Paul L. Caron

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Please Join Us At The Pepperdine AALS Reception (Friday, Jan. 4)

Pepperdine Law

Fire High Res 1
Dear Friends,

I want to personally thank you for the outpouring of support Pepperdine Law School received in the aftermath of the Woolsey Fire. We all have been touched by the concern and graciousness of our legal education friends and colleagues.

Many of you may have seen the breathtaking photos of the burned areas surrounding the Pepperdine campus. Thankfully, Pepperdine was spared due to the wisdom and planning of the University and Los Angeles County Fire leadership, along with the courage and dedication of the heroic firefighters on the ground and in the air.

I am proud of how the Pepperdine family came together to support each other and to be of service to the community around us. We sheltered and fed those displaced by the fire, and we launched a disaster relief clinic to help them rebuild their homes and lives.

We feel blessed to be back on our beautiful campus and gearing up for the upcoming spring semester.

I know you have many commitments while you are at the AALS Annual Meeting, but I hope you will find the time to stop by our reception so I can thank you in person.

Please join me and other Pepperdine Law faculty for hors d’oeuvres and a hosted bar.
Friday, January 4th, 2019
5:30-7:30 PM
Bridge Room
Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Wishing you a joyous holiday season with peace and cheer in the new year.
Paul Caron
Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean
Professor of Law
Pepperdine University School of Law
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263

Fire High Res 4

December 20, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hedge Fund Pain Compounded as Surprise Tax Hit Awaits Investors

Bloomberg, Hedge Fund Pain Compounded as Surprise Tax Hit Awaits Investors:

A surprise tax blow could be looming for investors in hedge funds such as Point72 Asset Management.

President Donald Trump’s tax law curbs the coveted deductions that most businesses were allowed to take for the interest they pay on loans. During the tax overhaul debate, private equity firms were the fiercest critics of the provision, arguing it would change the calculus for their deals that often rely on debt.

But buried in 439 pages of proposed regulations released by the Internal Revenue Service last month was an unfortunate surprise for investors in so-called trader hedge funds like Point72, which trade stocks or other assets frequently: Their tax bills might increase as a result of the deduction limit.

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December 20, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Harvard Law Review Hits Back Against Discrimination Claims

Harvard Law ReviewNational Law Journal, Harvard Law Review Hits Back Against Discrimination Claims:

The Harvard Law Review and Harvard University have come out swinging against a lawsuit that claims the legal journal employs racial and gender preferences in violation of federal antidiscrimination laws.

The Harvard defendants this week filed separate motions to dismiss the suit brought in October by a Texas group called Faculty, Alumni, and Students Opposed to Racial Preferences (FASORP), which claims that the law review’s policies regarding the selection of student editors and articles runs afoul of Title IX and Title VI because it disadvantages white males. The same group also sued the New York University Law Review with nearly identical claims, though the defendants in that case have yet to respond in court. ...

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December 20, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Galle: The IRS Boozily Resurrects The 3-Martini Lunch

MartiniBrian Galle (Georgetown), The IRS Boozily Resurrects the 3-Martini Lunch:

IRS and Treasury have recently been so overwhelmed by the volume of regulation needed to implement the 2017 tax legislation that it’s easy to understand if they just really need a drink. It’s still surprising, though, that one piece of their recent implementing guidance seems to bring back the days of Mad Men’s boozy lunches. In its recent Notice 2018–76, IRS seems to have proclaimed that business meals and beverages are now deductible to an extent we haven’t seen since 1962. They’ve had one martini too many: the Notice totally misreads the 2017 legislation.

Okay, if you haven’t taught or taken a Federal Income Tax class recently, you may need a reminder that for 50 years or so business meals have mostly not been deductible. Until the 2017 changes (herein SCTCJA, or so-called Tax Cut & Jobs Act), in order to “write off” your meal or other business “entertainment,” you had to conduct a concrete business transaction during or right before or after (unless you were traveling for work). While this was hardly an impossible standard to fake, it was a real speed bump, because genuine concrete transactions generate real documentation that can be audited.

