In Uncategorized on 10/07/2022 at 18:09

Includes US Tax Court

Blogging allows me a freewheeling approach: reporter, critic, “grumpy old man” (hi, Mr. Reilly). At risk of being shoehorned into the last-named, I’ll return again to a well-worn peeve: the nonrecognition of law firms in US Tax Court practice.

Here’s Ricardo Cano & Lillian Cano, Docket No. 21204-22, filed 10/7/22. And again it’s nothing to do with Ric or Lilli; it’s their trusty attorneys from a well-regarded and inveterate Tax Court regular firm.

Said trusty attorneys, whom I’ll call James and Dave, got caught in the electronic petition tangle. Apparently the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act does not apply at The Glasshouse on Second Street.

Ch J Kathleen (“TBS = The Big Shillelagh”) Kerrigan issues the usual admonition.

“If the petition is being filed by multiple practitioners, the Petition should be signed by the additional practitioners. However,  review shows that the petition bears a stylized signatures of counsels [Dave] and [James]. The Tax Court’s procedures require at a minimum a digital image of an actual signature or use of an authentication program. See DAWSON User Guides on the Court’s website, If petitioners’ counsel wishes to be recognized as counsel of record in this case, it will be necessary at this juncture to electronically file an entry of appearance on behalf of petitioners in accordance with Rule 24 Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure. Petitioners’ counsel may obtain an Entry of Appearance form under ‘Case Related Forms’ on the Tax Court’s website at  .” Order, at p. 1.

Ch J TBS is aware of the existence of law firms; her bio on the Tax Court website recites that she was employed as associate and later partner in a leading law firm. Why elevation to the Tax Court bench acts like a shot of Lethe I cannot guess.

Time, and past time, for a Firm Entry of Appearance. Law firms have existed in this country for 225 years or more. I much doubt they will cease to exist any time soon.

If ex-Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley could craft an updated and much improved Ownership Disclosure Statement, I’m sure a Law Firm Entry of Appearance is no great shakes.

Effective Tax Administration does not end with Collections. The tax judiciary needs to make it easy for taxpayers with meritorious (or at least good-faith) claims to seek redress speedily, economically, and with counsel of their choice.


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