Boston University School of Law

In This Issue

Message from the GTP Director


Dear GTP Alumni, Friends and Colleagues:

Greetings from the Graduate Tax Program. We enjoyed a lovely fall in Boston, with major temperature changes two or three times each week as the leaves turned color, and now we're bracing for the coming winter. Our students are preparing for fall-semester exams, working hard while bonding nicely into a cohesive and supportive class.

We are delighted to welcome Ellen Harmon to our staff as our new program coordinator. Ellen has worked in a similar position with the MBA program at the University of Alabama, and more recently ran the summer associate program at the Bradley Arant law firm in Birmingham, AL. She is a graduate of Samford University, also in Birmingham. Notwithstanding that background, Ellen has survived one Boston winter and is prepared for more. She is in only her third month with us, but she jumped right in and already has been making great contributions. Ellen is a tremendous help to Anne Benson and to me.

Since our last newsletter we also have had some changes to our faculty and curriculum. Two of our long-term faculty members, David Davenport and David Flanagan, decided to retire from teaching at the end of this fall semester. We respect the other priorities in their lives, and greatly appreciate their efforts and contributions. We added a course to our curriculum, restoring Exempt Organizations after a long absence. The course is being taught with enthusiasm by Jere Doyle, who joined our faculty to teach Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving this past spring. We are delighted to be able to continue offering one of the most expansive tax curricula in the country.

Our annual programs continue to provide important information and perspective to our students. We had a very successful Tax Ethics Seminar in February, panel discussions about tax careers in the spring and fall, as well as a visit to a U.S. Tax Court session in Boston that included a wide-ranging discussion with the judge. We also hosted a public tax program in Barristers Hall with special attendance opportunities for our students—an international tax planning conference with co-sponsorship by the Boston Bar Association and the Greater Zurich Area. Our students saw the Red Sox play two games in September (one rescheduled after a rainout in May), defeating the Tampa Bay Rays but losing to the Baltimore Orioles. And the students have enjoyed getting together for lobster dinners and other social programs.

We granted 49 LL.M. in Taxation degrees in 2011. I was pleased at Commencement in May to present the GTP Academic Achievement Award to Shannon Shafron Perez and the Ernest M. Haddad Award to Karen L. Witherell. Both awards were well deserved.

The GTP continues to work toward expanding its international presence. I spent a lot of time on the road, meeting with potential partner universities in France and Germany, representing BU Law’s LL.M. programs at an expo in Münster, Germany, hosting a tax conference in London, and representing the GTP at a major international tax conference in Mumbai and at the annual congresses of the International Fiscal Association in Paris and the International Bar Association in Dubai. I expect some important developments to result. Our most significant development is not quite ready to launch, but I want to share the news with our GTP family: we are planning an alternative version of the Graduate Tax Program, delivered entirely online. Please check out the “What’s New with the GTP?” section for more details.

The employment market for tax lawyers has continued to present challenges for our graduates. We are seeing some hopeful signs of increased recruitment activities by some of our major employers. But we need to maximize any positive developments, and we need your help to do so. So I’ll close with the same request I made in our last alumni newsletter. Whenever opportunities arise, please (1) recommend to good students that they apply to the GTP, and (2) hire our graduates! Thanks very much.

Best regards,

Daniel M. Berman
Professor of the Practice of Tax Law
Director, Graduate Tax Program


Faculty Spotlight on Natascha George


Natascha George

Natascha George is completing her second year with the Graduate Tax Program as a lecturer for Executive Compensation and Executive Compensation: Advanced. She earned her J.D. and M.P.H. from Boston University and her B.A. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Natascha is a partner in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group at Bingham McCutchen LLP where she practices in all areas of employee benefits and compensation, including retirement plans, health plans, stock option plans and executive compensation. She regularly provides advice to clients regarding executive employment and consulting arrangements, severance obligations, and equity and equity-based compensation plans.

