In Uncategorized on 04/28/2020 at 11:49

We’ve all been there: we’ve made a deal, the best available in the circumstances, the client signs off (literally), and then backs out.

Well, this happened to a CA attorney, whom I’ll call Bogie, and Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber is not amused.

But there’s a twist; there must be, or else I wouldn’t be blogging this.

Vishal Mishra & Ritu Mishra, Docket No. 16492-18, filed 4/28/20, brought Bogie in from the bullpen when IRS got Judge Scholar Al to toss their first attorney. It seems first attorney had his license lifted by the Bear Republic when he flunked the ethics test. Or so a docket search and a quick Google revealed.

Enter Bogie, under the gun, who crafts a settlement that Vishal & Ritu seem to have maybe so agreed to, but part of the deal was they had to agree to an accuracy chop.

Judge Scholar Al: “Respondent’s counsel represented that he had obtained tax computations consistent with the parties’ settlement, had prepared a decision document reflecting those computations, and had presented the proposed stipulated decision to petitioners’ counsel for signature. Petitioner’s counsel then informed respondent that petitioners no longer wish to concede liability for the accuracy-related penalties.” Order, at p.1.

Maybe Vishal & Ritu were disillusioned with lawyers generally. Or maybe, like clients of every race, color, creed, affectional preference, national origin or ancestry, occupation, and favorite indoor sport, they have a selective understanding of whatever language they most commonly speak. And all the other languages as well.

Howbeit, Judge Scholar Al lays it out.

“In the Tax Court, concessions, compromises, and settlements can be memorialized in various ways, including (as here) by the parties’ execution of a stipulation of settled issues.’[A] settlement stipulation is in all essential characteristics a mutual contract by which each party grants to the other a concession of some rights as a consideration for those secured and the settlement stipulation is entitled to all of the sanctity of any other contract.’ The agreement manifested by a stipulation of settled issues will not be set aside except as necessary to prevent ‘manifest injustice,’ e.g., in the case of fraud or material misrepresentation of fact.” Order, at pp. 1-2. (Citations omitted).

So dish, Vishal & Ritu. And it had better be good.



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