Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Women Score Higher Than Men In 17 Of 19 Leadership Skills

Harvard Business Review LogoHarvard Business Review:  Women Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills, by Jack Zenger (CEO, Zenger/Folkman) & Joseph Folkman (President, Zenger/Folkman):

In two articles from 2012 (Are Women Better Leaders than Men? and Gender Shouldn’t Matter, But Apparently It Still Does) we discussed findings from our analysis of 360-degree reviews that women in leadership positions were perceived as being every bit as effective as men. In fact, while the differences were not huge, women scored at a statistically significantly higher level than men on the vast majority of leadership competencies we measured.

We recently updated that research, again looking at our database of 360-degree reviews in which we ask individuals to rate each leaders’ effectiveness overall and to judge how strong they are on specific competencies, and had similar findings: that women in leadership positions are perceived just as — if not more — competent as their male counterparts. ...

Women are perceived by their managers — particularly their male managers — to be slightly more effective than men at every hierarchical level and in virtually every functional area of the organization. That includes the traditional male bastions of IT, operations, and legal.

As you can see in the chart below, women were rated as excelling in taking initiative, acting with resilience, practicing self-development, driving for results, and displaying high integrity and honesty. In fact, they were thought to be more effective in 84% of the competencies that we most frequently measure. According to our updated data, men were rated as being better on two capabilities —”develops strategic perspective” and “technical or professional expertise,” which were the same capabilities where they earned higher ratings in our original research as well. ...

Women Men Leadership

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July 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

What Happens When Women Run Colleges?


Chronicle of Higher Education, What Happens When Women Run Colleges?:

Democratic, communal, inclusive. That may be the future of college leadership.

Although academe has a progressive reputation and in the past couple of decades has seen more women assume leadership roles, they’re still in the clear minority at the top. Only 30 percent of all college presidents are women, a figure that is bolstered by the portion who are at two-year institutions, where female leaders make up 36 percent, according to the American Council on Education. Recent surveys show women are better represented in the C-suite than in the presidency, but still make up fewer than half the chief academic officers and an even lower proportion of deans.

Aside from the question of parity, does it matter? Some female presidents and senior administrators contacted for this story dismiss the suggestion that they do their jobs any differently, or say that differences between any two leaders are simply matters of individual style. “I’m not so sure it’s about gender as much as it is the culture of the institution and the fit between the values and approach of an individual with that institution,” says Susan D. Stuebner, president of Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire.

But studies suggest that, while the differences are typically subtle and, of course, not universal, women do tend to have leadership styles with some common characteristics.

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July 9, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Business Tax Symposium Today At Oxford

Oxford Business Tax (2019)The Centre for Business Taxation's annual three-day summer symposium continues today at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford (program):

Katarzyna Bilicka (Utah State), Debt Shifting Restrictions and Reallocation of Debt (with Yaxuan Qi (City University of Hong Kong) & Jing Xing (Shanghai Jiao Tong))
Discussant: Tim Goodspeed (CUNY)

Jennifer Blouin (Pennsylvania), Double Trouble: How Much of U.S. Multinationals' Profits are Really in Tax Havens? (with Leslie Robinson (Dartmouth College))
Discussant: Travis Chow (Singapore Management University)

Jacob Goldin (Stanford), Ironing Out the Tax Code (with Edward Fox (Michigan))
Discussant: Anzhela Cedelle (Oxford)

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July 9, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Much Do Coaches (And Deans) Matter?

Wall Street Journal op-ed:  How Much Do Coaches Matter?, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):

BCAIIn 1979, Bill Campbell quit his job as head coach of Columbia University’s chronically dreadful football team. He moved to California to work for Apple and eventually became chief executive of Intuit.

The decision that made Mr. Campbell a Silicon Valley legend, however, involved a return to his roots. When he died in 2016, he was, according to a new biography, “the greatest executive coach the world has ever seen.”

Mr. Campbell, who shunned publicity, compiled a stunning roster of mentees that included Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Larry Page and Facebook ’s Sheryl Sandberg. The book, Trillion Dollar Coach, was written by a trio of former pupils, including Google’s one-time CEO, Eric Schmidt.

To the authors, there’s no question Mr. Campbell deserves enormous credit for the success of the companies he worked with. “A trillion dollars understates the value he created,” they wrote. Without his “integral” guidance at Google, they argue, “the company would not be where it is today.”

After finishing this book, I met up in New York with another author who knows a thing or two about coaches: Andre Iguodala.

The 35-year-old Mr. Iguodala has played for four different NBA teams. As the primary captain of the Golden State Warriors, he’s made five straight trips to the NBA Finals since 2014, won three championships and set the league record for wins in a single season. Last Sunday, the Warriors, now in rebuilding mode, traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies, which would be team No. 5.

In his 15 seasons, Mr. Iguodala has earned a reputation as one of the NBA’s most thoughtful and outspoken players, and in his new memoir, The Sixth Man, he offers candid reviews of the coaches he’s played for. While Golden State’s Steve Kerr earns high marks, others don’t fare so well. ...

In [Mr. Iguodala's] view, a team’s ability to win depends less on the coach’s modus operandi than how well the players organize themselves around it—or in some cases, in opposition to it. ...

These two books present vastly different takes on coaching. Mr. Campbell’s acolytes seemed to crave his input and follow his advice with minimal skepticism. To Mr. Iguodala, every coach basically dumps out a different box of Legos and forces the team to build something.

They can’t both be right—or can they?

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July 9, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Johnson: No Orchard, No Capital Gain

Calvin H. Johnson (Texas), No Orchard, No Capital Gain, 72 Tax Law. 501 (2019):

ABA Tax LawyerAs a matter of principle, capital gain is the gain from invested capital or basis. If the taxpayer has no basis in something of value it sells, there is no capital gain.

The principle that capital gain is gain from capital is embedded in the ordinary English language meaning of “capital gain,” which reflects the long history of the English property system going back into feudal tenures. Property purchased by expenses charged to the income interest remains part of the income interest and does not become capital gain reserved for the next heir.