Natascha also practices in the area of promotion, marketing and advertising law. Her practice includes advising clients on all aspects of consumer and trade promotions, sweepstakes, skill contests and games of chance; self-liquidating offers; sampling and other event-based programs; and rebate, coupon and discount programs. Her clients range from multinational public companies to closely held businesses in the design, implementation, maintenance and termination of executive compensation and employee benefits arrangements. Natascha served as a case and note editor for the American Journal of Law and Medicine, has been listed since 2007 in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and has been voted one of The Best Lawyers in America since 2008.

We asked Natascha to share her insights regarding the present and future state of executive compensation in the workplace. Click on the questions below to read her answers.

What kind of work do you do?

I feel very fortunate to have a practice that covers all aspects of employee benefits and compensation. Even though that may seem like a narrow practice area, it is really quite broad. At many firms, a practitioner may have to focus only on one or two aspects of this area (such as equity compensation, or defined benefit pension plans). What I strive to bring my clients is an understanding of how all of the elements of compensation and benefits fit together. For example, I recently worked with a client that was interested in adding an incentive compensation component to the benefits package it offered to senior managers. After reviewing all elements of its existing benefits package (including tax-qualified retirement plans and an annual bonus program), the company determined that it was appropriate to add an incentive compensation plan with very specific performance goals in order to motivate its senior managers to achieve the milestones the company had identified as critical to its growth.

How has your work changed over time? Particularly, how has it been affected by the recession?

As you might imagine, any practice tied to the compensation of employees and executives can change dramatically with market conditions. When the economy is strong and businesses are growing, companies are concerned about offering compensation and benefits packages that rival those of their business competitors. Many want to implement stock option or other equity-based compensation plans. Others want to offer more unconventional benefits such as pet insurance and concierge services in order to differentiate them from their competitors. I work with clients to implement new arrangements (or update existing arrangements) in ways that will enable them to remain competitive in the talent market.

Unfortunately, when the economy is faltering, many companies struggle with different issues. Some companies want to offer early retirement or severance benefits in connection with a workforce reduction. Many also need advice regarding continuation requirements for health insurance coverage under the federal law known as COBRA, or its state law equivalent. And I frequently work with clients who are trying to manage financial obligations associated with underfunded pension plans.

What do you see in the future of executive compensation and employee benefits law?

Particularly in this economic environment, I expect to see continued scrutiny of executive compensation arrangements by government authorities and institutional shareholders. In recent years, we have seen Congress target the executive compensation arrangements of certain industries (for example, by modifying the deduction limitation of Code Section 162(m) in ways specific to certain financial institutions and health insurance providers). In the public company arena, we have seen regulatory activity and private action raise the profile of executive pay issues (for example, with “Say on Pay” votes). I don’t think this scrutiny will end any time soon.

I also expect that traditional retirement and health plans will continue to be hot topics through the presidential election and beyond. In the retirement plan area, there is increasing awareness that many Americans have not saved enough money to provide for a secure retirement. In the health plan area, it remains to be seen whether health reform will be fully implemented. It’s difficult to predict how, exactly, the landscape for these types of benefits will change. But undoubtedly it will because, across the political spectrum, there is a recognition that the current structures are not working.

Do you have any advice for young lawyers?

Networking is critical, both for finding a job and for being a good lawyer. Every legal job I’ve ever had I got by networking. Practitioners love to share their knowledge with others who have a common interest. If you find an area of law that interests you, contact a practitioner in that area and ask for an informational interview. Join the local bar association and attend as many seminars in your area of interest as you can. Many bar associations and legal education providers offer reduced tuition for law students (and if the seminar materials don’t explicitly say it, don’t hesitate to contact the seminar organizer and ask). In my experience, if you develop an interest in an area and demonstrate that you are willing to pursue that interest on your own initiative, practitioners in that area will be welcoming and generous with their time.