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December 20, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

34 Law Schools Now Accept The GRE For Admissions (The Latest Are Buffalo, UC-Davis)

Bleeding Women Dry: Tampon Taxes And Menstrual Inequity

Jorene Ooi (J.D. 2018, Northwestern), Note. Bleeding Women Dry: Tampon Taxes and Menstrual Inequity, 113 Nw. U. L. Rev. 109 (2018):

In recent years, the problem of menstrual inequity has attracted increased attention. Most states impose a sales tax on menstrual hygiene products—a “tampon tax.” A burgeoning social movement has sought to end the tampon tax, and lawmakers have taken notice by introducing, and in some cases successfully passing, measures to repeal the tax by exempting menstrual hygiene products from the sales tax. This Note evaluates, from a tax policy standpoint, the pros and cons of repealing the tampon tax.

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December 20, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018 ABA Law School Disclosure Reports (Stats + Graphs)

Keith Lee, Law Schools ABA 509 Disclosure Reports 2018 (Stats + Graphs):

Another year, another data dump. December 15th is the annual reporting day for ABA 509 Disclosures for all ABA approved law schools. These are required public disclosures that law schools must make as part of their ABA accreditation. As soon as the ABA started releasing the data, I began to compile it and release reports at Associate’s Mind.

2011 To 2018 Changes
Law school enrollment continues to be significantly down since reporting began.


Total matriculant change from 2011 to 2018: -17.9%.

Downward trends

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December 19, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Want To Cut Your Tax Bill? Then Keep Reading And Call Your CPA

Bloomberg, Want to Cut Your Tax Bill? Then Keep Reading and Call Your CPA:

President Donald Trump pledged that his tax law would kill off breaks and complex loopholes for the wealthy. Instead, the overhaul has ushered in a new generation of maneuvers that taxpayers can exploit before Dec. 31 to minimize next year’s bills.

Some tactics capitalize on provisions in the law that provide benefits, such as a generous break for owners of pass-through entities like partnerships and a higher exemption amount for the estate tax. Other strategies are aimed at sidestepping new limits in the law, including the cap on state and local tax deductions.

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December 19, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Arizona Summit: ABA Legal Ed Section Didn’t Give Clear Accreditation Guidance

Arizona Summit Logo (2015)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABA Journal, ABA Legal Ed Section Didn’t Give Clear Direction, Says Arizona Summit in Amended Complaint:

Arizona Summit Law School filed an amended complaint on Wednesday against the American Bar Association, alleging that it was not given guidance to come into compliance with accreditation standards.

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December 19, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

NY Times: As The Trumps Dodged Taxes, Their Tenants Paid A Price

New York Times, As the Trumps Dodged Taxes, Their Tenants Paid a Price:

They were collateral damage as Donald J. Trump and his siblings dodged inheritance taxes and gained control of their father’s fortune: thousands of renters in an empire of unassuming red-brick buildings scattered across Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

Those buildings have been home to generations of strivers, municipal workers and newly arrived immigrants. When their regulated rents started rising more quickly in the 1990s, many tenants had no idea why. Some heard that the Trump family had spent millions on building improvements, but they remained suspicious.

“I’ve always thought there was something strange going on,” said Jack Leitner, who has lived in the Beach Haven Apartments in Coney Island, Brooklyn, for more than two decades. “But you have to have proof, and it’s an uphill battle.”

As it turned out, a hidden scam lurked behind the mysterious increases. In October, a New York Times investigation into the origins of Mr. Trump’s wealth revealed, among its findings, that the future president and his siblings set up a phony business to pad the cost of nearly everything their father, the legendary builder Fred C. Trump, purchased for his buildings. The Trump children split that extra money.

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December 19, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Polsky: Senator Rubio’s Mysterious Buyback Tax Proposal

Polsky (2018)TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Senator Rubio’s Mysterious Buyback Tax Proposal, by Gregg Polsky (Georgia):

Senator Marco Rubio has recently argued that stock buybacks are taxed more favorably than dividends and that this preference should be eliminated. In a recent Atlantic article, Senator Rubio criticizes stock buybacks because he believes that they harm workers, and he proposes to tax “stock buybacks at the same rate as dividends.” One problem with this proposal is that stock buybacks (or redemptions, as they are called by tax experts) are already taxed at the same rate as dividends!

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December 19, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Straight-A Students Get Wrong (Steve Jobs Had A 2.65 High School GPA)

ANew York Times op-ed:  What Straight-A Students Get Wrong, by Adam Grant:

A decade ago, at the end of my first semester teaching at Wharton, a student stopped by for office hours. He sat down and burst into tears. My mind started cycling through a list of events that could make a college junior cry: His girlfriend had dumped him; he had been accused of plagiarism. “I just got my first A-minus,” he said, his voice shaking.

Year after year, I watch in dismay as students obsess over getting straight A’s. Some sacrifice their health; a few have even tried to sue their school after falling short. All have joined the cult of perfectionism out of a conviction that top marks are a ticket to elite graduate schools and lucrative job offers.

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December 19, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Avi-Yonah & Xu: A Global Treaty Override — The New OECD Multilateral Tax Instrument

Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan) & Haiyan Xu (S.J.D. 2019, Michigan), A Global Treaty Override? The New OECD Multilateral Tax Instrument And Its Limits, 39 Mich. J. Int'l L. 156 (2018):

The new OECD Multilateral Instrument to amend tax treaties (MLI) is an important innovation in international law. Hitherto, international economic law was built primarily on bilateral treaties (e.g., tax treaties and BITs) or multilateral treaties (the WTO agreements). The problem is that in some areas, like tax and investment, multilateral treaties proved hard to negotiate, but only a multilateral treaty can be amended simultaneously by all its signatories.

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December 19, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA Places Atlanta's John Marshall Law School On Probation

John Marshall (Atlanta) (2016), ABA Places John Marshall Law School on Probation:

The American Bar Association has placed Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School on probation, apparently dissatisfied with the school’s response to a sanctions letter warning its accreditation was at risk last year.

The ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar issued the probation notice Dec. 13 after a November hearing in Atlanta to determine whether additional sanctions were warranted.

The council determined the 85-year-old private law school remained in “substantial” and “persistent” noncompliance with multiple ABA accreditation standards.

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December 19, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Law Schools Are Bad For Democracy

Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed:  Law Schools Are Bad for Democracy, by Samuel Moyn (Yale):

They whitewash the grubby scramble for power.

Yale Law School, where I teach, was roiled by the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh. The usual disagreements about the politics of the day that are healthy in any community were exacerbated by a sense that this was not just one more confirmation fight but an epic battle over the future of the country. Students, in particular, denounced the school for its complicity with elite power and the nonchalance of its commitment to institutional and national justice. And when the accelerant of personal-misconduct charges was thrown into the blaze, the school began a period of self-examination.

This dispute raised a lurking question: What is law school for? How does it serve the individual aspirations of some of our most gifted young people, and the high ideals for social justice that many of them care about? "Elite institutions get so satisfied," my colleague Harold Hongju Koh observed in The New York Times, in the midst of the controversy. "Who are we? What do we stand for? Are we being true to our values? It’s a constant struggle for defining the identity of the institution as times change."

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December 18, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Trump’s Tax Cuts Made A Difference in 2018. Just Not The One Backers Were Hoping For.

Bloomberg, Trump’s Tax Cuts Made a Difference in 2018. Just Not the One Backers Were Hoping For:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that President Trump signed a year ago seems to have boosted economic growth in 2018. But there’s little evidence yet that it’s setting up the U.S. economy for faster growth over the longer term, which is what the White House and the legislation’s backers in Congress promised.

There’s a lot we still don’t know about the impact of the TCJA, given that the tax code is just one of many variables influencing the economy. “There will never be the smoking-gun study that says, ‘This was the effect,’ ” says Joseph Rosenberg, a senior research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

The early results were impressive. Growth, which has averaged 2.2 percent a year since the end of the recession in 2009, accelerated to 4.2 percent in the second quarter, on an annualized basis, and a still strong 3.5 percent in the third. The robust expansion helped drive down unemployment in September to a 49-year low of 3.7 percent, where it remains.

The tax cuts gave a Keynesian boost to demand for goods and services, so its effects are quickly wearing off as the fresh demand is sated: Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect annualized growth to decline to 2.6 percent in the current quarter, then continue to slow to reach 2 percent by the end of 2019. ...

