Document Type

Book Review

Publication Title

Virginia Tax Review

Publication Date



Americans are losing faith in lawyers. An American Bar Association poll conducted during the O.J. Simpson criminal trial revealed a substantial erosion in the public's respect for criminal defense lawyers. One article reporting on the ABA poll asked, "Would it be surprising if, in the public mind, quality lawyering is coming to be equated with a Machiavellian disregard for the truth?" Indeed, trial lawyers and their ethics were the subject of caustic political rhetoric during the 1996 presidential campaign. Clearly, lawyers' ethics are under public scrutiny. It is thus particularly good timing for a new edition to Bernard Wolfman, James Holden, and Deborah Schenk's casebook on ethics in tax practice.

Ethical Problems in Federal Tax Practice is the only set of teaching materials designed for use in a course on professional responsibility in the tax area. Although the book meets its stated objective to "provide insights and principles that are applicable in virtually every area of law practice," its true strength lies in the fusion of generic concepts and standards with those that apply uniquely to tax practice. The authors draw upon their substantial experience and expertise in tax law and legal ethics in introducing students to the philosophical richness and practical conundrums encountered in the establishment of, and compliance with, professional standards.


Review of The Tax Lawyer's Duty to the System: Ethical Problems in Federal Tax Practice. By Bernard Wolfman, James P. Holden and Deborah H. Schenk.

Little, Brown and Company: New York, 3d ed., 1995.



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