ILNews

Judge leaves attorneys on tax refund appeal

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Wentworth has denied the State Department of Revenue’s attempt to disqualify the two attorneys representing a company in a refund dispute.

Attorneys Robert Romack and Dan Dunbar are president and vice president, respectively, of ROAR Consulting. Utilimaster hired ROAR Consulting to calculate the amount of natural gas it needed for use in its production process. The data was used to file for a refund of Indiana gross retail (sales) and use tax remitted on purchase of natural gas.

The Indiana Department of State Revenue granted a refund, but in a reduced amount. Utilimaster then filed an appeal with the Tax Court with Romack and Dunbar entering appearances as the company’s counsel of record. After the discovery deadline had passed, the Department of Revenue sought to reopen discovery, claiming it just learned that Romack and Dunbar admitted that ROAR had conducted the utility study. The department also filed for a motion to disqualify the two attorneys pursuant to Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 3.7 on the basis that they would be necessary witnesses at trial.

The study by ROAR does nothing more than provide the total square footage of Utilimaster’s facility and the portion of that square footage used in the manufacturing process, wrote Wentworth in Utilimaster Corporation v. Indiana Dept. of State Revenue, No. 71T10-1008-TA-43. This information is easily ascertainable, and employees of Utilimaster could testify about the company’s manufacturing processing and use of space.

In addition, the department could have discovered that ROAR was involved in the project before the discovery period ended, because when Utilimaster filed for its refund, it noted that it was with assistance from ROAR. The refund claim was also signed by Romack as ROAR’s president.

“The Department has invoked Professional Conduct Rule 3.7 in an attempt to conceal its failure to timely pursue discovery as well as to remove Utilimaster’s attorneys from the case, calling their professionalism into question. The Court will not countenance the Rule’s abuse as a procedural weapon by invading Utilimaster’s right to counsel of its choice,” she wrote.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
2015 Distinguished Barrister &
Up and Coming Lawyer Reception

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 • 4:30 - 7:00 pm
Learn More


ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. OK, now do something about this preverted anacronism

  2. William Hartley prosecutor of Wabash county constantly violates people rights. Withholds statement's, is bias towards certain people. His actions have ruined lives and families. In this county you question him or go out of town for a lawyer,he finds a way to make things worse for you. Unfair,biased and crooked.

  3. why is the State trying to play GOD? Automatic sealing of a record is immoral. People should have the right to decide how to handle a record. the state is playing GOD. I have searched for decades, then you want me to pay someone a huge price to contact my son. THIS is extortion and gestapo control. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW.

  4. I haven't made some of the best choices in the last two years I have been to marion county jail 1 and two on three different occasions each time of release dates I've spent 48 to 72 hours after date of release losing a job being denied my freedom after ordered please help

  5. Out here in Kansas, where I now work as a government attorney, we are nearing the end of a process that could have relevance in this matter: "Senate Bill 45 would allow any adult otherwise able to possess a handgun under state and federal laws to carry that gun concealed as a matter of course without a permit. This move, commonly called constitutional carry, would elevate the state to the same club that Vermont, Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming have joined in the past generation." More reading here: http://www.guns.com/2015/03/18/kansas-house-panel-goes-all-in-on-constitutional-carry-measure/ Time to man up, Hoosiers. (And I do not mean that in a sexist way.)

ADVERTISEMENT