This free two-hour broadcast is for tax professionals and covers:
  • Changes to the regulations governing tax practice before the IRS (Circular 230 Rev. 6/2014)
  • Due Diligence obligations of tax professionals
  • Overview of other key Circular 230 provisions
  • Practitioner responsibilities to their clients and the Tax Administration System
  • Best practices for tax professionals
  • Office of Professional Responsibility Policies and Procedures

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By Katie Benner

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a directive on Thursday that places limits on a tool commonly used by immigration judges and could put hundreds of thousands of deportation cases that are essentially closed back on federal court dockets.

The move, issued in an interim decision, is unlikely to reopen all the cases. But Mr. Sessions said that immigration courts could not put such cases on indefinite hold by using a practice known as administrative closure, which temporarily removes a case from a judge's calendar and delays a proceeding that could remove an immigrant from the country.

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Read the ruling. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 




BY GENNIE GEBHART

A group of researchers recently released a paper that describes a new class of serious vulnerabilities in the popular encryption standard PGP (including GPG) as implemented in email clients. Until the flaws described in the paper are more widely understood and fixed, users should arrange for the use of alternative end-to-end secure channels, such as Signal, and temporarily stop sending and especially reading PGP-encrypted email. See EFF's analysis and FAQ for more detail.




BY DINA ROTH PORT


Through my job as director of content at Rocket Matter, I've learned a lot about this profession. One thing that has really stood out to me is how many lawyers are suffering.

Our website recently ran a five-part series on depression, substance abuse and wellness in the legal industry. The statistics are staggering: Lawyers are 3.6 times as likely to be depressed as people in other jobs, while the landmark 2016 American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation study found that 28 percent of licensed, employed lawyers suffer with depression. The study also showed that 19 percent have symptoms of anxiety and 21 percent are problem drinkers.

Many organizations are trying to help fight this epidemic. For instance, we're hosting our first Legal Wellness Retreat in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts on July 18 to July 20. Also, the ABA provides a very comprehensive list of helpful resources for lawyersjudges and law students, along with links to lawyer assistance programsthroughout the country.


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 Reversing the determination that a New Jersey law repealing prohibitions on sports gambling violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, making it unlawful for a State or its subdivisions to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize betting on sports because by permitting sports betting the State was authorizing sports betting under the statute as PASPA was held to violate the anticommandeering rule stating that Congress cannot commandeer the legislative process of States by directly compelling them to enact and enforce a federal regulatory program.

The May 15 filing deadline for Form 990-series information returns is fast approaching. Form 990-series information returns and notices are normally due on the fifteenth day of the fifth month after an organization's tax-year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their tax year, making May 15, 2018, the deadline to file for 2017.


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Russians' Biggest Facebook Ad Promoted 'Blue Lives Matter'

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A Kremlin-backed propaganda campaign designed to sow chaos in the U.S. electorate had its biggest hit with an ad ostensibly backing American law enforcement.

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Chimpanzee. Taken at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Chimpanzee. Taken at the Los Angeles Zoo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



May 8, 2018--New York, NY--Today, Eugene M. Fahey--an Associate Judge on New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals--issued an opinion that is already being seen as an historic mark of progress in the fight to secure fundamental legal rights for nonhuman animals.

Without giving a ground for its action, the Court of Appeals as a whole again refused to hear our motion for further review of a lower court decision on behalf of chimpanzees Tommy and Kiko. This in itself is not significant insofar as the Court of Appeals rejects the vast majority of motions it receives for permission to appeal.

But Judge Fahey's concurring opinion makes clear that the decision not to hear Tommy and Kiko's cases was not made on the merits of the NhRP's claim.

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Here are three remarkable excerpts from the opinion:

"In elevating our species, we should not lower the status of other highly intelligent species."

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"To treat a chimpanzee as if he or she had no right to liberty protected by habeas corpus is to regard the chimpanzee as entirely lacking independent worth, as a mere resource for human use, a thing the value of which consists exclusively in its usefulness to others. Instead, we should consider whether a chimpanzee is an individual with inherent value who has the right to be treated with respect."

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"In the interval since we first denied leave to the Nonhuman Rights Project, I have struggled with whether this was the right decision. Although I concur in the Court's decision to deny leave to appeal now, I continue to question whether the Court was right to deny leave in the first instance. The issue whether a nonhuman animal has a fundamental right to liberty protected by the writ of habeas corpus is profound and far-reaching. It speaks to our relationship with all the life around us. Ultimately, we will not be able to ignore it. While it may be arguable that a chimpanzee is not a 'person,' there is no doubt that it is not merely a thing."

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IRS (@IRStaxpros) | Twitter

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Follow IRS on Twitter

Did you know the IRS has a Twitter account that provides news and guidance tailored for tax professionals? 

