KU Law Lecture Series

Inaugural Dean Martin Dickinson Tax Policy Lecture

“Progressive Taxation: Historical Context and Contemporary Examples”
Myron Frans, L'83, State of Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner  

Thursday, October 13, 2016 | 4 pm | 104 Green Hall
Reception to follow in first-floor commons. No RSVP required.

Myron Frans

In 1936 Franklin Roosevelt said, “Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay.” Today experts still regard progressive taxation as the most equitable and economically effective tax structure. A progressive tax system is one in which those with the greatest capacity to pay, pay more tax than those with a lesser capacity to pay. In a progressive tax system, average tax rates rise with income. A progressive tax system has many advantages, including reducing tax burdens on people who can least afford to pay them and leaving more money to stimulate the economy. Additionally, by indexing tax rates to increase as income climbs, the people with the greatest amount of resources fund a greater portion of the services we all rely on, such as education, roads, first responders, and social services.

Recently we have seen some states increase progressivity while others have become more regressive. The State of Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans, L'83, will describe the historical case for progressive taxes and recent examples of successful implementation.

Myron Frans was appointed Commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget in 2015. He previously served as Commissioner of Revenue from 2011 to 2015. Frans has three decades of private practice tax law expertise and served as president of Leeds Precision Instruments, a company in Golden Valley, Minnesota, that designs, manufactures and sells forensic microscopes around the world.

The Dean Martin Dickinson Tax Policy Lecture pays tribute to Dickinson’s 48-year legacy of teaching KU Law students and providing excellent analysis of tax policy and changes in tax laws in Kansas and beyond.  

Diplomat's Forum

“International Legal Accountability and the Right to Development: An African Perspective”
Professor Obiora Chinedu Okafor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

Monday, March 7 | 4 pm | 107 Green Hall
Reception to follow in first-floor commons. No RSVP required.

Richard Buxbaum

Nigerian legal scholar Obiora Chinedu Okafor currently serves as Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and previously served as an expert panelist for the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and United Nations Working Group on People of African Descent. Okafor has published extensively in the fields of international human rights law and immigration/refugee law. He is the author of three books, “The African Human Rights System, Activist Forces, and International Institutions”; “Legitimizing Human Rights NGOs: Lessons from Nigeria”; and “Re-Defining Legitimate Statehood.”

Okafor has served as an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program, a Canada-US Fulbright Scholar at MIT, and as a visiting professor at universities in France, Uganda and Nigeria. He holds law degrees from the University of Nigeria and an LL.M. and Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia and has consulted for a variety of international organizations, governments and law firms.

The Diplomat’s Forum is the law school’s most prestigious annual international and comparative law event. Its aim is to provide a platform for an open sharing of thoughts on international law and relations and the United States through the perspective of a professional with notable diplomatic experience in the service of a foreign government.

Past lectures

“The Middle East: Winds of Change and Quicksand – The Arab Awakening, Israel and the Region”
Avi Melamed, Rosenzwog Fellow of Intelligence and Middle East Affairs, Eisenhower Institute
March 27, 2014

Sean Hagan, general counsel and director, Legal Department, International Monetary Fund
Fall 2012

Anthony Amunategui Abad, managing director, TA Trade Advisory Group, The Philippines
Spring 2011

Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, People’s Republic of China
Fall 2008

Fawaz Al Alamy, deputy minister of commerce and industry and Chief World Trade Organization technical negotiator, Saudi Arabia
Fall 2007

Takao Shibata, consul general, Japan
Spring 2007

Robert Zischg, consul general, Austria
Spring 2006

Margriet Vonno, economic counselor, Royal Dutch Embassy, The Netherlands
Fall 2003

Robert C. Casad Comparative Law Lecture

“Twentieth-Century Sovereign Debtors: From Germany to Greece”
Professor Richard M. Buxbaum, University of California Berkeley School of Law

Thursday, October 8, 2015 | 3 pm | 107 Green Hall
Reception to follow in first-floor commons. No RSVP required.

Richard Buxbaum

Richard Buxbaum practiced law in Rochester, New York, and with the U.S. Army before joining the Berkeley Law faculty in 1961. He publishes in the fields of corporation law and comparative and international economic law, and was editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Comparative Law from 1987 to 2003. Buxbaum founded and was the first chair of UC Berkeley's Center for German and European Studies and Center for Western European Studies. From 1993 to 1999, he was dean of international and area studies at UC Berkeley. 

Buxbaum was one of the five defense counsel in the criminal proceedings against the 773 members of the Free Speech Movement from 1964 to 1967; represented various campus organizations and individuals in cases arising out of Vietnam War protests; and was defense counsel in a large number of criminal proceedings that accompanied the Third World Strike of 1969-70, which was a factor in the development of affirmative action programs for student admissions on the campus. He was the first director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute at Berkeley, serving from 1969 to 1974. His involvement with the National Housing Law Project goes back to its formation as a Backup Center for the Legal Services Corporation in 1969.

Buxbaum has served on various state and national committees engaged in the drafting and review of corporate and securities legislation. He is contributing editor to a variety of U.S. and foreign professional journals and has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Michigan, Cologne, Frankfurt, Münster and Sydney. He was appointed Honorary Professor of Law of Peking University, holds honorary degrees from the universities of Cologne, Osnabrück, Eötvös Lorand, McGill, Humboldt and the Bucerius School of Law, and in 1992 received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award for Humanities and Arts. Buxbaum is a member of the Council on Foreign Affairs, the American Law Institute and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.

Buxbaum holds an LL.M. from UC Berkeley and an LL.B. and bachelor's degrees from Cornell University.

The Casad lecture series is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Robert C. Casad, who has been on the faculty at the KU School of Law since 1959 and is internationally known for his scholarship in comparative civil procedure. In 1997 he retired from classroom teaching but continues to conduct research and publish books and articles. 

Past lectures

“The Cosmopolitan State”
H. Patrick Glenn, McGill University
September 14, 2012

“U.S. Class Actions and the ‘Global’ Class”
George A. Bermann, Columbia Law School
December 1, 2008



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