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The KBA Advocate is the weekly KBA legislative newsletter that contains up-to-date information on legislation that impacts your practice. It is only published when the legislature is in session and is sent to all KBA members electronically via the KBA Weekly.

 

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Crisscrossing Kansas

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

In the last ten days I have travelled over 1050 miles, visiting three great towns, to meet with more than 300 Kansas lawyers—and it was fantastic.

On September 7th

KBA’s Meg Wickham and I attended the SW Bar Association Annual Conference in Dodge City. It was a full-service event. Dave Rebein hosted the two-day conference. I wrote about this event in last week’s Advocate. Check it out here.

On September 14th

Danielle Hall and I travelled to Republic County to visit with lawyers from the 12th Judicial District. This was their fall CLE Conference where Danielle presented on technology issues facing lawyers, and I delivered my legislative update. Chief Judge Kim Cudney hosted the event for the group at the Belleville Country Club.

Joe Molina, KBA; Chief Judge Kim Cudney, 12th Judicial District; Danielle Hall, Kansas Disciplinary Administrator’s Office
Joe Molina, KBA; Chief Judge Kim Cudney, 12th Judicial District; and
Danielle Hall, Kansas Disciplinary Administrator’s Office

Finally, on September 17th

KBA Secretary/Treasurer Cheryl Whelan and I participated in the 60th Annual Concreto festival in Allen County. The long running event hosted by Chief Judge Dan Creitz included a CLE, golf tournament and cook-out at an old rock quarry in the country. This is a unique event that I strongly recommend attending.

Cheryl Whelan at Allen County Country Club, Women’s Long Drive winner.
Cheryl Whelan at Allen County Country Club, Women’s Long Drive winner.

As I have made this year’s road trip across Kansas I have noticed a few things:

  1. Everything is green, crops are doing well, and ponds are full;
  2. Lawyers are engaged and appreciate our visits almost as much as we appreciate the invites;
  3. There is good BBQ where ever you go in Kansas;
  4. The upcoming election weighs heavy on our members’ minds, and they are fully aware of the implications;
  5. A traditional Kolache is a dessert I should have eaten sooner;
  6. Lawyers are a fun, warm group – We should visit with them more often.

Some of the unsung heroes are the administrative assistants who coordinate these events. I would like to personally thank Ash-Leigh Drake (Dodge City); Gayle Monty (Washington) and Kendra Klassen (Iola) for all their hard work making these events possible.

Our travels are not over just yet.

In the coming weeks we will be visiting:

Also keep in mind the KBA Fall Legislative Conference in November; a Save-the-Date is pending.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Author: Joseph N. Molina III  travel 

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What's the News in Dodge?

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Southwest Kansas Bar Association Annual Meeting was held last week in Dodge City, and the KBA was fortunate enough to attend. The festivities started out with the Kick-Off Celebration at Boothill Museum. This event was hosted by Rebein Brothers PA and featured live music, dancing and a spread of food found throughout the museum. It was a great time with good friends.

In attendance was Chief Justice Lawton Nuss who was presented with an American flag that had flown over the 1st Forward Surgical Team HQ at Camp Brown, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

Other notable attendees were Justice Lee Johnson, KU Dean Stephen Mazza and Washburn Law Dean Carla Pratt. This was Dean Pratt’s first trip to Dodge.

The Southwest Bar Association Annual Conference is also famed for their generous and unique speaker’s gifts. Throughout the years, speakers have been presented with an assortment of items; this year CLE presenters were given personalized belt buckles. This is a first for me!

The SW Kansas Bar Association Annual Conference also included a full day of speakers. We all met at the Santa Fe Depot Theatre Company just off Wyatt Earp Blvd. where both law school deans opened the day’s events. The program included an interview with Justice Lee Johnson, an ethics presentation by Kansas Court of Appeals Judge Steve Leben, a business meeting with the Kansas Legal Services and a keynote by Michael Koskoff, lawyer and co-writer of the movie “Marshall”.

