UB’s Mugel Tax Moot Court, Largest and Oldest Tax Moot Court in U.S., Sets 30th Anniversary Competition

By Arthur Page

Release Date: February 13, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Honorable Richard C. Wesley, associate judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, will be among the experts sitting on the bench for the final round of competition when law students from around the nation come to Buffalo on Feb. 22-24 to compete in the Law School's national Mugel Tax Moot Court.

Students will argue the tax consequences of transferring certain property pursuant to a divorce decree under the laws of New York State.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Mugel tax competition has become the largest and longest-running tax moot court in the United States. Teams from such institutions as William Mitchell Law School, Syracuse University, Louisiana State University, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland, as well as UB, will compete this year.

The competition is named in honor of Albert R. Mugel, a senior partner in the Buffalo-based law firm of Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel and a professor of law who has taught tax at UB Law School for more than 50 years.

In addition to Wesley, Judge Lewis Carluzzo of the United States Tax Court also will be a judge in the final round.

"One of the major strengths of this annual event has been the quality of the judges it attracts from year to year," says Simon A. Fleischmann, a third-year law student who is chair of the competition. "Distinguished representatives from the local legal community, as well as national tax experts, have volunteered their time and expertise to make the competition a success. This year is no exception."

Kenneth R. Joyce, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the UB Law School, serves as advisor to the competition, preparing the problem and bench memorandum. Joyce has been instrumental in the formulation of tax laws in New York State in his capacity as director of the New York State Law Revision Commission.

After researching the issues and writing a legal brief, the contestants will meet in downtown Buffalo to take part in several rounds of appellate-style argument. Problems at past competitions have involved capital gains versus ordinary income, tax status of gambling debts and capitalization versus deductions.

"Complex and challenging problems such as these have become the hallmark of the Mugel competition and have furthered its reputation as a rigorous and preeminent competition," Fleischmann says.

Those serving as judges may obtain Continuing Legal Education credit.

For information on the Mugel competition, contact Simon A. Fleischmann at 716-645-2037 or saf4@buffalo.edu.