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Message from the Chair elect


									Message from the Chair-elect
by Richard B. Comiter, Esq., Comiter & Singer, LLP, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

                      As my term as           In my October, 2002 Chair-Elect’s      yers, young lawyers and general
                    Chair-Elect rapidly    Message, the goals for my adminis-        practitioners and has members who
                    approaches, my         tration were described in detail. In      assume leadership roles on the draft-
                    goals and aspira-      summary, my goals are as follows: (i)     ing committees which review, revise,
                    tions as the next      educate Section members on current        add to, and change Florida’s busi-
                    leader     of    the   developments, trends and changes in       ness, tax and probate laws.
                    Florida Bar Tax        the practice of tax law; (ii) focus on       The Tax Section should focus on
                    Section are becom-     the ethical duties and responsibili-      attracting experienced tax practitio-
                    ing clearer. I know    ties owed by lawyers engaging in          ners to become active Section mem-
                    that with the active   ancillary business activities to their    bers. Toward this goal, I will be per-
    COMITER         participation and      clients; (iii) provide CLE programs       sonally contacting non-active tax
                    assistance of the      which can assist tax lawyers in their     lawyers throughout the state to ex-
membership, these goals and aspira-        practices; (iv) continue the ever ex-     tol to them the value and benefits
tions can be implemented and come          panding partnership of the Tax Sec-       which membership would have on
to fruition during the 2003-2004 fis-      tion with its sponsors with a goal of     their tax practice, and the impor-
cal year. I intend to work closely with    raising sufficient revenue to subsi-      tance of being a tax lawyer actively
our current Chair, Rick Josepher, to       dize the attendance at our meetings       involved in the creation of tax policy
have a smooth transition and insure        of young lawyers, newly certified tax     and laws affecting their own destiny;
that the programs he instituted this       lawyers, and the Department of Rev-       that is, the practice of tax law. In this
year, such as increasing the partici-      enue and IRS personnel; (v) utilize       time of ethical change and uncer-
pation of Florida tax lawyers in Tax       the Tax Section’s website to provide      tainty in corporate America, along
Certification and restructuring the        value to the membership; (vi) re-         with the SEC’s focus on limiting the
Certification Program, will be com-        structure the certification process to    role which CPA firms can have in ren-
pleted during my administration. I         encourage more federal and state tax      dering tax services to their audit cli-
believe that after the “Insurance          lawyers to obtain a sufficient level of   ents, it is more important than ever
2003 - the New Universe” CLE semi-         expertise to become Board Certified;      for the Tax Section to be at the fore-
nar at the Orlando Tax Section An-         and (vii) continue to comment on          front of providing its membership
nual Meeting, Rick will have               changes and developments in the           with advice on how to interact with
achieved his goal for the Tax Section      federal and state tax laws. During        the accounting profession, and how
of providing its members with a            the past few months, I have had nu-       to handle new securities and busi-
working knowledge of how to engage         merous conversations with members         ness laws which impact their prac-
in ancillary business services oppor-      of the Section concerning their views     tices. We need the help of all of the
tunities to generate additional rev-       on the programs which I should            experienced Florida tax lawyers in
enue sources for their practice, and       implement during my term as Chair.        this state to provide this type of ad-
how to handle the ethical issue raised     Based upon those conversations and        vice and to serve as mentors for
as a result of providing such ancillary    other recent events, I thought it         young tax lawyers. I am reaching out
business services.                         would be appropriate to expand on         to the active membership to join me
   The theme of my administration          and add to the aforementioned list of     in an effort to encourage experienced
will be a return to “Back to Basics.” I    goals.                                    Florida tax lawyers to become mem-
believe that the best tax lawyers are         In response to Todd Aronovitz’s        bers who are actively involved in Tax
the ones who have the most knowledge       “Dignity in the Law” initiative, the      Section activities.
and technical expertise. In this regard,   Tax Section should “let the word out”        The Tax Section should reach out
the primary emphasis of Tax Section        about the numerous programs which         to the Board of Governors and other
workshops and CLE programs at Sec-         it provides for the betterment of the     members of the Council of Sections
tion meetings during my term will be       legal community and the public. For       to determine how the Sections of the
to analyze current trends, develop-        example, the Tax Section on an an-        Florida Bar can better work together
ments and hot topics pertaining to         nual basis hosts a Moot Court Com-        to achieve common goals. The Tax
substantive and procedural tax law         petition for law schools throughout       Section should work with the Coun-
issues and matters involved in the         the country, makes suggestions con-       cil of Sections in finding ways to up-
practice of tax law, and to encourage      cerning tax policy matters and pro-       date, maintain and utilize the
attendees to interact and share plan-      posed legislation to the Internal Rev-    Internet to provide more value to its
ning ideas, practice aids and drafting     enue Service and the Florida              membership and to assist Sections in
tips which can assist other members        Department of Revenue, grants             obtaining more CLE program rev-
in their practice. I want attendees to     scholarships to law students in           enue. For example, consideration
believe that by attending programs         Florida LLM programs and makes            should be given to obtaining the as-
sponsored by the Tax Section, they will    presentations to them on legal eth-       sistance of the Practice Management
obtain knowledge that will add value       ics and the practice of tax law, coor-    Section in coordinating video or tele-
to their tax practices.                    dinates CLE programs for tax law-         conferencing CLE programs as a

