Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Federal Judges Seek To Defer Capital Gains On Berkshire Hathaway Stock They Need To Sell To Avoid Conflicts Of Interest In Cases Before Them

ABA Journal, Tax Concerns Lead Judges to Hold on to Berkshire Hathaway Stock Despite 'Conflict Nightmare,' Judiciary Is Told:

Berkshire HathawayA federal appeals judge is suggesting changes to deal with a “conflict nightmare”: judges with holdings in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Judge Ralph Erickson of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis outlined the problem in a letter to two judiciary committees last week. ...

The issue: Berkshire Hathaway owns companies that in turn own other companies. That makes it difficult for judges to know that they have to recuse themselves when a case involves a party that is ultimately owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

Reuters, U.S. Judges' Investments in Buffett's Berkshire a Conflicts 'Nightmare' - Letter:

As the federal judiciary braces for a new law toughening up financial disclosure rules to take effect, a prominent judge is sounding the alarm about one stock in particular that is causing a conflict-of-interest "nightmare" for too many judges: Berkshire Hathaway. ...

Those judges, he said, have accumulated "substantial" capital gains investing in Berkshire, whose stock price has jumped 60% over the last five years, exposing them to capital gains taxes if they sold the stock. ...

Erickson suggested the U.S. Judicial Conference's Codes of Conduct Committee make it easier for judges to obtain certificates that would allow them to defer capital gains taxes if they preemptively divest themselves of holdings like Berkshire.

National Law Journal, ‘A Conflict Nightmare’: Judge Raises Concerns Over Colleagues Holding Berkshire Stock

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