In Uncategorized on 05/31/2019 at 17:02

Those who register and operate motor vehicles in Our Nation’s Capital display the above caption on said vehicles as required by law. And even though a quick docket search of Fritz Steven Schwager, Docket No. 17954-18L, filed May 31, 2019, reveals that he requested trial in MI, where presumably he registers whatever motor vehicles he has, he might wish to adopt the DC motto.

But Judge Patrick J. (“Scholar Pat”) Urda isn’t having it in his courtroom.

Fritz sent in a document “… styled as ‘petitioner’s attorney in fact appearance.’ That document purported to be an entry of appearance by Edwin Victor Nassar, who is not an attorney, on behalf of Mr. Schwager to act as Mr. Schwager’s representative in this case.” Order, at p. 1.

Scholar Pat did some quick research, found Mr. Nassar wasn’t a Tax Court admittee, and bounced Fritz’s paper.

Fritz, following the well-known but often deleterious “blue pill” formula (“if one doesn’t work, try three”), ripostes as follows.

“In three filings…, Mr. Schwager asserted that he had a constitutional right to counsel of his choice, that he was confident in Mr. Nassar’s ability to represent him, and that our decision worked a deprivation of his due process rights.” Order, at p. 2.

As I’m sure my ultra-sophisticated readers are well aware, brilliance is not the standard for representation. Ya gotta be admitted.

“Mr. Schwager’s arguments are meritless. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not extend to Tax Court proceedings.” Order, at p. 2. (“Somber reasoning and copious citation of precedent” omitted).

Nothing stops Mr. Nassar from taking the exam next November, finding two (count ’em, two) sponsors, and stumping up the $30 registration fee if he passes. But absent that, nuthin’ doin’.

“Moreover, Congress has explicitly equipped this Court with the authority to govern those who practice before it. See sec. 7452 (providing that the representation of taxpayers before this Court is to be conducted ‘in accordance with the rules of practice prescribed by the Court’). This statutory provision comes against the backdrop of federal courts’ broad (and oft-recognized) authority to regulate those before them. See, e.g., Goldsmith v. U.S. Bd. of Tax Appeals, 270 U.S. 117, 122-123 (1926) (concluding that predecessor to the Tax Court possessed the implied authority to regulate the admission to practice before it); Pappas v. Philip Morris, Inc., 915 F.3d 889, 894-895 (2d Cir. 2019) (noting that ‘[f]ederal courts have discretion to adopt such rules as are necessary to carry out the business of the courts * * * includ[ing] the regulation of admissions to a court’s own bar”); Matter of Abrams, 521 F.2d 1094, 1099 (3d Cir. 1975) (discussing the ‘unquestioned principle’ that federal courts have the power ‘to prescribe requirements for admission to practice before that court’).” Order, at p. 2.

Judge Scholar Pat assures Fritz that he ”…will have a full opportunity to be heard. But because Mr. Nassar has not been admitted to practice in this Court, he cannot serve as Mr. Schwager’s representative in this case.” Order, at p. 2. And Fritz can file his own papers.

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