Many petitioners cannot afford to pay a practitioner to represent them. Rule 6.1(a) of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, to which persons admitted to practice in the Court are subject, states that every lawyer should aspire to render at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services per year. The rule also states that a substantial majority of the 50 hours of service should be devoted to persons who are unable to pay for such services or to organizations assisting such persons.
Some Bar associations, integrated Bars, and other professional organizations administer Bar sponsored calendar call programs through which volunteer tax practitioners provide free legal assistance to self-represented petitioners. The United States Tax Court (the Court) recognizes the important assistance that calendar call programs provide to self-represented petitioners.
These programs assist petitioners in prosecuting a case in this Court. For calendar call programs which agree to abide by the requirements stated herein, the Court may announce at the start of a trial calendar that volunteer tax practitioners associated with the calendar call program are available to consult with and assist self-represented petitioners, and the Court may introduce the volunteers who are present in the courtroom. In addition, in 25 cities in which the Tax Court holds trial sessions, petitioners' counsel room is reserved for persons admitted to practice before the Court, including attorneys associated with tax clinics and Bar sponsored calendar call programs. The Tax Court does not endorse or recommend any particular clinic or Bar sponsored calendar call program.
The Court will apply the following requirements with regard to participation by Bar sponsored calendar call programs in proceedings before the Court.
To participate a Bar sponsored calendar call program shall:
Volunteer practitioners participating in calendar call programs described in these requirements may participate in calendar call proceedings under the following circumstances:
If these requirements are satisfied and the Court permits a calendar call program to participate, the Court may announce at the beginning of a calendar call that volunteer practitioners participating in the calendar call program are available to consult with and assist self-represented petitioners and the Court may introduce the volunteer practitioners who are present in the courtroom.
Please contact us with any questions concerning the Court’s program or requirements, or call 202-521-3366.
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