Course Syllabus

Summer Semester 2014

Instructors: Professor Ronald W. Blasi, Prof. Willard N. Timm, Jr., Mrs. Bonnie Rich,

Class in Room 652
Class times:
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 (11:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m..)
Mondays 3:40 P.M. – 5:20 p.m.
Clinic work in Room 150-163
Office Hours – Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Office Phone: 404-413-9230
Website: www.gsulitc.org
E-mail: rblasi@gsu.edu

Jump to: Clinic I information | Clinic I classes | Clinic II information

Clinic I Students

Books: The Clinic website is the electronic textbook for this course. The website contains guidance as to all aspects of your activities in the Clinic, including summaries of procedural and substantive tax law with which you will be dealing in the Clinic. You should familiarize yourself with the web site and refer to it throughout the term.

Attendance, Class Participation, and Makeup Classes: Attendance is required. Excessive absences may result in exclusion from the class and/or a failing grade, at the discretion of the instructor. Absence from more than 4 hours of class will be considered excessive. You are expected to devote approximately 14 hours, on average, each week throughout the 7 week term to your work in the Clinic for a total of 98 hours. Time spent in class is applied toward that time commitment. 10 of those hours each week 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.

Structure and Grading: Your grade is based on the following criteria: (a) professionalism, which includes your interaction with your clients, the Internal Revenue Service personnel, fellow students and staff, appropriate dress when necessary; (b) adherence to Clinic administrative and other procedures including meeting weekly with your supervisor and complying with all time sensitive deadlines; (c) quality of service you render to your clients as determined in part by the evaluations you will receive from your clients at the end of the semester; (d) accuracy and thoroughness of written documents and memoranda; (e) progress of cases especially the submission to Prof. Blasi of one memoranda by mid-term and at a minimum one or more memoranda by the end of the term and finalization of one or more documents for submission to the I.R.S.; (f) success in resolving cases including timely closing cases; (g) class participation and involvement in the Clinic; (h) meeting the minimum required Clinic hours; (i) proper maintenance of your electronic (Amicus) and paper files; and (j) compliance with statutory and administrative deadlines. Missing a statutory deadline may result in a failing grade in this course. See additional information on Clinic website relating to standards for grading.

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: The principal objective of the Tax Clinic is to provide you with a closely supervised environment in which you learn to exercise professional judgment and develop skills critical to the effective practice of law, including interviewing clients, gathering and verifying facts, preparing documents that will be filed in court or with administrative agencies, etc…. Considerable time will be spent drafting memoranda that are designed to improve your legal writing. Although students in the Clinic work on tax matters, the practice skills that are developed are 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.

Clinic I Classes

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 Staff and their functions  
  • Professor Blasi
  • Professor Timm
  • Mrs. Rich
  • Sarah Ortiz
  • GRA’s and Clinic II Students
  • Accessibility of supervisors
Mission
  • Transition to Practice
  • Professional Judgement, writing and other skills
  • Service
Types of Cases
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Low-Income Individuals
Focus on Dispute Resolution
  • Success achieved through collaboration
  • Relationship with the IRS
Background of the Clinic
  • Formation
  • Advisory Committee
  • Funding
  • Graduates
Syllabus
  • Website
  • Attendance
  • Structure and Grading
  • Goals and Approach
Client Confidentiality
  • Need for security
  • Access to Clinic and files
  • Locker combination
  • Telephone messages
  • Conversations with other students, faculty and others
Use of offices
  • Equipment
  • Phones
  • Guests
Difference with other law school courses
  • Confidentiality
  • Collegiality
  • No fixed assignments
  • Ingenuity
  • No text book
Getting Started
  • First week
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Reliance on transition memo
Relationship with Clients
  • Introduce yourself
  • Keep client informed and files documented
  • Quickly respond to phone calls
Exercises
  • Brief introduction to OIC
  • Interviewing exercise
  • Writing exercise
Collection Alternatives (overview)
  • OIC, CNC, IAs
  • Audit Reconsideration
  • Investigative tools
  • Transcripts
Administrative Procedures
Record Keeping
  • Amicus
  • Keeping time
  • File system
Collection Alternatives (in detail)
  • Currently Not Collectible (Form 433)
  • Offer in Compromise
  • Installment Agreement
  • OIC Exercise
Monday, June 2, 2014 Innocent Spouse Relief
Injured Spouse Relief
Statute of Limitations
Monday June 9, 2014 U.S. Tax Court
Petition and Appeals
Monday, June 16, 2014 Miscellaneous issues
Monday, June 23, 2014 Transitioning Cases

Clinic II

Attendance, Class Participation, and Makeup Classes: You are expected to devote approximately 14 hours, on average, each week throughout the semester to the Clinic for a total of 98 hours. Time spent in class is applied toward that time commitment. 10 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. During the summer you are encouraged to spread your time commitment over the semester and up to August 12, 2014.

Structure and Grading: Your grade is based on the following criteria: (a) professionalism, which includes your interaction with your clients, Internal Revenue Service personnel, fellow students and staff, appropriate dress when necessary; (b) adherence to Clinic administrative and other procedures including meeting all time sensitive deadlines; (c) quality of service you render to your clients as determined in part by the evaluations you will receive from your clients at the end of the semester; (d) accuracy and thoroughness of written documents and memoranda; (e) progress of cases especially the submission of at least one memoranda by mid-term and one or more memoranda by the end of the extended term to your supervisor and finalization of documents for submission to the I.R.S.; (f) success in resolving cases including timely closing cases; (g) class participation and involvement in the Clinic; (h) meeting the minimum required Clinic hours; (i) proper maintenance of your electronic (Amicus) and paper files; and (j) compliance with statutory and administrative deadlines. Missing a statutory deadline may result in a failing grade in this course. See additional information on Clinic website relating to standards for grading.

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 as part of your clinical hours assistance to Clinic I students in working and resolving their cases and learning the administrative procedures of the Clinic. You are also required to attend the first part of the first class at 3:40 p.m. on May 28, 2014. When the Clinic I class begins at e:40 p.m. you will be introduced to the new students and then excused.

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: The principal objective of the Tax Clinic is to provide you with an environment in which you learn to exercise professional judgment in a supervised setting. You will be confronted with ethical and professionalism issues. You also will develop the essential lawyering skills of interviewing clients, gathering and verifying facts, preparing documents that will be filed in court or with administrative agencies, etc… Considerable time will be spent on tasks that will improve your writing. Although students in the Clinic work on tax matters, the practice skills that are developed are 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.