TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, August 5, 2017

President Trump Nominates Elizabeth Copeland, Patrick Urda To U.S. Tax Court

Tax Court (2017)White House Office of the Press Secretary, Eighteen Nominations Sent to the Senate Today:

Elizabeth Ann Copeland, of Texas, to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court for a term of fifteen years, vice James S. Halpern, retired.

Patrick J. Urda, of Indiana, to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court for a term of fifteen years, vice Diane L. Kroupa, retired.

Elizabeth A. Copeland is a tax litigation partner at Strausburger & Price (San Antonio).  President Obama nominated her in May 2015, and the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved her nomination in April 2016. In November 2016 (before the election), 52 Tax Profs sent a letter urging the Senate to hold a hearing on her nomination, but the Senate refused and sent her nomination back to the White House in January (before President Trump's inauguration).  Here is her bio:

StrasburgerElizabeth Ann Copeland is a Partner in the Tax Practice Group of Strasburger & Price, LLP in San Antonio, Texas, where she has practiced law since 2012.  She practiced with Oppenheimer, Blend, Harrison & Tate, Inc. from 1993 to 2012 and was named as Shareholder in 2000.  Ms. Copeland handles all matters pertaining to Federal income taxation, including planning and tax controversies, and she is also experienced in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service at the administrative appeals level and in litigation.  Ms. Copeland has been Board Certified in Tax Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2002. 

Ms. Copeland began her legal career as an Attorney Advisor to Judge Mary Ann Cohen of the United States Tax Court from 1992 to 1993. During law school, she served as a Clerk to Justice Eugene Cook of the Texas Supreme Court.  Prior to that, she worked with Ernst & Whinney (now EY) from 1986 to 1989.  Tax Analysts named her a 2012 Tax Person of the Year in its national edition of Tax Notes.  She served as Chair of the State Bar of Texas Tax Section in 2013 to 2014 and is a Certified Public Accountant.  Ms. Copeland received a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.

Patrick Urda (B.A. Notre Dame, 1998; J.D. 2001) has been an Appellate Attorney in the Department of Justice since 2006.  Before then he was an Associate at McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago) (2001-03); Associate at Maciorowski, Sackmann & Ulrich (Chicago) (2003-04); Law Clerk for the Hon. Daniel Manion, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (2004-06).

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Tentatively... yuge mistake. Trump shouldn't be nominating anyone Obama nominated (or was inclined to nominate). Sigh (*read word aloud*).

Posted by: NoHmo | Aug 5, 2017 6:05:05 PM

Congrats and best wishes to Pat Urda, my 1L section-mate!

Posted by: Ruth Mason | Aug 10, 2017 12:49:35 PM

Congratulations to Elizabeth Copeland. She will be an amazing Judge and an asset to the U.S. Tax Court!!! These are NOT political party based nominations.

Posted by: Mary Ross | Aug 13, 2017 10:17:50 AM