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July 9, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Should Professors Use GPS To Track Student Attendance?

Inside Higher Ed, GPS to Track Student Attendance:

AttendanceTom Bensky was frustrated.

The physics professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, had tried every way he could think of to take attendance efficiently in his large classes. He used a good old-fashioned sign-in sheet. He attempted a bar code system, where he would scan students on their way out of the classroom. Both were too time-consuming and students would forget to mark themselves present.

Then, Bensky realized he had missed something. He could rely on a tool that most college students had practically welded to their hands: a smartphone. The result of this revelation was a new mobile application and website Bensky created that tracks students’ attendance using their cellphones’ GPS.

His product, which he created last year, is relatively lightly used, with just a couple hundred other professors and officials signing up, but Bensky said he’s gotten positive feedback. He’s also heard the concerns about privacy one might expect about a system that follows a student’s location. Students in his classes must use the app.

“That’s probably my biggest email dialogue with people,” Bensky said of his skeptics. “But I can’t convince them that I’m not going to do anything with the data I’m getting. It’s just the app, server and a database, but it is hard to convince people.”

The service works like this — a professor (or a coach) signs up on the website The application is free to download, but after a certain number of student uses, the faculty member has to pay $20 for a year.

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July 9, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Unbearable Pointlessness Of PowerPoint

Chronicle of Higher Education:  The Unbearable Pointlessness of PowerPoint, by Alan Wolfe (Boston College):

PowerPoint 1PowerPoint is everywhere in the contemporary university. And so long as it is, superficiality will eclipse idiosyncratic and original thought.

In the academy, PowerPoint originated with the natural sciences. Then it spread to those social sciences such as psychology and economics that deal with large amounts of data or rely on complex mathematical modeling. It is neither my intention nor my inclination to judge its appropriateness for such fields, although it is worth mentioning that the renegade political scientist Edward Tufte finds them highly problematic even for the sciences. Tufte shows how reliance on PowerPoint, especially its condensation of information into categories ranked in importance, as well as its proclivity to reduce information to fit conveniently onto a slide, led scientists at NASA to misjudge the danger faced by the damaged space shuttle on its return to earth.

A reliance on PowerPoint in the humanities and soft social sciences is another matter. From the way graduate students are taught to the way they themselves eventually teach, PowerPoint has become the essential means of academic communication, and a much less vibrant academic culture is the inevitable result.

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July 8, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tax Policy Conference Today At Cambridge

Cambridge Centre for Tax LawThe two-day Cambridge Tax Policy Conference hosted by the Centre for Tax Law kicks off today at the University of Cambridge.  U.S. Tax Profs presenting papers include:

Henry Ordower (St Louis), Immigration, Emigration, Fungible Labor and the Retreat from Progressive Taxation

Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), Public Finance and Tax Policy in the World of Goldilocks (or, a Theory of When a System of Public Finance Becomes Disgraceful)

Other U.S. Tax Profs chairing panels include:

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July 8, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Could The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Be Retroactively Curtailed?

Gregory S. Crespi (SMU), Could the Benefits of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Be Retroactively Curtailed?, 51 Conn. L. Rev. 1 (2019):

There is a sharp tension between the expectations that hundreds of thousands to millions of persons have or will have regarding their right to have their federal student loan debts forgiven under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (“PSLF”) program and the legitimate public concerns regarding the large costs and regressive incidence of the PSLF program’s benefits. In 2017, the Trump Administration proposed abolishing the PSLF program for future federal Direct Loans, but this proposal was not adopted. A similar proposal was made in 2019 as part of the Administration’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal, with little chance of adoption. But given the large costs of the program, which I estimate will eventually rise to $12 billion per year or more as an estimated 200,000 people per year who currently have outstanding federal Direct Loans will eventually seek debt forgiveness, and given the regressively skewed incidence of its benefits in favor of relatively affluent mid-career doctors and lawyers, I think that there will be further legislative curtailment efforts made in 2020 or later by the Trump Administration or by members of Congress, this time perhaps a more aggressive proposal for retroactive elimination of the program, or at least a push for a tax law amendment to include this forgiven debt as taxable income as is now done for debts forgiven under the other federal income-based loan forgiveness plans.

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July 8, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1)

Johnston: How To Fix A Big Problem With The Trump-Radical Republican Tax Law

David Cay Johnston, How To Fix A Big Problem With The Trump-Radical Republican Tax Law:

Five Questions Congress Needs to Ask About the Impact of the Lopsided Rewrite of the Tax Code

The American people got a highly misleading June 24 report from Congressional staff about the effect of repealing Donald Trump’s $10,000 limit on state and local tax deductions, known as SALT.

Millionaires and billionaires get most of the benefits if the limitation is repealed, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reported [Background On The Itemized Deduction For State And Local Taxes].

Duh. ...

The tax committee staff report showed that households reporting incomes of $1 million or more this year would get almost a third of the tax savings if the $10,000 limit is repealed. That’s not surprising in a nation where some people earn multi-billion-dollar annual incomes and hundreds of people report making more than $100 million per year. ...

The tax committee analysis, released last week, was flawed in several ways. That’s no slight on the committee staff, who are serious experts on tax policy. The committee staff responds to questions from lawmakers and in this case, the questions asked were too narrow. The tax committee staff was simply asked the wrong question. We think members of Congress should ask for a new study, asking the five questions below. ...

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July 8, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (2)

Lesson From The Tax Court: When Does A Business Start?

Tax Court (2017)It takes money to make money.  Generally Congress allows taxpayers to deduct the money it takes from the money they make.  That’s the idea in §162.  But §162’s deceptively simple language----allowing a deduction for all “the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred in carrying on a trade or business”---has gaps, to be filled by other statutes.  For example, §§183 and 212 apply the §162 idea to activities that are not a “trade or business” but still produce income and have associated costs.  And then there is that pesky timing issue: which costs are “expenses” that should be deducted in the current year and which costs should only allowed to be deducted over a longer period of time?  Sections 168(k) and 179 allow taxpayers to accelerate deductions of certain capital costs that otherwise would not qualify as “expenses” under §162’s simple language.

