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Court Resolves Fee Dispute in Native American Land Trust

Tribal lawsuits make headlines sometimes because they are like cases from a different country.

Technically, they are because Native American tribes exist as sovereign nations within the United States. In Cobell v. Zinke, the underlying case involved an historic dispute over a tribal land trust.

But the issue before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals this time addressed only the attorney's fees in the case. It didn't matter much to the tribes, but it was a big deal for one attorney.

John McLaughlin was one of those TV personalities that stood the test of time. The man maintained a constant news media presence for over 30 years, hosting one of the most celebrated, and balanced, talk-news programs in modern history, The McLaughlin Group.

Sadly, he passed last year, leaving behind an estate worth litigating over. And while the litigation may have resulted in frustration and delay for his heirs, for the general public, the Memorandum Opinion and Order resolving the matter is pure nostalgic gold as it was written as if the TV personality had come back to life to pen it himself. The highlights are detailed below, and if you need a McLaughlin Group primer, here's a reasonable first exposure or an annoyingly fond reminder of the show. (Thanks YouTube.)

IRS Permanently Enjoined From Enforcing Tax Preparer Regulations

Admit it, you feel a secret joy when the IRS was permanently enjoined from enforcing regulations on the little people.

In Loving v. IRS, the D.C. Circuit held that the IRS lacked the authority to enforce the Treasury Department Circular 230, which imposed regulations on tax return preparers.

This case demonstrates that minor nuances in statutory language can cost you the case.