Clinic students offer legal assistance to unrepresented low-income community members

November 22, 2006Duke Law News

Asked to assist on two cases, students successfully developed the fact situation in one case involving an Earned Income Tax Credit (LITC), resulting in a favorable outcome for the client.

"If the case had been tried, it is unlikely that the taxpayer/client would have received the same resolution because he didn't really understand the legal issues involved," said Alan Weinberg, director of the LITC. In another case involving tax deductions for alimony payments, students applied a five factor test established by Congress to determine whether the client's alimony payments qualified as a legitimate deduction, said Weinberg.

"The students reinforced exactly what the IRS attorney had told the client. Although equity may have been on his side, the law was not. It illustrates that work in the classroom can have a positive application in the courtroom."
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