Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Judge Leon Enters Prominent NSA Decision (12/17/13)

A DOJ Tax alum has been in the news yesterday, today and presumably for some time in the future.  Richard J. Leon, district court judge in the District of Columbia, entered a decision questioning the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's collection and use of phone records.

According to his court web bio, here, Judge Leon was formerly "Senior Trial Attorney in the Criminal Section of the Tax Division."

For an article on the case, see Charlie Savage, Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records (NYT 12/16/13), here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rob Kovacev Moves from DOJ Tax to Steptoe & Johnson (12/10/13)

Rob Kovacev has joined Steptoe & Johnson.  See Senior Litigatoin Counsel in Tax Division Joins Steptoe (Main Justice 12/10/13), here.

His bio with the firm is here.  The portions dealing with his Tax Division experience is:
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Kovacev was a senior litigation counsel in the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division, responsible for litigating some of the largest and most complex civil tax cases in the nation.  In that position, Mr. Kovacev worked closely with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Large Business & International (LB&I) Division and top management of the Tax Division to shape litigation strategy on high-priority tax enforcement issues.   
Mr. Kovacev was lead trial counsel in several complex tax cases in the pharmaceutical, financial services, energy, and government contracts industries.  These cases involved cross-border transactions, Section 482 disputes, claims for research credits and foreign tax credits, corporate reorganizations and acquisitions, and valuation of pharmaceutical patents and other intellectual property.  The amounts at issue in each of these cases ranged from $10 million to more than $1 billion in claimed tax benefits.  Mr. Kovacev was also lead counsel in several important summons enforcement matters, including the Wells Fargo tax accrual workpapers case. 
Mr. Kovacev developed particular knowledge regarding the IRS’s use of the economic substance, substance over form, and sham partnership doctrines to disallow the tax benefits of transactions that comply with the technical requirements of the tax code.  For example, Mr. Kovacev was lead trial counsel for the United States in AWG Leasing, involving a cross-border leveraged leasing transaction.  The court in AWG Leasing disallowed over $100 million in tax benefits from that transaction, and sustained the IRS’s determination of penalties against the taxpayer.  Mr. Kovacev was also on the trial team for the Southgate Master Fund case, in which the court disallowed more than $1 billion in tax benefits arising from a distressed debt transaction based on the court’s interpretation of the sham partnership doctrine.

  • Recipient of the John Marshall Award, the highest award for trial of litigation given by the Department of Justice, 2009
  • Recognized as Outstanding Attorney by the Department of Justice, Tax Division, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Recipient of the Mitchell Rogovin Award for providing outstanding support to the Office of Chief Counsel by the IRS, 2009 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tax Division Attorneys Receive Awards at DOJ Awards Program (11/26/13)

The DOJ Press Release on the Awards for all divisions is here.  It is quite a long list.  Excerpts for DOJ Tax attorneys are:
The Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service is presented to the following team for its successful defense of the Affordable Care Act, a landmark piece of legislation. With high stakes and a staggering volume of work to be done, this team withstood intense pressure and showcased superb litigation skills in drafting the law’s defense to constitutional challenges and lawsuits. 
* * * * 
From the Appellate Staff of the Tax Division, recipients include: Gilbert S. Rothenberg, Section Chief; Francesca Ugolini, Attorney; and Teresa E. McLaughlin, Reviewer.  
* * * * 
The Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity pays tribute to the memory and achievements of former Attorney General Edward H. Levi, whose career as an attorney, law professor, dean and public servant exemplified these qualities in the best traditions of the department. This year, the award is presented to Ronald A. Cimino, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Matters in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division. 
Cimino, through his nearly 40-year career, has enabled the government to achieve successful results in many important criminal tax cases, each time demonstrating himself to be a primer criminal litigator and senior manager. Over the course of his service to the department, Cimino has mentored and inspired countless attorneys, and is held in the highest regard within the tax community. 
 * * * * 
Also receiving the Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention is the team leading efforts to prosecute tax refund fraud committed through identity theft, which victimizes unsuspecting, law-abiding citizens and steals billions of dollars from the government. This team brought great expertise and energy to the prosecution of individuals and groups who commit these crimes by pushing for long prison sentences that serve as a strong deterrent for would-be future offenders.  From the Southern Region of the Criminal Enforcement Section of the Tax Division, recipients include: Larry J. Wszalek, Assistant Chief; and Michael C. Boteler, Charles M. Edgar Jr., Justin K. Gelfand, and Jason H. Poole, Trial Attorneys.  From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama, recipients include: Todd A. Brown, Assistant U.S. Attorney. 
* * * * 
The John Marshall Award for the Handling of Appeals is presented to Alexander P. Robbins, a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Appeals and Tax Enforcement Policy Section of the Tax Division.  Robbins is awarded for his extraordinary service to the department for representing the government on tax matters before the Supreme Court and other appellate and district courts.  He has handled the most difficult tax matters for the department, including successfully advancing the application of the required records doctrine to grand jury subpoenas issued in international tax cases.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Death of Peggy Gooding, Front Office Secretary (11/12/13)

