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MAYBE HE SHOULD SPLIT UP THE IRS, TOO Even federal judges aren’t immune from the bureaucratic snafus of the Internal Revenue Service. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia complained that the IRS Philadelphia field office bungled his 1999 tax filing. In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti, the Microsoft judge wrote that his 1040 form was sent back to him with a notice stating that it could not be processed because his schedule forms were missing. That same day, Jackson received a second envelope from the IRS containing his schedule forms and a notice that his 1040 was not included. “Since we cannot trust your Philadelphia office to keep our tax return intact, we are mailing the contents of the two envelopes directly to you, with the request that you: 1) staple them back together again; 2) cause your records to reflect the fact that our Form 1040 was filed on time; and 3) expedite the refund to which we are entitled,” wrote Jackson, who forwarded a copy to Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. An IRS spokeswoman said that the agency cannot comment on individual tax matters. From Legal Times FINAL ANSWER For a couple of nights last week, no New Jersey lawyer was more famous in America than Jon Olson, a staff attorney in the software licensing group at Lucent Technologies Inc. And no attorney in the state apparently earned more for so little work. He won $32,000 for toiling a combined total of about 30 minutes last Sunday and Tuesday — and that includes the incessant commercial time — on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” the most-watched show on television. For $32,000, Olson knew that Woody Guthrie wrote “This Land Is Your Land,” and for $64,000 he knew that “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” came to a bad end in Bolivia, not Chile, Venezuela or Colombia. But he gambled and lost on the $125,000 question and had to settle for a $32,000 prize. The question he blew: What newspaper used to be called “Customers Afternoon Letter”? Olson picked Investors Business Daily, but the right answer was The Wall Street Journal. It’s ironic that a lawyer who works for a telecommunications company didn’t take advantage of the “phone-a-friend” option in which stumped contestants can call for help from smart friends or relatives who are standing by. As it turned out, though, Olson says, none of the people he had lined up for assistance knew the right answer either to the $125,000 question. From the New Jersey Law Journal GOOD HELP IS SO HARD TO FIND Frederick R. Ford, an Ipswich, Mass. criminal defense attorney who claimed he was “worn down” from years of dealing with criminals, was sentenced to eight years in prison for hiring a hit man to kill two former clients. Agents from the U.S. Department of Labor’s racketeering division and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began an investigation of Ford last year after they learned that he was involved in the 1998 kidnapping of former drug dealer James Carter. Carter was grabbed outside his suburban home and severely beaten by men demanding a ransom. Federal prosecutors say Ford concocted the idea of kidnapping Carter. After fearing he would be implicated in the kidnapping, Ford confided to gangster Phillip Myers that he wanted to kill the others who had participated in the kidnapping. Unbeknownst to Ford, Myers was secretly cooperating with authorities, warning them that Ford was planning to kill the two men. Myers arranged for a meeting between Ford and an undercover U.S. Labor Department agent posing as a killer for hire. Ford was arrested after paying the undercover agent $11,000 and instructing him to kill the two men with an automatic weapon. Obviously being a criminal defense attorney does not necessarily make one a good criminal. From American Lawyer Media MAKING THE GRADE Atlanta lawyers stopped arguing with each other on Saturday and instead picked up paintbrushes, shovels and hammers to help the community. More than 300 lawyers, summer associates and office support staff turned out for “Service Juris 2000.” Anderson Park Elementary School in northwest Atlanta’s Dixie Hills neighborhood was the beneficiary, as volunteers spruced up the play area and even painted a mural. Besides putting in a hard day of work, volunteers paid $25 or $35 for the privilege. Hands On Atlanta, which coordinated the event, raised about $22,000, including corporate and law firm donations. Chief Judge Edward H. Johnson of the Georgia Court of Appeals co-chaired the event. “I was particularly proud that the legal profession, the legal community, was willing to set aside time and do something like this,” Johnson says. Johnson says it’s especially important for lawyers and other professionals to get involved in the community. “It gives them a new perspective on people,” he says. And it gives “the people” a new perspective on lawyers, no doubt. From the Fulton County Daily Report

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