Friday, September 29, 2023
Prof. Lee-ford Tritt named Director of Tax Programs at the University of Florida Levin College of Law
Congratulations to Lee-ford on his directorship!!
Here is Prof. Tritt's impressive bio from his faculty webpage:
Lee-ford Tritt, NYU School of Law, J.D., LL.M. (taxation), is a law professor at the University of Florida College of Law and the David H. Levin Chair of Law. In addition, Lee-ford is the Director of the Graduate Tax Programs, Director of the Center for Estate Planning, and Director of the Estate Planning Practice Certificate Program. Lee-ford is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. In addition, Lee-ford has served in many positions for the ABA RPTE and Tax Sections. He also served as the President of the American Association of Law Schools’ Trusts & Estates Division as well as an advisor for the Committee on an Act on the Recovery of Stolen Cultural and Artistic Property for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Before joining UF College of Law in 2005, Lee-ford spent eight years in the New York City trusts and estates departments of Davis, Polk & Wardwell and Milbank, Tweed. Lee-ford’s strong commitment to students and the practice of law has helped earn him Professor of the Year for the academic years 2008/2009; 2009/2010; 2010/2011; 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2014/2015. In 2015, Lee-ford was honored with the John Marshall Bar Association’s College of Law Lifetime Achievement Award in Teaching. He has also been recognized as an Outstanding Mentor by BALSA in 2008, 2011, and 2015. In addition, he received the University of Florida’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Education in 2011 and the University’s Impact Award in 2012. Lee-ford has published several books and many academic articles. He is frequently cited as an authority in newspapers, magazines, and academic articles. Lee-ford is a frequent lecturer across the country on various estate planning and tax issues, including presentations for the ABA’s RPTE Law Section’s annual meetings, the ABA’s Tax Section’s annual meetings, the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, and Bloomberg BNA Tax & Accounting.
The following is from an ACTEC press release:
Washington, DC, September 26, 2023: John T. Rogers, Jr., President of The ACTEC Foundation, and Elizabeth A. Bawden and Gerry W. Beyer, Co-Chairs of the Legal Education Committee of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition
ACTEC's Legal Education Committee focuses on the quality and relevance of trust and estate courses offered in law schools, strategies for incorporating skills training into courses, ideas for mentoring new lawyers in estate planning, the role of adjunct professors, and trust-and-estate-related scholarship, case law, statutory law, and current developments. The committee oversees the Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition and organizes an every-other-year academic symposium on a topic related to estate planning.
The panel of ACTEC Fellows who served as judges included Gerry W. Beyer, Karen Elizabeth Boxx, Jeffrey A. Cooper, Skip Fox, Wendy Gerzog, Anne-Marie Rhodes, Barbara A. Sloan, Douglas Stanley, John (Jack) A. Terrill, and Leonard (Lenny) J. Whitman.
Three law students’ submissions stood out among the entries received and reviewed by a panel of ACTEC Fellows.
Submissions came from students attending the following law schools:
T. Randolph Harris, who chaired the judging process on behalf of the Legal Education Committee, offers: “As is the case every year, the selected papers were outstanding, and reflected novel approaches to thorny trust & estate issues.”
The ACTEC Foundation supports the annual legal writing competition to encourage law students to create scholarly works in the area of trusts and estates. The first-place winner receives a full-tuition scholarship to the Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning at the University of Miami School of Law for the 2024-2025 or the 2025-2026 academic year, a $5,000 cash award and will have their work published in the ACTEC Law Journal. (Candidates must apply and be admitted as full-time students to qualify for the scholarship.) The second-place winner receives a $3,000 cash award, online publication—featuring their work on ACTEC’s website, and possible publication in the ACTEC Law Journal. Honorable mentions receive a $500 cash award.
The 2023 Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition Winners are:FIRST PLACE WINNER:
Aaron Anderson for “Resolving Unfairness in a Fair Way: How the Grantor Trust Rules Should be Reformed”
Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School
“What an honor it is to be selected as the winner of the 2023 Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition! I am grateful to The ACTEC Foundation for providing this opportunity. I thank Professor Rust Tippett for encouraging me to submit my article. I hope it contributes to the ongoing conversation about reforming the grantor trust rules,” said Anderson.