One of the most easily disproved claims Trump made about his tax cut plan is that it wouldn’t swell the budget deficit: As a share of gross domestic product, the deficit rose to 4 percent in October, up from 3.4 percent in October 2017 and 2.6 percent in October 2016.

Bloomberg 1

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December 18, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Papers: Michigan Junior Scholars Conference

JuniorMichigan Law School has issued a call for papers for its Fifth Annual Junior Scholars Conference:

The University of Michigan Law School invites junior scholars to attend the 5th Annual Junior Scholars Conference, which will be held on April 26-27, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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December 18, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Taxing Teens: Working Children, Family Businesses, And The Kiddie Tax

Baker InstituteRice University Baker Institute for Public Policy, Taxing Teens: Working Children, Family Businesses, and the Kiddie Tax:

Being able to manage money is an important life skill, but many American youth are not well prepared to do so. A recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study shows that more than 20% of U.S. high school students do not possess basic levels of financial literacy. This means they can at best identify basic financial products such as invoices or make simple decisions on every day spending. But the ability to create a simple budget, conduct calculations in percentages, appreciate compound interest on savings or loans, and understand income taxes are all beyond their comprehension.

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December 18, 2018 in Tax, Think Tank Reports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Helicopter Law Professors Are Hurting Their Students

Helicopter 2Emily Grant (Washburn), Helicopter Professors, 53 Gonz. L. Rev. 1 (2018):

Helicopter professors, like their parenting counterparts, hover over students, guiding them precisely, and swooping in to rescue them from any hint of failure or challenge. Just as helicopter parenting can be harmful to children, helicopter professoring poses similar threats to students, not the least of which is creating disengaged students dependent on professors for all aspects of their learning and development.

The instinct to be a helicopter professor is understandable in light of several social and cultural circumstances of today’s legal education. First, law students today are largely Millennials who were helicoptered parented and educated in a system that often focused solely on test results. Second, law professors are at times overly focused are garnering positive student evaluation scores, which may be easier to do with a little extra spoon feeding. Professors too may themselves be helicopter parents in their non-work hours, a behavioral pattern that too easily can infiltrate the classroom. Finally, law schools today are seeing a rise in students that have a consumerist attitude and in some cases lower academic credentials; those types of students expect and perhaps need additional assistance. But satisfying that need, combined with the focus on quantifying assessment practices and on improving teaching techniques, may easily cross the line into helicopter behavior.

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December 18, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Pepperdine And Tax Law: From Skid Row To 1111 Constitution Avenue

Two of my favorite Pepperdine tax people:  Isai Cortez (left), Director of our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles; and Charles Rettig (right), Pepperdine Law School Class of 1981 and Commissioner of the IRS.

Pepp Tax

December 18, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Symposium: The Impact Of Formative Assessment — Emphasizing Outcome Measures In Legal Education

Symposium, The Impact of Formative Assessment: Emphasizing Outcome Measures in Legal Education:

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December 18, 2018 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Guide To Election Year Activities Of § 501(c)(3) Organizations

PLI (2018)Continuing a TaxProf Blog tradition, Steven H. Sholk (Gibbons, Newark, NJ) has made available to readers the annual update of his wonderful 483-page A Guide to Election Year Activities of Section 501(c)(3) Organizations (PLI 2018).

December 18, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Oei Presents Beyond Notice-And-Comment: The Making Of The § 199A Regs At Northeastern

Oei (2018)Shu-Yi Oei (Boston College) presented Beyond Notice-and-Comment: The Making of the § 199A Regulations (with Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina)) at Northeastern as part of its Faculty Workshop Series:

Congress passes a highly transformative but hastily drafted legal reform. Who comments in the regulatory process, when, and what are the implications? In this Article, we study these questions by examining how the regulatory process has unfolded in the case of § 199A, one of the central provisions from the monumental 2017 tax reform.

We document the comments that went into making the § 199A regulations from the time of legislative enactment through the hearing on the proposed regulations. We show that many comments were made before the proposed regulations were issued and the official administrative law notice-and-comment period had even opened. We examine how Treasury explicitly considered these comments in the proposed regulations. And we explore how these comments and other engagements—which were not wholly transparent to the public—shaped the proposed regulations and the subsequent conversation in the actual notice-and-comment period. We also investigate the role of indirect public dialogue and comments received after the official close of the notice-and-comment period.