Once you’re practicing, it’s still important to make and maintain connections with other lawyers and other professionals. For example, the area of executive compensation is highly interdisciplinary. I often work on a project with securities and employment lawyers, as well as with accountants and compensation consultants. While we don’t all do the same things, we all know when to consult with one another in order to achieve the client’s business goals. The client is best served when I’m sensitive to potential accounting issues that a particular compensation plan design may create, or when the employment lawyer is sensitive to the tax issues that may arise under an employment agreement.

Updates on Adjunct Faculty

Ameek Ashok Ponda is director of Sullivan & Worcester’s tax department and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. A 1996 alumnus of the Graduate Tax Program, Ameek began teaching in the Program in 1997 and has taught courses in Business Tax Planning, Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions, International Transactions, RICs & REITs, and Financial Products. We are excited to share with our alumni that The Best Lawyers in America named Ameek “Boston Tax Law Lawyer of the Year.”

Melissa Langa, a shareholder in Bove & Langa, P.C., designs and implements customized tax-efficient structures to meet individuals’ business, estate planning and charitable needs. A 1996 alumna of the Graduate Tax Program, Melissa has been a member of our adjunct faculty since 2000. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors and chairs the Governance Committee of SpeakEasy Stage Company, a resident theatre company at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End.

We are proud to share that Melissa has been appointed co-chair within two prominent organizations: the Brookline Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Committee and the new Boston chapter of STEP (the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), an international estate planning group. She has also been selected as a co-vice chair of the ABA’s Real Property Trust and Estate Section’s Asset Protection Planning Committee.

Nine GTP faculty members have been named “2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyers.” They are: Martin S. Allen, Leo J. Cushing, Robert M. Finkel, Melissa Langa, Thomas E. Peckham, Ameek Ashok Ponda, Matthew D. Schnall, Robert G. Stewart and Charles A. Wry, Jr.

Featured Alumni

Ariel McDowell (LL.M. ’10), Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Houston, TX)


Ariel McDowell

Ariel is a graduate of Georgia State University (B.B.A. ’04), North Carolina Central University School of Law (J.D. ’09) and BU Law (LL.M. in Taxation ’10). Her interest in taxation was sparked by a Federal Income Tax course that she completed in her second year at NCCU Law School. In Ariel’s 3L year, she completed Partnership Tax, Advanced Federal Income Tax and Tax Practice and Procedure, which confirmed her desire to pursue an LL.M. in Taxation. Some of the courses she completed while studying in the GTP include Introduction to Corporate Income Tax, State and Local Tax, International Tax and Structuring Ownership of Intellectual Property.

Ariel currently works at PwC in the State and Local Tax Group in Houston, Texas. In her current role as an associate, she assists clients in determining their state and local tax burdens by providing resolutions that are aligned with the company’s business goals while maintaining good business practices. In addition, she has worked on restructuring opportunities and FASB Interpretation No. 48, and has researched issues pertaining to state legislature changes.

“The work experience I have obtained from PwC has been great,” Ariel said. “Attending BU Law’s Graduate Tax Program really provided me with a solid foundation and edge, which assisted me in transitioning into my role at PwC in the SALT group. Specifically, Professor Darby’s Structuring Intellectual Property Ownership and Professor Schnall's State and Local Tax courses added substantial value to my work experience. I am now approaching my eleventh month with the firm and within this short period of time I have received travelling opportunities pertaining to training and client-related projects. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow at PwC and cannot wait to see what the future holds. Houston is an awesome city and has an eclectic group of people, but I will admit I miss Boston at times. Boston is such a great city, full of history, caring people and great food—not to mention the awesome sports teams.”

Jill Kelley (LL.M. ’10), Tax Associate, Withers Bergman LLP (New Haven, CT)


Jill Kelley

A graduate of Villanova (B.A. ’00) and Suffolk University School of Law (J.D. ’06), Jill entered the GTP as a part-time student while working full-time at PricewaterhouseCoopers in their international tax services group. Shortly after graduation, she accepted a position as an associate in the New Haven and New York offices of the international law firm Withers Bergman LLP. She has worked a little over one year in her new position as a tax associate in the fund, investments, tax, and trusts group.

When asked about her job and her experiences in the GTP, Jill responded, “When I began working at Withers, my background was predominantly in international tax planning for multinational corporations. Since then, I have expanded my tax practice and now work mostly with private clients—high-net-worth individuals and their family businesses. We recently opened an office in Zürich, Switzerland, and I had the great opportunity to work there for three months. While in Zürich, I assisted clients with a wide variety of tax issues, ranging from estate planning and U.S. expatriation to voluntary disclosures under the IRS amnesty program (for unreported offshore bank accounts). I knew when I began the GTP that my interest was in international tax, but being able to learn complex concepts in the classroom while applying that knowledge to actual client work definitely enhanced my current practice faster than I had imagined. Since I concentrated in international tax, most of my electives were in that area.

"While I enjoyed all of the classes, my favorite courses were Tax Issues in Business Decisions (Flanagan) and Making Tax Law (Berman). Tax Issues in Business Decisions was very helpful because it helped me think about tax from a client’s perspective, since tax issues are often ancillary to the other business objectives of a CFO. Making Tax Law provided a very interesting overview of the big picture of tax law, helping me understand current policy in the context of the historical circumstances that facilitated the adoption and expansion of the current tax system. Understanding this history helps me appreciate the social and political reasons for certain complicated and perplexing Code sections! I met some of my closest friends, including my husband, in Boston, so it holds a special place in my heart. Aside from the people, the thing I miss the most is the morning runs along the Charles River!”

José Miguel Vera Orriols (LL.M. ’11), Junior Associate, Urenda & Cia. (Chile)


José Miguel Vera Orriols

José graduated from the Universidad Adolfo Ibánez (Licenciado en Ciencias Jurídicas ’03; Magíster en Dirección y Gestión Tributaria ’08). In September, he returned to his home country of Chile where he rejoined Urenda & Cia., the firm he was working at before he began his studies at BU Law. José began working at this firm in 2006 while he was finishing his law degree in Chile. He started as a law clerk and after one year was upgraded to junior associate.

When asked about the type of work he is doing today, José replied, “Today I'm playing an important role in developing the tax department of the firm. I'm dealing with new clients, designing business structures to make companies more efficient from a tax and legal perspective. I love having the chance to deal directly with different kinds of companies. The most relevant clients in our firm are shipping companies and all other kinds of service companies related to shipping activity. Besides them, we have all kinds of other clients, from food industry companies to cemetery conglomerates. It’s a great experience to deal directly with them and to work with business people who have very diverse backgrounds, and design different business structures to suit the specific needs of that company.”

José named Taxation of Intellectual Property and International Taxation as the two GTP courses that most influenced his current practice. “The complexity of both fields and the outstanding teachings of the professors—Darby, Park and Patton—gave me a great perspective on how to analyze the different and complex tax law scenarios that I have to deal with,” he explained. “I enjoyed my experience in the GTP. Boston is a great place to live and a better place to study. I can say that I had an amazing time in Boston, and that New Englanders are very nice and friendly people.”

What's New with the GTP?

We are pleased to announce that we are developing an alternative version of the Graduate Tax Program, to be delivered entirely online. We plan to offer the same degree as in the existing program, with the same rigor and requirements but a more limited selection of courses. We will not simply post recordings of our classes online for students to watch; that presents a wholly unsatisfactory educational experience. Nor will we include remote students in a live classroom arrangement; that kind of format—including online students in an experience designed for students who are present in person—faces too many limitations associated with technology and scheduling (especially across time zones). Instead, we will offer interactive educational modules, presenting the content of our courses in a structure and format designed specifically for online students. Taking advantage of Boston University’s award-winning Office of Distance Education, we intend to set the gold standard for online tax law education.

Our goal is to launch the proposed online program in fall 2012. The BU Law faculty approved the proposal unanimously in early November, but we still need the approval of the Provost and others in the central administration of the University. And before enrolling students we also need to provide an opportunity for comment and objection by the ABA, our accrediting body. So the online program is not yet open for business, but we hope to have all remaining approvals secured in short order and to launch the program next fall.

