© D.L. Crumbley
Estate of Bessie I. Mueller v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1992-284, Doc 92-4343 (57 pages), the issue was the valuation of stock of the Mueller Co. The IRS produced as its expert on the valuation questions Dr. Shannon Pratt, managing director of Willamette Management Associates and the acknowledged dean of business appraisers. Tax Court Judge Renato Beghe nevertheless concluded that “Willametie’s report was result-oriented and this was reflected in Dr. Pratt’s testimony.” The Judge noted that appraisers “have third-party responsibilities – just as certified public accountants do – to those who rely on their opinions, and their determinations must be independent and objective….”
Dr. Pratt strayed from the standard of objectivity and cast aside his scholar’s mantle and became ‘a shill’ for respondent.” In Mueller, as a result, Judge Beghe rejected most of both the Willamette report and Dr. Pratt’s testimony, but did take account of Dr. Pratt’s criticism of the taxpayer’s expert’s reports and testimony.
Source: B.J. Raby and W.L. Raby, “Reasonable Compensation, Expert Witnesses, and the Tax Practitioner,” Tax Notes, September 15, 2003 p. 1417.