In Uncategorized on 09/09/2022 at 14:04

Tax Court Judges generally (love that word! Exception to follow, see infra) grant motions by issuing orders. These can be as short as a single sentence, or cover at least as many pages as an opinion, even as many as a full-dress T. C. Most of the time the order will summarize the object sought by the motion, the reasons for granting or denying same, and any right to renew the motion (with prejudice or without).

While orders are not precedential, may not be cited, and at best are law of the case, they do provide insight into how the Judge views the relief sought in the context of the case.

However, Tax Court Judges can simply grant or deny the relief sought by stamping the moving papers “GRANTED” or “DENIED,” and say no more.

Judge David Gustafson gave us an example of the stamp method, which I described in my blogpost “Make It Easy,” 8/21/20. There, the rescheduling of a series of deadlines, to which the parties agreed, could have been resolved by simply stamping the moving papers.

Today, Ch J Kathleen (“TBS = The Big Shillelagh”) Kerrigan wields the “DENIED” stamp on a bushelbasketful of motions for assignment of a judge. See, e.g., Orange Stone, LLC, Marlin Woods Capital, LLC, Tax Matters Partner, Docket No. 30286-21, filed 9/9/22.

Generally (love that word!) that motion gets a two-sentence order, naming the lucky recipient and telling the clerks to hand the winner the file.

Not this time. Not today.

Why not?

A source tells me IRS moved for appointment of a judge in some sixty (count ’em, sixty) cases of a type selected by some software sorter. Various petitioners have objected; some cases are at Appeals, and many have not had any discovery.

Looks like this is the latest automation move from the newly-invigorated IRS.


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