John Murray advises by email today:

Today's Washington Post contained the death notice for Peggy Gooding, a front office secretary in Tax and other DOJ offices for many years. Only us real old timers will remember her. She was a very nice, very classy lady. She was 89.

The obituary is here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

George Abney Joins Alston & Bird (10/16/13)

Main Justice reports here that George Abney, here, has joined Alston & Bird LLP.  From his bio previously linked:
George Abney is a partner in the firm’s Tax Controversy Group whose practice focuses on civil and criminal tax controversy matters. Mr. Abney has significant trial and appellate experience gained from years as a federal prosecutor with the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Florida. In private practice, he has successfully represented clients in civil tax controversies before the IRS, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. district courts and the U.S. bankruptcy courts, as well as in federal grand jury investigations and IRS criminal investigations. 
Mr. Abney was recognized by former Attorney General John Ashcroft as a Tax Division Outstanding Attorney, and he has received special recognition from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, for his work in successfully prosecuting United States v. Dugas, a case that involved kidnapping, Mann Act and firearms charges. 
Mr. Abney earned his J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law, with high honors, where he served as executive editor of the law review, and his B.A. from Columbia University.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jim McCune's Inurnment 10/22 at Fort Myers (10/9/13)

John Murray just advised as follows:  "Jim McCune's October 22 inurnment. Mass at Fort Myers Old Post Chapel at 10:45AM, inurnment at Arlington immediately thereafter, followed by lunch at the Fort Myers Officers Club."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nathan E. Clukey Joins King & Spalding DC (9/21/13)

According to the press release here:
King & Spalding has recruited Nathan E. Clukey as a partner in its tax practice to help expand the firm's tax controversy and tax litigation practices. He will be resident in the Washington, D.C., office. Clukey had been a trial lawyer in the tax division of the U.S. Department of Justice since 2008. 
At the Justice Department, Clukey tried an array of tax cases in federal district courts, serving as lead counsel in both jury and bench trials. He litigated several case tax shelter cases, including the first 743(f) distressed debt shelter case. He has prosecuted civil injunction actions nationwide, including the first-ever injunction suit referred by the large business and international division of the Internal Revenue Service. He also has extensive experience handling parallel civil and criminal proceedings as well as international tax investigations and litigation, with a focus on transfer-pricing tax actions. 
"Nathan's litigation experience and technical knowledge of the tax law give him a unique ability to serve clients in complex and demanding tax controversy contexts," said Hap Shashy, leader of King & Spalding's tax practice. "We are very lucky to have Nathan, and we welcome him to the firm." 
Clukey is a three-time recipient of the DOJ tax division's outstanding attorney award and the recipient of IRS chief counsel's Mitchell Rogovin award for outstanding support by the Department of Justice. He received a J.D. degree from Catholic University Columbus School of Law, an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Clukey is an adjunct professor in the master of laws in taxation program at Georgetown University Law Center.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Team Feffer Fundraiser for Parkinsons (9/18/13)

