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