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Tax Court Reverses 20-Year-Old Policy Sealing Trial Decisions

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  1. Freedom of Information
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Since 1984, the U.S. Tax Court has sealed reports of special trial judges, which come to them as recommendations. Their subsequent rulings, in more than 900 cases, have suggested the Tax Court’s final rulings concurred with the decisions of the trial court. But no one outside the court knew for sure. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the report in a Chicago case released and it showed the court’s ruling and the trial judge’s finding at odds. The high court called the sealing improper. Now, the tax court has reversed its policy and will make public all future trial judge decisions. (7/14/05)