Friday, December 8, 2017

WAPO Article on Harriet Fridkin (12/8/'17)

This is a powerful article about Jerry Fridkin's wife, Harriet and her loyal friends.  Allison Klein, This sick woman’s friends have kept their promise to visit her every day — for 21 years and counting (WAPO 12/7/17), here.

From the opening:
It’s been 40 years since Harriet Fridkin has had full use of her body. Multiple Sclerosis slowly has seized her, leaving her unable to move any part of herself except her head. So, five nights a week in her Potomac, Md. home, Fridkin, 75, plays gracious host to her friends. They arrive to visit, always on schedule, sometimes to give her a therapeutic massage, sometimes to feed her, sometimes to unload about their day and get her time-tested advice for an hour or two. 
It’s been this way for 21 years. 
“I like to talk to people,” said Fridkin, her voice softer than it used to be. “If people have problems I like to help solve them.” 
Her friends, who have called themselves “Harriet’s Harem” since 1996, have created a support group remarkable in its loyalty and longevity. A calendar goes out once a month, each day is assigned to a friend, and there’s never a day that’s left open.
There's also a picture of Harriet and Jerry on their wedding day.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Boente Resigns as USA for ED VA (10/27/17)

A Washington Post Article reports that Dana Boente has resigned as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia but will serve until his successor is confirmed.  Rachel Weiner, Dana Boente announces resignation as U.S. attorney for Eastern District of Virginia (WAPO 10/27/17), here.

Some excerpts:
Boente, a 33-year veteran of the Justice Department, was tapped earlier this year to serve as acting attorney general after Sally Yates was fired. He went on to serve as acting deputy attorney general. 
He is serving as acting assistant attorney general of the National Security Division and will remain in that post until John C. Demers, an attorney for Boeing who worked at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush, is confirmed. 
* * * * 
A native of Illinois, Boente is known for his mild manner and intense devotion to his work. He is in the office most weekends and tends to eat a microwaved lunch at his desk.
“Dana is an incredibly hard-working prosecutor who has dedicated his career to this district,” said Geremy Kamens, the federal public defender for Alexandria. “He’s been an able and professional leader at the U.S. attorney’s office, and he’ll be missed.” 
* * * * 
Boente previously worked in the tax division and as an interim attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Grover Hartt III Death (8/18/17; 8/22/17)

A DOJ Tax person forwarded me an email from David Hubbert to DOJ Tax personnel on Grover Hartt's passing on August 14, 2017.

A public memorial service will be held in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 2:00pm, with a reception from 3-5pm.  Both events will be at Sparkman-Hillcrest, 7405 Northwest Highway, Dallas.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, to the SPCA of Texas, or the charity of your choice.

The online obituary at Sparkman Hillcrest is here, and the guestbook site for remembrances and condolences is here.

Hubbert's email was:
Yesterday, Grover Hartt, III, the Chief of the Southwestern Civil Trial Section, passed away unexpectedly.  The Tax Division mourns the loss of a great trial attorney, mentor, leader, and friend.  
Grover joined the Tax Division in 1983.  Since then Grover held positions as trial attorney, the Deputy Attorney in Charge of the Dallas Field Office, Assistant Chief in the Southwestern Civil Trial Section, Senior Litigation Counsel, and finally the Chief in the Southwestern Civil Trial Section.  Over the course of his Tax Division career, Grover profoundly influenced all of those who had the opportunity to work with him. 
Grover earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues in the Department of Justice through his decades of steadfast service in tax enforcement and administration.  Grover’s courtroom exploits included leading numerous trial teams that handled some of the nation’s most complex tax controversies involving billions of dollars.  Not only was Grover a gifted trial attorney, he was also a teacher and mentor.  For attorneys looking to learn, Grover shared his deep knowledge of tax law, bankruptcy practice, persuasive writing, and courtroom presentation.  And for those seeking to sharpen their courtroom skills, Grover put his attorneys in positions to succeed and offered them guidance on how to improve. 
Throughout his career, the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service recognized Grover’s achievements as a trial attorney, instructor, and manager many times over.  In 2011, the President awarded Grover the Rank Award for Meritorious Service. The Attorney General awarded Grover the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, as well as the John Marshall Award for his leadership in guiding his trial team through a complex tax dispute to a favorable result.  The Tax Division conferred the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, Award for Managerial Excellence, and numerous Special Commendations and Outstanding Attorney Awards.  The IRS Office of Chief Counsel awarded him the IRS Mitchell Rogovin Award for Outstanding Support to the Office of Chief Counsel after a trial team lead by Grover obtained successful resolution in a complex, multi-party bankruptcy dispute.  In addition, the IRS frequently called upon Grover to speak at various trainings and programs conducted by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel.  Grover’s talent for teaching strategies in conducting depositions and settlement negotiations cemented a reputation not only as an outstanding legal advocate but a teacher as well.  
Grover’s significant contributions reached beyond his government service and included his leadership in several national and local legal associations.  Grover served in the American Bar Association’s Tax Section for over 20 years and chaired a subcommittee on bankruptcy litigation. Grover served as a counsel-member in the State Bar of Texas’ LGBT Law Section from 2012 to 2014.  Over several years, Grover served in multiple roles in the Dallas Bar Association’s Tax Section, which culminated in chairing the Section in 2009.  In addition to his leadership, Grover wrote several articles for bar journals, and authored two chapters in the Collier on Bankruptcy treatise. He was a Master in the Honorable John C. Ford American Inn of Court in Dallas.  In light of these contributions, and others, Grover was selected as the first government trial attorney to become a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy in 2002. He was listed in Who’s Who in American Law and selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly
This brief recitation does not truly capture the consummate professional that Grover was and all that he achieved and contributed. He was a cherished colleague and friend. And he will be deeply missed by all of us.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Roger Thomasch Death (7/22/17)

Roger Thomasch died July 14, 2017.  His obituary is here.  My records show that he served in Refund 1 from 1970 to 1973.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kathy Keneally Joins Jones Day (6/28/17)

Jones Day has announced, here, that Kathy Keneally, formerly AAG Tax, has joined the firm.

Her Jones Day bio is here.

Congratulations and best of luck to Kathy.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Darren Farfante Named to Florida Judicial Circuit Court (6/6/17)

It is reported here that the Governor of Florida has named a DOJ Tax Alumnus, Darren D. Farfante, to the Florida 13th Judicial Circuit Court.  His current law firm bio is here but likely will go down some time soon.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Article on Pete Winstead (6/2/17)

Forbes has this article on DOJ Tax Alum Pete Winstead  who after leaving DOJ Tax founded the firm of Winstead McGuire & Secrest (now Winstead PC, here):  David J. Parnell, Pete Winstead Of Winstead PC, On 'Eat What You Kill,' Business Development And Collaborative Culture (Forbes 6/1/2017), here.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ciraolo & Nannavati Join Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP (5/11/17)

Former DOJ Tax Division Attorneys, Caroline Cirarlo (Acting AAG) and Jay Nanavati (Ass't Chief CES) have joined Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP, as partners in the K&F's new Washington office.

The K&F press release is here.  According to the press release:
Ms. Ciraolo and Mr. Nanavati will focus on complex and sophisticated civil tax controversies, including sensitive audits, administrative appeals, and litigation in in the U.S. Tax Court, federal district and appellate courts, and state tax tribunals; related tax advice, including advice on uncertain tax positions, financial reporting, claims for refund, amended returns, voluntary disclosures, and internal investigations; and representation of individuals and institutions in white collar and criminal tax investigations and prosecutions.
Their bios on the K&F web site are Ciraolo, here, and Nanavati, here.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dana Boente Appointed Acting Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division (4/28/17)

DOJ has this announcement, here, on a DOJ Tax Alum:  Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces Dana Boente to Serve as Acting Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division

From the release:
Prior to this appointment, Boente had been serving as the Acting Deputy Attorney General since Jan. 30, 2017, and has served and will continue to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 15, 2015. Boente was appointed by the Attorney General in December 2012 to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, a position he held until September 2013. Boente began his career with the Justice Department in 1984 with the Tax Division, and in January 2001 he became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Fraud Unit of the Eastern District of Virginia. 
From 2005 to 2007, Boente served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Division. Following his service with the Tax Division, he returned to the Eastern District of Virginia when he was selected as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney. He served as acting U.S. Attorney for that office from October 2008 through September 2009 and from Sept. 23, 2013 until his Senate confirmation.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Archie Parnell Runs for Congress (4/15/17)

