Doug Kahn’s love of tax law appears to be contagious. His wife was a tax lawyer, his son is now a tax law professor, and even his daughter in law is a tax lawyer. Doug may have caught the “tax disease” from his elder brother, who was also a leading tax lawyer. In politics, we have the Kennedys, the Bushes, and the Clintons; in the world of tax law, we have the Kahn family dynasty. One can only assume that the discussions around the family Thanksgiving table sliced and diced tax regulations and policies right along with the turkey and trimmings. Doug attained his “pied piper” status by inspiring untold numbers of law students to follow him in the study and practice of tax law in the years since he joined the Michigan Law faculty in 1964. Many, if not most of these law students took Doug’s tax courses because they felt they needed to, rather than out of any compelling desire to immerse themselves in tax law. After all, tax law is generally considered difficult to understand, and Doug’s courses had the reputation of requiring a great deal of work. The great Albert Einstein may have formulated the theory of relativity, but even he had a hard time grasping tax law, reportedly saying, “[t]he hardest thing in the world to understand is income taxes.”
Barrie L. Loeks & Burt P. Rosen,
Doug Kahn: The Pied Piper of Tax Law,
Mich. Bus. & Entrepreneurial L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mbelr/vol5/iss2/7