Attorney-at-Law

FIIK

In Uncategorized on 04/19/2018 at 10:37

I don’t tweet, but the abbreviation that entitles this blogpost well summarizes Judge Mark V. Holmes’ Order in Gail Vento, et al., Docket No. 23537-08, filed 4/18/18. Judge Holmes is stuck with the outwash from the beaches of Our Insolvent Islands in the Sun.

For those unacquainted with 140-ese, the last three letters signify “If I Know.” The first I cannot explicate in a blogpost meant for family reading.

Again we have la famille Vento front-and-center, but only the daughters are on parade, their parents having successfully escaped the toils of the IRS. See my blogpost “It Pays To Be a Virgin,” 3/20/18.

But the issue of the daughters’ true Virginity was not disposed of, notwithstanding Judge James S (“Big Jim”) Halpern’s attempt, as to which see my blogpost “Farewell To The Virgin – Part Deux,” 9/7/16.

For between Judge Big Jim’s denial and IRS’ long-sought entry of decision in its favor, there came the Coffey break. See my blogpost thus entitled, 2/8/18.

So now the Vento daughters, having elected to dump the competent authority, maybe want to go for summary J (as Judge Holmes suggested in the last-named of my blogposts hereinabove, as my high-priced colleagues say).

Now all y’all know I just love summary J. Even if you lose the motion, you get valuable discovery, not only of your adversary but of the Judge as well.

Better yet, Coffey, with its kick-out of SOL, would end the whole Vento epic. Maybe.

Judge Holmes: “Respondent may well wish to appeal Coffey, though the appeal would likely head to a different circuit than any of these cases. Petitioners report that they may seek summary judgment. The Court would invite such a motion, but would urge both parties to become fully aware of the extreme complexities of figuring out what a fractured majority opinion means for later cases, and the possible difficulties of translating whatever the rule is in appellate courts to our Court’s rulings when we sit in conference. See http://procedurallytaxing.com/fractured-tax-court-opinions-which-opinioncontrols-and-does-the-supreme-courts-marks-decision-apply/ (And note as well that there is a case pending before the Supreme Court this term that may touch on this issue.) Order, at p. 1.

In short, chaps, exactly what did we decide in Coffey? It sounds like the weirdest doubleplay in baseball history, 5-7-4, but in Coffey five (count ‘em, five) Judges agreed in Judge Holmes’ “majority” decision, seven (count ‘em, seven) Judges concurred as to result but thought Judge Holmes and the “majority” went too far, and four (count ‘em, four) dissented altogether.

Hence the above-cited blogpost from a guest on a colleague’s site: how do you deal with a case where the ratio decidendi (that means what they were talking about, for those of you who didn’t go to a high-class law school) is all over the lot?

So, plaintively echoing Paddy Chayefsky’s words from long ago (“Whaddya wanna do, Marty?”), Judge Holmes orders the parties to “…describe any progress they have made in framing the cases for decision on summary judgment, by agreement to be bound by Coffey on appeal, or any other suggestions.” Order, at p. 2.

And respond by July 17, 2018. I’m sure Judge Holmes would love for them to wait until July 17, 2118.

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