X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
last year, the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice published its Blackletter Statement of Federal Administrative Law-a restatement, as it were, of federal administrative law-based upon the work of more than 20 administrative law scholars from law schools around the nation and vetted by experienced practitioners on the section’s council. That work has spawned three additional projects. First, starting last year with the publication of A Guide to Federal Agency Adjudication, the section will publish the background reports that formed the basis for the Blackletter Statement. These reports discuss the broad range of issues in federal administrative law in substantial depth and provide not only commentary but also the authority justifying the Blackletter Statement. Second, the section now will go beyond stating what the law is, to addressing what the law should be. The first area being addressed is the adjudicatory process; the section will consider recommendations for amendments to the Administrative Procedure Act. Other subject areas, such as rule making and judicial review, will be taken up after that. Third, the section has undertaken a multiyear project to provide a comprehensive restatement of the administrative law of the European Union (E.U.). American firms that wish to do business in Europe, and the lawyers who represent them, are finding the E.U.’s bureaucracy impenetrable. Firms and their lawyers in those nations, though, do not face the same bureaucratic obstacles. Some have described the state of E.U. administrative law as analogous to American administrative law before the Administrative Procedure Act and Federal Register Act, which together brought the federal bureaucracy into the sunshine. The section’s first steps in this ambitious project have been to enlist the services of one of the most experienced American scholars in the area, George Bermann of Columbia University Law School, to organize the first stage in the project. This first stage, which will involve the identification of the regulatory sectors and the nonsectoral functions to be studied, the collection of available materials, the recruitment of a team of reporters and the initial outreach steps to the European Commission and European law firms, is estimated to take about six months. During that time, there will be a public program on the project, its goals and the steps taken so far. The second stage of the project will be the writing of the report. In addition to the above projects, the section will again present what has become an annual administrative law conference in Washington in November. As in past years, this conference will include programs specific to a number of regulatory practice areas as well as cross-cutting programs on the regulatory process or administrative law. The capstone of the conference will be the annual Recent Developments in Administrative Law panel, summarizing the major administrative, legislative and judicial events of the past year involving administrative law and regulatory practice. The section has continued its series of great debates in Washington on current hot topics, including a debate in June on the practical impact of presidents using recess appointment powers to fill judicial vacancies. Key Washington players and experts have participated in the series. William Funk, chair-elect of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, is a professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore. in 1976, the aba sponsored a conference entitled “Pound Revisited” (or Pound II), a broad-ranging assessment of the future direction of the justice system. At Pound II, Professor Frank Sander of Harvard Law School delivered an influential paper on the “multi-door courthouse,” a concept that announced the dawn of the modern age of alternative dispute resolution. Pound II and Sander persuaded the ABA to form a special committee on small disputes to explore the ideas Sander suggested. That led several years later to a Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution and, eventually, the Section of Dispute Resolution. This year marks our 10th as a section. We will exceed 10,000 members sometime this year. Initially, the section focused on court-connected and community-based mediation; its one foray into judicial arbitration resulted in a fight in the House of Delegates, which adopted a policy of no mandatory court-based dispute resolution programs. Many of the leaders of the section in its early years were academics, judges and lawyers with an interest in dispute resolution. None was a full-time alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioner. Indeed, there were few full-timers anywhere. The section’s activities and programs, as well as its membership, reflected the makeup of its leadership. In the last few years, however, changes in the dispute resolution landscape have caused a transformation of the section. There is now a vibrant private market for dispute resolution in most metropolitan areas, and there is a growing cadre of full-time (or substantially full-time) ADR neutrals. The consumers of private ADR (largely trial lawyers and business executives) are looking for guidance and assistance in understanding how to access and use ADR effectively, and ADR neutrals are looking for professional associations in which they can network and increase their knowledge and skills. The Section of Dispute Resolution has begun to fulfill these needs. In particular, we have added a focus on commercial arbitration, something that attracted scant attention in the section’s early years. We played an important role in the revision of the Uniform Arbitration Act and the creation of the Uniform Mediation Act. We have also begun to address the international aspects of ADR. Many transnational disputes have been resolved through arbitration; mediation has only recently been a familiar process in international disputes. We are working with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law to implement a uniform mediation and conciliation law. We have sponsored a series of high-end conferences on the resolution of commercial disputes through arbitration and mediation. We have attracted the best neutrals and advocates in these areas and have educated large numbers of interested practitioners. A