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PROCEEDINGS

THE CLERK: All rise. All persons having business before the U.S. Tax Court will draw near and give their attention. The Court is now in special session, Chief Judge Thomas B. Wells presiding.

CHIEF JUDGE WELLS: Please be seated. Good afternoon. On behalf of my colleagues, I'd like to welcome you to this special session of the U.S. Tax Court.

The purpose of this session is to remember and honor our friend and colleague, Judge Perry Shields, who died on January 14, 2002. Not only do we honor him today, but we'll also comfort ourselves by noting the many ways in which he touched our lives.

We are pleased to offer these remembrances in the presence of Judge Shields's wife of 50 years, Bonnie Shields; Judge Shields's daughter, Leslie Shields, and her husband, Scott Lewis, and son, Cooper Lewis, of Knoxville; Judge Shields's daughter, Beth Shields, of Savannah, Georgia; and Judge Shields's son and daughter-in-law, Bailey and Ann Shields, of Maryville, Tennessee.

Also present today are our Special Trial Judges, Senior Judges, retired Judges, former Government officials, leaders of the bar, friends, and law clerks to Judge Shields.

I'd like to begin with Judge Shields's background. Judge Shields was born on January 12, 1925, in Townsend, Tennessee, son of Fred and Alice Dorsey Shields. He graduated from Everett High School in 1943, after which he joined the United States Army, serving in the 104th Infantry Division as a medical aide on the front lines in World War II.

In 1944, Judge Shields was wounded near Aachen, Germany, resulting in the amputation of his leg. After he returned home, he attended Duke University and, in 1950, graduated from Duke Law School.

Judge Shields had a long and distinguished career. From 1950 through 1956, he was employed by the IRS as a revenue agent and then as an attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel of the IRS in Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; and Greensboro, North Carolina. For the next 26 years, through 1982, Judge Shields was engaged in the private practice of law in Knoxville, specializing in tax and defending taxpayers in tax controversies.

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In 1982, he was appointed by President Reagan to this Court, where he served until his retirement in 1995. During his 12 years on the bench, Judge Shields was known as a man of high principle. He wrote 348 opinions, of which 4 were Court reviewed, 17 were division opinions, 247 were memorandum opinions, 75 were bench opinions, and 5 were summary opinions.

While Judge Shields is no longer with us physically, his presence on this Court will be felt for many years to come through his well-written and thoughtful opinions which will be precedent for the Court. While we miss his company at the lunch table in the Judges' dining room where he was a regular and a magnificent storyteller, we'll continue to tell his colorful stories.

In the remarks that will follow, you'll hear some of the great stories about Judge Shields. There were many—too many to tell all today-so we'll tell a few of the most memorable ones. First, since Judge Cohen couldn't be here, she gave me a letter to pass along to Bonnie and the family, which I thought I would read for the record:

I sincerely regret that I cannot be with the Court today when we honor the memory of Judge Perry Shields. I came to the Court in September, 1982, a few months after Perry. Thus, Perry, Lap Hamblen, and I served with “sequential seniority” for 12 years. You can imagine how my vocabulary and repertoire of yarns increased from following these two Tennesseeans.

I also learned from Perry and Lap, however, that a Judge could successfully meld real world experience and compassion for diverse human beings with the rigors, discipline, and technicalities of the tax law. I know that Perry was dedicated to the Court because he performed so well despite separations necessitated by his Knoxville obligations and, later, physical discomfort and health risks.

Whether at the table in the Judges' dining room or the table in the Court conference room, Perry contributed to the discussions, usually hitting the nail on the head. Of course, I was happy when we were on the same side, even in dissent. See, for example, Smith v. Commissioner, 91 T.C. 1049 (1988), authored by now Chief Judge Wells, which overruled the well-known Miller-Pocahontas Coal Co. v. Commissioner, 21 B.T.A. 1360 (1931). In the Smith case, my dissenting opinion borrowed at length from a memo that Perry had written in an earlier case. If we were wrong, I was in good company.

Perry took great pride in his family, and I am sure that you are comforted by your memories and your knowledge that his fine qualities will be carried on. Sincerely, Mary Ann Cohen.

We thank Judge Cohen for her remarks.
We'll now hear from Judge Shields's daughter, Leslie

, Shields, after whom we'll hear from Judge Dawson, Judge Hamblen, and Hazel Keahey.

Leslie, if you'll take the podium?

Ms. SHIELDS: May it please the Court. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to remember my father here in the U.S. Tax Court. It is an honor and a privilege for my family to be here today in a place that meant so much to him. He was so very proud to be a member of this distinguished group.

Some would say that he gave his ultimate service to his country in World War II in the Army as a medic on the front lines. It was in Aachen, Germany, that he was hit by shrapnel and was forced to take cover in an old barn. He lived through the gangrene, the amputation of the leg, and the long period of fever blisters due to the trauma. Then he had to wait months in England to recover so that he could be sent home to the hills of Tennessee.

As a poor country boy, he could never have attended Duke Law School without the support of his family, friends, teachers, and especially the support from my mother, Bonnie, but it was the service to his country that allowed him to follow his dream and gave him the means to attend Duke Law School under the GI bill. With that encouragement, he took advantage of every opportunity that life had to offer him, and he was determined to ignore all the setbacks.

During his career, he credited many teachers, mentors, and lawyers who helped guide him on the way, but he always acknowledged the help he received from his assistants-he called them legal secretaries in the old school-and told me that I could learn more about practicing law from some of the assistants and legal secretaries than some of the lawyers that I would meet along the way. Some of you that helped him are here today, and I thank you in his absence.

As many of you know, he was hardheaded and driven. Often he told us kids to keep trying and to never give up. While the Shields family crest has a fancy Latin motto about perseverance, he always told us that, loosely translated, it simply meant the hardheads always win. It was all right to be hardheaded for a just cause.

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