Course Syllabus

Special class: Saturday August 22, 2015, 8:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.,  Room 347
Regular classes: Mondays 4:10 P.M. – 5:50 p.m., Room 244; 1ST Class August 17, 2015
Clinic work in Clinic Space located at the Lower Level, Rooms 006 to 010
Office Hours – Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Office Phone: 404-413-9230
Website: www.gsulitc.org

Professor Blasi’s mobile phone number: (404) 314-6183
Professor Blasi’s email address: rblasi@gsu.edu

Professor Blasi’s SKYPE address: ron.blasi

 

Books: The Clinic website is the electronic textbook for this course. It contains guidance on all aspects of your activities in the Clinic, and includes summaries of procedural and substantive tax law with which you will deal.

Attendance, Class Participation, and Makeup Classes: You are expected to devote approximately 11 hours, on average, each week throughout the semester to the Clinic for a total of 154 hours. Time spent in class is applied toward that time commitment. Seven of those hours must take place in the Clinic offices during normal business hours. During the first couple of weeks of the term, you will probably have to work more than the average number of hours in order to familiarize yourself with your cases.

Grading Criteria

  1. Professionalism, which includes your interaction with your clients, Internal Revenue Service personnel, fellow students and staff. You should dress appropriately when meeting a client and when attending conferences at the IRS;
  2. Compliance with statutory and administrative deadlines. Missing a statutory deadline may result in a failing grade in the course. (See additional information on Clinic website relating to statutory notices);
  3. Quality of service you render to your clients as determined in part by client evaluations at the end of the semester and also by the accuracy and thoroughness of written documents and memoranda;
  4. Progress on cases, especially the submission for review of at least one memoranda by mid-term and one or more memoranda by the end of the term and the submission to the I.R.S. of one or more documents. All memoranda submitted to Professor Blasi should be saved to Word with a name containing your first name followed by an underline and the last name of the client. (Thus, if your name is Jim and the client’s last name is Smith, the file should be saved as follows: “Jim_Smith” That also should be the Subject line of the email that contains the file that is sent to Professor Blasi).
  5. Proper maintenance of your electronic (“I” drive and Amicus) and paper files;
  6. Working the required number of hours;
  7. Attending all scheduled meetings with your supervisor, and being prepared for those meetings;
  8. Adhering to Clinic administrative and other procedures; and
  9. Resolving cases including timely closing cases.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to your progress during the term you should discuss them with Professor Blasi as soon as your questions or concerns arise.

Prerequisites: In order to handle the issues commonly encountered in the Clinic, students must have successfully completed Basic Federal Taxation (Law 7095).

Goals and Approach: One of the principal objectives of the Tax Clinic is to provide you with an environment in which you learn to exercise professional judgment in a supervised setting. You also will be given the opportunity to identify and resolve ethical issues. Considerable time will be spent drafting briefs that will improve your writing. You also will develop your interviewing and fact gathering skills. Although you will work on tax matters, the skills that you will develop will be applicable to all areas of the law.

Extra Material: There are several books designed to help understand I.R.S. procedure. Among them are Saltzman, IRS Practice and Procedure, published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont and Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS. This is a product of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Low Income Taxpayers and Pro Bono Committees.

August 17th Mission of the Clinic
Transition to practice
  • Drafting, document preparation and other lawyering skills
  • Professional judgment
  • Community service
Background on Clinic
  • Formation
  • Advisory Committee
  • Funding
  • Graduates
  • Employment
Staff and their functions
  • Professor Blasi
  • Professor Timm
  • Professor Lester
  • Mrs. Rich
  • Ms. Ortiz
  • GRA’s
Client confidentiality/Privileged communication
  • Client conversations
  • Client files and Clinic offices
Use of Clinic offices and equipment
  •  Accessibility
  • Guests
Performance evaluation
  • Weekly meetings
  • Mid-term reviews
  • Benchmarks: hours, writings, etc…
Difference with other law school courses
  • Confidentiality
  • Responsibility to Client
  • Responsibility to system of justice
  • Ingenuity/Assignments
  • Web site
  • Recordkeeping (paper and electronic)
Office procedures
Getting started
  • Review assigned cases
  • Speak with GRA or supervisor
  • Contact clients
  • Prepare for meeting with supervisor
  • Obtain Power of attorney
August 22nd Flow chart
Collection alternatives
  • Currently not collectible
  • Installment agreement
  • Audit reconsideration
  • Offer in Compromise
  • Investigative Tools
Classroom exercises
  • Interviewing
  • Drafting
  • Transcripts/Form 433
August 24 Innocent spouse relief and injured spouse relief
August 31 Statute of limitations
Petition and Appeals
September 7 No class (Holiday)
September 14 EITC, dependency, filing status etc…
September 28 Case rounds/TA
October 5 Tax Court Judge Carluzzo
October 6-8 Mid-semester review meetings
November 9 Transition class

 

Clinic II Students

Attendance, Class Participation, and Makeup Classes: You are expected to devote approximately 11 hours, on average, each week throughout the semester to the Clinic for a total of 154 hours. Time spent in class is applied toward that time commitment. Seven of those hours must take place in the Clinic offices during normal business hours. During the first couple of weeks of the term, you will probably have to work more than the average number of hours in order to familiarize yourself with your cases.

Grading Criteria

  1. Professionalism, which includes your interaction with your clients, Internal Revenue Service personnel, fellow students and staff. You should dress appropriately dress when meeting a client and when attending conferences at the IRS;
  2. Compliance with statutory and administrative deadlines. Missing a statutory deadline may result in a failing grade in the course. (See additional information on Clinic website relating to statutory notices);
  3. Quality of service you render to your clients as determined in part by client evaluations at the end of the semester and also by the accuracy and thoroughness of written documents and memoranda;
  4. Progress on cases, especially the submission for review of at least one memoranda by mid-term and one or more memoranda by the end of the term and the submission to the I.R.S. of one or more documents. All memoranda submitted to Professor Blasi should be saved to Word with a name containing you first name followed by an underline and the last name of the client. (Thus, if your name is Jim and the client’s last name is Smith, the file should be saved as follows: “Jim_Smith” That also should be the Subject line of the email that contains the file that is sent to Professor Blasi).
  5. Proper maintenance of your electronic (“I” drive and Amicus) and paper files;
  6. Working the required number of hours;
  7. Attending all scheduled meetings with your supervisor, and being prepared for those meetings;
  8. Adhering to Clinic administrative and other procedures; and
  9. Resolving cases including timely closing cases.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to your progress during the term you should discuss them with Professor Blasi as soon as your questions or concerns arise.

In addition, as a Clinic II or GRA student, you will be evaluated on the basis of your mentoring Clinic I students. Mentoring requires that you provide assistance to Clinic I students in working and resolving their cases and learning the administrative procedures of the Clinic.

Prerequisites: In order to handle the issues commonly encountered in the Clinic, students must have successfully completed Basic Federal Taxation (Law 7095) and Tax Clinic I (7600).

Goals and Approach: One of the principal objectives of the Tax Clinic is to provide you with an environment in which you learn to exercise professional judgment in a supervised setting. You also will be given the opportunity to identify and resolve ethical issues. Considerable time will be spent drafting briefs that will improve your writing. You also will develop your interviewing and fact gathering skills. Although you will work on tax matters, the skills that you will develop will be applicable to all areas of the law.

Extra Material: Among them are Saltzman, IRS Practice and Procedure, published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont and Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS. This is a product of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Low Income Taxpayers and Pro Bono Committees.