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629 - Tax Ethics
Professor: Donald B. Tobin
Semester: 2010 Autumn
Second Writing Requirement? No
Professional Responsibility? Yes
Prerequisites: Federal Income Taxation
Tax practice is complex, and lawyers have historically been hired to not only facilitate transactions, but also to help individuals and businesses minimize their tax bills. As attorneys and accountants become increasingly aggressive, Congress, the Treasury and the ABA have grappled with how to use professional responsibility rules and norms to regulate tax professionals. While tax attorneys must comply with professional responsibility rules applicable to all attorneys, there are also special rules that apply only in the tax context.
This course examines the rules of professional responsibility applicable to all attorneys, and the rules promulgated by Treasury and Congress relating to tax professionals, to provide students with a strong understanding of the legal and ethical responsibilities of tax lawyers. This course is set up with problems and scenarios for students to work through either in groups or on their own. The purpose is for students to get a feel for the ethical problems they may face if they are in tax practice. They are designed to be possible real life conflicts. It is my hope that by working through those conflicts now, students will be better able to identify and work through similar problems when they are practicing tax law.
Grading will consist of several written class assignments from in class scenarios (40%), participation in the scenarios (10%) and a final exam (50%).
The course materials listed above are for informational purposes only and should not be considered final. Students must check with the Registrar for a current list of closed courses.