major focus of the new dispute resolution market is how to conform ethical standards to modern ADR practice. We led the effort to revise the Code of Ethics for Arbitrators of Commercial Disputes; we have addressed ethical standards for ombudsmen; and we have participated in the ABA’s Ethics 2000 project, particularly in regard to fitting traditional ethics for lawyers into the modern practice of attorney neutrals. We have adopted a policy on the intersections of mediation and the practice of law. Our recent publication, Dispute Resolution Ethics-A Comprehensive Guide, has been particularly well received. We want to become the primary resource for practitioners, neutrals and provider organizations on issues of concern to the practice of ADR, particularly in the commercial marketplace. We can best fulfill our obligation to our members and the ABA in those important areas. Richard Chernick is chair-elect of the Section of Dispute Resolution. He is an arbitrator and mediator based in Los Angeles and is vice president and managing director of the JAMS Arbitration Practice. this year, the Section of Business Law hopes to continue to serve its members and the public in the development of business law, in the the education of its members and in the provision of services to the community. In particular, the section will extend its use of electronic distribution of information through its Web page and electronic distribution of its newsletters and continuing legal education (CLE) material. This is part of an effort to make the section’s activities and benefits more cost-effective for the section’s members. The section will continue to try to make active participation available to those who do not travel to the section’s meetings. The section will continue its leadership in improving corporate governance processes and substance. The section has participated extensively in preparing ABA reports on corporate governance and the role of lawyers in that process. That information is available on the section’s Web page and motions on these issues will be considered by the ABA’s House of Delegates at the ABA Annual Meeting this month. The implementation and interpretation of these matters will be important projects for the section in the coming years. In addition to its flagship journal, the Business Lawyer, the section will use the Internet to deliver still more material to its members. The section posts program and other material from meetings on the section’s Web page. The section recently founded eSource-its electronic newsletter. The section will encourage its committees to use an electronic format for its committee newsletters and is working on additional electronic communications for delivery to members’ desks. The section will continue to work hard to expand its membership for women, minority lawyers and new lawyers. The section sponsors its fellows and ambassador programs to support membership and active participation in the section by minority and new lawyers. The section is a principal sponsor of an annual National Conference for the Minority Lawyer. We also have an outreach program to attract new members. The section has an active pro bono committee, broadly supported within the section, that works with members to provide business-related legal services. The section’s committees will continue to provide opportunities for members to participate in “cutting-edge” discussions at committee meetings and listserv discussions. The section will continue to expand the use of “distance learning” so that section members can enjoy the CLE benefits of the section without leaving their home towns, through teleconferences, video conferences, Web-based conferences and live programs. Steven O. Weise is a partner at the Los Angeles office of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe. what is the Section of General Practice, Solo and Small Firms? It is the home of the “Main Street” lawyer. The Section of General Practice, Solo and Small Firms has a diverse membership. But even though the backgrounds, geographical locations and practice settings of our membership vary, we share a common bond: We are Main Street lawyers. Last year, our section went through a renaissance. It was a time to rethink, retool and renew. Section members spent time discussing the changing nature of the law, and many attended continuing legal education programs that educated lawyers on how to retool their law practices. This year, our programs, meetings and publications are designed for our membership to revel in the understanding of who we are. We are many different people, but we share a common bond because we are all lawyers. The objective of the next year is for the section members, through the national setting of the ABA, to celebrate all that we are as Main Street lawyers. The section’s fall meeting will be held in Minneapolis. I am excited about conducting our fall meeting in conjunction with the Midwest regional solo and small firm conference. There will be a comprehensive program of CLE geared solely for lawyers engaged in solo and small firm practices. The meeting also provides section members with the opportunity to meet, and discuss issues with, Main Street lawyers from the Midwest. Our spring meeting will be held in Phoenix. This meeting will focus on the accomplishments of General Earl E. Anderson. Anderson is an active member of the section and currently serves on the ABA’s Board of Governors. The meeting will celebrate Anderson’s many contributions to the profession. The section plays an important role in the security and defense of our country because the section is the home of many judge advocates. Our military law committee, under the direction of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, continues to promote our national security under the rule of law. We have also formed a steering committee to review programs and publications to ensure that the section stays on the path of supporting Main Street lawyers. We will continue to have a strong presence in the ABA’s House of Delegates. Our mission is to promote and support initiatives for solo and small firm lawyers. If the issue is multijurisdictional practice or the governance of corporate responsibility, our section intends to be heard. The Section of General Practice, Solo and Small Firms is one of the fastest-growing sections in the ABA. We