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December 17, 2018 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scharff: The Challenge Of Pricing Externalities Under State Law

Erin Scharff (Arizona State), Green Fees: The Challenge of Pricing Externalities Under State Law, 97 Neb. L. Rev. 168 (2018):

Policymakers at the state and local level are increasingly interested in using market-based pricing mechanisms as regulatory tools. For example, at the state level, several states have recently considered state-level carbon pricing, while at the local level, municipal governments are increasingly turning to stormwater remediation fees to pay for the treatment of municipal runoff required by the Clean Water Act.

These regulatory programs are inspired by the insight of English economist Arthur Pigou, who suggested governments could price social costs into market transactions by imposing a tax. Such policies, however, are frequently subject to state court litigation challenging them as unlawful taxes. State law restricts both state and local governments’ ability to enact taxes, but similar restrictions are often not in place to limit the enactment of regulatory actions or user fees. Unfortunately, state courts have struggled to appropriately classify these fees under existing state law doctrines.

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December 17, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sole Finalist For University Of Minnesota Presidency Faces Final Question: Duck, Duck ...?

MinnesotaChronicle of Higher Education:

You're the sole finalist for the University of Minnesota's presidency, and you're close to the finish line. You've made it through a taxing campus tour. You've answered probing questions. You've professed oodles of enthusiasm. You've almost survived a campus forum when someone rises in the audience to offer the final question: "Duck … duck …" they say. "What comes next?"

Talk about a slam dunk. "Goose!" most of us would have exclaimed. And the assembled Minnesota academics would merely have shuddered.

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December 17, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

ABA Tax Section Publishes New Issue Of Tax Times

ABA Tax Times (2016)The ABA Tax Section has published 38 Tax Times No. 1 (Nov. 2018)

December 17, 2018 in ABA Tax Section, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

2018 ABA Data Show Continued Decline In Number And Percentage Of Transfers

This blog posting updates my blog postings of December 2014, December 2015, March 2017, and December 2018 regarding what we know about the transfer market. With the release of the 2018 Standard 509 Reports, we know have five years of more detailed transfer data from which to glean insights about the transfer market among law schools.


The number of transfers decreased to 1494 (4%), continuing a steady decline since a peak of 2,501 (5.8%) in 2013. It is also the lowest number and percentage of transfers we have seen since at least 2011.

For the last five years, the transfer market has not been growing, it has been shrinking, having declined from 5.8% in 2013, to 5.2% in 2015, to 4.8% in 2017, to 4.0% in 2018.










Number of Transfers









Previous Year First Year Enrollment









%   of Previous First-Year Total










The following two charts list the top 15 law schools participating in the transfer market in descending order in Summer 2015 (fall 2014 entering class), Summer 2016 (fall 2015 entering class), Summer 2017 (fall 2016 entering class), and Summer 2018 (fall 2017 entering class). One chart is based on “numbers” of transfers and the other chart is based on the number of transfer students as a percentage of the prior year’s first year class.

Note that in these two charts, the “repeat players” are bolded – those schools in the top 15 for all four years are in black, those schools in the top 15 for three of the four years are in blue.  Nine of the top 15 have been on the list for the largest number of transfers all four years.  Even though George Washington remains one of these nine law schools, the number of transfers it has accepted has declined from over 100 in 2015 and 2016, to 67 in 2017, to 31 in 2018.

Largest Law Schools by Number of Transfers from 2015-2017

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December 17, 2018 in Jerry Organ, Law School, Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

A History Of The NAACP’s Tax Status: Financial Viability v. Political Voice

NAACPHistPhil, Choosing Between Financial Viability And A Political Voice: A History Of The NAACP’s Tax Status:

In October 2017, the NAACP simultaneously announced a new president, Derrick Johnson, and its decision to change its tax status as a nonprofit organization. The NAACP would be leaving behind some 501(c)3 status benefits—particularly donors’ ability to claim contributions to the group on income tax returns and easier access to private foundations’ wealth—in order to attain greater space for political activity as a 501(c)4. Indeed, the NAACP’s new tax status would provide it with greater room to participate in political life, in ways that are more highly regulated or prohibited by a 501(c)3 status: from making partisan comments as an organization to attempting to influence legislation.

