The Suffolk Law National Tax Moot Court team captured the Best Brief award at the annual National Tax Moot Court Competition held in St. Petersburg, Florida, in February, beating out 15 other law schools for the honor.
“This is the preeminent tax moot court competition in the country,” says Professor William Corbett, the team’s advisor. “To come away with this honor is an outstanding recognition for the team members, and for the law school.”
Third-year day student James Ellison, second-year day student Elisa Filman, and fourth-year evening student Kimberly Patwardhan wrote a brief considering whether an exchange of property qualified for nonrecognition treatment under the Section 1031 like-kind exchange provisions, and whether the Internal Revenue Service could apply the step-transaction doctrine to the exchange.
“The problem was very sophisticated and complicated,” says Professor Meredith Conway, who served as practice judge and together with Corbett mentored the team. “To win Best Brief, they not only had to be very bright, but they also had to have a mastery of the tax issues. I was very proud of these students.”
The team was eliminated in the second round of the oral advocacy portion of the competition by the University of Florida Levin College of Law, which lost to Louisiana State University Law School in the finals.
Peter Panuthos JD ’69, chief special trial judge of the United States Tax Court, served as chief justice for the moot court’s final round and met with the Suffolk Law team at a dinner during the competition.
“The team had a wonderful time speaking with him,” says Corbett.
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