Section 195 deals with another gap:  how to treat the costs of starting a business.  Section 162 does not permit deductions until such time as the taxpayer is actually “carrying on” the business.  Section 195 allows taxpayers to reach back to the time before the business started and deduct their start up costs.  But to get to use §195 a taxpayer must actually start their business.  Last week’s case of Steven Austin Smith v. Commissioner, T.C. Sum. Op. 2019-12 (July 1, 2019) (Judge Vasquez) teaches a nice lesson about what it means to start a business.  There, the court found that a taxpayer was indeed carrying on his business even in a year where he had no sales income.  To be sure, he still lost because he was unable to substantiate his expenses.  There’s a bit of a lesson there as well.  But the main lesson is about when a business starts.

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July 8, 2019 in Bryan Camp, New Cases, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Practice And Procedure, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (4)

What Should A Black Law Professor Do When A White Student Wears A MAGA Hat In Class?

ABA Journal:  Seeing Red: A Professor Coexists With 'MAGA' in the Classroom, by Jeffrey Omari (Gonzaga):

Omari 2It was just a few minutes before the start of class, and I was standing at the podium prepping my notes when, through my peripheral vision, I could see a speck of red on the student’s head as he entered the classroom. ... As the student walked to his usual seat in the seminar, which was directly in my line of vision, the message on his flaming red hat was unmistakable: “MAGA,” or “Make American Great Again.”

I was in the first year of a two-year fellowship as a visiting assistant professor of law. Moreover, as an African-American male, I was one of an exceedingly small number of students, faculty and staff of color in the law school. From my (progressive) perspective as a black man living in the increasingly polarized political climate that is America, MAGA is an undeniable symbol of white supremacy and hatred toward certain nonwhite groups. ...

I was unsure whether the student was directing a hateful message toward me or if he merely lacked decorum and was oblivious to how his hat might be interpreted by his black law professor. I presumed it was the former. As the student sat there directly in front of me, his shiny red MAGA hat was like a siren spewing derogatory racial obscenities at me for the duration of the one hour and fifteen-minute class. ...

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July 8, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (59)

Business Tax Symposium Today At Oxford

Oxford Business Tax (2019)The Centre for Business Taxation's annual three-day summer symposium kicks off today at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford (program):

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), Bridging the Red-Blue Divide: A Proposal for U.S. Regional Tax Relief (with Orli Avi-Yonah, Nir Fishbien, Gianluca Mazzoni & Haiyan Xu (Michigan))
Discussant: Jennifer Blouin (Pennsylvania)

Lucie Gadenne (Warwick), Taxation and Supplier Networks: Evidence from India (with Tushar K. Nandi (Center for Studies in Social Sciences) & Roland Rathelot (Warwick))
Discussant: Eddy Tam (Oxford)

Itai Grinberg (Georgetown), Stabilizing 'Pillar One': Corporate Profit Reallocation in an Uncertain Environment
Discussant: Michael Devereux (Oxford)

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July 8, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog Holiday Weekend Roundup

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Buffalo Law Student Dies From Suicide, Family Establishes Mental Health Fund For Athletes

Benedict, Buffalo Law Student Dies From Suicide, Family Establishes Mental Health Fund:

Matthew Benedict, a law student at the University of Buffalo School of Law and a summer associate at local law firm, died Monday from suicide injuries, his family said. 

Benedict, 26, on Monday jumped to his death from Buffalo’s Liberty Building, where he was a summer associate at midsize firm Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham.

Since his death, his family has established a fundMatthew Benedict’s One Last Goal, to seek donations for raising awareness of mental health issues.

His mother, Anne Benedict, said Matthew had been struggling with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, for about five years, since he suffered a concussion from playing football in Middlebury College, where he was a captain of the Vermont college’s football team. Anne said he was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and his depression was the result of the injuries.

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July 7, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Aprill: 2019 Overview Of Tax Issues For Synagogues And Other Religious Congregations

Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.), 2019 Overview of Tax Issues for Synagogues and other Religious Congregations:

The attached revises the guides for synagogues and other religions congregations that I posted in 2010. These new versions reflect applicable law as of June, 2019. They summarize the rules I have been most often asked in the many years I have given advice on these matters, primarily with the Jewish community. One guide is directed specifically at synagogues; the other to religious congregations generally. (I use the term “religious congregations” rather than “churches” to be more inclusive.)

In addition to an overview, each guide discusses: (a) requirements for setting compensation; (b) lobbying and campaign; (c) substantiation of charitable contributions; (d) charitable fundraising; (e) payroll taxes and withholding for clergy; (f) parsonage and housing allowances; and (g) discretionary funds.

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July 7, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Suit Stipend Project Helps First Gen Pepperdine Law Students Dress For Success

First Gen Initiatives Suit Stipend Project Success:

First GenThe Pepperdine Law’s First Gen Initiatives is pleased to announce the success of its inaugural Suit Stipend Project. Pepperdine Law pledged five $200 stipends for rising second-year and third-year students who found it a challenge to purchase suits for their professional interviews. When First Gen Initiatives received eight applications for the five stipends, private donors stepped forward to cover the additional three stipends so that each student who applied was able to receive a stipend.

The Suit Stipend Project was part of the newly created First Gen Initiatives program, which Pepperdine Law plans to continue into the future. First Gen Initiatives thanks the Pepperdine Law community for recognizing the importance of this project and rising to meet the needs of our students.  We appreciate you!


