In Uncategorized on 07/01/2016 at 14:28

Once upon a time, a well-known New York clothier had a slogan that said in substance, “Select, don’t settle.” That slogan, somewhat mutated, was developed by various jurists into “Select or settle.” That meant to counsel either pick a jury and go to trial, or come back with a stipulation of settlement.

Well, Tax Court has no juries, but The Great Dissenter, a/k/a The Judge Who Writes Like a Human Being, s/a/k/a The Implacable, Imperturbable, Indefatigable, Illustrious, Incontrovertible, Ineluctable, Impeccable and Ineffable Foe of the Partitive Genitive, His Honor Judge Mark V. Holmes, has similar advice for Linda J. Martin & John A. Martin, Docket No. 10115-15, filed 6/30/16, in a designated hitter, no less.

But what happened next is a surprise, although not as big a surprise as my next succeeding blogpost. Stay tuned.

“This case was on the Court’s…trial calendar for Los Angeles, California. The Martins were not prepared for trial, and the Court stressed to them that they needed to get their case moving. We imposed a pretrial order and they met the first deadline — one for an entry of appearance for their new counsel. “ Order, at p. 1.

So buckle down, new counsel.

Except clients, bless them, resemble certain sheep.

After new counsel was on board and headed up to the bridge, “…they filed a pro se motion to shift the burden of proof.” Order, at p. 1.

I once had a corporate officer, sitting beside me at counsel table to handle the voluminous exhibits, decide to ask a question of the witness in the middle of trial.

The Judicial Hearing Officer, with a sense of humor and rare aplomb, interjected sotto voce, “pro haec vice.”

I turned to the corporate officer and said calmly, “I’m going home.” This implied he could try the case.

He apologized.

Judge Holmes just tossed the motion, as IRS requested, “…because once a party is represented he must speak to the Court through his lawyer, who also becomes responsible for the quality of such filings as the Martin’s motion. See Traficant v. Commissioner, 884 F.2d 258, 264-65 (6th Cir. 1989).” Order, at p. 1.



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