In the News

Mark Gergen in the news:

Trump won’t release his tax returns, but in these countries, every citizen does

Mark Gergen quoted by Business Insider, Nov. 8, 2016

“When the corporate excise tax was first enacted in the US in 1909, corporate tax returns were made public,” Gergen told me. … “In 1934, Congress enacted a statute requiring individuals and corporations to file a ‘pink slip’ disclosing their gross income, net income, and tax paid.”

Airbnb clarifies rules: No class-action lawsuits

Mark Gergen quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, May 20, 2016

“Some people find the ubiquity of these arbitration terms troubling,” he said. “They don’t like the switch from courts to arbitration, but it’s where the world is heading.” Airbnb’s wording doesn’t strike him as particularly aggressive, he said.

Superior Court judge allows families of balcony collapse victims, survivors to pursue punitive damages

Mark Gergen quoted in The Daily Californian, April 29, 2016

UC Berkeley law school professor Mark Gergen said punitive damages can easily be equal to the amount of liability the defendants will have to pay, essentially doubling the amount of payment.

“We’re talking about people who have suffered horrible injuries,” Gergen said. “(Punitive damages) are not likely to be covered by liability insurance.”

Uber passenger says driver’s chase ended in death of SF pedestrian

Mark Gergen quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 2016

“Uber was trying to get out in front of it before the customer was fully aware of his medical condition and his legal rights,” he said. Noting that West could make a case for “significant emotional disturbance” and possibly false imprisonment as well as physical injuries, Gergen said, “Uber has a significant liability risk here.”

University of California funds generous home loans for faculty

Mark Gergen quoted in The Sacramento Bee, April 3, 2016

As co-chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee at Berkeley, Gergen said he has heard about more recent hires who passed on the UC loan. “It’s not a very big benefit now,” he said. “It’s a program that I would like the university to strengthen.”

Experts conduct destructive testing on Berkeley balconies in presence of witnesses

Mark Gergen quoted in The Daily Californian, Oct. 15, 2015

Mark Gergen said that where construction was concerned, litigation could potentially fall on many different parties. “All these entities (exist) — subcontractor, general contractor, material suppliers. There could be a manufacturing architect,” Gergen said. “Typically what happens is plaintiffs sue just about everybody.”

Campus health insurance dependent coverage grant requires signing away of some legal rights

Mark Gergen quoted in The Daily Californian, July 19, 2015

Mark Gergen said it is not a “particularly aggressive example” for the campus to ask for a legal claim release with respect to health insurance if it does not believe that it is legally obligated to make these payments.

Company that built collapsed Berkeley balcony has faced multiple legal battles

Mark Gergen cited in The Daily Californian, June 18, 2015

UC Berkeley School of Law professor Mark Gergen also said that there is an enormous number of construction litigation claims, although he said the central focus of future investigations will likely concern the degree to which the company is responsible for taking precautions against damages.

Experts say balcony collapse that killed 6 likely due to dry rot

Mark Gergen cited in The Daily Californian, June 17, 2015

According to UC Berkeley School of Law professor Mark Gergen, the city will likely revisit its housing code as a result of the balcony collapse. There may be new ordinances or other provisions passed in order to prevent further incidents. Gergen said the victims’ families could have grounds for multiple lawsuits.

2014 Tax Fairness Survey

Mark Gergen quoted in Wallet Hub, May 30, 2014

“As a practical matter investment income is very difficult to tax. My own preference is a wage or consumption tax and wealth tax with a very low rate, such as 0.5%”

A better direction for California’s climate change policy

Mark Gergen and David Gamage write for The Sacramento Bee, March 22, 2014

The proposed carbon tax is a much better mechanism for making those who burn fossil fuels pay for the privilege of doing so. The carbon tax is more transparent, specifying the sums that must be paid for the privilege of emitting greenhouse gases. And unlike cap and trade’s auction proceeds, revenue from a carbon tax can be returned to Californians through direct tax relief.

Suspect’s death puts reward in question

Mark Gergen quoted in The New York Times, March 29, 2013

Mark Gergen, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, said he did not know of any previous litigation in California over whether rewards should be paid if the suspect dies before conviction…. “Looking beneath the surface, in many of these cases there are qualms about whether the person claiming the reward really played an instrumental role,” he said.

Tax debtors owe state billions but rarely face sanctions

Mark Gergen quoted in The Bay Citizen, October 16, 2012

Mark Gergen, a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law who studies federal income tax and tax shelters, questioned the value of publicly humiliating tax debtors when many do not have the means to pay their debt. “I suspect a lot of these companies are beyond despair. Some of them simply can’t pay,” Gergen said. “If somebody goes bankrupt, they are already embarrassed. If you want to have this public disclosure as a way of embarrassing people, you aren’t doing a big service by adding them to this list.”

Mark Gergen Comments on Suits Against Law Schools

Above the Law, February 27, 2012 by David Lat

“People going to bottom-tier law schools ought to know that they won’t go like hot cakes on the job market. But that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to exploit their vulnerability.”

Mark Gergen Suspects Foul Play by Chesapeake Energy

Reuters, December 28, 2011 by Joshua Schneyer and Brian Grow

The near-blanket cancellation of the contracts raises the question of whether Chesapeake ever intended to pay if it failed to find oil or gas immediately, says Mark Gergen, a contract law professor at the University of California-Berkeley law school.

Mark Gergen Comments on Constitutionality of Internet Use Tax

CNET News, Politics and Law, April 14, 2010 by Declan McCullagh

Mark Gergen, a tax law professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law, says he’s not aware of any previous cases that would resolve whether a state can “impose an information reporting requirement on a foreign merchant if there is insufficient nexus to require the merchant to collect and remit a use tax.” It’s “difficult to predict how a court would come out on the question,” Gergen says.

Mark Gergen Considers Impact of Wyeth v. Levine Pre-emption Ruling

Inside Counsel, May 1, 2009 by Melissa Maleske

“They haven’t closed the door on implied pre-emption, but it’s not a very wide open door,” says Mark Gergen, a Berkeley Law School professor who co-authored an amicus brief in support of Levine.

Mark Gergen Opposes University’s Move to Bar Legal Clinic from Cases against School

Haaretz, Dec. 11, 2008 by Ruth Sinai

In a letter, Gergen said the decision would harm Tel Aviv University’s reputation. It is crucial, he wrote, that universities do not intervene in law clinic decisions about which clients to represent.