KU Law Associate Dean Lumen Mulligan discussed better practice tips; Shawn Leisinger from Washburn Law discussed how to advise clients; Kurt Kerns discussed the psychological perspective on criminal cases; and I batted clean-up with a legislative review. It was a busy day.

I always enjoy going to Dodge City for this event. It’s a wonderful town with very gracious, generous folks. I’d like to thank Dave Rebein for the hospitality and Ash-Leigh Drake for coordinating the event. If you haven’t had the chance to attend this program I recommend it highly. It is a bit of a drive, but at least this year the grass was green, the dust was low and Dodge still smelled like money! Thanks for the invite—we will see ya next year!

Photos Below: Dave Rebein and his wife Bernice Rebein, Dodge City, present Chief Justice Lawton Nuss with a U.S. Flag. Chief Justice Nuss officiated the wedding of Major Benjamin Rebein and his former research attorney Liz Rodgers.

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KBA on the Road

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, September 4, 2018

September is shaping up to be one of the busiest months of the year for the KBA! We will be all over the state attending local bar events, legislative meetings, social outings and meeting new lawyers—all wrapped by the 4th KBA Board meeting in Wichita at the end of the month.

Here is where we will be over the next 30 days:

Scheduled Events

September 6-7, 2018
Southwest Kansas Bar Association Annual Meeting
Dodge City

September 10, 2018
Kansas Register of Deeds Meeting
Lawrence

September 14, 2018
12th Judicial District CLE
Republic County

September 17, 2018
60th Annual Concreto Social
Allen County

September 27, 2018
Judges Day
Wichita

September 28, 2018
Kansas Bar Foundation Board meeting
Wichita Bar Association

September 28, 2018
Kansas Bar Association Board meeting
Foulston Siefkin
Wichita

September 28, 2018
New Lawyers Swearing-in Ceremony
Topeka

If we’re in your area, please stop by and say hello. We’d love to see what you’re up to as well.

 

Tags:  events  legislative meetings  local bars  social outings 

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2018 General Election Preview

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With the Primary challenges behind us we can now focus our attention on November and the general election. Kansans will head to the polls to select four congressional seats, all statewide offices, 125 House races and 1 Kansas Senate seat. Nearly half of all House races are uncontested (62 total, 37 Republicans and 25 Democrats). The lone Kansas Senate seat is a three-way affair with Senator Richard Hilderbrand (R-Galena) facing off against Bryan Hoffman (D-Mulberry) and San Habjan (L-Frontenac).

Congressional Races

1st District - Congressman Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) will face off against Alan LaPolice (D-Clyde). This is a rematch from 2016 when Marshall bested LaPolice 65%-26%.

2nd District – This is an open seat since Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins is stepping down. GOP-endorsed candidate Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) faces off against Paul Davis (D- Lawrence). Pollsters have listed this race as a toss up. See; https://www.cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings See also; http://www2.ljworld.com/news/state-government/2018/aug/27/gop-officials-in-2nd-district-mend-fences-with-congressional-candidate-steve-watkins/.

3rd District – Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Overland Park) is being challenged by Sharice Davids (D-Kansas City). Many also see this race as very close.

4th District – Congressman Ron Estes (R-Wichita) will face Wichita lawyer James Thompson (D-Andover). This is a rematch from the 2017 special election where the Estes beat Thompson 52%-46%.

Statewide Races

Governor/Lt. Governor

This is a crowded race featuring five tickets. The GOP ticket of Kris Kobach/Wink Hartman vs. Democrats Laura Kelly/Lynn Rodgers vs. Independents Greg Orman/John Doll. Also, in the mix but getting very little air time are Richard and Nathaniel Kloos (I-Topeka) and Jeff Caldwell/Mary Gerlt (L-Leawood). This will be the most watched race of the season.

Secretary of State

After surviving a five-way race in the primary Scott Schwab (R-Olathe) will face political newcomer and Google Earth designer Brian “BAM” McClendon (D-Lawrence).

Kansas Attorney General

KSAG Derek Schmidt (R-Independence) looks to wrap up another four-year term when he faces off against Lawrence attorney Sarah Swain (D-Lawrence).

