In Uncategorized on 09/08/2022 at 14:53

Whether on a laptop or in a looseleaf binder, the trial notebook is essential. It is the master checklist for conduct of the trial. Make sure whatever you need is in there, so that all the necessaries will be to hand when you need them out there in Tax Court.

Today, Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber gives us a table of contents for what goes in after pleadings and dispositive orders, borrowed from the parties’ counsel in CD LIstening Bar, Inc., et al., Docket No. 11369-16, filed 9/8/22.

It needs some tailoring for specific cases, but this order gives a thorough outline of what should be to hand when the time comes.

  1. Petitioner company is headquartered in Irvine, California. Back in 2016 it asked for a trial in Phoenix, and its two lawyers are located there. IRS, meanwhile, is sending four lawyers from Salt Lake City and one from Denver. I can’t remember from law school whether this is forum shopping, or diversity jurisdiction.


  2. Diversity jurisdiction only involves controversies between or among citizens of different States. Tax Court has national jurisdiction over Federal tax matters, and the United States is always a party.

    Rule 140 gives petitioners first choice of trial venue; if petitioner doesn’t choose, then IRS gets to choose. If neither chooses, the Court chooses, generally (love that word!) where petitioner resided when petition was filed.

    Forum shopping is choosing a friendly jurisdiction, however tenuous the geographical link thereto. For examples, see my blogpost “Delay of the Game,” 7/12/13. Link below.



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