November 30, 2020 In the Stacks

Tax Section Publishes Biography of Judge Vasquez

The ABA Tax Section has published From the Texas Cotton Fields to the United States Tax Court: The Life Journey of Juan F. Vasquez, a biography of the first Hispanic judge on the U.S. Tax Court.

The book traces the life story of Juan F. Vasquez, born to a working-class family in San Antonio, Texas, and raised by his grandparents. The story leads from his childhood through his education and development as a tax lawyer, husband and father, community leader, and judge. Judge Vasquez’s wife Mary Theresa Vasquez authored the 160-page biography with Anthony Head.

What makes this story particularly interesting is the development of a professional career in tax law from humble beginnings to a position of service to and impact on the federal tax system. The Section offers this educational and inspirational story in recognition of its strong depiction of a tax lawyer of diverse origin who was able to find a pathway to an influential career. Recognizing the contributions of diverse lawyers is one goal of the Section’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

“Should you think that tax lawyers are to the manner born, the story of Judge Juan Vasquez will disabuse you of that notion,” notes Joan C. Arnold, Section Chair and partner at Troutman Pepper. “Tax lawyers can come from the cotton fields, as Judge Vasquez’s story well illustrates, if there is determination and grit. That, along with his humanity and humility, makes for a wonderful story.”

“Judge Vasquez’s journey to one of the most esteemed positions in the practice of tax is an inspiring example of defining your own path through hard work, perseverance, and persistence in the face of adversity,” adds Lany L. Villalobos, chair of the Section’s Diversity Committee and an associate at Dechert LLP.

The Section offers the book in softcover, hardcover, and ebook formats. It may be purchased through the ABA Store or through Amazon. Members may order the book in the ABA store