News

News

Mid-March to Mid-May Art Display

We have new art work on display in the Law Enforcement Center which features the talents of many of the members of the various 4H Clubs in Douglas County, Kansas.

According to the following 4-H website https://4-h.org/about/history/ , since 4‑H began more than 100 years ago, it has become the nation’s largest youth development organization. The 4‑H idea is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy. Be sure to check out the embedded website to learn more.

Please be sure to check out the works of these young kids in the Law Library, the Div I/IV/VI office area, the Div III office area, the Clerk’s office, and the District Attorney reception area. The works in the District Attorney’s office conference room may be viewed by appointment only.

Mary Shultz
Supreme Court announces cases for April 1 special session in Lawrence

The Kansas Supreme Court announced the two cases it will hear in a special session Monday, April 1, in Lawrence, the next destination in the court's ongoing outreach to familiarize Kansans with the high court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary.

The court will be in session from 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m. at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive, on the University of Kansas campus. After the session concludes, the justices will greet the public in an informal reception in the Lied Center lobby.

The April 1 docket includes the following cases:

Appeal No. 119,269: Dwagfy's Manufacturing Inc., d/b/a The Vapebar Topeka and Puffs ’n’ Stuff LLC v. City of Topeka, Kansas, a Municipal Corporation and the Governing Body of the City Shawnee County: (Civil Appeal) This case was filed as an action for declaratory judgment and quowarranto concerning a challenge to City of Topeka Ordinance No. 20099. On December 5, 2017, the City of Topeka governing body passed Ordinance No. 20099, making it unlawful for any person to sell, furnish, or distribute cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or liquid nicotine to any person under age 21, or to buy any of these products for a person under age 21. Dwagfy's sought a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction of the ordinance. The district court granted the temporary restraining order and later permanently enjoined the City from enforcing the ordinance. The City appealed and the case was transferred to the Kansas Supreme Court. Issues on appeal are whether: 1) the Kansas Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act, K.S.A. 79-3301 et seq., pre-empts the City of Topeka from prohibiting the sale, furnishing, or distribution of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or liquid nicotine to persons under age 21 and the purchase of these items for a person under age 21; and 2) Ordinance No. 20099 conflicts with the Kansas Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act, which prohibits the same activity but only for persons under age 18.

Appeal No. 117,143: State of Kansas v. Jason L. Rucker Wyandotte County: (Criminal Appeal) In 1997, Vicky Ernst was found murdered in her home, which had been ransacked. The case went cold until 2006, when a DNA match identified Torry Johnson as a suspect. Johnson told investigators it had been a failed drugs-for-sex deal and implicated Rucker and someone else in the murder. A jury convicted Rucker of felony murder. Issues on appeal are whether: 1) there is sufficient evidence to support Rucker's felony murder conviction, specifically the underlying felonies of aggravated burglary, robbery, rape, and aggravated kidnapping; and 2) the trial court erred in admitting photographs of the victim.

Summaries of the cases and briefs filed by the attorneys involved are available online by following the Lawrence Special Session link under What’s New on the Kansas judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org. A flyer also includes the case summaries and other important details for people attending or watching online.

Anyone who wants to attend the special session should plan to arrive early at the Lied Center to allow time to get through security screening. The doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Court security offers these guidelines to ease the process: Do not bring food or drink. Do not bring large bags, large purses, backpacks, computer cases, or briefcases. Small handbags are permitted. Do not bring knives, pepper spray, firearms, or weapons. Do not bring electronic devices like laptop computers, handheld games, personal digital assistants, or tablets. If you must carry a cell phone, turn it off and store it out of sight while court is in session.

Audience members are prohibited from talking during oral arguments because it interferes with the attorneys’ remarks and justices' questions. Those arriving after proceedings start or leaving before they end should be as quiet as possible entering and exiting the auditorium. Talking immediately outside the auditorium also is discouraged.

The special session will be broadcast live over the Internet. The livestream may be accessed selecting the Watch Supreme Court Live! link on the judicial branch home page at www.kscourts.org.

Mary Shultz
New US District Court Local Rule CR 496.1

Julie Robinson, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Kansas:

The Committee on Court Administration and Case Management of the Judicial Conference of the United States has asked all federal courts to consider implementing new rules to protect defendants who cooperate with the United States.  The judges in the District of Kansas considered several options before settling on the procedure outlined in new Local Rule CR 496.1. 

This new rule goes into effect on  March 17, 2019, and will impact all felony criminal cases.  All criminal practitioners should visit http://ksd.uscourts.gov/index.php/handling-cooperator-information/ and view the training video.  The court will also host several online meetings the week of March 11 to answer any questions that you may have regarding the new procedure.

Pursuant to the new rule, the clerk’s office will create a Restricted Document Folder for each defendant in every felony criminal case whether or not a defendant may potentially or actually cooperate with the government. Any and all documents or pleadings containing cooperator information must be submitted by the government and the defendant to the presiding judge to determine whether placement in the Restricted Document Folder is warranted. The public docket sheet will not reflect the Restricted Document Folder or any documents contained therein. Access to the Restricted Document Folder will be limited to the Court and counsel of record.

Mary Shultz
Task force to focus on lawyer well-being

The newly formed Kansas State Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being will address health issues in the legal profession and implement recommendations from a national group.

The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, created in 2016 by the American Bar Association, suggests reaching out to groups that influence the legal profession: the judiciary, regulators, legal employers, law schools, bar associations, lawyers' professional liability carriers, and lawyer assistance programs. The national task force's report, “The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change,” details its recommendations, which are listed on pages 4-6.

The Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program (KALAP) will coordinate the Kansas task force’s efforts to implement the national recommendations. KALAP provides immediate and continuing assistance to any lawyer needing help with treatment for physical or mental illness, substance abuse, or emotional distress.

The Supreme Court showed its support for the task force by asking Justice Eric Rosen, the court's liaison to KALAP, to represent the court on the task force. The Kansas task force’s executive committee includes Lou Clothier, KALAP executive director; Steve Grieb, general counsel to Chief Justice Lawton Nuss; Anne McDonald, retired KALAP executive director; and Penny Moylan, deputy disciplinary administrator from the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator.

The Kansas task force is composed of representatives from each of these lawyer-affiliated groups:

Judiciary: Steve Hill, chair, Kansas Court of Appeals. Justice Eric Rosen. District Magistrate Judge Shannon Rush, 4th Judicial District. District Judge Teresa Watson, 3rd Judicial District.

Lawyer assistance: Lou Clothier, chair. Anne McDonald. Brynn Mroz, program director, KALAP. Regulators: Penny Moylan, chair. Stan Hazlett, disciplinary administrator, Office of the Disciplinary Administrator.

Legal employers: Ron Paschal, chair, deputy district attorney, Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office. Dennis Depew, deputy attorney general for civil litigation, Kansas Attorney General’s Office. Stacey Donovan, chief public defender, Shawnee County Public Defender's Office. Jerry Fairbanks, owner, Fairbanks Law PA. Greg Goheen, board of directors, McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips PA. Lynn Johnson, principal, Shamberg Johnson and Bergman. Bob Lambrechts, partner, Lathrop and Gage. Dave Rebein, partner, Rebein Brothers PA.

Law schools: Leah Terranova, chair, director, Career and Student Counseling Services, University of Kansas School of Law. Jalen O’Neil Lowry, associate dean of student affairs, Washburn University School of Law. Kyler Weinegar, student, Washburn University School of Law.

Bar association: Shelby Lopez, chair, executive director, Kansas Bar Association. Professional liability carriers: Karen McCarthy, chair, president and CEO, Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co. Peggy Wilson, member, Morrow, Willnauer, Church LLC.

Anyone interested in serving on a subcommittee to the task force can contact Mroz at mrozb@kscourts.org.

Mary Shultz
Proposed Amendments to Supreme Court Rules 208 and 808

The Kansas Supreme Court is accepting comment on proposed changes to Supreme Court Rules 208 and 808 relating to Attorney Registration.
 
Rules 208 and 808 govern the registration procedures for attorneys admitted to practice law in the State of Kansas by the Supreme Court.
 
The proposed changes are required in anticipation of online annual registration availability and to also provide procedural guidelines to change status. 
 
Proposed changes in Rule 208 include the following:

  • THE GRACE PERIOD WILL BE ELIMINATED.  All registration forms and fees are due by June 30.  The late fee will automatically be assessed for registration forms and fees received after June 30.

  • A status change that results in a lower fee (such as active to inactive) or no fee (such as active/inactive to retired), must be received in the Clerk’s office by June 30.  An attorney must pay the registration fee based on the attorney’s status shown in the records of the clerk as of July 1.

  • Online registration will be available for attorneys to register and submit payments only.  Status changes will not be accepted online. 

  • Changes to any contact information will still need to be submitted online at:  http://www.kscourts.org/appellate-clerk/attorney-registration/default.asp    (Click on Change of Address on the left-hand side).  This update will continue to be automatically forwarded to the Clerk of the Supreme Court (Attorney Registration), CLE Commission and the Federal Court of Kansas.

  • Online registration will be voluntary for 2019 and 2020 but will be mandatory in 2021.

 Proposed changes in Rule 808 include the following:

  • The annual CLE fee is due by June 30.  A fee postmarked on or after July 1 must be accompanied by the late fee.

 With such extensive revision, a red-line version of the changes is not feasible for Rule 208.  Also included with the proposed amendments for Rule 208 is a revisions table outlining the changes.  Proposed changes can be viewed on the Kansas Supreme Court website at www.kscourts.org under What's New. 

The Court will accept comment on the proposed changes until 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2019.  Comment may be submitted by email to rulenotice@kscourts.org with "Rules 208 and 808" in the subject line.

Mary Shultz
Supreme Court accepting public comment on proposed Rule 1402

The Kansas Supreme Court is accepting comment on a proposed rule that addresses information that judicial branch employees may provide the public. Proposed Supreme Court Rule 1402 expands guidance given to judicial branch employees by outlining differences between giving legal information and providing legal advice. A judicial branch employee may provide information about the judicial branch when assisting a member of the public but cannot provide legal advice that would constitute the practice of law.  
 
Comment may be made by email to publiccomments@kscourts.org until 5 p.m Monday, March 25, 2019. The subject line must read "Rule 1402."

Mary Shultz
BIDS notification of additional e-mail scam

From Pat Scalia, State Director, Kansas CLE Commission:

Dear Assigned Counsel:

There is an additional e-mail scam being circulated that is claiming to be
from BIDS and advising that an amount is being processed to your credit
card.

DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT.

BIDS DOES NOT MAKE PAYMENT TO YOUR CREDIT CARD.

All payments for indigent defense services are processed by the Kansas
Department of Administration, not BIDS, and are sent to your bank if you set
up direct deposit.

If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from BIDS regarding owing a bill or
regarding payment of a bill, please advise us of the sender's address and
the advice, but do not respond to the sender.

Mary Shultz