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Attorney follows tax work to Milwaukee

Doug Frazer

Doug Frazer

This time of year, people expect tax attorney Doug Frazer to be buried in work.

But the DeWitt Ross & Stevens SC lawyer said that is a common misconception, as it often takes several months for tax disputes to work their way through the system and land on his desk.

Unlike an accountant, Frazer is not intimately involved with tax filings, rather the audits or criminal investigations that might arise after the fact.

A native of Arizona, Frazer began his legal career with a small firm in Phoenix, before moving to Washington D.C. to work in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division for five years. He then spent seven years in private practice with his wife, Karen Schapiro, before joining the Milwaukee office of DeWitt Ross when it opened in 2003.

On the cusp of the 2011 tax deadline, Frazer offered his own return on this week’s Asked & Answered.

Wisconsin Law Journal: If you could develop one CLE course for credit, what would it be about?

Doug Frazer: Fundamentals of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. We’ve fought wars to protect and defend these principles. Surprisingly, very few people, apart from those in law enforcement, understand even the basics.

WLJ: What was your least favorite course in law school and why?

Frazer: To me, law school was a trade school masquerading as a university – taught by individuals who for the most part could not teach, and worse, never even practiced the trade. To pick just one “least favorite” course would understate the sad state of pedagogy that law school represented.

WLJ: What is your favorite website and why?

Frazer: Wikipedia. It’s very useful. Also tmz.com; terrific coverage.

WLJ: What is the one luxury item you cannot live without?

Frazer: Passport.

WLJ: What is one thing attorneys should know that they won’t learn in law school?

Frazer: Managing the attorney-client relationship may be a lawyer’s biggest challenge.

WLJ: What is the first concert you went to?

Frazer: P.D.Q. Bach. 1974. It is a J.S. Bach classical music spoof.

WLJ: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

Frazer: Space shuttle commander. I’d take the space walk myself.

WLJ: What is your motto?

Frazer: When in doubt, mumble.

WLJ: What is your favorite movie about lawyers or the law and why?

Frazer: “Anatomy of a Murder.” The lawyer gets the client acquitted. The client stiffs the lawyer. It’s beautifully done and real.

WLJ: If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

Frazer: Comedy writer.

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