Page images
PDF
EPUB

tion 962 of the Act, will be implemented by further Order or Rule of the Court.

W. M. DRENNEN,

Chief Judge Dated: January 2, 1970

GENERAL ORDER No. 2 Pursuant to the authority vested in me as Chief Judge by the provisions of section 7444(c), Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, there is hereby created a special division of the United States Tax Court to be known as the Small Tax Case Division. Subject to the general supervision of the Chief Judge, such division shall be under the direct supervision of a judge of the Court. Such division shall have supervision of commissioners of the Court who will conduct trials, pretrial conferences, and hearings upon motions in cases assigned to them, where the amount of the deficiency in dispute in a particular case does not exceed $1,000 for any one taxable year in income or gift taxes or $1,000 in estate taxes. Such division shall have administrative and operational authority to act with respect to small tax cases.

There is hereby delegated to the judge in charge of the Small Tax Case Division the authority to review and, in his discretion, approve the proposed findings of fact and opinion in any small tax case in which the trial is conducted by a commissioner of the Court, and to sign in his name the decision to be entered therein.

Effective this date and until further notice, Judge Howard A. Dawson, Jr., is designated as the Judge in charge of the Small Tax Case Division.

W. M. DRENNEN, Dated: September 1, 1970

Chief Judge

[ocr errors]

GENERAL ORDER No. 3 For the purpose of permitting a Commissioner, who is appointed by the Chief Judge pursuant to section 7456(c), Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, to conduct trials, pretrial conferences and hearings upon motions in small tax cases during the period from September 1, 1970, through December 29, 1970, the United States Tax Court has adopted a new interim rule, which provides as follows: Interim Rule For Use Of Commissioners Of The Tax Court To Act

In Small Tax Cases (a) The purpose of this interim rule is to establish special procedures for the conduct of small tax cases until the provisions of section 7463, Code of 1954, take effect on December 30, 1970. This interim

rule shall be effective with respect to proceedings conducted between September 1, 1970, and December 30, 1970.

(6) A commissioner appointed by the Chief Judge pursuant to section 7456(c), Code of 1954, may conduct trials, pretrial conferences and hearings upon motions in cases on calendars for sessions assigned to him, where the amount of the deficiency in dispute in a particular case does not exceed $1,000 for any one taxable year in income or gift taxes or $1,000 in estate taxes. The trial in such case will be conducted as informally as possible consistent with orderly procedure. As soon as practicable after the trial of such case, the commissioner shall prepare his proposed findings of fact and opinion, which shall be submitted to the Chief Judge or to a division of the Court if the Chief Judge so directs.

(c) Paragraphs (a), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of Rule 48, Tax Court Rules of Practice, shall not be applicable to such small tax cases.

W. M. DRENNEN, Dated: September 1, 1970.

Chief Judge

[ocr errors]

In Memoriam

HONORABLE ERNEST HARVEY VAN FOSSAN

JUDGE, UNITED STATES TAX COURT

The Court was advised that the Honorable Ernest Harvey Van Fossan, a retired judge of this Court, died May 27, 1970, in Lisbon, Ohio. A Memorial Proceeding was held at a session of the Tax Court at Boston, Massachusetts, on May 28, 1970, presided over by the Honorable Howard A. Dawson, Jr., and the Court takes this further means of expressing its respect for, and sorrow at the passing of, Judge Van Fossan.

Appointed by President Calvin Coolidge, Judge Van Fossan became a judge of the Court on June 8, 1926, when the Court had been in existence for about two years, and was then named The United States Board of Tax Appeals. He was reappointed to the Court by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. He entered retired status on September 30, 1955, but continued his active service until May 31, 1961, when he departed from the Court and returned to his home in Lisbon, Ohio.

For more than thirty-five years, Judge Van Fossan was not only a distinguished judge of the Court, but was also one of the architects of its increasing stature as a tribunal having nationwide jurisdiction. His impressive opinions in the many hundreds of cases he heard and decided contributed to the development of the law of Federal Taxation, and constitute a substantial segment of tax law.

As a trial court judge, Judge Van Fossan was highly respected by members of the Bar for his meticulous observance of the rules of the correct conduct of trials, and for his eminent fairness and courtesy.

Judge Van Fossan's written opinions reflected his expert understanding of the basic principles of the controlling rules of tax law, and general law. His penetrating power of analysis, and his superior skill in legal writing gave to his opinions the status of authority and precedent; his careful reasoning gave them clarity and conviction. He was an outstanding craftsman; a distinguished jurist.

During his long career on the Tax Court, Judge Van Fossan decided a number of complex and difficult cases. He was highly respected by his colleagues and members of the Bar for his dedication, dignity,

IX a

and deeply-rooted judicial temperament, which was brightened by a keen sense of wit and humor. He was an equable and genial judge along with his constant decorum. He was affectionately called “Van" by his associates who knew from long experience that his convictions were firm and his carefully-considered conclusions could not easily be modified.

The trial of the celebrated case of Andrew W. Mellon, 36 B.T.A. 977 (December 7, 1937), the former Secretary of the Treasury, was conducted before a three-judge panel of the Court, presided over by Judge Van Fossan. The trial extended over a period in excess of one year. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue claimed a tax deficiency and penalty totaling more than three million dollars. The report in the Mellon case, written in part by Judge Van Fossan and in part by Judge Turner, comprises 126 printed pages. Judge Van Fossan's conduct of the trial received high commendation; the trial received considerable publicity.

Judge Van Fossan was born in Lisbon, Ohio, September 6, 1888, the son of William Harvey and Eva Sophia Van Fossan. He received his A.B. degree from Oberlin College in 1909, and his M.A. degree from Columbia University, and his LL.B. degree from Columbia University Law School. He was a member of the law firm of Billingsley, Moore & Van Fossan in Lisbon, Ohio. In 1917 he volunteered for service in the United States Army, was commissioned and rose to the rank of Major in the Judge Advocate Reserve Corps. He received a special assignment in the office of the Secretary of War, and became a member of the War Department Claims Board. Concurrently he was Chief Counsel and resident member of the War Credits Board. Judge Van Fossan assisted in two studies of the government of the Panama Canal Zone. He was appointed an Assistant Counsel, and later Director of Claims of the United States Shipping Board. In 1924 he resumed the practice of law. He was a member of the firm, in Washington, D.C., of Gregg & Van Fossan.

On June 26, 1926, Judge Van Fossan was married to Frances Brady, of Washington, D.C., whose devotion and companionship gave him many years of happiness and inspiration. Frances Van Fossan, who passed away in 1958, is remembered as a gracious and lovely lady. Judge Van Fossan is survived by his sisters, Miss Jean Van Fossan, Mrs. Virginia P. Fletcher, and Mrs. Elaine Hurd, and his brothers, L. Morris Van Fossan and Robert L. Van Fossan of Arlington, Virginia.

Eminent jurist, loyal friend, Judge Ernest Harvey Van Fossan will be remembered for his many years of dedicated devotion and contributions to the law and to the United States Tax Court.

« PreviousContinue »