In Uncategorized on 10/08/2019 at 21:37

We are all used to the demands for responses to interrogatories and document production. From our salad days in Civil Procedure 101, through our apprenticeships as the very trash of the legal profession, to our present eminences (be they never so small), it has been dinned into our consciousness that the first thing a defendant does (and IRS is a perennial defendant in Tax Court) is to herniate the plaintiff with discovery demands, simultaneously with our answer.

IRS is nowise loath to do so. It’s a “win your case before discovery” gambit that enthralls the Continuing Ed crowd, and brings to mind the ancient Tammany Hall war-cry today.

IRS is at it again in Jesse Alvarado & Maria De Lourdes Velasquez, Docket No. 15059-18, filed 10/8/19.

Judge Elizabeth A. (“Tex”) Copeland has sussed out the fact that Jess & Maria are not battle-hardened pro se litigators or frequent rounders.

“The interrogatories (e.g. questions to be answered by the Taxpayers) begin after the six page motion and include questions numbered one (1) through (8) for which the government requests a written response. The request for production of documents begins after a seven page motion and has twelve (12) separate requests for documents. Under this Order, the Taxpayers, also known as ‘petitioners’ in this case, must respond to the IRS’ questions in writing and must produce the documents the IRS has requested.” Order, at p.1.

A seven-page motion, filled with enough legalese to glaze the eyes of even the hardiest, followed by twelve (count ’em, twelve) separate requests (doubtless with division, subdivision, paragraph and sub-paragraph). And a couple self-representeds (hi, Judge Holmes) are supposed to decode, demystify, deconstruct, and respond to same in thirty days or less.

Although I myself never heard it, IRS counsel must chant the Old Tammany Hall war cry every day. “Big chief sit in teepee, cheering braves to victory, swamp ‘em, swamp ‘em, get the wampum, Tammaneeee!”


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