“Late filing syndrome”

by Walter Olson on October 23, 2008

That’s the explanation given by Charles J. O’Byrne’s lawyer for why his client didn’t file income taxes for year after year. I’ve never tried that one myself, but then, I’m not the chief aide to the governor of the state of New York, the way O’Byrne is. He has no plans to resign from his position. (Nicholas Confessore and Jeremy W. Peters, “Governor’s Aide Had ‘Late-Filing Syndrome,’ Lawyer Says”, New York Times, Oct. 23).

Relatedly or otherwise, Carolyn Elefant at Legal Blog Watch notes (Oct. 22) that Harpreet Singh Brar, known to Overlawyered readers for his abusive mass mailing of demand letters to California businesses,

came up with an even better defense to charges of failure to file tax returns on behalf of himself and his professional corporation: ineffective assistance of counsel. Sounds promising, except when you consider that Brar is an attorney who represented himself at trial. On appeal, he’s argued that he did not knowingly waive his right to counsel, and that he may have been under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the waiver. Not surprisingly, the appeals court rejected Brar’s argument. (Source: Metropolitan News-Enterprise.)

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Prose Before Hos
10.27.08 at 2:48 pm


1 SSFC 10.24.08 at 5:52 pm

Evidently New Yorkers aren’t too sympathetic to mental illness. O’Byrne is resigning.

2 Fox2! 10.26.08 at 5:13 pm

I thought pro se was an automatic waiver of the right to claim ineffective counsel.

“I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV”

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