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Leadership in Law 2013: J. Joseph Tanner

Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Indianapolis Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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joe-tanner02-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

J. Joseph Tanner is recognized as a tactical leader in product liability litigation, having successfully served as counsel for companies in diverse industries. He represents regional and global manufacturers in state, federal and appellate courts throughout the U.S. and Canada and handles numerous international disputes and arbitrations in Canada, China and Europe. After a firm merger in 2012, Joe was chosen to lead the new Faegre Baker Daniels LLP product liability and environmental group comprised of more than 90 professionals in seven offices. He’s active in his community in organizations such as Zionsville Youth Soccer Association and the Zionsville Rotary Club.

Your practice takes you around the world. Where’s your favorite place to visit and why? 
My favorite place to travel for a case has been Sweden – great people and great food. 

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
Teach high school and coach basketball.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult? 
Tax and secured transactions. That is why I am a product liability lawyer.

What civic cause is the most important to you? 
Youth sports organizations like our local soccer association and boys and girls clubs. Also, the mission of the International Center of Indianapolis is important to our community.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do? 
To the time when our framers where debating the Constitution to see if our country today is what they had in mind.

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
The huge volume can be challenging. 12/5 would be perfect.

What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Thank your parents more and follow the same path. It’s been a great one for me. 

Numerous TV shows center around lawyers and their practices. Are any of them close to realistic? 
Some are good for entertainment, but I am not sure they accurately reflect my day-to-day professional life. 

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  1. It is amazing how selectively courts can read cases and how two very similar factpatterns can result in quite different renderings. I cited this very same argument in Brown v. Bowman, lost. I guess it is panel, panel, panel when one is on appeal. Sad thing is, I had Sykes. Same argument, she went the opposite. Her Rooker-Feldman jurisprudence is now decidedly unintelligible.

  2. November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

  3. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  4. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  5. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

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