DOJ Tax Alum, Archie Parnell, is running for Congress in South Carolina.  See Avery G. Wilks and Cassie Cope, Sumter Democrat to enter 5th District race (The State 3/1/17), here.  His career since DOJ Tax has included stints with Exxon and Goldman Sachs.  Now he is back in his home town of Sumter and running for Congress as an outsider, a Democrat, and a novice politician (but being from South Carolina also, I am sure he is a good ole boy!).  The mayor of Sumter is quote as saying:  "He's the smartest candidate."  I'm sure we all wish him the best.

Here is his web site:

Addendum 5/9/17:

The Washington Post has this article on Archie's run for Congress:

David Weigel, In South Carolina special election, Democrats try for another GOP House seat (Washington Post 5/8/17), here.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Grady Jolly to Retire as Fifth Circuit Judge (3/11/17)

DOJ Tax Alum Grady Jolly will retire as a judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  See Bracey Harris and Geoff Pender, Trump to appoint new Mississippi judge (The Clarion0Ledger 3/10/17), here.  The article indicates that after serving as an AUSA, he was a lawyer in the Tax Division from 1967 to 1969 when he entered private practice.

His Wikipedia entry is here.

Friday, February 3, 2017

On Rod Rosenstein (2/3/17)

Jessica Karmasek, Attorneys: ‘By-the-book,’ ‘apolitical’ Rosenstein is ‘beyond qualified’ for deputy AG role (Legal NewsLine 2/2/17), here.
If you ask those who have worked with Rod Rosenstein whether he would be a good fit for the No. 2 spot at the U.S. Department of Justice, you’ll get a resounding “yes.”
I could excerpt more, but just read the article linked.

DOJ Tax Alum Writes on DOJ Tax Alums as Constraining Forces at DOJ in Trump Administration (2/3/17)

Stuart Gibson, Tax Division Alum, has written this piece, Tax Division To The Rescue -- If Trump Wants To Be Rescued (Tax Analysts / Forbes 2/1/17), here, noting the roles of two DOJ Tax Alums with DOJ in the Trump Administration that may act as constraining influences on his exuberances.  

Gibson sets up the bottom-line as follows:
That incident [firing of Acting AG Yates], and the appointment of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R.-Ala., as attorney general, have elevated two relatively unknown United States attorneys to prominence in the nascent Trump administration. After Trump fired Yates, he replaced her with Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Independently, he has nominated Rod Rosenstein, U.S. attorney for Maryland, to be the next deputy attorney general under Sessions. 
Both Boente and Rosenstein served as deputy assistant attorneys general in the Tax Division, and both have served under Presidents Bush and Obama. They understand the Tax Division’s culture of enforcing the laws fully and fairly, independent of politics. If they succeed in bringing that approach to the entire department, they just may save Trump and the country from his more destructive instincts. But only if Trump really wants it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hubbert Named Acting Assistant Attorney General Tax (1/31/17)

David Hubbert, a career DOJ Tax lawyer, has been named Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, according to the DOJ web site here.

Boente Named Acting Attorney General (1/31/17)

Dana Boente, a DOJ Tax Alum and most recently U.S. Attorney for ED VA, has been named the Acting Attorney General after President Trump fired AAG Sally Q. Yates.  He will be Acting until a new Attorney General is approved by the Senate which might happen as early as this week. Whatever the commotion that led to this action, it does recognize an outstanding career of service to our country.  Thank you, AAG Boente!

A WAPO article on Boente is here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Rosenstein Nominated for Deputy Attorney General (DOJ #2) (1/13/17)

The President-Elect has nominated Rod Rosenstein, who formerly served as principal deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division to serve in the Trump Administration as Deputy Attorney General.  See Jonathan H. Adler, A reassuring choice for deputy attorney general (The Volokh Conspiracy (1/13/17),  here.  Congratulations!

Rosenstein's Wikipedia page is here.