In Uncategorized on 12/08/2017 at 16:17

Without a Withdrawal

I’ve talked before about lawyers being substituted in Tax Court. See my blogpost “He’s Not Your Lawyer,” 10/20/15.

As I wrote back then, at the desk in our hotel room in the Eden Wolff in Munich, “No biggie, right? We’ve all been subbed in, or subbed in others, and it’s usually handing over, or receiving, the file, and filing and serving the sub notice….”

Well, there’s more to it than that in Tax Court. And here’s Ch J L Paige (“Iron Fist”) Marvel to tell you how much more, in Mildred Barrett, Donor, Docket No. 22051-17, filed 12/8/17.

“On November 30, 2017, CTSJ filed an Entry of Appearance as counsel for petitioner in this case. On November 30, 2017, JLG electronically filed a Substitution of Counsel JLG for CTSJ. That Substitution of Counsel is not a proper substitution of counsel.” Order, at p. 1.

So what does JLG need to do to get out of this case?

JLG “…is advised that if he wishes to withdraw as counsel for petitioner in this case, he must file an appropriate motion to withdraw as counsel. See Tax Court Rule 24(c).” Order, at p. 1.

May I suggest that the wording of Rule 24(d) is not crystal clear. Maybe Rule 24(d) should state that a motion for withdrawal per Rule 24(c) is a prerequisite to filing substitution. Or Maybe Form 8 should be amended to include manual signoff by petitioner, with current address and telephone number.



In Uncategorized on 12/08/2017 at 15:45

My colleague, the ace blogger at, Peter Reilly, CPA, has a blogpost wherein he worthily laments Tax Court’s absence from the ubiquitous PACER system. How useful it would be to read briefs and motion papers from cases, so that we peasants, in the (relative) comfort of our hovels,  might read, learn, mark and inwardly digest clearer insights into IRS’ thinking, Tax Court’s judicial reasoning, and the lucubrations of the best and brightest of the Tax Court Bar.

But no. We must bend our not-so-joyful footsteps toward 400 Second Street, NW, and beseech the clerks to let us sit at whatever device is not in use and read. Until they knock off and eject us, of course.

The excuse, I’m told, is the impenetrable shield of Section 6103, because unlearned and unrepresented petitioners let it all hang out in their papers, disgorging tax return info in all directions. OK, so lock up the pro se stuff until the redaction orders are filed. I’m quite sure Coca Cola,, Altera, et hoc genus omne, represented by the whitest shoes around, only submit redacted materials with their Rule 27 blockbuster motions.

So why all this wind-up on a Friday?

Well, I’d like to know what Jerrel C. Barto & Janice D. Barto, Docket No. 27570-15, filed 12/8/17, told that Obliging Jurist Judge David Gustafson besides that their case “remains under active consideration by IRS Appeals.” Order, at p. 1.

Apparently there was something else, because Judge Gustafson refers to “reasons stated in the parties’ joint motion.” Order, at p.1.

There are eight, count ‘em, eight other cases, scrupulously scheduled by Judge Gustafson, all asking Judge Gustafson to drop them from the January Atlanta trial docket and retain jurisdiction, reporting while they wait.

He does.

But what about poor Hailey Property Holdings, LLC? Judge Gustafson dropped them from the Atlanta roster, but sent them off to find another judge. See my blogpost “He Can’t Oblige You,” 11/6/17.

What’s the difference? Active Appeals consideration? Eight similar cases? Longer history with Judge Gustafson? Anything else?

If we can’t read the motion papers, we’re back to playing with daisy petals.



In Uncategorized on 12/07/2017 at 15:23

I criticized the Judge with a Heart, STJ Armen, for sending off poor Amy L. Goline with a “figure it out yourself,” when there’s a boilerplate paragraph invoking McCormick that has to be on the order clerks’ server. See my blogpost “Ya Gotta Have Heart,” 11/9/17.

Well today, it’s ex-CSTJ Panuthos’ turn. Here’s Kenneth W. Hope & Martha S. Hope, Docket No. 211-16S, filed 12/7/17.

All Ken & Martha want to do is pay the man. There’s a faxed decision document lodged, and IRS has moved for entry of decision.

“Petitioners appear to be in agreement that they will pay the amount of the deficiency set forth in the lodged decision document but ask that the Court not enter ‘a judgment against us’.” Order, at p. 1.

No can do, says ex-CSTJ Panuthos.

“Petitioners are advised that the Court must at some point enter a decision in this matter in order to close the case and permit an assessment of the deficiency to proceed. Thus the only choices at this juncture are for the Court to (1) enter a decision as lodged with the Court, (2) disregard the lodged decision and permit petitioners to proceed to trial and attempt to establish that the deficiency should be something less than that reflected in the lodged decision document.” Order, at p. 1.

And ex-CSTJ Panuthos is willing to wait until after New Year’s Day for their response.

But how about suggesting Ken & Martha just give IRS a check for the full amount, if able, and enter decision that nothing is owed?