Friday, March 20, 2015

Gene Sayre Death (3/20/15)

I have been advised that Gene Sayre died on 3/18/15.  I do not now have more details, but I understand that an obituary and guestbook will be posted on the following website:!/Obituary

I will post more information as I get it.

I knew Gene, although not all that well.  He was a wonderful, smart and funny guy.  Other alumni who knew Gene and have comments (including anecdotes) are encouraged to post them here.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Memoriam for William H. Bill Bowen (3/16/15)

William H. ("Bill") Bowen, deceased, was honored with an In Memoriam gathering including Lynn Foster, Joel E. Anderson, Byron M. Eiseman, John Gill, Chuck Goldner, Kenneth S. Gould, Charles E. Hathaway, James L. "Skip" Rutherford, III and President Bill Clinton.  The comments are published in 37 U.Ar., Little Rock Law Review 1 (Fall 2014).  The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is also called the William H. Bowen School of Law.  See here.  I cannot provide a link to the publication because it has not yet appeared on the law review's web page, here [but at some point it will appear].

The following excerpts are from the publication (bold-face supplied by JAT):

From Byron M. Eiseman, Partner, Friday, Eldredge & Clark
1. Bill Bowen, the lawyer. Following his graduation from the University of Arkansas School of Law, Bill continued his academic career by attending NYU. Afterwards he became a clerk to Judge Bolon B. Turner of the U.S. Tax Court, a native Arkansan. His next job was employment with the Tax Division of the Department of Justice traveling around the country winning tax cases for the government many of which appeared to be losers. His successes distinguished him in the eyes of his immediate superior, Charles Mehaffy, who happened to be the brother of Pat Mehaffy, the original managing partner of our firm then known as Mehaffy, Smith & Williams. Charles Mehaffy contacted his brother, Pat, and told him the firm needed to hire a boy named Bowen from Altheimer who was the brightest star in tax litigation matters for the government. Bill reported to work in 1954 and soon began his legendary career in Arkansas. He became a name partner in 1962 and was one of the most successful lawyers in the state. On separate occasions he successfully represented two Hot Springs lawyers accused of criminal tax evasion and several well-known Arkansas families in civil tax disputes. In each instance, criminal and civil, the jury was out only a few minutes and Bill was established as one of Arkansas's foremost tax practitioners and litigators. One of my most memorable experiences with Bill was my first trip to St. Louis to present oral arguments on a tax case that we had won in Federal District Court and the government had appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Bill could do things off the seat of his pants better than anyone I have ever known, and he had focused very little on our presentation. On the way to the courthouse he advised me that I was to make the leadoff argument and then he would summarize our position. When asked by the presiding judge of a three-judge panel who would be making the taxpayer's argument he proceeded to say I would go first and that he would follow. Chief Judge Martin Van Oosterhout, the presider, pointed out that normally only one attorney would make the argument, but acceded to Bill's request. I took the first twenty minutes of the allotted thirty and then Bill took over. The bell rang at the twenty-nine minute mark indicating our time was almost up. Bill, with no hesitation, quickly advised the Court that he had some very important points yet to share with the Court and that he would likely need a few extra minutes. After the Chief Judge glanced at his fellow panelists, he shrugged his shoulders and said "Very well, Mr. Bowen." Bill was never inhibited in making a request or taking an action that he believed would benefit his client. 
* * * * 
3. Bill Bowen, the justice. In early 2010 at the age of eighty-six years, Bill was named by Governor Mike Beebe to serve as a justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court to complete the unexpired term of Justice Annabelle Imber Tuck who had earlier resigned. Justice Bowen was soon assigned his first case by Chief Justice Jim Hannah and given a stack of briefs and supporting documents that in his eyes appeared to be at least two feet tall. Justice  [*9]  Bowen did not sleep well for a few nights as he fretted over "What have I gotten myself into?" A health issue arose and Bill decided that he needed to let someone younger, but likely less wise, assume his position on the Court.
From President Bill Clinton:
But I want to say that by the time Bill Bowen agreed basically to make it possible for me to run for president--and I say that in all sincerity--I was profoundly concerned about what would happen if I were to undertake a campaign in 1991, and I wanted to know that the office would continue to operate and that things would go well, and that if I needed to make a decision or come home, somebody with enough sense to know would tell me and get me on a plane forthwith. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Update on Larry Meuwissen (3/7/15)

ALJ Larry Meuwissen retired on February 28, 2015 after more than 22 cumulative years of federal service in DOJ Tax, Department of Interior, and the last 13 years with the  Social security Administration.  Larry and his wife, Joyce, just returned from 5 weeks in Africa and are planning to open their bed and breakfast, Sans Adieu,  in St. Paul MN sometime this summer.  Look for them on airbnb in June.