| ||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?