American Bar Association
Section of Taxation: DIVERSITY COMMITTEE

Section of Taxation:

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Diversity Committee website!

The ABA Section of Taxation enthusiastically embraces the concept of diversity, and believes that diversity in our membership brings a variety of unique and valuable skills and perspectives to the Section and to its lawyer members. The primary goals of the Diversity Committee are (i) to provide lawyers of color, women lawyers, LGBT lawyers, young lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, and lawyers from diverse backgrounds with opportunities to become involved in the ABA Section of Taxation and in the leadership of the Diversity Committee and other ABA Section of Taxation committees and (ii) to present programs on diverse areas of tax.

Diversity can be thought of in many different ways. Each person can bring a diverse perspective to any panel, whether it is with respect to ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, years of experience, geographic location, or professional background. We hope that you will consider adding your diverse prospective to our Committee.

Please check here periodically to see the programs the Committee is working on and what we have planned for the next meeting. We welcome new members to the Committee and also encourage suggestions for programs!

If you would like to be updated on the upcoming programs of the Diversity Committee, please join our committee and subscribe to our listserve or feel free to contact me. Please let me know if you have any ideas for panels or if you would like to participate on a panel!

We hope that you will become involved in our Committee and look forward to seeing you May 5 - 7 at the May Meeting in Washington, DC!

-Cathy Fung,Chair

Committee Materials from Recent Meetings

Did you know thousands of pages of cutting-edge committee program materials are available to you as a Tax Section member? These documents contain analysis of the latest federal tax policy, initiatives, regulations, legislative forecasts, and planning ideas developed by the country's leading tax attorneys and government officials. Access these materials now.

Join Us



Cano, Jairo


Bae, Alfred
Villalobos, Lany

Committee Roster  


2016 May Meeting

Committee Events

Diversity Luncheon

May 6, 2016

Join us for lunch at the Diversity Luncheon!

Try to See It My Way: Technical, Policy and Advocacy Perspectives on the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction for Same Sex Couples

May 6, 2016

Is the limitation on the home mortgage interest deduction determined per-individual or per-residence? Right now that depends on who you are and where you are. Last year, in Voss v. Commissioner, a divided Ninth Circuit panel reversed the Tax Court on the interpretation of section 163(h) of the Internal Revenue Code. The two courts both adopted a plain language reading of the statute (reaching different conclusions) while the appellate dissent suggested the IRS position was entitled to deference. The panelists will discuss how the tax returns of two unmarried same-sex partners created a rift in authority between the Ninth Circuit and the rest of the nation over one of the most frequently claimed deductions in the Internal Revenue Code.

Moderator: Anson Asbury, Asbury Law Firm, Atlanta, GA

Panelists: Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, San Francisco, CA; Professor Anthony Infanti, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; Elizabeth R. Binder, Attorney, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting), IRS, Washington, DC; R. Matthew Kelley, Special Counsel, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting), IRS, Washington, DC 

Litigating Affordable Care Act Cases

May 6, 2016
The panelists will discuss issues related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) raised in pending Tax Court cases, including deficiency cases involving the premium tax credit. The panel will address issues affecting immigrants who seek to enroll in a health plan and provide strategies to avoid disqualification from enrollment or access to the premium tax credit.

Panelists: Matthew Lopas, Health Policy Attorney, National Immigration Law Center, Washington DC; Linda E. Mosakowski, Assistant Division Counsel, Pre-filing, Office of Chief Counsel (Small Business/Self-Employed), IRS, Washington DC; Christine Speidel, Staff Attorney, Vermont Legal Aid, Inc., Springfield, VT; Stephen J. Toomey, Senior Counsel, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting), IRS, Washington DC

The PATH Act: Changes Affecting Immigrant Families and The Challenges Ahead

May 6, 2016
This panel will cover provisions of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 that significantly affect immigrant families and individuals, including the inability to claim retroactive refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Credit. The panelists will discuss the provisions requiring the expiration of Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, the challenges of implementation, and the advocacy to be done moving forward.

