FEI Files Amicus Brief With Supreme Court On Textron Case
Jan. 27, 2010
On Jan. 27, 2010, Financial Executives International filed an amicus curiae "friend of the court" brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of a petition for review of the U.S. vs. Textron case.
FEI urged the Supreme Court to hear arguments in this case of significance, as it concerns whether a public company can withhold from disclosure to the Internal Revenue Service tax accrual workpapers that reflect the company's candid self-assessment of litigation hazards. FEI has been vocal on this issue during the course of this case. The outcome of U.S. vs. Textron has broad implications beyond the tax field and affects every public company.
The petition, submitted jointly by FEI's Committee on Taxation and Committee on Corporate Reporting and prepared by the law firm Miller & Chevalier, maintains that a 2007 lower court decision in favor of Textron appropriately balances the competing interests of the IRS, the investing public and the fairness considerations that protect attorney work product. However, the lower court decision was reversed by the en banc court of appeals and, accordingly, the Supreme Court is now being asked to weigh in on the issue.
"The issues in the Textron case are extremely important to FEI's membership, and have a direct effect on all publicly held companies and their ability to prepare financial statements and efficiently file tax returns," said Matt Miller, FEI's senior director of Government Affairs. "We strongly encourage the Court to grant review in this case so that the Court can clarify the scope of work-product protection. We hope the Court will reach a decision that will allow companies to act in the best interest of their shareholders."
The Supreme Court is expected to act on the Textron petition early this spring. A copy of the FEI brief is available upon request. A brief timeline of the case, along with related actions taken by FEI, can be found in the FEI press release.