Attorney-at-Law

TO BIFURCATE OR NOT TO BIFURCATE? – THAT IS THE QUESTION

In Uncategorized on 06/01/2015 at 15:38

Prior to her retirement, Judge Kroupa waived off bifurcating the celebrated Eaton Corporation & Subsidiaries case. See my blogpost “There’s A Bifurcation In Your Road,” 6/6/14.

But The Great Dissenter, a/k/a The Judge Who Writes Like a Human Being, s/a/k/a The Implacable, Indefatigable, Irrepressible, Incontrovertible, Imperturbable and Impressive Foe of the Partitive Genitive, and Old China Hand…drumroll… Judge Mark V. Holmes, bifurcates Tess Siewert’s innocent spousery in a designated hitter, Jeffrey A. Siewert & Theresa M. Siewert, Docket No. 24680-13, filed 6/1/15.

Case is on for trial 6/15, but Tess’s innocent spousery is still percolating around the Cincinnati Centralized Innocent Spouse Operation (CCISO), somewhat counterintuitively located in Covington, Kentucky.

However, Jeff’s (and maybe Tess’s) alleged delictions go back fifteen years, and a speedy trial is indicated. Likewise, sorting out Tess’s innocent spousery doesn’t solve the problem of the deficiencies at bar.

“In deciding whether to bifurcate, we look to the same factors as the district and bankruptcy courts do in applying their similar rules: (1) the separability of the issues; (2) simplification of discovery and the conservation of resources; (3) prejudice to the parties; (4) suitability of bifurcating trial but not discovery. In this case, the separability of innocent-spouse issues from deficiency and penalty issues is easy — the relevant facts are nearly without overlap, and so suitable for bifurcation. There is no discernible prejudice to either side….” Order, at pp. 1-2.

Whether or not Tess is innocent, the show must go on. And this notwithstanding Judge Kroupa’s concern that one trial should fit all.

Takeaway– Watch your facts before you bifurcate.

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