First round interviews begin

September 27, 2010
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins, who is sitting in on the interviews today.

Martha Wentworth
Talking about her 20-year career that’s been directed at state taxation, Martha Wentworth said she never thought this opportunity would arise. This would be the “culmination or pinnacle” of giving back to her state, and she’s committed to the tax court mission and hopes to protect, preserve, and hopefully enhance that mission. She has been attracted to tax law since law school and describes this area of law as “wonder-filled.” Wentworth likes taking complex items and making them simple for people to understand, she said.

Wentworth said she’s seen the devastating impact on taxpayers because of an adverse tax decision, while she’s also worked closely with the state Department of Revenue and knows how significant those rulings can be for the agencies and government. Asked about the Town of St. John ruling that significantly altered state tax law, and she said she wasn’t sure how she would have ruled on that issue. Access and transparency on the court is important in helping people understand these tax laws, she said.

George Angelone
Being a judge is the highest aspiration one can have, and he said you need both temperament and skill. An attorney for the Legislative Services Agency for the past three decades, he’s focused on reviewing tax and public finance work and he said the LSA is one of the only places where you can get volume and variety that the Tax Court receives. He knows the legislature, the legal environment, and is also committed to outreach to improve the profession. Says he can bring a methodical approach to analyze and applying the law, and knows how all the pieces fit together.

One commission member asked about how the Tax Court can assist when local governments, taxpayers, and businesses are troubled by taxes and tax law. Angelone said more can be done locally to improve the process. Two- or three-year waits aren’t efficient, and he hopes the bar in general and through CLE can help educate how items can be moved more quickly through the tax review process.

Hon. Karen Love
This would be the “natural evolution” of her career and she finds the subject matter of the Tax Court very interesting. 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. She talked about her judicial and administrative experience and past practice as an attorney, her CPA work, as well as her 30 years of marriage to a farmer that has given her the perspective of a taxpayer.

Being on a bank board has helped her see the need for objective measures about cost and finances. She talked about her experience in helping draft Child Support Guidelines, and she said her Domestic Relations Committee experience has been the most rewarding and gave her a glimpse of how she can serve the entire state.

 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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