American Bar Association
Section of Taxation: DIVERSITY COMMITTEE

Section of Taxation:

Who We Are

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 September 29 - October 1 in Boston.

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 Joint Fall CLE Meeting

Committee Events

Diversity Luncheon

September 30, 2016

Join us for lunch at the Diversity Luncheon!

On the Road to Success: What You Don’t Learn in Law School

September 30, 2016

A panel of junior and mid-level attorneys will provide their perspective on finding their first legal position after law school, learning the ropes in that position, and excelling in their first legal job and beyond. The panelists will discuss their experiences in positions in large and mid-size law firms, government, accounting firms, clerkships, and low-income taxpayer clinics.

Moderator: Cathy Fung, Office of Chief Counsel (Large Business & International), IRS, Washington, DC

Panelists: Lacy L. Durham, Deloitte Tax LLP, Dallas, TX; Dianna M. Mullis, Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, DC; Shawn McIntire, Ballard Spahr
LLP, Denver, CO; Derek Wagner, Pro Bono Staff Counsel, ABA Section of Taxation, Washington, DC

Tax and Social Policy: Delivering Social Benefits Through the Tax Code

September 30, 2016

This panel will discuss the role of the Tax Code in the delivery of social benefits to alleviate poverty in the United States. The panelists will evaluate the dual role of the Tax Code in collecting taxes and delivering social benefits, discuss the impact and limitations of the Earned Income Tax Credit and tax housing policies as anti poverty measures, and provide a sampling of Tax Court cases reflecting the application of these tax social policies on low income taxpayers.

Moderator: Lany L. Villalobos, US Tax Court, Washington, DC

Panelists: The Honorable Juan F. Vasquez, US Tax Court, Washington, DC; Professor Alice Abreu, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, PA; Professor Francine Lipman, University of Nevada William S. Boyd School of Law, Las Vegas, NV; Professor Michelle Layser,
Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

Tax and Planning Considerations for Special Needs Trusts

September 30, 2016

Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) are an important planning tool for families that wish to secure the future of a family member challenged by a disability. This occurs when a carefully prepared and administered SNT allows an individual’s government benefits to coexist with funds in the SNT. The presenters will explain important differences between first-party and third-party SNTs so that tax and estate planning professionals will know when each type should be used. Critical considerations in preparing and administering estate plans that benefit persons with disabilities will be discussed, including income tax issues, designation of IRA benefits, apportionment issues, using a spousal SNT, inter-vivos versus testamentary SNTs, and many practical tips. In addition, the panelists will discuss planning possibilities available to persons with disabilities using the new ABLE Act trusts, including experience to date with the IRS’s administration of the ABLE Act and challenges that clients with disabilities may encounter in working with the IRS.

Moderator: Professor Amy Morris Hess, University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, TN

Panelists: Josh Beck, Attorney Advisor, IRS, Pompano Beach, FL; Professor David M. English, University of Missouri School of Law, Columbia, MO; Elizabeth Lindsay-Ochoa, Loring Wolcott & Coolidge, Boston, MA; Mary T. Schmitt Smith, Lipson Neilson Cole Seltzer Garin PC, Bloomfield Hills, MI

Fundamental IRC § 501(c)(3) Organization Issues through the Eyes of Current Case Law

September 30, 2016
4:00PM - 5:00PM

In order to qualify and maintain tax exempt status under IRC § 501(c)(3), an organization must adhere to certain requirements including the need to further a tax exempt purpose, follow the prohibitions against private inurement and private benefit, and adhere to the limitations with respect to lobbying and political activities. The panelists will highlight current case law to explain each of these requirements. In addition, the panelists will discuss the unrelated business income tax rules and the procedural issues that arise during the litigation of cases involving denial of tax exempt status.

Moderator: Jairo G. Cano, Agostino & Associates PC, Hackensack, NJ

Panelists: Farah N. Ansari, Schenck Price Smith & King LLP, Florham Park, NJ; Judith Kim, Krokias & Bluestein LLP, Boston, MA; Courtney D. Jones,
Attorney, Exempt Organizations, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC

Tax Bridge on the Road

September 29, 2016

A Conversation with Nina Olson. Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, sits down for an in-depth discussion of her practice, her history, and the latest developments in tax law.

