Monday, June 30, 2014

Jed M. Silversmith Joins Blank Rome (630/14)

From the press release at Philly.com, here.
Blank Rome L.L.P. has hired Jed M. Silversmith as of counsel in the white-collar defense and investigations group in the firm's Philadelphia office. He joins the firm from the Southern Criminal Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice's Tax Division, where he served as a trial attorney prosecuting criminal tax cases in federal courts throughout the United States. He also is a former trial attorney for the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Note that the picture beside this blurb is not Jed's.

Jed's Blank Rome bio and real picture is here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Johnnie Walter's Death (6/26/14)

Johnnie Walters died Tuesday, 6/24/14.  Johnnie was formerly AAG Tax and, thereafter, Commissioner of Internal Revenue.  His big claim to fame was, as Commissioner, ignoring the Nixon White House insistence that the IRS use its powers to go after perceived enemies.

There will be several obituaries and I will link some of them.

Johnnie was a good man.

A little personal anecdote.  Johnnie came to NYU to interview students for positions at DOJ Tax.  I interviewed and arranged a date to come to DC for further interviews.  I showed up at Guy Tadlock's office, but was met wtih the question "Why are you here. We've already decided to make you the offer."  Of course, no one told me.  So, they let me wander the halls of Justice (you could do that in those days) and then leave without further ado.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DOJ Tax AAG Kathy Keneally is Leaving DOJ Tax (5/27/14)

The DOJ Press release is here.

Kathy has been a dedicated public servant.  Some of her accomplishments are set forth in the press release, but I am also sure that she has touched and benefited the Tax Division in many other ways, large and small.

Our best wishes to Kathy.

The press release indicates that she will return to her home in New York.  I expect that she will return to private practice and serve clients with the same professionalism she exhibited in private practice and as AAG.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Law360 Article on Fran Allegra (5/19/14)

Law360 has printed this article on DOJ Tax Alum, Judge Fran Allegra of the Court of Federal Claims.  The Tenacious Technocrat: Judge Francis Allegra (Law360 5/13/14), here.  I won't try to excerpt or summarize the article.  It is relatively short, so I encourage alumni to read it.

I will say along the theme of the article that I assign my tax procedure students one of Judge Allegra's cases to read,  Principal Life Ins. Co. v. United States, 95 Fed. Cl. 786 (Fed. Cl. 2010), here.  See Principal Life -- A Masterpiece of Tax Procedure (Federal Tax Procedure Blog 11/29/13), here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DOJ Alumni Reunion Deferred (4/9/14)

Representatives of the DOJ Tax Division Alumni approached the Tax Division about the possibility of an alumni reunion contemporaneous with the ABA Tax Section May Meeting in DC this year.  We were unable to come to an agreement.  The Committee will continue to consider an alumni event in the, hopefully, not too distant future.

Jack Townsend

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lee Vaseliades' Death (4/4/13)

Leon "Lee" William Vaseliades died on 3/31/14.  His obituary from the Houston Chronicle is here.  A cut and paste of the obituary is (with JAT bold-facing his DOJ Tax service):
Leon "Lee" William Vaseliades, of Houston, Texas, passed away on the 31st of March 2014, at the age of 81. He was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina on the 18th of November 1932, to Eleni and William Vaseliades. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his father and mother and law, Peter and Tessie Karakitsos. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joan Karakitsos Vaseliades of Houston, Texas. He is also survived by his son, William Lee Vaseliades and his wife Rosemary of Corpus Christi, Texas; his daughter Eleni Vaseliades Jankosky and her husband Joe of Los Angeles, California; grandchildren Joanna Lee Vaseliades, Leon Peter Vaseliades and Michael Leonidas Jankosky; his sister Maria Papadopoulos of Houston, Texas; his two brothers Achilles and Constantine Vaseliades of Spartanburg, S.C.; his sister in law and her husband, Janet and John Conomos of Pittsburgh, PA, and numerous nieces and nephews.  
Lee graduated Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University in 1957, earning his undergraduate and law degrees simultaneously. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant at Ft. Meade, Maryland in the Military Intelligence and Judge Advocate General's Office. In 1959, he began work in Washington, D.C. as senior trial attorney in the tax division of the United States Department of Justice. In 1967 he moved his family to Houston, Texas, where he practiced law in real estate, tax and banking until his retirement in the mid 1990's. During his career, he was admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the State of Texas, the State of South Carolina, the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Military Appeals. He was also a member of the American Bar Association, American Judicature Society, Texas Association of Bank Council, the Houston Bar Association and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. 
During his retirement, he enjoyed taking long walks with his grandson, Peter, and eating dinner with his family every Sunday afternoon. He was a man of honesty and integrity and strived to pass those qualities on to his children and grandchildren. His quiet, but strong presence, will be greatly missed.  
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock this afternoon until seven o'clock this evening, Wednesday the 2nd of April, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston, where the Trisagion Prayers will commence at seven o'clock. 
The funeral service is to be conducted at eleven o'clock in the morning on Thursday, the 3rd of April, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum Boulevard in Houston, where the Cathedral Clergy are to officiate. 
Pallbearers are L. Peter Vaseliades, Joe Jankosky, Dean Papadopoulos, William Papadopoulos, Alexander Papandreou, Thomas Johnson, Costa Kouzounis, and John Cannon.
Honorary pallbearers are John Conomos, Constantine Vaseliades, Achilles Vaseliades, William R. Wallace and Stuart Hoff. 
The interment will follow via an escorted cortege, at Memorial Oaks Cemetery in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorials in memory of Leon William Vaseliades may be directed to Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum Blvd, Houston, TX 77006. - 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Women of DOJ 1937, including Helen R. Carloss (1/2/14)

I picked up this posting of a list of Women Lawyers at DOJ in 1937.  Dan Ernst, Women Lawyers at the Department of Justice, 1937 (Legal History Blog), here.  The actual list is here. The list does not break down the women by division.  Wikipedia says that the Tax Division was formed in 1934.  See Wikipedia entry here.

At least one on the list -- Helen R. Carloss -- handled tax cases, including in the Supreme Court.  I recognized her name and so first did a Google search and then a LEXIS-NEXIS search.  I report some of the results below.

Before reporting the results on Helen Carloss, however, I want to say that I don't mean to slight any of the others, particularly those who might have worked on tax cases or for the Tax Division after it was formed.  I am just time limited, so any reader who wants to pick one or more names to write a blog entry or a comment on, please do so and let me know.

An ancestry entry is here, which says:
Helen Carloss earned plaudits from Justice William O. Douglas for her skill as an advocate for the government in tax cases from the 1920s to the 1940s.
Source: The United States Supreme Court: The Pursuit of Justice - by Christopher L. Tomlins, Houghton Mifflin - 2005.
The same entry has the following which is attributed as an article in the Washington Post on March 28, 1934:
The Washington Post ¦ Wednesday, March 28, 1934 ¦ page 15
Woman Attorney Dashes About the Country Defending Government in Tax Cases
Assistant to Attorney General Handles Much Work on Trains
Helen Carloss Is First Women to Argue Cases Before All U.S. Courts of Appeal; Went From Teaching to Government Work 
Escape! That is what Government Work represents to some women. Escape from the dull, colorless life of a small town. A school teacher have up a position in a little Mississippi town to accept an humble clerkship with the Government because she wanted to get away from teaching. She wanted to be where things were happening. Now the former school teacher and clerk is a special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States. 
This is the ninth in a series of articles telling of women with interesting Government positions. 
By Virginia Lee Warren