Who can forget this classic scene in the film Canadian Bacon?
Finance Minister Flaherty has given explicit permission to the IRS to collect taxes from Canadian citizens living in Canada. While this strips them of their protection as Canadian citizens, it nevertheless presents a new challenge to the IRS. Should we presume that the IRS can operate in Canada while ignoring all the laws of Canada? Or shouldn’t they have to obey, just like all other government agencies, the laws of our land. One rule that I’d like to see them obey is our official languages law.
The Official Languages Act assures the equality of English and French in usage in Canada,
The purpose of this Act is to (a) ensure respect for English and French as the official languages of Canada and ensure equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all federal institutions, in particular with respect to their use in parliamentary proceedings, in legislative and other instruments, in the administration of justice, in communicating with or providing services to the public and in carrying out the work of federal institutions;
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms also sets out strict rules about language; Article 20 is particularly interesting:
Any member of the public in Canada has the right to communicate with, and to receive available services from, any head or central office of an institution of the Parliament or government of Canada in English or French, and has the same right with respect to any other office of any such institution where
- (a) there is a significant demand for communications with and services from that office in such language; or
- (b) due to the nature of the office, it is reasonable that communications with and services from that office be available in both English and French.
Perhaps it is time for Canadians to insist on their language rights. The Canadian Federal Government has given permission to the IRS to act as a quasi-federal instution, or perhaps better, a de facto branch of the goverment. Here is a sample letter that one should send to the IRS to see if they will begin to correspond and bill Canadians in their official language of choice:
Je ne parler pas American, s’il vous plait, envoyer toute correspondence to moi en French.
Merci beaucoup, your esclave american, Pierre Fini
I think all Canadians, not simply francophones, should exercise this right. If the IRS refuses to cooperate, by sending not only all its correspondence to you in French, and not only that but all the accompanying instructions for filling out the hundreds of complicated tax forms, the IRS is violating your official language rights. The IRS should receive the same welcome that John Candy received in Canadian Bacon. They should have to collect their taxes in Canada only with respect of our cultural diversity.
Now I am not exactly sure whether the IRS would willingly go along with it. It is their goal to provide such services within the limits of their resources. Here is document setting out their language priorities and French is pretty much neglected. Furthermore, I cannot find instructions, for example, for Form 1040 or 8854 in French or even Spanish, the second most common language within the United States. This is also a violation of our French language rights. Therefore, I believe that Canadians can sue the IRS in a Canadian court for violating the Official Language Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms provisions on French language. I would start insisting on French.
We should also make a complaint to the language commissioner:
Subject to this Act, the Commissioner shall investigate any complaint made to the Commissioner arising from any act or omission to the effect that, in any particular instance or case,
- (a) the status of an official language was not or is not being recognized,
The IRS has not recognized the status of French as an official language and this must come to an end. Otherwise, the USA and Minister Flaherty destroy the rights of French language rights in Canada just as they destroy the treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Petros, I don’t really expect the IRS to even understand French, but they will probably understand thus
Sehr geehrte IRS:
Ich spreche kein Amerikaner, senden Sie bitte jegliche Korrespondenz, mich in Deutsch.
Vielen Dank, Ihr Sklave amerikanischer Pierre Fertig
I could totally ask for my “services” in french, but I’m not sure we’ll get any traction on this one.
Franchement, je déteste ce que les EUA représentent aujourd`hui. Vive le Canada Libre!!!
The German that you wrote looks kind of like the kind of German that one would expect to see from IRS, which can be difficult to understand. Trying to understand US tax documentation is difficult enough in English. A German translation of US tax document would thus probably be even more misleading. Basically, you stated that you don’t speak the American people (spreche kein Amerikaner), want to receive all worldwide communication (jegliche Korrespondenz), that “mich” is in German (mich in Deutsch), that you are the slave of an American named Pierre (Sklave amerikanischer Pierre) and that you have nothing more to say (Fertig). 🙂
Yes, I have nothing more to say
How about just tell the IRS to ‘fucké vous?’ They won’t need French lessons to translate.