have a large group of young lawyers and law-student members, and we take great pride in telling people that we are the home of the Main Street lawyer. William T. Hogan III is a founding partner, specializing in litigation, at Boston’s Hogan, Roache & Malone. each of us is a consumer of health care and is thereby affected by health laws. Today, the national agenda includes debates about the future of Medicare and Medicaid, Medicare prescription drug benefits, the cost of new pharmaceuticals, malpractice reform, patient safety and medical error reduction, resident work hours, SARS, smallpox immunizations and HIV. Single-payor health care reform is likely to become a hot issue in the upcoming presidential primaries. Access to health care is a growing problem, with soaring health care costs. Shortages of nurses and allied health care personnel pose challenges. We all favor patient privacy, but many health care institutions and providers have found the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 to be costly and unduly burdensome. National health care companies have been in the news with charges by the federal and state governments of fraud and illegal inducements. The Section of Health Law provides significant and timely information-through live programming, teleconferences, publications and Internet resources-to its membership on policy issues, judicial, regulatory and legislative developments, and in strategically representing clients. We also promote the public interest by commenting on regulatory and legislative developments. Our members have the opportunity to network with each other through our programming, as well as electronically. Many belong to one or more of our 10 substantive interest groups, which span the field, including accreditation, licensure and certification; “e-health” and privacy; and employee benefits and executive compensation, to name a few. While the section offers or participates in a number of specialized live programs, its two principal broad-based programs are: Washington Healthcare Summit, Nov. 6-7; and Emerging Issues in Healthcare 2004, Feb. 18-20, 2004, in LaJolla, Calif. The Health Lawyer is our bi-monthly newsletter with top quality articles with a practical perspective. The section has published with BNA Books, Fraud and Abuse: Practical Perspectives and EHealth Business and Transactional Law. This continues to be an exciting time to be a health lawyer and a member of the section. Bonnie Brier, chair-elect of the Section of Health Law, is general counsel of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. it is a busy, exciting and rewarding time to be an intellectual property lawyer. How many other legal specialties saw three U.S. Supreme Court cases decided last term ( Victoria’s Secret, Dastar and Eldred)? In addition, we will see a new international treaty take effect this November (the Madrid Protocol, regarding trademark registration), and we continue to deal daily with branding and copyright piracy across the global marketplace, as well as inventions and the latest types of infringements. The intellectual property field constantly faces new issues and legislative and judicial developments, domestically and abroad. To help the section’s 22,000 members rise to these challenges, we will continue to provide an open and accessible forum for discussion and debate, recommend policy and serve our members’ interests through advocacy, publications, continuing legal education (CLE) and networking. We will continue to deliver high-powered CLE at our Washington spring meeting (April 1-2, 2004), our IP Summer Conference (June 16-20, 2004) and our Litigation Tips programs. A Trademark Day meeting with government personnel will be part of our popular Copyright Day. We will increase our visibility and voice on international issues to address the increasingly global scope of American business and the related intellectual property issues. First, the section will co-sponsor a Foreign IP Litigation program on Oct. 3-4, at Fordham University School of Law in New York. Sitting judges from courts in China, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom will try a hypothetical patent, trademark and copyright case in five minitrials to illustrate their respective trial practices. Second, our Summer IP Conference, in Toronto in June 2004, will explore cross-border issues and afford interaction with our Canadian colleagues. We will continue to produce high- quality section publications, which our member surveys have identified as a top priority. We will also launch a new electronic newsletter and publish new books on trademark infringement remedies and intellectual property issues in franchising. We are running a new member satisfaction survey, with results to be addressed in a triennial strategic planning retreat this September. We are taking steps to increase in-house corporate intellectual property lawyers’ participation in section activities and section leadership, while continuing our ongoing efforts to promote gender, racial and ethnic diversity and opportunity in the section’s leadership and CLE programs. We will continue the section’s advocacy in the courts (as with our amicus curiae brief in Victoria’s Secret), in Congress (for example, in lobbying to end U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) fee diversion), and before the relevant federal agencies (as with our testimony before the PTO on the Madrid implementing regulations and the PTO strategic plan). We will have a busy year and intend to stay ahead of the curve. Robert W. Sacoff, chair-elect of the Section of Intellectual Property Law, is a partner in the Chicago office of Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson. labor and employment lawyers continue to be heavily involved in current legal issues in the labor and employment field. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the University of Michigan’s affirmative action programs may have significant effects on diversity efforts in the workplace. Similarly, the court’s decision in Hoffman Plastics raises issues for employers, unions and employees regarding foreign workers and immigration. With the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the workplace now abounds with questions concerning attorney-client obligations and on the role of lawyers as representatives and as employees. Issues involving employee privacy, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and the impact of technology on collective bargaining will continue to keep the field of labor and employment law dynamic and challenging. The Section of Labor and Employment Law also continues to be a leader in developing and implementing nationwide programs for our members and our profession. Our Federal Law Clerk Training Program, developed in cooperation with the Federal Judicial Center, continues to keep federal court law clerks abreast of current and complex issues in the employment law field. Our Law School Outreach Program has resulted in panels of section members visiting more than half of the ABA-accredited law schools to encourage students to consider careers in the field of labor and employment law. Next year, the section will inaugurate a National Media Program, a National Mentoring Program and an Employment Referral Service for section members. The media program will offer section members to the media as a resource for them to make use of in their coverage of labor and employment law issues. Panels will be established in every major media market and will be organized by specialty areas within the field and by affiliation (e.g., employer, union, employee, neutral or government). The mentoring program will establish panels in every state to assist young lawyers. Upon request, mentors will be available by area of affiliation. Our Employment Referral Service will serve as a two-way street for law school student members and young lawyers to advertise availability and for members in firms to advertise positions. These ambitious programs will require the cooperation of thousands of members and the hard work of our staff. I look forward to continuing and furthering the section’s long history of service to its members and our profession. Stephen D. Gordon is of counsel to St. Paul, Minn.’s Williams & Iversen. the section of litigation is the leading voice of litigators on both sides of the caption, working to improve the justice system and to provide its members with resources to help them be effective and ethical advocates for their clients. As the largest ABA section, the Section of Litigation continues to expand its complement of member-only newsletters published by the more than 40 procedural and substantive committees. The section’s continuing legal education offerings also continue to diversify both by content and medium, with 12 teleconferences and a host of in-person programming planned for the coming year. The section has several new initiatives for the coming year. The plans include the introduction of two new committees. The first new committee will be the Expert Witness Committee. It will draw its membership both from litigators with a special interest in the law relating to expert witnesses and from experts who testify. This committee will deal with the tactical and strategic decisions in presenting and opposing experts, and will be an exceptional resource for lawyers and testifying experts who want to follow the developing law in this area. The second new committee, the Young Lawyer Training and Outreach Committee, reflects the section’s continuing commitment to those who are new to our profession. It will offer training programs specifically geared toward young lawyers and will serve as a home in the section for young lawyers. The section has funded a major study and analysis, referred to as “The Vanishing Trial,” to be completed in the coming year by our Civil Justice Initiative. The preliminary data from this groundbreaking study confirm that, in both state and federal courts, the trial has begun virtually to disappear as a mechanism for resolution of disputes. A major symposium of academicians, practitioners and judges will examine the causes and the impact of this trend, and will consider the implications for our civil justice system. We are also undertaking a major project concerning the discovery of electronic information. As our members are well aware, this is a subject with which practitioners and the courts have only begun to grapple. From balancing the costs and benefits of retrieving data to complex spoliation-of-evidence issues, electronic information does not fit easily into our traditional thinking about document discovery. The section’s Task Force on Electronic Discovery Standards is preparing a set of best-practices and guidelines to assist courts and trial lawyers. The guidelines will supplement the section’s Civil Trial Practice Standards and Discovery Standards (both are available at www.abanet.org/litigation). The section will continue many ongoing projects on judicial independence, improvement of the public perception of lawyers and the securing of meaningful access to the justice system. And we will continue to be the voice of all litigators on the key issues facing our profession. Patricia Lee Refo is the chair-elect of the Section of Litigation. She is a partner at Phoenix-based Snell & Wilmer, where she concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation. the section of public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law is unique among sections of the ABA to the extent that it relates to a group of American industries rather than what are thought of as traditional areas of law practice. The defining characteristic of these industries is that they all provide services to the public that are at the core of everyday life in our modern society: electricity, gas, water, telecommunications, cable television and transportation. Thus, each of these industries, unlike other business entities, experiences the hand of governmental authority at the intersection of the technology and economics of the service being provided. The fundamental questions are: What kind of, and how much, governmental authority should be exercised, and what is the public interest? The conceptual framework encompassed by these questions is governmental regulation. The answers to the questions themselves have shifted over time. This is an exciting time to be a practicing lawyer in this area. Controversies, even scandals, abound. Enron, WorldCom and other corporations formerly thought of as leaders in the transformation of infrastructure-industries regulation to a more competitive model are now pilloried as failures, and there is extensive litigation to sort out what is left. There