270 U.S. 117 (1926), 320, Goldsmith v. United States Board of Tax Appeals

Docket Nº:No. 320
Citation:270 U.S. 117, 46 S.Ct. 215, 70 L.Ed. 494
Party Name:Goldsmith v. United States Board of Tax Appeals
Case Date:March 01, 1926
Court:United States Supreme Court

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270 U.S. 117 (1926)

46 S.Ct. 215, 70 L.Ed. 494



United States Board of Tax Appeals

No. 320

United States Supreme Court

March 1, 1926

Argued November 30, 1925




1. Power of the United States Board of Tax Appeals to prescribe rules for admission of attorneys and certified public accountants to practice before it under the Revenue Act of 1924, § 900, 43 Stat. 253, is implied in the other powers conferred by the Act. P. 120.

2. Where the application of a certified public accountant for admission to practice before the Board of Tax Appeals was denied after an ex parte investigation, held that he was entitled to notice and a hearing before the Board upon the charges on which the denial was based. P. 123.

3. Mandamus will not lie summarily to compel the Board to enroll an applicant who has not applied to the Board for a hearing on the charges which caused its denial of his application. P. 123.

55 App.D.C. 229, 4 F.2d 422, affirmed.

Error to a judgment of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia refusing a mandamus to compel the

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United States Board of Tax Appeals to admit to practice before it a certified public accountant.

TAFT, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT delivered the opinion of the Court.

H. Ely Goldsmith, a citizen of New York and qualified to practice as a certified public accountant by certificate

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issued under the laws of that state, filed a petition in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, asking for a writ of mandamus against the United States Board of Tax Appeals, created by the Revenue Act of 1924, 43 Stat. 253, 336, Tit. 9, § 900, to compel the Board to enroll him as an attorney, with the right to practice before it, and to enjoin the Board from interfering with his appearance before it in behalf of taxpayers whose interests are there being dealt with.

The petition avers that the Board has published rules for admission of persons entitled to practice before it, by which attorneys at law admitted to courts of the United States and the states, and the District of Columbia, as well as certified public accountants duly qualified under the law of any state or the District are made eligible. The applicant is required to make a statement under oath, giving his name, residence, and the time and place of his admission to the bar, or of his qualification as a public accountant, and disclosing whether he has ever been disbarred, or his right to practice as a certified accountant has ever been revoked. The rules further provide that the Board may, in its discretion, deny admission to any applicant, or suspend or disbar any person after admission.

The petitioner says that, pursuant to these rules, he made application showing that he was a public accountant of New York duly certified, and that his certificate was unrevoked; that he thereupon filed petitions for taxpayers before the Board, but that he was then advised, September 5, 1924, by the Board that the question of his admission to practice had been referred to a committee for investigation; that in due course he would be notified whether the committee desired him to appear before it, and of its action in the premises, and that, on September 27 he received notice that his application had been received, considered, and denied. It does not appear that he made any further application to the Board to be heard

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upon the question of his admission, but filed his petition for mandamus at once. In his petition, he denies the power of the Board to make rules for admission of persons to practice before it.

Upon the filing of the petition, a judge of the Supreme Court of the District ordered a rule against the Board to show cause. The members of the Board answered the rule as if they were individual defendants, and set out at considerable length the discharge of the petitioner for improper conduct as examiner of municipal accounts in the Office of State Comptroller of New York (People ex rel. Goldschmidt v. Travis, 167 A.D. 475, 219 N.Y. 589), and the rejection of the petitioner as an applicant for admission to practice in the Department of the Treasury because of improper advice to clients, as grounds upon which the committee and the Board had denied his application to practice before it.

To this answer the petitioner replied, consenting to the appearance of individual members of the Board as defendants, denying...

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