Presiding Magistrate Allison R. Boomer Wins 2024 Tax Section Award of Merit

For those of us fortunate enough to have worked with Magistrate Boomer, it is no surprise that she has been selected to receive the 2024 Award of Merit.  She is truly someone who deserves the recognition.  Magistrate Boomer leads by example, is a team player and has dedicated countless hours to mentoring new attorneys and volunteering for the Bar.

The Award of Merit recognizes an attorney’s dedication to professionalism in the practice of tax law in Oregon and willingness to serve as a mentor and role model to less experienced tax attorneys.  Considerations for selecting the recipient of the award include reputation, professional conduct, leadership activities, service within the bar and community in general, and pro bono services.

Magistrate Boomer has been with the Oregon Tax Court since 2009, serving as a Magistrate since 2012 and as Presiding Magistrate since 2020.  She received her BA from Whitman College and her law degree from Willamette University.  Magistrate Boomer has served as President of Oregon Women Lawyers (OWLS) and the Mary Leonard Chapter of OWLS, serving Marion and Polk Counties.  She also serves on the board overseeing Marion County CourtCare which provides childcare for those using the court-system.  She regularly mentors Willamette Law Students through its mentorship program and through the Oregon Tax Court’s externship program.

Can you tell us a bit about your work at the Oregon Tax Court?  

I currently serve as the Presiding Magistrate, working primarily with a small team of dedicated professionals in the Magistrate Division: two other magistrates, a staff counsel, a law clerk, and three paralegals.  Most cases are filed first in the Magistrate Division and about 90 percent are not appealed further to the Regular Division.  Parties appear without an attorney in about two thirds of Magistrate Division cases.  The court provides a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use forum to hear tax disputes.  Tax disputes can be intimidating and frustrating experiences, and I am proud of our court’s compassionate, competent, and responsive service.

What do you like about tax practice?  

Like many tax lawyers, I enjoy the intellectual challenge of tax law.  I am frequently called upon to review extensive evidence, to think about what the legislature or Congress intended, to consider how a particular point of law fits within a larger body of law, and to place issues in the correct order for analysis.  My work at the court also requires a significant amount of writing, and I enjoy the challenge of organizing and refining the facts and analysis into a written product that both the parties and public can understand.

Who were your role models?  What do you think makes a good mentor?

I have had the privilege to learn from many role models and colleagues, but I want to specially acknowledge my mentor and friend, the former Presiding Magistrate Jill Tanner.  She modeled for me the qualities of hard work, diligence, reliability, and an abiding commitment to public and community service.  Jill involved me in her work both at the court and in the broader legal community, affording me the opportunity to learn from her example.  She set a high standard and encouraged me to focus on moving forward when I faced challenges and setbacks.

Working with law clerks and law student externs is one of the most rewarding and fun aspects of my position at the court.  I think a good mentor invests, time, energy, and care into the relationship.  Practically speaking, this means scheduling regular check-ins; involving your mentee in your professional activities; listening to your mentee’s questions, concerns, and goals; and giving thoughtful, personalized advice.  The reward is seeing bright young lawyers flourish, start their careers, and become professional colleagues in the bar.

What are your hobbies or interests?

I love getting outside as much as possible and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest!  When I can’t escape to the mountains, I enjoy swimming, playing board games with friends, and catching up on the latest TV shows, audiobooks, and podcasts.

Presiding Magistrate Boomer will receive her award at the Oregon Tax Institute on Thursday, June 6, 2024.   Follow link for more details: