Attorney-at-Law

GET OUT!

In Uncategorized on 03/15/2018 at 16:25

While I rejoiced at the well-deserved triumph of my daughters’ friend since their childhood days, I will refrain from further praise of that gifted actor-director-screenwriter and all-around great human being in this blog other than saying once again “JORDAN!!!”

I only use the title of his film to illustrate to fellow practitioners how to get out of representing a client in Tax Court, or, more politely, withdrawal as attorney.

Two examples.

First, petitioners and intervenors are represented in Tax Court by individual attorneys. Form 7 (Entry of Appearance) is a trifle ambiguous, but see my blogpost “Separate Checks,” 9/1/15. So here’s Whistleblower 18370-16W, Docket No. 18370-16W, filed 3/15/18, where a well-respected NYC law firm specializing in tax representation (and with whom I’ve worked in the past) tries to get out, and fails.

Judge Morrison: “…counsel for petitioner moved the Court to issue an order withdrawing X & Y LLP as counsel for petitioner in this case. This motion is improper as it moves the Court to withdraw as counsel the law firm rather than moving the Court to withdraw as counsel the individual attorneys who have entered appearances in this case….” Order, at p. 1 (names omitted).

The second example is what happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen, and one tries to tell the other to “get out!”

Here’s Mildred Barrett, Donor, Docket No. 22051-17, filed 3/15/18. But Mildred isn’t involved, although she should have been.

Attorney A signs petition and duly files same. A month later, Attorney B files Entry of Appearance. So as far as Ch J L Paige (“Iron Fist”) Marvel is concerned, there are two attorneys representing Mildred.

No biggie; any number can play.

But five months later, Attorney B tries to oust Attorney A, and that doesn’t fly.

Attorney B “…filed a paper Motion To Withdraw Counsel seeking to withdraw [Attorney A]’s appearance as counsel for petitioner in this case (Index No. 0010). An examination of that motion reflects that it (Index No. 0010) is signed only by [Attorney B], and not by petitioner herself. In pertinent part, Tax Court Rule 24(c) provides that any party desiring to withdraw the appearance of counsel of record for such party, must file a motion to withdraw counsel with the Court. Although [Attorney B] represents that he is acting on petitioner’s behalf, Rule 24(c) does not allow [Attorney B] alone to file a motion to withdraw [Attorney A]’s appearance as counsel for petitioner in this case, and that motion to withdraw counsel must also be signed by petitioner herself.” Order, at p. 1.

Ch J Iron Fist bounces Attorney B’s paper filing (and shouldn’t that have been electronically filed? M116 motions aren’t barred from electronic filing; see p. 93 of the Guide).

Having done so, she turns to Attorney A with some free advice.

“[Attorney A] is advised that if he wishes to withdraw as counsel for petitioner in this case, [Attorney A] must file an appropriate motion to withdraw as counsel under Tax Court Rule 24(c). Such motion to withdraw as counsel must be electronically filed by [Attorney A], and may not be filed in paper form. Petitioner and [Attorney B] are advised that if petitioner wishes to withdraw [Attorney A]’s appearance as counsel for petitioner in this case, petitioner must file an appropriate motion to withdraw counsel under Rule 24(c) that bears petitioner’s signature.” Order, at p. 2.

And this is the second try at getting either Attorney A or Attorney B out of the case. See my blogpost “Accept No Substitutes – Redivivus,” 12/8/17.

Keep trying, guys. Only read the Rules first.

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