Steven J. Willis
University Term Professor
Professor of Law
Professor Willis’s legal experience includes positions as a trial law clerk for Judge Davis (of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals), and as a tax/transactional lawyer with Phelps Dunbar in New Orleans. He is licensed to practice in both Florida and Louisiana and is a CPA in Louisiana. He has written numerous federal appellate briefs in tax cases, as well as cases involving religious freedom. He is an active writer and scholar. He has been a leader in developing distance learning courses with current offerings in Finance For Lawyers and Accounting for Lawyers. He is the faculty advisor for numerous student organizations including Tax Moot Court (which has won many national and international awards), VITA (which annually provides tax preparation for over 800 low-income clients), the Federalist Society Chapter (recognized nationally), and the Christian Legal Society (which provides multiple student support groups).
Professor Willis is the co-author of two traditional books: The Tax Law of Charities (2014 with Lexis) and Tax Accounting (2012 Lexis). He has also authored electronic books for Distance Learning: Accounting for Lawyers, Finance for Lawyers, and a Financial and Accounting Dictionary. His scholarship has been cited in multiple federal courts as well as many law reviews and books. He has taught law in the Netherlands, Poland, and South Africa.
His personal page can be accessed at http://www.ufcle.com/willis/willis.htm.
LL.M., (Taxation), New York University (1980)
J.D., Lousiana State University, cum laude, Order of the Coif (1977)
B.S., (Accounting) Louisiana State University, cum laude (1974)
Teaching and Scholarship
Tax Exempt Organizations; Tax Timing; Accounting & Finance for Lawyers; Income Tax; Partnership Tax; Marriage Dissolution: Support and Property Division
- Joined UF College of Law Faculty in 1981
- Member, Florida Bar (since 1987)
- Member, Louisiana Bar (since 1977, now inactive)
- Certified Public Accountant (Louisiana, certificate only)
- Member, Judicial Nominating Committee, 8th Judicial Circuit
- Designed to teach the fundamentals of federal income taxation in order to prepare students, as lawyers, to recognize and appreciate income tax consequences of transactions and events they encounter in general practice of law.
- This course teaches basic accounting to students with no prior background in accounting. It may be taught live or online. Coverage includes financial statements, including the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement, accounting standards under generally accepted accounting principles, double-entry bookkeeping and construction of financial statements, auditing and federal disclosures, analysis of the Form 10-K, financial statement analysis, accounting for partnerships and corporations, time value of money and valuation. This course may have nongraded and graded interim assessments that must be completed as a part of the course requirements, as well as a final exam. Note: A student cannot register for this course if the student has had prior coursework in accounting or an undergraduate degree in either accounting or business; this course is for students who have had no exposure to accounting, and registration in violation of this policy is a violation of the Honor Code.
- A general practitioner is likely to encounter many business enterprises (including law firms) engaging in business in the form of a partnership. This course addresses taxation of partnerships and tax consequences of partnership formation or termination, distributions of money or property to partners, and consequences of sale or exchange of a partnership interest or of the death of a partner.
- This course covers theories of alimony, child support, and equitable disposition of property at divorce, valuation and distribution of pensions and other complex assets, child support in marital and non-marital contexts, taxation and economic policy, family and work issues, and income supports for poor and working families.
- The Tax Law of Charities (2014) (with Jones, Brennen, & Moran) (LEXIS) (3d Ed. 2014)
- Teacher’s Manual for The Tax Law of Charities (2014) (with Jones, Brennen, & Moran) (LEXIS) (3d Ed. 2014)
- Statutory Supplement to The Tax Law of Chraities
- The Tax Law of Charities (2004) (1100 pages) (with Jones, Brennan, & Moran) (West Publishing Company) (2d Ed. 2007)
- Statutory Supplement to The Tax Law of Charities (2004) (with Jones, Brennan, & Moran) (West Publishing Company) (2d Ed. 2008)
- Teacher’s Manual for The Tax Law of Charities (2004) (with Jones, Brennan, & Moran) (West Publishing Company) (2d Ed. 2008)
- Tax Accounting (with Manning & Lang) (LEXIS, 2006)
- Teacher’s Manual for Tax Accounting (with Manning & Lang) (LEXIS, 2006)
Distance Learning Courses
- Finance for Lawyers (1 credit hour) (14 hours of lecture with over 2000 slides, over 400 pages of text, inter-active problems and original software calculators) (4th ed. 2014) (offered for one credit hour through UF Distance Learning, Fall 2010-2015)
- Accounting for Lawyers (2 credit hours) (launch date: Spring 2015) (28 hours of lecture with over 4000 slides, over 400 pages of text, inter-active problems and discussion groups) (2014) (offered for two credit hours through UF Distance Learning)
On-Line CLE and other Courses
- Financial Calculations for Lawyers (2012) (14 hours of lecture with over 2000 slides, over 400 pages of text, inter-active problems and original software calculators) (ufcle.com) (3d Ed. 2010)
- How to Form a Public Charity (2007) (5 hours of lecture with slides) (ufcle.com)
- Introduction to Tax School (2009) (uflce.com) (Interactive collections of Top 100 Tax Cases with edits and comments, Top 40 Tax Doctrines with comment and short papers, Top 50 Tax Forms with comments, Top 100 Tax Terms with comments, and short articles on Tax Ethics, Tax Humor, Internal Revenue Code Structure, the U.S. Court System as it Relates to Tax, History of the U.S. Tax System, Selected Tax Readings, Tax Authorities, Tax Research, and interactive slide presentation covering basic U.S. Income Tax Law, and much more).
