Tax court trial judge report disclosure ruling [US SC] News
Tax court trial judge report disclosure ruling [US SC]

Ballard v. Commissioner, Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Ginsburg, March 7, 2005 [holding that the US Tax Court must include reports filed by special trial judges in court records available to the parties]. Excerpt:

The Tax Court's practice of not disclosing the special trial judge's original report, and of obscuring the Tax Court judge's mode of reviewing that report, impedes fully informed appellate review of the Tax Court's decision. In directing the Tax Court judge to give "due regard" to the special trial judge's credibility determinations and to "presum[e] … correct" the special trial judge's factfindings, Rule 183(c) recognizes a well-founded, commonly accepted understanding: The officer who hears witnesses and sifts through evidence in the first instance will have a comprehensive view of the case that cannot be conveyed full strength by a paper record.

Read the full the text of the opinion [PDF]. Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.