Food, Kids, Tax Law

Lawyer Kid Anecdotes: The Letter of the Law

hershey's kisses.JPGSome of you don’t like our Lawyer Kid Anecdotes. But you’re in the minority; our tracking software reveals that these posts are wildly popular. So deal — just as you do when some friend shows you her ugly baby, and you gush over how adorable he is.
Sometimes practicing law is like making it through an obstacle course. You encounter some legal provision that makes it difficult for you to achieve your client’s goal, and your task is to find a way around it. How can you reach the desired outcome for your client, but without running afoul of the law?
Not surprisingly, the children of attorneys have a gift for complying with the letter of the law, even if not its spirit. Consider our next tale:

My four-year-old son, [M], calls his maternal great-grandmother “Chocolate Sue.” Her name is Sue, she loves Hershey’s Kisses, and she loves to give them to him. Well, it got to the point where M was asking Chocolate Sue for Hershey’s Kisses every time he saw her — and as soon as he saw her.

We thought it was getting a bit out of control — that the appropriate greeting for one’s great-grandmother should be a hug, not a request for chocolate. So we told M, “No more asking for chocolates. Wait for Chocolate Sue to offer.” He agreed.

About four months ago, we’re on vacation with my extended family in Sea Island, Georgia. One night, just before M’s bedtime, he comes down to say goodnight. Chocolate Sue, the family matriarch, is sitting on the couch, chatting with four or five other family members.

True to his word, M — then three — doesn’t ask for chocolate. Instead, rubbing his tummy, he declares to the assembled masses: “Mmmm. I am so hungry.”

[Pause for effect.]

“And my favorite color is brown.”

[Another pause, this time accented with longing look toward Choc. Sue.]

To no one’s surprise, he got the chocolate.

Consummating the same transaction as a matter of economic substance, but without running afoul of the law’s technical provisions, literally construed? We think this kid will grow up to be a tax lawyer.
Earlier: Lawyer Kid Anecdotes: Is That a Defined Term?
Lawyer Kid Anecdotes: Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Litigators

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