2021 E. L. Wiegand Annual Visiting Fellow Professor Heather Field of UC Hastings
Tuesday, February 9 12 – 1 p.m.
Online - Online Webinar
How Good Tax Lawyers Go Wrong: Aggressive Tax Planning, Bounded Ethicality, and the Meaning of Ethical Tax Lawyering
Ethical tax lawyering is about more than knowing the outer boundaries imposed by the rules of ethics and standards of tax practice. It is also about how to make difficult discretionary decisions within those boundaries. This talk will discuss different models of tax advising that can help tax lawyers make those discretionary decisions in a way that is consistent with the lawyer’s sense of ethics, even when providing advice for aggressive tax planning. In addition, this talk will discuss threats that hinder a lawyer’s ability to implement their preferred approach to tax advising. These threats include bounded ethicality, which is the idea that internal (e.g., psychological) and external (e.g., organizational) pressures can lead people to engage in ethically questionable behavior inconsistent with their preferences. This talk will then discuss several strategies that can help prevent lawyers from succumbing to these threats and crossing lines they did not want to cross.
About the speaker
Heather M. Field is a Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she also holds the Eucalyptus Foundation Chair, serves as the Senior Co-Director of the UC Hastings Center on Tax Law, and leads UC Hastings’ tax law concentration program. She teaches a variety of tax law courses and Financial Basics for Lawyers. Professor Field’s research focuses the role of taxpayer choice in the tax system (e.g., tax elections), tax risk management, tax practice ethics, and pedagogy. She has published widely and is a frequent speaker on these issues. While at UC Hastings, Professor Field served as the Associate Academic Dean, and she has received awards including the 1066 Foundation Award for Faculty Scholarship, and the Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence. Prior to joining the UC Hastings faculty, Professor Field was an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in Los Angeles for almost six years. Professor Field received a B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, both magna cum laude.