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December 17, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brooks: Why Is The Department Of Education Dragging Its Feet On Debt Relief For Disabled Veterans?

Brooks (John)TaxProf Blog op-ed:  Why Is the Department of Education Dragging Its Feet on Debt Relief for Disabled Veterans?, by John R. Brooks (Georgetown) (cross-posted on Student Borrower Protection Center Blog and Whatever Source Derived Blog):

Hundreds of thousands of student borrowers, including 42,000 veterans, qualify to have their student loans cancelled because of a total and permanent disability (TPD). Yet few eligible borrowers take advantage of this benefit, in part because they have to actually ask for it. The Department of Education (ED) knows who these disabled borrowers are and could automatically discharge their loans today, but it has refused to do so even in the face of years of Congressional pressure. Instead, more and more disabled borrowers go into default or see their disability benefits offset to pay back their loans. This is bad enough for most disabled borrowers, but is particularly cruel to disabled veterans, whose inability to afford their student loans is precisely because of their service to the country. ED claims it can’t automatically discharge this debt for tax reasons, but that is simply not the case.

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December 17, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Weekend Roundup

Sunday, December 16, 2018

51% Of Law Schools Increased Their Median LSATs, 60% Increased Their Median GPAs

Following up on my previous posts:

Spivey Consulting, Breaking Down the 2018 Law School Data:

You can see the full data here.

LSAT median changes for the fall 2018 entering class:

  No Change 1 point increase 2 point increase 3+ point increase Decrease
Top 14 Ranked Schools 8 (57%) 6 (42%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Top 20 Ranked Schools 10 (50%) 10 (50%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Top 100 Ranked Schools 39 (39%) 50 (50%) 5 (5%) 0 (0%) 6 (6%)
Top 150 Ranked Schools 62 (41%) 68 (45%) 6 (4%) 3 (2%) 10 (7%)
All ABA Accredited Law Schools 81 (40%) 84 (41%) 15 (7%) 6 (3%) 12 (6%)

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December 16, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

IRS Releases New Shorter Form 1040 For 2018, With Six New Schedules

IRS, About Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return:

For Tax Year 2018, you will no longer use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ, but instead will use the redesigned Form 1040. Many people will only need to file Form 1040 and no schedules.

Page 1:

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December 16, 2018 in IRS News, Tax | Permalink | Comments (4)

Catholic University Fires Tenured Professor For Sexual Relationship With His Graduate Student Assistant

Catholic University (2018)Catholic University of America, Statement on Dismissal of Professor Stephen J. McKenna:

The Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America has dismissed Stephen J. McKenna, a tenured associate professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies, for engaging in a sexual relationship with an employee under his supervision in violation of University policy.

The Board of Trustees has the sole authority to dismiss for cause a tenured faculty member. Its decision marked the end of a lengthy review process by the University that began in 2017.

The Faculty Handbook defines the grounds for dismissal of tenured faculty to include “demonstrable incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research, . . . manifest neglect of duty, or . . . other adequate cause” (Sec. II-G-7.188).

Since 2008, the University has consistently prohibited all dating and sexual relationships between faculty and employees they supervise, regardless of consent, and provided for sanctions including dismissal. The version of the policy in effect in 2013 can be found here.

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December 16, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Top Five New Tax Papers

SSRN Logo (2018)This week's list of the Top 5 Recent Tax Paper Downloads is the same as last week's list:

  1. [282 Downloads]   Profit Shifting Before and After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, by Kimberly Clausing (Reed)
  2. [270 Downloads]  The Illegality of Digital Services Taxes Under EU Law: Size Matters, by Ruth Mason (Virginia) & Leopoldo Parada (Turin)
  3. [189 Downloads]  Double Non-Taxation and the Use of Hybrid Entities: An Alternative Approach in the New Era of BEPS, by Leopoldo Parada (Turin)
  4. [181 Downloads]  The Digital Services Tax: A Conceptual Defense, by Wei Cui (British Columbia)
  5. [159 Downloads]  GoTaxMe: Crowdfunding and Gifts, by Jeffrey Kahn (Florida State) (review by Hayes Holderness (Richmond))

