Friday, November 11, 2011

Grover Hart III Awarded Presidential Rank Award

The Texas Bar Journal (November 2011) reports (p. 891) that Grover Hart III, an attorney in the DOJ Tax Dallas office, has been awarded the Presidential Rank Award for his achievements in the legal field in the United States and Canada.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tax Division Attorneys Receive Awards at the Attorney General's Awards Ceremony (10/24/11)

At the Attorney General's Awards Ceremony on 10/19/11, the following awards were made to DOJ Tax attorneys:

Tax Division Office of Civil Litigation Chief Senior Litigation Counsel Dennis M. Donohue is awarded the John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation for his exceptional service in successfully litigating three recent tax shelter cases, and contributing to the department’s objective of vigorously enforcing the interests of the United States in tax litigation. With meticulous preparation, creative courtroom techniques and powerful advocacy, Mr. Donohue examined complex financial transactions to convince three separate courts to hold the taxpayers liable for substantial penalties including tax and interest.

Another John Marshall Award for Support of Litigation is awarded to Tax Division Eastern Region Civil Trial Section Trial Attorney Charles M. Flesch. Mr. Flesch is awarded for his outstanding contributions and dedication in supporting the civil litigating components of the department in activities above and beyond his own demanding caseload. He has also provided department attorneys with a body of well-focused and meticulously researched monographs, and has personally fostered the continuing legal education of numerous attorneys through his regular participation as an instructor at the National Advocacy Center.

Another Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is presented to the team responsible for the investigation and prosecution Jack Abramoff and his associates, resulting in the conviction of 20 individuals for public corruption-related charges since 2005, including a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, other high-ranking public officials and various lobbyists, including Abramoff. Recipients include, from the Tax Division Criminal Enforcement Section – Northern Region Assistant Chief Karen E. Kelly;  [the names of other attorneys from other components are omitted].


The Main Justice blog on the awards (essentially cloning the DOJ press release) is here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stuart Abrams Death

I have received word that Stuart Abrams, former AUSA in SDNY, who worked on tax cases both with as an AUSA and private practitioner died on 10/12/11.  I will post more information here as I receive it.

Any reader who would like to share memories of Stu are welcome to do so in the comments.

The New York Times Obituary is here, but here is the text portion in full:

ABRAMS--Stuart Edward. Of New York City and Ancramdale, NY. Extraordinary spouse, father, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, friend, lawyer, historian, writer, pianist, cross-country skier, gardener, Red Sox fan. Born April 30, 1953 in Englewood, NJ, son of the late Dilys (Jones) and Selden Abrams, he died October 13, 2011 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. Stuart was loved and admired by his spouse of 31 years, Caroline J. Downey, his children Alexandra and Stephen Abrams-Downey, his sister Nancy Abrams Gaess, his siblings-in-law Peter, Jim, Sally, Bob, Nancy, Steve, KT, Paul, Hallie, Eleanor and Jay, his 19 nieces and nephews, his cousins and his many friends. A 1974 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia Law School, 1977, he had been a partner at Frankel & Abrams since 1994 and was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. From 1982-1989, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York, where he served as Chief Appellate Counsel and Chief of the Major Crimes Unit. He also served as an Associate Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra Matters from 1989-1990. Those wishing to honor Stuart's memory may consider donations to Obama for America 2012 and Partners in Health. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 29, at 1:00pm at the Ethical Culture Society, 64th St and Central Park West.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Obama Nominates Kathy Keneally as DOJ Tax AAG (9/10/11)

Obama has nominated Kathy Kenalley as DOJ Tax AAG.  See the Main Justice article here.  Kathy is well qualified, as most of her colleaques know.  I think that most of the readers of this blog will recognize her name and a substantial subset of those readers will know her.  Finally, DOJ Tax is blessed with someone who can take the reins and do great service to the country.  Congratulations, Kathy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Glenn Archer, Former AAG Tax, Dies

The Court of Federal Appeals web site has announced that Judge Glenn Archer, former AAG Tax Division, has died.  The web site link is here but I cut and paste it because I am not sure that is a permanent URL for the announcement.
Circuit Judge Glenn L. Archer, Jr. Dies at the Age of 82

