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Satisfying Results for Former Tax Clinic Students Charles Sloane (’10), Emily Gleiss (’10)

MAY 12, 2011—On May 5, the U.S. Tax Court issued an opinion in a case Charles Sloane (’10) argued nearly two years ago, as a student in the Law School’s Tax Clinic. He had represented Suzanne Pullins in a dispute with the IRS, which wanted her to pay about $50,000 in unpaid taxes owed by her ex-husband’s business. The Tax Court ruled that Pullins was responsible for only $719. "I’m happy for her," Sloane says. "It was a great result."

The judge had requested, just three days before Pullins’ scheduled court appearance, that a student lawyer represent her. Sloane drew the case, and his first move was to file a motion for a continuance. It was denied. The trial was scheduled for two days later. Sloane did not meet his client until the morning of the trial, and he recalls needing coaching from Professor Kathryn Sedo during the proceedings. "It was stressful," Sloane says.

One of the things he did to prepare was talk to fellow Tax Clinic student Emily Gleiss (’10), who had researched "innocent spouse" claims for a similar case. In the end, both Gleiss and Sloane won their cases. Gleiss’ case was decided that day.

Both graduates say their Tax Clinic experience was invaluable. "Being in the clinic was the best decision I made at the Law School," says Gleiss, who now practices at Sieloff and Associates in Eagan, Minn. "I handled my own cases, learned to work with clients, and negotiated with the IRS. I got to help people too. It was very satisfying."

Sloane, who now works at Stephenson, Sanford & Thone in Wayzata, Minn., says, "The Tax Clinic was fantastic. It was a really good experience."

Sedo remembers both recent graduates fondly and says she is "extremely proud" of them and their work to "achieve such fantastic results for their respective clients."