In Uncategorized on 02/11/2022 at 15:37

Judge Christian N. (“Speedy”) Weiler denies two appraisers the chance to intervene in opposing IRS’ motions to compel their depositions in Green Valley Investors, LLC,  Bobby A. Branch, Tax Matters Partner, et. al., Docket No. 17379-19, filed 2/11/22.

And he echoes Yeats’ Irish fighter pilot: “No likely end could bring them loss or leave them happier than before.”

Tax Court has no equivalent to FRCP 24; there are individual Tax Court rules, and Judge Speedy Weiler lays them out, Order, at p. 7.  Those, however, are for specific proceedings permitted by statute. But Tax Court can draw on FRCP 24 for the odd off-menu situation. See my blogpost “Snow(den) Job,” 7/18/16.

However, the would-be intervenor needs to show the outcome of the case would effect a seismic shift in their own life. The appraisers don’t make the cut.

“Messrs. V and W do not present any questions of law or fact in common with the main action in these cases. Messrs. V and W aver they are seeking intervention since they are both currently being investigated by respondent and respondent is also investigating several of their clients, and intervention is necessary to ensure that they and their clients’ rights are protected. As far as we can tell, however, Messrs. V and W fail to describe a ‘claim or defense’ they have, much less a claim or defense that they share with petitioners. Accordingly, we do not find the intervention of Messrs. V and W in these consolidated cases to be appropriate.” Order, at p. 8 (Names omitted).

IRS also wanted to depose the appraisers to ascertain basis for the Greeners’ reliance on their opinions, but the Greeners had already given IRS 8000 (count ’em, 8000) pages of documents, and Bobby Branch, the TMP, is the go-to party.

“First, we find that respondent has not demonstrated a specific need to take depositions in these cases. Respondent seeks information to determine whether the LLCs acted reasonably and in good faith in hiring the advisors and relying on their appraisals. Petitioners’ knowledge regarding the Properties’ transfer history, Mr. Branch’s professional background, specifically his experiences and knowledge in the real estate and mining industries, are important in determining these issues. However, while we previously found respondent needs to depose Mr. Branch to understand his personal knowledge, understanding, and beliefs at the time of the valuation as appropriate, we do not find that respondent has established such a need to depose the deponents. It is Mr. Branch’s state of mind, as the Tax Matters Partner, that is relevant in this determination. While reliance is at issue in this case, much of the information sought from the deponents is duplicative to that sought from petitioners and Mr.  Branch. Respondent has failed to show that the depositions would yield specific and precise factual information essential to the remaining issues in these cases or could lead to such admissible evidence that could not otherwise be obtained in the deposition of Mr. Branch.” Order, at pp. 6-7. (Citation omitted).

Remember, depositions, which are free for the asking everywhere else, are “extraordinary” in US Tax Court.


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