Paul L. Caron
Dean


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Seattle Attorney Sanctioned for Keeping Mother's Estate Open for 13+ Years by Lying to Both Probate Court and Tax Court

The Tax Court yesterday sanctioned a Seattle attorney (Daniel B. Allison II) for keeping open his mother's estate for over thirteen years by lying to both the Tax Court and the state probate court.  Estate of Allison v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2008-149 (6/10/08):

Mary Allison died in 1995. Her son, Daniel Allison, is an attorney and the personal representative of her estate. He opened a probate case shortly after her death in Seattle’s King County Superior Court. It is still not closed. Mr. Allison also filed two Tax Court cases for the estate in early 2000. Neither of them has been closed. It appears that Mr. Allison has been telling our Court that resolution of the probate case is all that’s needed to wrap up the Tax Court cases, and telling the King County Superior Court that resolution of the Tax Court cases is all that’s needed to wrap up the probate case. We issued an order to Mr. Allison to show cause why we shouldn’t sanction him for his misrepresentations. This opinion explains the reasons for our decision to make that order absolute. ...

Mr. Allison repeatedly requested continuances from this Court, telling us that he was pursuing the probate case diligently while repeatedly telling the probate court that he was moving forward in the Tax Court cases. He also has failed on many occasions to timely satisfy this Court’s requests and orders. His failure to submit information regarding the status of the probate case that we requested in 2005 is especially notable, since it would likely have helped us catch his serial misrepresentations sooner.

Mr. Allison’s education and legal experience, not to mention his admission to the Tax Court bar, underscore the egregiousness of his conduct. The issues in both cases before us are fairly simple and should have been resolved long ago. Instead, the cases before us have dragged on for over eight years, and the probate case has lingered for more than a decade. We therefore find that he used procedures of our Court primarily for delay, and in doing so was repeatedly dishonest. Mr. Allison’s persistence in the face of warnings from both courts thus warrants a penalty under section 6673(a)(2). That section requires a determination of the costs imposed on the Commissioner, and we will order the Commissioner to file evidence of what those costs were.

Because Mr. Allison is an attorney currently admitted to practice before the Tax Court, other sanctions may be appropriate. We will also send this opinion (and the order to show cause dated March 7, 2008) to the King County Superior Court for their consideration in In re Estate of Allison, No. 95-4-03740-0.

For more, see Roth & Co.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/06/seattle-attorne.html

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Tracked on Jun 11, 2008 4:16:28 PM

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