WVU College of Law clinic case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

A case being handled by a clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law will be argued in the United States Supreme Court on Dec. 3.

WVU Law students in the U.S. Supreme Court Clinic have been preparing for Dawson v. Steager, a tax discrimination case, for 18 months. They conducted much of the required research, analysis and writing for the case under the leadership of Lawrence Rosenberg, a partner with Jones Day in Washington, DC, and Anne Marie Lofaso, professor of law.

Rosenberg will argue the case before the Supreme Court. He and Lofaso founded the U.S. Supreme Court Clinic at WVU in 2011.

“This is a truly transformative experience for the WVU law students who have worked on this case,” said Gregory Bowman, dean of the College of Law. “Their work is critically important to a case that is going to be ruled on by the highest court in the land and will establish meaningful precedent. Only a handful of law schools in the country can provide this opportunity to their students.”

At issue in Dawson v. Steager is whether the State of West Virginia can impose a heavier tax burden on federal retirees than it imposes on state retirees who performed the same job duties.

It is the position of James and Elaine Dawson, clients of the WVU U.S. Supreme Court Clinic, that the state must extend favorable tax treatment of state employees to similarly situated federal employees.

West Virginia, on the other hand, argues that it can tax the benefits of federal and state retirees differently as long as it only favors a specific and small group of retirees.

At the heart of the case is James Dawson. A retired presidentially appointed U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of West Virginia, Dawson was enrolled exclusively in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). He sought a state tax exemption for all of his retirement income, but was denied by the West Virginia Supreme Court.

Under West Virginia law, Dawson is entitled to exempt only a small portion of his FERS income from state tax. However, West Virginia allows most state law enforcement retirees to exempt all of their state benefits from state tax.

According to the law clinic’s argument, several U.S. Supreme Court decisions support Dawson including Davis v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1989) and Jefferson County, Alabama v. Acker (1999).

The WVU Law students found that three state appeals courts have struck down tax laws that discriminate against federal employees, but three state appeals courts have also upheld such laws. Other state courts of last resort have ruled inconsistently on related laws.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Dawson v. Steager is expected by the end of June 2019.

SHOPS & SERVICES

Featured

Fish Hawk Acres invites community to events this October

BUCKHANNON – Mark your calendar: Fish Hawk Acres will offer several exciting events this month. Experience the fun and fine dining of Fish Hawk Acres through their Wine Clubs and Farm Dinner Series. Register for

Buckhannon: Then & Now – Scott’s Service Station

Buckhannon: Then and Now. Join us in showcasing Upshur County throughout history and today. Scott’s Service Station was owned by Tennerton’s own Harold Scott. This was a full-service station where drivers would pull in to

Upshur County proclaims Oct. 2-8 as National 4-H Week

BUCKHANNON –A local group has started a new program called the Upshur County 4-H Teen Ambassadors. Upshur County 4-H Extension Agent Craig Presar attended the Sept. 29 Upshur County Commission meeting to introduce one of the new ambassadors and proclaim […]

There’s more to this story! Unlock immediate access to everything on our site and get two extra months free when you subscribe for a year. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Fish Hawk Acres invites community to events this October

BUCKHANNON – Mark your calendar: Fish Hawk Acres will offer several exciting events this month. Experience the fun and fine dining of Fish Hawk Acres through their Wine Clubs and Farm Dinner Series. Register for

Breast Cancer Awareness Day to be observed at SYCC on Monday, Oct. 3

BUCKHANNON – In 2022, an estimated 1,470 West Virginia women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 290 women will die from the disease. The Upshur County Commission proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month during their Sept. 29 […]

There’s more to this story! Unlock immediate access to everything on our site and get two extra months free when you subscribe for a year. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES

WVWC cross country teams run at Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The West Virginia Wesleyan cross country program competed at the Live in Lou Classic on Saturday (October 1) in Louisville, Ky. The men`s team ran an 8K and finished 16th out of

WVWC Volleyball

Volleyball Lady ‘Cats fall to West Virginia State

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Wesleyan volleyball team (5-12, 1-3) was defeated by West Virginia State (17-1, 4-0) on Friday (Sept. 30) night at the Rockefeller Center in Buckhannon, W.Va. WVWC LeadersHope Arce-Reed led

Carpenter’s Crunch Time Column: Bucs look for the upset at UHS

BUCKHANNON – We have a lot of big games this week so let’s get right down to business. Brian Bergstrom gained yet another game on last week posting a 4-1 mark while I went 3-2. This is starting to reach […]

There’s more to this story! Unlock immediate access to everything on our site and get two extra months free when you subscribe for a year. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES