In Uncategorized on 03/02/2016 at 16:22

No, this is not about Justice Thomas’ imitation of Zechariah (see Luke 1:20); that’s been blogged to death elsewhere. And this is a non-political blog.

No, I want to clear myself of any imputation that I beat up on the PI practitioners. I really don’t; I have friends who are PI practitioners. I’ve even worked with some.

Same goes for civil rights and employment law types. I may fish in a different part of the ocean, but we dip our ensigns nevertheless and observe the courtesies.

Unhappily,  Jose M. Dulanto and Ana M. Dulanto, 206 T. C. Memo. 34, filed 3/2/16 tells an old tale.

Ana settled as part of a FLSA class action (no overtime, meal time, rest periods, adequate compensation reports), but nothing was mentioned about physical injury.

Judge Cohen breezes through bodily injury (none claimed nor shown), and all the FLSA stuff that did settle, in hitting Ana for the deficiency for the settlement she got but didn’t report.

Jose apparently settled for some injuries also, but those aren’t on the table. Apparently two checks were issued for the aggregate settlement proceeds, and this case involves the smaller, issued to Ana.

Jose and Ana claim they used a CPA to prepare the return at issue, but produce no evidence of the CPA’s competence, that they told the CPA the whole story, and that they actually relied on whatever advice they got.

I wonder what information, if any, class action counsel sent to the lucky winners. I am sure there was the usual holding-in-escrow of broad-spectrum general releases and checks, and exchange thereof.

I hope counsel told their clients to get really good tax advice.

And I don’t fault counsel for the defendant in the class-action. Once the check is written, the aim is never to see or hear from plaintiffs or any of them ever again. If plaintiffs’ counsel wants to do separate checks to try to claim different parties settled different parts of the lawsuit, fine, but I wouldn’t characterize anything. I’d want the most bulletproof, broadest, ironclad release there is.

The lawyers did good. The clients, not so good.


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