Spring and Fall 2011 Events

Tax Ethics Seminar

tax ethics seminar

L-R: Professors Wayne E. Smith,
Thomas E. Peckham, Melissa Langa
and Jeremiah J. O'Sullivan

On February 11, GTP students attended the annual Tax Ethics Seminar led by Professor David Casten. The students had the opportunity to enjoy breakfast while listening to Professor Casten and a panel of other GTP faculty speak about the business and regulatory context in which tax lawyers practice. After the introduction of the panelists and Professor Casten’s overview of standards and responsibilities in tax practice, the students worked in smaller breakout groups to come up with a solution to one of the four case studies prepared for the seminar. Students then presented the solution to their classmates. These cases studies involved solving an advising and opinion problem, a tax audit problem, a tax return problem, and an estate planning problem. Afterward, the students and GTP staff gathered outside on the steps of the BU chapel for a class photo.

Conversation with Shari Levitan

Shari A. Levitan, a partner at Holland & Knight, LLP, was invited to campus on March 31 to speak about the various tax issues that arise when working on estate plans for same-sex couples. Ms. Levitan chairs the firm’s New England Private Wealth Services Group and is widely regarded as an authority on wealth and tax planning and business succession planning. Many of the GTP estate planning students were eager to learn more about how to assist future clients and gained valuable insight from Ms. Levitan’s experience.

Dialogue with the IRS on FATCA: Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

The Graduate Tax Program hosted a program on May 24 in London that featured a discussion with the IRS on FATCA. This included a review of the latest IRS Notice and a Q&A session with a senior IRS representative on FATCA, a highly complex piece of legislation that will heavily affect banks, custodians, funds, trusts, asset management and life insurance companies, as well as pensions and other investment arrangements. The attendees had the opportunity to participate in a discussion on the latest developments.

United States Tax Court

Once again, the GTP organized a trip to attend a trial session of the U.S. Tax Court in Boston. During the visit, on September 12, students had an opportunity to meet with Judge Joseph Robert Goeke during recess where he discussed the operations of the Tax Court and provided insight about the cases before the court that morning. The U.S. Tax Court is a court of record established by Congress under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. When the Commissioner of Internal Revenue has determined a tax deficiency, the taxpayer may dispute the deficiency in the Tax Court before paying any disputed amount. The Tax Court is composed of 19 presidentially appointed judges. Trial sessions are conducted and other work of the Court is performed by those judges, by senior judges serving on recall, and by special trial judges. All of the judges have expertise in the tax laws and apply that expertise in a manner to ensure that taxpayers are assessed only what they owe, and no more. Although the Court is based in Washington, DC, the judges travel nationwide to conduct trials in various designated cities. Judge Goeke is a graduate of Xavier University and earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1975.

Panel Discussion on International Tax Planning for the Future

On September 20, GTP faculty and students were invited to attend an international tax discussion on European Restructurings and Multi-jurisdiction Fund Management held here at BU Law. The discussion featured Switzerland as a venue for principal and fund management companies. BU Law Professor Lilian Faulhaber, the luncheon speaker, explained how the European Commission’s consolidated tax base proposal (CCTB) will essentially reduce administrative costs for companies operating in Europe. GTP Professor Jay Darby also participated; he contributed to the corporate tax planning panel. Along with leading experts, U.S. Department of the Treasury Associate International Tax Counsel David Ernick spoke from the U.S. federal tax perspective. This panel discussion was well attended and provided a valuable opportunity for GTP students to meet prominent international tax attorneys.

