Attorney-at-Law

A CLOUD OF WITNESSES

In Uncategorized on 08/31/2016 at 15:07

The Great Dissenter, a/k/a The Judge Who Writes Like a Human Being, s/a/k/a The Incomparable, Incontrovertible, Illustrious, Irrefragable, Ineluctable, Ineffable, Indefatigable and Implacable Foe of the Partitive Genitive, and Old China Hand, Judge Mark V. Holmes, can choose between Dorothy L. Sayers and an even more exalted author for a title for today’s essay in Estate of Michael J. Jackson,  Deceased, John G. Branca, Co- Executor And John McClain, Co- Executor,  Docket No. 17152-13, filed 8/31/16.

This is the estate of that Michael Jackson, and this is the case anent which a certain self-styled maevin expatiated under the fetching title “Jackson Estate Says ‘Beat It, IRS.’” I suggested the maevin aforesaid spoke too soon; see my blogpost “Letter to the Editor,” 11/19/13.

Well, not only didn’t IRS “beat it,” as the maevin aforesaid so elegantly put it, but they’re trying to clamp down on the Jackson’s attempt at a full-court press.

A great fan of phone-a-thons, Judge Holmes gets ‘em on the blower.

“…the Court spoke with the parties on various questions of pretrial preparation. Respondent was concerned about the potential number of petitioner’s expert witnesses. His concerns about the contents of these reports can be dealt with through motions in limine, but after discussion we agreed to require petitioner to briefly summarize the subject matter each of its experts will testify about.” Order, at p. 1.

The old trick of lining up a bunch of people outside the courtroom to look like witnesses used to work in tort trials long ago, but doesn’t play today.

But IRS, too, is playing an old game.

“Petitioner was concerned that respondent has issued subpoenas duces tecum without notice. As this division of the Court has observed in the past, this is acceptable under an unintentional divergence between our Rules and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. As this division of the Court has also done in the past, it will exercise its discretion to eliminate this divergence and require both parties to notify the other of any such subpoenas.” Order, at p. 1.

Judge, why should playing fair be limited to “this division of the court”? Is everywhere else in Tax Court a free-fire zone? As you yourself pointed out in another context, this can be fixed by changing the Tax Court rule to comport with FRCP. There’s no reason why the rule should be different in Tax Court than in any other Federal Court.

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