A federal judge in Wichita has sided with lawyers who claim it is unethical to comply with an Internal Revenue Service regulation that requires them to identify clients who pay fees in large sums of cash.

Chief U.S. District Judge Patrick Kelly has issued an order suspending IRS attempts to force Daniel Monnat, a Wichita criminal defense lawyer, to comply. Monnat had reported receiving $16,000 in cash as a fee, but he refused to provide the person’s name, address and Social Security number.

Kelly acknowledged that some circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals have upheld the requirement. But he said the rulings “fly in the face of what an attorney’s role is all about.”

January 14, 2004