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Roy Bass

Roy Bass


Roy Bass

Roy Bass was a Texas attorney best remembered for acting as the mayor of Lubbock, Texas for a four-year period. In legal circles, Roy Bass was known as a partner in the firm of Bass and Hobbs.

Though Roy Bass is primarily remembered for his contributions to the city of Lubbock while acting in a government capacity, one of his documented cases is the case of First National Bank At Lubbock v. United States of America, which reached the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1972. The case involved the estate of Vera Harrell, a woman who had retained Roy Bass as her lawyer. After her death, her daughter Lamoyane applied for a refund of the estate taxes paid. The basis of her claim was that gifts of property given by her mother were exempt from such charges.

In a court hearing, it was established by the prosecution that Roy Bass had advised Vera Harrell that she could lessen the size of the estate tax that would be assessed after her death by making several gifts of property. Subsequently, Vera Harrell established two bank accounts solely in her daughter's name, as well as four church bonds and 8000 shares of stock in an insurance company.

In the course of trial, Roy Bass was cross-examined by attorneys acting for the United States about his role in advising Vera Harrell about her tax liability. Though he established that he had advised Vera Harrell about how to dispose of her assets but denied any knowledge that she had taken action on his advice for the specific purpose of minimizing estate tax. Ultimately, Lamoyane Harrell's appeal was denied in a ruling issued in July of 1972. A request for a rehearing was denied in August of that year.