@Pierre, The question is whether or not we could get some quick court action to stop FATCA in its tracks because none of the laws can be understood by francophones in Canada–i.e., Flaherty is not respecting their French language by imposing an American law for which there is no translation into French, no instruction provided in French, no forms in French. This clearly tramples upon the rights not only of all Quebecois and other francophones in Canada to have services provided for them in French language. Complaining to the language Commissioner is something that should be done in the right context and perhaps it would end this lunacy, or at least delay for a while.
@Petros. You have a fertile mind. I can’t imagine a better way to demonstrate the simple fact that we are first and foremost Canadians in Canada (with an unfortunate US taint). Henceforth all my communication with the IRS will be in French (after translation from English)! As in, I’ve been in Canada so long I can’t even remember how to speak ‘merican. Let “em hire a bunch of French language translators to cope.
I believe immigrants to the US who apply for US citizenship must show rudimentary knowledge of English, even though there is no “official” language down there. However, I’ve never heard of any requirement for natural born US citizens to speak English and certainly no prohibition against “forgetting” English.
Besides, they regularly graduate high school students who basically have no knowledge of English; that doesn’t seem to be a problem!
This is all entertaining. But the fact remains that if it is true there are 1 million Amcits in Canada and 3 to 6 million (ACA and, now, State say over 6, but I doubt it; and anyway it’s a poliically-charged number) around the world and only a few hundred thousand US tax returns filed from overseas (We can’t be sure of the number. Over 1 million were filed from “other areas” but that includes territories, APO/FPO and other non-state addresses http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats—Historic-Table-2 ) then the conclusion has to be that, even accounting for joint returns and children, the majority of Amcits abroad aren’t filing and certainly aren’t thinking in terms of OVDP/OVDI.
In the end, the future of citizen-based taxation is going to depend on (1) unenforceability leading to majority noncompliance and public ridicule of an unenforceable law, (2) the interests of Those Who Really Matter, and “own” the US political system and contribute to its political candidates, including multinational corporations and the US Chamber (who dictate the text of tax treaties and totalization agreements and others who are Really Rich), and (3) treaty partners who (with their financial services entities) may find that FATCA is untenable and something “up with which they cannot put”.
Or on the other hand, those few million Amcits, most of whom don’t vote and none of whom are included in any real constituency, ACA notwithstanding, may be left hanging. Unless, as with the Philippines in 1999, massive devaluation puts overseas Amcits in such high tax brackets and so liable for AMT (and other taxes, like the 3.8% Medicare tax that override tax treaties) that it simply can’t go on.
But what do I know. As I told someone the other day, causing him to be startled, I’ve been filing FBARs and Forms 5471 since 1970. One of the peskiest problems with this is that the US, unlike Canada, its provinces and other countries, never acknowledges receipt of a tax return and assessment in accord with it. You never know whether you are, indeed, compliant as you think unless you’ve been audited.
I, myself, wouldn’t use the word “entertaining” for any of this. But, it is interesting that there are some (and I do think just “some”) who knew their US tax compliance requirements, that citizenship-based taxation even existed and who kept up with it all. Congratulations to you and those who did and will continue to choose to do that.
For me, I admit my total ignorance — and I think that is the case for most of us. We are criminalized because of our ignorance of US tax law in our non-compliance (and for me thinking I had lost my US citizenship by becoming a Canadian citizen in 1975). I would have settled my US accounts long before 2012 had I known. And perhaps better I could have utilized better birth control that my kids had not been born before I was rid of my US personhood — especially that one of my children is now “entrapped” and I have no right to help him leave a country he’s never been registered in, ever lived in or had any benefit from. Hindsight is 20/20.
Don’t credit me with any particular insight. I’ve had a Québec corporation and bank account since 1970 and was a “frontalier” for some time. And my late father, who read the WSJ tax column religiously, warned me. One of the issues that annoyed me for years was the lack of a credit for provincial tax against state income tax; some states later began allowing it; otherwise it’s creditable only against federal income tax and you lose a lot of it.
I guess I was one of few who read the WSJ columns (which my dad would send me by post overseas) as “human interest”. But then, in those days and until very recently, the IRS was very reasonable when it encountered overseas Americans willing to come in from the cold. It is Congress that has scotched this: enacted vicious laws aimed at those apostates who dare renounce or disregard their allegiance. Didn’t they pledge never to do so? Didn’t they sing about “Sea to shining sea”? If only. (I.e., if only the Constitution would allow them to institute Sharia law: “death to apostates!” Think about it: expatriates are distrusted, even hated. It serves them right to pay double.