Kansas State Treasurer

Jake LaTurner (R-Pittsburg) will defend his seat against Sen. Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence). Both served in the Kansas Senate together.

 

 

Kansas Commissioner of Insurance

This is an open seat since current Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer ran for governor in the Republican primary and lost. State Senator Vicki Schmidt (R-Topeka) goes up against Nathaniel McLaughlin (D-Kansas City).

Lawyers in the Legislator

Last session there were 18 legislators with legal training. Going into the 2018 General Election (by my count) only 16 are running for office. Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City) is not up for reelection. Rep. Erin Davis decided not to seek reelection and Rep. Steven Becker (R-Buhler) lost a very close primary race to Paul Waggoner. The margin was just 5 votes.

Five Lawyer/Legislators are in uncontested races this November.

They are:

Rep.  Dennis “Boog” Highberger (D-Lawrence: HD 54);

Rep.  Vic “T-Bone” Miller (D-Topeka: HD 58);

Rep.  John Carmichael (D-Wichita: HD 92);

Rep. Leonard Mastroni (R-La Crosse: HB 117);

Rep.  Bradley Ralph (R-Dodge City: HD 119).

Eight Lawyer/Legislators are incumbents with challengers this fall. They include:

Rep. John Barker (R-Abilene: HD 70);

Rep. Jesse Burris (R-Mulvane: HD 82);

Rep. Blaine Finch (R-Ottawa: HD 59);

Rep. Tim Hodge (D-North Newton): HD 72);

Rep. Susan Humphries (R-Wichita: HD 99);

Rep. Fred Patton (R-Topeka: HD 50);

Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita: HD 86); and;

Rep. John Wheeler (R- Garden City: HD 123)

Three lawyers are in the general election. They include:

Mark Samsel (R-Wellsville). Mark is an attorney with Lathrop & Gage and a 2010 KU Law grad. He challenges Lassey Murphy (D-Lane) for the open seat in House District 5 vacated by Kevin Jones.

Kellie Warren (R-Leawood) defeated Rep. Joy Koesten in the August primary and now takes on Brian Clausen (D- Leawood) for the 28th House District. Warren has degree from Cornell and is a KU Law grad. She practices real estate law.

James Todd (R-Overland Park) is a former legislator (2013-2016) who is challenging Rep. Brett Parker (D- Overland Park) in House District 29. James is a KU Law Grad. This is a rematch from 2016 when Parker defeated Todd 52%/47%.

Closing Thoughts.

After reviewing the primary results, it appears Kansas has moved to the right just a bit with several moderate freshman having lost primary races. There is a question of how well many democrats will do in the general election given the national political climate. But the main event remains the governor’s race, the outcome of which will have a huge impact going into 2019.

Tags:  election 

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Counting Continues...........

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Just last week Kansans went to the polls to select their candidates in the August Primary Election. Today, a full week later we are still counting votes. The Republican governor race is still in limbo. As of this writing, Kris Kobach leads Gov. Colyer by 206 votes; that is up from 191 on election night. But some big counties are reviewing provisional ballots as we speak, and things could change. See; https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article216625110.html

Further muddying the issue is the fact that some poll workers mistakenly advised unaffiliated voters to fill out provisional ballots instead of having them declare a party and then cast their vote. How those ballots are dealt with remains to be seen, but this is an area ripe for legal action.

As Republicans work the process and mull the possibility of a recount, Laura Kelly, the Democrat nominee, is fundraising and campaigning. Joining her is independent candidate Greg Orman who just last week turned in over 10,000 signatures to get on the general election ballot. See; http://www.cjonline.com/news/20180806/independent-greg-orman-submits-10000-signatures-in-bid-to-qualify-for-kansas-gubernatorial-ballot

Democrats see an opening should Kobach win the nomination. One poll has shown Laura Kelly winning a three-way race against Kobach but losing to Colyer under similar circumstances. See; https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article215375450.html

Statewide Races General Election Match-Up

Secretary of State - Rep. Scott Schwab (R-Olathe) vs. Brian McClendon

Commissioner of Insurance - Sen. Vicki Schmidt (R-Topeka) vs. Nathaniel McLaughlin

Kansas Attorney General - Attorney General Derek Schmidt vs. Sarah Swain (D-Lawrence)

State Treasurer - Jake LaTurner vs. Sen. Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence)

Congressional Races

1st District - Congressman Roger Marshall easily won the primary race 79% to 21%. He should be reelected in November.

