About Us

JPAAL

Meet the Team

We hate bullies. The Government is like any other bully — it picks on and intimidates those that can’t defend themselves.

Joseph Pearman, Attorney at Law was formed to provide quality, affordable legal representation that protects the interests and rights of our clients and assures that our clients are treated fairly and with respect.

Joseph Pearman

Attorney

Joseph has extensive legal experience in both the private practice and in-house counsel settings. Over the years, Joseph has practiced law in criminal defense, insurance subrogation, personal injury, probate, employee benefits, estate planning, and tax controversy.

In 2002, Joseph opened his own tax controversy law practice that concentrates solely on the representation of individuals and businesses, with tax delinquencies and related matters, before the Internal Revenue Service and the Indiana Department of Revenue.

Prior to Joseph’s legal career, he worked as a certified welder in Northwest Indiana. Joseph’s blue collar and white collar backgrounds enable him to understand and empathize with both individual and business client concerns.

Joseph lives in St. John, Indiana, with his wife. In his free time, Joseph enjoys golf, fitness, woodworking, and spending time with family and friends.


Education

Indiana University Northwest
1990 – Baccalaureate of Science in Public Affairs (BS)

Valparaiso University School of Law
1993 – Juris Doctor (JD)
admitted to the Indiana Bar 1993

DePaul University College of Law
1999 – Master of Laws in Taxation (LLM)

Lectures & Memberships

Indiana Tax Practitioners Association, Inc.
Speaker at the 2012 continuing professional education seminar
A Survey of Significant Tax Collection Topics

Indiana Tax Practitioners Association, Inc.
Speaker at the 2013 continuing professional education seminar
A Comparison of Cases: The Simple Ones Can Sometimes Cause Problems

Indiana Tax Practitioners Association, Inc.
Speaker at the 2017 continuing professional education seminar
OFFER IN COMPROMISE I Don’t Have Enough To Full Pay But The IRS Thinks I Have $1,000,000.00+ In Assets

Indiana Tax Practitioners Association, Inc.
Speaker at the 2018 continuing professional education seminar
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX I Know the IRS Isn’t Supposed to Permit This But Ask for It Anyhow — You Never Know

Member – Indiana State Bar Association

Member – American Society of Tax Problem Solvers

Founder/President – Federal Tax Law Center of Indiana, Inc.

William Keith Clayton

Tax Law Consultant

Keith is retired IRS, with over thirty (30) years of experience.

At the IRS, Keith was the Collection Technical Advisor to the National Taxpayer Advocate. In this position, Keith worked on matters involving IRS collection programs, policies, and procedures. Keith also assisted in the development of the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Reports to Congress.

Prior to retirement, Keith was responsible for the review and clearance, of all IRS written guidance, to IRS employees and the general public, regarding the collection of taxes, which included offers in compromise, Federal tax liens, Federal tax levies, installment agreements, and property seizures.

Keith joined Joseph Pearman, Attorney at Law in 2016.

As Tax Law Consultant, Keith primarily conducts direct client contact for the assembly and interpretation of financial information and the calculation of offers in compromise. Keith also conducts case research and serves as a Federal tax collection law resource for various unique facts and issues that invariably arise.

Keith lives in Brooksville, Florida, with his wife. In his free time, Keith enjoys golf (which could use some work), deep sea fishing, and spending time with family and friends.

Michael McDermitt

Tax Law Consultant

Michael is retired IRS, with over thirty-six (36) years of experience.

At the IRS, Michael was the Senior Technical Advisor to the National Taxpayer Advocate. In this position, Michael worked on matters involving IRS collection programs, policies, and procedures. Michael also assisted in the development of the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Reports to Congress.

Michael’s IRS experience is considerable and includes the following top level managerial assignments: (i) National IRS Offer in Compromise Program Manager; (ii) Collection Division Chief – Austin, Texas; (iii) Compliance Territory Manager – Austin, Texas; (iv) Collection Program Manager – Southwest Region; and (v) Collection Division Assistant Chief – Jacksonville, Florida. Michael’s IRS experience has allowed him to be extensively involved in the development of all portions of the Internal Revenue Manual pertaining to IRS collection activities.

Prior to retirement, Michael was the Local Taxpayer Advocate in Austin, Texas, where he was primarily involved in helping taxpayers resolve their problems with the IRS.

Michael joined Joseph Pearman, Attorney at Law in 2016.

As Tax Law Consultant, Michael primarily conducts direct client contact for the assembly and interpretation of financial information and the calculation of offers in compromise. Michael also conducts case research and serves as a Federal tax collection law resource for various unique facts and issues that invariably arise.

Michael lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two (2) children. In his free time, Michael enjoys sports, exercise, music, and spending time with family and friends.

Heather Zivkovich

Executive Assistant

Heather has a Bachelor’s Degree, from Purdue University North Central, in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Organzational Leadership and Communication.

Heather previously worked for her local government township tax assessor and received her level one (1) and level two (2) certifications.

Heather joined Joseph Pearman, Attorney At Law in 2020.

As Executive Assistant, Heather handles initial client intake, scheduling, IRS forms preparation, attorney/client agreements, and case research.

Heather lives in Crown Point, Indiana, with her husband and three (3) children. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time outside, baking, gardening, travel, and spending time with family and friends.