In Uncategorized on 04/08/2014 at 14:26

Because the hard-working crew at 400 Rue Deuxième, Nord-Ouest, in the City that L’Enfant de la Patrie designed, doesn’t post the day’s opinions or designated orders before 3:30 p.m., ET, I spend my idle luncheon hours leafing through the day’s orders, which are posted as they happen.

The supermajority of these are pure routine, soul-numbing exercises in correcting misspelled names, adding and subtracting petitioners, kicking out nonsigners and nonpayers, and nannying motion practice and trial preparation. It is only by the merest chance, and my overwhelming sense of obligation to my now-more-numerous readers (thanks, guys!), that I wade through the daily mud-wallow to unearth the odd gem.

But today’s trudge brought back fifteen year old memories as I read through Leone Pizzini & Sons, Inc. Profit Sharing Plan. Docket No. 2144-14R, filed 4/8/14.

Now I don’t know Leone Pizzini, and to my knowledge I never met his sons, either jointly or severally. And whatever tax issues they want sorted out I know not. But the name of their attorney jumped off the page: Jeff Schnepper, Esq.

Long ago, in a galaxy far away, there was a bulletin board run by Microsoft called MSN Money. A subgroup thereof was called “Your Money”, at the time run by author Ginger Applegarth. I was a frequent contributor, under a nom de guerre suggested by a close relative (now a Director at a Big Four accounting firm).

Another subgroup was called “Your Taxes”, run by Mr Schnepper. He encouraged me to go for the EA qualification, for which I thank him, belatedly.

Unfortunately, Ch J Michael S. (“Iron Mike”) Thornton uses Mr. Schnepper as an object lesson to attorneys that Tax Court practice isn’t State Court (or even Federal Court) practice.

Ch J Iron Mike: “The petition filed to commence this case… does not bear a legible original signature. Thus, no attorney was recognized as petitioner’s counsel at that time. Accordingly…the Court directed petitioner to file a ratification of petition, bearing an original signature. Mr. Jeff A. Schnepper entered his appearance for petitioner….[Subsequently}a Ratification of Petition was lodged. This ratification of petition is signed by Mr. Schnepper.

“A corporation may be represented in Tax Court proceedings by an authorized officer of the corporation. Rule 24(b), Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure. Although Mr. Schnepper has entered his appearance for petitioner, because it was subsequent to the filing of the petition, he may not ratify the petition unless he is indeed an authorized officer of the corporation.” Order, at p. 1.

So either Leone or one of his sons should say that my old pal Jeff is an officer of the petitioner, or else sign a ratification of the petition themselves (in blue ink, of course) and paper-file it.

Ch J Iron Mike: “Petitioner should not [sic] that the ratification of petition may not be electronically filed.” Order, at p. 2.

Now in State Court and the usual Federal courts, corporations usually appear by their attorneys. But not in the sacred Second Street North West precincts.

Mr Schnepper, glad to hear about you again after all these years.


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