I received the communication below from Monique Yingling, Jerry Feffer's widow, regarding fundraising to honor Jerry in the Parkinson's Walk.  I thought Alumni might be interested in the information:
Dear Family and Friends, 
As you know, I lost my beloved husband and Andy, Johnny and Casey’s devoted father, Jerry, to complications from Parkinson’s disease earlier this year.  Parkinson’s is a cruel and devastating illness, and currently there is no cure.  For the last two years, Jerry participated in the annual Washington, D.C. Parkinson’s Walk and he worked tirelessly to help raise awareness and critical funds to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education and outreach.  Many of you supported him in this effort by walking with him, contributing to Team Feffer or both.  Jerry was so proud that for the first two years of the Walk, Team Feffer was the top fundraiser, raising more than $60,000 each year. Andy, Johnny, Casey and I wish to carry on Jerry’s work to find a cure for Parkinson’s by participating in the Washington, D.C. Moving Day Walk for 2013, and we have registered Team Feffer in loving memory of Jerry. Jerry’s law firm, William’s & Connolly, made an extraordinarily generous gift to the Parkinson Foundation in memory of Jerry, and the top fundraiser at the Walk will be recognized in Jerry’s name.  
This year, the Washington, D.C. Moving Day Walk will take place on Sunday, November 10, 2013 at Nationals Park.  I hope you can walk with Team Feffer at this event.  If not, you can support Team Feffer by making a tax-deductible contribution.  If you plan to attend the Walk and join our team, click on the following link (Join team).  If you are unable to attend but would like to make a donation please use the following link (Donate Team).  If you would prefer you can make your contribution by check payable to the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area. 
Mail the check to my attention (Monique Yingling) at
3000 Garrison Street, NW
Washington DC 20008
Please be sure to put Team Feffer in the Memo field on the check. 
We all miss Jerry terribly, but are determined to honor his memory by carrying on the important work to which he was so devoted. Please support me in honoring Jerry in this way. Your tax-deductible gift makes a difference in the Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s through research and makes a difference to Andy, Johnny, Casey and me personally.   
For more information about the National Parkinson Foundation and its work, please visit www.parkinson.org. For information about the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area and its services, please visit www.parkinsonfoundation.org

President Nominates Tamara Ashford, DAAG Tax, to Tax Court (9/18/13)

The following is a cut and paste from the White House Press Release here.
WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama announced today his intent to nominate Tamara W. Ashford as Judge to the United States Tax Court. 
“Tamara has demonstrated unwavering integrity and a firm commitment to public service throughout her career,” said President Obama.  “I am proud to nominate her to serve on the United States Tax Court.” 
Tamara W. Ashford, Nominee for Judge, United States Tax Court 
Tamara W. Ashford is currently the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Appellate and Review in the Tax Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a position she has held since 2011.  From 2008 to 2011, Ms. Ashford was a member of the Tax Controversy and Litigation Group of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP in Washington, D.C.  Prior to that, Ms. Ashford served as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner, Large and Mid-Size Business Division, at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and also the U.S. Director for the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre.  From 2004 to 2007, she served as Assistant to the IRS Commissioner.  Ms. Ashford was a Senior Associate at Miller & Chevalier Chartered in Washington, D.C., from 2001 to 2004, and served as an attorney with the Appellate Section of the Tax Division at DOJ from 1997 to 2001.  She began her legal career as a Law Clerk to the Honorable John C. Martin on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  Ms. Ashford received her A.B. from Duke University, J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, and an L.L.M. from the University of Miami School of Law.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Brian Feldman Appointed to Maryland State Senate Seat (9/13/13)

See the cut and paste of the press release below:
Media Contacts:  
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Office: 410-974-2316 
ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 12, 2013) -- Governor Martin O’Malley today appointed Del. Brian J. Feldman as Senator for Montgomery County Legislative District 15. He will fill the vacancy left by Senator Robert Garagiola, who resigned September 1, 2013. Mr. Feldman’s term will begin effective immediately. 
“I am pleased to appoint Delegate Feldman to represent District 15 in the Maryland Senate,” said Governor O’Malley. “With experience as a Member of the Maryland House of Delegates, support from county and local partners, and his dedication and commitment to moving our State forward, I am confident that Mr. Feldman will continue to serve the people of Montgomery County with distinction.” 
Brian J. Feldman, Esq. has served as a Member of the Maryland House of Delegates for Montgomery County Legislative District 15 since 2003, and has held the position of Parliamentarian since 2011. He served as a member on the Economic Matters Committee; the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review; and the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee. He also served as House Chair of the Joint Information Technology and Biotechnology Committee, and as Chair of the Montgomery County House Delegation from 2007 to 2012. 
Mr. Feldman is also a Tax Attorney, serving as Senior Counsel for Kundra & Associates, in addition to being an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins University. 
Mr. Feldman began his career as a Certified Public Accountant/Attorney for Price Waterhouse in Washington, D.C., and thereafter joined the U.S. Department of Justice's Tax Division. While with the Department of Justice, he was a 3-time recipient of the Tax Division's Outstanding Attorney Award. Prior to joining Kundra & Associates, he served as Counsel for the firm of Kozusko, Harris, Vetter, Wareh, LLP. 
Mr. Feldman received his B.S. in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University, his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University. He serves as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, and the Board of Directors for The Dwelling Place.
Brian served in the Civil Trial Section, Western from 1988-2001, working under Steve Fuerth, Jerry Fridkin and Bob Watkins.

