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Protecting Your Rights
Alan Olsen and Kevin Snider, Chief Legal Counsel of the Pacific Justice Institute and Ron Cohen, Partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., discuss recent legal issues.
Today in society many of the fundamental rights of American are being silenced. Our actions, beliefs and words are beginning to have their hands tied by organizations who feel that Americans should not be exposed to certain moral and religious beliefs. In essence, the freedom of speech is being attacked over and over again.
Pacific Justice Institute is an organization that helps protects civil rights of individuals. They are an unbiased unpaid organization. When cases are brought to them they first examine whether a wrong has been committed. In most cases when there is a violation of a civil right ironically the government is the “bad guy.” A main concern in society is a misunderstanding of the separation of church and state. The notion is becoming set in the minds of a few individuals in political power that separation of church and state means a separation of church from the state.
More than 90% of these violations can be resolved through a simple letter and without going to court.
Ron Cohen, CPA also expresses his concern with the IRS after upon receiving a blanket letter sent out to 21,000 tax preparers stating that they had potentially neglected certain tax laws while preparing their clients returns. Ron states that in order for the IRS to send out this letter the IRS needs to bring forth specific evidence and due cause of tax law infringement rather than just trying to scare tax preparers with threats of an IRS visit.
About the Guests:
Kevin Snider has been an attorney since 1994. During that time he has practiced primarily in the area of constitutional law and civil rights. In addition, Snider has sat on a variety of non-profit and faith-based boards as well as acted as corporate legal counsel.
He currently is Chief Counsel for the Pacific Justice Institute. The PJI legal department that he heads has approximately 1,000 attorney affiliates who volunteer their time to represent people of faith and religious organizations. In addition to church law, PJI's legal department provides representation in the areas of parental rights, school law, and employment law as these relate to religious freedom.
In addition, Snider’s current caseload includes serving as PJI’s lead attorney defending the national motto – In God We Trust – where he, along with an attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice, argued the case before the Ninth Circuit in December of 2007. PJI intervened as a co-defendant with the federal government.
Ron Cohen has more than 29 years experience in public accounting and related industry work. He earned an undergraduate accounting degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and then a Masters in Taxation from Golden Gate University. Ron has extensive knowledge in International Tax and has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia handling tax issues. He has also served as a tax director for acompany with sales in excess of $2 billion. Ron teaches courses in taxation and financial accounting at Ohlone Community College. Ron lives in Fremont with his wife, who teaches English at Mission San Jose High School, and has two sons. Prior to his life as a CPA, Ron did some stand-up comedy in Chicago and received personal advice and coaching from Bill Cosby and Tim Reed. However, after observing that the vast majority of comedians have a very low taxable income, Ron decided to follow his father's example and become a CPA.