The language stuff in this thread is kind of funny, and not just because of the franglais and the fractured Deutsch. I always speak French when I enter Canada and my most memorable entry was into Toronto from Orlando and there was no working immigration control station marked “On parle français”. But at my first French words the Anglophone guy said “Wait here” and went out to get someone. Turned out to be a lovely, petite native Vietnamese who spoke beautiful Parisian French (and as one who used to categorise the “pure souche” Québecois as really Scotsmen who play broomball and eat haggis more or less, but happen to speak a kind of French — as was true in the 1970s but not now that there’s been European, Haitian and West African immigration) I was truly impressed. It was as if she was just waiting for me. And I gave her not a Swiss but an American passport of a special kind. And she suppressed any surprise; after all, wasn’t I saving her job? Isn’t everyone entitled to speak French to the Canadian Government?
I’ll be in Canada the 15th. But at YUL they can be counted on to speak French, first try.
On another issue: I don’t know about playing the French game with the IRS. I did it many years ago with the US Postal System (I’d bought an international postal money order in the days when they wrote them in foreign currency and only once a week changed the exchange rate so if there was a devaluation you came out ahead. And there was a double payment issue and they wanted a refund, which I eventually gave.) The language of the IPU is French, so the USPS has to have French speakers. But of the IRS, it’s Spanish (after all, doesn’t the Puerto Rico Organic Act give everybody that right?). I suspect that writing in French is like writing to the wrong IRS Region. You haven’t met the filing requirement, and if you’re late because they don’t forward it in time or ever, you’re late. Or worse.
Give them ungrammatical English. Translate it into Esperanto on Google Translate, and then back into English. That’s fun enough.
If you haven’t filed from abroad and owe zero taxes why start? Attempting to pry money out of ex-pat’s will be an expensive, long winded process. Shouldn’t the IRS spend its time on cheaper domestic compliance. Anyone with real wealth is renouncing, the IRS really won’t have any good ‘prospect’ left to go for in the end.
@Don wrote: “Attempting to pry money out of ex-pat’s [sic] will be an expensive, long winded process
Those with assets, income or heirs in the USA will be targeted for collection, forever. Those without — including the late Marc Rich — can defy the IRS if only they never visit the USA and don’t depend on a US passport for travel.
I hardly think that the IRS has the power, as the NSA and its allies in Government did, to divert a plane potentially carrying Edward Snowden. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-03/bolivian-leader27s-plane-diverted-over-snowden-suspicions/4798248
@Calgary411 wrote: “(and for me thinking I had lost my US citizenship by becoming a Canadian citizen in 1975)”
In fact you did lose your US citizenship, and it wasn’t given back to you by the US Supreme Court until 1980, Vance v. Terrazas (Afroyim v. Rusk in 1967 addressed another issue: voting in a foreign election). “Plaintiff, a citizen of both the United States and Mexico, 1 completed an application 2 for a certificate of Mexican nationality while he was a college student in Mexico. After a certificate was issued which stated that plaintiff had sworn allegiance to the United Mexican States and had renounced all rights and loyalty to any foreign government, plaintiff filed forms with the Department of State to determine whether this certification resulted in loss of United States citizenship. The Department of State issued a certificate of loss of nationality that was affirmed by its Board of Appellate Review.”
If I understand your facts correctly, you were told (wrongly) by a US border guard that you needed to present a US passport, and did so. Thus you “availed yourself of an attribute of American citizenship” and reaffirmed the Supreme Court’s reversal of your loss of nationality.
Arguably that affected your offspring too, but perhaps not, if he was a minor.
Unfortunately for the average citizen, the US Government is not responsible for the errors of its agents. And you are not my client, I am not your lawyer. But the above represents my views.
International law, acceded in by the USG, says that except at birth, adoption or (at least in the past, probably not so much now) marriage, no person can be attributed a nationality without his/her consent or that of a parent or guardian. Thus as Rev. Rul. 75-357, PLR 8138071 states (assuming I remember it correctly) those who lost US citizenship before 1967 or 1980 and did not avail themselves of an attribute of it subsequently, are not subject to US taxation.
