In New York City Bar program, Wolfman discusses ethics in tax practice

Professor Emeritus Bernard Wolfman

Professor Emeritus Bernard Wolfman

On April 24, Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Bernard Wolfman, a leading tax law expert, spoke on “Ethical Problems in Tax Practice” at the Sixth Annual Institute on Tax Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions. The event, held at the offices of the New York City Bar, was presented by the New York City Bar in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions of Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law.

“Tax lawyers in particular must practice in accordance with the applicable ethical standards if they are to be successful in their representation of clients in tax controversies,” said Wolfman.

Wolfman is the author of several tax law books, including “Standards of Tax Practice” and “Federal Income Taxation of Corporate Enterprise.”  In 2008, he published the article “Patenting Tax Strategies” in Taxes magazine, which challenges the desirability and validity of the federal government’s grant of monopoly-like protection for a lawyer’s plan for minimizing taxes. (Read a news post on Wolfman’s article on patenting tax strategies.)

Speakers at the institute included nationally recognized corporate tax law specialists and Treasury and IRS officials. They addressed current tax law and ethical considerations related to mergers and acquisitions; the negotiating of corporate acquisitions; executive compensation; international transactions; and bankruptcy and insolvency.

Wolfman is the Fessenden Professor of Law, Emeritus. He first came to HLS in 1964 as a visiting professor of law. In 1976, he joined HLS as a tenured faculty member after law practice in Philadelphia and service at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as professor and dean. In 2007, Wolfman retired from teaching and became a professor emeritus. He earned his A.B. and J.D. from Penn in 1946 and 1948, respectively.

Read a tribute to Wolfman published in the Summer 2007 Harvard Law Bulletin.