Attorney-at-Law

DON’T MANIPULATE, STIPULATE

In Uncategorized on 12/04/2017 at 14:40

IRS is putting Judge Buch through the mill again. This started with Siemer Milling Company; see my blogpost “Come From Away,” 11/3/17.

The “do over” Judge Buch gave the battling millers resulted in some more facts being stiped in, but IRS gets creative with their objections. Here’s Siemer Milling Company, Docket No. 21655-15, filed 12/4/17.

And Judge Buch finally loses patience. “This order closes the Court’s intervention in the stipulation process and denies Siemer Milling’s renewed Motion under Rule 91(f).” Order, at p 1.

IRS has a laundry list of objections, each one given a letter, which IRS strews over the millers’ renewed Rule 91(f) motion.

IRS objects to some documents, without contesting the factual statements therein, and objects to other statements as based on hearsay. No good, says Judge Buch. Are the facts as stated true or not, regardless of provenance or admissibility?

But some of IRS’s objections are well-taken. There are some disputed facts; there are some misstated facts. There are some conclusions of law which are not matters for stipulation.

You can plow through Judge Buch’s analysis your own self, and prepare your own boilerplate Rule 91 motions, or objections to the IRS’, therefrom.

But remember, the “bedrock” of Tax Court discovery is the stipulation of facts. State court jousting, or even Federal Court trips to the magistrate, may be good tactics. But that won’t fly at 400 Second St, NW.

“Although several of the bases for not stipulating to certain facts are well taken, even cursory examination of the annotated proposed stipulation of facts leaves the Court with the sense that the Commissioner and Siemer Milling could have, with a little cooperation, come to agreement as to many more facts. However, the Court is not in the business of rewriting stipulations for the parties.

“After reviewing each of the specific objections, there is little left the Court can do. Each fact for which there is an objection that is not well taken also has a perfectly appropriate objection.” Order, at p. 4,

So discovery game over. Go try the case.

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