are looming problems such as shortages of natural gas and electric network capacity. Moreover, in the post-Sept. 11 world, it turns out that some of our greatest vulnerabilities to international terrorism lie in the infrastructure necessary to provide essential services such as nuclear power plants and water reservoirs, to name just two. All of these problems are exacerbated by weakened financial structures in many sectors, some of which have ended up in the bankruptcy courts but most of which nonetheless demand immediate attention. Most, if not all, of these topics will be covered in section programs in 2003-04. At the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, we will have a program on the capital liquidity crisis in infrastructure and network industries as well as a general counsel roundtable discussing industrial responses to the impact of competition, deregulation and economic recession. In the spring, we will have our section’s annual meeting, which will address the issues from a number of different perspectives. Our section committees, including a new Infrastructure Security Committee, are increasingly active as well, holding informal meetings/conference calls/ brownbag lunches throughout the year on hot topics of the moment. This year, we will also expand our outreach to lawyers working in government agencies and departments that regulate in this area of the law. We are looking at ways to involve these lawyers directly in the activities of our committees and to make attendance at some of our meetings more affordable. We will also be exploring new ways to interact with younger lawyers and law students with interests in infrastructure and network industries. We hope to provide members with interaction and different perspectives, as well as a neutral forum for discussion and education. David Poe, chair-elect of the Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law, is a partner in the Washington office of New York-based LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae. the section of real Property, Probate and Trust Law recently has been very active in certain areas of the law where we feel that it is important that the section make available resources and guidance to its members to assist them in practicing law appropriately and in attaining certain of the section’s goals. One of the best has been the section’s minority outreach program, which was initiated by Manny Halper, and which has received recognition from the ABA and other organizations. This program is described as one that teaches lawyers how to complete deals; it steers clear of the traditional law school approach to case law study and provides mentoring for solo practitioners who do not have access to partners or the resources of a large firm. The intention is to have it expand into many urban areas where it can be of significant help to minority attorneys. The section has continued to actively advocate model rule changes that would decrease the burden in the multijurisdictional practice of real estate, probate and trust law, which resulted in the ABA’s 2002 revision of Model Rule 5.5 on multijurisdictional practice and the related amendments to Model Rule 8.5 on disciplinary authority in cases of cross-border practice. Several states to date have endorsed proposed changes to their bar rules that track these two ABA model rules and more states are expected to pass them shortly. The section has commissioned a study of the number of full-time faculty who teach property law at law schools. This came about as a result of concerns expressed by members of the section that law schools are not teaching real property courses with full-time faculty, are not hiring or promoting faculty members with a real property focus and may be lessening real property in the curriculum. Section members believe that a diminished emphasis on real property in law schools would result in fewer law students choosing to practice law in the real property area. Initial data collected indicate that there may be some support for this concern. Section leadership will further evaluate the data and consider additional research. Uniform laws continues to be an area of activity for the section. A current listing of model laws that the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has under consideration can be found at www.abanet.org/rppt/ committee/rp/A5/home.html. The section has actively followed a case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in which the ABA has challenged the Federal Trade Commission’s determination that the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 apply to lawyers who provide real estate, tax and other financially related advice. A ruling in the case is expected soon. Perhaps most importantly, the section has submitted extensive comments to the U.S. Treasury Department with regard to the department’s proposed rule making on the phrase “persons involved in real estate closings and settlements,” which is an activity defined as a “financial institution” required by the USA Patriot Act to establish anti-money laundering programs. These comments are available at www.abanet.org/rppt/section_info/patriotact/abacommentletter6-03.pdf. The section will continue to monitor the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. The Sarbanes-Oxley lawyer regulations presented numerous traps for nonsecurities lawyers; those lawyers must inform themselves about the act if they are to avoid exposure either in an action by the SEC or in a professional liability case. Philip J. Bagley III, chair-elect of the Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, is a partner in the Richmond, Va., office of Atlanta’s Troutman Sanders. the aba section of Tort Trial and Insurance Practice, known as TIPS, is the home for trial lawyers and their insurance-industry counterparts. With 37 substantive law committees addressing a wide range of topics (products litigation, transportation, personal and business litigation, and all aspects of insurance regulation), TIPS lawyers expect the best in scholarship, continuing legal education and useful updates. One of our major goals this year is to bring news to members quickly in a format they can use. To get newsworthy cases and developments to our members, we are fast developing an “E-Zine.” This will supplement the three paper periodicals our members