In Uncategorized on 11/05/2018 at 16:33

Enrique Fernando Dancausa Valle, 2018 T. C. Sum. Op. 51, filed 11/5/18, gives us an exemplar for Lord Tennyson’s famous verse.

EFDV was a Spanish lawyer, duly admitted. He went straight to a Big Four’s Madrid office, and thence to a couple other white shoes’ (hi Judge Holmes) Madrid operations, with a drive-by gig in London.

But EFDV had his sights set on a New York City ultra-white-shoe, and their international associate program, whereunder the ideal candidate would have LL.M.s both from their native land and the US of A.

So EFDV shelled out $27K and got admitted to New York University Law School, wherefrom he emerged eight (count ‘em, eight) months later with LL.M. in hand. And one month later, EFDV had the ultra-white-shoes firmly on his feet, with six-figure salary to match.

Incidentally, his NYU LL.M. conveyed another benefit.

“Petitioner’s LL.M. degree from NYU satisfied all requirements to take the New York State bar examination.  See N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 22, pt. 520 (2018).  Petitioner would not have satisfied the requirements to take the New York State bar examination with his other degrees and qualifications.” 2018 T. C. Sum. Op. 51, at p. 5

EFDV passed the Bar exam and got admitted, poor fellow.

EFDV wants to deduct the $27K. My astute readers, even those without a LL.M. from any country anywhere, will now cite Reg. 1.162-5(a), “new trade or business” or “minimum qualifications for employment.” It’s undisputed the ultra-white-shoe law firm didn’t require EFDV to get New York Bar admission to work there.

It’s true that the NYU LL.M. improved EFDV’s skills and made him better at his job as an international lawyer.


“The Court accepts petitioner’s contention that the LL.M. degree improved his skills as an international attorney.  In taking primarily corporate law courses in the United States, he likely expanded his knowledge of subject matter used in his work in international mergers and acquisitions and enhanced his practical English skills.  Nonetheless, the LL.M. degree also qualified him to perform tasks and activities significantly different from those he could perform before obtaining it.” 2018 T. C. Sum. Op. 51, at p  13.

STJ Panuthos finds that by gaining NY Bar admission, thus allowing him to practice law here, EFDV embarked on a new career.

No deduction.

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