Conflicting Court Schedule Postpones Puente Hearing
The hearing scheduled for today in an attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order against the Law School has been postponed indefinitely.
Timothy J. McInerney, attorney for J. Irizzary Puente, said that scheduling conflicts caused the postponement.
The restraining order would have prevented the Law School from "publishing any more of Dr. Puente's work." According to McInerney, "Harvard has already sold information to various sources. I don't know how much." He added, however, that he hopes to obtain the restraining order "quite soon."
According to McInerney, Puente has been working on his Latin American tax series for more than 15 years. Puente "did all the dirty work," researching, cataloguing, and rough drafts. In 1950 Puente asked Griswold to be American advisor for his Latin Tax Research Law Institute. Griswold informed Punete that he was interested and asked for details, according to McInerney.
Griswold then cancelled a meeting scheduled with Puente and told the tax expert that he was no longer interested in his plan, McInerney said. The Wall Street Journal announced several months later that the Law School would issue a series of publications on Latin American tax structures.
The February, 1955 Law School Bulletin contained an article by William Sprague Barnes, Director of the World Tax Service at the Law School, which stated the central ideas of Puente's plan, according to McInerney.
McInerney added, "Griswold can't just suck all the food juice out of a lemon and then throw away the rind. Before Harvard entered the picture, Puente had subscribers to his series, but many cancelled when Harvard announced that they were doing the same thing."
Announcement Cuts Sales
Puente, by this time had published his first volume on Argentina, and had several more ready to print. The announcement by the University reduced the sale of his first work besides costing him his subscriptions. Because of this he has been unable to print any more of his tax series, McInerney said.
McInerney said that Puente brought the case to him. His office began work on it, setting Puente's claim at $3,000,000. He added that he is "going to see this thing to the bitter end." He expects the case to come before Judge George C. Sweeney for decision possibly within two month, but maybe not for a year.