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Significant Tax Case Win Recognized

January 27, 2009

An income tax refund case for a client recently earned Varnum recognition in Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of the top ten largest reported verdicts of 2008.

The case, filed in U.S. District Court (Western District), was for an income tax refund by Varnum client ABC Beverage Corp. Varnum attorneys Ron DeWaard, Brion Doyle, and Kap Jones successfully convinced the jury that the client was entitled to a lease termination expense deduction arising out of its 1997 purchase of a bottling facility. Defendant U.S. Department of Justice had argued that the deduction was not proper because the purchase did not close until 1999.

A key to winning the case was Varnum's ability to illustrate complex data to the jury, showing that all the events necessary to complete the transaction had occurred by 1997, even though the purchase did not close until 1999.

As a result, the jury was convinced ABC Beverage Corp was entitled to take the deduction from 1997. The refund amount was for $2,003,798 but could reach $4 million, depending on interest.

The verdict was the eighth highest in Michigan for 2008, as reported by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

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