Saturday, December 18, 2010

Death of Andy Baum, Mike Baum's Son

Mike Baum's son recently died.  I enclose a link to the Washington Post obituary and a link to it below.

Andrew S. Baum

Died suddenly on November 22, 2010 at his home in Keller, TX. Son of the late Myron C. Baum. He is survived by his mother, Beatrice "Bea" of Kensington, MD; his wife, Carrie; son, Jesse; daughter Callie and granddaughter, Kaylee. A pioneer in the field of Health Psychology, at the time of his death he was a Jenkins Garrett Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. Those who are interested may contribute to the Dr. Andy Baum Memorial Fund at the University of Texas at Arlington, Box 19047 Arlington, TX 76019. A Memorial service was previously held on December 6 at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The older alumni, of course, remember what a force Mike was in the Tax Division and many of us got to know Mike's family.  Those wanting Bea's address should contact me by email ( or by telephone (office 713-521-9977).

Also, those who remember Mike might like to view an earlier posting titled "Remembering Mike Baum, Tributes from Friends and Colleagues."

Friday, December 3, 2010

DOJ Tax Holiday Party 12/17/10 4-6pm




TIME 4:00 TO 6:00 PM




COST: $25



Alumni wishing to attend need to RSVP to DOJ Tax (send email to; their names will be put on the guest list and they can enter the building at the entrance noted above. Alumni will pay at the door.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dewey O'Brien's Book of Memories with Anecdotes from Tax Division

James Dewey O’Brien (DOJ Tax Alum) has written a memoir titled “An American Experience: The First Ninety Three Years” in which Dewey describes events of his life both inside and outside DOJ Tax. The description of the book and ordering information is here: Focusing on DOJ Tax specifically, Dewey provides wonderful anecdotes of his experiences during six presidential administrations, including the following summary with more details in the book:

Much of my work was on special assignments: (1) to a task force investigating corruption in the IRS (I recused myself from the Tax Division part of that in which the former Div. head, Caudle, was convicted, although I never knew him) I did participate in the prosecution of former IRS commissioner Joseph D. Nunan. Later, I was sent to Little Rock during those troubled times to conduct a grand jury investigation (got good reception). Similar assignment by Byron White in Oxford, MS. Member for a time of the so-called Hoffa Group with successful prosecution of Benjamin Cohen of SDFL. My most interesting case was U.S. v. Jurzykowski et al. The Tax Division was about to decline prosecution as it was thought that evidence could not be obtained from behind the Iron Curtain. This case took me to Brazil for depositions twice and I did get evidence from Poland in admissible form.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tax Division Honorees at Attorney General's Award Ceremony

Main Justice has posted the Attorney General's Awards here (see also here).  The Tax Division recipients are:

Karen Hamilton, Tax Civil Nothern

The Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Administrative Support recognizes outstanding performance in administrative or managerial support by an administrative employee or secretary.  Karen Hamilton, Data Management Specialist for the Tax Division Civil Trial Section in the Northern Region

Grover Hart, III, Tax Civil Southwestern

Another John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation is awarded to an attorney from the Department of Justice Tax Division for his outstanding work as lead counsel for the government in AT&T Inc. v. United States. Grover Hartt III, Senior Level Trial Attorney for the Civil Trial Section of the Southwestern Region, assembled and guided the government’s excellent trial team, developed its litigating strategy, oversaw an exceptionally complex and demanding discovery process—conducting crucial portions of it himself—and authored the briefs that resolved the case in the government’s favor.

Judith Hagley, Tax - Appellate

The John Marshall Award for the Handling of Appeals is presented to Judith A. Hagley, Attorney for the Appellate Section of the Tax Division. Hagley is honored for her exceptional skill and success in briefing and arguing the most influential and high-profile tax shelter cases to reach the Appellate Section. Her personal accomplishments in handling this sensitive, difficult, and complex litigation have laid the groundwork for success in the Tax Division and the IRS.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DOJ Tax AAG Nomination Withdrawn

The Obama administration will not renominate Mary L. be AAG for the Tax Division. 

See the Main Justice article here and the Tax Prof Blog article here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Russell Davis Memory of DOJ Tax and Mike Baum and Stan Krysa and others

I received an email from Russell Davis (DOJ Tax 1963-1968) updating his contact information. Russell made the following comment which he gave me permission to put on the blog.

