Professors Rostain and Regan Author Book on Tax Shelters
July 1, 2014 —
In their new book Confidence Games: Lawyers, Accountants, and the Tax Shelter Industry (MIT Press, 2014), Professors Tanina Rostain and Milton C. Regan Jr. describe the rise and fall of the tax shelter industry, the professional misconduct that allowed it to flourish and the ultimately successful government efforts to subdue it.
Rostain and Regan set the stage for this development — the boom years at the turn of the 21st century and the raft of complex tax shelters developed by such accounting firms as KPMG and Ernst & Young — and the hobbled Internal Revenue Service that struggled to keep up with it. The authors acknowledge that individual wrongdoers were at fault, but they also probe the organizational causes and the responsibility of the tax adviser: “If the lawyer fosters the perception that other taxpayers lack a sense of civic obligation, she can lead the client to adopt a similar attitude in self-defense.”
“Confidence Games is a lively and deeply informed human story,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning tax journalist David Cay Johnston. “… Rostain and Regan give readers a solid primer, translating arcane principles of accounting. Then they add a human touch with telling details mined from a public record few others have explored.”
Claire Hill, Professor and James L. Krusemark Chair in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, says, “This book manages what many might think impossible: it’s a page-turner about tax.”
Rostain is a professor of law and co-director of the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession. She received an M.A. in Philosophy from Yale University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to joining Georgetown, she clerked for Chief Justice Ellen A. Peters of the Connecticut Supreme Court, worked as an associate at a small trial firm, taught in the clinical program at University of Connecticut School of Law, and was a professor at New York Law School. Rostain teaches evidence, professional responsibility, and technology and access to justice. Her scholarship focuses on professional regulation and legal ethics in corporate practice; in recent years, she has focused on the transformative potential of digital technologies for law practice, access to justice and government transparency.
Regan is a professor of law and co-director of the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession. Before joining Georgetown, he clerked for Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States, and worked as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Eat What You Kill: The Fall of a Wall Street Lawyer (University of Michigan Press 2004), Alone Together: Law and the Meanings of Marriage (Oxford University Press, 1999), Family Law and the Pursuit of Intimacy (New York University Press, 1993) and is co-author with Jeffrey D. Bauman ofLegal Ethics and Corporate Practice (Thomson/West 2005).