Attorney-at-Law

VACATION MEMO

In Uncategorized on 07/01/2022 at 15:01

No, not another Rule 162 vacation of a decision or order. This time it’s the real vacay, the loading up of the rented minivan, or the Uber to the airport, followed by adventure and the happiest of memories, or an experience in contrast to which Dante’s ninth circle would be a delicious treat. And the memo?

In those long-gone pre-smartphone and tablet days when I was a partner or of counsel, when one went away for more than a three-day, one was required to leave one’s desk absolutely bare, save only for a memorandum at the center thereof. That memorandum was a précis of every matter on which one was currently engaged, with client contact information, adversary or counterparty information, details of matters requiring attention, and one’s own detailed itinerary and how one might be contacted.

I remember lengthy phonecalls in an Edwardian sittingroom in Chiswick, on a payphone in a bar in Elmira, New York, and the bemused glances of passersby as I fed Euros into a payphone in Veere, in the Netherlands.

Of course, in preparing the aforesaid memorandum, one did something with each matter, to show one’s partners, associates, and staff, how irreplaceable one was.

Today, as we start the July Fourth three-day and the beginning of the serious summer travel season, the United States Tax Court bench is not behindhand, unloading 933 (count ’em, 933) orders. There are some 700 standing pretrial orders (regular and small-claimer) to keep the petitioners occupied, and a few more detailed types.

Here are just two.

Sharon O. Eddy & Stuart W. Eddy, Deceased, Docket No. 14165-22, filed 7/1/22, has Ch J Kathleen (“TBS = The Big Shillelagh”) Kerrigan worried about the late Stuart’s estate. I point out that estates aren’t “probated”; wills are probated; estates are administered after they become subject to proceedings in probate court.

Here’s Sharon’s assignment. “…petitioner shall file a status report and therein provide information regarding the following matters: (1) whether the estate of decedent Stuart W. Eddy has been or will be probated; (2) if decedent’s estate has been probated, whether an executor, administrator, or other fiduciary has been duly appointed for decedent’s estate by a court of competent jurisdiction and, if so, the name and address of such duly appointed fiduciary; (3) if no fiduciary has been duly appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, whether there is a successor trustee or similar fiduciary with respect to a living trust established by decedent and, if so, the name and address of such fiduciary; (4) whether any fiduciary of decedent’s estate intends to prosecute this case on decedent’s behalf by filing an appropriate motion to substitute parties and change caption (to which should be attached relevant documentation supporting the individual’s or entity’s status as a fiduciary with legal capacity to represent decedent’s estate); and (5) if decedent’s estate has not been or will not be probated and decedent’s estate otherwise has no fiduciary, the names and addresses of decedent’s heirs at law, except for petitioner Sharon O. Eddy. A copy of decedent’s death certificate shall be attached to the status report.” Order, at pp. 1-2.

A different petitioner is Martin G. Plotkin, Docket No. 16224-14L, filed 7/1/22. There’s a bit of backstory in my blogpost “Multiplex Man,” 2/3/21. Martin gives away nothing to The Energizer Bunny; Martin has six (count ’em, six) new motions, and Judge Morrison would like a separate reply to each from IRS’ counsel by 8/1/22. Five of the six relate to individual Appeals employees, and one is a document request.

As lien cases are record rule, I wonder about relevance, but we shall see.

Meanwhile, desks are cleared for vacation. Off to sun ‘n’ fun.

AND IF YOU REMEMBER THEN FOLLOW

In Uncategorized on 07/01/2022 at 10:49

As at 6/30/22, I am informed that this my blog had 421 followers. Further, I am informed that this my blog had 2,332 views for the month ended 6/30/22 (including Saturdays, Sundays, and days which are legal holidays in the District of Columbia), the fewest views since the first-half of calendar 2020, in the depths of the COVID pandemic.

I deduce from the foregoing statistics, without having made independent investigation of their accuracy, that my “followers” simply aren’t “following.” Had even 200 of the 421 viewed this my blog even once daily on 20 days, not the whole 30, there would have been 4000 (count ’em, 4000) views during the said month, not 2,332.

So I invoke the words of Tom Jones’ and Harvey Schmidt’s 1960 classic.

HOME BUT PRECLUDED

In Uncategorized on 06/30/2022 at 14:50

William Joseph Davidson, Docket No. 5849-09, filed 6/30/22 (and that docket number is no typo, this is an oldie but goodie) is back home (see my blogpost “Be Back Home in Thirty Days,” 6/27/19). But is precluded from claiming (a) he doesn’t owe north of $418K in tax for 1998, (b) he didn’t willfully evade payment of tax on $200K for 2001, and (c) he doesn’t owe Section 6651(f) add-ons in respect of the said years.

Judge Colvin has the story. And uses the old-fashioned term “collateral estoppel,” which now is translated as “claim preclusion.”

Wm Joseph copped a plea in USDCEDMO on the tax due for 1998 and the evasion in 2001. IRS wants summary J, now that Wm Joseph is out of the slammer.

“Collateral estoppel applies here because the matters at issue here are identical with the ones decided in petitioner’s criminal case, Davidson v. United States of America, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, docket number 4:05CR00519; a final judgment was rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction in that case; respondent is in privity with the United States; the parties actually litigated the matter at issue and the resolution of those matters was essential to the prior decision; the controlling facts and legal principles have not changed; and there are no special circumstances that would warrant making an exception to the normal rules of issue preclusion. A guilty plea is treated as the prior litigation of an issue of fact or law.” Order, at p. 4. (Citations omitted).

This isn’t like the restitution cases, where restitution is determined but the exact tax, add-ons, and chops is not, and the plea bargain says so. Here Wm Joseph copped to the exact amounts.

But whatever else IRS wants is held in abeyance. No need to rush matters.