In Uncategorized on 12/24/2014 at 18:52

Don’t know how I missed this one back in January, when Judge Chiechi rendered her opinion, and its subsequent reversal in November by Seventh Circuit, even though my colleague Peter Reilly, “non-veteran CPA”, picked it up in his blog at the time, but here’s the order on remand in Michael Shamrock & Victoria Bigg, Docket No. 28725-11, filed 12/24/14.

Back in November, Seventh Circuit tossed Judge Chiechi’s uncritical acceptance of IRS’s argument that the impostor who “represented” Mike & Vic in entering into a stipulation that sold them down the proverbial was no grounds to set aside a pre-trial Rule 91 stip.

Mike & Vic fell for a phony who claimed to be a lawyer and a CPA, although he hadn’t “been authorized to practice law since 2009 and he is not a CPA.” Shamrock & Bigg v. Com’r, No. 14-1916, 9/22/14 Seventh Circuit, at p. 2.

Though IRS claimed it didn’t matter what the phony did or didn’t do, Seventh Circuit decided that Tax Court, IRS and Mike & Vic were defrauded, that such defraudment (neologism, but so what?) goes to the heart of the system. So what if taxpayers are not entitled to effective representation in Tax Court? Everyone thought the phony was real.

Judge Chiechi abused her discretion.

Fast forward to this afternoon.

Judge Chiechi is still havering (as they say in the Hielands) over what to do. Mike & Vic and IRS can’t agree what she should do, although I have a suggestion. See infra, as my already-on-the-second-Grey-Goose Martini colleagues would say.

“On December 11, 2014, the parties filed a status report in which they set forth their respective and different positions as to what should be done in this Court on remand in order to comply with the order and judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. We agree with respondent that it would be consistent with the order and judgment of the Court of Appeals for this Court to hold an evidentiary hearing regarding whether the stipulation of settled issues that the parties filed with the Court on February 28, 2013, should be set aside.” Order, at p. 1.

Why? What part of “judgment of the Tax Court is vacated as to all three years” and “remanded for further proceedings” requires evidence?

In the words of a much greater writer, I have A Modest Proposal: Toss the stip and either try the case or settle it.


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