There is one law for the rich who can afford proper counsel, and one law for the rest of us. And when “proper counsel” make mistakes one can hope they have adequate E&O cover.
Had I known when I started this process what I know now my story would be different. In 2007, I backfiled US tax returns for myself and my husband with the help of a cross-border accounting firm (Voluntary Disclosure for three years, what I guess would be called QD), 2005, 2006, 2007 — before the OVDP, OVDI, OVDP chapters. That firm subsequently did my 2008 filings. I did all of my and my husband’s FBARs.
In that time period I also had my ‘border incident’, was duly intimidated and applied for my first and only US passport — I was told by the US border official that ‘he would let me across this time, but the next time it must be with a US passport. Since I now had this US document, I voted in the cursed 2008 US election (as in my folly, I thought getting Obama in would be a good thing). I further nailed my coffin shut.
In the continuation of all things US, I hired a Canadian estate lawyer that dealt with families who had a disabled family member (so as to best plan and provide for my son’s needs after I am gone). I can’t even tell you right at the moment if it was before or after this and the hiring of a CPA in New York State through the Canadian estate lawyer that I found out from the US Consulate in Calgary that my son could not renounce US citizenship because of ‘mental incapacity’ and I (or any other parent, guardian or trustee for such a person) did not have the RIGHT to renounce on that person’s behalf, even with a court order. I do know it was after I fired the NY CPA (who was doing nothing for me — but did retain my retainer) and hired another US tax lawyer and US accounting firm. They redid the not entirely correct 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 US tax returns and went on to file the remainder of the US tax returns for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 (1040 and partial 2012 1040NR) and Forms 8854 for me and my husband, certifying US tax compliance for requisite number of years and proving Net Worth below $2 million, thus not covered expatriates.
Sometime after the hiring of the last US tax law / accounting firm, I hired a Washington, DC immigration / nationality lawyer to see if there was any way I could rid my son of his US status by obtaining possibilities for his renunciation. Result was that I was told my children WERE US citizens from the moment of their births in Calgary, AB, Canada BEFORE my then-husband (now deceased) and my becoming Canadian citizens. And, straight from the US Department of State:
(My second husband had claimed US citizenship in 2001, before I even met him. How could such a bizarre US coincidence happen that I would have TWO US husbands? He claimed US citizenship through his grandparents who came to the US from Finland, originally settled in Minnesota and then homesteaded in North Dakota. My husband’s dad, when he was four years old, moved to Saskatchewan with his family — not long enough in the US to transmit US citizenship to his children. My present husband’s retirement plan since he was a working musician / jack of all trades to raise his family — very little CPP and OAS as retirement (one of those I refer to with little actual financial literacy other than ‘don’t spend more than you earn’. A fellow musician told him since his dad was born in North Dakota, he could get a US passport and live and play music until he keeled over in the bigger playing-ground of the US. Moral of the story: never get financial or citizenship advice from a fellow musician!)
I have renounced; my husband has renounced; my adult daughter has renounced, none of us “covered expatriates”. We three have our valuable CLNs to show our “foreign financial institutions” we are Canadian-only.
Alas, my son (never registered with the US, never lived there and never had any benefit from) does not. [ His $51,000+ valued RDSP right now is EXEMPT from being reported by the bank where that account is — I am the Holder of that account, which I have paid taxes to the US for the grants and bonds that the Government of Canada (and Canadian taxpayers) have put into the RDSP. He also has a small TFSA that would be exempt, leaving an even smaller RRSP (that will eventually be rolled into the RDSP — that process is being worked on by the RDSP powers that be).
Excluding those accounts, he has a very small chequing/savings account in his own name so he can use a debit card or small purchases and emergencies. Into that account goes the monthly $115.00 honorarium he receives for working M-F, with Venturers — a supportive organization whose crews do outside work year round at provincial campgrounds, Scouting campgrounds and Camp Horizon, a camp for persons with disabilities. They are valued persons doing valued work, the organization pretty self-sustaining being paid for their services to keep the program running. It is not about the amount of money he can earn; it is about the amount of support he can get and his mother planning around that for his future needs after I am gone. It would all seem to work — except for this slight US problem!!!!!
As well, I am a trustee of the account into which goes his monthly provincial funding — from which comes all monthly living expenses (mostly in and out transactions).