2nd District – Political newcomer Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) won a crowded primary field with 26% of the vote. He will face off against former state rep and the democrat nominee for the 2014 governor race Paul Davis (D- Lawrence). This should be an interesting race.

3rd District – Congressman Kevin Yoder won a three-way primary with 68% of the vote. He will face off against Sharice Davids. Another one to watch in November as many see this as a possible flip.

4th District – Congressman Ron Estes beat challenger Ron Estes. The Ron Estes’ won 100% of the vote in the 4th District. Congressman Ron Estes will face Wichita lawyer James Thompson. This is a rematch from the special election a few years ago where the congressman beat Thompson 52%-46%.

As elections go, this was and continues to be a very interesting year. Conservatives have the chance to claw back a few seats they lost in 2016, but Democrats see an opportunity to increase their numbers should the “Blue Wave” visit Kansas. How this all plays out remains to be seen but first, let’s finish counting the votes.

Tags:  election  Kris Kobach  Laura Kelly 

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018 PRIMARY ELECTIONS

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, August 7, 2018

VOTE.

Polling places open TODAY 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

No excuses. No rationalizations.

Embrace your civic duty:

VOTE.

Tags:  election  election day 

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Primary Elections—Campaign Finance

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Next week, Kansans head to the polls to vote in Republican and Democrat primaries. For most races, the primary will narrow the field to two candidates—except for the Governor’s race, where Independent candidate Greg Orman looms large.

In advance of the primary election, each campaign is required to release their finance reports. These reports, filed with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, can be viewed here: http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/StWide/2018ElecCycle/SWLinks2018EC.htm

The big take away from the larger campaigns is the amount of self-funding. For instance, the Kobach campaign report indicates that running mate Wink Hartman has contributed well over $1 million to the campaign.  See; http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/StWide/2018ElecCycle/201807/SW01KK_201807.pdf, See also; http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/jul/31/kobachs-running-mate-lends-1-5-million-to-campaign-finance-reports-show/.

In his effort to remain in office, Gov. Colyer has raised over $1.3 million and spent $1.2 Million. He has just over $175,000 remaining. Gov. Colyer did not report any personal loans to his campaign. The governor, at this point, leads all candidates for amounts raised from individual contributors with over $833,000 contributed. See; http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/StWide/2018ElecCycle/201807/SW01JC_201807.pdf

Independent candidate Greg Orman loaned his campaign $650,000 in the week preceding the filing deadline. See; http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/StWide/2018ElecCycle/201807/SW01GO_201807.pdf. The report listed the contribution from a credit card but the Orman camp has clarified that the payment was made via check. Orman has received nearly $230,000 from individual contributions. See; https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/election/article215809175.html.

For the Democrats, Laura Kelly leads the way with $727,000 available this period. She spent nearly $500,000 and has over $235,000 left. She received over $570,000 from individual contributions this period. See; http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/StWide/2018ElecCycle/201807/SW01LK_201807.pdf

Josh Svaty raised nearly $280,000. Of this mount more than 75% came from individual contributions. Svaty has spent almost $245,000. See; http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/StWide/2018ElecCycle/201807/SW01JS_201807.pdf

Carl Brewer’s camp received $95,000 and spent $82,000 – See; http://ethics.ks.gov/CFAScanned/StWide/2018ElecCycle/201807/SW01CB_201807.pdf

If you would like to receive an advance mail-in ballot, TODAY is the last day to apply. The application can be found here - http://www.sos.ks.gov/forms/elections/AV1.pdf. You can also vote early by visiting your county clerk’s office. Those locations and hours of operation can be found here - http://www.kssos.org/elections/18elec/2018_Primary_Election_Advance_Voting_Times_Locations.pdf

You can always opt to vote on election day, August 7th, at your polling place. Find your polling place by visiting this website - https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/VoterView/PollingPlaceSearch.do

Tags:  campaign finance  election  primary  primary election 

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Get Out and VOTE!

