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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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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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