July 7, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

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. [508 Downloads]  International Effective Minimum Taxation – The GLOBE Proposal, by Joachim Englisch (University of Muenster) & Johannes Becker (University of Muenster)
  2. [469 Downloads]  The President's Tax Returns, by Andy Grewal (Iowa)
  3. [220 Downloads]  A Tax Professor's Guide to Formative Assessment, by Heather Field (UC-Hastings)
  4. [162 Downloads]  Where Is the Opportunity in Opportunity Zones? Early Indicators of the Opportunity Zone Program’s Impact on Commercial Property Prices, by Alan Sage (MIT), Mike Langen (Maastricht University) & Alex Van de Minne (MIT)
  5. [137 Downloads]  The Supreme Court, Due Process and State Income Taxation of Trusts, by Bridget Crawford (Pace) & Michelle Simon (Pace)

July 7, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Top 5 Downloads | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 6, 2019

This Week's Ten Most Popular TaxProf Blog Posts

Malcolm Gladwell, Yale Dean Heather Gerken, And The Dialectic Tension Within Legal Education

Andrea Curcio (Georgia State), Dean Gerken’s Vision Versus Malcolm Gladwell’s Experience:

When we decide who is smart enough to be a lawyer, we use a stopwatch. Malcolm Gladwell

Law school should be a time to luxuriate in ideas, to test their principles, and to think critically about the law and the profession. Dean Heather Gerken

MGHGOn the same day I listened to Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating podcast about the LSAT and test-taking speed, I also read Yale Dean Heather Gerken’s insightful Commentary, Resisting the Theory/Practice Divide: Why the “Theory School” Is Ambitious About Practice [132 Harv. L. Rev. F. 134 (2019).] Both are wonderful. Together, they shine light on a dialectic tension within legal education.

Dean Gerken’s article inspires us to think about legal education in its biggest and broadest sense. She posits that, “At its best, a J.D. is a thinking degree, a problem-solving degree, a leadership degree” and she notes that for students, “law school should be a time to luxuriate in ideas, to test their principles, and to think critically about the law and the profession.” She envisions law school as a place where students engage in deep critical thinking about the law and the profession — both in the classroom and in clinics, and she discusses the interdependent relationship between the deep learning that should occur in both. ...

Contrast Dean Gerken’s understanding of legal education with Gladwell’s podcast about his experience taking the LSAT.  In it, he posits: “when we decide who is smart enough to be a lawyer, we use a stopwatch.”   He notes that who gets into law school, and what law school they get into, rests largely on LSAT score differences — differences that may depend in part upon one’s ability to answer questions quickly rather than thoughtfully. ...

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July 6, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (8)

Whitelashing: Black Politicians, Taxes, And Violence

Trevon Logan (Ohio State), Whitelashing: Black Politicians, Taxes, and Violence:

This paper provides the first evidence of the effect of tax policy on the likelihood of violent attacks against black politicians. I find a strong positive effect of local tax revenue on subsequent violence against black politicians. A dollar increase in per capita county taxes increases the likelihood of a violent attack by more than 25%. The result is robust to numerous economic, social, historical, and political factors. I also find that counties where black officeholders were attacked had the largest negative tax revenue changes between 1870 and 1880 and that violence against black politicians is unrelated to other forms of post-Reconstruction racial violence. This provides the first quantitative evidence that political violence at Reconstruction's end was related to black political efficacy.

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July 6, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times Op-Ed: Law Prof Picks Her Job Over Her Kids

New York Times op-ed:  I’ve Picked My Job Over My Kids, by Lara Bazelon (San Francisco) (personal website):

I am a lawyer, a law professor and a writer. I am also a divorced mother of two young children. I’m often asked some version of: “How do you excel at work and be the best mother you can be?”

Every working mother gets this question, which presupposes that a “work-life balance” is achievable. It’s not. The term traps women in an endless cycle of shame and self-recrimination.

Like many women, I often prioritize my job. I do this because, as the head of a single-parent household, I’m the sole breadwinner. My ex-husband, who has joint custody, is an amazing father and my life would be impossible without him. Neither of us pays the other support.

My choice is more than a financial imperative. I prioritize my work because I’m ambitious and because I believe it’s important. If I didn’t write and teach and litigate, a part of me would feel empty.

[T]here is always another client to defend, story to write or struggling student who just can’t wait. Here are things I have missed: my daughter’s seventh birthday, my son’s 10th birthday party, two family vacations, three Halloweens, every school camping trip. I have never chaperoned, coached or organized a school event.

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July 6, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, July 5, 2019

Weekly SSRN Tax Article Review And Roundup: Kim Reviews Schön's How To Tax The Digitalized Economy

This week, Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah) reviews a new work by Wolfgang Schön (Max Planck), One Answer to Why and How to Tax the Digitalized Economy (June 2019).

KimTaxation of the digitalized economy is without a doubt the most important topic of international taxation in 2019. The G20 and the OECD have already released three documents this year—a Policy Note in January, a Public Consultation Document in February, and a Programme of Work to Develop a Consensus Solution in May—to follow up on the Action 1 of the BEPS Project (Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digital Economy) released in 2015 and the interim report published in 2018. The February 2019 Public Consultation Document outlines three proposals under its consideration: 1) the User Participation Proposal, 2) the Marketing Intangibles Proposal, and 3) the Significant Economic Presence Proposal. The subsequent May 2010 Programme of Work categorized important differences in the prior three proposals into new nexus rules and new profit allocation rules. In consideration of the new profit allocation rules, the Programme of Work addressed several options under a number of different labels, including the modified residual profit split method, fractional apportionment method, distribution-based approaches, and so on.

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July 5, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Weekly SSRN Roundup, Weekly Tax Roundup | Permalink | Comments (0)

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Tax Policy In The Trump Administration

Grinberg Presents Corporate Profit Reallocation In An Uncertain Environment Today At Oxford

GrinbergItai Grinberg (Georgetown) presents Stabilizing 'Pillar One': Corporate Profit Reallocation in an Uncertain Environment at the annual summer conference on Taxing the Digitalised Economy: Closing in on Reform (program) today at the Centre for Business Taxation at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford:

This paper is about how the world reestablishes international tax order.

The paper focuses on the OECD’s work on profit reallocation and asks whether this multilateral effort can be successful in stabilizing the international tax system. The analysis centers on the current leading concepts for reallocating profit among jurisdictions under what is known as “Pillar One” of the OECD work programme. To analyze whether any Pillar One concept can be turned into a stable multilateral regime, it is necessary to specify certain elements of what a proposal to reallocate profits might entail. Accordingly, this paper sets out two strawman proposals. One strawman uses a “market intangibles” concept that explicitly separates routine and residual returns. The other strawman might be described, in current OECD parlance, as a “distribution-based” approach.

