Practical Privilege Issues in Income Tax Disputes

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: May 14, 2020
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  • General Rules Governing Protection from Disclosure
  • New Challenges in a Digital World
  • Practical Example –Privilege in an Interconnected World
  • Privilege Hot Topics
  • Audit Considerations
  • Best Practices
Runtime:1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: May 14, 2020


Would your client rather give their documents to the IRS, the New York Times, or both? This panel will discuss the rules protecting communications from disclosure, including attorney-client, work product, and I.R.C. section 7525 privileges. We will demonstrate application of those privileges using real-world examples, touch on hot topics, and give you best practices to use in your disputes with taxing authorities.

This program was recorded on May 14th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Paul Butler

Kostelanetz & Fink LLP

Paul Butler is an experienced and accomplished civil tax litigator. During his more than 20 years of experience with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, Paul handled and supervised the litigation of cases involving complex tax transactions and structures, the organization and promotion of international and domestic tax shelters, the Administrative Procedure Act, John Doe summons enforcement, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, conservation easements, and international reporting requirements and related penalties, including suits to collect willful penalties for failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts (FBARs).

Most recently, prior to joining K&F, Paul served as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Tax Division Civil Trial Section, Western Region, appearing in US District Courts and Bankruptcy Courts throughout the Mountain and Pacific time zones. Prior to his work at the Department of Justice, Paul served for 16 years in the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service, where he was responsible for providing, supervising, and managing legal advice to IRS audit teams who were examining some of the largest financial services institutions, utility companies, and manufacturers in the Mid-Atlantic. Paul also supervised teams of attorneys conducting litigation in the U.S. Tax Court and other Federal Courts on issues of excise taxes and large corporate bankruptcies, and complex income tax shelters and tax credit schemes. Earlier in his career, he served as an instructor to other government lawyers on foreign trusts and foreign account information gathering.

In addition, Paul was specially assigned to assist in the IRS response to the inquiries of four separate congressional committees and the associated litigation involving alleged improprieties within the determination process employed by the IRS for reviewing the tax exempt applications of politically active entities. During that two-year assignment, he conducted internal investigations, interviewed dozens of congressional witnesses, and coordinated the production of hundreds of thousands of documents responsive to congressional subpoenas.

Paul is a senior member of the J. Edgar Murdock Inn of Court at the U.S. Tax Court, served as an instructor and the lead instructor numerous times at the Office of Chief Counsel week-long trial advocacy courses for government attorneys of varying experience levels, and has been a panelist and speaker at various meetings and conferences of the American Bar Association, Tax Section and the Tax Executives Institute.

Mr. Butler earned his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and his B.B.A. in Finance (minor in Political Science) from the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University. He received a Department of Justice Special, Commendation Award for his work on a week-long jury trial, the Office of Chief Counsel A.A. Ballantine Award for National Coordination for combatting tax credit abuse in the U.S. insular territories, as well as numerous Office of Chief Counsel annual performance awards for excellent legal service to the IRS.

Peter K. Reilly

Special Counsel

Mr. Reilly is Special Counsel in the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration)and his main focus of practice is Tax Court litigation. He acts as the Office’s primary liaison with the Tax Court.

Mr. Reilly manages attorneys at Tax Court motions sessions and trial sessions. He provides advice on Tax Court matters to National Office and field attorneys in all types of Tax Court causes of action including declaratory judgment, worker determination, whistleblower, section 6110 and Rule 260 overpayment cases. Mr. Reilly assists the Department of Justice in federal district court cases and federal court of appeals cases and makes recommendations concerning seeking certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. He has acted as Electronically Stored Information (ESI)coordinator for the Office.

Mr. Reilly is highly involved with the continuation and development of Chief Counsel training programs and has acted on behalf of the Office by participating on numerous panels over the years for organizations such as the ABA’s Tax Section and FBA’s Tax Law Conferences.

Prior to joining the Office of Chief Counsel, Mr. Reilly was in the oil and gas exploration business. He received his B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and his J.D. from the University of Tulsa. Mr. Reilly also received his LL.M. in Securities Regulations from Georgetown University Law Center.

Melissa Wiley

Senior Manager
Ernst & Young

Melissa Wiley is a senior manager at Ernst & Young LLP, where she specializes in tax controversy matters. She previously spent six years in the firm's general counsel's office, prior to which she was an associate in the tax controversy practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. It was at Skadden that Melissa first became involved with Children's Law Center, taking on guardian ad litem and caregiver cases, and later serving as Skadden's representative on the CLC advisory board.

Melissa holds an undergraduate degree in actuarial science and earned her JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. She joined Children's Law Center's Board of Directors in 2013 and currently chairs CLC's Emeritus Board. An avid theatre fan, Melissa also serves on the board of directors of Flying V Theatre Company, as well as the foundation board for her church, St. Mary’s Episcopal in Arlington, Virginia.

Abbey B. Garber

Thompson & Knight LLP

Abbey Garber focuses his practice on tax litigation and providing advice in connection with applying tax laws to individuals, estates, corporations, and partnerships. Serving more than 30 years in the Office of Chief Counsel at the Internal Revenue Service, he tried cases of all sizes in Tax Court, earning significant favorable opinions in fraud, tax shelter, and many other cases; received a full Tax Court opinion in an attorneys’ fees case; and prosecuted criminal tax cases in United States District Court as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Abbey served as the Southwest Area Team Leader in Chief Counsel, charged with ensuring collaboration and cooperation across operating divisions in a nine-state area.

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