Moderator: Lany L. Villalobos, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, Philadelphia, PA

Panelists: Ellen Battistelli, Policy Analyst; National Immigration Law Center; Washington, DC; Julie Hanlon-Bolton, Special Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel (Wage & Investment), IRS, Washington, DC; Patrick W. Thomas, Director, University of Notre Dame Law School Tax Clinic, Notre Dame, IN

A Joint Individual and Family Taxation and Diversity Committee Panel: Women and Tax

May 6, 2016
10:30AM - 11:30AM
Years ago, women tax lawyers were a rare sighting at the Tax Section meetings. Looking around we know that the demographics have changed dramatically. Where are women tax lawyers in government, private practice, teaching and the judiciary and how have they impacted the ever changing tax laws. Panelists reflect upon what inspired them to become tax lawyers, what have been the rewards and what have been the challenges.

Moderator: Phyllis Horn Epstein, Epstein Shapiro & Epstein PC, Philadelphia, PA

Panelists: The Honorable Mary Ann Cohen, US Tax Court, Washington, DC; Anna C. Tavis, South Brooklyn Legal Services, Brooklyn, NY; Susan Morganstern, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Cleveland, OH; Professor Alice Abreu, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, PA; Megan L. Brackney, Kostelanetz & Fink LLP, New York, NY

Co-sponsored with: Individual and Family Taxation

Tax Bridge on the Road

May 5, 2016
Tax Bridge to Practice: A Conversation with… Caroline Ciraolo, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, Tax Division

One of the Section’s most esteemed members sits down for an in-depth discussion of her practice, her history with the Section, and the latest developments in tax law.


3:00-4:00 PM
Tax Tales 2: More Seminal Cases of Subchapter C

The long-awaited second installment of Tax Tales has finally arrived! Strap on your thinking caps and join us for an old-fashioned story hour. There will be epic adventure, heart-breaking romance, inspirational drama, unexplainable mystery…and tax! Come and learn the stories behind the cases and rulings that serve as the foundation of modern tax law.

Moderator: Alfred Bae, KPMG, Houston, TX

Panelists: Michelle Lo, Linklaters, Washington, DC; Shannon Perez, AOL Inc., Dulles, VA; Gary Scanlon, EY, Chicago, IL

Co-sponsored by: Corporate Tax


4:00-5:00 PM
The Administrative Tax Collection Case

The panelists will discuss best practices for effectively managing the administrative tax collection process from the issuance of the notice and demand for payment through the filing of a request for a Collection Due Process Hearing. The panelists will also address practical tips for requesting collection alternatives and tax lien withdrawals and levy releases.

Moderator: Giovanni Alberotanza, Associate, Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP, Baltimore, MD Panelists: Karen Lapekas, Lapekas Law, Miami, FL; Shamik Trivedi, Manager, Grant Thornton LLP, Washington DC; Laurence K. Williams, Senior Counsel, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration), IRS, Washington, DC

Co-sponsored by: Administrative Practice


5:00-6:00 PM
Tax Controversy 101: The Tax Court Cases that Every Practitioner Should Know

While practice before the United States Tax Court requires, at a minimum, an understanding of the Tax Court’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, seasoned lawyers who appear before the forum know a cannon of Tax Court opinions that are among those most-cited by the Court and conversely, those who practice before it. In this panel, four experienced Tax Court practitioners will share some of those cases that they consider the seminal authorities and that any member of the Tax Court’s Bar should know for practice before the Court.

Panelists: Jeffrey Glassman, McDermott, Will & Emery, Dallas, TX; Kelley C. Miller, Reed Smith LLP, Washington, DC; Lawrence Sannicandro, Agnostino & Associates, P.C., Hackensack, NJ; Adriana Lofaro Wirtz, Cooley, New York, NY

Co-sponsored by: Court Procedure & Practice

Section Events

    Holding Company Jurisdictions for Investments in Latin America - What You Need To Know Now


    Latin America has been a strong pole of attraction for international investors and corporate groups. These include many US MNCs which hold, manage and control their operations in the region either directly from the US or through holding companies established in different jurisdictions. In recent years, ...

    2016 Joint Fall CLE Meeting

    Westin Boston Waterfront

    Boston, MA welcomes the ABA Section of Taxation and the Trust and Estate Law Division of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law to the 2016 Joint Fall CLE Meeting , September 29 - October 1, 2016! J oin us and take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the countrys leading attorneys ...

    Partnerships: The Fundamentals


    This program will explore a number of entity classification concerns, including concerns related to publicly traded partnerships. The panelists will focus on allocations of taxable income and loss among the partners, including substantial economic effect requirements under section 704(b). The panelists ...

Modified by Daniel Swenson on April 29, 2016

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