Thursday, April 25, 2013

What tax lawyers mean when they opine on the likelihood of success on the merits

I posted this on Twitter yesterday but for those not of the twitterverse, you may enjoy this guide to tax opinion standards, posted recently at Canadian Tax Litigation blog:

Percentage chance of success...Standard of Opinion 100% Will
99% Will, at the Ivory Soap level
98% Will, almost certainly
97% Will, almost all the time
96% I would be astounded if we lost
95% I would be very surprised if we lost
94% We will not lose this one
93% It had better be right
92% I would tell my mother-in-law to do this
91% I would tell my mother to do this
90% I would tell your mother to do this
89% Like crossing the street
88% It's in the bag
87% They don't get much better
86% You don't need an opinion
85% Why are you asking the question?
84% It’s almost in the bag
83% One could imagine a "will"
82% Stronger than a strong should
80% Strong should
79% Essentially, a strong should
78% Better view is a strong should
77% Not without hesitation, a strong should
76% Better than a good should
75% Good should
74% Odds are high
73% Remarkably likely
72% Very likely
71% Better than a weak should
70% Weak should
69% We expect to win
68% In all probability
67% In all likelihood
66% Looking good
65% Should probably
64% Most likely
63% Likely
62% Favourable prospect
61% Not without hesitation, should
60% Not a bad prospect
59% Reasonable prospect
58% Fair prospect
57% Well-grounded hope
56% There is reason to expect
55% Better view
54% Ought to be right
53% Not without hesitation, the better view
52% More likely than more likely than not
51% More likely than not
50% Your guess is as good as mine
49% Less likely than not
48% Less likely than less likely than not
47% Almost there
46% I hesitate to predict
45% Depends on the day of the week
44% If we get the right judge
43% A very good shot
42% A good shot Percentage chance of success Standard of Opinion
41% It arguably could work
40% It arguably might work
39% G-d willing
38% Depending on the facts
37% There are good arguments
36% Could be in the cards
35% Stranger things have happened
34% Throw of the dice
33% As taxpayer's counsel, I would not be ashamed to argue this in court
32% Not without considerable doubt
31% With some good fortune
30% Might
29% Might be argued that
28% Stands a chance
27% Might stand a chance
26% It could be that it might work
25% I might be that it could work
24% Not very likely
23% Conceivably
22% Conceivably, but not hopeful
21% I've seen worse
20% Perhaps arguable
19% Within the bounds of possibility
18% Maybe
17% Maybe, but not likely
16% Not likely enough
15% Possible, but not likely
14% Maybe Enron would do this
13% As a DOJ lawyer, I would not be ashamed to argue this in court
12% It should work, but it won't
11% It could work, but it won't
10% It might work, but it won't
9% Tell them you didn't know
8% Perhaps if nobody finds it
7% You have got to be joking
6% Anything can happen, but this won't
5% You must not understand the legislation
4% Canadian jails aren't bad
3% I wouldn't wish it on my enemies
2% Not bloody likely
1% Not in a month of Sundays
0% Not 

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