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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Tax Court issues one decision today

In Utilimaster Corporation v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue, an 11-page opinion, Judge Wentworth writes:

This matter comes before the Court on the Indiana Department of State Revenue’s (Department) motion to disqualify Utilimaster Corporation’s (Utilimaster) attorneys pursuant to Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 3.7, the Advocate-Witness Rule. In order to grant the Department’s motion, the Court must find, as a preliminary matter, that Utilimaster’s attorneys are likely to be necessary witnesses at trial. The Court finds they are not. * * *

The Department has invoked Professional Conduct Rule 3.7 in an attempt to conceal its failure to timely pursue discovery as well as to remove Utilimaster’s attorneys from the case, calling their professionalism into question. The Court will not countenance the Rule’s abuse as a procedural weapon by invading Utilimaster’s right to counsel of its choice. See Harter, 5 F.Supp.2d at 663 (citation omitted); LeaseAmerica Corp., 876 P.2d at 192.

ILB: Is it me, or is it unclear to whom "their professionalism" refers? Answer: It is quite clear, unless you read the paragraph out of context.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 17, 2012 12:59 PM
Posted to Ind. Tax Ct. Decisions