In Uncategorized on 10/01/2020 at 12:06

Judge Gustafson’s obliging nature stops short of John Van Druten’s 1951 take on Christopher Isherwood’s classic ancestor of Cabaret. You’ll see why when you read Steven Tanner & Deborah Tanner, Docket No. 12822-19S, filed 10/1/20. Steve takes the lead here.

“To help prepare for that trial, the Court held a telephone conference with petitioner Steven Tanner and the Commissioner’s counsel….” Order, at p. 1.

Judge Gustafson notes that IRS’ counsel (whom I’ll hereinafter designate as Pat) has sent Steve a stip of facts, which Steve is to emend and retun prontito.

Inter alia, as my expensively-educated colleagues would say, Steve says he has maybe 750 documents in a storage unit that he wants to put in on the trial. Judge Gustafson gives Steve until Monday to get them to Pat. As trial is set for two weeks thereafter, maybe Pat should see them. I suggest if Pat doesn’t see them, unless they’re for impeachment, no one should see them, at least not on the trial.

Steve also has to send in his pretrial memo; Pat has sent in his. “The court noted that one important aspect of the pretrial memorandum is its identification of any witnesses that the parties expect to call. Mr. Tanner said he did not know whether he would call any witnesses other than himself and his co-petitioner wife, Deborah Tanner. The Court observed that this information is overdue and urged Mr. Tanner to promptly notify [Pat] of any witnesses and to prepare for the witnesses’ participation in the video proceeding.” Order, at pp. 1-2.

Speaking of video, and giving me the title of this little story, Steve isn’t sure his laptop has a camera. “The Court instructed him to find out and, if it does not, to purchase a camera, since petitioners are responsible for equipping themselves to participate in the trial.” Order, at p. 2. Judge Gustafson won’t go that far.

But Steve’s somewhat casual trial prep doesn’t wholly dampen Judge Gustafson’s obliging nature.

“The Court stated that the Court and the parties would have a pretrial video conference on Friday, October 9, 2020, to practice making their video connection and to further prepare for the trial.” Order, at p. 2.

The dress rehearsal is at 11:00 a.m., AZ time, but as it is remote, Judge Gustafson cannot bring “some non-vacuum-packed hot-smoked whitefish, with a couple slices old-time Russian rye-pumpernickel (hi, Judge Holmes), salted butter and a wee glass tea” for each attendee. See my blogpost “Whitefish and Silt,” 5/13/20.









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