Tax Careers Panel

On November 8, students had the opportunity to attend a tax careers panel. Panelists discussed their career paths, their current work environment and why they enjoy what they are doing. This year’s panel included Christopher G. Beck (GTP '07), an associate at Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer LLP; Lynda Furash (GTP '11), currently practicing estate planning and elder law at Protecting Your Wealth Law, PC; and Andrew O’Meara (GTP '03), who is a tax counsel for the Litigation Bureau of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Two additional recent GTP alumni also participated in the tax careers panel: Katie A. Harris (GTP ’10), who recently accepted a position with the exempt organizations tax services group at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Kevin Lewis (GTP ’11), an associate in the mergers & acquisitions tax practice at KPMG LLP. It was a pleasure having our recent graduates return to offer insight to our current students.

GTP Community Events

All LL.M. Pub Night at Big City

Students from the GTP and other BU Law LL.M. programs were invited to Big City for a pub night on September 8. The cause for celebration? Finishing their first week of classes! For many of our students, this was the first opportunity to meet classmates from the other programs. This event was well attended, with students enjoying appetizers, billiards and foosball.

Spring and Fall 2011 Lobster Dinners

lobster dinner

Gina Yu and Jason Della Sala at
the GTP’s lobster dinner

To help kick off the Commencement week of fun activities for the May 2011 graduates, the GTP hosted a lobster dinner at Jasper White’s Summer Shack in the Back Bay on May 12. The GTP also hosted a lobster dinner on October 14 to provide the class of 2012 an opportunity to get to know one another better and enjoy traditional New England fare. Both events were great fun!

Spring and Fall 2011 Red Sox Games

fenway park

GTP students at Fenway Park

GTP staff and students joined the other LL.M. programs to see the Red Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles on May 17. Unfortunately, the game was rained out, but thankfully, most of the students were able to attend the make-up game on September 19. Sadly, the Red Sox lost to the Orioles, 6 to 5, but they beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4 to 3 on September 17. This game was particularly enjoyable because it was a mild fall evening, a perfect night to watch the Red Sox!

Fall 2011 New Student Welcome BBQ


GTP student Roberta Scarpato
and her fiancé, Marco Di Madgio

On September 2, the GTP welcomed our incoming students and provided an opportunity for them to meet their peers before the start of classes. We invited all of the new students to enjoy some good food and drinks on the patio outside the law tower. The BBQ was a great success and we look forward to continuing this event next year!

Fall 2011 Pub Nights


Pub night with GTP students

New and continuing students were invited to join the GTP staff for food and drinks at the BU Pub on September 9 and October 27. This annual fall tradition provided a great opportunity to get to know our students outside of the office!

Fall 2011 Boston Duck Tour

duck tour

L-R: Marina ("Nina") Heindel, Emma
Armstrong-Blanchard and
Juan D. Velasco enjoy a Duck Tour.

On September 24, the GTP took its students on the famous Boston Duck Tour. It was an absolutely fantastic way to explore the city for everyone who had just moved to Boston. For local students, it was a great way to rediscover the city with new GTP friends. The tour began at the Prudential Center and passed numerous Boston landmarks, including the golden-domed State House, Bunker Hill, the TD Bank North Garden, Boston Common and Copley Square, the Big Dig, Government Center, fashionable Newbury Street and the tourist-heavy Quincy Market. Everyone got a beautiful view of Boston and Cambridge from the Charles River when we splashed in for the aquatic portion of the tour.

Thanksgiving Lunch

On November 22, just before final exams, the GTP hosted a Thanksgiving lunch with all the trimmings for our students. It was a big hit and a much-needed study break where students could join together for a Thanksgiving feast. The event was especially important for those not able to travel home for Thanksgiving and for our international students who had the opportunity to experience a traditional Thanksgiving meal for the first time!

Graduation Cruise


L-R: Xia Cai, Jihi Oh, Anne Benson
and Min "Lucy" Liao on board
the Odyssey

During the week prior to Commencement, GTP students participated in several graduation events with their fellow LL.M. classmates and staff members, including a dinner cruise around Boston Harbor. On the evening of May 18, the Odyssey set sail from Rowes Wharf for a three-hour cruise, with guests enjoying a buffet dinner, drinks, a DJ and dancing.