It was the best 5 years of my professional career. Working under Mike Baum was incredible as was with Stan Krysa. Bureaucracy was minimized and subordinated to a standard of excellence in pursing a just result in court. The attorneys were some of the brightest around and many lifetime relationships were formed.
JAT Note:  I encourage anyone with memories about their time at DOJ Tax, their colleagues and the quality of the experience to let me know and I will post thenm (within bounds of propriety of course).  Memories such as Russell's and good anecdotes would be particularly enjoyable to many of the Alumni.  Thanks, Russell.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bill Holmes Death

From the Washington Post on 9/1/10:

HOLMES WILLIAM DAVIS McCALIP HOLMES "Bill" (Age 73) Died Wednesday, August 25, 2010, while vacationing in Pennsylvania. Born August 7, 1937, in Yazoo City, Mississippi, he was the son of the late Vernon Charles Holmes and Mildred Louise Holmes. He is survived by his companion, Ms. Carolyn Pyles, of Florence, Mississippi; his cousins, Donna Eberwine-Villagran de Leon and her husband Ambassador Francisco Villagran de Leon of Washington, DC and Mimi Jones Gray and her husband Joseph Robert Gray of Clarksdale, Mississippi and their families. He is lovingly remembered by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. A graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School, Bill Holmes was an attorney with the United States Department of Justice for more than 35 years. After retiring in 2003, he brought his experience as a tax attorney to his new career with Arlington Realty. Bill Holmes was formerly a member of the JAG Corps in the United States Army and United States Army Reserves and long-time member of the Calvary United Methodist church. A service celebrating his life will be held at Calvary United Methodist Church in Arlington on September 1, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. Reception will follow at Army Navy Country Club.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rumors that Downing May Leave DOJ Tax for More Gainful Employment

Kevin Downing who made such headlines in the KPMG tax shelter criminal case and in the offshore account initiative may be seeking more gainful employment. See this WSJ Article - Evan Perez, Prosecutor in UBS Case May Depart (6/24/10).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Jason Green Death

I have just been advised that Jason Green died on May 2, 2010. He is survived by his wife Elaine and daughters Mara and Mia. Here is a link to the obituary.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Death of Max Higgins Lauten

The Baltimore Sun reports here on the death of Max Higgins Lauten.  The obituary is a good read, both for those who knew and did not know him.  Relevant to DOJ Tax, it says:

Mr. Lauten began his legal career in 1976 when he joined the U.S. Department of Justice, where he litigated civil tax cases and was awarded its Outstanding Attorney Award in 1980.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tom Sykes Joins Greenberg Traurig Chicago Office

See this press release.  His new bio with contact information is here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Update on Confirmation for DOJ Tax AAG Nominee

Main Justice has posted this May 6 article on the nomination of Mary L. Smith as AAG Tax: Opposition To DOJ Tax Division Nominee Continues

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Update on Confirmation for DOJ Tax AAG Nominee

From the Chicago Tribune:
Waiting for confirmation
President Barack Obama has 90 nominees awaiting Senate confirmation, and Chicagoan Mary Smith has been waiting the longest of them all, according to White House data.
About 380 days ago, Obama nominated Smith, 47, a Clinton White House lawyer and a former partner with Schoeman, Updike & Kaufman in Chicago, to lead the attorney general's tax division. After Republicans sent the appointment back to the president, citing Smith's lack of tax-law experience, Obama nominated her again. 
According to a congressional aide who declined to be named, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is blocking votes on any nominee opposed by all Republicans in committee, a category that applies to Smith. But the aide predicted Smith would eventually be confirmed in a deal packaging one or two Republican nominees for bipartisan boards with three or four Democratic nominees.

Smith has spent most of her career alternating between practicing law and working on political campaigns, having served as a lawyer in the Department of Justice's civil division; an aide on four presidential campaigns; senior counsel for Tyco International; and a member of Obama's transition team, where she reviewed the division she has been nominated to lead.

"The confirmation process, I think, is broken," said Abner Mikva, a retired federal judge and one of several Chicagoans who wrote Congress endorsing Smith. "I know this sounds partisan, but the Republicans are being ridiculous. She's very qualified. They ought to get out of the way."

In February, Smith joined the Department of Justice, anyway, as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general in charge of the civil division.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Michel Nicrosi Running for Attorney General of Alabama

DOJ Tax Alum Michel Nicrosi is running for Attorney General for the state of Alabama. Her information is at her campaign blog here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Schumacher Appointed Director of Graduate Tax Program at U. Washington

The Tax Prof Blog reports here that Scott Schumacher (right), Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Federal Tax Clinic at the University of Washington, has been named Director of the Graduate Tax Program, effective July 1, 2010.

Pietruszkiewicz Among Finalists for Law Deanship

The Tax Prof Blog reports here that Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz (Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs and J.Y. Sanders Professor of Law, LSU) is among the finalists for law dean at the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Karen Powell Candidacy for Montana State Judgeship

This Helena, Montana article reports that Karen Powell, a DOJ Tax alum, has thrown her hat in the ring for a state judgeship.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

DOJ Tax Budget Request

DOJ Tax has posted its budget request here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mary Smith On Hold in the Civil Division Awaiting Senate Action

Main Justice reports here that Mary Smiht, the AAG Tax appointee, is waiting out the games / angst of the Republicans as Senior Counsel to Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division.