Calendar Call

At the Calendar Call, you make your first appearance before the judge. It takes place on the first day of the “trial session” listed on your Notice Setting Case for Trial. It is generally a housekeeping session to let the court know where the case stands, and to set a day and time for the trial.

To a certain extent, it can also serve as a pretrial conference concerning pending motions or evidence issues. The Court will always be interested in the progress of the Stipulation of Facts, and will work with the parties to get one signed. You may be under considerable pressure from the court to sign Stipulations. Be sure to state your objections to any fact or document you want excluded from evidence.

Your trial could possibly be the same day, if they are moving briskly through the list of cases. Generally, however, you will be given a day and time later in the week. The Court will work with you to accommodate your schedule if you don’t have every day in the week free, or if you have a preference for one day or time over another.

The court usually has a long list of cases to get through. The list is printed in alphabetical order on a multipage docket sheet. Copies will be stacked around the spectator area beforehand for people to take. Be sure to be there when your case is called. They go through the list quickly.

When you’ve received a day and time for the trial, you are probably done for the day. You are free to pursue further negotiations with the other side if you haven’t got everything ready, or just prepare your case for presentation at the trial.
 


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Lysander Venible is the author of "On Your Own in Tax Court," a book about how to save your shirt in U.S. tax court. He has been engaged with the Service for over 10 years both administratively and in tax court.

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