MINSHALL V HARTMAN TRIAL BACK ON FOR FEB. 27
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 21, 2017
The Shawn Minshall v Hartman (HERC) trial is back on. An order by United States District of Texas Judge Amos L. Mazzant, dated today, Feb. 21, says that the Defendant Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A.’s Emergency Motion for Continuance of Trial Setting and Defendant Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, P.A.’s Unopposed Emergency Motion for continuance of the Trial Setting are hereby DENIED. Therefore the trial will go as as previously scheduled on Feb. 27, 2017 at the Eastern District Of Texas, Sherman Division.
Click for Motion to Continue Denied>>
MINSHALL V HARTMAN TRIAL GRANTED EMERGENCY MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AT LATER DATE
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 19, 2017
An order dated Feb. 17, 2017 by the United States Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, granted the continuance of the Shawn Minshall vs Hartman Equine Reproduction Center case to an undetermined later date following an emergency motion by Hartman’s lead lawyer William H. Chamblee.
Court documents disclosed that Chamblee was unexpectedly in trial in a medical malpractice case in Dallas County, Texas.
The document, signed by Chamblee said, “Because it is imperative that Defendant have his lead counsel of his choosing defend this case at trial and the current trial length was unforeseeable, Defendant emergently requests a continuance of the current trial setting .
Click link for Emergency Motion>>
Click for Order Granting Continuance>>
NCHA HAS JOB OPENING FOR A CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Feb. 17, 2017
The NCHA is advertising for a Chief Financial Officer, who will be responsible for directing the organization’s financial planning and accounting practices. Additionally, this position manages the administrative and business management functions of the Association Headquarters.
The new CFO’s duties and responsibilities will include: to focus on process improvement and business enhancements. Responsible for all internal business processes and procedures; Oversee and direct budgeting, audit, tax, accounting, purchasing, real estate, long-range forecasting, and insurance activities for the organization; direct the Controller in providing and directing procedures and computer application systems necessary to maintain proper records and to afford adequate accounting controls and services; appraises the organization’s financial position and issues scheduled reports on the organization’s financial stability, liquidity, and growth; manage and direct Human Resources Department, including overseeing employee evaluations and payroll; coordinate tax reporting for both the Association and the Foundation; analyze, consolidate and direct all cost accounting procedures together with other statistical and routine reports for formal presentation to the NCHA Board of Directors and Association general membership; oversee and direct the preparation and issuance of the corporation’s annual report; direct and analyze studies of general economic, business, and financial conditions and their impact on the organization’s policies and operations and analyze operational issues impacting functional groups and the whole institution and determine their financial impact and have the ability to evaluate department silos and look for efficiencies in practice.
The requirements for the position include being able to present financial information to small and large groups (i.e.) Executive Committee, various committees, members, employees and general membership; be proficient in technology development trends and the importance of strategic software development. Experience in both 501.c.5 and 501.c.3 non-profit associations beneficial.
Equine association background is also beneficial. Must be proficient with business computing and financial reporting systems as well as Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and Access.
Education and Experience must be a Bachelors or higher degree in Accounting or Finance; a strong understanding of accounting theory; five-plus years accounting/finance experience; CPA a plus but not required.
Other skills and abilities include the ability to foster and cultivate business opportunities and partnerships. Must have strong interpersonal skills to support leadership, management, negotiation and problem-solving functions of this role.
Excellent judgement and discretion; ability to handle multiple priorities simultaneously, meet deadlines, and handle work-related stress is required.
Friendly, courteous, service-oriented, professional, outgoing, and customer service oriented. Remain calm and professional in stressful situations. Detail oriented while maintaining an extremely positive attitude. Must be able to work independently and productively with minimum supervision. Recognize problems, identify possible causes and resolve routine problems.
Team player with a “can-do” attitude that can work in a fast-paced environment. Ability to establish and maintain professional atmosphere for employees, clients, and customers.
Other qualifications include: Knowledge of laws, regulations, and rules governing work requirements for nonprofit organizations; organizational development, human resources, and operations.
