In Uncategorized on 08/26/2016 at 15:30

STJ Lewis (“What a Splendid Name!”) Carluzzo reprises the Michael Jackson 1971 hit heretofore sung by the now-disgraced Judge Kroupa (see my blogpost “Got to Be There,” 5/30/14), only this time the object thereof is petitioners’ lawyer, not IRS’ lawyer.

It’s Friday in August, so you know there’ll be no opinions today from the 400 Second Street, NW, Glasshouse. The hard-laboring blogger has go through about 150 (count ‘em, 150) orders to get you, my trusty and well-beloved readers, the latest hot flashes therefrom.

So here’s STJ Lew’s designated hitter, Faith Lynn Brashear & Hendel N. Thistletop, Docket No. 13189-13, filed 8/26/16.

Faith & Hen are having a tussle with their lawyer (surprise, surprise). Their trial had been twice continued before the arrival of their attorney, whom I’ll call DJ. Now both sides (IRS and Faith & Hen) want another continuance, and DJ is asking, apparently for the second time, to be relieved.

And his reason should hardly shock any of us. “According to [DJ], petitioners have not paid his fees; according to petitioners, they have, and they are now being charged additional amounts by [DJ]. The factual disputes between [DJ] and petitioners cannot be resolved upon the submissions of the parties.” Order, at pp. 1-2.

Without seeing the engagement letter (or retainer agreement, or both, if such there be), one cannot comment. For DJ’s sake, I hope he has one, signed and in a safe place. DJ isn’t a NY lawyer, so our Rule 1215 would not apply.

But the engagement (or retainer) letter is today what steel pot and flak jacket were many years ago.

End of sermon.

STJ Lew wants all parties standing tall in his courtroom in LA, so he can take evidence and sort out whether to let DJ bail. Faith & Hen designated LA as place of trial when they petitioned three years ago. But DJ’s homeport is in Stillwater, MN.

“In his various submissions, [DJ] suggests that it would be unfair to require him to travel from Minnesota to Los Angeles for the hearing at what might turn out to be his own expense. We appreciate [DJ’s] concerns, however, he must have been aware that the place of trial in this case was in Los Angeles when he entered his appearance. Furthermore, we assume that his decision to do so was informed by the procedural history of the case as of that date, and that history strongly indicated that travel to Los Angeles was likely for a hearing or trial.” Order, at p. 2.

There has to be witnesses, evidence, confrontation and cross-examination if an evidentiary hearing is to be held. STJ Lew needs evidence beyond what DJ and Lynn & Hen have provided.

No use trying for a phonecon.

“Resolution of their factual dispute, and the pending motion, must be resolved by evidentiary hearing. That being so, to the extent that [DJ’s] supplement to his second motion requests a telephonic hearing, that request is denied.” Order, at p. 2.

The roadshow must go on. DJ, got to be there.

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