* May we recommend that the IRS get a myspace page? [TaxProf Blog]
* Quirkiness belies dysfunction: Woody Harrelson’s father, convicted of murdering a federal judge, dies in prison. [AP via MSN]
* You may think people who buy hardbacks on an Oprah endorsement deserve their fate as victims of the great James Frey Swindle, but I have a heart. Losers, get your money back! [Gawker]
* I’m the kind of person who hates being hugged by non-friends without my permission, but this does seem a little inappropriate. [New York Daily News]
* News flash! No one remembers anything from the bar anyway. [PrawfsBlawg; Conglomerate]
- Bar Exams, Books, Celebrities, Deaths, Lesbians, Murder, Non-Sequiturs, Perverts, Sexual Harassment, Tax Law
* May we recommend that the IRS get a myspace page? [TaxProf Blog]
Please read this. Here are your study questions:
1. “How did a Goldman Sachs banker earn only $115,000?” (This one was from Professor Caron.)
2. “How can she afford to give away this much to charity — does she have a
sugar daddywealthy spouse?”
3. “So what exactly does $55,000 in secondhand clothing look like?”
(On that last item, maybe we should ask our little sibling, Fashionista.)
P.S. With respect to the title of this post: Yes, we realize that the charity in question, Housing Works, funds its programs by running a high-end thrift store — it’s not giving designer duds directly to homeless people. We’re just taking a little poetic or blogospheric license; please cut us some slack.
Tax Court: Goldman Sachs Investment Banker With $115k Salary Can’t Take $55k Deduction for Charitable Donation of Used Clothing [TaxProf Blog]
- Aaron Charney, Barack Obama, Biglaw, Election Law, Hillary Clinton, Laurence Tribe, Non-Sequiturs, Politics, Sullivan & Cromwell, Tax Law
(We’re filling in today for Stella Q, who has more pressing — and billable — matters to attend to.)
* Super-needy partners are the worst to work for. We knew of one partner who would summon an associate from another floor to retrieve a document from her printer and bring it in to her — because she couldn’t be bothered to stand up, walk outside to her secretary’s station, and get it herself. (This was after hours, and her secretary was gone.) [New York Times]
* Barack Obama draws on Tribe-al support — from Laurence Tribe, that is, and the Harvard Law School mafia. We still feel bad for poor, betrayed Hillary. [New York Observer]
* While we’re on the subject of ’08, check it out: election lawyers are in demand. Who says popular specialties have to be boring? [Politico]
* ATL Public Service Announcement: If you didn’t file your 2003 tax return, and are owed a refund, you need to act fast — or kiss that money good-bye. [TaxProf Blog]
* Brokeback Lawfirm continues to get play on the other side of the pond. [TheLawyer.com]
Last week we posted this photo, with captions:
“Speaking of asking people out, have you ever seen a tax law professor bust a move?”
“Well, now you have.”
For the record, these captions can be read in more than one way. Was Professor Paul Caron hitting on Professor Shari Motro (profiled here)? Or was it the other way around?
Within the legal blogsophere, Professor Caron is a total rock star. And what’s a rock star without groupies?
(Digression: Speaking of Professor Caron, he has prepared this handy list of teaching fellowships for aspiring law professors. It’s a great resource for those of you interested in legal academia.)
By the way, after we chastised Professor Caron for wearing a button-down shirt with a suit, the good professor wrote us as follows:
I showed my students your comment about the button down shirt and asked them to vote on whether your fashion sense was correct about button down shirts with suits — maybe it is a Midwest v. East Coast thing (or perhaps they were just sucking up to me), but the students voted 85% v. 15% in favor of the button downs.
Update/clarification: We can’t believe we even have to do this. But for the record, a “button-down shirt” refers to a shirt with a button-down collar.
Time for an ATL reader poll:
We’ve had a lot of debate in these pages concerning the cost of living in different U.S. cities. Folks have been arguing over whether the high cost of living in New York justifies the NYC pay scale of $160K and up, as opposed to the $145K pay scale that seems to have taken hold in most major legal markets outside New York.
We’ve heard a lot of trash talk. Here’s some actual data, courtesy of Michael Machen, Director of Financial Aid at the University of Chicago Law School:
David, longtime reader first-time emailer. So as you see from my title [in the signature block of my email], I’m the financial aid guy at U-Chicago. I’ve been running some numbers on the new salaries at large firms, and came up with something interesting, maybe it’s obvious to New Yorkers, but I found it surprising.
The taxes in NYC make $160,000 equal to $145,000 in Chicago. The NY State and NY City income taxes of 6% and 3.3% versus the flat 3% income tax in IL means that the after-tax pay in NY is actually less than the take home in Chicago, even if Chicago pays $15K less. I would imagine firms know this, at least those with tax departments. The attached spreadsheet illustrates this.
I didn’t run DC tax ##s, but DC has high district income tax rates (9% of income over 30K) so it would be similar to NY, unless you relocated to NoVA (gasp). So the DC folks should be bitching (a bit) while Chicago folks should be happy.
You can check out the actual numbers after the jump. Also, please treat this post as the morning open thread. Thanks!