SECOND PLACE WINNER:
Ryan D. Tosto for “Unpacking the Digital Vault: Estate Planning Considerations for Non-Fungible Tokens"
Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
“I am deeply honored to be awarded second place in the 2023 Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition. My heartfelt thanks go out to the panel of judges and the staff for this recognition, and to the editors of the ACTEC Law Journal for consideration of publication. I hope my paper serves as a valuable resource, shedding light on the issues specifically relevant to NFTs and digital assets in the area of trusts and estates,” said Tosto.
HONORABLE MENTION WINNER:
Katie Giron for "Frozen Embryo Disposition After Death and Dobbs: Applying Testamentary Guardianship for Embryos in 'Personhood' States"
Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
“I am grateful to be awarded an honorable mention in the 2023 Mary Moers Wenig Writing Competition. Thank you to the judges, and to the editors of the ACTEC Law Journal for their consideration of my article. I hope my article will spark a conversation about the implications of granting 'personhood' status to cryopreserved embryos in the field of trust and estate law,” said Giron.
About The ACTEC Foundation: The ACTEC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). The Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), that promotes scholarship and education for families and professionals and supports students interested in the trust and estate area of the law. Through continued financial support, The ACTEC Foundation offers professional development, scholarships, and education for a number of important efforts, including legal education, educational support, public initiatives, legal publications and the student editorial board for the ACTEC Law Journal.
About The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,500 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.
Saturday, July 8, 2023
Here is the announcement from Albany Law School:
A proud graduate of Amherst Regional High School, Professor Spivack received her Bachelor’s from Princeton University, her J.D. from New York University School of Law, and her Ph.D from Boston College. Between earning her BA and going to law school, she spent several years as a community organizer in the Boston area. Before joining the Albany Law faculty, she taught at Oklahoma City University School of Law since 2005, with wonderful colleagues and students. She is thrilled to back in the part of the country that feels like home.
Professor Spivack teaches and writes in the areas of Wills, Trusts and Estates, Tax law, and Property law. She has published articles in many top law reviews, as well as a book about women and money, co-authored a Wills and Trusts casebook, the Wills and Trusts volume of the Developing Professional Skills series, and the Wills and Trusts Gilberts outlines.
Professor Spivack teaches Wills, Trusts and Estates, Estate Planning and Elder Law. She is passionate about inheritance law and the ways it shapes society and determines its vectors of power and influence along lines of race, class, and gender. In 2016, she started a regular conference about this topic called Wills, Trusts and Estates Meets Gender, Race and Class.
Professor Spivack's other interests include nineteenth century novels, animals, and cooking. She's never met a stray dog she didn't try to take home.
Special thanks to Adam J. Hirsch (Napoleon Jones Professor of Law and Herzog Endowed Scholar, University of San Diego School of Law) for bringing this development to my attention.
Friday, June 24, 2022
Prof. Elaine Gagliardi was named Interim Dean of the University of Montana School of Law effective July 1, 2022. She is an accomplished trusts and estate practitioner and Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Council. She also serves ACTEC's Montana State Chair.
See University of Montana law school names interim dean after search comes up short, Missoulian (June 17, 2022).,
Friday, May 20, 2022
The following is from a May 20, 2022 ACTEC press release:
The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts has awarded five Communicator Awards to The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). The Communicator Awards is one of the largest competitive awards programs honoring creative excellence for communications professionals, receiving over 5,000 entries from across the U.S. and around the world.
ACTEC received one (1) Award of Excellence and four (4) Awards of Distinction for audio and video content produced for the ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide, Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future, and ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk. All three series are made possible through the support of The ACTEC Foundation.
ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide: Award of Excellence & Award of Distinction
The highest level of acclaim, an Award of Excellence in the Individual-Education Category, was awarded to the ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide’s video “Should your Adult Child be a Co-Signer on your Bank Account?” featuring ACTEC Fellows Crystal W. Edwards and Letha S. McDowell. ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide is a video series that provides the public answers to frequently asked estate planning questions. The series also received an Award of Distinction in the Online Video - Web Series category.
Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future: Two Awards of Distinction
Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future, a monthly DE&I video series, won two Awards of Distinction. The series was recognized in the Online Video Web Series category, and “Transgender? How to Change Your Legal Name and Gender Marker on Vital Records” hosted by ACTEC Fellow Terrence M. Franklin and featuring ACTEC Fellows Cynthia G. Lamar-Hart and Paula A. Kohut, was recognized in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Category & Video – Web Series category.
ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk: Award of Distinction
ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk received an Award of Distinction as an Educational Podcast Series. The weekly podcast series offers wealth planning professionals best practice advice and insights. ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk celebrated its 200th podcast last week.
About The Communicator Awards: The Communicator Awards is the leading international creative awards program honoring creative excellence for marketing and communications professionals. Founded nearly three decades ago, The Communicator Awards is an annual competition honoring the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio. The 28th Annual Communicator Awards received over 4,000 entries from ad agencies, digital agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms, and public relations firms.
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
The following is from an ACTEC press release:
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) ... announced a new Editor for the ACTEC Law Journal, ACTEC Fellow Professor Naomi Cahn. Cahn succeeds Alyssa A. DiRusso, ACTEC Law Journal Editor 2020 – 2022.
An expert in family law, trusts and estates, feminist jurisprudence, reproductive technology, and aging and the law, Cahn is the director of the Family Law Center at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the University of Virginia faculty in 2020, she taught at George Washington Law School, where she twice served as associate dean. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New Yorker, and she has appeared on numerous media outlets, including NPR and MSNBC. In 2017, Cahn won the Harry Krause Lifetime Achievement in Family Law Award from the University of Illinois College of Law. Prior to joining the faculty at GW Law, Cahn practiced with Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., and with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. Cahn’s first task as Editor is to oversee the ACTEC Law Journal’s Call for Papers on the topic of “Privacy in the Probate Field.”
The ACTEC Law Journal is a unique, high level academic journal which not only explores tax, trust and estate topics in depth, but deals with the practical consequences and applications of the rapidly changing rules in these areas of law. It is published three times a year and mailed free of charge to ACTEC Fellows, ABA-accredited law schools and board members of the National College of Probate Judges.
Saturday, January 22, 2022
Prof. Brant Hellwig, formerly with Washington & Lee, joined NYU Law on January 1, 2022 as a "professor of tax law and as the new faculty director of the Graduate Tax Program." See Brant Hellwig LLM ’00 to lead Graduate Tax Program, NYU Law News (Oct. 4, 2021).
Special thanks to Adam J. Hirsch (Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.
Friday, June 4, 2021
The following is from OU's press release:
Guzman has served as the college’s interim dean since June 2019. A member of the College of Law faculty since 1993, she has taught numerous courses targeting the dimensions of property and its transfer. She was named the MAPCO/Williams Presidential Professor in 2000 and the Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law in 2015. Over the years, she has served the College of Law in a number of administrative roles, including associate director of the Law Center, associate dean of academics, and associate dean for research and scholarship.
A national search was conducted for the position, attracting 25 qualified applicants. The search committee – made up of 10 members representing College of Law faculty, students and Board of Visitors; a staff representative; and faculty representatives from the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Gallogly College of Engineering – interviewed 12 semifinalists, ultimately selecting four finalists. The search solicited feedback from all College of Law constituencies and from other college deans, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and members of the executive team.
“An award-winning educator, longtime faculty member and devoted mentor, Katheleen Guzman knows firsthand what it takes to succeed in the legal profession,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “Her enthusiasm for our students, passion for the pursuit of scholarly excellence and widespread admiration among her peers make her an outstanding choice to lead the College of Law. I am confident that under her leadership, the college will continue its forward momentum in preparing students to excel as lawyers, advocates and leaders.”