In 2002, Brian  ran and was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates and was re-elected in 2006 and 2010.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Daniel Levy (USAO SDNY) Leaves to Enter Private Practice (8/20/130

Dainel Levy, a prominent player in DOJ's prosecutions for offshore bank fraud, has left USAO SDNY to join a white collar crime firm.  See Former U.S. Attorney in New York Moves to White-Collar Firm (Main Justice 8/19/13), here.  The firm he is joining is McKool Smith, here.  His bio page at the new firm is here; the McKool Smith announcement is here.

An excerpt from the Main Justice article:
In his 11 years in the Southern District office [USAO SDNY], he has prosecuted cases ranging from trade secret theft to art fraud.  In 2012, he helped indicted the Swiss bank Wegelin & Co., the first time an overseas bank has been charged for facilitating tax fraud by Americans.
See also, Federal Prosecutor Daniel Levy Joins McKool Smith (WSJ 8/19/13), here.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dean D. Paik Returns to Private Practice (8/1/13)

The Firm of Rogers Joseph O'Donnell, PC, here, has announced that Dean D. Paik, here, has returned after a stint as Special Counsel to the AAG Tax.  See Dean D. Paik, Top Department of Justice Advisor, Returns to Rogers Joseph O’Donnell’s San Francisco Office (Reuters 8/1/11), here.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Joseph Rillotta Leaves DOJ Tax CES (7/20/13)

Joseph Rillotta, here, has left DOJ Tax CES to re-join Williams & Connolly, here.  See Nadia Ragounath, Former Tax Division Attorney Returning to Williams & Connolly (Main Justice 7/18/20), here.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Joe Thibodeau Jules Ritholtz Award Remarks (6/9/13)

A DOJ Tax alumnus, Joe Thibodeau, received the Jules Ritholz award, here, at the Civil and Criminal Penalties Section Luncheon on May 10, 2013.  I attended that session and asked Joe to write up his remarks because, well, I thought they were remarkable.  In his remarks, Joe said that an important decision in his life was to join the Tax Division.  And, Joe had some gracious things to say about our late colleague and friend, Jerry Feffer.  (The Tax Division Alumni Blog on Jerry's Passing is here.)  Accordingly, I offer here Joe's complete remarks  in pdf format for readers to view or download and have cut and paste some of the remarks as they relate to the Tax Division.  By excerpting, I do not mean to take away from any part of his remarks and I strongly encourage readers to view and download the complete pdf.
There is no greater honor for a professional than to be recognized by his/her peers. 
There is no professional group for whom I have greater respect, admiration and affection – or from whom that recognition would mean more -- than the members of this committee. 
"Iron Men/Wooden Ships" 
Second only to my decision (a light-year, nearly 50 years - - ago), to apply for a trial attorney slot in the Tax Division, among the most important professional decisions that I’ve made, 3 were to:  (1) Join this Committee; (2) Teach in D.U.’s Graduate Tax Program; and, (3) Hire Mary.   
Clearly, of the 3, hiring Mary – 30 years ago -- was the most important.  Without her nothing would have been possible. 
But, joining this Committee was a close second.

* * * * 
But, I could not possibly accept this award without acknowledging and crediting the one person, who, for me – and I suspect for many others in this room (including the 5 D.C. "tax Divas") – provided ongoing inspiration, support, and encouragement in Jules’ image.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Johnnie Walters on the Nixon Tapes and Related Materials (5/14/13; 5/26/13)

Johnnie Walters, former AAG Tax and then Commissioner of Internal Revenue, was in the mix during the turbulent years when Richard Nixon was abusing the powers of the office of President.  His background is at this site, here, for the dedication of his papers to the University of South Carolina.  Those of us who remember those times, remember that Johnnie was a good and decent man and disappointed President Nixon because he would not do his political bidding as Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

I just came across some transcripts on the Miller Center website.  The Miller Center, here, is transcribing and putting on the web presidential voice recordings.  Us old timers will remember that President Nixon secretly recorded a number of Oval Office meetings and telephone calls, which ultimately contributed to his downfall.  Among those transcribed are some referring to Johnnie Walters.  Here is a link to a search on that site for Johnnie Walters, which picks up the material related to Johnnie.

