In Uncategorized on 08/21/2020 at 10:04

Although he subsequently got disbarred, a former associate in the firm wherein I was a partner taught me a very useful lesson (besides don’t lose your license). “If you want somebody to do something, make it easy.”

Now that Obliging Jurist, Judge David Gustafson, is the very embodiment of that principle, which is why I have so styled him.

But today he expresses the wish, I had almost said plaintively, that litigants would do likewise.

First, the background. And the dates matter here. “Our order of August 3, 2020 (Doc. 38), required the Commissioner to file a response to petitioners’ motion for reconsideration (Doc. 37) by August 28, 2020, and required petitioners to file a reply by September 18, 2020. On August 19, 2020, the Commissioner filed an unopposed motion for extension of time (Doc. 39), requesting that we extend his deadline by 21 days (i.e., until September 18, 2020). The motion is silent as to petitioners’ reply deadline.” Order, at p. 1.

The case is Habitat Green Investments, LLC, MM Bulldawg Manager, LLC, Tax Matters Partner, et al., Docket No. 14433-17, filed 8/21/20. Yep, it’s one of those.

Now pay attention, as Judge Holmes would say. Judge David Gustafson has the floor.

“Best practice for such a motion for extension would be for the motion to address not only the deadline at issue but also subsequent deadlines. This would create an occasion for the parties to agree on a schedule and would enable the Court to grant the motion by ‘stamp’ rather than composing an order.” Order, at p. 1.

Nevertheless, and you can almost hear the judicial sigh, Judge Gustafson orders “…that the Commissioner’s motion for extension of time is granted, and that the Commissioner shall file a response to petitioners’ motion for reconsideration no later than September 18, 2020, and that petitioners shall file a reply no later than October 2, 2020.” Order, at p. 1.

Chaps, I don’t want to seem to be piling on after the whistle, but you’ve got heavy-duty bucks on the table, with the prospect of The Phone Call if you blow this case. Why annoy the judge, even one so obliging and even-tempered as Judge David Gustafson?

Besides, the phoneathon with IRS to work out the schedule is billable time.


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