In Uncategorized on 03/30/2022 at 19:30

I am late blogging tonight, because I had a tooth extracted this afternoon. The prothodontist instructed me to engage in no activity for 24 hours that would raise my blood pressure. So I will merely wonder how IRS counsel maintains normal blood pressure when being given five (count ’em, five) trial dates over a five-year period, for each of which, presumably, they must prepare.

The petitioner, of course, does not prepare. Quite the contrary; he showed up for a deposition “engaging in aggressive behavior, shouting, and abruptly leaving respondent’s office before the deposition could begin.” Michael Zorn, Docket No. 25974-17, filed 3/30/22, at p. 2.

IRS’ counsel moved for sanctions. Motion denied, without prejudice. Idem, as my expensive colleagues would say.

To begin with, for the first trial date in 2019, a mere eighteen months after the petition, IRS’ counsel moved for a date and time certain; granted. But petitioner moved for a continuance at the trial, which the Court granted.

Second trial date, same story. OSC to set trial, no opposition, motion at trial for continuance, granted over IRS’ counsel’s opposition.

Third trial date scheduled, three weeks before trial petitioner files bankruptcy.

After bankruptcy court discharge (apparently not discharging the tax debts), trial again scheduled (number four), but two (count ’em, two) days after the scheduling order, the Court sua sponte continued the case.

Trial date number five. A hybrid. A remote session last November, with an in-person at a date and time to be determined. “The Court’s Order stated that ‘the in-person portion of the trial will consist of petitioner’s testimony and that of any other witnesses the Court designates for in-person testimony.’” Order, at p. 3.

And the remote trial actually takes place on time.

But the in-person is stricken on COVID concerns, and when rescheduled, petitioner claims he has symptoms: two days before trial. Petitioner likewise claims he was seeing a doctor that day.

Judge Courtney D (“CD”) Jones asks petitioner to show documentation of his medical appointment. Order, at p. 4.

“In light of the significant delay that resolution of this case has already experienced, the Court is concerned about a further delay. The Court recognizes that one delay was caused by the Court’s Order… and another by the Court’s Order….

“However, the Court notes that resolution of the case has also been delayed due to petitioner’s two Motions for Continuance, refusal to sit for a properly-noticed deposition, and filing of a petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Though the Court will reschedule the in-person further trial on report of petitioner’s symptoms, the Court , and will consider sanctions, including dismissal, if petitioner initiates an additional delay.” Order, at pp. 3-4.

I note that Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley has given a stylistic tweak to Rule 133 in the proposed revisions to the Rules, but no substantive change was made. Taishoff says what’s the point of the thirty-day rule?


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