Vanderbilt Law Review

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First, the Note briefly traces the demise of the mutuality rule in nontax cases. Second, the Note discusses the cases examining the rule in tax disputes and argues that courts should not require mutuality as an absolute rule before collateral estoppel can apply.Finally, the Note proposes a framework within which courts should analyze nonmutual estoppel claims in federal tax cases...

This Note has argued that the Supreme Court's decision in Parklane Hosiery and the Ninth Circuit's decision in Starker v. United States have sounded the death knell for the mutuality rule in its final stronghold-federal tax litigation. Courts can apply the principles of "nonmutual estoppel" in some tax cases consistently with the often conflicting goals of fairness, efficient ad-ministration of the tax laws, and elimination of needless litigation.With the discretion afforded courts in Parklane Hosiery and illustrated in Starker, federal tax forums should refuse to allow the mutuality rule to govern them from its grave.

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Tax Law Commons