Nancy Assaf McLaughlin

Nancy Assaf McLaughlin portrait
  • Robert W. Swenson Professor of Law, College Of Law, University of Utah
  • Professor, College Of Law, University of Utah



  • J.D. 1990, Law, University of Virginia School of Law


Professor McLaughlin received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1990 and a B.S. honors degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1987, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and currently serves as chair of ACTEC’s Legal Education Committee. She also is vice chair of the Charitable Organizations Committee of the ABA’s Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Section and a professional editor of the section’s academic law journal. 

Her research focuses on conservation easement, tax, and nonprofit governance issues and she writes and lectures extensively on these issues. She served as a member of the Land Trust Alliance's Conservation Easement Amendment Policy Group and currently serves on the Alliance's Conservation Defense Advisory Council. She also serves on the advisory board of Vital Ground, as a member of the Habitat Protection Advisory Committee of the Wildlife Land Trust, and as an advisor to Utah Open Lands. She consults with land trusts, landowners, government entities, and others regarding conservation easements, and she blogs about conservation easement current developments on the Law Professors Nonprofit Law Blog. 
Professor McLaughlin teaches Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning, Gift & Estate Tax, Federal Income Tax, Private Land Conservation, and a course on Conservation Easements.

Selected Publications



                                                  ~~~ Law Review Articles ~~~


Conservation Easement Enabling Statutes: Perspectives on Reformco-authored with Jeff Pidot, 3 Utah L. Rev. 811 (2013)

Conservation Easements and The Doctrine of Merger, 74 Duke J. L. & Contemp. Probs 279 (2011)
Conservation Easements and the Charitable Trust Doctrine: Setting the Record Straight, co-authored with W. William Weeks, 10 Wyo. L. Rev. 73 (2010)
To View and Download all Law Review Articles go to
                                               ~~~ Federal Tax Case Outline ~~~    
Trying Times: Important Lessons to be Learned From Recent Federal Tax Cases(2013), prepared for the 2013 Land Trust Alliance Annual Conference 
                          ~~~ Conservation Easement Current Development Blog Posts ~~~ 
                                                           Federal Tax Cases 

Gorra v. Commissioner - Facade Easement Deductible but Gross Valuation Misstatement Penalty Applied

Friedberg v. Commissioner Revisited—Questionable Appraisal Can Be a “Qualified Appraisal”

Mitchell v. Commissioner Revisited – 170(h) Requires Perpetuation of Conservation Easement Itself, Not Just Conservation Purposes

Carpenter v. Commissioner Revisited - Federally-Deductible Conservation Easements Must be Extinguishable Only in a Judicial Proceeding

Pesky v. U.S. – Deduction for Conservation Easement Donation Not Fraudulent

Graev v. Commissioner - Side Letter Kills Deductions for a Façade Easement Donation

Belk v. Commissioner - Tax Court Reaffirms its Holding that “Floating” Conservation Easements Are Not Deductible

Belk v. Commissioner - "Floating" Conservation Easements Are Not Deductible

Mountanos v. Commissioner - Deduction Denied for Failure to Prove Conservation Easement Had Value

Pollard v. Commissioner – Conservation Easement Conveyed For Quid Pro Quo Not Deductible

Scheidelman v. Commissioner – A Long Journey to the Denial of a Deduction for a Facade Easement Donation

Pesky v. United States – Government Asserts Civil Fraud Penalty in Conservation Easement Donation Case



IRS Bars Appraisers from Valuing Facade Easements for Five Years

Perpetual Conservation Easements: What Have We Learned and Where Should We Go From Here?  (University of Utah College of Law Symposium Videos and Articles)

Income From Charitable Organization’s Sale of Mitigation Bank Credits is not Unrelated Business Taxable Income

IRS Rules Tax-Exempt Status of Organization Accepting Conservation Easements Should be Revoked

Property Tax Exemption of Charitable Organizations' Conservation Lands in Question

IRS Chief Counsel Memorandum Addresses Conservation Easement Valuation

Façade Easement Appraiser Barred From Preparing Appraisal Reports and Ordered to Turn Over List of Clients