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July 5, 2019 in Colloquia, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences, Tax Scholarship, Tax Workshops | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The 4th Of July At Pepperdine

Pepperdine University | Human Resources

The 4th of July: Faith and Freedom
As we approach the 4th of July, I invite you to reflect on our Independence Day holiday through the lens of Pepperdine – and our commitment to faith and freedom. 

For Christians, our deepest identity lies not in country, but in Christ. We may pledge allegiance to the United States of America, but our true allegiance is to the One who created us. We are legally citizens of the United States, “[b]ut our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:13-14). We are sons and daughters of God, not sons and daughters of Uncle Sam. 

As Americans, we will pause on Thursday to remember with gratitude our forebears who declared the nation's independence from a despotic King and shed their blood in a fight for freedom. As Christians, we pause each day to remember our dependence on the King of Kings (Revelation 19:16) who shed His blood for our freedom in Him. Although America is not our eternal home, we remain ever grateful to those who came before and left us a country that safeguards everyone's freedom to practice his or her individual faith.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13

Paul Caron
Dean, School of Law

Forward:  To Understand America — Read The Bible, by Michael Helfand (Pepperdine):

What role should the bible play in American politics? This question remains at the center of debates over hot-button social issues—such as abortion and same-sex marriage—where traditional and progressive values continue to clash. As these debates persist, how should American Jews leverage their unique values and texts to develop their own responses to these pressing social and political challenges?

Somewhat counter-intuitively, this is the foundational question raised by a new edited sourcebook, Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States. ... [T]he anthology collects important historical texts in which religious and political leaders incorporated the values, messages and narratives of the bible into their vision of American liberty, community and politics. That this sourcebook bears on contemporary political deliberation may seem odd given that the collected texts themselves date primarily from the 17th through the mid-19th century. Yet in highlighting how generations of prominent American historical figures placed the bible front and center when they spoke and wrote, this anthology invariably asks the reader to evaluate the role of Jewish text and values within the context of political debate and deliberation. ...

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July 4, 2019 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education, Pepperdine Legal Ed | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Kosher Fourth Of July

ProclaimWall Street Journal:  A Kosher Fourth of July, by William McGurn:

Two hundred forty-three years ago, a new nation was inspired by the Old Testament.

Since that fateful July 4 when the Second Continental Congress invoked the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to declare independence from King George III, an argument has raged over the Christian roots of the American Founding. Now a group of scholars suggest that if we are looking only to the Gospels to understand the new American nation, we may be arguing over the wrong testament.

“The American Republic,” they write, “was born to the music of the Hebrew Bible.”

The book is called Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States: A Sourcebook. The title comes from Leviticus and is inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The book comes courtesy of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University, where it was pulled together by Meir Soloveichik, Matthew Holbreich, Jonathan Silver and Stuart Halpern.

These men are not arguing that America was founded as a Jewish nation. Nor is their subject Jews in America, or the role of Jews in the American Founding. Their proposition is more supple and profound: that at key moments in the national story, Americans have looked to the ancient Israelites to understand themselves, their blessings and their challenges.

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July 4, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Anatomy Of Tenure And Academic Survival In Legal Education

Stephen J. Leacock (Barry), Tenure Matters: The Anatomy of Tenure and Academic Survival in Legal Education, 45 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 115 (2019):

This article is a modest journey into the universe of tenure in order to discover the components of its value to educational institutions and their faculty, and to effectively appraise this value. Very briefly, the article discusses the history and nature of tenure and then addresses factors implicated in its attainment and loss including litigation by applicants who were unsuccessful in the quest to acquire it in the first place. The criteria applied by educational institutions' evaluators in deciding whether to grant tenure, as well as matters pertinent to its retention, loss and legal measures attendant on these events are also discussed, analyzed and evaluated. After the introduction in Part I, Part II explores the origins of tenure, and Part III discusses the nature of tenure. Part IV analyzes its legal prerequisites and Part V discusses the procedures for earning an award of tenure as well as the concept of de facto tenure. Part VI concentrates on tenure's benefits to faculty members and Part VII acknowledges criticisms of tenure. Part VIII examines certain bases for termination of tenure.  Part IX is the conclusion. ...

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July 4, 2019 in Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Goldin & Reck: Revealed Preference Analysis With Framing Effects

Jacob Goldin (Stanford) & Daniel Reck (London School of Economics), Revealed Preference Analysis with Framing Effects:

In many settings, decision-makers’ behavior is observed to vary based on seemingly arbitrary factors. Such framing effects cast doubt on the welfare conclusions drawn from revealed preference analysis. We relax the assumptions underlying that approach to accommodate settings in which framing effects are present. Plausible restrictions of varying strength permit either partial- or point-identification of preferences for the decision-makers who choose consistently across frames. Recovering population preferences requires understanding the empirical relationship between decision-makers’ preferences and their sensitivity to the frame. We develop tools for studying this relationship and illustrate them with data on automatic enrollment into pension plans.

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July 4, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Yale: Mutual Fund Tax Overhang

Ethan Yale (Virginia), Mutual Fund Tax Overhang, 38 Va. Tax Rev. 397 (2019):

The built-in gain in a mutual fund’s portfolio is referred to as “tax overhang.” Tax is imposed on investors who buy shares in mutual funds with tax overhang even though the gain accrued before their investment. The consequence is accelerated tax, increasing the shareholders’ effective tax rate. This article (1) explains why this occurs and why it is a problem, (2) describes the magnitude of the problem, (3) describes and illustrates avoidance strategies funds use to avoid the bad effects of tax overhang, (4) argues that reform is warranted, and (5) describes and evaluates the options for reform.