I cut and paste below one of the offerings from these materials; the web page is here.  The discussion appears to revolve around getting a more compliant Commissioner of Internal Revenue to replace Johnnie Walters who resisted the White House's political overtures:
President Nixon: The IRS thing is important but, God, we ought to be able to get some loyal son of a bitch. 
H.R. "Bob" Haldeman: I think we can. 
John Ehrlichman: We will, we will. 
President Nixon: There ought to be some guy that will do our bidding. That’s what we want, isn’t it? I don’t want that to drop between the stools. I don’t want another Johnnie Walters. We’ll get some—OK. [Unclear] a guy on your own staff. How about [Egil "Bud"] Krogh? Is he a tax lawyer?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Frank Blanchfield Death (5/13/13)

Obituary from the Augusta Chronicle,.here:
 CHARLOTTE - Francis Joseph Frank Blanchfield, Jr. passed away at his home on Sunday, May 12, 2013, after a long struggle with Diabetes. Born in Chicago, Illinois on September 19, 1945, Frank was the oldest son of the late Francis J. Blanchfield, Sr. and the late Margaret H. Blanchfield. He is survived by his wife, Sandra G. Blanchfield of Charlotte, NC, and his son, Brian A. Blanchfield of Tucson, Arizona. Other survivors include his sister, Melissa A. Gurnari of Bloomingdale, NJ, and her husband Joey; his brother, James S. Blanchfield of Huntersville, NC, and his wife Diane; and six nieces. Frank graduated with top honors in political science from the College of Holy Cross in 1967, and then attended New York University Law School on a prestigious Root-Tilden Scholarship. At NYU he was President of the Student Bar Association and recipient of the Vanderbilt Medal. After law school Frank served in active duty as First Lieutenant and Instructor in Criminal and Military Law at the US Army Military Police School in Fort Gordon, Georgia. Upon fulfillment of his military service, Frank returned to NYU to receive an LLM in Taxation in 1974. After four years of private practice as an associate and partner with the Augusta, Georgia law firm of Hull, Towill, Norman, Bennett & Johnson, Frank worked for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General (1977 to 1979) and then Deputy Assistant Attorney General (1979 to 1980), where he served with distinction and received the U.S. Attorney General's Medal. In 1980 Frank returned to private practice in Charlotte, NC, where he worked for more than thirty years with several regional, national and international law firms which he either founded, co-founded or served in leadership roles in office and practice management. He retired from Mayer Brown LLP in September 2010. Throughout his career, Frank's business judgment and tax expertise were highly regarded by CEO's and senior management of public and privately held companies, tax managers, accountants, individual clients and attorneys who had the privilege of working with him. Frank was recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. He had a keen interest in tax policy and often assisted in guiding tax policy on both state and national levels, including working as an advisor to the US Treasury Department in co-drafting the Puerto Rican Income Tax Act of 1975. In 1990, Frank was selected by Justice Harry Blackmun for participation in the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Seminar, a testament to his capacious and searching intellect. Frank enjoyed being a mentor, enthusiastically offering his insight, judgment, tax expertise, superb writing skills and ever present humor to the partners, associates and staff of the law firms in which he served. Frank's role as counselor included his commitment to serving the community. Among the many service opportunities he embraced, Frank served on the Arts and Science Counsel Board (as Chairman and Board Member) and the North Carolina Dance Theatre Board, and gave generously to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In each instance Frank was fully engaged and his service was backed by his personal commitment to contribute his time, talents and financial resources for the betterment of the organizations and the community they served. Frank's commitment to community also included providing legal services without charge to individuals with little means who faced difficult legal challenges. Throughout his life and legal career, Frank's actions and work were epitomized by professionalism, dedication to excellence, commitment to community, generosity, and by his tireless devotion to his family and the many friends and associates whose lives he touched. In addition to his numerous work and community contributions, Frank will be missed for his inclusive personality, quick Irish wit, and laughter which were present throughout his life. The Heritage Funeral Home is serving the Blanchfield family. Visitation will be held at Heritage Funeral Home located at 3700 Forest Lawn Drive, Matthews, NC on Wednesday, May 15th from 5:00PM to 8:00PM. The funeral service will be held at St. Gabriel Catholic Church located at 3016 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC at 11:00AM on Thursday, May 16th. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: 205 Regency Executive Park Drive, Suite 102, Charlotte, NC, 28217. 
Published in The Augusta Chronicle from May 14 to May 15, 2013
Although I have not compared it word for word, the Charlotte Observer obituary, here, appears the same.


