Meet the Judges
Sam H. Sheldon
Sam Sheldon, chief judge of the Court, grew up in Ottawa, Kansas. Judge Sheldon earned a bachelor’s degree in 1979 from the University of Kansas, and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1983. He worked in private practice for two years in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and then returned to his hometown of Ottawa, where he practiced law for another 27 years before joining the Court. During his time in private practice, he taught law courses at the undergraduate and law school levels, most recently at the University of Kansas School of Law from 1993 to 1996. He continues to own Haley Title Company in Ottawa. His public service has included the Ottawa Library Commission, the Kansas Library Commission, the Ottawa School Board, and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Kansas Courts. Judge Sheldon was appointed to the Court of Tax Appeals in 2012.
James (Jay) Cooper
James (Jay) Cooper, CPA is from Wichita, Kansas. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wichita State University in 1970 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1971. He is a retired partner of Kirkpatrick, Sprecker & Company, LLP, where he practiced for over forty years. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants. On behalf of the Kansas Board of Accountancy, he provided oversight of the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountant’s administration of the state’s CPA Peer Review Program from 2007 to 2011. He was selected to the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Wichita Class of 1996. Other community involvement included service as President of the Board of Trustees of the Wichita Children’s Home. Judge Cooper was appointed to the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals in 2012.
Trevor C. Wohlford
Judge Wohlford was born in Washington, D.C., but has spent most of his life as a Kansan. He attended the University of Kansas, earning a bachelor’s degree in English and economics and a master’s degree in journalism. He graduated from the University of Denver School of Law. After law school Judge Wohlford worked in private practice in Wichita, primarily in the areas of business litigation and real estate law. Immediately prior to his appointment to the bench, he served in various capacities with the tax court, including executive director, chief legal counsel and chief hearing officer.