Attorney-at-Law

CHIEF JUDGE’S DOUBLE

In Uncategorized on 04/20/2021 at 17:14

Ch J Maurice B. (“Mighty Mo”) Foley has hit the daily double this afternoon. No, not at the track. Even from the briefest acquaintance with His Honor, I could not glean that he has the slightest interest in the sport of kings. Rather, this is the double of my practice peeves with USTC.

Omkar Singh is an innocent bystander. The case is Estate of Pratap Singh, Deceased, Estate of Mayauri Singh, Deceased, Omkar Singh, Executor, Docket No. 14816-20, filed 4/20/21.  It seems Omkar retained counsel from a well-respected Atlanta, GA firm that practices extensively in taxation law.

Said counsel petitioned on Omkar’s behalf. Ch J Mighty Mo had much to say on the subject.

“The petition filed to commence this case… did not bear the original signatures on the petition of counsels OJM and JNW as required by Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure. Upon review of the Court’s record, petitioners’ counsels are admitted to practice before this Court, however, will not be associated with the case until proper entry of appearances are filed with the Court. If petitioners’ counsels wish to be recognized as counsels of record in this case, it will be necessary at this juncture to electronically file an entry of appearances on behalf of petitioners in accordance with Rule 24 Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure. Petitioners’ counsels may obtain an Entry of Appearance form under ‘Case Related Forms ‘ on the Tax Court’ s website at http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/case_related_forms.html.” Order, at p. 1. (Names omitted).

Apparently another attorney in said firm filed a separate E of A. But each of OJM and JNW must file separate E of A forms.

Once again, I ask why not a firm entry of appearance? If I read their website correctly, this firm has three (count ’em, three) partners and five associates. It may be that Omkar’s case is so big that three of the firm’s attorneys must be involved; this would hardly be a novel circumstance. Moreover, future personnel changes cannot be unexpected. Law firms have existed in this country for at least 225 years. I doubt they will become extinct in the lifetime of any of my readers. I am still waiting for a reason why a firm entry of appearance doesn’t work. If it be objected that not every attorney in a firm is admitted to USTC, it’s easy enough to get them admitted.

Now for peeve the second.

“Because the Petition… was not properly executed and also fails to meet the original signature requirements pursuant to Rule 23(a)( 3) and 33 of Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure, we will order petitioner to file a ratification of petition in which he shall ratify and affirm the filing of that Petition in accordance with Rule 60, Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure.” Order, at p. 1.

On paper, of course, and “…preferably in ‘wet ink’ signature, not a photocopied signature). Petitioners should note that the ratification of petition may not be electronically filed.” Order, at p .1.

Once more, what price Rule 34(a)(1), as amended 11/30/18? “A petition may be filed electronically under the electronic filing procedures established by the Court, or a petition may be filed by properly mailing or hand delivering it to the Court.” Is this amendment a dead letter? Surely, if the Genius Baristas can get off-the-bench opinions up before Noon, breaking the hallowed three-o’clock-jump, they can devise a method to permit electronic petitioning, if set to the task.

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