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Facing The Music

When I was a young, fresh-faced criminal defense attorney, there was an aged judge on one of the local benches. Courthouse rumor persisted that this gentleman, whose name I cannot recall, was a finalist to serve as Alf Landon’s running mate in 1936. The judge would occasionally say that his particular fiefdom should be called “County Dumb Court” instead of “County Criminal Court.” While his rhetoric was a bit overblown, at least in my humble opinion, his underlying point was valid. Almost all the defendants who approached the bench were there not because they had done something malicious, but because they had made a poor decision under pressure, misunderstood the law or been trapped on a technicality.

In a way, tax court is much the same. The petitioners are certainly not “dumb” in any way, Read more

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