In Uncategorized on 05/30/2017 at 13:21

I’m glad Tax Court judges are back from the barbecue, and the hard-laboring clerks and flailing date-stampers are back on the job after the Memorial Day weekend.

I and my fellow members of American Legion New York Post 2001 9/11 Memorial had a great Sunday at the USS Intrepid Air/Space Museum, raising money and consciousness.

But now it’s back to work.

There is no Office for the Self-Represented at Tax Court, of the sort we see in New York State Courts. Such offices cannot, of course, give legal advice, but they can provide pointers to those hopelessly adrift in the legal Scylla and Charybdis that surrounds the courts.

And for some reason the only pro bono assistance is at calendar call, unless His Honor Big Julie Judge Julian I Jacobs, s/a/k/a HHBJJJIJ, goes to his private bullpen for Olena Ruth, Esq. But none of his colleagues seem prone to do likewise. See my blogpost “Assigned Counsel? – Two Votes ’No’,” 2/5/16 for the backstory.

I submit that having pro bono attorneys and USTCPs at calendar call, while laudatory, is like having the emergency room team at rehabilitative medicine: it presupposes the patient survives long enough to get there.

So here’s another case where Ch J L Paige (“Iron Fist”) Marvel tells IRS counsel to violate Rule 4.3 of the Model ABA Rules of Professional Conduct. Y’all will recollect that Rule 201(a) requires attorneys and USTCPs to adhere to said Rules of Professional Conduct.

We come now to the sad story of Keith D. Poleon, Docket No. 5936-17, filed 5/30/17. Keith has had a stroke and is unable to work steadily; Momma Donna is helping out, but hasn’t a clue what to do with the SNOD sent to her son in February, so she sent a letter to Tax Court.

Ch J Iron Fist treats the letter as a petition, and that’s good. But Momma Donna signed it and not Keith.

Maybe Momma Donna could qualify as next friend, a sort of curbstone guardian ad litem, but for that she needs to make a motion that complies with Rule 60(d).

I am prepared to wager my birthday presents to myself that Momma Donna has no idea of what Rule 60(d) requires.

But have no fear. Ch J Iron Fist orders IRS counsel to jeopardize his or her license (Tax Court website shows IRS counsel still unassigned) in the cause of justice.

“Respondent shall further undertake to discuss with and explain fully to Donna Poleon whether or not she possibly may qualify to be recognized by this Court as next friend for petitioner pursuant to Tax Court Rule 60(d).” Order, at p. 2.

How that doesn’t involve giving legal advice to an unrepresented person in an adversarial situation confounds me. And the argument that Donna isn’t yet a party would go over a treat with any disciplinary committee, Bar Association or judicially-appointed referee—Not!

So why not solve the problem? Put some good stuff on the website, and have a clerk or two standing by the phone ready to help out people like Momma Donna.

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