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July 3, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Law Of High-Wealth Exceptionalism

Allison Anna Tait (Richmond), The Law of High-Wealth Exceptionalism, 71 Ala. L. Rev. ___ (2019):

No family is an island. But some families would like to be – at least when it comes to wealth preservation – and they depend on what this Article calls the law of high-wealth exceptionalism to facilitate their success. The law of high-wealth exceptionalism has been forged, over the years, from the twinned scripts of wealth management and family wealth law, both of which constitute high-wealth families as sovereign entities capable of self-regulation and deserving of exemption from the rules that govern ordinary-wealth families. Consequently, high-wealth families take advantage of complicated estate planning techniques and highly favorable wealth rules in order build walls around their family fortunes and construct bespoke governance systems. Hiding in plain sight, the law of high-wealth exceptionalism protects, privileges, and enables high-wealth families in their own particular form of organizational sovereignty.

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July 3, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Overhyped Rise Of Robot Lawyers

Milan Markovic (Texas A&M), Rise of the Robot Lawyers?, 61 Ariz. L. Rev. 325 (2019):

Robot Lawyer 2The advent of artificial intelligence has provoked considerable speculation about the future of the American workforce, including highly educated professionals such as lawyers and doctors. Although most commentators are alarmed by the prospect of intelligent machines displacing millions of workers, not so with respect to the legal sector. Media accounts and some legal scholars envision a future where intelligent machines perform the bulk of legal work, and legal services are less expensive and more accessible. This future is purportedly near at hand as lawyers struggle to compete with technologically-savvy alternative legal service providers.

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July 3, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

IRS ‘Black Hole’ Swallows Whistleblower Against Koch, Walmart

Bloomberg Tax, IRS ‘Black Hole’ Swallows Whistleblower Against Koch, Walmart:

Oxbow WalmartCharles Middleton has spent almost 10 years wondering whether becoming a whistleblower to the IRS was worth it.

A former senior tax executive at Walmart and billionaire Bill Koch’s Oxbow Carbon, Middleton in 2009 filed the first of several confidential claims he’s made against his employers. He asserted, in hundreds of pages of documents obtained by Bloomberg Tax, that those companies engaged in questionable practices that he estimated resulted in more than $250 million in tax dodges by Walmart and $350 million by Koch’s business—allegations both companies vehemently deny.

As far as Middleton knows, the claims haven’t been resolved, according to the documents and one of his lawyers. He’s not sure how they’re progressing because the IRS has kept him mostly in the dark, he said in several of the documents.

Middleton’s cases reflect a level of secrecy particular to the IRS’s whistleblower program. Tax code Section 6103 prohibits IRS employees from disclosing tax information about an individual or company—which the IRS, according to reports from its whistleblower office, interprets as a need to limit interaction after claims are filed.

Lawyers say the limited communication can leave hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes uncollected and frustrate people like Middleton who put their careers on the line. “And you don’t want a lot of whistleblowers out there bad-mouthing the program,” because new whistleblowers won’t come forward, said Stephen M. Kohn, an attorney at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, who represents such individuals.

The agency, in most cases, has a one-interview policy with whistleblowers, according to Kohn and the IRS’s own reports. After that it’s the “Black Hole of Calcutta,” Kohn said, referring to the dungeon in India where British prisoners were held in the mid-1700s.

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July 3, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Solitude, Leadership, Lawyers, And Law Professors

Amul Thapar (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit) & Samuel Rudman (Choate, Hall & Stewart, Boston), Solitude, Leadership, and Lawyers, 117 Mich. L. Rev. 1277 (2019) (reviewing Michael Erwin (Character & Leadership Center) & Raymond Kethledge (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit), Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude (2017)): 

Lead Yourself FirstLead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude bears all the hallmarks of a well-crafted legal argument. That makes good sense, because it was coauthored by a great lawyer. Lawyers, however, do not play a large role in the book. We were curious to know whether the book’s core argument—that solitude is indispensable to leadership—applies to law.

To do so, we test the book’s argument on its own terms. The book develops its argument in two ways: by reviewing historical examples and by interviewing contemporary leaders from all walks of life. Following the book’s lead, we apply its hypothesis to a historical example with which we are familiar, and we discuss solitude with modern-day lawyers. We conclude that the book’s lessons about solitude and leadership apply just as squarely to lawyers as they do to other leaders. ...

[W]e came to this subject with a healthy dose of skepticism. Perhaps because we are both extroverts who enjoy team settings, we would not have expected solitude to play such an important role in leadership. Add our names to the ranks of the converted. By the end of the book, we were persuaded, and we expect others will be too: one of the historical examples or interviews will call to mind how the reader does his or her best thinking, and we are willing to bet that important parts of it are done alone.

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July 3, 2019 in Book Club, Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: House Files Lawsuit Seeking Disclosure Of Trump's Tax Returns

New York Times, House Files Lawsuit Seeking Disclosure of Trump Tax Returns:

Trump Tax ReturnsThe House sued the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday, demanding access to President Trump’s tax returns and escalating a fight with an administration that has repeatedly dismissed as illegitimate its attempt to obtain the financial records.

The lawsuit moves the dispute into the federal courts after months of sniping between the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee, which requested and then subpoenaed the returns, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The case may ultimately go to the Supreme Court, and its outcome is likely to determine whether financial information that Mr. Trump has kept closely guarded in spite of longstanding presidential tradition will be viewed by Congress and, ultimately, the public.

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July 3, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wendi Adelson Gives Defense Deposition In Dan Markel Murder Case

WCTV.TV, Dan Markel's Ex-Wife Now Answering Questions in Hotly Contested Deposition:

Adelson (2019)Wendi Adelson is scheduled to answer questions at a deposition Tuesday morning in Miami.

Adelson is the ex-wife of FSU Law Professor Dan Markel. Markel was shot and killed as he pulled into his driveway in July 2014 in what prosecutors contend was a murder for hire plot motivated by a custody battle over the couple's two children.

Neither Adelson, nor any of her family members, have been charged in the case. Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua are slated to stand trial for Markel's murder in September.

