Mortimer Caplin, lawyer and educator, is the founder of Caplin & Drysdale. He holds B.S. and LL.B. degrees from University of Virginia and Doctor of Juridical Science from New York University.
First in his class at UVA School of Law and Editor-in-Chief of Virginia Law Review, Mr. Caplin served as a law clerk to U.S. Circuit Judge Armistead M. Dobie. He then practiced law in New York City from 1941 to 1950, with time out for military service in the U.S. Navy. During the Normandy invasion he served as U.S. Navy beachmaster, cited as member of initial landing force on Omaha Beach.
In 1950, Mr. Caplin returned to UVA as professor of law, concentrating in tax and corporate law and publishing extensively in these fields. He also engaged in practice as counsel to a Virginia law firm.
Government ExperienceFollowing President John F. Kennedy's election, Mr. Caplin served on the President's Task Force on Taxation and in January 1961 was appointed U. S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. He remained in that post until July 1964 when he resigned and formed Caplin & Drysdale.
In his law practice, Mr. Caplin uses his broad experience dealing with U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Justice Department.
Served as trustee of many educational and charitable entities:
- UVA Board of Visitors; UVA Law School Foundation; George Washington University; Arena Stage; Shakespeare Theatre; Wolf Trap Foundation
- Honorary Chair, UVA Council for the Arts
- Governing Council of the Miller Center at UVA
- Chair, Board of Advisors, The Hospitality & Information Service for Diplomats ("THIS")
Awards & Honors
Mr. Caplin has deep commitments to public service, teaching and the educational process itself. His contributions have been widely recognized:
- American Bar Foundation honored him at National World War II Museum in New Orleans founded by historian Stephen Ambrose.
- UVA presented him the Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law, the university's highest honor, and the William J. Brennan Jr. Award from its National Trial Advocacy Program
- Named "Chevalier" of the Legion of Honor by the President of the French Republic for his contributions to the United States' role in the liberation of France during World War II
- Maryland General Assembly official citation in recognition of appointment as "Chevalier" of the Legion of Honor.
- Medal of the "Jubilee of Liberty" authorized by the Governor of the Normandy Region
- Alexander Hamilton Award, highest award conferred by the Secretary of the Treasury, for "distinguished leadership" as IRS Commissioner.
- Achievement Award, Tax Society of New York University; Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award, American Jewish Committee; Tax Executives Institute Distinguished Service Award; Federal Bar Association's Kenneth S. Liles Award; Federal Veterans of Foreign Wars Public Service Award.
- Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia, after service as Professor of Law (1950-1961) and Visiting Professor of Law (1965-1987)
- Listed in the 2011-2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Tax Law
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Mr. Caplin is frequently quoted in the media. Recently, he was mentioned by Kenneth S. Abraham, Harrison Distinguished Law Professor at UVA in his remarks to the Class of 2009. Other media mentions include:
- View From the Top: Former IRS Commissioners Remember the Job, Tax Notes (September 17, 2012)
- Most Interesting Man in the World, Legal Bisnow (December 23, 2011)
- Too Old for Murdoch Board Is Young Among Buffett's Octogenarian Directors, Bloomberg (September 15, 2011)
- Tax Ethics Expert Bernard Wolfman Dies, Tax Analysts (August 23, 2011)
- Blast from the Past-Mortimer Caplin Interview in 1962 with Meet the Press
- Beyond The Tax Deal: Targeting The Code Itself
- 'Temporary' Tax Code Puts Nation in a Lasting Bind, The Wall Street Journal (December 14, 2010)
- UVa to Break Ground on Arts Addition, The Daily Progress (October 19, 2010)
- Former Commissioner Blasts IRS's Social Mission, Accounting Today (October 15, 2010)
- $9.3 Million in Overdue Taxes Owed, The Washington Post (September 10, 2010)
- President John F. Kennedy, the first President to visit the IRS with Mortimer Caplin
To view Mr. Caplin's profile on Wikipedia, please click here.