In Uncategorized on 07/01/2022 at 15:01

No, not another Rule 162 vacation of a decision or order. This time it’s the real vacay, the loading up of the rented minivan, or the Uber to the airport, followed by adventure and the happiest of memories, or an experience in contrast to which Dante’s ninth circle would be a delicious treat. And the memo?

In those long-gone pre-smartphone and tablet days when I was a partner or of counsel, when one went away for more than a three-day, one was required to leave one’s desk absolutely bare, save only for a memorandum at the center thereof. That memorandum was a précis of every matter on which one was currently engaged, with client contact information, adversary or counterparty information, details of matters requiring attention, and one’s own detailed itinerary and how one might be contacted.

I remember lengthy phonecalls in an Edwardian sittingroom in Chiswick, on a payphone in a bar in Elmira, New York, and the bemused glances of passersby as I fed Euros into a payphone in Veere, in the Netherlands.

Of course, in preparing the aforesaid memorandum, one did something with each matter, to show one’s partners, associates, and staff, how irreplaceable one was.

Today, as we start the July Fourth three-day and the beginning of the serious summer travel season, the United States Tax Court bench is not behindhand, unloading 933 (count ’em, 933) orders. There are some 700 standing pretrial orders (regular and small-claimer) to keep the petitioners occupied, and a few more detailed types.

Here are just two.

Sharon O. Eddy & Stuart W. Eddy, Deceased, Docket No. 14165-22, filed 7/1/22, has Ch J Kathleen (“TBS = The Big Shillelagh”) Kerrigan worried about the late Stuart’s estate. I point out that estates aren’t “probated”; wills are probated; estates are administered after they become subject to proceedings in probate court.

Here’s Sharon’s assignment. “…petitioner shall file a status report and therein provide information regarding the following matters: (1) whether the estate of decedent Stuart W. Eddy has been or will be probated; (2) if decedent’s estate has been probated, whether an executor, administrator, or other fiduciary has been duly appointed for decedent’s estate by a court of competent jurisdiction and, if so, the name and address of such duly appointed fiduciary; (3) if no fiduciary has been duly appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, whether there is a successor trustee or similar fiduciary with respect to a living trust established by decedent and, if so, the name and address of such fiduciary; (4) whether any fiduciary of decedent’s estate intends to prosecute this case on decedent’s behalf by filing an appropriate motion to substitute parties and change caption (to which should be attached relevant documentation supporting the individual’s or entity’s status as a fiduciary with legal capacity to represent decedent’s estate); and (5) if decedent’s estate has not been or will not be probated and decedent’s estate otherwise has no fiduciary, the names and addresses of decedent’s heirs at law, except for petitioner Sharon O. Eddy. A copy of decedent’s death certificate shall be attached to the status report.” Order, at pp. 1-2.

A different petitioner is Martin G. Plotkin, Docket No. 16224-14L, filed 7/1/22. There’s a bit of backstory in my blogpost “Multiplex Man,” 2/3/21. Martin gives away nothing to The Energizer Bunny; Martin has six (count ’em, six) new motions, and Judge Morrison would like a separate reply to each from IRS’ counsel by 8/1/22. Five of the six relate to individual Appeals employees, and one is a document request.

As lien cases are record rule, I wonder about relevance, but we shall see.

Meanwhile, desks are cleared for vacation. Off to sun ‘n’ fun.


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