The professor of this practice simulation will submit cutting-edge problems which he has faced in practice. The students will resolve those problems by structuring transactions to accomplish the client’s business goals within the framework of non-tax legal requirements, without incurring unnecessary tax liabilities and in a manner that otherwise optimizes the client’s tax posture. Typically, the students will be assigned to work in teams. With each problem, the students submit their solutions in writing, and one team will present its solution to the class orally. The professor will discuss and evaluate the teams’ solutions in light of the one that was employed in practice. Prior to the students preparing and submitting their solutions, there will be lectures and discussion of the tax issues involved in each problem.
The goal of the practice simulation course is to immerse the students in the process of approaching problems from a transactional perspective. The students will be given a set of facts and objectives, and will be required to determine what steps should be taken to achieve those objectives. An additional goal is to provide the students with exposure to the manner in which experienced lawyers utilize their skills to solve complex problems. The principal issues on which the problems will focus are corporate tax issues, but other areas will likely be covered. For example, partnership tax issues and issues involving the taxation of financial instruments have played a significant role in certain case studies. In recent semesters, problems have involved, among other matters, complex tax-free corporate mergers, corporate divisions (spin-offs), acquisitions of controlling interests in non-U.S. corporations, and transactions designed to illustrate the difference between legitimate tax planning and abusive corporate tax shelters.