Atlantic
        • J.D. 1993, Stetson
        • LL.M. (Tax) 1994, Florida


Maine_4 Having grown up as a Florida boy and receiving all my formal education there, I began teaching tax law at the age of 27. After completing the LL.M. program at Florida -- my classmates that year included David Brennan (Georgia), Sam Donaldson (Washington), and Darrell Jones (Stetson) -- I worked as an associate for Holland & Knight in Tampa, and in the evenings taught tax at Stetson. I soon learned of a visiting position at Idaho. I applied on the deadline, received an offer within a week, gave my firm two weeks’ notice, packed what I could in my Celica, and drove 3,000 miles to Moscow, Idaho.

It was crazy, but teaching at Idaho turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I saw snow for the first time, learned to ski, and learned to fly fish. More importantly, the Idaho experience led to a faculty position at Texas Wesleyan, where I taught for six years while serving for two years as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

When Mike Lang became director of Chapman’s Graduate Tax Program in 2003, a tax position opened up at Maine. I couldn’t resist. What better place to be than a place named after you! Maine Law has been wonderful. It’s a small school with an impressive faculty and a strong sense of community. Maine Law has its own Technology Law Center and Patent Program, and has been expanding its focus on intellectual property issues.

I have been focusing my research and writing on the taxation of intellectual property, a subject niche that has been relatively undeveloped. In addition to teaching Federal Income Tax (a class with about 100 students each fall), Business Tax, and Estate & Gift Tax, I teach a Taxation of Intellectual Property seminar using two books I have co-authored on the subject:

Having served as Associate Dean at a large private school, I never imagined myself doing it again so soon at a small public school. As a friend recently joked, I used to be a fire hydrant for 650 dogs, now I’m one for only 275 dogs. While I enjoy the administrative side of legal education as Associate Dean, my heart remains in the classroom. I enjoy working with students, and I try to make tax fun using interesting cases and examples to bring the Code to life. I’ll soon be using my new casebook to teach the basic tax course. The topics, the selection of cases, and the design of the problems in The Fundamentals of Federal Taxation (Carolina Academic Press, Spring 2007) (with Jack Miller (Idaho)), are all calculated to make tax fun and thought-provoking. My greatest reward as a teacher is seeing so many students each year pursue tax as a career. Next year, two Maine Law graduates will be clerking at the Tax Court. Not bad, considering we’re one of the smallest law schools in the country.

Writing this profile has made me think about all the people who have had such a profound impact on my life: Bernie Barton at Holland & Knight, who threw a copy of Elbert Hubbard’s A Message to Garcia at me whenever I asked too many questions (the book, originally published in 1899, is now required reading in some of my courses); John Cooper (Stetson) and Richard Gershon (Charleston), who encouraged me to pursue full-time teaching; Jack Miller (Idaho), who gave me my first full-time teaching position; and Colleen Khoury (Maine), who convinced me that Maine was home. And then there are those who have reviewed my scholarship over the years, including Evelyn Brody (Chicago-Kent), and Philip Postlewaite (Northwestern) and David Cameron (Northwestern), pioneers in the field of taxation of intangibles and have paved the way for new scholarship on IP taxation. I am forever grateful to all of them. Their constant support and guidance have led me into a fulfilling professional life.

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