Following up on last week's post on the death of Christine Ann Brunswick, Executive Director of the ABA Tax Section for over 25 years: several Tax Profs share their remembrances of Christine:
- Alice Abreu (Temple)
- Ellen Aprill (Loyola-L.A.)
- Paul Caron (Cincinnati & Pepperdine)
- Cynthia Lepow (Loyola-New Orleans)
- Francine Lipman (UNLV)
- Roberta Mann (Oregon)
- Deborah Schenk (NYU)
Alice Abreu, James E. Beasley
Professor of Law, Temple University, Beasley School of Law
was the backbone of the Tax Section.
Every Tax Section Meeting at which numerous substantive presentations
went off simultaneously and without a hitch while there was ample nourishment
for members networking, catching up with friends or just going from one
excellent panel to another owed its success to the behind the scenes
organizational efforts of Chris and the excellent and dedicated staff she
assembled. It's been noted often in these recent sad days that whenever
Council, Section Officers, or the Section Chair faced a difficult question, the
first question was always "What does Chris think?" or "Ask
Chris". She was highly respected,
had a deep devotion to the Section, its work and the tax system and her
judgment was always spot-on. The Section
owes a lot of its success to her steady hand and unwavering devotion. She has left the organization strong, but she
has also left a void.
was also a deep believer in the importance of pro bono and public interest work
and in the idea that tax work could be work in the public interest. She was
instrumental in the Section's establishment of its Public Interest Fellowship
which was modeled on the Skadden Fellowships and which every year continues to
fund the work of two Public Interest Fellows for two years. The Fellows have brought tax representation
to underserved populations of taxpayers from Appalachia to Brooklyn and
Illinois to Maine and even to rural Pennsylvania. All of the taxpayers who have been helped by
the Fellows owe that help to Chris' advocacy and support. She did the hard, tedious, but essential work
of putting the proposal together, obtaining ABA approval, figuring out payment
and actually making the program happen and thrive. Chris also helped develop the Section's Pro
Bono Staff Counsel and has nurtured the talented young people who have served
in that capacity. Their work, under
Chris' guidance, has allowed Section members to expand dramatically their
participation in VITA programs and to bring their expertise to an increasing number
of military bases throughout the country.
None of that would have happened without Chris' passion, leadership and
also loved life. She was a strong woman
whose style and panache attracted others to her and made them want to do their
best work for her. She was decisive
without being abrasive while also being great fun. She ran the Marine Corps Marathon, traveled
extensively, knew her food and wine, and loved her son Daniel without
reservation. She fought cancer like a
lion while working with the National Breast Cancer Coalition to help save the
lives of other women. She was a role
model to many of us and she will be very deeply missed. I was lucky to have known her and to have
learned from her.
Ellen Aprill, John E.
Anderson Professor of Tax Law, Loyola Law School,
my years as an officer and council director for the ABA Tax Section, I had the
good fortune to work frequently with Chris Brunswick. Seldom have I met someone with such a degree
of practical wisdom and good judgment.
Her advice as to what would work and what would not -- as well as why a
particular path would be preferable -- always hit the mark. Her good humor
never failed, even in trying professional circumstances, much less in the
personal challenge she faced in battling her illness. I remember her with both affection and
Paul Caron, Charles Hartsock Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati
College of Law; and D & L Straus Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Pepperdine
University School of Law
Although I did not know Chris well, I found her invariably
cheerful and helpful whenever I contacted her.
Several times she helped me navigate my way through the ABA Tax Section.
Cynthia Lepow, Professor of Law, Loyola New Orleans College of
I have looked to Chris to be enthusiastic about ways to encourage
pro bono participation by section members.
She was especially helpful when I started to produce videos for lawyers
working with moderate-income taxpayers.
Most of all, she was fun to know and to work with.
Francine Lipman, William S. Boyd Professor of Law, UNLV William
S. Boyd School of Law
Christine Brunswick was "the change
she wanted to see in the world." She was a world class community
organizer in the best sense and a tireless advocate for progress in health care
for women as well as for pro bono tax services for underserved communities.
Her leadership in the Section of Taxation for the American Bar
Association led the organization to focus resources on among other accomplishments,
two annual public service tax fellowships, an in-house pro bono tax counsel
position, enhanced pro bono outreach and support, especially for members of the
armed services and unrepresented individuals before the Tax Court, and more
education and assistance for low-income taxpayer advocates and clinics. In
addition, she served as a role model of leadership. She was dedicated,
brilliant, and bold, but always elegant and ready to smile and enjoy the
journey. While Christine Brunswick left the world in a much better place
than when she arrived, we will miss her amazing grace.
Roberta Mann, Frank
Nash Professor of Law, University of Oregon School of Law
Although I didn't know Christine well, she was always helpful when
I needed assistance in navigating the intricacies of the ABA meeting
process. And she always greeted me with
a warm smile. Perhaps when things move
smoothly, it's hard to appreciate the work behind the scenes. I know she will be missed.
Deborah Schenk, Marilynn and Ronald
Grossman Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
I was active in the ABA Tax Section for many years. It did not take me long to discover that,
despite the participation of many very smart and talented tax lawyers, Chris
Brunswick was the glue that held the Tax Section together. She knew everything about the Tax
Section. She knew everyone in the Tax
Section. She knew how to get anything
done in the Tax Section. Even though she
was a force to be reckoned with, Chris was always cheerful. Her greatest legacy, however, has nothing to
do with tax or the ABA. I am confident
that there are countless women all over America—many of them tax lawyers—who
get a mammogram every year because Chris insisted that they do so.