THE INCOME TAX TREATMENT OF INTERESTS ACQUIRED FROM A GROUND LESSOR
Norton L. Steuben
In 1993, Congress enacted Internal Revenue Code section 197, permitting the amortization of certain intangible assets, in an effort to simplify the law and reduce the number of controversies with respect to the federal income tax treatment of intangibles. While section 197 is of benefit to many industries, it is unduly harsh to the real estate industry. Congress, in its enactment of section 197, adopted the position of the Internal Revenue Service that a purchaser or heir can acquire nothing more from a seller or a decedent lessor than an interest in land and improvements. Section 197 provides that no portion of the acquisition cost of an interest in real property or an interest under an existing lease of tangible property is subject to amortization under that section.
LITIGATING THE YANKEE TAX: APPLICATION OF THE LODESTAR TO ATTORNEYS’ FEE AWARDS IN COMMON FUND LITIGATION
Bruce R. Braun and W. Gordon Dobie
In the winter of 1991, attorneys at a prestigious national law firm in the nation’s Midwest were faced with a unique proposition. Although the firm had a long list of well-heeled, blue-chip clients who could afford the firm’s substantial hourly rates, the firm’s newest potential client was neither a Fortune 100 corporation nor a high net worth individual. Instead, the client was a citizen of the far-off State of Florida who was seeking to entice these white-shoe lawyers into entering the world of contingent class action litigation
MEDICAID REFORM: SAVING AN AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY
The Honorable Bob Graham
Medicaid was established in 1965 as a jointly funded federal-state program to provide medical assistance to low-income Americans. Each state is responsible for designing and administering its own Medicaid program, subject to certain federal requirements involving issues such as eligibility, level of service provided, and health care provider payments. The federal government pays a portion of whatever qualifying expenditures a state Medicaid program incurs, and the states have the option of providing any additional services.
PRECLUDING PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPERTS FROM TESTIFYING FOR THE DEFENSE IN THE PENALTY PHASE OF CAPITAL TRIALS: THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF FLORIDA RULE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 3.202(E)
Stephen Michael Everhart
Psychological testimony based upon the examination of a defendant in the penalty phase of a capital case is critical. If a mentally impaired defendant presents such testimony, it can save his life. If the State fails to rebut such testimony, even an unimpaired serial killer can escape the death penalty.
A SIXTH CIRCUIT STORY
At the May 4, 1994 regular meeting of the Judicial Council of the United States Courts for the Sixth Circuit, the Council voted to “suspend further review of local rules until it receives further guidance from Congress, the Judicial Conference of the United States or by case law on the question of whether provisions of the Civil Justice Reform Act take precedence over the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” By so doing, the Council was ostensibly discharging responsibilities assigned to it by the Judicial Improvements and Access to Justice Act (JIA) of 1988. The JIA requires that every circuit council periodically survey local rules adopted by the district courts within the council’s purview for consistency with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Acts of Congress, and it authorizes each council to modify or abrogate conflicting local directives.
FLORIDA PAWNBROKING: AN INDUSTRY IN TRANSITION
Jarret C. Oeltjen
Pawnbroking is a profession frequently misunderstood. While the majority of today’s pawnshops are clean, attractively maintained establishments, the industry has difficulty shaking the “pawnbroker stigma.” The composite image of the pawnbroker is that of a shady, unkempt, overweight character working out of a filthy, run-down, back street hock shop with barred windows—a person who is involved in morally questionable practices, such as providing continuing support to “druggies” and other “low lifes” in exchange for pawns of stolen goods. Even the words “pawnshop” and “pawnbroking” are frequently associated with such concepts as “fenced property,” “sleaziness,” “shylocking,” and “usury.” Many a consumer has considered visiting a pawnshop but then hesitated to do so because of this pervasive stereotype. While public perception may continue to identify pawnbrokers with the antiquated image of sleazy accomplices to criminal activity, industry data show that less than one-tenth of one per-cent of all pawned property turns out to be stolen. The risk of buying stolen property from a pawnbroker has been nearly eliminated through strict reporting requirements and other laws governing stolen property, as well as through the cooperative determination of members of the pawnbroking profession to upgrade their image.
SEARCHES, SEIZURES, CONFESSIONS, AND SOME THOUGHTS ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: REGULATION OF POLICE INVESTIGATION—LEGAL, HISTORICAL, EMPIRICAL, AND COMPARATIVE MATERIALS
Criminal procedure casebooks densely populate the market but rarely are reviewed. This may be because they are all the same (which makes them unremarkable), or because of the unalterable dominance of Kamisar, LaFave, and Israel’s Modern Criminal Procedure (which makes them irrelevant). In Criminal Procedure: Regulation of Police Investigation—Legal, Historical, Empirical, and Comparative Materials, Christopher Slobogin copes with the anxiety of influence by writing a different sort of text. In 564 pages dedicated in large part to the usual topics, Slobogin offers only twenty edited Supreme Court opinions, although he does compress the facts of 120 others into problems. Throughout the text, he emphasizes alternative methods of regulation and, as an accomplished empiricist,5 repeatedly gives us data that supplements abstract accounts of the culture and practices of police. Comparative law also gets attention, though somewhat unevenly—perhaps due to the highly factualized rules of American constitutional law, which have no counterpart in other legal systems.
SHARING THE CUP: A PROPOSAL FOR THE ALLOCATION OF FLORIDA’S WATER RESOURCES
Ronald A. Christaldi
Florida’s population has grown immensely over the past forty years. The state’s warm climate and extensive beaches have attracted new citizens from across the nation. By the year 2000, Florida’s population is expected to surpass fifteen million. Because water is a basic necessity for human existence, this increase in population has led directly to an increase in the consumptive use of water. Florida has a seeming abundance of water; it receives an average of 175 billion gallons per day. In addition, Florida’s aquifers contain more than a quadrillion gallons of water, which is 30,000 times the average daily discharge of Florida’s thirteen largest rivers. Florida has 1700 streams and rivers and 7800 freshwater lakes. Yet, Florida withdraws only 18 billion gallons of water per day, only 7.5 billion gallons of which are fresh water.
THE SECOND, FIFTH, AND NINTH AMENDMENTS— THE PRECARIOUS PROTECTORS OF THE AMERICAN GUN COLLECTOR
The average American gun collector does not accumulate weaponry for so lofty a purpose as to protect his constitutional form of government or his constitutional liberties. He is not fanatical. The collector may not keep a weapon for personal protection. He has no pathological or greed-based desire to use his firearms for criminal purposes. His focus is on the beauty, craftsmanship, rarity, and profit potential that accompany the possession of firearms. While the collector usually sides with pro-gun forces, he does so to ensure the continued legality of his activity and to protect the value of his investment.