70 Tax L. Rev. 179 (2016-2017)
George E. Zeitlin: Dear Friend, Colleague, and Mentor

handle is hein.journals/taxlr70 and id is 193 raw text is: 





                  George E. Zeitlin


   Dear Friend, Colleague, and Mentor

                      LEO   SCHMOLKA*


  So George  is gone. As I think back over the last forty-seven years,
his memory  brings a host of adjectives to mind: gifted, creative, irre-
pressible, blunt, ethical, ebullient, generous, flamboyant, funny, eccen-
tric, intellectually restless, pragmatic and, although not an adjective,
one hell of a tax lawyer. Despite all that, I know George was not
perfect-no  one is-but he surely was as I described him and, to boot,
one of the nicest people I have known.
  I was George's partnership tax student in 1970 as I garnered my last
credits required for my tax LL.M degree (part time). Those were the
wild and woolly days in which partnership taxation more resembled
Dodge  City than subchapter K, to the great detriment of Treasury.
The tax law almost always respected the partnership agreement: spe-
cial allocations galore, no mandatory § 704(c), accounting-method and
fiscal-year elections without restriction, primitive liability-sharing
rules, you name it. In short, a game in which clever tax lawyers were
always first and ten on the government's one-yard line.
  At  the head of the class was George, among the cleverest tax law-
yers of all. He was the fox that knew every inch of the woods and
could forever send the government hounds off baying, wildly chasing
the wrong spoor. George  relished teaching us every trick in the book.
It was an amazing experience. Of course, it all had a limited shelf life,
because Congress gradually awakened from general anesthesia and ei-
ther shut down or handcuffed the tricks George taught us. That, how-
ever, not only does not detract from the amazingness of the course,
but essentially vindicates its claim to amazingness.
   Some forty-odd years later, in his last two years of adjunct teaching,
 George was, in a sense, my partnership tax student. That calls for an
 explanation.
   After teaching Tax Procedure  as an adjunct, seemingly forever,
 George decided to switch to Partnership Tax in 2011, but at that late
 stage, he did not want to undertake preparation for a course he had
 not taught in decades. He  and I joined forces in teaching a new

 *  Professor Emeritus, New York University School of Law.
                               179


Imaged with the permission of Tax Law Review of New York University School of Law

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