Paul L. Caron

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This week's Tax Prof Spotlight inaugurates a series of profiles of folks starting their careers this fall as law school tax professors. I hope the profiles will help introduce our newest colleagues to the tax community.

Spotlight_1_1T. Keith Fogg (Villanova)

        • B.A. 1974, William & Mary
        • J.D. 1977, Richmond
        • LL.M. 1982, William & Mary



FoggLike most students I went to college with one career path in mind and changed as courses directed my interests to other areas. I thought I would pursue accounting but one class of accounting convinced me otherwise. I switched to a Government major and pointed toward law school.

My grandfather passed away shortly before I graduated from college and that influenced my law school choice. I attended the University of Richmond and lived on the family farm with my grandmother who had never learned to drive. I loved criminal law in school but was offered a job with Chief Counsel, IRS thus beginning journey to the tax profession.

Initially, I worked in the National Office on refund suits. After 18 months I transferred to a field office where I tried numerous Tax Court cases and represented the Service in bankruptcy court. Ten years later I returned to the National Office to head a branch in the General Litigation Division focusing on bankruptcy and collection issues. Just before returning to the National Office I participated in a program that fostered my interest in teaching. I spent a semester as a visiting professor at the University of Arizona Law School working with two great professors, Arthur Andrews and Mark Ascher.

My position as a branch chief brought me into contact with all of the tax litigation then occurring in bankruptcy courts as the 1978 Bankruptcy Code worked its way into the Circuits and into the Supreme Court on numerous issues. I convinced Georgetown Law Center there was a need for a class in its LLM program on bankruptcy and tax issues. For the past 15 years I have been an adjunct faculty member there teaching that class. The confluence of bankruptcy and tax law is where my primary research interest lies.

I returned to Richmond in 1992 as the District Counsel. That position caused me to pay attention to low income taxpayers. The inventory of low income taxpayers litigating in Tax Court was high and the interest of the more senior attorneys in the office in working those cases was low. Consequently, I began to heavily recruit volunteer interns to assist the office in low dollar cases. I quickly realized that I enjoyed working with students on cases. Simultaneously, Nina Olson began her tax clinic in Richmond, the Community Tax Law Project, to serve low income taxpayers. As I worked with that clinic and watched it serve a previously underserved population, I gained an appreciation for the benefits of low income clinics.

I am excited to have the opportunity to direct the excellent tax clinic that Les Book and Villanova Law School have developed. I will miss the many wonderful people with whom I have worked at Chief Counsel’s office and the Department of Justice.

I thank my wife, Beth, who is willing to follow me on this adventure. We have three adult children who seem to spend their time traveling the world. My hobbies are bicycling and traveling to remote (and not so remote) places to visit my children.

Each Saturday, TaxProf Blog shines the spotlight on one of the 700+ tax professors in America's law schools or on one of our international tax colleagues. We hope to help bring the many individual stories of scholarly achievements, teaching innovations, public service, and career moves within the tax professorate to the attention of the broader tax community. Please email me suggestions for future Tax Prof Profiles. For prior Tax Prof Profiles, see here.

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Keith Fogg is a most worthy addition to the pantheon of TaxProfs.

Posted by: Jake | Sep 22, 2007 4:21:27 PM