Bob is a member of the Firm’s litigation practice and comes to ZHF after almost 16 years serving as a Master Commissioner at the Ohio Supreme Court. In that position, Bob focused on appeals taken from the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals directly to the Supreme Court: he usually heard the oral arguments of the parties in those cases, prepared “bench memos” analyzing the appeals to assist the justices in reaching a decision, and authored “per curiam” opinions that explained the Court’s judgment. The Court’s tax-appeal docket consisted mostly of real property valuation cases from the county boards of revision, but Bob also wrote numerous memos and opinions addressing sales and use tax issues, commercial activity tax (CAT) issues, and issues of state and municipal income taxation. While at the Supreme Court, Bob additionally wrote memos and per curiam opinions addressing petitions for writs of mandamus or prohibition, and several of those cases involved requests for public records.
Before his work as Master Commissioner, Bob served the Ohio Attorney General first as Assistant Chief and later as Chief of the Taxation Section over a period of ten and a half years. In those positions, Bob defended the State Tax Commissioner in many significant cases involving issues of sales and use taxation, individual income tax, and public utility property tax. In one notable case, Bob persuaded the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals to deny boxing heavyweight Mike Tyson’s claim for a refund of $5.8 million of state income tax. In addition to administrative litigation, Bob defended agents of the tax department against civil rights actions brought in federal or state court. Bob also successfully argued more than a dozen tax cases at the Ohio Supreme Court.
While at the Attorney General’s Office, Bob additionally served as an Assistant Solicitor and member of the Office’s Major Appeals Group. In that capacity, he authored numerous “amicus curiae” briefs for the State of Ohio that expressed the state’s position in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1998, Bob was appointed to serve a three-month term as a Supreme Court Fellow with the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, D.C., where he regularly attended oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court and wrote reports on those cases.
Before Bob’s lengthy period of public service, he worked on civil litigation and administrative appeals as an associate in a large law firm. In addition to his J.D. degree, Bob holds a master’s degree in German from The Ohio State University, served as a teaching associate at Ohio State, and speaks fluent German.
In the community, Bob has served as a trustee of his church and an officer of the Worthington Educational Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that distributes donated funds for educational projects.
Bob brings to the service of ZHF’s clients a wealth of insight and experience in litigating Ohio tax cases at both the administrative and appellate levels.
- The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D. cum laude 1990
- The Ohio State University Graduate School, M.A. in German, 1979
- St. Lawrence University, B.A. magna cum laude 1978
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- Ohio State Bar Association
- Best Brief Award for co-authoring U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief, National Association of Attorneys General, 1998
- Professionalism and Best Appellate Brief Awards, Office of the Ohio Attorney General, 2001-2002