Tax Court Clerk: Taking Qs

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Cardboardbox
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:00 pm

Re: Tax Court Clerk: Taking Qs

Postby Cardboardbox » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:42 am

Hey OP,

Really appreciate you taking the time to do this, I have a couple of questions but I don't want to out myself and as much as I tried crafting an anonymous response regarding it, I wasn't able to. If it's not too much trouble, do you think you could email me at throwaway2000k@gmail.com so I can get in touch with you privately? (You can obviously PM me here too but I'm not sure if you'd feel comfortable about that, but that works just as well!) I'd really appreciate it, thanks!

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Re: Tax Court Clerk: Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do you think DOJ Tax has be the same effect?

Nah. The more complex tax matters (including almost all of the corporate cases) tend to be refund litigation, which is handled by DOJ and tried in US District Courts or the Court of Federal Claims. It's more prestigious and more in line with what biglaw tax depts do on a daily basis (either transactional or controversy) than IRS OCC.


From the viewpoint of tax departments in big firms, is there really a difference in prestige between Tax Court, US District Courts, and the Court of Federal Claims?

Do you mean the courts themselves? Or the clerks they produce?


I guess both.

Anonymous User
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Re: Tax Court Clerk: Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I guess both.

Definitely a hierarchy, but it's nuanced. D.Ct.>CFC>USTC. But it also depends on what the hiring firm is looking for in an associate.

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Re: Tax Court Clerk: Taking Qs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:TL;DR: it's an 8-5 with no pressure to bill, an hour for lunch each day. Almost every deadline is flexible, really more of an artificial way to track status, not arising from any legal or economic ramifications. I read, research caselaw and write opinions, while at the same time writing and editing motions, side opinions and finding a good stopping point so that I leave every day at almost exactly 5 PM. It's a sweet gig, for sure.

Overview: for almost everything in this post, there are caveats because each chambers operates so differently. Clerks do most of the heavy lifting as far as opinion writing in our chambers.

The average day depends on what type of case I'm working on, and where I am in the opinion-writing process. I read and basically outline the casefile first (pleadings, briefs, transcripts, exhibits, etc.). This could take a day, week, or (rarely) several weeks up to a month, depending on the length of the trial and complexity of the issues. Then I outline what I think the opinion will look like, researching underlying law as needed. Again, this could take a day or two for the simple substantiation cases up to a month or more for the most complex. Then the judge and I meet to review the outline. I'll do follow-up research as needed based on the things we talk about in the review of the outline. Then I write the first draft of the opinion, which doesn't take long at that point because you've done all of the legwork. I just finished a 25 page opinion and it took about 2.5 days of dedicated writing and editing, with more research thrown in here and there to flesh out the subtleties. Next, the opinion is circulated between myself, judge and co-clerk and edited until we have a polished opinion. Unsurprisingly, this part could take a day to do this, or a month depending on what else the parties are working on, whether there's a trial session, and all that jazz.

Workload: On my desk are two opinions at various points in the cycle, with a third dropping Monday. My co-clerk started two weeks after I did. S/he is still working on his/her first assigned case, which includes thousands of pages in exhibits and transcripts. S/he hasn't started writing the opinion yet. In contrast, I just finished my third opinion and am about to start my fourth. Some cases are just that much more complex than others.

Interspersed in the opinion writing process are orders that have to be written or proofed, discreet research topics and side opinions as needed, conference calls, and (in some chambers, but thankfully not ours) clerical duties. I also spend a fair amount of time reading cases that are released by other judges, parts of BNA's daily tax publication and a full hour for lunch each day.

Not really a day-to-day work experience, but that hopefully gives you a flavor for how the job works.



I heard some judges are strict about the lunch break and only allow a half-hour.




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