Thanks to Justin Thornton for the above information.  Justin also advises that Tax Division alumni serving as pallbearers were Patrick J. Sheedy, Thomas D. Blondin, Steven L. ("Jake") Snyder, Wilmer ("Buddy") Parker III, and Justin.

In the meantime, alumni or friends of the family wanting the home address to contact the family can either email me (jack@tjtaxlaw.com) or call me (713-521-9977).  If you email, please put some information as to your relationship with the family.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jim McCune Death on 3/19/13 (3/25/13)

The Washington Post records today that Jim McCune ("Gentleman Jim") died on 3/19/13.  The obituary is here.  Key excerpt related to Tax Division:
His legal career began at the Department of Justice in 1961 working first in the Administrative Division and later in the Tax and Civil Rights Divisions. Working under Robert Kennedy during the Civil Rights Movement, Jim was part of the drive to implement the Voting Rights Act of 1964 and instrumental in the Natchez Mississippi School Desegregation Case. He joined the U.S. Army as a Judge Advocate General Officer and served for 30 years.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to CentralVirginia.JDRF.org are appreciated by the family. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.hollomon-brown.com 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 DOJ Tax Division Alumni Event - CANCELED

The DOJ Tax Division Alumni Reunion Event previously planned for 5/10/13 has been CANCELED.  The notice of the cancellation has been emailed on 3/29/13 to those on the YahooGroups list and is posted on this blog page (to right) here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Louis F. Oberdorfer Dies (2/22/13)

The news reports are the Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer has died at age 94.  See the Legal Times Blog here, which has a good bio summary.

The Wikipedia summary, here -- very short -- is pretty good, with the Tax Division experience highlighted:
Professional career 
After working as a law clerk, Oberdorfer went into private practice in Washington D.C. with the firm Paul, Weiss, Wharton & Garrison as a tax attorney until his friend Deputy Attorney General Byron White asked him to join the Robert Kennedy Justice Department in 1961. He was hired as Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division but, since the division was largely organized and self-sustaining, he focused his energies on many legal issues, particularly civil rights. 
He returned to private practice in 1965 with Wilmer, Cutler, & Pickering. Oberdorfer remained friendly with the Kennedy family and personally represented Jacqueline Kennedy in a 1966-1967 public legal battle with historian William Manchester over the ownership of interview materials and their publication in his book The Death of a President about the John F. Kennedy assassination. In 1968, Oberdorfer was elected co-chairman of Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He served as president of the District of Columbia Bar Association in 1977-1978. When Griffin Bell became attorney general in 1977, Oberdorfer was considered for the deputy position, but was instead appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He has championed opposition to mandatory sentencing policies, especially with respect to drug offenders. He assumed status as a senior judge in 1992. He also taught part-time at Georgetown Law Center from 1993 until his death.
Also, the D.C. Bar had a series on Legends in the Law, including one on Judge Oberdorfer, here.   I cut and paste the part on his tenure in the tax division (with the predicate part about his entry into the field of tax law; I also highlight some things of interest, at least to me).
BR: How did you enter private practice? 
LO: I had an offer from the firm of Paul Weiss Wharton & Garrison. Lloyd K. Garrison, who was serving as special master appointed by the Supreme Court in the case of Georgia v. The Pennsylvania Railroad, came into Black’s chambers one day and invited me to come into the New York office of Paul, Weiss. I didn’t want to go to New York, but they then had a small tax office in Washington headed by Randolph E. Paul who wrote the first scholarly treatise on the federal income tax and the first scholarly treatise on the federal estate tax. At the time Paul and his partners were the ultimate pros in the tax field. I went down to the office to talk to them and they said they do only tax work, which I wasn’t interested in. Paul said, "I turned down around a hundred thousand dollars of non-tax business last year. Why don’t you come down here and take care of the non-tax cases." I took the job and I never saw a non-tax case! By default I became a tax lawyer.