@Petros I’ve been thinking about this very issue. Although I was born in the U.S., my parents are Quebecois and I while I spent part of my childhood in the U.S., I actually grew up speaking French at home. When I was a teenager, we returned to Montreal I spent most of my adult life there, until moving to Ontario a few years ago. I still consider myself a francophone and my correspondence with the federal government (including the CRA) has always been in French. So, if I were ever to receive a letter from the IRS I would respond (in French) that as a Canadian citizen living in Canada I expect all correspondence to be in French. Let’s see how they deal with that in Austin (or wherever the processing centre is). And I’d like to see how the Canadian federal government will deal with this language issue…the Canadian government must correspond with its citizens in their official language of choice, so why should I recognize correspondence from foriegn governments in another language?
@Calgary411 wrote: “I was told my children WERE US citizens from the moment of their births in Calgary, AB, Canada BEFORE my then-husband (now deceased) and my becoming Canadian citizens.”
This is true. And as your son was probably born with two nationalities, no rule would, during his minority (or under US law, given his condition, thereafter) rid him of either. (Most of those countries that prohibit dual nationality generally either allow it when acquired involuntarily or at birth, or do not require renunciation of the foreign one until age 18 or later.)
That does not mean that any Canadian law requires the Canadian authorities to recognise both nationalities. And pre-FATCA it isn’t obvious that any private-sector entity in Canada would have had to.
(It is only in recent years, with the passing of new and draconian tax and penalty laws by the Congress that, whatever the intended target, affect expatriate US Persons disproportionately and probably as an unintended consequence, that, for them, having US nationality can be a terrible burden. Your second husband, while apparently a US citizen from birth, could have gone his entire life without being treated as one. I am aware of cases where only if the mother can successfully prove (by her own attestation and whatever documents she has like old passports) that she was physically present in the USA for one uninterrupted year as a child will her foreign-born infant be deemed an Amcit. Whatever the real facts, these cases are even more dubious.
Almost never does the IRS pursue somebody for back taxes after s/he has successfully sought (retrospectively) US nationality as an adult. There is also the option of an INA § 322 facilitated naturalisation based on parent and grandparent nationality.
There are certainly others in your son’s situation around the world, most of whom have ignored the law but are unknown to the US authorities. It is in the nature of the IRS bureaucrat not to look for sad cases and only to deal with those brought to their attention. I have written of the millions of supposed Amcits around the world who, from the bare statistics, seem never to file US tax returns. (The State Department has not published usable statistics on passport issuance to persons living abroad.)
The deemed “owner” of a trust (26 U.S.C. § 6048, IRS Form 3520) is subject to information reporting. Your son is probably incapable (because of his disability) of being prosecuted for any violation of US tax law. If there is anyone in the world capable of crafting a trust that will keep your son safe and out of tax, PFIC and FATCA trouble I would think it would be Prof. Donovan Waters https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Donovan+Waters+QC
There are curious constructs like “intentionally defective grantor trusts” that under US tax law would be attributed to the settlor for tax, and if the settlor is a NRA a conflict is avoided at least during her life. Some kind of discretionary trust might work, depending how much risk one is willing to accept under § 6048. Other issues are the amount of capital and the value of the benefits. And whether the Form 3520 reporting matters at all or only the PFIC restrictions and the complexity of calculating mark-to-market and other taxes. I could conceive of a hybrid entity (a trust is not an entity at all but a relationship, but never mind that) treated one way in Canada and another in the USA. (The most common of these are certain LLCs and Canadian entities under “check the box” rules (although that’s just as often a trap for the unwary: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Check-the-box%3a+not+always+the+right+answer+for+certain+foreign…-a0144763733 )
Or I could imagine a trust that sponsors a sheltered workshop of which a particular disabled person is the only employee who is paid a salary subject to payroll and income tax (including CPP/QPP contributions) and eligible for Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
What I can say is that you have put yourself through unbelievable trouble and expense, much of which was probably wasted, although evidently you’ve found some stable solution now. Lawyers and accountants are little different from plumbers and electricians: they look at a project (or the mess of a project left by others) and they craft a solution according to a rule book in their heads (or the Code). Undergraduate law (LLB, JD) is a vocational school after all. Donovan Waters is a professor and scholar as well as practitioner. (I attended his lectures at The Hague Academy in 1995.)