The application procedure is to send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HERDA LAWSUIT TRIAL SCHEDULED FOR FEB. 27 IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN SHERMAN, TEXAS
MINSHALLS ACCUSE DAVID HARTMAN DVM OF SEVEN VIOLATIONS, INCLUDING FRAUD BY NON-DISCLOSURE
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 15, 2017
New information on trial date and HERDA Feb. 20, 2017
A court date of Feb. 27, 2017 has been set for trial regarding a lawsuit originally filed on Oct. 30, 2015 by Shawn, Victoria and Lauren Minshall against Edward Dufurrena, Edward Dufurrena Cutting Horses, Anthony and Dufurrena Inc., Gainesville, Texas; Hartman Equine Reproduction Center and Dos Cats Partners. A jury trial will begin at 10 a.m., Monday, Feb. 27 at the Paul Brown United States Courthouse, 101 E. Pecan Street, Room 208, Sherman, Texas 75090.
Hartman Jury trial 2-27-17
NOTE: An order dated Feb. 17, 2017 by the United States Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, granted the continuance of this trial to an undetermined later date following an emergency motion of Hartman’s lead lawyer, William H. Chamblee, who was unexpectedly in trial in a medical malpractice case in Dallas County, Texas.
Shawn and Lisa Victoria Minshall, Hillsburgh, Ontario, Canada, and Lauren Victoria Minshall, Pine Grove, Ky., originally filed the lawsuit against the above-mentioned defendants, alleging the Plaintiffs suffered specific damages arising from the fact that they had bred their mare to Auspicious Cat, a stallion owned by the defendants, and the mare produced a foal that suffered from HERDA. The filings continued saying the defendants specifically misrepresented the HERDA designation on Auspicious Cat in an advertisement prior to the breeding, stating that Auspicious Cat was HERDA negative or HERDA N/N.
Over time, Dufurrena’s wife, Shona, was added to the lawsuit, after which she settled, as did all of the defendants except David Hartman of Equine Reproduction Center (HERC). Hartman was standing Auspicious Cat at his facility, a stallion station and veterinarian practice operated by him at the time the Plaintiffs bred their mare, Miss Tasa Lena, to Auspicious Cat. HERC facilitated the breeding by collecting, freezing and shipping Auspicious Cat’s semen to the Plaintiffs from HERC’s stallion station and charged the Plaintiffs a “chute fee.”
NATURE OF PLAINTIFF’S ACTION:
The plaintiffs are currently bringing action against HERC for 1) violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, 2) negligent misrepresentation and negligence, 3) fraud by nondisclosure, 4)fraud, 5) joint enterprise, 6) civil conspiracy and 7) aiding and abetting. The result of this breeding was a HERDA-affected (HRD/HRD) foal named Dr. Ozz, which was discovered through testing on May 1, 2015.
Due to the nature of the disease, the Plaintiffs claim they have incurred damages and subsequently filed suit against HERC. The Plaintiffs contend that HERC intended to assist or participate in the fraudulent scheme with the Dufurrenas to intentionally misrepresent Auspicious Cat’s HERDA status to attract more customers who would otherwise avoid breeding their mares to a HERDA-carrier stallion.
Click for Pretrial Order>>
In his response, Dr. Hartman stated the Dufurrenas were clients of Hartman, not partners, and they simply paid for the service of collecting semen from Aspicious Cat and shipping it to whomever the Dufurrena defendants sold that semen to. He says there is no rule, statute, regulation or standard of care of any kind supporting the Plaintiffs’ position that Hartman Equine must require or encourage stallion owners to test their stallions for HERDA, much less disclose that information without the consent of the stallion owner.
He continued, “The Dufurrenas, as the owners of their property, always had sole control over what happened to its property, as is evidenced by the removal of their stallion from Hartman Equine and placing him at another facility. Stallion stations across the nation advertise other people’s stallions standing at its facility with owner consent to do so. To hold every single client-stallion station/veterinary relationship as a joint venture and liable for one another’s conduct would destroy the equine industry.” Continuing his argument, Hartman said that the Plaintiffs acknowledge that Hartman Equine never made any representations to Plaintiffs about the HERDA status of the stallion they chose to breed with.
He said, “Instead of taking responsibility for not adequately researching Auspicious Cat’s genetic status and relying solely on the word of the Dufurrenas, they now want to place blame on Hartman Equine for seeking a “profit.”