Guzman has received numerous awards for teaching, including the 2014 Medal for Excellence Award from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence for Research University Teaching and the 2008 Merrick Foundation Teaching Award from OU. The OU Law student body has also presented her with several awards, including selection as “Outstanding Law Professor” and as one of the three professors chosen to hood graduating 3Ls during Convocation. Last fall, the Oklahoma Bar Association Women in Law Committee presented her with a Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award in recognition of her leadership.
“Katheleen Guzman has a consistent record of excellence and is universally known in the OU Law community as a champion for student success,” said Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Jill Irvine. “Her expertise and enthusiasm inspire our students – even well after they have graduated – and I have no doubt she will continue to do great things for OU Law.”
Guzman has served as a co-reporter for the Uniform Law Commission Model Tribal Probate Code and is working with OU Law Professor Emeritus Mark Gillett on an updated edition of Fiduciary Accounting: Principles, Modern Applications, Illustrations. Her legal scholarship focuses on the intersections between property, culture and law, most recently exploring sociolegal boundaries between speculative property interests and the expectancy.
She is a member of the Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Arkansas bars, and lectures nationally to students preparing to sit for the bar examination. She has been a visiting professor of law at Villanova University and recently completed a three-year term on the Yale Law School Association Executive Committee.
Guzman earned a bachelor of arts with honors and a J.D. with highest honors from the University of Arkansas. In law school, she served as articles editor for the Arkansas Law Review and received the Outstanding Law Student Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers. After earning an LL.M. from Yale Law School, Guzman worked as a litigation associate with the Philadelphia law firm of Dilworth Paxon.
Special thanks to Prof. Adam J. Hirsch, University of San Diego School of Law, for being the first reader to bring this appointment to my attention.
Friday, April 23, 2021
The following information was provided by Prof. Thomas Gallanis (University of Iowa):
The Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust and Estate Acts has a new URL for its webpage (https://uniformlaws.org/committees/jebutea). The webpage also now has information about, and a list of the recipients of, the Richard Wellman Award. The Wellman Award is named for Professor Richard V. Wellman, who was the Robert Cotton Alston Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, where he taught from 1974 to 1990. Previously he taught at his alma mater, the University of Michigan Law School, from 1954 to 1974. Wellman served as a Uniform Law Commissioner for 35 years. He was the Chief Reporter of the original Uniform Probate Code and served for many years as the executive director of the Joint Editorial Board for the Uniform Probate Code, which is now the JEB-UTEA. The Wellman Award is given by the JEB-UTEA for outstanding contributions to uniform laws in trusts and estates. The recipients of the Wellman Award have been:
2005 – Robert M. Brucken
2006 – J. Pennington Straus (posthumously)
2008 – E. James Gamble (posthumously) and Eugene F. Scoles
2010 – Raymond H. Young
2013 – John H. Langbein and Lawrence W. Waggoner
2014 – Edward C. Halbach, Jr.
2016 – Malcolm A . Moore
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
The below is from an ACTEC Press Release dated March 31, 2021:
The Board of Regents of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) convened during the College’s Virtual Annual Meeting to consider nominations for a new class of Fellows. The College is pleased to announce that 43 individuals were elected. The select group spans the US and includes seven international Fellows representing Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hamilton, Bermuda; London, England; Paris, France; Vaduz, Liechtenstein; Caracas, Venezuela; and Zurich, Switzerland; as well as two Academic Fellows.
To qualify for membership, a lawyer must have no fewer than ten years’ experience in the active practice of trust and estate law, as fiduciary counsel with a fiduciary services company, or a combination thereof, or be a full-time teacher of law at a duly accredited law school with a specialty of teaching T & E law and have at least ten years' cumulative experience as a lawyer in active private T & E practice or as a teacher of T & E law, or a combination thereof. Lawyers and law professors are elected to be Fellows based on their outstanding reputation, exceptional skill and substantial contributions to the field by lecturing, writing, teaching and participating in bar leadership or legislative activities. It is their intention to improve and reform probate, trust and tax laws, procedures and professional responsibility.
“I am pleased to congratulate and welcome our outstanding new class of ACTEC Fellows from around the world,” said ACTEC President Ann B. Burns. “I look forward to working with this expansive group of professionals whose exceptional abilities and commitment to the field of trusts and estates will help enhance and further key objectives of the College.”
