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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. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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