currently work hard to produce and share with each other. We have charged our Emerging Issues Committee with regularly contacting our most highly placed members in government and business to assure we know “what’s new.” As part of keeping our members informed of the most recent and pressing issues, we will bring the most prominent experts together to offer valuable seminars. This October we will debut a new symposium in Boston. The leading plaintiffs’ and defense practitioners, along with the top academics and policy makers in the field, will discuss and debate the most recent developments in a forum to be entitled “The Future of Class Action Litigation in America.” With a keynote address from Senator Thomas Carper, D-Del., who is a sponsor of the Class Actions Fairness Act of 2003 (S. 274), this program will truly be the premier class action seminar in the United States. In light of the numerous recent corporate scandals, we are busily working on a new program to focus on the evolving legal issues concerned with corporate governance. Our greatest outreach effort this year will be at a major section continuing legal education event, April 30 to May 3, 2004, in Napa Valley, Calif. Our substantive law committees will participate in bringing the latest information to one of the greatest settings in America. Our continuing legal education offerings continue to develop at the forefront of technology, allowing our members convenience and flexibility through teleconferences and Webcasts that are continually expanding. To keep our members active, we find ways to involve them in projects that are relevant to their practice areas. This year, we are involving our members in new task forces to study the pressing legal issues of the day. Our first task force will watch developments in asbestos litigation. More task forces are planned in order to inform our members on breaking legislation and issues. These task forces will keep members active in the section while they gain more knowledge and become better lawyers. The law is moving swiftly and TIPS lawyers are ahead of the curve. With so much talent in our midst, every member who wants to participate in our section is welcome and will find a rewarding task in which to participate. For more information about TIPS, please visit our Web site at www.abanet.org/tips. Linda A. Klein, chair-elect of the Section of Tort Trial and Insurance Practice, is the managing partner of Atlanta-based Gambrell & Stolz, where she has a general commercial litigation practice. the 2003 tax legislation will have a broad impact on personal and business tax planning, and has raised many issues that will require development by members of the Section of Taxation. The impact of the 15% dividend rate on mutual funds, annuities and real estate investment trusts and other investments need examination. The marriage penalty was reduced, and the child tax credit expanded. The section can provide valuable assistance in structuring these and other changes that call for administrative guidance and possible statutory adjustments. Last year, section members dedicated much attention to pending legislation and proposed regulations aimed at shutting down abusive tax shelters and bring to light potentially abusive tax shelters. The section has supported this effort but cautioned Congress, Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to establish constructive objective standards aimed at improper shelters, while assuring that legitimate business transactions are not impinged. This year, the section will emphasize the promotion of high ethical standards in the tax profession. In 2002, the IRS made numerous changes to regulatory standards for tax practice before the IRS, but deferred action on revised guidance for tax shelter opinions. The section will pursue efforts to update standards for giving tax shelter advice and conducting due diligence in rendering tax opinions. The section continues to promote simplification through a joint effort with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tax Executive Institute, continuing to press for the elimination of complexity caused by personal exemption phase-outs and limitations imposed on itemized deductions. We are examining broad areas of needed reform: A special task force is ferreting out major problems involving income, estate and gift taxes resulting from recent transfer tax reforms; another task force is developing proposals on international tax reform. And we have made proposals for legislative modifications of “S” corporations. A recent submission by the section addressed an IRS precertification program aimed at reducing abuse connected with low-income tax credits, to achieve fairer hearings. The section is examining the benefits it provides to its members. A special joint meeting with the Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law will be held in Chicago on Sept. 18-20 . Plan to join us, as members benefit from the skill and expertise of participants from both sections. The Section of Taxation continues to make more use of its home page ( www.abanet.org/tax), and is using Internet communication with members on a broad basis. Monthly educational teleconferences permit members to participate from their own office. The section continues to encourage pro bono support through low-income taxpayer clinics, which are marketed to encourage public participation. At the spring meeting in Washington, IRS representatives gave Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) training for tax lawyers prepared to assist low-income tax return preparation. As a larger section with approximately 20,000 tax lawyers, our members understand the importance of specialized training in a highly technical field. Each fall, winter and spring, two full days of committee meetings and educational panels are held; these frequently include government lawyers discussing leading-edge tax strategies and basic tax issues. These programs, tax periodicals and committee Internet chat exchanges are the types of benefits members consider the most valuable the section provides. Our members justify the time and cost because they are able to provide better, more efficient tax service to clients. Richard A. Shaw, chair-elect of the Section of Taxation, is a partner at San Diego’s Higgs Fletcher & Mack.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.