In Uncategorized on 09/28/2015 at 23:38

Every ex-Little Leaguer, or even sandlot unorganized type, knows the old hidden ball trick. Usually pulled on a pick-off, the infielder fakes a throw back to the pitcher, the runner steps off the bag and is tagged out by the crafty infielder.

Well, Judge Gustafson refuses to play ball.

Parenthetically, sorry Judge, missed calendar call this morning, trying to get everything done before getting on the redeye to Berlin tomorrow night.

Here’s the story, explaining Estate of Blanche L. Howard Deceased, Mary L. Howard,  Executor, Docket No. 30306-13, filed 9/28/15.

If this seems familiar, see my blogpost “Game Over,” 9/23/15. Mary L., hereinafter “Ex’r,” is a real humorist.

Judge Gustafson got annoyed at the 31-days-before trial continuance game, trying to duck the Rule 133 30-day cutoff, and the shuttling in of lawyers.

Well, Ex’r’s gameplaying gets even better.

Judge Gustafson called a teleconference: “The Court invited the parties to correct and amplify the facts stated in the Court’s order. The date given in the third bulleted paragraph on page 2 should be September 11, 2015; petitioner’s counsel in the fourth paragraph is not Mr. Kaye but his partner Mr. Silverman; and as to the last bulleted paragraph, it appears that CLA signaled its coming withdrawal in late August 2015 but did not explicitly withdraw until September 8, 2015. Petitioners’ counsel stresses that the speed of their actions was affected by the fact that, to at least some of the attorneys as they responded to CLA’s withdrawal, this case and CLA’s giving of expert testimony in this proceeding was not the most conspicuous aspect of CLA’s representation of Nu-Way and Ms. Howard.” Order, at p. 1.

Maybe they were worried about Ex’r’s indictment. Seems logical.

But they did pick up the typo I spotted in my blogpost abovecited.

Anyway, Ex’r was the one person with her hands on the relevant switches, and contrived to keep each of her two sets of attorneys in the dark about the acts of the other.

Now new attorney is trying it on, and Judge Gustafson is definitely not buying it.

“Petitioners’ new counsel stated on September 25, 2015, that they have spotted a possible conflict of interest that might prevent them from representing petitioner at the upcoming trial. If that is true, then it is one more indication that the real issue behind the motion for a continuance is ’employment of new counsel’ – a circumstance that Rule 133 explicitly states ‘ordinarily will not be regarded as ground for continuance.’ If they think the conflict issue serious, then current counsel should immediately identify successors who can take over the case on the current schedule.” Order, at p. 2.

But as IRS didn’t object, Ex’r can serve her expert’s report as late as October 9.

And go stipulate, so Ex’r needn’t testify and start spouting the Fifth Amendment.


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