Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Orrin Hatch Tribute to Jim Lyon (12/6/16)

On December 5, 2016, from the Senate floor, Senator Orrin Hatch gave a tribute to Jim Lyons for his service to the Senate Finance Committee. The  CSPAN video of the tribute to Jim Lyons is here with the tribute starting around 23:45.  The following was a release with the prepared remaks:

Hatch Tribute to Jim Lyons:
'A Fixture in the Tax Policy World'

Utah Senator Says Lyons was "an essential and indispensable part of our efforts on the Senate Finance Committee for close to a decade."

WASHINGTON - In a speech today on the Senate floor, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) paid tribute to former Finance Committee staffer Jim Lyons, who passed away on September 29th of this year.

"Jim Lyons led a life that touched many others for the better," Hatch said. "His positive influence has been felt by countless people. While tears have been shed and great sadness has been felt, the remembrances we've had of Jim's life and our interactions with him have given all us reason to smile and even laugh."

Hatch went on to note Lyon's invaluable contribution to the Finance Committee.

"Jim was smart as a whip.  He had both a remarkable understanding of tax policy and an uncanny ability to see all the traps and pitfalls that stood ahead for any particular proposal or piece of legislation," Hatch said. "In his eight years on the Finance Committee, he made a mark on every major tax bill that went through the Senate, including many tax extenders bills, some of which he seemed to be able to cobble together singlehandedly."

The complete speech as prepared for delivery is below:
Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to Jim Lyons, a longtime staffer on Capitol Hill and a fixture in the tax policy world here in DC, who passed away on September 29th of this year.

James Tancill Lyons was born on March 7, 1973 to Stephen and Ann Lyons, both natives of the DC-Virginia area with long-standing ties to the local community.

Growing up in Springfield, Virginia, Jim was an accomplished athlete, excelling in both baseball and basketball.  Oddly for a sports fan in the DC area, his favorite football team was the Dallas Cowboys, a decision he made consciously because his older brother, Stephen, was a big Redskins fan.

Jim was also a great student, eventually graduating summa cum laude from James Madison University.  He went to law school at the University of Texas, where he made the Editing Committee of the Texas Journal of Business Law and won a scholarship for being the best tax law student in his class after pulling the top grade in his Business Associations, Income Tax, International Tax, Corporate Tax, and Estate and Gift Tax classes.

After law school, he earned a clerkship at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then got a job working for Cleary, Gottlieb, one of the finest law firms in the country.

Of course, you'd never guess any of this if you knew Jim.

While he was always an incredibly valuable - and often brilliant - attorney and congressional staffer, he talked about his college and law school days as though he spent most of his time having fun and just barely skating by.

That, of course, was vintage Jim Lyons - incredibly outgoing, but unbelievably humble.  Jim could have a long conversation with anyone about pretty much anything, but he was never one to spend all that much time touting his own accomplishments.

And, make no mistake, Jim Lyons was very accomplished.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Murray Horwitz Death (12/5/16)

Murray Horwitz died on December 3, 2016.  The obituary is here.  The obituary is short, so I just cut and paste it:
Murray Stephen Horwitz (Age 73)   
Of Fairfax, VA, passed unexpectedly on Saturday, December 3, 2016. Beloved husband of 50 years to Janet Sandberg Horwitz; loving father of Andrew H. Horwitz (Christy) and William A. Horwitz (Chrissy); adoring grandfather of Eddie, Sintra, Leah, Ashley, and Julia; Cherished uncle of Rona Karacaova (Andrew) and their children, Leyla and Aydin. Murray was an amazingly considerate and generous man, a true mensch, who will live on forever in our hearts. A funeral will be held at Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304 on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 1PM. Interment King David Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, Janet and Murray Horwitz Fund, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031.
Murray was a long-time attorney in the Appellate Section of the Tax Division.

Note that his funeral is at 1 pm today.

If I receive more information, I will post it, but readers are encouraged to post appropriate comments.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Jim Lyon's Death on 9/29/16 (posted on 11/8/16)

I have just learned of the death of Jim Lyons, himself a DOJ Tax alumnus and son of Steve Lyons, a DOJ Tax veteran.  The death was on September 29, 2016.  The following is a brief write-up from  Steve.
Jim was 43 when he died on September 29, 2016. He was survived by his parents, Ann and Steve Lyons, and his brother Stephen. He had worked as a tax Staffer on the Senate Finance Committee for the last 8 years.  He was a graduate of the University of Texas Law School and clerked on the 5th Circuit for Judge Eugene Davis. He then spent three years at the New York City law offices of Cleary, Gotlieb, Steen and Hamilton and then spent one year as a tax staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee before spending  3 years at DOJ as a trial attorney in the Civil Trial Section, Southern Region. 
A link to his obituary can be found at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=JIM-LYONS&pid=181814077.

Belated condolences to Steve and Ann and the rest of the family.

Anyone desiring Steve's contact can contact me at jack@tjtaxlaw.com.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Jim Lyons' Death 9/29/16 (10/1/16)

Tax Prof Blog reports here this morning that former DOJ Tax Civil Trial Attorney, Jim Lyons, died.  I will update this post when I have more information.  In the meantime, the Tax Prof Blog links to this article in Roll Call: Senate Staffer Suffers Cardiac Arrest at Charity Basketball Game, here.  I will post more when I have it.

George Kelley's Death 9/23/16 (10/1/16)

George Kelley, career lawyer with DOJ Tax CES, died on September 23, 2016.  The Washington Post obituary is here.

The obituary discusses briefly his service with the Tax Division, his family and the mass and visitation.

