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The Tax Lawyer You Wish You Had

The late Marty Ginsburg, whose wife does stuff too

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Happy (?) Tax Day! (Yes, it is very late this year, sorta how Yom Kippur is some years.) To balance out your feelings toward this process, here—courtesy frequent tipster AA—is the best professional biography you will ever read: that of the late tax law maestro Marty Ginsburg, a.k.a. Mr. Ruth Bader.

Martin D. Ginsburg is Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. His professional corporation is of counsel to the Firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

Professor Ginsburg attended Cornell University, stood very low in his class and played on the golf team. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School which, in those years, did not field a golf team.

Professor Ginsburg entered private practice in New York City in 1958. He withdrew from full-time practice when appointed the Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and moved to Georgetown University in 1980 when his wife obtained a good job in Washington.

… From 1984 to 1987 he was a member of the ABA Tax Section Council, where he performed no useful service at all; celebrating that unique achievement, in 2006 the Tax Section gave Professor Ginsburg its lifetime Distinguished Service Award.

… In 1986, someone who probably prefers never to be identified endowed a Chair in Taxation in his name at Georgetown; no one appears willing to occupy the Ginsburg Chair, and it remains vacant. In 1993, the National Women’s Political Caucus gave Professor Ginsburg its “Good Guy” award; history reveals no prior instance of a tax lawyer held to be a “Good Guy,” or even a “Decent Sort.”

Professor Ginsburg is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a frequent speaker at tax seminars, mainly in warm climates, and the author of one exciting treatise (with Jack S. Levin of Chicago) and a ghastly number of articles on corporate and partnership taxation, business acquisitions and other stimulating things.

In 2010, the publication Best Lawyers named Professor Ginsburg the best tax lawyer in Washington, D.C. and named Mr. Levin the best tax lawyer in Chicago. Marty and Jack each responded that the publication had gotten it at least half right.

Professor Ginsburg’s spouse was a lawyer before she found better work. Their older child was a lawyer before she became a schoolteacher. The younger child, when he feels grumpy, threatens to become a lawyer.

Pedigree vs. Personality [The J in J. Kelly]

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The problem is that regular taxpayers, like you, are missing out on legal and safe deductions, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed refunds every year! As a tax professional, it truly breaks my heart, knowing that just a few thousand, or even a few hundred bucks for us “regular guys” out of that vast pool of overcharging could make a world of difference–and they are just sitting there, unclaimed! And with the economy we’re facing now…it’s essential that the “right” professional handles your taxes, books, or other financial matters.

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The Tax Lawyer You Wish You Had

The late Marty Ginsburg, whose wife does stuff too

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