Get the latest news and updates affecting you and your clients by following IRSTaxPros at https://twitter.com/irstaxpros.



TEACHING LAW & RELIGION CASE STUDY ARCHIVE
RELIGION
For researchers, instructors, and policymakers at the intersection of religion and law, the Teaching Law & Religion Case Study Archive is a helpful collection of open-access resources related to the topic. This resource list is compiled by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, a religious studies professor at Indiana University and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, a political science professor at Northwestern University. The archive also features the work of a number of scholars. As of this write-up, the case studies portion of the archive features nine different case studies from around the globe, each containing a synopsis and a number of related readings that provide additional context and analysis. For instance, one case study discusses South Africa's Muslim Marriage Bill, which was introduced in 2010 and, if passed, would provide legal recognition for Muslim marriages. Another case study involves the 2009 court case R(E) v. The Governing Body of JFS, in which the UK Supreme Court assessed the legality of the admissions policy at a Jewish school. In addition to the case studies collection, this resource contains a collection of college-level syllabi and an extensive bibliography for those interested in further research. [MMB]

Copyright © 2017 Internet Scout Research Group - http://scout.wisc.edu

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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A lawyer who said she had missed a filing deadline because of a family emergency in Mexico City was sanctioned $10,000 by a federal magistrate judge who said Instagram photos showed she was actually in New York City at the time.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer granted a motion to sanction New York-based lawyer Lina Franco in an April 26 opinion, report Law360, the New Jersey Law Journal and NJ.com.

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The SCOTUS dose not allow cameras in the courtroom during oral arguments so if you want to see what happens during a Supreme Court case you have to make the video yourself.

( Perhaps the Justices will be annoyed enough by the animation and their avatars to allow actual video coverage.)

Google Revamps Gmail's Web Interface - TidBITS

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Gmail's Web interface on the desktop has just undergone a significant overhaul, the first in some time. This won't make any difference to those who read Gmail via an app like Mail on the Mac, and even if you use Gmail in a Web browser or via Mailplane, you won't be dumped into the new interface automatically. To switch to the new version of Gmail, you must click the gear icon in the upper-right corner and choose "Try the new Gmail."
By Colby Hamilton 

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The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McDonnell v. United States narrowed the application of federal bribery statutes to those where a clear quid pro quo of something of value results in an official act taken by the elected official. The lack of clear language in Silver's jury instructions to this effect during the last trial led the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to begrudgingly vacate the former assembly speaker's conviction in July 2017.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo fired a shot across the bow at federal immigration authorities on Wednesday, threatening legal action to curtail aggressive tactics by agents that he says have infringed on immigrants' constitutional rights and for allegedly targeting immigrant advocates. 

Cuomo also issued an amended executive order requiring Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to have a warrant if they make an arrest in a state-owned facility.

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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Previous rulings required the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to accept applications for renewal of benefits under the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) while litigation is pending. U.S. District Judge John Bates of Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday that the government must also accept new applications, though he postponed his ruling for 90 days, report the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Postand Politico.

Bates said in his opinion that he was postponing his order to allow the Justice Department "an opportunity to better explain" its decision to wind down the program.

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By Colby Hamilton

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Alleging a massive international conspiracy, the Democratic National Committee filed suit in Manhattan federal court Friday against members of the campaign of President Donald Trump, WikiLeaks, and the Russian government for the hacks of the DNC's computers by Russian agents in support of Trump's bid for the presidency.

The 66-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York pulls together a master narrative of the various strands made public since the DNC's computers were hacked in 2015 and 2016 ahead of the presidential election.

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WASHINGTON -- President Trump spoke in intimate and candid terms to the former F.B.I. director James Comey about some of the most sensitive matters before the agency, including the salacious dossier detailing Mr. Trump's ties to Russia and the investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the president's first national security adviser, according to Mr. Comey's closely guarded memos.

The redacted and declassified memos -- running 15 pages in total, and sent to Congress from the Justice Department on Thursday night -- detail a series of phone calls and encounters between the two men in the months leading up to Mr. Comey's firing. They offer an extraordinary look at the private interactions among leaders at the highest levels of government.

[Read the memos here.]

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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The West Virginia law firm of Bailey & Glasser wants its class clients to know they are eligible for an award as a result of a $61 million verdict against Dish Network for its marketing calls.

Lawyer John Barrett and his colleagues are having a hard time getting their message across when they call to deliver the news, the Wall Street Journal reports. The clients are hanging up before the lawyers or a paralegal can explain, or they are hanging up in disbelief after hearing the figures.

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to change the state's double jeopardy law to allow prosecutions if President Donald Trump issues "strategically timed" pardons to indicted aides or other individuals.

Schneiderman asked state lawmakers for a change to the "double jeopardy loophole" on Wednesday, report the New York Times, the New York Law Journal, the Atlantic and Politico. A press release is here, and the letter is here.


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