Most of the readers who knew George will know his DOJ Tax career trajectory, but perhaps new information is his service as a "special agent for the Department of Treasury" and his service with the National Guard rising to "Battalion Commander of the 105 mm Field Artillery."

Friday, September 16, 2016

DOJ Tax CES Attorney Appointed as Clerk for Justice Thomas (9/16/16)

Kathryn Kimball, reported in the article to work with DOJ Tax as a criminal prosecutor, has been appointed a clerk for Justice Thomas.  Paige Fry, UF alumna makes history as first Supreme Court clerk from Levin (Florida Alligator 9/15/16), here.  She is a University of Florida Levin College of Law alumna.

The article reports that she will continue working with DOJ Tax CES until the clerkship begins.  This is quite an honor.  

I have not heard of a DOJ Tax attorney moving from a DOJ Tax position to a Supreme Court clerkship.

In any event, congratulations to Ms. Kimball.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Brian Ferrel's Death (8/17/16)

Brian Ferrel, a long-time DOJ Tax attorney (Trial Attorney, Assistant Chief & special counsel), died July 21, 2016.  The Washington Post Obituary is here.  From the obituary:
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2016 at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Potomac, MD. A memorial service and burial are also planned at the Mariner Sands Chapel in the fall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to (www.lls.org). More information is available at www.martin-funeral.com.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Academic Opportunity of Potential Interest to DOJ Tax Attorneys or Alumni (8/16/16)

I was asked to post this opportunity on the DOJ Tax Alumni blog.  I would appreciate readers considering this opportunity and passing it on to others who might be interest.
The University of Richmond School of Law seeks to fill two entry-level tenure-track positions for the 2017-2018 academic year, including one in tax law.  Candidates should have outstanding academic credentials and show superb promise for top-notch scholarship and teaching.  The University of Richmond, an equal opportunity employer, is committed to developing a diverse workforce and student body and to supporting an inclusive campus community.  Applications from candidates who will contribute to these goals are strongly encouraged.   
Inquiries and requests for additional information may be directed to Professor Jessica Erickson, Chair of Faculty Appointments, at lawfacultyapp@richmond.edu.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Another Sumner Redstone Article (8/4/16)

Gabe Friedman, Viacom Drama’s Cast of Lawyers (Bloomberg Law 8/3/16), here.
Sumner Redstone: Built a $40 billion media empire, that includes Viacom, which owns MTV and Nickelodeon and also Paramount Pictures and CBS Corp. In 1947, Redstone graduated Harvard Law School and started his career as an appellate lawyer in the tax division of the U.S. Department of Justice. 
“When I got out of law school, I was offered jobs at several major Wall Street firms … I was not interested in either making a lot of money or limiting myself to academics,” Redstone wrote in his 2001 biography, A Passion to Win. 
Instead, he travelled the country and argued 50 or 60 appellate cases at the DOJ, according to the biography.
The link to purchase on Amazon is here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fred Ugast Died on 4/6/12 (4/13/16)

Fred Ugast died on 4/6/12.  His Washington Post Obituary is here.  The portion related to his Tax Division work is:
Judge Ugast began his legal career at the U.S. Department of Justice as a trial attorney in the Lands Division, follow by leadership roles in various sections of the Tax Division. In 1969, he became the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Division. During his 23-year career at the Department of Justice, he received the Department of Justice Sustained Superior Performance Award in 1961 and the Attorney General''s Award for Exceptional Service in 1971.
But, the rest of the obituary is worth reading, for he led a very full life outside the Tax Division.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Nicole Elliott joins Holland & Knight in DC (3/11/16)

Nicole Elliott, a DOJ Tax Alum, has joined Holland & Knight as a partner in the Public Policy & Regulation Group in Washington, D.C.  The announcement is here. After leaving DOJ Tax, she served with the IRS as  senior advisor for the Affordable Care Act.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dana Boente Appointed to AG's Advisory Committee (2/1/16)

DOJ announced here:
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today the appointment of U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), effective Feb. 1, 2016. 
“Dana Boente embodies the vision and leadership we need to empower our communities and strengthen our nation, and I am pleased to welcome him to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “Throughout his career – as a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, as a federal prosecutor dedicated to rooting out fraud, and as a U.S. Attorney in Louisiana and Virginia – he has demonstrated his perseverance, his dedication and his wisdom.  I have no doubt that he will be an outstanding addition to the Committee, and I look forward to receiving the benefit of his experience as we continue to work towards a safer, more just future for all Americans.”

Jim Bath's Death on 1/19/16 (2/1/16)

James (Jim) Bath, a long time DOJ Tax administrative employee died on 1/19/16.  HIs obituary is here.  The biography is here.  The guestbook is here.  Visitation and services were last weekend.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dan Dinan's Death on 12/22/15 (1/3/16)

Daniel James ("Dan") Dinan died on 12/22/15.  The Washington Post Obituary is here, and Murphy Funeral Homes, here.  Excerpts:
He served as a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the Department of Justice from to 1970, and was an Assistant Chief of the Civil Trial Section of the Department of Justice Tax Division from 1970 to 1979. He also taught trial practice and techniques, evidence, and civil procedure at the Attorney General''s Advocacy Institute from 1977 to 1979. He was appointed as a Special Trial Judge on the United States Tax Court on February 4, 1979. He retired from the Court on August 3, 2003.
Memorial Visitation
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Murphy Funeral Home
4510 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22203

Memorial Mass 
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
11 a.m.
St. Ann''s Catholic Church
5300 North 10th Street
Arlington, Virginia 22205.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

A copy of his Mass Program is here.  (Jim Malone and I traveled from Charlottesville to the Mass and had the good fortune to see a number of alumni there, as well as meet members of Dan's family.)