December 16, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

1L Enrollment Increased 3%, Non-JD Enrollment Surged 8% In Fall 2018

Following up on yesterday's post, ABA Releases Data On All 203 Law Schools:  the ABA has released 2018 Standard 509 Information Report Data Overview. Although LSAT test-takers increased 18.1% this cycle and law school applicants increased 8.1%, Fall 2018 1L enrollment increased only 2.9%. Interestingly, non-JD enrollment continues to surge, up 8.2% this year.  In Law School JD Enrollment Inches Upward as Non-JD Enrollment Continues to Soar, Derek Muller again has great charts showing multi-year trends in total 1L enrollment (1973-74 to 2018-19), total JD enrollment (1973-74 to 2018-19), non-JD enrollment (1986-87 to 2018-19), non-JD enrollment as percentage of total enrollment (1986-87 to 2018-19), and non-JD enrollment, traditional v. online (2013-14 to 2018), as well as this chart showing the law schools with the highest non-JD enrollment as a percentage of total law school enrollment:


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December 15, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Tax Code Shift That’s Changing Liberal Activism

AtlanticDavid Pozen (Columbia), The Tax-Code Shift That’s Changing Liberal Activism:

The “resistance” to President Donald Trump has shaken up American politics on a highly public stage. Across the nation, impassioned protesters have held hundreds of marches; record numbers of progressive women are heading to the House; a Democrat even won a Senate seat in Alabama. But resistance groups have also been transforming American politics behind the curtains, through the choices they are making about their place within the tax code. This seemingly dry legal development could turn out to be one of the movement’s most significant legacies, as it presages a new model of liberal activism for the age of Trump and beyond. Nonprofit groups that used to focus their energies on litigation and education are increasingly structuring themselves to be political players.

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December 15, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bar-Ilan University Hosts Book Event For Tsilly Dagan's International Tax Policy

Dagan BookBar-Ilan University (Israel) hosted a book event for Tsilly Dagan, International Tax Policy: Between Competition and Cooperation (Cambridge University Press 2018), with these discussants:

  • Ofer Groskopf (Israel Supreme Court)
  • Yiran Margalioth (Tel Aviv) 
  • Daniel Shaviro (NYU)
  • Linda Sugin (Fordam)

Bringing a unique voice to international taxation, this book argues against the conventional support of multilateral co-operation in favour of structured competition as a way to promote both justice and efficiency in international tax policy. Tsilly Dagan analyses international taxation as a decentralised market, where governments have increasingly become strategic actors. While many of the challenges of the current international tax regime derive from this decentralised competitive structure, Dagan argues that curtailing competition through centralisation is not necessarily the answer.

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December 15, 2018 in Book Club, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 14, 2018

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Kim Reviews Morse's International Cooperation And The 2017 Tax Act

This week, Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah) reviews a new work by Susan Morse (Texas), International Cooperation and the 2017 Tax Act, 128 Yale L.J. F. 362 (2018).

KimAmong all the topics addressed in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”), provisions regarding international tax law might be the most challenging provisions for non-experts. For those who simply expected that the worldwide tax system would be converted to the territorial tax system, the provisions introduced by the TCJA must have been somewhat puzzling, especially because the discussion after the reform has been focused more on a few more new acronyms that might not even be relevant to the territorial tax system. Susan Morse's new article, International Cooperation and the 2017 Tax Act, is an excellent guide that assists readers in understanding the important international tax provisions in the TCJA and the rationale behind the provisions. One of the great things about the article is that it explains the new rules against the backdrop of the ongoing dynamics in international tax policy — that is, the interplay between competitiveness and cooperation among the players. 

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December 14, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax, Weekly SSRN Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

ABA Releases Data On All 203 Law Schools

ABA Logo (2016)ABA Website Updates Data on Law School Admissions, Tuition and Other Matters:

Information about admissions and other matters reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and required to be made public under Standard 509 of the Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools is now publicly available by clicking here.

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December 14, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Is Getting A Tax LL.M. A Good Idea?

