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Leadership in Law 2013: Larry J. Stroble

Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis Indiana University Maurer School of Law

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larry-stroble01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Larry J. Stroble is well known and respected statewide for his Indiana and federal tax expertise and accomplishments. A successful federal tax litigator, Larry argued and won a case before the Supreme Court of the United States that had more than $300 million of taxes at stake nationwide. His knowledge has made him a valuable resource not only within his firm, but for the Indiana and Indianapolis chambers of commerce and many other employer-based organizations. He is a highly regarded mentor to young attorneys, not just those who aspire to practice tax law. Larry also works on a pro bono basis drafting tax legislation, testifying at legislative hearings on the state’s tax system, and he has served as a member and chair of the Indiana Tax Court Liaison Committee.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose? 
Investigative reporter. 

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why? 
Clarence Darrow, because he would have some interesting tales to tell (Wobblies, Debs, Leopold and Loeb, Scopes, etc.). 

What class in law school did you find the most difficult? 
Antitrust.

Numerous TV shows center around lawyers and their practices. Are any of them close to realistic?
Very rarely. Surprisingly, I thought that “My Cousin Vinny” had a somewhat realistic depiction of certain aspects of trial practice.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you? 
Stop and smell the roses. I wish I had listened to him.  

What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Party hearty, but be in bed when the rooster crows. 

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do? 
The Roaring ’20s might be nice. Maybe I’d visit a speakeasy or two and try to make money in the stock market and get out just before the crash.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 
The power to think several steps ahead of everyone else.

In life or law, what bugs you? 
Petty bureaucratic functionaries who use their limited power to try to make other people’s lives difficult.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be? 
“Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by the Animals. 

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing? 
Although civilization got by without it for 9,990 years, I think the technology is a good thing. 

What do you find scary? 
A collision with an asteroid like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. It devastated the entire North American continent, leading to the extermination of most of its fauna and flora and unleashing global nuclear winter.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it? 
“The Stroblewich” – ham, cheese, and egg without fat, cholesterol or other unhealthy attributes.

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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