1:00pm The Intersection of Sports and Tax Law. United States federal and state tax laws impact sports franchises and players in many ways. The panelists will provide an overview these areas, including state domicile and residency
issues, the so-called Jock Tax, business expenses, international tax issues, and estate and gift tax issues. The panelists also will provide tax law insights for attorneys representing professional athletes.

Moderator: Clay Collins, PwC, Washington, DC

Panelists: Travis Greaves, Caplin & Drysdale, Washington, DC; Jason Feingertz, Reed Smith, New York, NY; Joseph P. Malca, Proskauer Rose LLP,
New York, NY; Dustin Rever-Ginsburg, Venable LLP, Los Angeles, CA

2:00pm Tax Court 101: Pre-Trial Tips & Best Practices.

Moderator: Kelley C. Miller, Reed Smith LLP, Washington, DC

Panelists: Jeffrey M. Glassman, McDermott Will & Emery, Dallas, TX; Lawrence A. Sannicandro, Agostino & Associates PC, Hackensack, NJ; Adriana Lofaro Wirtz, Cooley LLP, New York, NY

3:00pm Basics & Hot Topics: RICs and REITs. Regulated investment companies (RICs) (more commonly known as mutual funds) and real estate investment trusts (REITs) have long enjoyed significant tax advantages. The panelists
will overview RICs and REITs under subchapter M, addressing the purpose of RICs and REITs, the qualification requirements for REITs and RICs, and
the taxation of RICs and REITs and their investors. The panel will also discuss hot topics in the RIC and REIT arenas, such as REIT spinoffs.

Moderator: Richard C. LaFalce, Morgan Lewis, Washington, DC

Panelists: Monisha Santamaria, EY, Los Angeles, CA; M. Kathryn Seevers, Ropes & Gray LLP, Boston, MA Co-sponsored by: Investment Management and Real Estate

4:15pm Nuts & Bolts: Certain Tax and State Law Repercussions from the Obergefell Decision. This panel will examine the various theoretical,
procedural, and practice considerations associated with the effect of certain tax and state law changes as a result of the Obergefell v. Hodges and
Windsor v. United States decisions, with an emphasis on estate planning and employee benefits. The panelists will explore the changes in the law
as a result of these cases and discuss areas where guidance may still be needed. The discussion will also focus on the retroactive aspects of Obergefell and Windsor as to certain federal and state law aspects of estate planning.

Moderator: Anne Gordon, Attorney-Advisor, US Tax Court, Washington, DC

Panelists: George D. Karibjanian, Proskauer Rose LLP, Boca Raton, FL; Laura R. Westfall, King & Spalding, New York, NY Co-sponsored by: Estate & Gift Taxes

5:15pm Hot Topics: Tax Implications of the Sharing Economy.

Section Events

    17th Annual Tax Planning Strategies - U.S. and Europe

    Ritz Carlton Hotel Arts Barcelona

    The 17th Annual Tax Planning Strategies U.S. and Europe will focus on practical planning strategies for multinational corporations and their international advisors, as well as provide insight into how government tax officials may view the international tax landscape in light of important international ...

    The New Markets Tax Credit: Providing Economic Stimulus to Low-Income Communities


    Section 45D of the Internal Revenue Code authorizes the issuance of the New Markets Tax Credit. The law provides a credit of 39% of the capital invested in certain qualified community development entities whose primary missions include serving, or providing investment capital to low-income communities ...

    Young Tax Lawyers Symposium

    Miller & Chevalier Chtd

    Join the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, in conjunction with the ABA Young Lawyers Division and Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation, for the 3rd Annual Young Tax Lawyers Symposium on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 1:30-5:30 pm at the Washington, DC offices of Miller & Chevalier Chartered. ...

Modified by Jairo Cano on September 21, 2016

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