Page 2 • Volume XXI, No. 2 • March 2003
CHAIR-ELECT                             agement and administration of a tax      and provide value to your practice,
from page 2                             practice with the goal of providing      which far exceed your time and ef-
                                        attendees with value for their prac-     fort. I very much look forward to the
                                        tices, by educating and updating         opportunity of working with each of
                                        them on the current technology           you and serving as your Chair.
                                        available to assist them in providing       Before closing, I would like to use
mechanism to obtain an additional       legal services and on how to run a       this forum to regrettably inform the
revenue source and to reduce the Tax    more efficient business operation.       membership of the Tax Section of the
section’s cost of providing CLE pro-       With all of this mind, I would like   recent passing of Shepard King. Shep
grams.                                  to invite each of you to become in-      was a caring, giving, sincere, bright
   Another goal will be to foster a     volved or more involved, as the case     and fun-loving human being that
closer relationship between the Tax     may be, with the Tax Section during      loved his family dearly. He will not
Section and the Florida LLM Pro-        my term as Chair. The ride begins at     only be deeply missed by his beloved
grams. In this regard, I will appoint   the Tax Section’s Organizational         wife, Bernita, and his lovely children,
a member of the Tax Section to serve    Meeting in Amelia Island over the        Russell and Tamara, but by the en-
as liaison with each LLM program,       July 4th weekend, and will continue      tire Miami community. He was a tax
creating a “Tax Hot Line” to assist     at the Fall Meeting at the Tampa         lawyers lawyer who loved the prac-
LLM students in the recruiting pro-     Westshore Marriot on October 24th        tice of tax law. I will forever remem-
cess, and developing a program of       and 25th and at the Annual Meeting       ber Shep as a mentor who, along with
incentives to encourage LLM stu-        at the PGA National Resort and Spa       Dennis LaRussa, taught me how to
dents to join the Tax Section after     in Palm Beach Gardens over the           practice tax law. Shep taught me that
they graduate, and continuing the       April 23, 2004 weekend.                  the key to being a successful tax law-
provision of annual ethics and tax         During the next two months, I will    yer is to provide your clients with an
practice workshops for the LLM Pro-     appoint members to various leader-       excellent work product and commu-
grams. In addition, I will encourage    ship positions in the Tax Section. I     nicate with them, always do the right
the more active involvement of law      encourage each of you to contact me      thing, and become actively involved
professors in our CLE programs and      as soon as possible to discuss your      in your community and the tax bar.
certification program.                  role in the Tax Section during my        Shepard King will be deeply missed
   Consistent with the Back to Basics   administration. You have my prom-        by the members of the Tax Section
theme, I intend to have a workshop      ise that your involvement in the Sec-    who knew and loved him. Thank you,
at a Tax Section meeting on the man-    tion will reap rewards and benefits,     Shep; I will never forget you.

                                                                   Volume XXI, No. 2 • March 2003 • Page 28

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