Attorney-at-Law

GETTING OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD

In Uncategorized on 08/11/2017 at 17:54

That whimsical jurist, Judge Robert A. Wherry, was severely rebuked for loquacity and lame humor by Judge Posner of 7th Cir. when dealing with John E. Rogers’ Brazilian wax jobs. See my blogpost “There Goes the Neighborhood,” 9/3/13.

Now, almost four (count ‘em, four) years later, poor whimsical Judge Wherry has to keep a straight face while blowing off Mrs. Susan Hartigan, as she attempts to scramble out of Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.

Whimsical Judge Wherry helped out this hard-laboring blogger by designating this gem, after I sweated over a residential contract of sale, of the kind we call mishpocha work; this means family and friends. Heaven help you if you blow one of these, and double that if you try to bill your actual time at your actual rate.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these guys; I was at their wedding, which took place on the day before the venue was wiped out by Superstorm Sandy.

OK, so now Judge Posner will yell at me for my loquacity and lame attempts at humor. My spies tell me His Honor has been known to look at this my blog occasionally. Of course, my spies disseminate as much misinformation as anything else.

Anyway, Susan spent years claiming, individually and through her husband Mr. Mike Hartigan the tax lawyer, that she was a partner in Leila Verde Fund, LLC, which held a 98% interest in Derringer Trading, LLC, Jetstream Business Limited, Tax Matters Partner, et al, Docket No. 20872-07, filed 8/11/17. Yep, this doozy has been running for ten years and not even breathing hard.

As recently as 2013, Susan filed an election to participate in the TEFRA FPAA, claiming to be a partner in Leila Verde, and designated husband Mike the tax lawyer to represent her.

Of course, way back in 2003 and 2004, Susan took a grand total of $3.3 million in ordinary loss write-offs from the DADS deals that John E. Rogers, Esq., concocted from Brazilian bad debts mixed with big US gains. And she twice claimed she was a partner in MA State court, ditto in FL Bankruptcy Court, ditto in Tax Court filings, likewise in depositions.

Lo and behold, in December last year, with trial coming on next week, Susan files an out-of-time election to participate, claiming she never was a partner.

Ya can’t make this stuff up.

Mike the tax lawyer now claims that the cash Susan paid for her interest in Leila Verde was stolen. According to Mr. Rogers, the interest was never conveyed, and Susan isn’t a partner. Of course, neither Susan nor Mike the tax lawyer agree to pay back the tax breaks derived from Susan’s deductions.  And Susan claims Mike the tax lawyer or someone else signed her name to the purchase agreement, so Statute of Frauds. So now Susan isn’t a partner.

For you civilians, the Statute of Frauds, one of King Charles II’s greatest accomplishments, says no one can be sued on certain kinds of contracts unless they sign on the dotted line. Except the only one who could sue Susan is Mr. Rogers, not IRS; IRS has no contract with Susan.

Judge Wherry isn’t even looking, much less buying.

We got the duty of consistency; if you take a tax position and benefit thereby, you can’t go home again if the SOL has run. Then we got tax benefit rule; Susan got a yuge write-off and it’s now too late for her to pay tax when she claims she never should’a gotten it. Susan, you’re stuck. And judicial estoppel; you told the Court over and over again you were a partner. In the immortal words of Carole King’s 1971 hit, “it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late.”

But Mike the tax lawyer is in there pitching when a lesser lawyer would be headed for the showers.

Susan claims Mike abused her. He was “very demanding, very imperious.” Order, at p. 7.

“Mrs. Hartigan argues to this Court that Mr. Hartigan caused her to make the Leila Verde purchase through deception, abuse, manipulation, exploitation and domination in order to shelter his own income. She claims to have derived no benefit from the investment. She also alleges that she did not prepare or review the Hartigans’ joint tax returns, nor did she sign the tax returns of her own will. Mrs. Hartigan further asserts that she was not ‘actively involved’ in the Sugarloaf lawsuit or the Seyfarth Shaw lawsuit except for depositions; her husband was the one taking all actions.” Order, at pp. 14-15.

Oh yes, Susan and Mike the lax lawyer are still married. But she claims they live apart. Cue the violins.

The problem is that innocent spousery, like the Ancient Mariner, requires one of three: either a deficiency proceeding, collection activity or a stand-alone, but not a TEFRA FPAA. The marital partnership isn’t part of a TEFRA partnership-level slanging match, so save it, Susan, for the after-trial afterparty.

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