Section of Taxation Publications
  VOL. 57
NO. 4
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 Note: The following is an excerpt from the introduction to the article as published in The Tax Lawyer. Author citations have been omitted for brevity. Tax Section members may read the article in its entirety in Adobe Acrobat format.
 Some Preliminary Thoughts on a Judge's Look Beyond the Record for Evidence of Legislative Facts
The Honorable James S. Halpern
Judge, United States Tax Court

[ Editors' Note: Judge Halpern presented these remarks to the First Annual Gerald L. Wallace-Charles S. Lyon National Tax Workship in Orlando, Florida on February 9, 2004.]

It is an honor to speak at the First Annual Gerald L. Wallace-Charles S. Lyon National Tax Workshop. Gerry, the "Chief," started the N.Y.U. graduate tax program in 1945, and Charlie was on board as a full-time faculty member by the mid-fifties. Both men were wonderful educators. Indeed, by the time I enrolled in the graduate tax program, I had been at school for 20 years, in the Army for 2 years, and had practiced law for 2 years. In all of those learning experiences, I had not run into anyone who was a finer teacher than Gerry. Clearly, the man loved what he did, and that was also true for Charlie. I have been similarly fortunate in that, during the last almost 14 years as a judge of the United States Tax Court, I have loved what I have been doing. I hope that you can tell from my opinions. How can you not love a job that allows you to wear a costume to work, listen to stories all day, and write the endings!

This afternoon, I would like to make some remarks about a question that I find interesting but little examined: To what extent may a judge look beyond the trial record and briefs of the parties if the judge is not satisfied that the parties have supplied him with all the necessary (perhaps I should say desirable) information to decide an issue before him?


Published by
Section of Taxation, American Bar Association
With the Assistance of
Georgetown University Law Center


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