Keleher & McLeod Professor
B.A. 1991, University of California at Berkeley
J.D. 1996, Georgetown University Law Center
Member of the Indiana and Colorado Bars
Sergio Pareja joined the UNM law faculty in 2005 after nearly nine years in private practice in Colorado and Indiana. Most recently, Pareja was a partner in the tax department at a large Denver law firm. While in private practice, he specialized in federal individual and corporate income tax planning, state and local tax matters, and estate and gift tax planning.
At the UNM School of Law, Pareja primarily teaches business and tax law courses. Since he started teaching at UNM, he has taught Federal Income Tax, Contracts, Practicum, Estate and Gift Tax, Taxation of Business Enterprises and International Business Transactions. He also has taught in the law school’s Business & Tax Clinic.
Pareja's research interests currently include estate and gift taxation, with a focus on tax simplification and equity, as well as federal income tax law.
He is extremely dedicated to giving students the opportunity to study law in other countries. He has taught in and directed the Guanajuato Summer Law Institute. In addition, he recently spent a year teaching as a visiting professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain. He is the founding director of the Madrid Summer Law Institute, which will offer its first summer law program starting in June 2013.
Pareja is a highly dedicated teacher. In 2011, he was identified by The National Jurist as one of the top law teachers in the country: The Bucket List: 23 Law Profs to Take Before You Die.
Outside of his interests in the law, Pareja is a dedicated guitarist who has performed at Swallow Hill in Denver, as well as at numerous convalescent hospitals in the Denver area. In Albuquerque, he has performed extensively (with Professor Jenny Moore) at UNM Hospital through the innovative Arts-in-Medicine program. Pareja is even known to play guitar in class on occasion.
In an industrial society characterized by a "free enterprise" system and notions of individual freedom, "contract" is one of the primary means by which private individuals order their affairs. The contracts course inquires into why promises are enforced as contracts, which promises are enforced, and how they are enforced. The course places emphasis on close and critical analyses of court decisions.
Pre-requisite: Completion of first year curriculum. Pre- or co-requisite: Ethics.
Preference: Completion of Federal Income Tax and any Business Law courses.
Summer 2013--Prof. Nathalie Martin, Prof. Grace Allison
Fall 2013--Prof. James Butler, Prof. Mary Pareja
Spring 2014--Prof. James Butler, Prof. Mary Pareja
This clinic section is part of the law school's Economic Development program. Although specific types of client matters cannot be guaranteed, the Business and Tax Clinic will emphasize the following:
Small-business cases will likely include the following:
Cases and instruction will also include matters of personal interest to a new lawyer seeking to open his or her own practice. We strive to provide a broad-spectrum experience, including pure transactional practice (small business startup, contract drafting), dispute resolution (IRS controversy, small case business controversies) and consumer protection (bankruptcy, foreclosure defense and consumer credit dispute resolution).
Clients of the law school’s Clinical Law Program include individuals and organizations that have multiple legal and non-legal needs and objectives. Students of the Business and Tax Clinic often collaborate with students of the Community Lawyering Clinic or Southwest Indian Law Clinic in providing services to these clients.
Students will be required (1) to attend and actively participate in up to five classroom sessions (ten during summer’s first three weeks) during each week of the academic semester and (2) to maintain, in addition to classroom hours, a schedule of 24 (2-hours block) fixed office hours (physically present in the clinic, working on clinic matters) each week during Summer, or 16 (2-hours block) fixed office hours each week during Fall and Spring semesters.
Students having specific questions about the Business and Tax Clinic are encouraged to visit with Profs. Allison, Butler, Martin, or Pareja.
This course provides an overview of the federal gift tax and federal estate tax. Topics covered include the concept of a gift for federal gift tax purposes, when a gift occurs, components of the gross estate, estate tax deductions, and computation of the gift tax and estate tax. The matters covered in class are illustrated by examples drawn from current estate planning techniques. This course also covers policy issues surrounding proposals for permanent repeal of the estate tax.
