Request for Nominations

The Section of Taxation Pro Bono Award Committee is seeking nominations for the 2017 Janet Spragens Pro Bono Award.

This award was established in 2002 to recognize one or more individuals or law firms for outstanding and sustained achievements in pro bono activities in tax law. In 2007 the award was renamed in honor of the late Janet Spragens, who received the award in 2006 in recognition of her dedication to the development of low income taxpayer clinics throughout the United States.

The criteria for selection of an individual recipient of the award are that (i) the individual be a tax lawyer, whether living or deceased; (ii) the individual is or was a member of the Section of Taxation; and (iii) the individual has, through years of service, demonstrated an ongoing commitment to pro bono activities, particularly in the area of Federal and state taxation.

The criteria for selection of a law firm recipient are that (i) the law firm includes members of the Section of Taxation; and (ii) the law firm has, through years of service of its attorneys, demonstrated an ongoing commitment to pro bono activities, particularly in the area of Federal and state taxation.

Nominations should include a brief statement addressing how the nominee satisfies the above criteria and must be submitted by Friday, November 18, 2016, to Derek B. Wagner at Derek.Wagner@americanbar.org. All nominations will be maintained in confidence by the Pro Bono Award Committee.

2016 Janet Spragens Pro Bono Award

The Section of Taxation is pleased to announce the 2016 Janet Spragens Pro Bono Award recipient, Andrew R. Roberson.

Andy is a partner at the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery and currently serves as chair of the Section's Pro Bono and Tax Clinics Committee.  As chair of the PBTC Committee, Andy has developed the Partnering for Pro Bono initiative, a new program designed to pair law firms with Low Income Taxpayer Clinics to provide much-needed assistance.  He is actively involved in coordinating and promoting opportunities for attorneys to provide pro bono tax work, as well as coordinating efforts to comment on issues that impact low-income taxpayers.

Andy and his firm have been instrumental in helping the U.S. Tax Court achieve 100% coverage for its Calendar Call program, providing coverage to areas where local bar associations and clinics have been unavailable.  He regularly provides pro bono tax controversy representation through the LITC at the Center for Economic Progress in Chicago.  Among his other accomplishments, Andy successfully litigated the case Rand v. Commissioner, 141 T.C. 376 (2013), which set an important precedent regarding the calculation of the accuracy-related penalty with respect to refundable credits.

 

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