Jerold W. Barringer


A lawyer admitted to the bar in Illinois in 1983.

Theories Advocated/Promoted

Barringer has been involved with several cases in which it was claimed that Form 1040 does not comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act so no one can be penalized for failing to file a tax return.

Books, Web Sites, Videos, and Organizations

None known.

Court Actions

Barringer was censured by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2001 for filing a motion with accusations against a judge that Barringer either knew or should have known were false. In re Jerold Wayne Barringer, No. 00SH0080 (Ill. 9/21/2001).

In affirming the conviction of one of Barringer's clients, Judge Easterbrook of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals also critiqued Barringer's performance in the appeal:

"Patridge's brief in the criminal appeal presents 19 issues, all frivolous. Many are in the style of tax-protest arguments that we might expect from a layman representing himself but do not expect to see in a brief filed by a member of the bar. [….] Jerold W. Barringer represented Patridge at trial, in the Tax Court, and during the three appeals to this court. He has performed below the standard of a pro se litigant; we have serious doubt about his fitness to practice law. The problem is not simply his inability to distinguish between plausible and preposterous arguments. It is his disdain for the norms of legal practice (19 issues indeed!) and the rules of procedure."

After citing several ways in which Barringer's brief did not comply with rules of practice, the court gave Barringer 14 days to show cause why he should not be sanctioned $10,000 for “frivolous arguments and noncompliance with the Rules” and why he should not be suspended from practice “until he demonstrates an ability to litigate an appeal competently and responsibly.” United States v. Denny R. Patridge, 507 F.3d 1092, 1094-95, 2007 TNT 221-11, Nos. 06-3635 and 06-3785 (7th Cir. 11/14/2007), cert. den., No. 07-1045 (U.S. 3/24/2008) (conviction for tax evasion affirmed). Sanctions of $10,000 were imposed, and the Supreme Court denied a petition for mandamus by Barringer seeking review. In re: Jerold W. Barringer, No. 07-1140 (S.C. 4/14/2008).

Barringer has also been sanctioned by the Tax Court and required to pay $4,725 for time spent by government lawyers responding to what the Tax Court described as "frivolous discovery requests" that amounted to "unreasonable and vexatious conduct" and conduct that was "reckless and in bad faith." Robert Powell v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2009-174, 2009 TNT 138-7, No. 18134-06L (7/21/2009) (sanctions of $25,000 were also imposed against Barringer's client for maintaining frivolous arguments), aff'd No. 09-1266 (D.C. Cir. 12/2/2010).

Penalties of $1,200 were imposed by the Tax Court against Barringer in another case because he "repeatedly asserted frivolous arguments on the basis of PRA 1995 throughout these proceedings." Because Barringer persisted in those arguments even after the same arguments had been rejected by the 7th Circuit in the Patridge case described above, the Tax Court found that Barringer had acted in bad faith, so that sanctions were warranted. Denny and Judy Patridge v. Commissioner, No. 027746-07L (U.S.T.C. 9/29/2010).

Barringer represented Lindsey Springer in an unsuccessful appeal to the 10th Circuit in which the opinion of the court described Barringer's briefs as "ambiguous" and "far from a model of clarity." Barringer also tried to raise new issues in a reply brief that the court refused to consider because the arguments were not raised in the initial brief. Lindsey K. Springer v. Commissioner, 580 F.3d 1142, 2009 TNT 167-4, No. 08-9004 (10th Cir. 8/31/2009), aff'ng Tax Court No. 17707-06L (levy allowed to proceed for collection of taxes, penalties, and interest notwithstanding Paperwork Reduction Act claims; government's motion for sanctions denied).

Barringer also represented Lindsey Springer in an appeal from the judgment against Springer that reduced his federal tax liabilities (which, together with interest and penalties, totaled $368,383.32 as of 3/31/2008) to a judgment and an order allowing the sale of his real property. Because Barringer continued making the same frivolous arguments that Springer had raised in the lower court regarding the lack of district directors, the non-existence of the IRS, and the lack of authority of the Treasury to collect taxes outside of Washington DC, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Barringer on 6/23/2011 to show cause why he should not be referred to the disciplinary board of the 10th Circuit. Barringer responded with a rehash of the same arguments and the 10th Circuit has referred his case for discipline. United States v. Lindsey K. Springer, No. 10-5037 (10th Cir. 7/28/2011). Refusing to reconsider whether Barringer's positions were legally frivolous, the 10th Circuit has suspended Barringer from the practice of law in the federal courts in that circuit. In re: Jerold W. Barringer, No. 11-816 (10th Cir. 9/2/2011), reh'g en banc denied (9/28/2011).

On June 4, 2012, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission finally filed a disciplinary complaint against Jerold Barringer for the frivolous arguments he made in the Denny Patridge and Lindsey Springer cases described above. In the Matter of Jerold Wayne Barringer, No. 2012PR00055 (Ill. A.R.D.C. 6/4/2012). On May 30, 2014, a hearing board recommended a suspension for six months, and on January 1, 2015, a review board affirmed that recommendation. In re Jerold Wayne Barringer, Attorney Number 6185092, No. 2012PR0055 (1/20/2015). The six month suspension will be followed by an 18 month probationary period during which all of Barringer's pleadings will have to be reviewed by another lawyer for compliance with the rules of professional conduct. The matter apparently now goes to the Illinois Supreme Court for final action.

The United States brought an action in federal district court to enforce a summons issued by the IRS to Barringer to produce documents relating to his own taxes, which Barringer had failed to provide. Barringer opposed the enforcement of the summons on the grounds that the IRS can only act through district directors, which was the same frivolous argument that got him suspended from practice before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The district court rejected Barringer's argument and ordered him to comply with the summons. United States v. Barringer, No. 12-3324, 2013 WL 211044 (U.S.D.C. C.D. Ill. 1/18/2013).

Barringer has now been sued by the United States to reduce his federal income tax liabilities to a judgment against him (and his wife) and to enforce the federal tax lien against real property he owns. Barringer objected on various grounds, all of which have been denied, including the argument that the IRS can only act through district directors. United States v. Jerold W. Barringer et al., No. 3:14-cv-03132 (U.S.D.C. C.D. Ill. 8/27/2014).


Barringer has represented Gaylon Harrell, Jo Hovind (wife of Kent Hovind), and Lindsey Springer.

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