The final 2 interviews

September 27, 2010
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Michelle Baldwin
Michelle Baldwin told commission members about her varied background, including how she went off on her own to represent clients on tax matters and her current work focusing on the energy industry clients and tax incentives. She discussed her experience on medical licensing issues for pharmacies and pharmacists, and talked about the importance of having those review boards in place. She discussed the importance of how the Tax Court must follow statutes and also make sure people understand why the statutes were enacted. Someone within the Tax Court acting as a legislative liaison might be a beneficial function in helping lawmakers understand what proposed legislation might mean for taxpayers. Baldwin also discussed work on soldiers’ right areas, and noted that she’s seen both sides of tax issues in a way she think would allow her to be impartial and be a good tax court judge.

Thomas Ewbank
The grandson of former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Lewis who served in the early 20th century, Ewbank talked about his longtime practice that has involved inheritance tax work since the late 1960s and how this could be a capstone to his legal career. However, he’d only be able to serve eight years because of the mandatory retirement age of 75 for state appellate judges. He talked about how important ADR is to help courts, and also noted that the tax court judge could be influential in helping the legislature understand and clear up ambiguities in proposed legislation.

The seven-member Judicial Nominating Commission began deliberating behind closed doors just before 3:30 p.m. on who to name as semi-finalists. Once members reach a decision, they will hold a public vote on who to bring back for second interviews.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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