He claimed that the Dufurrenas lied to him about the genetic status of their horse in much the same way they did to the Plaintiffs and that the only one responsible for disclosing any information about a stallion is the stallion’s owner. Hartman said in his response that the Plaintiffs’ claims center around whether Hartman Equine must require genetic testing of all stallions it collects and disclose that information to the public. He continued that that duty does not exist and is not supported by any industry standard.
Click for Hartman response >>
WHO IS SHAWN MINSHALL?
Minshall is said in previous published articles to be the owner of a top-class Thoroughbred racing operation, which is ranked and held out as one of the top Canadian breeding and training operations for cutting horses.
WHAT IS HERDA?
HERDA is a genetic skin disease that surfaces usually in the second year after an afflicted horse begins training and results in large painful lesions over large areas of the horse’s body, as well as hyperextensible skin scarring. There is no cure and the majority of diagnosed horses have to be euthanized. HERDA has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, which means it could pop up in future generations. It is critical for stallions or mares that are HERDA carriers to select matings to horses that are N/N (lacking the HERDA mutation). Not using this approach and crossing a carrier to another carrier will produce HERDA-affected foals 25 percent of the time on average. It was brought up in Hartman’s response that the Minshall’s mare was a HERDA carrier.
ANNUAL MID-ATLANTIC NUTRITION CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED
Feb. 8, 2017
The 2017 Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, the region’s premier animal nutrition conference, will be held April 5-6, 2017 at the Hunt Valley Wyndam Grand in Hunt Valley, MD. Two days of expert speakers have been lined up with the Equine Session held on the second day featuring morning seminars devoted to the aged horse, allergies, and how to boost the equine immune system. The afternoon will be devoted to the equine gut microbiome and related supplements. Veterinarians, students, horse trainers, horse breeders, and horse owners should not miss this opportunity to learn about exciting new discoveries related to their equine health and nutrition. All attendees will receive lunch and the opportunity to ask questions of all of the experts. Pre- registrations are encouraged and can be done online at: https://ansc.umd.edu/extension/mid- atlantic-nutrition-conference/registration-information
2017 Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference – Equine Session Schedule Thursday, April 6, 2017
8:00am Physiology of Aging in Horses
Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Rutgers University
8:50am Feeding Management of the Endocrine Challenged Horse Dr. Lisa Tadros, Michigan State University
10:20am Exploring Seasonal Allergies in Horses
Dr. Katherine Williamson, Purina Animal Nutrition
11:10am Can Nutrition Be Used to Boost the Immune System? Dr. Lori Warren, University of Florida
1:30pm Gut Microbiome Overview
Dr. Amy Biddle, University of Delaware
Sorting Out Common Ingredients In Equine Supplements
Dr. Melyni Worth, Foxden Equine
2:20pm Probiotics and Prebiotics in Horse Feed: What’s the Difference? Dr. Marty Adams, Southern States
Panel Discussion: Digestive Feed Supplements and the Gut Microbiome
The conference is hosted by the Maryland Feed Industry Council, University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, University of Delaware, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Rutgers University, American Feed Industry Association, and the United States Department of Agriculture.
For more information on the entire conference, please visit our website at https://ansc.umd.edu/extension/mid-atlantic-nutrition-conference.
For information on sponsoring this event, please contact Jennifer Reynolds at 301-405-1547.
IS THE TAX COURT BIASED IN FAVOR OF THE IRS?
By John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law
Feb. 6, 2017
The U.S. Tax Court is a critically important institution. It is the the most common forum in which taxpayers litigate federal tax disputes. The court frequently decides IRS assertions that the taxpayer understated the correct tax liability, resulting in a tax “deficiency.”
Many commentators argue that Tax Court judges are biased in favor of the IRS. Judges hear cases alone, without a jury. Many Tax Court judges have worked in the IRS Chief Counsel’s office or in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Tax Court does not assign judges randomly to cases. The procedures are extremely burdensome. The burden of proof is “preponderance of the evidence,” which is a loose standard of evidence, and highly subjective. It means the the IRS could win if 51% of its evidence is more convincing to the judge than the taxpayer’s.
