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Elaine Gagliardi


Personal Summary

Professor Gagliardi teaches Business OrganizationsBusiness TransactionsEstate Planning,: Wills and TrustsTaxation of Estates and Gifts, and Tax Exempt Organizations. She also serves as the faculty supervisor for three clinics , Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Montana Department of Transportation, and University of Montana General Counsel.  Gagliardi is currently the law school's Dean of Students, and served as Associate Dean from 2007 to 2010. 

As of 2012, Professor Gagliardi directs the law school’s Montana Tax Institute held each fall in October.  She has been elected as an Academic Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the American College of Tax Counsel.  Gagliardi is a past chair of the Business, Estates, Trust, Tax and Real Estate Section of the State Bar of Montana.

Prior to teaching Professor Gagliardi practiced in the areas of estate planning, business planning and tax with the law firms of Perkins Coie, Seattle, Washington, and Day, Berry & Howard, Hartford, Connecticut.  She was also Of Counsel to George Law Offices, Missoula, Montana.  She clerked for The Honorable William J. Jameson, Senior Judge, United States District Court for Montana, and for the Honorable James R. Browning, then Chief Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Professor Gagliardi earned her LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law, where she received the Harry J. Ruddick award for distinction in the graduate tax program and served on the New York Tax Law Review as a graduate editor.   She received her J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law and her B.A. in Economics from Yale University.


LL.M. in Taxation, New York University

J.D., The University of Montana School of Law

B.A. in Economics, Yale University.



How to Save Time and Taxes Handling Estates (LexisNexis)(current author), updated bi-annually.

Modern Estate Planning (2d ed., LexisNexis 2003) (with J. Martin Burke & Michael Friel), updated tri-annually.

Question and Answers Federal Estate and Gift Taxation,2d Ed. (LexisNexis 2012)


Professor Gagliardi’s most recent articles include:

Flipping the Lens of Estate Planning: An Examination of the Effectiveness of Lifetime Transfers to Achieve Federal and State Tax Savings, 2014 Lexis Federal Tax Journal Quarterly, § 2.01 et. Seq. (Matthew Bender)

Treasury Transforms the Portability Election:  Making the DSUE Amount a Reliable Planning Tool,  Lexis Federal Tax Journal Quarterly, Section 4 (September 2012) 

The Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount:  Now You See It, Now You Don’t, Lexis Federal Tax Journal Quarterly, Section 2 (June 2012).

Elaine Gagliardi on Appeals Settlement Guidelines for Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies, LexisNexis Expert Commentaries (Feb 29, 2008)

Remembering the Creditor at Death: Aligning Probate and Nonprobate Transfers, 41 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 819 (2007).

Use of Marital Deduction Trusts Achieves Planning Goals, 104 Tax Notes 1043 (Aug. 27, 2004).

New Guidance on Annual Exclusion Gifts of Entity Interests, 2003 Tax Notes 156-24 (Aug. 13, 2003).

Strangi III: Right Answer Wrong Reason? Or, Just Plain Wrong?, 2003 Tax Notes 135-17 (July 14, 2003).

Economic Substance in the Context of Federal Estate and Gift Tax: The Internal Revenue Service Has It Wrong, 64 Mont. L. Rev. 389 (2003).