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UK Law Students Raise the Bar with Success at Tax Law Competitions Across the Nation

April 20, 2017

Law students at the University of Kentucky College of Law have raised the bar this academic year with their success at various tax law competitions across the nation, including the 2016-2017 ABA Section of Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge, the Florida Bar Association Tax Moot Court Competition, the Inaugural Southeastern Regional Tax Challenge, and the Alfred Mugel Buffalo Tax Moot Court Competition.

Current third-year law students Tyler Almeida and Alex Magera were selected as semi-finalists in the 2016-2017 ABA Section of Taxation Law Student Tax Challenge, a contest designed to give students an opportunity to research, write about, and present their analyses of a real-life tax planning problem. In December, the team prepared a memo addressing a series of complicated tax issues, and submitted the memo as part of the first round of competition. Out of over 50 teams from across the nation, the UK Law team was one of only six JD teams to advance to the semi-finals. As semi-finalists, Almeida and Magera traveled to the ABA Tax Section Midyear Meeting in Orlando, FL in January, with their attendance at the conference fully sponsored by the ABA Tax Section. In Florida, the teams presented oral arguments before a panel of distinguished tax lawyers and tax court judges attending the meeting.

The Tax Moot Court team of Brittany Crouch and Alex Magera demonstrated their written brief and oral argument skills at the Florida Bar Association Tax Moot Court Competition, held Feb. 1-5 in St. Beach, FL. The students wrote a brief on tax law issues and argued the case before a panel of judges to reach the quarterfinal round. For preliminary rounds of the oral argument competition, judges were made up of attorneys who were current members of The Florida Bar Tax Section. The final and consolation rounds consisted of judges from the United States Tax Court.

The UK Law team of Josh Barnette, Tad Darlington and Emily McClure took third place in the Inaugural Southeastern Regional Tax Competition, held at the University of Missouri Feb. 10-11. The competition attracted 15 law and accounting teams from throughout the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and gave students the opportunity to hone their research and oral advocacy skills by presenting their solutions to a complicated tax transaction in front of a panel of distinguished judges. According to Jennifer Bird-Pollan, James and Mary Lassiter Associate Professor of Law at UK Law, the team was repeatedly congratulated for their professionalism, teamwork, agility in answering tough questions, and overall impressive presentation. Prof. Bird-Pollan teaches Federal Income Tax, Estate & Gift Tax, International Tax, Partnership Tax, Corporate Tax, and a Seminar in Tax Policy.

On Feb. 25, third-year law students Tyler Almeida and Nick Rabold competed in the Alfred Mugel Buffalo Tax Moot Court Competition, the oldest national tax moot court competition in the United States, at the Erie County Courthouse in Buffalo, NY. The competition gave law students from across the nation the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in oral advocacy and brief writing on a cutting edge issue of federal tax law and policy. The UK Law team wrote and submitted a brief, then presented an oral argument before a panel of judges at the competition. Although Almeida and Rabold did not advance to the finals, they competed in two rounds. The competition concluded with an evening awards banquet.