LLM 2Above the Law, Is Getting A Tax LL.M. A Good Idea?:

Many law students and even some experienced lawyers probably at one point considered getting an LL.M., a post-J.D. degree known as the Master of Laws. However, an informal acronym for the LL.M. is “Lawyers Losing Money.” This is primarily because the vast majority of LL.M.s do not provide better career outcomes to those who did not do well in law school while piling on an additional year of law school debt. Also, most LL.M. courses can be taken as a J.D. law student and experienced practitioners can learn the material in cheaper CLE presentations or from treatises and practice guides. Some LL.M. programs are so dubious that they are the butt end of jokes.

The one exception is the Tax LL.M. This is probably because the degree is very compatible since tax laws interact with just about every other law at some level. Also, tax laws constantly change, sometimes for the better, usually for the worse, so people think that there will always be work for tax lawyers. Finally, some firms highly recommend or even require a Tax LL.M. for their tax positions.

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December 14, 2018 in Legal Education, Tax | Permalink | Comments (3)

George Yin's Holiday Reading Picks

Thimmesch, Shanske & Gamage: Wayfair, Marketplaces, And Foreign Vendors

Adam Thimmesch (Nebraska), Darien Shanske (UC-Davis) & David Gamage (Indiana), Wayfair: Marketplaces and Foreign Vendors, 90 State Tax Notes 111 (Oct. 8, 2018):

This is the third of a series of essays wherein we analyze the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair. In this essay, we address issues related to state taxation of internet marketplaces and of foreign vendors.

December 14, 2018 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

NALP Loosens Reins On Summer Associate Recruiting, But Does Not Expect 'Wild West'

NALP New, NALP Loosens the Reins on Summer Associate Recruiting:

The law firm summer associate recruiting system got a big shake-up Wednesday when the National Association of Law Placement announced a major overhaul of its guidelines for on-campus recruiting.

Gone are the recommendations that firms give students 28 days to decide whether to accept a summer associate offer and that they wait until December of the 1L year to begin recruiting law students. In their place are a broader, more flexible set of guidelines that emphasize fairness and transparency without proscribing specific dates or timelines.

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December 14, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Repetti: The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Kneecaps American Factory Workers

The Hill op-ed:  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Kneecaps American Factory Workers, by Jim Repetti (Boston College):

As Congress considers new tax legislation, item one on its agenda should be to eliminate the harm to U.S. manufacturing jobs contained in the Tax Jobs and Cuts Act (TJCA).

Many were surprised by General Motors recent announcement that it would trim production in the U.S. by closing plants in Ohio and Michigan and laying off 14,000 workers. But anyone paying close attention to TJCA should recognize that it encourages U.S. companies to move their factories overseas. ... [A] close examination of TJCA shows the opposite. TJCA contains three provisions that encourage U.S. companies to pull factories out of the U.S.

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December 13, 2018 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stanford Law Faculty End-Of-Year Reading List

2018 Tannenwald Tax Writing Competition Winners

Tannenwald (2016)The Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. Foundation for Excellence in Tax Scholarship has announced the winners of the 2018 tax writing competition:

First Prize ($5,000):
Colin T. Halpin (Washburn), A Step in the Right Direction: The Effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the Alternative Minimum Tax and the Need for Further Reform
Faculty Sponsor:  Lori McMillan

Second Prize ($2,000):
Betting on an Uncertain Future: The Tax Consequences of Large Third-Party Litigation Financing
Faculty Sponsor:  Gregg Polsky

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December 13, 2018 in ABA Tax Section, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vermont's Tenured Faculty Purge Is Part Of Anti-Tenure Trend In Higher Ed 

Vermont Law School Logo (2017)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Seven Days, Tenuous Tenure: Fewer Profs at Vermont Colleges Enjoy the Status

Vermont Law School professor Peter Teachout said he knew the institution's financial condition was dire but still felt "total shock" when the school presented him and other faculty with a stark choice in May: Give up tenure and accept a two-year contract with a large pay cut, or be fired July 1.

Teachout accepted the controversial deal, which stripped tenure from 14 of the 19 professors who possessed the coveted status at the small private law school in South Royalton.

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December 13, 2018 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)