ACTEC New Fellows
· Jerome Assouline of Sekri Valentin Zerrouk, Paris, France
· Robert Barton, Esq. of Holland & Knight LLP, Los Angeles, CA
· Alberto I. Benshimol Bello of D'Empaire, Caracas, Venezuela
· Julie A. Berkowitz, Esq. of the Law Office of Julie Berkowitz, Saint Louis, MO
· Darren T. Case, Esq. of Tiffany & Bosco, P.A., Phoenix, AZ
· Toby M. Eisenberg, Esq. of Lindquist Eisenberg LLP, Plano, TX
· Josie M. Faix, Esq. of Balson Faix & McVey LLP, Centennial, CO
· Matthew M. Farley, Esq. of Armstrong Bristow Farley & Schwarzschild PLC, Richmond, VA
· John R. Fitzpatrick, Esq. of Frazer, Ryan, Goldberg & Arnold, L.L.P, Phoenix, AZ
· Jessica Lynn Foss, Esq. of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Fargo, ND
· Johannes Gasser of Gasser Partners Attorneys at Law, Vaduz, Liechtenstein
· Jennifer DiVeterano Gayle, Esq. of Mannion Prior, LLP, King Of Prussia, PA
· Elizabeth R. Glasgow, Esq. of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Los Angeles, CA
· Chasity Grice of Peppel, Grice & Palazzolo, P.C., Memphis, TN
· Kristen Frances Hager, Esq. of McGuireWoods LLP, Richmond, VA
· Loretta A. Ippolito, Esq. of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York, NY
· Emily B. Kile, Esq. of Kile & Kupiszerski Law Firm LLC, Scottsdale, AZ
· Dennis I. Leonard, Esq. of Ramsbacher Prokey LLP, San Jose, CA
· Renat V. Lumpau, Esq. of Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, Boston, MA
· Craig MacIntyre of Conyers Dill & Pearman, Hamilton, Bermuda
· Nicolas Malumian of Malumian & Associates, Buenos Aires, Argentina
· Steven Frank Mattoon, Esq. of Matzke, Mattoon, Martens & Stromen, L.L.C., Sidney, NE
· Samantha Rayburn Moore, Esq. of Butler Snow LLP, Ridgeland, MS
· Stephen W. Murphy, Esq. of McGuireWoods LLP, Charlottesville, VA
· William G. Newsome III, Esq. of Newsome Law, P.A., Columbia, SC
· J. Steve Nys, Esq. of Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A., Duluth, MN
· Maureen L. O'Leary, Esq. of O’Leary-Guth Law Office, S.C., Thiensville, WI
· Pamela Epp Olsen, Esq. of Pamela Epp Olsen Law, PC, LLO, Scottsbluff, NE
· Louisa M. Ritsick, Esq. of Bryant Ritsick Symons & Ratner LLC, Denver, CO
· Jenna G. Rubin, Esq. of Gutter Chaves Josepher Rubin Forman Fleisher Miller P.A., Boca Raton, FL
· Toni M. Sandin, Esq. of Sandin Law, Ltd., Fargo, ND
· Victor J. Schultz, Esq. of Prairie Trust, Waukesha, WI
· Lisa A. Shearman, Esq. of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C, Lansdale, PA
· Alfred J. Stashis Jr., Esq. of Dunwody White & Landon, P.A., Naples, FL
· David E. Stutzman, Esq. of Seward & Kissel LLP, New York, NY
· Professor Phyllis Taite of Florida A&M University College of Law, Orlando, FL
· Mary E. Vandenack, Esq. of Vandenack Weaver LLC, Omaha, NE
· Christine S. Wakeman, Esq. of Winstead P.C., Dallas, TX
· Emma-Jane Weider of Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP, London, England
· Professor Reid Kress Weisbord of Rutgers Law School, Newark, NJ
· Kinga Maria Weiss of Walder Wyss, Zurich, Switzerland
· Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq. of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC, Clifton Park, NY
· Andrew Zabronsky, Esq. of Hartog I Baer I Hand, Orinda, CA
About the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,500 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.