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Kansas Primary Elections – Tuesday, August 7th, 2018


This election cycle Kansans will vote to select:

  • new governor
  • state treasurer
  • new state Insurance Commissioner
  • Attorney General
  • four U.S. Congressional representatives
  • one Kansas Senator and
  • 125 Kansas House members

Advance voting is underway in Kansas.

To locate the site for advance voting in your county, please visit: http://www.kssos.org/elections/18elec/2018_Primary_Election_Advance_Voting_Times_Locations.pdf

If you plan to vote on election day, you can find your polling place here:  https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/VoterView/PollingPlaceSearch.do

Need to find out who your legislators are? Visit:
https://www.ksbar.org/ks_house_map
 https://www.ksbar.org/ks_senate_map

For more election information, visit: www.kssos.org or www.voteks.org

Get out and VOTE!!!!!!!

 

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The 2018 Adoption Protection Act

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

One of the most controversial pieces of legislation in 2018 was the Adoption Protection Act. This proposal would prohibit negative consequences for child placement agencies that refused services due to sincerely held religious beliefs. Proponents of this bill believed this was a way to protect child placement organizations. Some opponents thought is was a form of discrimination. For our part the KBA opposed this proposal based on the best interest of the child standard.

See; http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/mar/21/opponents-turn-out-against-faith-based-adoption-bi/

See also; https://www.ksn.com/news/local/adoption-protection-act-on-the-way-in-kansas/1185939381

This bill, originally introduced as HB 2687 and SB 401, initially failed to make it out of committee. However, it was attached on the Senate floor to a more benign proposal offered by the Kansas Judicial Council. The Judicial Council bill updated adoption and relinquishment provisions while the Adoption Protection Act protected child placement agencies with sincerely held religious beliefs. This combined bill can be found under SB 284. This combined bill was able to garner 63 House votes in what was one of the longer non-budget debates.

See; https://www.ksn.com/news/capitol-bureau/in-a-late-night-vote-kansas-lawmakers-pass-adoption-protection-act/1159059572

The Adoption Protection Act states, notwithstanding any other provision of state law and to the extent allowed by federal law, no child placement agency (CPA), as defined by the bill, shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or otherwise participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement of such child violates such CPA’s sincerely held religious beliefs.

The bill also prohibits taking the following actions against a CPA, if taken solely because of the CPA’s objection to providing any of the services described above on the grounds of such religious beliefs:

  • Denial of a license, permit, or other authorization, denial of renewal of the same, or revocation or suspension of the same by any state agency or political subdivision;
  • Denial of participation in any program operated by the Department for Children and Families (DCF) in which CPAs can participate;
  • Denial of reimbursement for performing foster care placement or adoption services on behalf of an entity that has a contract with DCF as a case management contractor; or
  • Imposition of a civil fine or other adverse administrative action or any claim or cause of action under any state or local law.

The bill requires the CPA’s sincerely held religious beliefs to be specified in the CPA’s organizing documents, written policies, or such other written document approved by the governing body of the CPA.

The provisions of the bill do not apply to any entity while the entity has a contract with DCF as a case management contractor.

The Kansas Department of Children and Families contracts with two case management contractors, KVC Health Systems and St. Francis Community Services. These case management contractors then work independently with child placement agencies, some of which limit placement options based on the agency’s sincerely held religiously belief.

It has been recently reported that the Department of Child and Families will begin offering contracts to child placement agencies directly, effectively circumventing both case management contractors that are exempt from the Adoption Protection Act. See; https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article214966725.html.

 

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Supreme Court Rule Changes

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, July 10, 2018

 

To provide the most up-to-date information on rule changes the KBA Advocate will begin publishing Supreme Court Rule changes in its weekly blog in addition to legislative information.

 

This week please find the following rule changes:

 

 

I hope this proves useful!

Tags:  Kansas Supreme Court  rule changes  Rules 

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