- 6th Circuit, ACLU, Eavesdropping / Wiretapping, Education / Schools, John Roberts, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Tax Law, War on Terror
* With tax law, the sky’s the limit. Seriously. [CNN; TaxProf Blog]
* Slow… Typist… Sues… His… Law… School. Must have taken forever to type the complaint (especially with a last name like “Zachariasewycz”). [WSJ Law Blog]
* ACLU seeks disclosure on NSA wiretaps in the Sixth Circuit. [SCOTUSblog]
* Vote Roberts for Chief Justice! [SCOTUSblog]
- 9th Circuit, Aaron Charney, Drugs, Gay, Judicial Nominations, Law Firm Names, Morning Docket, Sullivan & Cromwell, Tax Law, U.S. Attorneys Offices, Wiley Rein
* Oh good, Cully says pro bono is ok again. [Washington Post; Washington Post (letter to the editor) via WSJ Law Blog]
* “Two things made Christopher Willever’s drunken burglary of a Tobacco Hut even worse as he crawled across the store floor — a lousy belt and his camera-loving backside.” [MSNBC]
* U.S. Attorneys’ increasing rate of attrition. [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog (departures generally); WSJ Law Blog (Kevin Ryan)]
* Tennessee is tennetaxin’ illegal drugs. [Time]
* Time for new business cards and letterhead over at Wiley Rein
& Fielding [Legal Times]
* The mystery raised here has been answered. Richard Posner isn’t the only federal government official who likes to blog. [Opinion Juris]
* Gay Sullivan & Cromwell partner David Braff, to the New York Times: “I’ve been openly gay since I arrived at this firm in 1984. There’s absolutely no atmosphere of hostility toward gay people here.”
[New York Times via DealBook]
* The fight over whether Judge Stephen S. Trott’s seat on the Ninth Circuit belongs to Idaho or California has been resolved — for now. [How Appealing]
- Cravath, David Hoffman, John Beerbower, Lawyerly Lairs, Money, Nauseating Things, Real Estate, Tax Law
Here’s an addendum to our earlier coverage of the lavish, multimillion dollar residence(s) of John Beerbower, a litigation partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. John and Cynthia Beerbower lived in a $20 million apartment in 720 Park Avenue (at right), then “downsized” to a $5.1 million pad.
From David Hoffman, a former Cravath associate, over at Concurring Opinions:
David Lat offers this post about a Cravath partner’s recent real estate sale. David makes some hay about a supposed tax break that made the sale even more profitable.
John Beerbower, the partner in question, was the lead attorney at Cravath on a recently resolved pro bono suit on behalf of the City of New York that resulted in a tax refund of $280,000,000 for New York’s police, firefighters, and sanitation workers injured in the line of duty. The refund resulting from the suit was the second largest in NYC history.
Excellent. It’s nice to know that Mr. Beerbower — whom Dave Hoffman describes as “a terrific lawyer and a wonderful person” — favors tax relief not just for Park Avenue tycoons, but for the “little people,” too.
Professor Hoffman confirms our speculation that the Beerbowers hosted lavish Cravath summer associate affairs in their former apartment at 720 Park Avenue. He also provides additional information about its interior, available in the full post .
We thank Professor Hoffman for so menschily supplementing our prior write-up.
David Lat Misses a Trick [Concurring Opinions]
Earlier: Lawyerly Lairs: Tax Breaks for Cravath Partners?
This super-luxurious, prewar building — 720 Park Avenue, one of New York’s most prestigious addresses — is the former home of Cravath partner John Beerbower, and his wife, Cynthia Beerbower. In case you’re wondering, they lived in apartment 7A.
According to Steven Gaines in The Sky’s the Limit (2005), winning admission to this exclusive coop requires a net worth of at least $50 million. Financier Henry Grunwald and Revlon exec Michael Bergerac call it home.
But despite the vast wealth of its residents, 720 Park receives highly favorable tax treatment from New York City:
The New York Times looked at the vagaries of the tax laws — a result of several decades of political compromises — through the uncommonly low taxes paid at 720 Park, which is at 70th Street, and other Upper East Side co-ops. It found that some owners of small two-family brick and shingle houses near Kennedy International Airport paid three times the effective tax rate as their Park Avenue peers.
In the last year, while property tax assessments across the city rose by more than 9 percent, the assessors reviewed 720 Park. But rather than raising taxes on the building, they reduced them. City records show the official market value of the building and the tax burden on it were cut by 12 percent.
Property taxes on 720 Park went DOWN? How on earth did that happen?
Find out the answer, plus information about the Beerbowers’ new home, after the jump.
- 7th Circuit, ACLU, Cars, Conspiracy Theories, Crime, Deaths, Immigration, Morning Docket, Politics, S.D.N.Y., Sex, Tax Law, Videos
* The feds and the ACLU wrangle over a classified document. Is such use of the grand jury subpoena creative, or improper? [New York Times]
* A Swift (& Co.) crackdown: federal raids on meatpacking plants in six states result in over 1,200 arrests on immigration charges. [Associated Press]
* MoveOn and those Swift Boat Veterans get fined. [New York Times]
* “Seventh Circuit reinstates claim asserting that … members of the plaintiff classes have bought products or services from some of the defendants that they would not have bought had the defendants not concealed their involvement in slavery.” [How Appealing]
* Girls Gone Wild guy gets community service for filming underage women. [MSNBC]
* “College Student Gets Mother-in-Law to Co-Sign $10,000 Loan to Buy Apple Computer, Has $7,800 DOI Income When He Repays Only $2,200 After Taking High-Paying Job at Microsoft.” [TaxProf Blog]
* A British police inquiry rejects conspiracy theories concerning the death of Princess Diana, concluding that the 1997 car crash was a “tragic accident.” [Associated Press]
* Does anyone know if “ABV D LAW” is taken? [WSJ Law Blog]