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Law School News

for February, 2015

Tax Clinic Receives IRS Grant

February 27, 2015

The Internal Revenue Service has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Law School's Robert M. Mankoff Tax Clinic. The funds will help support the clinic's work in two areas: representing low-income taxpayers who have disputes with the IRS, and doing community outreach to such taxpayers, many of whom are not fluent in English, in an effort to prevent tax problems before they can arise.

Neurolaw Study Reveals How Politics Affects Criminal Justice Reform

February 25, 2015

A forthcoming study co-authored by Professor Francis Shen finds that Republicans and Independents are more likely to disapprove of neuroscience-based legal reforms if those reforms are seen as being too lenient on criminal defendants. Given the growing influence of the field of "neurolaw"—which integrates neuroscience into the legal system in a variety of ways—the finding is likely to have far-reaching implications.

Eleanor Wood ('16) Wins Tax Law Writing Award

February 19, 2015

The Federal Bar Association has announced that Eleanor Wood ('16) is the winner of the 2015 Donald C. Alexander Writing Competition for her article "Rejecting Tax Exceptionalism: Bringing Temporary Treasury Regulations Back in Line with the APA." This marks the second straight year that a Law School student has placed first in the competition; Matthew Hu ('14) was the winner last year. As the winning author, Wood will receive $2,000 and a trip to the FBA Section on Taxation's annual tax law conference, to be held March 5-6 in Washington, D.C. Her article will be considered for publication in the FBA magazine, The Federal Lawyer, or the Section on Taxation's newsletter, Inside Basis.

Frank DiPietro ('14) Named a Brunswick Public Service Fellow by the ABA Section of Taxation

February 13, 2015

The ABA Section of Taxation has announced that Frank DiPietro ('14) is a recipient of the Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellowship for 2015-17. During the term of his fellowship, DiPietro will work with the Law School's Center for New Americans and its Robert M. Mankoff Tax Clinic to help immigrants deal with tax issues that may prevent them from becoming U.S. citizens. DiPietro also plans to work with the Tax Clinic and the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans to provide tax and legal advice to veterans, particularly those on fixed incomes.

ABA Passes Resolution to Recommend an End to Life-Without-Parole for Children, Initiated by Robina Executive Director, Kelly Mitchell

February 9, 2015

At its mid-year meeting in Houston, Texas, today, the American Bar Association (ABA), has approved a resolution calling for an end to the practice of sentencing children to life-in-prison-without-parole and urging "meaningful periodic opportunities for release." Resolution 107C is sponsored by Kelly Mitchell, Executive Director of the University of Minnesota Law School's Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.

Mock Trial Team Wins at Regionals, Heads for Nationals

February 9, 2015

Two teams from the Law School are just back from four intense days of mock trial arguments at the regional level of the annual Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition. One team earned Regional Champion honors and will compete at the national finals next month; the other team also made a strong showing, placing 10th out of the 24 teams participating.

Following SCOTUS Ruling, Child Advocacy Clinic Addresses Life-Without-Parole Sentences for Juveniles

February 6, 2015

In June 2012, in the case of Miller v. Alabama, the United States Supreme Court held that it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to mandatory life-without-parole. Miller was the third Supreme Court case in seven years to hold that juveniles are constitutionally different from adults due to their lack of maturity, vulnerability to negative influences, and capacity for change. The decision invalidated sentencing laws in 28 states, including Minnesota. What Miller did not address, however, is what these states should do to comply with the ruling and whether it applies to the more than 2,100 inmates across the country who were already serving such sentences.

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic Helps Liberian Man Gain Permanent Resident Status

February 6, 2015

A young Liberian man whom the Law School's Immigration and Human Rights Clinic helped to obtain asylum in 2013 was recently granted a green card, giving him lawful permanent resident status in the United States.

John Tuma ('88) Named to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

February 2, 2015

Governor Mark Dayton has appointed John Tuma ('88) to a six-year term on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), effective today. The five-member PUC regulates the state's electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications industries.

Tax Clinic Takes IRS Filing Status Appeal to 8th Circuit

February 2, 2015

On Feb. 11, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case that may help one family's tax situationĂ¢Â€”and could lead to a change in the U.S. Tax Code. Representing the petitioner against the IRS will be Frank DiPietro ('14), who began working on the case while he was a student in the Law School's Ronald M. Mankoff Tax Clinic.