Eldon R. Kenseth and Susan M. Kenseth - Page 27

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              abide by a client’s decision whether to accept an offer                   
              of settlement of a matter.  * * *                                         
         Although petitioner may have entrusted Fox & Fox with the details              
         of his litigation, ultimate control was not relinquished.  If                  
         petitioner wanted to proceed without Fox & Fox, he could have                  
         obtained new representation.                                                   
              The assignment of income doctrine was originated by the                   
         Supreme Court and has evolved over the past 70 years.  See                     
         Helvering v. Eubank, 311 U.S. 122 (1940); Helvering v. Horst, 311              
         U.S. 112 (1940); Lucas v. Earl, supra.  Although legislation may               
         result in anomalous or inequitable results with respect to                     
         particular taxpayers, we are not in a position to address those                
         policy questions.  So, for example, if the AMT computation                     
         effectively renders de minimis a taxpayer’s recovery due to the                
         nondeductibility of the attorney’s fees, we should not be tempted              
         to modify established assignment of income principles to remedy                
         the situation.  That could result in a certain class of                        
         taxpayer’s (those who receive reportable income from judgments)                
         being treated differently from all other taxpayers who are                     
         subject to the AMT.  These are matters within Congress’ authority              
         to decide.  Congress, not the Courts, is the final arbiter of how              
         the tax burden is to be borne by taxpayers.                                    
              Even if we were willing to follow the Cotnam and/or Estate                
         of Clarks “attorney’s lien” rationale, our analysis of the                     
         Wisconsin statutes and case law would not result in excluding the              

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Last modified: May 25, 2011