Stanley P. Weiner, key figure in Royals’ plan to stay in KC, retires from law firmStanley P. Weiner, key figure in Royals’ plan to stay in KC, retires from law firm - Kansas City Star (29 June 2009)
By DAN MARGOLIES
The Kansas City Star
Tax lawyer Stanley P. Weiner, a key figure in Ewing Kauffman’s plan to keep the Royals in Kansas City , is retiring after 25 years at Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
One of the top tax lawyers in the country, Weiner was instrumental in devising the complicated succession plan under which the baseball team’s founder and owner bequeathed the team to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Affiliated Trusts.
The IRS blessed the plan after more than two years of deliberations, agreeing that the donation of the team was tax-deductible for the Royals estate. Absent that approval, the gift of the team would have triggered a deal-killing tax bill of $60 million or more.
The highly unusual plan — devised by Weiner and Sylvan Siegler, his Shook colleague and friend — was designed to keep the team in friendly hands in Kansas City and buy time while a permanent owner was sought. Proceeds of the team’s eventual sale to David Glass went to charity.
The plan ensured the team’s continuing presence in Kansas City — although, as Weiner joked Friday at a Shook reception in his honor, “whether you think that was a good thing or not” is another matter.
Weiner was also a force behind the establishment in 1984 of Missouri ’s IOLTA program, which requires the state’s lawyers to place short-term client trust funds into interest-bearing accounts. The interest is distributed to nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal services to the poor and conduct programs that improve the administration of justice.
In 1976, as a lawyer with Smith Gill Fisher & Butts, Weiner and Ed Smith represented H&R Block Inc. in hearings before Congress on the regulation of tax-return preparers. The resulting legislation governs such matters as when preparers are liable for errors and penalties.
Weiner, a Kansas City native, attended the University of Michigan Law School. After getting his law degree in 1967, he clerked for the chief judge of the U.S. Tax Court. He moved back to Kansas City in 1973 and joined the law firm of Smith Gill Fisher & Butts. He hooked up with Shook in 1984.
Among other things, Weiner has served as chairman of the Heart of America Tax Institute, president of the Lawyers Association of Kansas City, a member of the board of the Harvesters Community Food Network, president of Camp Quality USA and president of the Jewish Community Center.
Weiner, who turns 68 next month and has some health issues, said that four decades of practicing law was enough and that he wanted to spend more time with his two grandchildren.
“I’ve been doing this for 40-some odd years,” he said, adding with admirable candor, “After a while, it gets to be a drag.”
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
01 July 2009
Admirable candor, indeed