In Uncategorized on 03/26/2022 at 12:13

There follow some comments on the proposed Rules. Other and further comments may follow. Ms. Servoss, please copy.

Rule 3(h) is too wordy. Should read “A Special Trial Judge as used in these
Rules refers is to a judicial officer appointed pursuant to Code section 7443A(a). See Rule 180.”

Rule 10(d) should read “The Clerk’s office of the Clerk at in Washington, D.C., is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on all days, except Saturdays, Sundays, Fed legal holidays, and public holidays in the District of Columbia, for the purpose of receiving petitions, pleadings, motions, and other any papers.” Was it intended to keep the Tax Court open on Emancipation Day? If so, why? The explanation to the Rule changes says no substantive change was intended.

Rule 20(c) omits reference to publicly-traded partnerships. Why? Otherwise, this is a welcome amendment. Of course, the new Form 6 must state that it cannot be left blank; one box or the other MUST BE checked.

Rule 21(b)(4) is very welcome, as it may be the beginning of the law firm entry of appearance, rather than the current piecemeal system. Designating a single attorney among those representing a party (whether it be petitioner, respondent or intervenor) to receive all papers in a case prevents confusion, needless duplication, and places the onus for following a case on a specific attorney. Why serve more than one attorney if more than one have appeared, even if serving electronically? Now all we need is an amendment to Rule 24 and a new Form 7A, Entry of Appearance (Law Firm), permitting every attorney in a law firm who is admitted to US Tax Court to appear, with one designated lead attorney to receive all papers. It is time Tax Court recognizes that there are law firms (especially as the majority of Tax Court Judges and STJs practiced for some part of their careers in such law firms). Lawyers take family leave, medical leave, vacations, have family emergencies (some are even single parents), and even may be actually engaged on trial on another case when ordered to appear in the case at bar. Has no Tax Court Judge or STJ never, prior to elevation to the Tax Court Bench while practicing in a law firm, when  required to appear on a date and time certain, had a medical emergency, an accidental injury, a family emergency, or been out of the country on a vacation planned and commenced before so required? And has no Judge or STJ ever been called upon, when so practicing, to “cover an appearance” for a fellow-attorney in the firm in such a predicament? If so, thrice happy that Judge or STJ. But it does happen. Tomorrow will be the fifty-fifth anniversary of my admission to the Bar; you may take my word that all the above happens.

To be Continued.

Edited to add, 3/26/22: Rule 10(d) and 25(a)(5): definition of “legal holiday” should be moved to Rule 3. The proposed Rules are confusing.


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