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Faculty News

for February, 2007

Shnider Quoted in Advantage on Tax Traps

February 28, 2007

In the Advantage article, Professor Bruce Shnider mentions at least three tax traps that can arise including the need for creative structuring of the merger and acquisition (M&A) deal, state and local transfer taxes, and golden parachutes. Shnider mentions structuring often requires the parties to understand their respective tax perspectives. He also talks about how state taxes usually require careful diligence to be sure everyone understands the issues and the risks. Lastly, Shnider covers the problems of golden parachutes and how sometimes they can be solved with a special target shareholder vote.

Read Bruce Shnider's Faculty Profile

Befort quoted in Pioneer Press on religion & work

February 25, 2007

Professor Stephen Befort was quoted in a feature story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press entitled "Freedom of Faith on Company Time?" The story examined the growing trend of Muslim employees challenging employer refusals to accommodate prayer breaks. The writer quoted Professor Befort in describing the basic anti-discrimination and accommodation principles established by federal law.

Read Stephen Befort's Faculty Profile

Kirtley Quoted in LA Times on Confidentiality Rule

February 16, 2007

Prof. Jane Kirtley was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 16, 2007, in discussing the decision of two San Francisco Chronicle reporters to grant a promise of confidentiality to a source who leaked them grand jury transcripts in the BALCO steroid scandal and lied about having done so in federal court.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Feld Calls Emily's Law Bill Irresponsible

February 16, 2007

Professor Barry Feld criticized a legislative proposal to lower from fourteen to thirteen the age at which youths could be transferred to criminal court for prosecution as an adult. He characterized as “irresponsible,” punitive policies that disregard differences in adolescent development and diminished responsibility.

Read Barry Feld's Faculty Profile

Provost Sullivan's Opinion in St. Cloud Times

February 11, 2007

Provost E. Thomas Sullivan's opinion, "University Retains Focus on Academics," appeared in the St. Cloud Times. Provost Sullivan's opinion discusses the recent athletic expenditures at the University, in addition to the University of Minnesota's goal to become one of the top three public research universities in the world. According to Provost Sullivan, athletics, while important, is "only one small part" of the comprehensive and compelling educational experience provided at the University of Minnesota.

Read E. Thomas Sullivan's Faculty Profile

Kirtley Panelist at ABA's Annual Conference

February 9, 2007

Prof. Jane Kirtley was a panelist and facilitator at a workshop, "Hot Issues in Ethics" on February 9 at the American Bar Association's Forum on Communications Law 12th Annual Conference in Key Largo, Florida, which took place Feb. 8-10, 2007.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Polsky article cited by the FEC

February 7, 2007

On February 7, 2007, the Federal Election Commission cited a forthcoming article by Professor Gregg Polsky in support of its decision to decline to regulate independent 527 Organizations (e.g., Swiftboat Vets, MoveOn.org) as political committees under the Federal Election Campaign Act. The FEC quoted the following excerpt from Professor Polsky's article "A Tax Lawyer's Perspective on Section 527 Organizations," 28 Cardozo L. Rev. (forthcoming Feb. 2007): "Once section 527 is placed in proper context, it becomes clear that the tax law is not a very good mechanism for differentiating between election-focused and ideological groups. Because of its unique policies and idiosyncracies, the tax law has an exceptionally broad definition of "political organization," one that has the potential to capture ideological as well as partisan organizations. Furthermore, section 527 should not be understood to convey any real tax benefits to organizations that self-identify. Accordingly, the reformers' mission to use section 527 as a campaign finance instrument is misguided."

Read Gregg Polsky's Faculty Profile

Younger Cited in CT Supreme Court Decision

February 6, 2007

Professor Judith T. Younger was recently cited in an important Connecticut Supreme Court decision in both the majority and dissenting opinions. That case, Friezo v. Friezo, 281 Conn. 166 (2007), was the first opportunity for Connecticut’s highest court to interpret Connecticut’s statute governing the enforcement of antenuptial agreements. The Court noted the important role that Younger’s article “Perspectives on Antenupial Agreements,” 40 Rutgers L. Rev. 1059 (1988), played in the drafting of the statute and looked to her conclusions in seeking to understand the legislative intent behind it. Professor Younger discusses the Friezo case in her latest article, “Lovers’ Contracts in the Courts: Forsaking the Minimum Decencies,” which is scheduled to appear in a forthcoming issue of the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law.

Copies of both the decision and the dissent are available for download in PDF format.

Read Judith T. Younger's Faculty Profile

Polsky & Befort cited by Wash. Supreme Court

February 1, 2007

On February 1, the Washington Sureme Court cited a recent article authored by Law School Professors Gregg Polsky and Stephen Befort in approving a supplemental award to compensate the plaintiffs in an employment discrimination case for the additional income tax consequences of receiving damages and attorney fees in a single lump sum. Polsky and Befort had laid the groundwork for such a claim in a 2004 article published by the Iowa Law Review (90 Iowa L.Rev 67). The court's opinion in Pham v. City of Seattle can be viewed at the following link: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/765952.opn.pdf

Read Gregg Polsky's Faculty Profile.
Read Stephen Befort's Faculty Profile.