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ABA Names Procedurally Taxing to its List of 100 Favorite Legal Blogs

Posted on Dec. 5, 2016

ABA Top 100 BlawgYou might notice a new logo on our home page.  Last week, Procedurally Taxing was chosen as a top 100 legal blog in the 10th edition of the ABA Law Journal’s survey of legal blogs.  Needless to say we were excited by the recognition.

We want to take a moment at the time of receiving this recognition to thank our readers and our contributors and to reflect briefly about the blog.  The idea for the blog came from Les.  He talked about it for a couple of years before we launched.  Because of his work succeeding the late great Michael Saltzman as the co-author and lead editor of the seminal Thomson Reuters tax procedure treatise “IRS Practice and Procedure” Les saw the need to keep up on procedural issues and he wanted to assist the tax community in keeping up on and thinking about these issues. Prior to the blog, Steve worked with Les and Greg Armstrong on the monumental task of rewriting the treatise and updating it.  After many conversations, Les somehow convinced Steve and me to join him in creating the blog.  After we started the blog, I became, with Steve, one of the contributing authors of the treatise and took the lead in the now-completed task of rewriting the book’s collection chapters.

Convincing Steve to start the blog with us was particularly important because Steve’s law firm hosts the blog.  Without the good graces of Gawthrop Greenwood (where Steve is a partner heading up the firm’s small but excellent tax practice) and Steve’s technical abilities, the blog never would have gotten off the ground and would not have continued.  When we started this in July of 2013, we envisioned something where we would post the occasional thoughts on tax procedure issues and had no idea it would morph into an almost daily event.

One of our readers in those early months, Professor Andy Grewal, occasional guest poster and excellent blogger on his own in Yale’s Notice & Comment blog, suggested that Procedurally Taxing should have a post every day. We have tried to post on most business days, a task that is difficult because of the responsibilities we have beyond the blog. It is safe to say when we started the blog we had no idea of how it would grow nor how much work it would require us to do to keep what we think is a place to not only report or link to developments but generally to try to add value with context and analysis.

We can post regularly on a variety of topics because we have talented guests who bring a wealth of experience and insights.  Of course, our most amazing guest is frequent guest blogger Carl Smith.  While you see posts by Carl more often than any other guest and while Carl’s posts offer an unmatched depth into tax procedure issues, what you may not know is that a high percentage of posts that Les, Steve and I write, result from suggestions by Carl as he reads Tax Court orders and opinions and points us toward cases and issues that would be missed by anyone else without his knowledge of tax procedure.  We have been unsuccessful in convincing Carl to officially join us as a PT blogger rather than a guest, but the blog would not be nearly as successful or provide nearly the coverage without his assistance.

In addition to Carl, however, we are fortunate to have attracted 75 others who have written a guest post for us.  I will not name everyone but you can go to the guest blogger link on our home page and review the list of individuals who have posted with PT.  Including in this list are many leading academic writers, many leading practitioners, several members of the low income taxpayer clinic community and even a few students.  We cannot promise that writing a guest post on PT will lead to a Tax Court judgeship but Judge Diana Leyden wrote for PT before ascending to the bench.  We encourage you to consider writing a guest blog post if you have something to say about tax procedure.

In addition to our guest bloggers, we also want to acknowledge the many readers who have written comments on our site.  If you are not reading the comments, you are missing some of the best procedural insights.  One long term and regular commenter, Bob Kamman, plays a similar role in our commenting section that Carl Smith does as a guest blogger.  He lets us know when we pontificate, stray too far from reality or misspell words.  One day I hope to actually, rather than virtually, meet Bob.  The commenters keep us on our toes, let us know that someone is actually reading what we say, offer insights that we miss and generally add great content that makes the blog a community of individuals interested in understanding and advancing tax procedure issues.

As academic writers Les and I know what it like to write the typical law review article.  It has a similar feel to that high school physics question about whether a tree falling in a forest with no one around actually makes a sound or whether for sound to be produced there must be someone to hear it.  Law review articles too often have the feel of trees falling in an empty forest.  Because of your engagement with the blog, we feel like our writing here has more meaning and impact.  That is not meant to denigrate legal scholarship which can play an important role in advancing issues but it is meant to say that the immediate acknowledgement of our writing and the feeling that our writing may have an actual impact propels us to continue the blog.

Thank you for your interest in our blog.  We look forward to the continued journey.

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