In Uncategorized on 12/26/2018 at 11:32

Second trials are a rarity in Tax Court, even when a Federal shutdown does not loom. See my blogpost “Big Daddy’s Disciple,” 3/18/14.

But today Joseph J. Zajac, III, Docket No.1886-15, filed 12/26/18, gets one, thanks to the now-fully-retired Judge Carolyn P. Chiechi.

Now-fully-retired Judge Chiechi tried Joe J.’s case, and had the same fully submitted back in February. No opinion, so in October Ch J Maurice B (”Mighty Mo”) Foley proposed handing Joe J.’s case off to another “judicial officer.” Order, at p. 1.

Of course, both IRS and Joe J. get to weigh in. IRS confidently agrees to the hand-off, for the purposes of writing the opinion (based on the trial record) and entering decision.

For us State courtiers, that’s writing the decision and entering judgment.

Joe J. waves off the hand-off, and wants a new trial.

And gets it.

Judge Gale will retry the case.

Joe J. is self-represented, according to the Tax Court docket search. And he seems to be doing OK, so far. Going for a new trial makes sense, if credibility of witnesses is an issue. Everybody’s testimony looks the same as anybody else’s on paper; nobody’s testimony looks the same as anybody else’s on the stand.

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