Oral Argument in Culp v. Commissioner

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Guest blogger Anna Gooch brings us this alert.

The oral argument in Culp v. Commissioner before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will be part of today’s oral argument calendar beginning at 9:00 AM Eastern Time. One case is listed ahead of Culp. The arguments will be livestreamed here.

Keith discussed the case in February, and Carl Smith has written several posts on this case as well, including here and here. The Culps filed an untimely petition with the Tax Court, which dismissed their case for lack of jurisdiction. This dismissal occurred before the recent Hallmark decision. The Culps appealed, arguing that equitable tolling should apply and that they are entitled to a refund. They stated that they never received the Notice of Deficiency and furthermore, when they contacted the Taxpayer Advocate Service for assistance, they were told that no Notice of Deficiency was issued.

Carl and Keith, along with Audrey Patten of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, wrote an amicus brief on behalf of the Center for Taxpayer Rights. Because the Culps were pro se and their brief did not fully address the issues, the court asked the amicus to participate in the oral argument. Keith will argue today on behalf of the Center for Taxpayer Rights. Pro bono counsel Oliver Roberts of Jones Day will be arguing for the Culps.

Once it is available, I will post a link to the recording. 

Update: the oral argument recording may be found here: direct link; main landing page.


  1. Outstanding !!!!! Thank you for the link to the livestream! There’s a reason this is the best tax blog in the United States.

  2. Lavar Taylor says

    Congrats to all counsel for an excellent oral argument. It’s not often that amicus counsel gets called back to the podium to offer rebuttal to government counsel. Way to go, Keith ! Looks promising for the taxpayer.

    • Carl Smith says

      Judge Shwartz, who headed the panel, said she was going to violate all rules by asking Keith back to address the panel again after the parties were done. Amicus oral argument in appellate courts is rare enough. Judge Shwartz thought what she was doing in asking Keith to speak twice was beyond the rules. But, who would complain?

  3. Bob Kamman says

Comment Policy: While we all have years of experience as practitioners and attorneys, and while Keith and Les have taught for many years, we think our work is better when we generate input from others. That is one of the reasons we solicit guest posts (and also because of the time it takes to write what we think are high quality posts). Involvement from others makes our site better. That is why we have kept our site open to comments.

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