Adelson's attorneys had tried to block defense attorneys from questioning her in advance of the upcoming trial, saying she planned to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, but an appeals court ruling paved the way for this deposition.

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July 3, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (2)

Bend It Like Beckham Bank

Bend it like Bank:

BankSteven Bank is one of the most respected American authorities on the subject of soccer and the law. The Paul Hastings Professor of Business Law at UCLA School of Law, Bank focuses much of his writing and teaching on the law and history of taxation, corporate governance and executive compensation. But he also kicks out scholarly essays on legal issues involving soccer’s governing bodies, including FIFA — the international soccer federation sponsoring the 2019 Women’s World Cup. He teaches classes on soccer and the law, both at UCLA Law and as part of UCLA’s undergraduate Fiat Lux seminar series, and is a prolific writer and tweeter on soccer, soccer law and international sports law. When not at work, Bank, who is also the law school’s vice dean for curricular and academic affairs, is often on the soccer pitch, playing pick-up ball, coaching local youth teams, supporting his four children as they play, and serving as a referee or administrator for youth leagues and club teams.

What makes soccer a compelling subject for your scholarship?

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July 3, 2019 in Legal Education, Tax, Tax Profs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Blank & Osofsky: Legal Calculators And The Tax System

Joshua D. Blank (UC-Irvine) & Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina), Legal Calculators and the Tax System, 15 Ohio St. Tech. L.J. ___ (2019):

When consumers have questions about companies’ services and products, whether medical insurance, airline tickets or home appliances, they almost always encounter automated agents and other forms of customer service technology. Increasingly, tax authorities have begun to offer online decision-making tools to provide guidance regarding the tax law to taxpayers. The IRS’s “Interactive Tax Assistant,” for instance, asks taxpayers personal questions and then delivers answers on topics such as whether gambling losses are deductible, self-employment tax is owed and exceptions to early IRA retirement account withdrawal penalties apply. These online tools can be described as “legal calculators”: they not only perform mathematical calculations, but they attempt to calculate taxpayers’ legal consequences as well.

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July 2, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Website Tracks Tax Plans Of Democratic Presidential Candidates

2020 Dem Taxes

Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund, Talking Taxes: New Website Tracks Tax Plans of Democratic Presidential Candidates:

Candidates Back Nearly 100 Proposals for Progressive Tax Reform and Explain How They Would Invest the Added Revenue

As the first Democratic presidential debates get underway this week, Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund today launched a website detailing the tax plans or proposals of each candidate. Wealth taxes, higher capital gains taxes, stronger estate taxes, higher corporate tax rates, financial transaction and carbon taxes, and EITC and Child Tax Credit expansions are among the reforms detailed on the website, broken down by candidate and type of tax.

A one-page summary of the candidates’ major positions is available here.

In many cases, the tax proposal is accompanied by an explanation of how the candidate intends to use the additional revenue, such as for improved healthcare, education, infrastructure, and environmental protection. 

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July 2, 2019 in Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

NY Times: Superhuman — Email For The 1%

Superhuman 2

New York Times, Would You Pay $30 a Month to Check Your Email?:

The year is 2019, and the brainy engineers of Silicon Valley are hunkered down, working on transformative, next-generation technologies like self-driving cars, digital currencies and quantum computing.

Meanwhile, the buzziest start-up in San Francisco is … an expensive email app?

A few months ago, I started hearing about something called Superhuman. It’s an invitation-only service that costs $30 a month and promises “the fastest email experience ever made.” Marc Andreessen, the influential venture capitalist, reportedly swore by it, as did tech bigwigs like Patrick and John Collison, the founders of Stripe. The app was rumored to have a waiting list of more than 100,000 people.

“We have the who’s who of Silicon Valley at this point,” Superhuman’s founder, Rahul Vohra, told me in an interview. The waiting list is actually 180,000 people long, he said, and some people are getting desperate. He showed me a photo of a gluten-free cake sent to Superhuman’s office by a person who was hoping to score an invitation. ... Last month, Superhuman raised a $33 million investment round, led by Mr. Andreessen’s firm, Andreessen Horowitz. That valued the company at roughly $260 million — a steep valuation for an app with fewer than 15,000 customers, but one apparently justified by the company’s trajectory and its support among fans, which borders on evangelical.

“Superhuman is the future of work,” said David Ulevitch, the Andreessen Horowitz partner who led the firm’s investment. “Once I started using Superhuman, I couldn’t conceive of relying on anything else.”

When I first heard about Superhuman, I was skeptical. Didn’t Google already solve email? How could any start-up get away with charging a premium for something that was already available free? I suspected that it might be a Veblen good, a term economists use for luxury products that primarily function as status symbols for the rich.

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July 2, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Piketty, Yang & Zucman: Capital Accumulation, Private Property, And Rising Inequality In China, 1978–2015

Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics), Li Yang (Paris School of Economics) & Gabriel Zucman (UC-Berkeley), Capital Accumulation, Private Property, and Rising Inequality in China, 1978–2015, 109 Am. Econ. Rev. 2469 (July 2019):

We combine national accounts, surveys, and new tax data to study the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth in China from 1978 to 2015. The national wealth-income ratio increased from 350 percent in 1978 to 700 percent in 2015, while the share of public property in national wealth declined from 70 percent to 30 percent. We provide sharp upward revision of official inequality estimates. The top 10 percent income share rose from 27 percent to 41 percent between 1978 and 2015; the bottom 50 percent share dropped from 27 percent to 15 percent. China's inequality levels used to be close to Nordic countries and are now approaching US levels.

Piketty 10

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July 2, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (1)

Harvard Is The First Law School To Join VetLink; 20 1L Vets Are Expected This Fall, Harvard Law Welcomes Vets:

Harvard Law School has become the first law school to join VetLink, a group of top colleges and graduate programs actively seeking to increase their veteran enrollment. VetLink is an initiative of Service to School—a nonprofit that aims to help veterans get into those schools by offering free application counseling and peer guidance to veterans. (It was co-founded by Anna Ivey, a former admissions dean at the University of Chicago Law School.) Until recently, VetLink focused on undergraduate programs. But the George Washington University School of Political Management and Harvard Law are now the first two graduate programs to join the initiative.

