Saturday, March 11, 2017

Grady Jolly to Retire as Fifth Circuit Judge (3/11/17)

DOJ Tax Alum Grady Jolly will retire as a judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  See Bracey Harris and Geoff Pender, Trump to appoint new Mississippi judge (The Clarion0Ledger 3/10/17), here.  The article indicates that after serving as an AUSA, he was a lawyer in the Tax Division from 1967 to 1969 when he entered private practice.

His Wikipedia entry is here.

Friday, February 3, 2017

On Rod Rosenstein (2/3/17)

Jessica Karmasek, Attorneys: ‘By-the-book,’ ‘apolitical’ Rosenstein is ‘beyond qualified’ for deputy AG role (Legal NewsLine 2/2/17), here.
If you ask those who have worked with Rod Rosenstein whether he would be a good fit for the No. 2 spot at the U.S. Department of Justice, you’ll get a resounding “yes.”
I could excerpt more, but just read the article linked.

DOJ Tax Alum Writes on DOJ Tax Alums as Constraining Forces at DOJ in Trump Administration (2/3/17)

Stuart Gibson, Tax Division Alum, has written this piece, Tax Division To The Rescue -- If Trump Wants To Be Rescued (Tax Analysts / Forbes 2/1/17), here, noting the roles of two DOJ Tax Alums with DOJ in the Trump Administration that may act as constraining influences on his exuberances.  

Gibson sets up the bottom-line as follows:
That incident [firing of Acting AG Yates], and the appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R.-Ala., as attorney general, have elevated two relatively unknown United States attorneys to prominence in the nascent Trump administration. After Trump fired Yates, he replaced her with Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Independently, he has nominated Rod Rosenstein, U.S. attorney for Maryland, to be the next deputy attorney general under Sessions. 
Both Boente and Rosenstein served as deputy assistant attorneys general in the Tax Division, and both have served under Presidents Bush and Obama. They understand the Tax Division’s culture of enforcing the laws fully and fairly, independent of politics. If they succeed in bringing that approach to the entire department, they just may save Trump and the country from his more destructive instincts. But only if Trump really wants it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hubbert Named Acting Assistant Attorney General Tax (1/31/17)

David Hubbert, a career DOJ Tax lawyer, has been named Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, according to the DOJ web site here.

Boente Named Acting Attorney General (1/31/17)

Dana Boente, a DOJ Tax Alum and most recently U.S. Attorney for ED VA, has been named the Acting Attorney General after President Trump fired AAG Sally Q. Yates.  He will be Acting until a new Attorney General is approved by the Senate which might happen as early as this week. Whatever the commotion that led to this action, it does recognize an outstanding career of service to our country.  Thank you, AAG Boente!

A WAPO article on Boente is here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Rosenstein Nominated for Deputy Attorney General (DOJ #2) (1/13/17)

The President-Elect has nominated Rod Rosenstein, who formerly served as principal deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division to serve in the Trump Administration as Deputy Attorney General.  See Jonathan H. Adler, A reassuring choice for deputy attorney general (The Volokh Conspiracy (1/13/17),  here.  Congratulations!

Rosenstein's Wikipedia page is here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Orrin Hatch Tribute to Jim Lyon (12/6/16)

On December 5, 2016, from the Senate floor, Senator Orrin Hatch gave a tribute to Jim Lyons for his service to the Senate Finance Committee. The  CSPAN video of the tribute to Jim Lyons is here with the tribute starting around 23:45.  The following was a release with the prepared remaks:

Hatch Tribute to Jim Lyons:
'A Fixture in the Tax Policy World'

Utah Senator Says Lyons was "an essential and indispensable part of our efforts on the Senate Finance Committee for close to a decade."

WASHINGTON - In a speech today on the Senate floor, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) paid tribute to former Finance Committee staffer Jim Lyons, who passed away on September 29th of this year.

"Jim Lyons led a life that touched many others for the better," Hatch said. "His positive influence has been felt by countless people. While tears have been shed and great sadness has been felt, the remembrances we've had of Jim's life and our interactions with him have given all us reason to smile and even laugh."

Hatch went on to note Lyon's invaluable contribution to the Finance Committee.

"Jim was smart as a whip.  He had both a remarkable understanding of tax policy and an uncanny ability to see all the traps and pitfalls that stood ahead for any particular proposal or piece of legislation," Hatch said. "In his eight years on the Finance Committee, he made a mark on every major tax bill that went through the Senate, including many tax extenders bills, some of which he seemed to be able to cobble together singlehandedly."

The complete speech as prepared for delivery is below:
 
Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to Jim Lyons, a longtime staffer on Capitol Hill and a fixture in the tax policy world here in DC, who passed away on September 29th of this year.

James Tancill Lyons was born on March 7, 1973 to Stephen and Ann Lyons, both natives of the DC-Virginia area with long-standing ties to the local community.

Growing up in Springfield, Virginia, Jim was an accomplished athlete, excelling in both baseball and basketball.  Oddly for a sports fan in the DC area, his favorite football team was the Dallas Cowboys, a decision he made consciously because his older brother, Stephen, was a big Redskins fan.

Jim was also a great student, eventually graduating summa cum laude from James Madison University.  He went to law school at the University of Texas, where he made the Editing Committee of the Texas Journal of Business Law and won a scholarship for being the best tax law student in his class after pulling the top grade in his Business Associations, Income Tax, International Tax, Corporate Tax, and Estate and Gift Tax classes.

After law school, he earned a clerkship at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then got a job working for Cleary, Gottlieb, one of the finest law firms in the country.

Of course, you'd never guess any of this if you knew Jim.

While he was always an incredibly valuable - and often brilliant - attorney and congressional staffer, he talked about his college and law school days as though he spent most of his time having fun and just barely skating by.

That, of course, was vintage Jim Lyons - incredibly outgoing, but unbelievably humble.  Jim could have a long conversation with anyone about pretty much anything, but he was never one to spend all that much time touting his own accomplishments.

And, make no mistake, Jim Lyons was very accomplished.