Graduation Reception


Karen L. Witherell, winner of the
Ernest M. Haddad Award, poses
with Dean Haddad, her mother
Patricia Witherell and Professor

On May 19, the GTP hosted our annual graduation reception in Barristers Hall to honor our graduating students. Friends and family gathered to celebrate the students’ achievements. Professor Berman announced the recipients of the GTP’s two annual awards at the event. Shannon Shafron Perez was the recipient of the Academic Achievement Award, awarded for the highest cumulative average in the graduating class. Karen L. Witherell was the recipient of the Ernest M. Haddad Award, awarded to the graduating GTP student who best exhibits overall ability, taking into consideration academic achievement, character and potential to serve the public interest.


GTP January & May 2011 Graduates

class photo

Congratulations to the Graduate Tax Program January and May 2011 Graduates!

Juliana Nishimura Aragaki
John Jacob Bandeian, III*
Jennifer Buco
Lucy Jane Budman
Amie L. Butler
Xia Cai
Min S. Chung
Elizabeth Rose Colagiovanni
Claudia A. Culbertson
Heather Marshall Deitch
Willette Michele Elder
Tulio Eduardo Flórez Alzate
Dianne Lucy Frade
Lynda Beth Furash
Diego García Pimentel Alcocer
Tiffany Anne O’Connell Gillis
David W. Hesford

Edward Jarmolowicz
Matthew Richard Joyce
Meaghan E. Kelly
Nader Jerry Khuri
Benjamin John Knappmiller*
Argeri A. Lagos
Brittney Marie Laukhuff
Kevin W. Lewis
Min Liao
Rebecca R. MacGregor*
Scott Mark McCready
Ethan Andrew McKittrick
Christopher R. Mitchell
Jamie Kristine Moschella
Melina Elizabeth Neely
Neill F. O’Brien
Jihi Oh

Jill Tenley Oldak
Nikki Marie Oliveira
Mary Ellen Oszurek*
J. Keith Phifer*
James Briston Roche*
Christopher E. Rogers
Laura K. Schulte*
Shannon Pauline Shafron Perez†
Joseph Georg-Alexander Siegmann
Jason Mark Sims*
Kristen M. Sorbera
Yao Tang
Michael Patrick Tyson
José Miguel Vera Orriols
Karen Larissa Witherell††

* January 2011 Graduate
†2011 Academic Achievement Award: Shannon Pauline Shafron Perez
††2011 Dean Ernest M. Haddad Award: Karen Larissa Witherell

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Class Notes

Brendan J. King, a partner at the Estate Preservation Law Offices in Worcester, MA, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

David J. Nagle, a partner at Sullivan & Worcester LLC in Boston, was selected as a “Massachusetts Super Lawyer for 2011” by New England Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of social security disability.

Andrew D. Rothstein, an associate in the private client & trust group at Goulston & Storrs, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Amiel S. Weinstock, of counsel in Nixon Peabody LLP’s private clients practice group, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Bradley M. Van Buren, a partner in the private wealth services group in the Boston office of Holland & Knight LLP, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Perry Ganz, a member of Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers PC, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of estate planning & probate.

Jennifer W. Murray, an attorney at Devin Barry & Austin PC, in Boston, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of estate planning & probate.

Kurt R. Steinkrauss, a member of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of estate planning & probate.

Brett A. Kaufman, a partner in the trusts and estates department of Schlossberg LLC, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Laura A. D’Anca, an associate in the Boston office of K&L Gates LLP, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Kelly Aylward, an attorney with Bove & Langa, P.C., was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of estate planning & probate.

Jennifer Civitella Hilario, an associate with Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers PC, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of estate planning & probate.

Elise S. Wald, an associate in the trusts and estates department of Davis Malm & D’Agostine PC, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Jeffrey F. Aronis is currently vice president, tax, at BTMU Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of Bank of Tokyo, based in Boston. BTMU provides leasing and structured asset-based financing solutions to its customers located around the world.

Cory J. Bilodeau is an associate at Fletcher Tilton PC in Worcester, MA.

