Tax Law

John OBrien John J OBrien headshot Sullcrom Sullivan Cromwell partner.jpgBack in April, we wondered about the departure from Sullivan & Cromwell of John O’Brien, a highly regarded and well-liked corporate partner who focused on M&A work. This development captured our interest because it’s unusual for lawyers to leave the (highly lucrative) partnership of a top firm like S&C.

When partners leave a place like Sullivan & Cromwell, there’s often a story behind the departure. E.g., Carlos Spinelli-Noseda (partner left S&C after billing clients and firm for more than $500,000 in fraudulent travel and entertainment expenses).

In addition, word on the street was that O’Brien was escorted from the building by security personnel. Partners are being asked to leave their firms with increasing frequency during the recession — but they’re not usually walked out by muscle.

So we decided to do a little digging.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Why Did John O’Brien Leave Sullivan & Cromwell?”

Ronald George Chief Justice Ronald M George Ron George.jpg
In a speech last night before the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Ronald M. George, criticized his state’s reliance on the initiative process. His remarks focused on how that process, direct democracy taken to the extreme, has paralyzed state government, especially when it comes to fiscal matters.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “California: The Not-So-Golden State?”

erisa lawyers.jpegLet’s push forward with our series of open threads on small law firms in different practice areas. To see what we’ve covered so far, click here and scroll down.
Today’s topic: ERISA LAW. For those of you who aren’t familiar with ERISA, we’ll quote a prior post of ours:

For all of you non-lawyers — or for those of you who sat in the back row in law school — ERISA stands for the “Employee Retirement Income Security Act.” It’s the federal law, originally passed in 1974 and subsequently amended, that governs the administration of pension and employee benefit plans. So yes, it’s pension law.

This area of law may not sound sexy, but it has some sexy practitioners. Back in 2006, we held an ERISA lawyer hotties contest. Feel free to check out the male nominees, the female nominees, and the ultimate winners.
More substantive thoughts on ERISA practice, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small Law Firm Open Thread: ERISA / Employee Benefits Law”

will last will testament trusts estates.jpgWe continue our series of open threads about small law firms focused on different areas of practice. In light of the turmoil being experienced by Biglaw, as well as the many laid-off lawyers and job-hunting law students looking for other opportunities, now is an excellent time to look beyond large law firms.
Today we turn our attention to TRUSTS AND ESTATES. What is it like to work at a small (or at least non-big) firm focused on T&E work? What are your hours like? Your compensation? What do you like the most — and the least — about your job?
Please discuss, in the comments.
Speaking of trusts and estates, at the recent Lavender Law conference we attended a workshop on advanced estate planning. The panelists offered advice that might be helpful to people who practice in, or aspire to practice in, trusts and estates.
Read about it, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small Law Firm Open Thread: Trusts and Estates
(Plus another Lavender Law panel write-up.)”

Weekend Warrior.JPGIf the power to tax is the power to destroy, then shouldn’t we at least try taxing stupidity? They’re thinking about doing it in France. From Going Concern:

Our frog eating friends have decided that they will start taxing people for their stupidity:
“The French Foreign Ministry is proposing a very narrow law requiring citizens foolish enough to wander into international danger zones, regardless of public warnings, to pay at least part of the cost of their own rescue.”

If you wander up a silly mountain and get stuck, it is civilized to have somebody go and try to find you even it was your own damn fault. But that doesn’t mean society should have to foot the entire bill for your weekend warrior shenanigans. Right?
Click on the link below to read — and comment on — the full post.
The Solution to All Our Fiscal Problems [Going Concern]

pink slip layoff notice small Above the Law blog.jpgNothing is certain but death and taxes — and employment for tax lawyers, right?
Not necessarily. Read more at our sister site, Going Concern.
True Partners Consulting Layoffs Get Our Attention [Going Concern]

It’s legal, so it’s within our jurisdiction. But our sister sites have written it up already, so we’ll simply refer you to their coverage.
UBS is Naming Names (Finally) [Going Concern]
UBS Eagerly Pays Extortion Money [Dealbreaker]

Henry Louis Gates Jr small Skip Gates.jpgAll the attention recently showered upon Harvard celebrity professor Henry Louis Gates since his arrest earlier this month has resulted in the discovery of tax problems at a foundation he created and oversees.
Read more and comment over at Going Concern.
Henry Louis Gates Can’t Catch a Break [Going Concern]

Kirk Herbstreit small.jpgKirk Herbstreit, ESPN commentator and former quarterback of The Ohio State University football team, let the fire department burn down his house. As fans from Michigan know, this is classic Buckeye behavior.
Herbstreit thought he’d get a tax deduction for his charitable gift of flammable substances. “Not so fast, my friends.”
Click on the link below to read the full story.
IRS Doesn’t Care for Kirk Herbstreit Burning Down His Own House [Going Concern]

loki.jpg* An MSM shout-out for ATL’s very own Hope Winters. [CNN]

* Mickey Rourke’s beloved chihuahua, Loki, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this past Monday. Here’s to hoping that Mickey’s covered. [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]

* The Tax Workshop for Strippers & Sex Workers will be “speci​fical​ly helpful to those​ who work as indep​enden​t contr​actor​s,​ wheth​er in a club or doing​ priva​te work.​” Nice try federal investigators, but they’ve already pulled this stunt on To Catch a Predator. [The Faculty Lounge via TaxProf Blog]

* If Michael Jackson songs are prohibited on American Idol, I strongly recommend canceling the show. [Popsquire]

* When I first heard the term “waterboarding,” I thought it sounded like a delightful sport. [Brad DeLong: Notes]

* Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

And if I die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my toys to break.

So none of the other kids can use ‘em…

Amen. [Overlawyered]

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