The Honorable Glenn L. Archer, Jr., died at Friendship Village’s Hospice of the Valley in Tempe, Arizona on July 27, 2011. Chief Judge Rader, in a message to the court announcing Judge Archer’s death said: “ Glenn was our third Chief Judge and the first Chief Judge of our court to start his judicial career with the Federal Circuit. He led our court through some of our most challenging transitional years. When we recall Glenn, we will speak of his magnificent service including his tenure as our Chief Judge, but we will mostly remember that his heart was grand enough to comprehend the hardships and challenges of every person he encountered. His great compassion made him a great judge and a great leader.”

Judge Archer was appointed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by President Ronald Reagan and assumed duties as Circuit Judge on December 23, 1985. He became Chief Judge on March 18, 1994, and served in that capacity until December 24, 1997, when he assumed senior status. While in senior status, Judge Archer continued to serve on the Federal Circuit and often sat by designation with the Ninth Circuit in both Pasadena and San Francisco, California.

Prior to his twenty-five years on the court, Judge Archer served as Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, United States Department of Justice from 1982 to 1984. During his time in private practice, Judge Archer was an associate in the Washington, DC law firm of Hamel, Park, McCabe and Saunders from 1956 to1960 and a partner from 1960 to 1981. Judge Archer served as First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General's Office, United States Air Force from 1954 to 1956. He received a B.A. from Yale University in 1951 and a J.D., with honors, from George Washington University Law School in 1954.
I will add more information as I learn of it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tamara Ashford Named Tax Division DAAG for Appellate and Review (7/19/11)

DOJ Tax Alum has been named the Tax Division Deputy Attorney General for Appellate and Review.  The DOJ Tax Memo announcing the here.

Thanks to the TaxProf Blog for news of the appointment.

Friday, July 1, 2011

President Nominates Alum Thomas Owen Rice to U.S. District Court

From the White House Press Release of June 29, 2011 here:

WASHINGTON- Today, President Obama nominated Thomas Owen Rice and Judge David Ogden Nuffer to United States District Court judgeships.

“I am honored to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “They have both demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice throughout their careers, and I am confident they will continue to serve the American people with integrity.”

 * * * *

Thomas Owen Rice: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington

Thomas Owen Rice serves as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, a position he has held since 1987. Rice has served as the First Assistant United States Attorney since 2006 and previously was Chief of the Criminal Division from 2003 to 2006 and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division from 2000 to 2003. From 1986 to 1987, Rice worked as a Trial Attorney in the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice. In 1986, he was a law clerk at the law firm of Delay, Curran, Thompson & Pontarolo. Rice received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1986 from Gonzaga University School of Law and his B.B.A. in 1983 from Gonzaga University.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Favorable Article on Rod Rosenstein

This is an interesting article about the apparent refusal by the United States Attorney for Maryland, Rod Rosenstein, to sign an indictment that was thereafter tried in another district and failed to survive a Rule 29 motion.  The facts from A  to Z are a little more complex than that summary would suggest.  Sue Reisinger, Why Didn't the Maryland U.S. Attorney Sign the Lauren Stevens Indictment? ( 6/20/11).  Still, the article is quite favorable to Rosenstein was was formerly principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tax Division History - Involvement in Bay of Pigs Prisoners' Release

I just became aware of this interesting bit of Tax Division and broader tax and U.S. history. Tax Division luminaries and a host of others were involved in behind the scenes maneuvering to meet Castro's demands for medicine in return for the prisoners captured in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Prominent Tax Division alumni involved were Louis Oberdorfer (then AAG, Tax), John B. Jones, Jr. (First Assistant AAG, Tax), and Mitchell Rogovin (then Assistant to Commissioner IRS and later AAG, Tax). I include below the links to some of this history and the list of persons mentioned in the Oral History interview of Messrs. Oberforder, Jones and Rogovin.

Oral History Interview of June 2, 1964 - here and here.