The Tax Court makes budget requests to Congress’s tax-writing committees. In justifying its budget requests, the Tax Court invariably explains to congressional committees how well it is enforcing the tax laws.
A Tax Court judge, Diane L. Kroupa, was indicted on tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction charges, raising questions about whether any of her rulings could be vulnerable to challenge as a result. (Judge Kroupa abruptly resigned prior to the indictment without explanation. Her husband, now divorced, was also indicted.) As a Tax Court judge, Kroupa heard and decided a wide range of cases, including some that came down against taxpayers in the horse and cattle industries. In October, 2016, she pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the IRS and other crimes. When sentenced at a later date, she is likely to serve a significant prison term.
Another judge, L. Paige Marvel, has also been harsh with respect to the horse industry. In a recent case, Carmody v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2016-225, Judge Marvel came down hard on a taxpayer’s efforts to run his horse racing venture profitably.
The taxpayer, Jerald Carmody, has owned race horses for more than 20 years, mainly as co-owner with others, and worked full-time as a sales representative for a helicopter company.
He owned lower priced horses which were actively raced in Washington State. Professional trainers were employed. He spent time every day on his horse racing activity, researched horses that would be in competition, and searched for other horses to purchase.
He purchased and improved a five-acre property with a 4,000 square-foot barn, horse stalls, a 5,000-square-foot arena, indoor horse shelters, and nine pastures. He personally cleaned stalls and pastures.
Some of the horses won several races each, and one was the alltime race winner at Emerald Downs with 21 wins. Mr. Carmody was named owner of the year at Emerald Downs. The races entered ranged in purses from $8,000 to $50,000.
During a 10-year period, the taxpayer’s losses were from $16,064 to $81,345, with no profit year. But there was income in each year, ranging from $17,917 to $128,068.
When horses were retired from racing, they were sold or given away. Of 36 horses sold, there was a net gain on only eight of those sales.
Mr. Carmody had a horse racing bank account, but paid for expenses out of his personal account as well as the racing account.
Mr. Carmody kept a folder for each horse with various receipts and documents related to that horse.
Judge Marvel said that Mr. Carmody did not use any of his records to reduce losses or to achieve profitability. The court noted that Mr. Carmody had no written business plan, no budgets and no economic forecasts. “In fact, the record is devoid of any credible evidence that petitioner engaged in any meaningful financial management with respect to his horse racing activity.”
The court said, “While a taxpayer need not maintain a sophisticated cost accounting system, the taxpayer should keep records that enable the taxpayer to cut expenses, generate or increase profits, or evaluate the overall performance of the operation.”
The court also faulted Mr. Carmody for commingling his personal and horse racing finances. “This commingling of personal and horse racing activity funds is not indicative of a businesslike practice.”
The court also noted that Mr. Carmody realized no profits in a 20-year period, and that “he contends that he suffered losses because he reinvested his gross receipts back into the horse racing activity and that he used his gross receipts to improve his barns, arena, and other horse racing activity property. Petitioner’s contentions are woefully insufficient to justify or even explain an unbroken string of over 20 years of substantial losses.”
The court concluded that the petitioner did not engage in his horse racing activity with the predominant, primary, or principal objective of making a profit.
The only silver lining in this case is that the judge rejected the IRS’ accuracy-related penalties because the taxpayer had reasonably relied on his accountant’s advice in taking the deductions.
One of the important lessons in this case is that taxpayers need to somehow review records so as to reduce expenses or enhance the possibility of generating income. It is important to keep track of expenses on a per-animal basis. And it is important to prepare financial statements, profit and loss projections, budgets, breakeven analyses, or marketing surveys, as the IRS considers these to be significant financial tools to aid in evaluating the overall performance of an operation.
[John Alan Cohan is an attorney representing people in federal and state tax disputes, IRS appeals, and Tax Court litigation, and is a long-standing author of a legal advice column published in numerous sporting magazines. In addition, he advises organizations on compliance with newly enacted laws and regulations. John is also author of the book, Turn Your Hobby Into A Business — The Right Way. He can be reached at: (310) 278-0203, or email at email@example.com. His website is JohnAlanCohan.com.]