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7 semi-finalists still vying for Tax Court

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Seven attorneys remain in the running to be the next Indiana Tax Court judge, and they return for second interviews before the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission Oct. 27. Here is a glimpse of the seven who made it past the first cut from the 14 who went through the first interviews.
 

George Angelone Angelone

George T. Angelone

Indianapolis attorney with the Legislative Services Agency who was admitted to practice in 1976.

Angelone has three decades of experience reviewing tax and public finance work. He knows the legislature, the legal environment, and workings of tax court caseload, and is committed to outreach to improve the profession. He can bring a methodical approach to analyze and apply the law, and knows how all the pieces fit together. He said more can be done locally to improve the tax law process because two- or three-year waits aren’t efficient.


Dan Carwile Carwile

Dan J. Carwile

Banking attorney who is senior vice president with Old National Wealth Management in Evansville. He was admitted to practice in 1983.

Carwile said his experience has prepared him for this post, and he emphasized his hard work and ethics as being important. He said he’d be sensitive to pro se litigants and small-claims issues.


Carol Comer Comer

Hon. Carol S. Comer

Administrative law judge with the Indiana Board of Tax Review who has been practicing since 1996.

Judge Comer’s entire career has been spent on the administrative side and she has handled all issues, including reworking the tax board’s procedural rules in 2007 because of the assessment law and agency structure changes. She said it’s important to be mindful of caselaw exemptions that can build up and prevent a big ruling like Town of St. John, and that the court could work with the legislature to ensure that it understands constitutionality.


Joby Jarrells Jerrells

Joby D. Jerrells

Second-career attorney admitted in 2003 who works in the Indiana Attorney General’s Office as a deputy prosecutor and also a self-employed attorney out of his home in Bloomington.

Jerrells discussed the variety of his workload and his work on the Trump and Aztar cases, which allowed him to use his policy-analysis skills and also showed him how the principles of the law apply more than the dollar amount.


Karen Love Love

Hon. Karen M. Love

Hendricks Superior judge since 1995 after practicing privately and working previously as a certified accountant. She was admitted to practice in 1986.

She discussed with commission members what she calls the “ABCs” of this position, which she described as meaning the attitude of a judge, the balance she can bring based on her experience, and those critical aspects of clarity, consistency, and communication. Judge Love helped draft the child support guidelines and she said her work on the domestic relations committee has been the most rewarding.


Melony Sacopulos Sacopulos

Melony A. Sacopulos

General counsel at Indiana State University in Terre Haute who has been practicing since 1988.

Sacopulos said her university experience means handling many different areas each day and having to make prudent judgment calls that impact someone’s life or career. The judge’s opinions that interpret statute should be the extent of the relationship between the court and legislature, she said.


Martha Wentworth Wentworth

Martha B. Wentworth

Tax director at the Greenwood-based multistate group Deloitte Tax LLP who’s previously served in roles that included clerking for the Tax Court in the early 1990s. She was admitted to practice in 1990.

Wentworth has seen the devastating impact on taxpayers from adverse tax decisions, and she has worked closely with the state Department of Revenue and knows how significant those rulings can be for the agencies and government. She wasn’t sure how she would have ruled on the Town of St. John case. She said access and transparency on the court is important in helping people understand these tax laws.•
 

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  1. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  2. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  3. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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  5. Some in the Hoosier legal elite consider this prayer recommended by the AG seditious, not to mention the Saint who pledged loyalty to God over King and went to the axe for so doing: "Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints: Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul. Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first. Amen."

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