The goals of the course are for the student to acquire: (1) a broad perspective as to the application and impact of the federal income tax in a variety of transactions; (2) practice in using the legal materials of taxation, especially the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations; and (3) an understanding of the policies underlying various IRC provisions, i.e., how the tax system is used to influence behavior and thus promote various social and economic policies.
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the transactional, regulatory, and litigation issues that affect international business through the use of hypothetical fact patterns. With respect to international transactions, we will explore the international sale of goods, international contract issues, international investments, cross-border financings, and international franchises. With respect to international disputes, we will focus on contract rights and remedies, choice of law, choice of forum, and international arbitration. Where appropriate, the course will focus on business transactions in Latin America.
One-hour Practicum Course accompanying the Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law Courses
The Practicum Course is not really a separate course; rather, it is a hands-on, practice-based extension of the Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law courses. Students explore the theoretical connections among the three courses in the context of resolving simulated but realistic client problems. The course stresses practical and analytical skills through writing exercises while also exploring substantive law questions that are addressed in other first semester courses.
This course provides an overview of major federal income tax events with respect to business entities. These events include formations, contributions, operations, distributions, redemptions, and liquidations. The types of business entities covered in the course are entities that are taxed under federal law as Subchapter C corporations, Subchapter S corporations, and partnerships (including limited liability companies). This course will also consider policy issues related to the taxation of these business entities.
Federal Income Taxation of Business Enterprises: Cases, Statutes, Rulings, 3rd Ed., Vandeplas Publishing, 2010 (co-author with Westin and Beck).
«La Crisis» Desde una Perspectiva Jurídica: la Resistencia a la Regulación en los Estados Unidos, IUSTEL Revista de Derecho Público Comparado (No. 11, December 2012)(peer-reviewed law journal at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain)(accepted for publication).
It Taxes a Village: The Problem with Routinely Taxing Barter Transactions, 59 Cath. U. L. Rev. 3 (2010).
Taxation Without Liquidation: Rethinking “Ability to Pay,” 8 Wis. L. Rev. 841 (2008).
Sales Gone Wild: Will the FTC's Proposed Rule Put an End to Pyramid Marketing Schemes?,39 McGeorge Law Review 83 (2008)
Environmental Clean-Up Expenses: Taxing Times for the BLM and Miners, 83 Denv. U. L. Rev. 299 (2005)
Chapter 1N:2: “Farm Expenses,” LexisNexis Tax Advisor – Federal Topical, 2007 (on-line tax treatise).
Estate Tax Repeal Under EGTRRA: A Proposal for Simplification, 38 Real Prop. Prob. & Tr. J. 73, Spring 2003
Selecting a Trust Situs in the 21st Century, Probate & Property, March/April 2002 (with John A. Warnick)
Slow Legislative Year for Probate Matters, The Indiana Lawyer, June 23, 1999 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)
Electing to Treat a Revocable Trust as Part of a Decedent’s Estate, The Indiana Lawyer, April 14, 1999 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)
The QTIP Election for Indiana Inheritance Tax Purposes, The Indiana Lawyer, January 6, 1999 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)
Deadlines are Hot Topic of Recent Court Decisions, The Indiana Lawyer, October 14, 1998 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)
The Impact of Disclaimers on Estate Planning, The Indiana Lawyer, July 22, 1998 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)
Charitable Lead Trusts -- an Overlooked Estate Planning Tool, The Indiana Lawyer, April 29, 1998 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)
Roth IRAs May Provide New Estate Planning Opportunities, The Indiana Lawyer, February 18, 1998 (with Kristin G. Fruehwald)
Letting Tax Cuts Expire Will Take Courage, Albuquerque Journal op-ed, October 21, 2010
Cut Tax Credits, Not Just Budget, Albuquerque Journal, November 1, 2009