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Designated Orders Review

Posted on Jan. 21, 2020

Almost three years ago Procedurally Taxing began a (mostly) weekly feature of the designated orders from the Tax Court. We did this because it became increasingly clear over the years of blogging on procedural issues that orders generally and designated orders specifically contained a treasure trove of important information that largely went ignored. Because of the fantastic search feature for orders that the Tax Court created in 2011 and the system for designating orders that the court subsequently created, the opportunity to focus on the orders the court thought most important provided an opportunity to expand PT’s coverage of procedural information into an area not otherwise receiving attention on a regular basis.

A team of four authors was recruited – Caleb Smith, Patrick Thomas, Samantha Galvin and William Schmidt. The four authors have remained constant since the start of this feature. Two of the four authors, Caleb Smith and Patrick Thomas are going to present at the ABA Tax Section meeting next week in Boca Raton on what they have learned in the past three years as they have written about designated orders. The panel will take place on Friday, January 31 at 9:30 AM as part of the Individual and Family Committee Programing. In addition to Caleb and Patrick, the panel includes Rich Goldman, the procedural guru from IRS Chief Counsel’s Office and Special Trial Judge Diana Leyden, a frequent user of designated orders since joining the Tax Court. I have the pleasure of moderating this panel.

Patrick and Caleb have created some interesting material for the panel which I will reveal here. I think this material will entice you to hear the panel and provide you with a good background on what can be learned by following the designated orders. The PowerPoint slides provide a detailed look at the use of designated orders by topic and by judge. The written handout provides a great discussion of lessons to be learned from these orders.

Because we have gotten behind a bit in publishing our designated order weekly reviews, we are going to use the days leading up to the panel to catch up on designated orders over the past couple of months and to wet your appetite for an excellent panel. For those of you who have not already made your plans to spend a few winter days in the Florida sunshine, I hope the designated order panel will motivate you to join us.

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