Professor Bill Lyons

William H. Lyons Richard H. Larson Professor of Tax Law Emeritus

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Mr. Lyons joined the faculty in 1981. He received his B.A. degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine in 1969 and his J.D. degree (Cum Laude, Order of the Coif) from Boston College Law School in Newton, Massachusetts in 1973. Mr. Lyons was a member of the law review publications staff during his second year at Boston College Law School and served as Coordinating Casenote and Comment Editor of the Annual Survey of Massachusetts Law during his third year. Admitted in Maine, Massachusetts, and Nebraska and to the Bar of the United States Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Lyons practiced in Bangor, Maine from 1973 to 1981 with the law firm of Vafiades, Brountas & Kominsky. During the 1987-88 academic year, Mr. Lyons was a Professor-in-Residence in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C. He was a visiting professor at Boston College Law School, University of Miami School of Law, Vermont Law School, and the International Tax Center at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He twice taught comparative wills and trusts law as part of the summer program for study in Ireland sponsored by UNL, University of Kansas and University of Limerick. Until he took emeritus status in 2016, Mr. Lyons taught Business Planning, Individual Income Taxation, Corporate Taxation, Partnership Taxation, Tax Policy Seminar, Estate Planning, Estate Planning Problems, Wills & Trusts, and Legal Research & Writing.

Mr. Lyons is a Fellow and a former Regent of the American College of Tax Counsel. He has been a member of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation since 1974, and has held several positions in the Section, including Articles Editor (1982-1985), Managing Editor/Associate Editor in Chief of The Tax Lawyer (2007-2021), Chair of the Individual Investments and Workouts Committee (a predecessor of both the current Individual and Family Taxation Committee and of the current Tax Collection, Bankruptcy & Workouts Committee), and Co-Vice Chair of the Section's I.R.C. Section 108 Real Estate and Partnership Task Force. He served on the Publications Committee and the Appointments to the Tax Court Committee.

Mr. Lyons is the author of a chapter entitled “Financially Troubled Partnerships” in Collier on Bankruptcy Taxation, a co-author of Repetti, Lyons & Luke, Partnership Income Taxation (6th ed.), and a co-author of Duncan, Lyons & Wilson, The Law and Practice of Secured Transactions:  Working with Article 9, as well as the author of articles on various areas of taxation.

Mr. Lyons served as a Director of the Great Plains Federal Tax Institute for 30 years, and as President (1993 and 2003 and as Program Chair (1992 and 2002).

Mr. Lyons served as Chair of the annual John G. Gradwohl Estate and Business Planning Program until 2017.

His non-professional interests include amateur radio (his current call sign is W1LXE, held by his late uncle from 1938 until 2009) and writing baseball history (he is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research). He has published book chapters on one of the owners of the former Boston National League baseball team and on the last integrated baseball league in Nebraska prior to World War II.


Business Planning Law 648/G (ACCT *848) (1-4 cr hr) (Prereq: LAW 632/G, 638/G)
Series of separate, rather detailed planning problems. Each problem calls for the selection and planning of a transaction to meet the needs of the parties involved, in light of applicable corporate, partnership, tax, and securities considerations.

Estate Planning Law 767/G (ACCT 967) (1-4 cr hr) (Prereq: LAW 637/G & Pre- / Co-Req: LAW 639/G)
Federal estate and gift taxation, related income tax rules, estate planning concepts, and state inheritance taxation.

Estate Planning Problems Law 768/G (ACCT 968) (1-4 cr hr) (Prereq: LAW 767/G)
Problems of planning and implementing estate plans for clients of substantial wealth with emphasis on skills of drafting the various legal instruments usually required for comprehensive estate planning.

Partnership Taxation Law 745/G (ACCT 945) (1-4 cr hr) Prereq: ACCT 812 or LAW 637G)
Survey of important principles of partnership taxation.

Tax Policy Seminar Law 769/G (ACCT 969) (1-4 cr hr)
Policies of federal income taxation with emphasis on current legislative proposals and alternatives.

Taxation-Business Entities Law 662/G (3 cr hr) (Prereq: LAW 637/G & Pre- / Co-Req: LAW 632/G)
Introduction to the fundamentals of federal income taxation of corporations and their shareholders, partnerships and their partners and limited liability companies and their members, focusing on information, operation and liquidation of such business entities. Examines subchapters C (regular business corporations), S (certain electing small business corporations), and K (business partnerships and qualifying limited liability companies) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Taxation-Corporate Law 638/G (ACCT *838) (1-4 cr hr) (Prereq: LAW 637/G & Pre- / Co-Req: LAW 632/G
Advanced federal income tax focusing on income taxation of corporations and shareholders.

Taxation-Individual Income Law 637/G (ACCT *837) (3-4 cr hr, max 4)
The structure and content of the federal income tax system, focusing on taxation of individuals. Income, deductions, income splitting, capital gains, and tax accounting. Technical proficiency in solving tax problems and an understanding of the tax policy decisions implicit in the technical rules.

Wills and Trusts Law 639/G (1-4 cr hr)
Intestate succession and related matters, execution of wills, revocation of wills, problems created by the time gap in wills, limitations on the power to devise, construction of wills (mistake and ambiguity), the elements of trust, formalities in the creation of a trust, the interest of the beneficiary, charitable trusts, and problems of trust administration.


Discretionary Trusts, Support Trusts, Discretionary Support Trusts, Spendthrift Trusts, and Special Needs Trusts Under the Nebraska Uniform Trust Code,  86 Nebraska Law Review 231 (2007) with John M. Gradwohl

Constitutional and Other Issues in the Application of the Nebraska Uniform Trust Code to Existing Trusts,  82 Nebraska Law Review 212 (2003) with John M. Gradwohl

The New 'Innocent Spouse' Rules,  The Nebraska Lawyer (May 2001)

Report entitled Partnership Equity for Debt, portion of the Report of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Section 108 Real Estate and Partnership Task Force,  46 The Tax Lawyer 397 (1993)

An Examination of the Tax Consequences of Discharge of Indebtedness,  10 Virginia Tax Review 1 (1990) with Fred T. Witt, Jr.

Federal Tax Liens and the Secured Part,  21 Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal 3 (1988) with Professor Richard F. Duncan

Corporate Liquidations and the 'General Utilities Rule',  38 Southwestern Law Journal 1081 (1985)


Partnership Income Taxation5th ed. 2011, with James R. Repetti

Sourcebook on The Nebraska Uniform Trust Code(November 2003) with Professor John M. Gradwohl

The Law and Practice of Secured Transactions: Working with Article 9 New York Law Journal Press 1987, with Professor Richard F. Duncan and Catherine Lee Wiilson

Book Chapters

Financially Troubled Partnerships in Collier on Bankruptcy Taxation, 1992, with annual updates

General Partnerships in Volume 4 of the Nebraska "How To" Practice Series, Volume 4, 2d ed.1998

Selected Tax Issues in Bankruptcy in Volume 6 of the Nebraska "How To" Practice Series, Volume 6, 2d ed.1997

Apportionment of Federal and Nebraska Wealth Transfer Taxes in Nebraska Probate Manual, Nebraska Continuing Legal Education, Inc. 1993




J.D., cum laude, 1973, Boston College Law School
Order of the Coif, 1973
B.A., Government, 1969, Colby College, Waterville, Maine

Areas of Expertise


Richard H. Larson Professor of Tax Law, 1999
Professor of Law, 1992
Associate Professor of Law, 1986
Assistant Professor of Law, 1981