In Uncategorized on 03/24/2020 at 17:56

Maybe Someone Will Listen

It was difficult to resist the pun for the headline, but Karen D. Grim, Docket No. 19478-19S, filed 3/24/20, is an innocent bystander. It’s her attorneys who are under the gun here. Apparently two “relationship-centered” attorneys from a well-known KC MO firm were doing an intramural hand-off of her case, a not-uncommon occurrence. In every firm I was ever in, retainer (engagement) letters always specified that hand-offs might take place within the firm, based upon delivering most efficient service to the client and needs of the firm.

C h J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley, to whom this blogpost is respectfully specifically addressed, takes up the story. I’ll name the attorneys involved, as their names figure prominently on their firm’s website, and they’ve made a perfectly natural assumption, which would work anywhere except in US Tax Court.

“…counsel Bobby J. Taylor filed in entry of appearance in the above-docketed matter, thereby becoming counsel of record on behalf of petitioner. Thereafter, a separate entry of appearance reflecting Kent A. Coxe was filed…,using Bobby J. Taylor’s electronic access code. Such entry of appearance was thus reflected on the docket record as another entry of appearance by Bobby J. Taylor, a moot action.” Order, at p. 1.

So Kent’s EoA is stricken, and Ch J Mighty Mo admonishes him thus: “Kent A. Coxe is advised that if he wishes to enter an appearances as counsel for petitioner in this case, Kent A. Coxe must electronically file such entry of appearance not using the electronic access code issued to Bobby J. Taylor or other such practitioner.” Order, at p. 1.

Now a quick docket search shown that Kent A. Coxe just did that.

But why not a firm-wide access code for all partners and associates admitted to US Tax Court to enter appearances? All, or almost all, Tax Court judges and STJs have been in private practice, and none, or almost none, has ever been a single-shingle like me. So they must know that intramural hand-offs are almost daily occurrences.

Such a system would require no cybernetic reverse judicial backflips, and would save time and effort. Most importantly, it would recognize the realities of law firm practice.

How ‘bout it, Ch J Mighty Mo?

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