- Tax Exempt Organizations (2005 with continuous updates through 2008) (available through ufcle.com) a collection of cases (with edits and comments), statutes (with edits and comments), essays, and slide presentations to accompany The Tax Law of Charities.
Unpublished Course Materials
- Florida Family Law, Cases, Materials, Statutes, and Forms: An Interactive and Hyptertext Casebook (2006) (3000+ pages) (available through ufcle.com)
- Income Tax: Cases, Materials, Statutes, and Forms: An Interactive and Hyptertext Casebook (2001) (3000+ pages) (available on CD) excerpts available at http://nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu/~acadian/courses.htm
- Advanced Income Tax: Cases, Materials, Statutes, and Forms: An Interactive and Hypertext Casebook (2001) (3000+ pages) (available on CD or through ufcle.com)
- Related Party Transactions, (updated through 2007) a slide presentation on Tax Law, presented to various conferences and available at ufcle.com.
- Tax Calculators, (updated through 2010) a series of original software for various Tax Law Sections and available at ufcle.com.
- Accounting and Taxation In the Light of the New EU strategy (After IAS/IFRS), for presentation at University of Turin (2015)
- Of Nonmarital Obligations Satisfied with Marital Funds . . . and Vice Versa: The Florida Supreme Court’s Messy Decision In Kaaa v. Kaaa , (draft available) (2015)
- Affordable Care Act Fails for Lack of Uniformity, (accepted by U. Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y (2015) (with Tanzler IV)
- Why “Obamacare” Violates the U.S. Constitution’s Origination Clause, (with Hans Tanzler IV) (Washington Legal Foundation Critical Legal Issues Working Paper Series No. 189, 2015) [SSRN]
- Transferee Liability: Fifth Circuit Opportunity to Stop Injustice, 142 Tax Notes 309 (2014) (with Brooks and Rivera)
- Corporations, Taxes, and Religion: The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Contraceptive Cases, 66 S.C. L. Rev. 1 (2013) [SSRN]
- No Healthcare Penalty? No Problem: No Due Process, 38 Am. J.L. & Med. 516 (2012) (with Nakku Chun) [SSRN]
- Of Constitutional De-Capitation and Health Care, 128 Tax Notes, 129 (2010) (with Chung) [SSRN]
- People in Glass Houses, 113 Tax Notes 477 (2006) [SSRN]
- Family Law Economics, Child Support, and Alimony: Ruminations on Income, Part I , 78 Fla. Bar J. 34 (May 2004) [SSRN]
- Family Law Economics, Child Support, and Alimony: Ruminations on Income, Part II , 78 Fla. Bar J. 34 (June 2004) [SSRN]
- Show Me the Numbers…Please, 93 Tax Notes 1321 (2001) [SSRN]
- It’s Time For Schlude to Go, 93 Tax Notes 127 (2001) [SSRN]
- Equitable Recoupment: More Pitfalls for the Unwary, 75 Tax Notes 361 (1998) [SSRN]
- Offensive v. Defensive Equitable Recoupment, 74 Tax Notes 207 (1997) [SSRN]
- Erroneous Deductions and the Tax Benefit Rule, 68 Tax Notes 1479 (1995) [SSRN]
- Albertson’s: A Little Less Emotion, Please, 64 Tax Notes 961 (1994) [SSRN]
- Leave Albertson’s Alone, 63 Tax Notes 1481 (1994) [SSRN]
- The Option Aspect of Nonrecourse Loans, 54 Tax Notes 441 (1992) [SSRN]
- Correction of Errors Via Equitable Recoupment and Tax Mitigation: Some People Still Do Not Understand, 52 Tax Notes 1421 (1991) [SSRN]
- A Different View of the Tax Benefit Rule: A Unified Theory of Error Correction, 42 Fla. L. Rev. 575 (1991) [SSRN]
- Masks, Magic and Games: The Use of Tax Law As a Policy Tool, 4 Am. J. Tax Pol’y 41 (1985) [SSRN]
- Some Limits of Equitable Recoupment, Tax Mitigation, and Res Judicata: Reflections Prompted by Chertkof v. United States, 38 Tax Lawyer 625 (1985) [SSRN]
- I.R.C. Section 274(b) and Duberstein Resurface: The Emperor Still Has No Clothes, 25 Ariz. L. Rev. 907 (1983) (with Hawley) [SSRN]
- Of [Im]Permissible Illogic and Section 1031, 34 Fla. L. Rev. 72 (1982) [SSRN]
- Carry-over Basis Provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1976: Section 1023, 31 Tax Lawyer 191 (1977) (with Landry) [SSRN]
- Corporations, Fiduciaries, and Conflicts of Interest, 37 La. L. Rev. 809 (1976) [SSRN]
Appellate Briefs (primary author)
- Amicus Curiae, Brief with FreedomX Foundation, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby; Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp v. Sebelius, Nos. 13-354; 13-356, Supreme Court of the United States (2014)
- Amicus Curiae, Brief with Tax Foundation, United States v. Marshall, No. 12- 20804, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2013)
- Amicus Curiae, Susan Seven Sky v. Holder, No. 11-5047, Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit (2011)
- Amicus Curiae, Brief with Catholic Vote, United States v. State of Florida, No. 11- 398, Supreme Court of the United States (2011)
- Amicus Curiae, Letter Brief with Pacific Legal Foundation, Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius, No. 11-1057, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (2011)
- Amicus Curiae, Thomas More Law Cntr. v. Obama, No. 10-2388, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (2010)