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July 2, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fishman: The New 1.4% Tax On Net Investment Income Of Colleges And Universities Is Politically Motivated And Fatally Flawed

Following up on yesterday's post, IRS Issues Guidance On New 1.4% Tax On Net Investment Income Of 40 Wealthy Colleges And Universities:  James J. Fishman (Pace), How Big Is Too Big: Should Certain Higher Educational Endowments' Net Investment Income Be Subject to Tax?, 28 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 159 (2018):

Section 13701 of the 2017 Tax Reform Act created new Internal Revenue Code § 4968 that imposes a 1.4% excise tax on the net investment income of certain large private college and university endowments. The affected institutions must have at least 500 tuition-paying students during the preceding taxable year, provided more than 50% of its students are located in the United States, plus assets (other than assets used directly in carrying out the institution’s exempt purpose) with an aggregate fair market value at the end of the preceding taxable year equal to at least $500,000 per full-time or full-time equivalent student. Approximately twenty-seven to thirty-five colleges and universities are affected.

This paper argues that the legislation as enacted is politically motivated and fatally flawed. The “assets per student” ratio that triggers the tax is both over and under-inclusive, and irrelevant and arbitrary as a guide to excessive endowment accumulation. The legislation serves to exempt multi-billion dollar endowments of many universities yet ensnare smaller colleges that may have more limited resources, but the endowment to student ration exceeds $500,000.

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July 2, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (5)

Roman Catholic Sues Three Law Schools, LSDAS For Religious Discrimination In Favor Of Jewish Applicants

The GW Hatchet, Woman Sues Law School Alleging Religious Discrimination:

A woman is suing the University, two other law schools and the Law School Data Assembly Service for alleged religious discrimination during the law school admissions process.

In a four-page complaint filed in an Oregon district court, Susan Marcos-Chavela claims that the LSDAS, which standardizes law school admissions data, and three universities discriminated against her as a “Roman Catholic female” when she was applying for law school. Marcos-Chavela is asking for $10 million in total from Seattle University Law School, Washburn University Law School, the GW Law School and LSDAS for discrimination, according to the complaint.

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July 2, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (7)

President Trump Signs The Taxpayer First Act Of 2019

Monday, July 1, 2019

Oh: The Distributional And Tax Planning Consequences Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

Jason Oh (UCLA), The Distributional and Tax Planning Consequences of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Testimony Before the House Ways & Means Committee (March 27, 2019)):

The TCJA was the most significant overhaul of the tax system in over three decades. It is commendable that this committee is evaluating how this law affects the American public. We are fortunate to have the projections of the Joint Committee on Taxation and various think tanks, but the sheer amount of data can be overwhelming. The goal of my testimony is to crystallize that data into five major takeaways. I pair each takeaway with a figure that captures the point visually.


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July 1, 2019 in Congressional News, Scholarship, Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Building A Culture Of Assessment In Law Schools

Larry Cunningham (St. John's), Building a Culture of Assessment in Law Schools, 69 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 395 (2018):

A new era of legal education is upon us: Law schools are now required to assess learning outcomes across their degrees and programs, not just in individual courses. Programmatic assessment is new to legal education, but it has existed in higher education for decades. To be successful, assessment requires cooperation and buy-in from faculty. Yet establishing a culture of assessment in other disciplines has not been easy, and there is no reason to believe that it will be any different in legal education. A survey of provosts identified faculty buy-in as the single biggest challenge towards implementing assessment efforts. This article surveys the literature on culture of assessment, including conceptual papers and quantitative and qualitative studies. It then draws ten themes from the literature about how to build a culture of assessment:

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July 1, 2019 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call For Papers: University Of North Carolina Tax Symposium

UNC Tax CenterThe University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business has issued a call for papers for its Twenty-Third Annual Tax Symposium to be held April 17-18, 2020. The symposium "is designed to bring together leading tax scholars from economics, accounting, finance, law, political science, and related fields." The deadline for the call for papers is December 15, 2019:

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July 1, 2019 in Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reimagining Legal Education: Why Shouldn’t Law Schools Be Run As Trade Schools?

City Journal: Reimagining Legal Education: Why Shouldn’t Law Schools Be Run As Trade Schools?, by Mark Pulliam (Law & Liberty; Retired Partner, Latham & Watkins):

The prevailing way of training lawyers—three years of postgraduate study, using Socratic techniques and the case method—has a relatively recent pedigree. Well into the nineteenth century, most American lawyers learned their craft as Abraham Lincoln did, studying the law as de facto apprentices under the tutelage of practicing lawyers. Remnants of this tradition survived into the twentieth century. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, who also served as solicitor general, attorney general, and chief American prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials, was one of the most accomplished lawyers of his era. But Jackson only attended law school for one year. He passed the bar in 1913 after studying under a lawyer—his uncle—in upstate New York.

Today, the legal realm would greet Jackson’s education with disdain. Elite law schools, staffed with highly paid faculty lacking any meaningful experience in the profession, equate the practical model with a trade apprenticeship—just a lengthy bar-review course. But why are bar-review courses even necessary for students who just finished a three-year course of study in the law? Isn’t learning about the practice of law the raison d’être of legal education? The open secret is that elite law schools don’t see their mission as teaching the nuts and bolts of regular legal work. Tenured faculty leave the real training to the lesser caste of clinical instructors and adjuncts, postgraduation cram courses, and on-the-job training by law firms.

Professors at the nation’s leading law schools enjoy a light teaching load, allowing plenty of time for conducting research and writing scholarly articles for student-edited law reviews. Not surprisingly, legal scholarship is largely irrelevant to the needs of legal consumers like clients and practitioners. The current model of high and rising tuition, mounting student debt loads, poor skills training, uneven (and uncertain) job placement, and an increasingly politicized professoriate thus perpetuates itself.

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July 1, 2019 in Legal Education | Permalink | Comments (6)