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34th Annual Plaza Lights Institute
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Approved for 6.0 hours of CLE credit, including 2.0 hours of ethics and professionalism credit in Kansas and Missouri.

When: Friday, December 2, 2016
Check-in: 8:30 Program Begins: 9:00 Adjourns: 3:30
Where: InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza
401 Ward Parkway
Kansas City
United States
Contact: Dawn Phoenix

Online registration is closed.
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Online registration for this event is now closed.  However, space is still available.  To register, please call 785-234-5696 between 8:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m.  Electronic program materials can be emailed to you at no cost.  A limited number of paper materials will be available for purchase at the program for $30. Please let the KBA representative know your preference.


Approved for 6.0 hours of CLE credit, including 2.0 hours of ethics and professionalism credit in Kansas and Missouri.

Hotel Reservations

The InterContinental is at max capacity for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 1-3.


Course Schedule

8:30 a.m.•  Check-in & Continental Breakfast


9:00 a.m. • Bankruptcy? I Don’t Practice Bankruptcy. I Think I’ll Get a Cup of Coffee and Return Some Calls

Wesley F. Smith, Stevens & Brand LLP, Lawrence/Topeka

All practice areas intersect bankruptcy in some fashion.  This session will familiarize practitioners on protocols when an adverse party or client files bankruptcy, non-bankruptcy workouts between distressed borrowers and banks, the tax implications of both bankruptcies and workouts and the new December 1, 2015 Forms. 


9:50 a.m. • Heart’-ing Hot Moms, Floating on Clouds, and Surfing the Web: Ethical Issues in the Digital Age

Michael Shultz, Shultz Law Office, PA, Wichita

Daniel Back, Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC, Wichita

Computer technology and internet services provide a wealth of tools and assets to the modern lawyer, but they are also fraught with potential ethical dangers. This presentation will analyze some of those dangers, focusing on cloud servers, meta data, social media and their potential implications for diligence, confidentiality, competence and candor. We will examine various ethical rules and discuss each of them in relation to various technologies available to the modern lawyer— cloud-based storage, metadata, and mobile computing options. We will compile various ethical opinions and cases to provide illustrations for some.


10:40 a.m. • Break


10:55 a.m. • Braving the Emotional Tides of Family Law: Advising and Assisting Family Law Clients in High Conflict Family Law Cases

Ronald W. Nelson, Ronald W. Nelson P.A., Shawnee Mission

Ashlyn Yarnell, Ronald W. Nelson P.A., Shawnee Mission

This presentation will discuss how to advise clients in high conflict and complex family law cases, including dealing with special needs children and families, psychological issues and management of those issues from the beginning to end of the case, and properly advising clients about communications and interactions with others


11:45 a.m. • Lunch (provided)


12:45 p.m. • Taking a One Hour Phone Deposition of a Defendant’s Expert That Will Get Your Case Settled!

Bradley J. Prochaska, Prochaska Howell & Prochaska LLC, Wichita

A presentation on how to get your case settled when appearing by phone, instead of in person, on all out of State expert depositions. Phone depositions save every attorney time and money (the expense of traveling). The presentation shows how to take a great, short (1 ½ hour) phone deposition even on really big cases, with the use of exhibits, and still do a very good job.


1:35 p.m. • Protecting Company Trade Secrets and Other Intellectual Property

Karen M. Virgillito, TIFEC (The Illig Family Enterprise Company), Leawood

Marshall Honeyman, Erise IP, Overland Park

The presentation will provide an overview of the recent Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and discuss how the DTSA impacts contractual agreements. We will further discuss changes to the scope of patentable subject matter and when to consider maintaining trade secrets instead of seeking patent protection. Lastly, we will cover the impact of  Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. on computer related and biologic inventions.


2:25 p.m. • Break


2:40 p.m. • Ethical Case Management:   Moving Your Office from Piles to Files

LJ Leatherman, Palmer Leatherman White Girard & Van Dyk LLP, Topeka

This presentation addresses managing and reducing legal risks in everyday practice and includes information for lawyers to use in identifying and avoiding malpractice pitfalls, avoiding the kinds of errors that lead to disciplinary actions and instituting good risk management procedures.


3:30 p.m. • Adjourned


Presenter Information

Daniel Back spent several years as a defense attorney, representing physicians, hospitals and insurance companies all over the state of Kansas. Today, Mr. Back focuses on medical malpractice and other personal injury matters including auto accidents, products liability cases and other catastrophic injuries. With experience and trial victories as counsel for plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation, Mr. Back brings excellent, well-rounded experience to the table. Mr. Back is admitted to practice law in the state of Kansas and the federal courts of Kansas and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Back is also an adjunct professor at Wichita State University, and is active in the Wichita community as a volunteer in multiple organizations. He is also active with the Kansas Bar Association and Kansas Association for Justice, and has presented at legal seminars on topics relevant to his practice, including the interplay between jury trials and modern courtroom technological advancements. Mr. Back is also a member of the Christian Legal Society of Wichita where he serves as vice-president.Mr. Back has also been named to the National Trial Lawyer- “Top 40 Under 40” and the Missouri and Kansas “Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” for 2013 and 2014. 