Friday, February 15, 2013

David Hubbard Appointed DAAG for Civil Matters (2/15/13)

On 2/15/13, Tax Notes Today reported that:

David Hubbert was appointed deputy assistant attorney general for civil matters in the Justice Department Tax Division in October 2012, replacing John DiCicco, who retired in January 2013. Hubbert was previously chief of the civil trial section, Eastern region. He joined the DOJ in 1985 through the honors program and was a trial attorney in both the civil trial section, Western region, and the appellate section. Hubbert received his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his BS from the University of Arizona.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jerry Feffer Death (2/13/13)

I just received notice from the Tax Division that Jerry Feffer has passed away.

The "long-form" Washington Post Obituary is here.  (For some reason, it was not posted until 3/4.)  I recommend this one to readers.  The "short-form" Washington Post Obituary is here.

I encourage those reading the blog to post their own memories as comments to this blog.  Be sure and put your comments as comments (and not as a reply to another comment unless you mean that it reply to someone else's comment).  For instructions on how to comment, see the link in the upper right hand corner of this blog.  Thanks.


Bob Fink of Kostelanetz & Fink LLP  posted the following in the New York Times, here:

FEFFER--Gerald,. I have just lost my dearest friend, Jerry Feffer. I write this notice to share with others a few of my thoughts in the hope that in doing so, it will somehow help to assuage the pain and void that is felt from Jerry's passing. Jerry had an extraordinary legal career as a highly respected federal prosecutor and a Deputy Assistant Attorney General with the Department of Justice. But it was in private practice as a partner with the firm of Kostelanetz & Ritholz, and later at Williams & Connelly, that Jerry attained nationwide recognition as the leading criminal tax defense attorney in America. That is what gave Jerry fame but it was Jerry, the man, the husband, the father and friend that brought him love. He was caring, generous, playful and wise. One of those extremely rare human beings whose heart was always open to understand and feel the concerns of others, and whose mind could always absorb the ideas of others without prejudgment. Everyone who had contact with him adored him. When he would put his arm on your shoulder, flash his brilliant smile and share his thoughts with you, you knew that all would be well. He shall be missed by so many. Robert S. Fink Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DOJ Tax Alumni Reunion 5/10/13 (1/15/13)

The following is the notice of the event that I sent by YahooGroups email yesterday:

To the DOJ Tax Alumni:

This is to give advance notice of a DOJ Tax Division Alumni Reunion in Washington DC on Friday, May 10, 2013.  As in the past, the event  will occur at the same time frame as the ABA Tax Section May Meeting in Washington.  The ABA Tax Section dates are Thursday May 9 - Saturday May 11 (with perhaps some other ABA events on either side of those dates).

The Tax Division has booked the Great Hall for the event as in the past.  Either the Tax Division or the Alumni Committee will get details out later (precise times, costs for alumni and guests, procedure for booking, etc.)  In  the meantime, alumni might want to put the event on their calendars and make appropriate plans to attend the meeting.  In terms of timing, the event is likely to be in the late afternoon (say 3:30pm or 4:00pm) and will likely last a couple of hours, as in the past.

As I hear of details and other items of interest for the meeting, I will post them on the DOJ Tax Alumni blog, here:  http://dojtaxalumni.blogspot.com/.  For the significant items, of course, I will also use the YahooGroups email to circulate the information and there may also be emails directly from the Tax Division.

If you have any questions, for the time being, you can contact me.  I would expect that sometime in the near future as plans firm up, there will be a formal Tax Division liaison for you to ask questions directly.

I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.


If you are a DOJ Tax Alumnus and are not on the DOJ Tax Alumni Directory or on the YahooGroups email list, please email me at jack@tjtaxlaw.com.  You can also sign up directly on the YahooGroups web site below.

The DOJ Tax Alumni Tax Directory is may be linked to here: http://www.tjtaxlaw.com/alumni.htm.
The DOJ Tax Alumni YahooGroups site is here:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/taxdivalumni/

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Abraham Zapruder Film of President Kennedy Assassination (1/13/13)

Many of the alumni will remember Henry Zapruder who died in 2006.  I came across this article on the famous film footage his father, Abraham, made of President Kennedy's assassination and thought some of the alumni might be interested.

Alex Pasternak, The Other Shooter: The Saddest and Most Expensive 26 Seconds of Amateur Film Ever Made (Motherboard 11/23/12), here.