David Skinner works for the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in the Procedure and Administration Division in the National Office. He and his three cats (Calorie, Isomer and Polymer) are living in a condo in Alexandria, enjoying earthquakes and hurricanes, and looking forward to fall, cooler weather and a strong New England Patriots season.

Wesley Brooker is an associate in international compliance and consulting at KPMG LLC international corporate services group in Atlanta, GA.

Shambhavi Guruprasad is an attorney in the global tax services department at Vanguard Global LLC in Philadelphia, PA.

Linda Riordan is senior legal counsel for the Rhode Island Division of Taxation.

Allison Tilton is an independent contractor for a law firm in Southern California, working on tax controversies. Her daughter, Madison Chaya, was born on November 12, 2010. Allison is planning on taking the California Bar in February 2012.

Rob Valdini is currently in training at FLETC in Glynco, GA to be a special agent in the Criminal Investigative Division of the IRS.


Matthew Baumann is an experienced associate in the state and local tax department at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston.

Joe Flores is employed as in-house counsel at Digital Risk LLC, a risk management, loss mitigation and mortgage analytics company specializing in structured finance. He works in the commercial real estate solutions division, providing CMBS and distressed commercial asset solutions.

Katie Harris is working in the Boston office of PricewaterhouseCoopers in the exempt organizations tax services group where she performs tax consulting and compliance services for tax-exempt clients, including several universities and hospitals.

Aidar Massatbayev is currently working in the legal department at Eurasian Bank as the head of the Division on International and Tax Structuring. He has worked there since October 2010 and enjoys the tax and compliance structuring of international and local transactions the most.

Larry Walker is a tax associate at McGladrey in Boston. His focus is state and local tax. 

Sarah D. Wellings, an associate in the Boston office of Sullivan & Worcester LLC, who has since moved to Philadelphia, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

John Bandeian is self-employed in Holyoke, MA. His practice areas include estate planning, tax law, real estate and general litigation, and he provides services in greater Western Massachusetts as well as Northern Connecticut.

Heather Marshall Deitch is an associate in the trusts & estate administration group at Cushing & Dolan PC in Boston.

Lynda Furash practices in the areas of estate planning and elder law at Protecting Your Wealth Law PC in Newton.

Diego García is a tax attorney specializing in international corporate tax planning and litigation at González Luna, Moreno & Armida, Mexico City, Mexico.

Sarah Lashua works in the federal tax department at RSM McGladrey in Dallas, TX.

Brittny Laukhuff is senior associate, mergers and acquisitions, at KMPG LLP in Dallas, TX.

Kevin Lewis is an associate in the mergers and acquisitions tax practice at KMPG LLP in Boston.

Scott McCready is a senior legal product manager at the Fidelity Investments legal department tax group in Boston. He married Kim Katz (BU ’09), a designer in the Fidelity Investments corporate finance group, on September 17, 2011, at the Massachusetts Audubon Society Habitat in Belmont, MA.

Ethan McKittrick works at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Boston.

Jill Tenley Oldak, an associate in the Boston office of Sullivan & Worcester LLC, who has since moved to Denver, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Kristen Sorbera works as a tax consultant for Deloitte Tax in the financial services group in New York City.

Yao Tang and her husband, Lei, are proud parents of Allen Gu (8 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches), born on October 17, 2011. Congratulations!

Karen Witherell is an associate in McLane’s trust and estates department where she practices in a variety of areas of trusts, estate planning and estate administration.

Sarah M. Allen, a senior associate with Pabian & Russell LLC, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Sara Goldman Curley, an associate in the trusts and estates department in the Boston office of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine.

Peter C. Herbst Jr., an associate with Baker Braverman & Barbadoro PC, was named a “Rising Star” in the 2011 release of New England Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of estate planning & probate.

Mary Clements Pajak, a principal at Clements Pajak LLC in Newton, MA, was selected as a "Massachusetts Super Lawyer for 2011" by New England Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of estate planning & probate.


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