Often the issue is whether a scheme has been devised as a tax shelter or set up in good faith, with so little money involved that the IRS cannot without devoting far more in resources than they could ever collect in tax and penalties. It’s best to look at the IRS as a collection agency. In many past cases they have bargained with trustees and beneficiaries prior to a foreign trust (or an entity treated under US tax law as a trust: http://www.uniset.ca/other/cs6/24TC829.html
Finally: as I have written before, it is under international law up to each State to determine who are its nationals. It is not a foregone conclusion, however, that any other State needs to recognise that attribution, especially in the case of a person the latter State claims as its own national. It is FATCA that forces some private actors to treat some individuals as if they were US citizens despite (1) their also being citizens of a second country and (2) perhaps only being “quasi-citizens”: “US Persons”. The issue of Canadian banks demanding documentation (such as CLN) even for some pre-1967 or pre-1980 loss-of-US-citizenship cases, never mind cases even later, but before the implementation of a regime of punitive taxation and draconian penalties (say 2004), is problematic.
Statues of Limitation (and their tolling in cases of absconders and non-filers) and “Transferee Liability” are other complexities. But for an alleged Amcit who has no assets, income or heirs in the USA these are largely moot points. Except if there are cases where no foreign financial services provider will take his or her business.
@Nick, You can make a complaint to the language commissioner. Flaherty says US citizens must obey US tax law, but is this the case if the US violates French language rights? I don’t think so. A complaint to the language commissioner isn’t going to cost 17K as far as I know. Isn’t it just a matter of making the complaint in writing? Furthermore, one does not have to be personally affected by the abuse of language rights, but can complain based on an observation of abuse. I observe that the IRS has not translated its 75,000 pages of IRC into French. How is a Canadian francophone supposed to obey these laws, Mr. Flaherty? Tell me that. You didn’t think about that when you signed the IGA did you? Has Joe Arvay thought of it? Has Peter Hogg thought of it?
Voici le texte pour porter plainte:
Process is explained here: http://www.ocol-clo.gc.ca/html/complaint_plainte_e.php
Also note this line:
The IRS becomes an agency for collecting federal taxes in Canada. Flaherty has explicitly allowed this to take place. Therefore a complaint may be registered with the language commissioner. I don’t know whether they would take it seriously, but it is worth a try.
@Petros wrote: “The IRS becomes an agency for collecting federal taxes in Canada.”
This is simply untrue. Since United States v. Harden the IRS dares not appear in any Canadian or other foreign court. And it is unnecessary in the case of a non-Canadian citizen in Canada because the Canadian Revenue Agency is (under the tax treaty) its collection agency without regard to the correctness of the claim — which must be litigated in the USA. It’s for this reason that a Canadian bankruptcy can be an interesting means of resolving the enforceability in Canada of a US tax claim. Although that claim may still be enforceable outside of Canada.
As for trying to apply Canadian language rights against the IRS, forget it. They have sovereign immunity, an even grander sort of immunity than the diplomatic kind.
Et porter plainte contre qui ? Il me semble que L’Agence du revenu du Canada, dans le cas où elle serait disposée de poursuivre un imposable non-canadien au Canada, serait content de traduire toute la documentation en français. On ne peut jamais porter plainte contre un gouvernement étranger devant un tribunal canadien à moins que l’objet du litige soit commercial. Ce qui n’est pas le cas pour les impôts.
Thank you, 5th Swiss, for your interest and your taking your time to weigh in on this. I REALLY appreciate that! For me, it is now just the principle of the whole situation, especially for others than my family because I know what I will or will not do in regard to my son. Your information plus that of John Richardson is very valuable to me — if I ever have to ‘take it to the bank’.
And why this was an addendum to my original IGA submission to our current government:
@5thSwiss, Law is a question of convincing a judge. Rather than spending your energy poopooing my idea, why don’t you help us write a complaint. It is clear that the IRS violates French language rights of Canadian citizens and that Flaherty is exposing Canadian citizens to the IRS like a quasi federal agency with vast jurisdiction in Canada. Your opinion may actually dissuade people from complaining to the language commissioner.
Lawyers are supposed to be advocates, not judge and jury.