Thursday, October 18, 2012

Elliott Kajan Death on 10/17/12 (10/18/12)

Funeral Details for Elliott Kajan, Tuesday, October 23, Noon,  Mt. Sinai Memorial Park, Los Angeles, CA

Location:         Mt. Sinai Memorial Park, Mt-Sinai - Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive Los Angeles, CA    (323) 469-6000           Off Forest Lawn Drive

The following is the web site with the notice of the service and links to memories and photos (not populated when I looked, but should be some later).


Date:               Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Time:               Noon

Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills
5950 Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, California 90068

TaNaCh Chapel

Elliott's bio on his firm website is here.

From Tax Notes Today, In Memoriam (10/22/12, published on line on 10/20/12):

Elliott H. Kajan, 74, died on October 17 in Beverly Hills, Calif. 
Kajan founded his firm, Kajan Mather and Barish, in 1990. He specialized in civil and criminal tax controversies at the administrative and court levels, including federal, state, and local matters. He previously worked in the IRS as a revenue agent and in the Justice Department Tax Division as an attorney. Kajan received a BS from Cleveland State University and a JD from Ohio State University.

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  1. I will share one small anecdote about Elliott. When I was a relative fledgling in the Appellate Section, I was assigned one of Elliott's cases, if I recall correctly it was Airport Grove Corp. v. United States, 431 F.2d 739 (5th Cir. Fla. 1970).

    Elliott won the case at trial before a jury. It was a surtax exemption case. Fairly routine. Normally in routine taxpayer appeals, I did not hear from the trial attorney. But, Elliott called me up and wanted to come visit about the case. That was fine with me.

    So, Elliott came to share some war stories from the trial. He had several of them, mostly entertaining. But the one I remember now crisply is that he or the judge extracted from one potential juror that the juror had had a bad IRS audit experience. For most of us, that would have been a guaranteed strike. But Elliott said he looked the juror in the eye and asked whether he could be fair to the Government. The juror said yes. Elliott said "I believe you." Elliott did not strike. That juror may have ended up as foreman, but in any event Elliott was pretty proud of the judgment call in reading the soul of the juror.

    Jack Townsend

  2. Elliott was one of my best friends. He was a wonderful guy. Upbeat, hard working, loved life!
    We went to the National Championship football game in Phoenix three years ago when U of Florida (my alma mater) beat OSU (his alma mater) and we have had an onging friendly rivalry for years.

    We colluded and co-counseled on many cases, and each of us sought and respected the other's advice.

    I will sorely miss Elliott.
    Chuck Ruffner

  3. Elliott Kajan was my uncle, the brother of my mother. But Elliott was also (and still remains) one of my heroes. Throughout my youth, he shared fond memories of working for the DOJ, Tax Division. These were the day before Elliott married his beautiful wife, Judy; these were the days before Elliott fathered two beautiful children, Jordan and Evan. These were the days before Elliott established one of the premiere tax law boutiques in the country. Those latter days were, to be sure, filled with much joy, success and happiness for him. But, for you DOJ alumni, I will never forget the stories of my Uncle Elliott driving in his Corvette from D.C. across the East Coast and Midwest working on various cases, with the feeling of freedom, joy and professional contentment that we all yearn for throughout life. Whatever he experienced at DOJ, it was certainly special, for he carried those fond memories with him throughout the rest of his life. In his honor, let us all carry through the rest of our lives fond and pleasant memories of this most talented lawyer and human being. May his memory serve as a blessing to us all and to the family, friends and country that he loved, and may G-d bless his memory and soul forever.

    Isaac H. Winer, Esq. (
    Law Office of Isaac H. Winer
    2225 E. Bayshore Rd., Suite 200
    Palo Alto, CA 94303
    Phone (650) 330-0110
    Fax (650) 618-1886

  4. Russell DavisOctober 18, 2012 4:24 PM

    Elliott was one of my closest friends for the last 37 years. I came to Justice in 1963 and he came in 1965. I inherited the Miami docket from Chuck Ruffner and I passed it on to Elliott when I left in 1968. He eventually persuaded me to move to California from Chicago which I did in 1974.
    As a tax lawyer, he was at the top of the list. He was a stickler for detail and was brilliant when it came to the application of the facts to the law.
    More importantly, Elliott was the best friend anyone could ever have. If you were considered a friend, and he had many, then you were blessed.
    Farewell to a friend who made a difference in the lives of many.

    Russell Davis

  5. I met Elliott around 1972 and worked on various tax matters with him many times including one just last month. Elliott always brought excitement to every job. The last one I sent him I thought for sure the guy would go to jail. Elliott worked his magic and the result was a small fine. I will always remember his "hold it" when we discussed client matters.

    I will miss Elliott very much, especially the lunches we had 3 or 4 times a year just to talk.

    Miss you Elliott, Mike Kalvin, CPA

  6. Elliott and I have been good friends since the mid-60s when we first met at the Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington, DC, where we practiced as trial attorneys, more than 45 years ago. Although we lived on opposite coasts for decades, our friendship has endured ... often in a significant way. Elliott met my wife, Judy (before I did), when she moved to River House in Arlington from Philadelphia; the next day, he stopped in my office and said "you two are meant for each other . . . here's her phone number!" He was the first friend that we called when we got engaged early the following year.

    Finally, aside from his brilliance, he loved his family deeply and shared a wonderful friendship with so many of us. We will miss him dearly.

  7. Thank you for all your lovely stories. Here is a memorial site Elliott's family has set up.

  8. This letter appeared in Tax Notes Today. Kip Dellinger authorized me to post it here:

    OCTOBER 25, 2012
    In Memoriam: Elliot Kajan
    by Kip Dellinger

    Kip Dellinger remembers his friend and colleague Elliot Kajan.

    To the Editor:
    Our community of tax professionals lost a very special member recently. And I and many others in the Los Angeles community lost a wonderful friend and colleague when Elliot Kajan passed away shortly after being stricken while participating in a panel discussion at the UCLA Tax Controversy Institute.1 At the time, Elliot was doing something he did so well, so often, and enjoyed so much: He was engaged with and in front of other tax professionals, and he was in the process of improving the knowledge of everyone in the room.

    Gracious, kind, decent, and generous -- and a wonderful, interested, and engaged listener -- are just a few of many words that would define Elliot as a person. Intelligent, insightful, incredibly knowledgeable, and an exceptional speaker and writer are just a few of the words that would describe Elliot the consummate tax professional.

    We sometimes shared clients, and we spoke and wrote together before attorney and CPA groups -- and we often exchanged ideas and materials. As tax professionals, we benefit enormously as a result of what we learn from, and in turn pass to, other tax professionals. Elliot's influence extended throughout the tax profession.

    Personally, the day following his passing, I sadly realized how true that was when teaching a course on CPA practitioner conduct standards for the California CPA Society Education Foundation (where Elliot had served as a trustee). There isn't a page in the materials or a discussion topic that isn't influenced by Elliot's wise and sometimes challenging comments over many years.
    He had two smiles: the big warm one . . . and the wry, mischievous one. The latter signaled something would follow verbally that was going to be different, challenging, and sometimes humorous -- but when I saw it coming while on a panel discussion, my thought would be "uh-oh." But, oh, how I will miss that subtle grin.

    And I will miss Elliot dearly -- something I share with so many others in our community of tax professionals.

    Kip Dellinger, CPA
    Santa Monica, California
    Oct. 21, 2012

    1 Tax Notes, Oct. 22, 2012, p. 379, Doc 2012-21569 , 2012 TNT 204-11 .


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