David Wise and Thomas b. Ross, The Invisible Government, section called Gray Operation. (I don't vouch of the complete accuracy of this account, but even if it were historical fiction it is interesting.)

Persons mentioned in the Oral History Interview:

Name Index
Bighinatti, Enso V., 16

Caplin, Mortimer M., 1, 2, 5
Castro, Fidel, 2, 7, 19
Coppock, Don, 21
Cutler, Lloyd N., 6

Dodge, Joseph M., 3

Edson, Robert C., 15
Eisenhower, Milton S., 3

Feldman, Myer, 3
Freeman, Orville L., 18
Harriman, E. Roland, 14
Hurwitch, Robert A., 3

Katzenbach, Nicholas deB., 3, 6, 13, 22
Kennedy, John F., 2, 3, 10, 14, 18, 20, 21, 22
Kennedy, Robert F., 5, 10, 11, 12, 18

Miskovsky, Milan “Mike”, 3

Nolan, John E., 22

Rauh, Joseph Louis, Jr., 2

Shea, Robert, 14, 15
Starr, Elvis, 13
Surrey, Stanley S., 3, 5

Wilson, John J., 13

Monday, April 18, 2011

Justices Jackson and Frankfurter on Duty to the United States Through Reporting and Paying Taxes

As some of the Alumni know, Justice Robert H. Jackson had, prior to serving on the Supreme Court as the chief United States prosecutor for the Nuremburg Trails, has served both as general counsel of the Treasury where his responsibilities included the IRS and as Assistant Attorney General heading the Tax Division. I received the following email today from Professor John Q. Barrett of St. John's Law School and Fellow of the Robert H. Jackson Center, Inc.. I thought readers would be interested in this email and received permission from Professor Barrett to pass it along. (I have some links at the end for readers desiring to see more on Justice Jackson and some may want to join Professor Barret's email list as well.)

For the Jackson List:

In summer 1962, Justice Felix Frankfurter, age 79 and disabled by a stroke, retired from the Supreme Court of the United States after 23 years of service.

As a retired Justice, Frankfurter kept his mind and interested eyes on many matters. In winter 1964, for example, he spotted, or someone called to his attention, a quotation that an official U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form attributed to his late colleague Robert H. Jackson (who once had been the Revenue bureau’s chief counsel). According to the IRS, Jackson once said or wrote—no source was specified—that “[t]he United States has a system of taxation by confession. That a people so numerous, scattered and individualistic annually assesses itself with a tax liability, often in highly burdensome amounts, is a reassuring sign of the stability and vitality of our system of self-government.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DiCicco is now Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General

John DiCicco's time to serve as Assistant Attorney General ran out, so he was given a new, specially created title, in the absence of an Assistant Attorney General so that he could continue to run the Tax Divisoin.  That title is Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General.  Main Justice has an article giving some of the details titled Manuever Allows Career Lawyer to Wield Power in Tax Division.  (Note that you may have to create an account with Main Justice to read the article, but those interested in the Tax Division and DOJ generally will want to do that.)  The article cites Tax Division Directive No. 139 as to authorities delegated during the period of the absence of an AAG.  Finally, the article notes the Administration claim that the appointment of an AAG is in the works.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thomas Foye Death

I was notified that Thomas Foye died on February 1, 2011.  The link to his obituary is here.  The following is the excerpt from the obituary about his Tax Division service.
Upon graduation Tom spent three years as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division. Tom tried civil tax cases all over the country on a variety of issues, winning more cases than he lost while gaining the respect of his adversaries for his keen abilities as a tax lawyer and for his sense of fairness.

Cynthia Holcomb Hall Death

Pat Whaley sent an email today advising:

I am sorry to have to advise you that Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall died this last Saturday at her home in Pasadena California. While she has been battling cancer and other aliments for the last few years, she remained an active member of the Ninth Circuit. I understand that the Ninth Circuit will be issuing an obituary in the next few days. Pat Whaley
I will post further information as I get it.

Addendum 3/2/11: The Los Angeles Times obituary article is here. The Ninth Circuit posting is here.  Wikipedia entry is here.