On January 3, 2018, Chief Judge Marvel of the US Tax Court (Tax Court) announced that Senior Judge Robert A. Wherry, Jr. fully retired as of January 1, 2018, and would no longer be recalled for judicial service.

Judge Wherry was appointed on April 23, 2003, by President George W. Bush. In 2014, Judge Wherry took senior status and continued to try cases. By statute, the Tax Court is composed of 19 presidentially appointed judges. Judges are appointed for a term of 15 years and after an appointed term has expired, or they reach a specified age, may serve as a “senior judge” if recalled by the Tax Court. The Tax Court also has several special trial judges, who generally preside over small tax cases.
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Most tax cases are decided by the US Tax Court (Tax Court). The Tax Court issues two categories of opinions: (1) formally published dispositions; and (2) unpublished dispositions. The first category consists of opinions that are published in the Tax Court Reports and technically are called “division opinions” but are more commonly referred to as “T.C. opinions.” The second category consists of three sets of unpublished dispositions: (1) memorandum opinions (commonly referred to as “memo opinions” or “T.C. memos”); (2) summary opinions; and (3) orders. A common question asked by taxpayers relates to the difference between these forms of dispositions in terms of precedential effect.
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