In Uncategorized on 07/01/2016 at 14:52

I often hear from colleagues, whose practices take them far from the realms of gold that comprise taxation, how dull and drab it must be to follow and blog hypertechnical, dry-as-dust discussions, where statutes and regs become numbers, and names of cases are flung about, all creating a meaningless miasma.

Well, it is that at times, but then it has a moment like this, a designated hitter off the bat of Judge Holmes. And I was so stunned when I read this yesterday I saved it for today, and even omitted Judge Holmes’ honorifics.

It looked like a routine SNOD. David M. Sweetman & Laura L. Sweetman, Docket No. 20268-12, filed 6/30/16. There were a couple motions (hi, Judge Holmes) pending, to dismiss or continue.

I’ll just print the order. To clarify what follows, McFarlane is attorney for Laura E. Sweetman, and Marble (phonetically “Marvel” below) is attorney for IRS.

“This case was on the Court’s… trial calendar for Phoenix, Arizona. When it was called, Mr. Sweetman did not appear. Dr. Sweetman also did not appear, but a lawyer whom she’d retained before her untimely death did. When the Court asked him about whether an estate or intestate administration had been set up, he replied

“Yes. She was a young lady. She came in. She, you know, we met, and two weeks later I get a call from her divorce attorney and said she died. We think that there was foul play. It’s being investigated.


“MR. MC FARLANE: Yeah, I know.

“THE COURT: And they let the body out for cremation? She was a neurologist.

“MR. MARVEL: I thought this was a simple substantiation case, Your Honor.

“THE COURT: She was in divorce proceedings?


“THE COURT: Oh, now I can see where that’s going then.” Order, at pp. 1-2.

Well, a couple years pass (hi again, Judge Holmes), there’s still no estate or conclusion to any criminal investigation into the death of Dr. Sweetman, so Judge Holmes holds the motions in abeyance and punts the case back to the general docket.

Wow, indeed.

  1. Don’t know if you know this but this same man is under investigation for an untimely death (5/28/20) of another business partner.


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