Attorney-at-Law

MAKING THE ORDINARY EXTRAORDINARY

In Uncategorized on 03/28/2023 at 18:54

That’s Judge Mark V (“Vittorio Emanuele”) Holmes. I’ve given him this sobriquet, as he follows the famous unifier of Italy, who vowed to impose on the Italian nation even his errors of grammar.

Today he takes an ordinary indocumentado Section 165 nonbusiness casualty loss case, Thomas Richey and Maureen Cleary, T. C. Memo. 2023-43, filed 3/28/23, and elevates it with a footnote describing petitioners’ attempt to use real estate brokers’ Multiple Listing Service screenshots as a rationalization of their guess about the before-and-after valuation of their vacation home.

“In other words, the MLS printouts are akin to the rational tail of the intuitive dog that is the couple’s initial valuation of their home. See Jonathan Haidt, The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgment, 108 Psychol. Rev. 814, 822–23 (2001). It was not derived from those MLS printouts (in fact it resembles more of an intuitive evaluation); those printouts serve as a post hoc rationalization of their evaluation.” T. C. Memo. 2023-41, at p. 9, footnote 6.

“The rational tail of the intuitive dog.”

There is a painstaking trudge through all the elements of a casualty loss: proximate cause, actual physical damage, sudden and externally-caused (not natural deterioration), damage in excess of basis, cost of restoration (not improvement), before-and-after appraisal, uninsured loss or mandated insurance claim, $100 and 10% of AGI exclusions, and documentation of each element.

But the intuitive dog with its rational tail is the best part.

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