In Uncategorized on 10/28/2014 at 17:23

Even an Obliging Jurist can get a wee bit testy with those who, seeking the aid (or at least the intervention) of Tax Court, hang up the phone on the Judge who has charge over their tax fate.

Now we all know how obliging Judge David Gustafson can be. He gives brief courses in income tax law, offers to try cases in the slammer wherein petitioner temporarily (but not shortly) resides, and is otherwise graciously accommodating to the varied, and sometimes hapless, petitioners who swim into his ken.

But today, the milk of human kindness is somewhat curdled for Roland O. Ladipo & Folorunso O. Ladipo, Docket No. 1643-14S, filed 10/28/14. And I really can’t say I blame Judge David Gustafson.

Here’s the preamble. Roly and Folorunso petitioned a year ago, trial was set back in July of this year for November, and IRS put in their pretrial brief earlier this month. Neither Roly nor Folorunso did anything.

Here’s the story from Judge Gustafson: “To learn more about the status of the case, the Court initiated a telephone conference call with the parties. … a telephone conference took place in which petitioner Folorunso O. Ladipo participated. She explained that this case concerns the tax matters of her husband Roland O. Ladipo and not her own and that she is unfamiliar with the case and its issues. She agreed to pass along to Mr. Ladipo the Court’s instructions that he call the chambers of the undersigned judge for the purpose of conducting a pretrial telephone conference in which he would participate.” Order, at p. 1.

Makes sense, right? To quote myself: “Now we combat-hardened practitioners love a conference. We can invoke justice and mercy, walk humbly, ingratiate ourselves, and get a sense of how the judge will deal with us when the green light goes on.” From my blogpost “Golightly? Go Very Lightly”, 9/4/14.

Roly would have done well to read and heed.

However, Roly read neither your humble servant nor, apparently, the late Dale Carnegie.

“However, when Mr. Ladipo telephoned the chambers of the undersigned judge, he declined to participate in a conference call, stating instead to chambers staff that he would not speak to anyone about the case without his attorney. Since no attorney has appeared in this case, this is not a reasonable position for Mr. Ladipo to take. The Court will therefore order Mr. Ladipo to participate and now offers to the Ladipos these general reminders that the Court would expect to give in a phone conference….”Order, at p. 1.

Show up ready for trial, Roly, with documents and witness lists exchanged with IRS. And while you’re at it, get on the horn with that Obliging Jurist Judge David Gustafson immédiatement, and spill, baby, spill.

Oh, btw, here’s the rest of the story of the star of my abovecited blogpost, Chushanrishatham Jeconiah Golightly.

Among other delictions, although IRS offered ChushJec a settlement, he didn’t respond. Finally, on September 15, 2014, the day I wished I had been in Lubbock to see this for myself, IRS moved at trial to dismiss as aforesaid. Of course, ChushJec never showed.

Judge Nega went the proverbial twain. “At the Court’s request, the trial clerk called petitioner to inform him of his mandatory attendance at which time petitioner abruptly ended the call by ‘hanging up’ the phone on the trial clerk.” Order, at p. 1.

Gotta give the man credit; he’s consistent. He also had his case tossed, and IRS can now lien, levy and descend heavily upon Mr. Golightly.

Read all about it, all five pages’ worth, sub nom (as my already retired and on the golf course colleagues would say) Chushanrishatham Jeconiah Golightly, Docket No. 11703-10L, filed 10/21/14.

And this is what I am reduced to, on a day when there are neither opinions nor designated hitters out of Tax Court.




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