A state judge has denied Wal-Mart's request to prevent public access to court documents in the company's multimillion-dollar tax fight with the state.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Clarence Horton Junior refused to grant the company a protective order. That order would have seal future documents in the case.
Wal-Mart filed a lawsuit last year against the state Department of Revenue seeking a $30 million income tax refund. The company says it was overcharged.
But state officials say Wal-Mart used tax shelters to obscure its true earnings in North Carolina.
The judge sided with state prosecutors in his ruling. Prosecutors argued that Wal-Mart didn't prove that circumstances existed to justify sealing the court document and overriding First Amendment rights.