As we previously wrote about, here, Finney Law Firm was honored to serve as co-counsel to Tea Party groups throughout the nation in what we believe was the only certified class action ever against the Internal Revenue Service for its targeted discrimination against the plaintiffs resulting in protracted delays in processing and granting tax exemption status due to their political viewpoints. The targeting was led by Obama administration IRS official Lois Lerner and her chief deputy at the IRS, Holly Paz.
After years of pitched legal battles, that litigation ended with a dramatic settlement in which the IRS paid damages to Tea Party groups, the IRS paid the Tea Parties’ attorneys fees, and then-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a personal apology on behalf of the United States of America that included this unequivocal statement about the IRS intentional wrongdoing: “this abuse of power will not be tolerated.”
In that litigation, plaintiffs succeeded in obtaining the depositions of Lerner and Paz, but the transcripts of the depositions — finally revealing their own testimony about the origins and implementation of the outrageous policies and practices — have remain sealed under a temporary emergency Order by Judge Michael Barrett. (Even US House and Senate Committees investigating the wrongdoing were stymied in getting that testimony when Lerner and Paz each invoked their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.) That Order bottling up the deposition transcripts was never made final, and thus it could not be appealed. Thus, to this day — more than three years later — the deposition transcripts remain hidden from public scrutiny.
As a result, this week, Plaintiff’s counsel filed a Motion for Writ of Mandamus before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to have the depositions unsealed. You may read the Motion here.