2L wins second place in national tax law writing competition

Published: March 17th, 2014

Category: News


Christopher Weeg (2L), center, won second place in the Federal Bar Association’s annual writing competition. He stands with Andrew Strelka (FBA Tax Section Chair), Shamik Trivedi (Tax Writing Competition Co-Chair), Matthew Hu (first place winner, University of Michigan 2014 JD Candidate), and Jaclyn Goldberg (Tax Writing Competition Co-Chair). (Photo credit: Federal Bar Association)

By Jenna Box (4JM)

Christopher Weeg (2L) hadn’t been to Washington, D.C., since his safety patrol trip in the fifth grade, but when he saw an ad on the TaxProf Blog for a writing competition that might land him another trip to the capital he was “thrilled” to enter.

The 26-year-old certified public accountant, managing editor of the Florida Law Review, incoming president of the Florida Tax Moot Court team, and junior president of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, made good on his chance for another visit. Weeg won second place in the Federal Bar Association’s annual Donald C. Alexander Writing Competition — which not only granted him his wish of returning to the capital, but a check for $1,000, too.

Weeg’s article, “Starting with the [Tax] Man in the Mirror: Asking the IRS to Change Its Ways of Valuing Postmortem Publicity Rights,” examines inclusion and valuation issues that surround postmortem publicity rights — specifically focusing on Michael Jackson’s publicity rights. His interest in tax and estate planning led him to look into the litigation pending in the Tax Court between Jackson’s estate and the IRS.

“There are several disputes over the valuation of (Jackson’s) assets included in his estate, but one of the most glaring is the valuation of his publicity rights,” Weeg said. “The (Internal Revenue) Service valued them at $434 million, yet his estate considers them essentially worthless, coming in at a valuation of only $2,105.”

On Feb. 28, Weeg attended the FBA Section on Taxation’s Annual Tax Law Conference, where he was presented with his award and networked with FBA members. As for the $1,000 cash prize, “It’s going into the honeymoon fund,” Weeg said. He’ll be heading to Hawaii with his new bride after their wedding in August.

The article, which Weeg said he worked on alone, is being considered for inclusion in the Federal Bar Association’s magazine, The Federal Lawyer, or the Section on Taxation’s newsletter, Inside Basis.