Marshall Honeyman is a patent attorney in Overland Park, Kansas with the firm Erise IP.  He representing clients in the areas of aerospace, lighting, as well as many other fields.  Prior to entering private practice, he worked in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as an Associate Solicitor, handling law suits brought against the USPTO as well as ex parte appeals to the Court of Appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Court.  Before that, Marshall served as a USPTO Patent Examiner making patentability decisions regarding inventions relating to illumination technologies.




Leatherman is a partner in Palmer Leatherman White Girard & Van Dyk LLP. He specializes in plaintiff’s tort litigation in automobile negligence, wrongful death, third-party claims against insurance companies and insurance bad faith. He is a graduate of Washburn Law School, 1992. He is an active member of the Kansas Association for Justice, American Association for Justice, Topeka and American bar associations, and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. He serves as a member of the Topeka/Shawnee County Ethics Committee.




Ronald W. Nelson is a principal of Ronald W. Nelson PA, where he focuses his practice on complex family law issues, with special emphasis on high conflict, interstate and international child custody and support disputes and issues involving special needs families. Mr. Nelson has an extensive appellate practice, having handled over 100 appeals. Mr. Nelson graduated from Washburn University Law School in 1981 (with honors),  is admitted to practice before the Kansas Supreme Court, the federal district courts for Kansas and the Western District of Missouri, the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He served two terms on the American Bar Association Family Law Section Governing Council and three terms as Chair of the KBA Family Law Section. He continues to serve in leadership positions in the ABA Section of Family Law, he serves as Legislative Liaison for the KBA Family Law Section, as a member of the Johnson County (Kansas) Bench-Bar Committee, and the Kansas Judicial Council, Family Law Advisory Committee. Mr. Nelson regularly lectures at national, state and local family law conferences, is a contributing author to the Practitioners Guide to Kansas Family Law, and contributes to national, state, and local publications.


Bradley J. Prochaska is the founding partner of Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC.  He is the former president of the Kansas Association for Justice and a longstanding member of the Leaders Forum of the American Associarion for Justice.  He was alse the national co-chairman of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group, and is currently the national co-chairman of the Professional Negligence Group.




Michael Shultz practices criminal defense and plaintiff’s personal injury litigation in Wichita, Kansas.  He is a member of the Kansas, American, and Wichita Bar Associations, where he serves on the Civil Practice, Criminal Practice, and Medical-Legal Committees.  He is involved with the Christian Legal Society and serves in the Wichita Christian Legal Aid Clinic, providing pro bono legal counseling to members of the Wichita community.  He is also a member of the Kansas Association for Justice, the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Wesley E. Brown American Inn of Court.



Wes is a partner at Stevens & Brand, LLP, in Lawrence and Topeka, and primarily represents debtors and creditors in bankruptcy cases.  He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Kansas School of Law.  He is the past-president of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section of the Kansas Bar Association and an Advisory Board member of the Midwest Bankruptcy Institute.  Wes has been an adjunct professor of law at the University of Kansas teaching commercial law, and is frequently a lecturer on bankruptcy and commercial law for continuing education classes.  Since 2009 Smith has been selected to the Kansas Super Lawyers list in the area of bankruptcy & creditor/debtor rights. Since 2008 he has been chosen by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of bankruptcy and was recently named the Best Lawyers® 2017 Topeka, Kansas, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law “Lawyer of the Year.”   He lives in Lawrence with his wife Lisa and their three over-scheduled kids.  He still plays with cars….


Karen Virgillito is Chief Legal Officer for TIFEC, LLC. She provides legal advice to multiple companies under the common ownership of one extremely entrepreneurial family. The umbrella of companies covers many diverse industries including manufacturing, real estate development, professional sports, retail sales, and entertainment and recreation. Karen graduated from the University Of Texas School Of Law and is currently licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri. She has spent the last 15 years concentrating primarily on the unique needs of small businesses.



Ashlyn Yarnell is the Senior Associate with Ronald W. Nelson PA and is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law. Ashlyn is engaged in a civil trial and appellate practice emphasizing divorce, parentage, non-marital, and post-decree matters, and Child In Need of Care proceedings. She is admitted to practice law before all trial, appellate, and federal courts in the State of Kansas. She is a member of The Johnson County, Kansas Family Law American Inn of Court, and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). She is a member of the Johnson County, Kansas Bar Association, the Kansas Bar Association (Member, Family Law Section), and the American Bar Association(Member, Family Law Section). She has taught continuing legal education presentations for the Kansas Bar Association and the Johnson County Bar Association.