Legal

Legal 

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) is responsible for all legal matters involving the AICPA. The OGC provides legal advice to AICPA committees, service and staff task forces as appropriate, interpret and write legislation, interface and provide support for Washington lobbying activities, and draft and edit briefs filed by the AICPA.

July 15, 2014 

AICPA Files Federal Lawsuit Against IRS Challenging Purportedly “Voluntary” Program for Tax Return Preparers

The AICPA has filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the IRS’s new rule regulating tax return preparers. The AICPA has been a steadfast supporter of the IRS’s overall goals of enhancing compliance by tax return preparers and elevating ethical conduct. However, the IRS’s new rule regulating tax return preparers is an unlawful exercise of government power. By implementing a purportedly “voluntary” program that is mandatory in effect, the rule is an end-run around a judicial opinion which struck down the IRS’s earlier attempt to regulate tax return preparers. In addition, the rule will confuse consumers by creating four new categories of tax return preparers (for a total of eight). The new rule also does not address the problem of unethical or fraudulent tax return preparers.

January 6, 2014 

Brief of the AICPA as Amicus Curiae in Support of Halliburton Co. and David Lesar Petitioners

Although no member of the AICPA is a party to this case, issues surrounding this Court’s decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988), and its fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance have a distinct impact on and are of paramount importance to the AICPA and its membership.  Accounting firms are frequently named as defendants in securities fraud cases.  While securities suits against non-issuers decreased in the years immediately following this Court’s decision in Central Bank of Denver, N.A. v. First Interstate Bank of Denver, N.A., 511 U.S. 164 (1994), and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PSLRA”), securities class actions against accounting firms remain commonplace. 

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Legal

Overview The Office of General Counsel (OGC) is responsible for all legal matters involving the AICPA. The OGC provides legal advice to AICPA committees, service and staff task forces as appropriate, interpret and write legislation, interface and provide su
Published on July 17, 2015

Commscope Credit Union v. Butler & Burke, LLP v. Barry D. Graham et al.,

Legal Brief The Court of Appeals’ decision demonstrates a significant misunderstanding of auditor independence—an essential component of an auditor’s responsibilities. Holding that an auditor may owe a fiduciary duty to an audit client conflicts with North Carolina and federal law, as well as professional auditing standards: Auditors must be independent of their
Published on April 06, 2015

Halliburton Co. and David Lesar v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.

Legal Brief Brief of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners.
Published on January 06, 2014

Brief of the AICPA as Amicus Curiae in Support of the Defendant-Appellee KPMG LLP and Affirmance

Legal Brief The AICPA submitted this amicus brief in support of the Defendant-Appellee KPMG LLP.
Published on October 03, 2013

Erica John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co.

Legal Brief The AICPA, on behalf of its members, has a keen interest in assuring that its members and their firms, as well as all others involved in the financial reporting process, are able to raise, and have considered before the class certification decision is made, challenges to the underlying assumptions required for
Published on March 31, 2011

Jury Verdict Against KPMG for Negligent Misrepresentations in Audit Report

Article Failure to detect misstatements in financial statements result in a $38.8M jury verdict in the Cast Art Industries, LLC vs. KPMG LLP case.
Published on October 04, 2010

American Bar Association vs. Federal Trade Commission

Legal Brief The AICPA has a direct interest in the outcome of this litigation. The AICPA’s members, like attorneys, are engaged in a professional practice. Also,   like attorneys, certified public accountants typically engage in invoiced billing of their clients, allowing their clients to pay for such services after they are rendered.  According
Published on September 07, 2010

Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana vs. PwC and Marc Kirschner vs. KPMG, et al

Legal Brief The Appellants in both cases seek to eviscerate – if not eliminate altogether – the imputation doctrine and the related defense of in pari delicto, long available to auditors and other professionals as a vital protection against claims asserted by or on behalf of companies whose senior managers intentionally defrauded
Published on July 22, 2010

Massachusetts Society of CPAs & AICPA in Support of KPMG Re Nycal

Legal Brief Massachusetts Society of CPAs & AICPA in Support of KPMG Re: Nycal
Published on April 15, 2010

Cast Art Industries, LLC Scott Sherman Gary Barsellotti and Frank Colapinto vs. KPMG LLP John Quinn John Shaw Ed Lazor F...

Legal Brief A substantial jury verdict of $31.8 million was entered against KPMG in this case which was brought in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County.  Plaintiffs, which included Cast Art Industries, LLC (“Cast Art”) and its shareholders, brought suit against KPMG, as an auditor, for failing to detect fraudulent misstatements
Published on October 15, 2009

AHERF (Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation) v. PwC

Legal Brief The PICPA and AICPA do not have a stake in the particular dispute at issue. However, because of their extensive understanding of the accounting profession and commitment to the public interest, these organizations are deeply concerned on behalf of their members about the Court's decision in this case, particularly insofar as
Published on November 05, 2008

Bankruptcy Services, Inc. v. Ernst & Young, Ernst & Young LLP

Legal Brief The AICPA is deeply concerned about the Panel's unduly expansive view of the adverse interest exception to imputation.  The New York courts have carefully balanced an injured party's interest in recovering damages with fair limits on accountants' liability.  The Panel's decision threatens to upset that balance and expose accountants to broadly expanded
Published on August 20, 2008

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services

Legal Brief The AICPA and the NJSCPAs respectfully submit this brief as amici curiae in support of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's Motion to Dismiss.  Amici request that the motion to dismiss be granted because permitting the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services' claim against PwC would alter the existing standards of an accountant's
Published on June 20, 2008

Bernard L. Bilski and Rand A. Warsaw

Legal Brief The AICPA has worked closely with Congress and taxing authorities for many years to ensure equity, fairness, and simplicity in our tax system.  Its members play a major role helping millions of individual taxpayers and businesses, located in every state in the United States, to comply with federal, state, and
Published on April 07, 2008

Grant Thornton LLP v. Prospect High Income Fund

Legal Brief Because of their (1) extensive understanding of the accounting profession and, in particular, the role of an independent auditor, and (2) commitment to the public interest, the Texas Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs are deeply concerned about the court of appeals' decision in this case inasmuch as it threatens
Published on March 21, 2008

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