Press Releases

ACTEC Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court

Contact: Rebecca Vandall

Washington, DC – August 19, 2022:  The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Alexandru Bittner v. United States on August 16, 2022. This is an important case dealing with the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and addresses the construction and application of the $10,000 civil money penalty for foreign account reporting (“FBAR”) violations that are non-willful, and which do not satisfy the reasonable cause exception.

The College took no position on the merits, but instead, as noted in the brief, filed in order to:

“assist the Court in understanding the history and evolution of the statute at issue and the implications of its application, particularly in common trust and estate situations involving principals and agents under financial powers of attorney; trusts, grantors, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts; and executors and beneficiaries of estates (referred to collectively as “fiduciary parties”).”

Oral argument in Bittner is set for November 2.

ACTEC Fellows Gregory N. BarrickTurney P. BerryJane Gorham DitelbergMichelle B. GrahamMargaret G. LodisePatrick W. MartinRuth MattsonCarlyn S. McCaffreySteven K. MignognaKevin E. PackmanSuzanne L. ShierRobert H. SitkoffDavid E. SloanBruce StoneMargaret Van Houten and Howard M. Zaritsky, worked to prepare and review the brief.


Established in Los Angeles in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is now based in Washington, DC. ACTEC is a nonprofit association of lawyers and law professors skilled and experienced in the preparation of wills and trusts; estate planning; and probate procedure and administration of trusts and estates of decedents, minors and incompetents. Its more than 2,500 members are called “Fellows” and practice throughout the United States, Canada, and other foreign countries.