Lester to Testify About IRS Reform at House Ways and Means Subcommittee Meeting

Tameka Lester, associate director of the College of Law’s Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic and assistant clinical professor, will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight on Wednesday, Dec. 13, in Washington, D.C. The hearing will discuss Internal Revenue Service reform.

“It is such an honor to be asked to testify as Rep. John Lewis’ expert witness,” Lester said. “Ensuring that the voice of low income taxpayers is considered in IRS reform is essential.”

Lester will discuss the experience of Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) clients, particularly the issues encountered by taxpayers with engaging with the IRS. She will also propose opportunities for reform.

“Our work in the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic guarantees low-income taxpayers have access to quality representation when engaging with the IRS regardless of their ability to pay,” Lester said. “The system of tax administration works best when individuals have access to representation, and access to representation should not be predicated solely on one’s ability to pay an attorney or accountant.” Continue reading

Lessons from the Option of Last Resort: Preparation and Expense

By: Robert Noens, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

From start to finish, I believe the case I co-counseled took a year. I, however, was only involved for two weeks. Granted, the weeks leading up to a hearing and the hearing itself will likely be the most expensive time period in the life of a FINRA dispute, but that does not take away from one simple fact; FINRA hearings, like any trial, are expensive. Every day leading up to the FINRA hearing there are copying costs, which – surprisingly or not – add up quickly, lawyers billing by the hour day-in and day-out, experts billing by the hour, and jury and/or witness consultants. This goes on all day and every day leading up to the hearing. The result is almost invariable a bill that will dwarf the vast majority of Americans’ yearly salaries. Continue reading

Lessons from the Option of Last Resort: The Overall Hearing Experience

By: Robert Noens, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

Welcome to my second and final five-part blog series. In my final semester in the Clinic, I finally got the opportunity to experience a very rare and valuable thing – a FINRA hearing. The one thing that everyone pictures when they call the Clinic, feel the need to sue their broker, or envision securities litigation, is also both rare and something most Clinic students will never get the opportunity to see. In fact, while the reasons for not getting a case all the way through a hearing may vary, ultimately, for one reason or another, only 13% of FINRA disputes will be decided by an arbitrator(s) upon the completion of a hearing.

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Mary Had a Little Lamb (Target Date Funds)

By Eric Peters, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

Mary had a solid job,

Worked real hard, nine to five.

Mary saved as best she could,

But worried ‘bout her goals.

 

Retire early, be comfortable,

Pay the bills, live for thrills.

Worry not for want and needs,

And take care of her home.

 

Then she learned of TDFs [Target Date Funds],

Target date funds to save best.

Suits your lifestyle and your age,

Can get it through your 401(k). Continue reading

My Clinic Story: Eric Peters

By Eric Peters , Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

My decision to join the Investor Advocacy Clinic was driven by two goals: 1.) utilize my financial education in a real-world, legal environment, and 2.) help those who could not afford legal representation.  As this semester’s work in the Clinic is coming to an end, both these goals have been accomplished.  With the guiding hand of Professor Iannarone, I have made significant progress in developing my professional identity, skill set, and now feel prepared to enter the legal profession with confidence.  Professor Iannarone’s wealth of knowledge and willingness to assist and guide her students throughout the process of a FINRA arbitration has been an invaluable tool and helped me make strides towards becoming the lawyer I want to be.

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My Clinic Story: Abigail Warren

By Abigail Warren, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

It’s hard to believe how fast this semester has flown by – it seems like yesterday when my clinic story began.  While my time in the clinic has been rather busy, I can honestly say that it is probably the most valuable experience of my law school career.

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Translate This!: “Be careful with your investments, fruit leather is a volatile market right now.”

By: Julio Perez, Fall 2017 IAC Graduate Research Assistant

A good follow-up subject to liquidity is volatility, since they go hand in hand. Volatility refers to the up-and-down movement of the market, with drastic shifts either up or down in stock reflecting a higher volatility in the market during a defined period in time. Continue reading