WELCOME TO THE TBA 

The key resource for attorneys practicing in Topeka and Shawnee County. 

JOIN 


Upcoming events

  • 24 May 2019 10:15 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions May 17:

    Appeal No. 113,869: State of Kansas v. Stephen A. Macomber

    Archived oral argument video

    In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court affirmed Macomber's Shawnee County jury conviction for involuntary manslaughter for the 2010 killing of Ryan Lofton outside Lofton's southeast Topeka home. A majority of the court rejected Macomber's claim that he was entitled to a new trial after a district court error led to the jury receiving an incomplete description of the applicable self-defense immunity law. This was Macomber's second trial for the killing. In 2014, the Court of Appeals ordered the second trial after it reversed his first conviction for intentional second-degree murder. The charges resulted from Macomber's crime spree in 2010 that resulted in numerous convictions obtained over the course of multiple prosecutions in both Shawnee County and Marshall County. Lofton's killing was part of those occurrences.

    Appeal No. 116,586: State of Kansas v. Robin Smith

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court ordered Johnson County District Court to resentence Smith with directions to exclude a Missouri municipal ordinance violation from her criminal history score. Smith pleaded guilty in 2016 to trafficking contraband in jail. As a part of her sentencing, the district court used the ordinance violation to give her a longer jail term. The court held today the district court erred because the Kansas sentencing guidelines existing at the time Smith was sentenced precluded a sentencing court from scoring a municipal ordinance violation when the convicting jurisdiction's municipal code failed to designate that violation as either a felony or misdemeanor but used those designations for other violations.

    Appeal No. 119,270: In the Matter of the Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus by Rictor Bowman 

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court dismissed a criminal prosecution against Bowman for rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, and four counts of witness intimidation. During his trial in Saline County District Court, Bowman's 4-year-old alleged victim was called to testify but did not respond when asked to take the required oath. Because the child's testimony was the core of the State's case, the district court judge declared a mistrial and then decided Bowman could be tried again. Bowman appealed and argued that allowing the State a second chance to try him violated his right against double jeopardy.

    A majority of the court agreed with Bowman's argument and dismissed the case in a per curiam opinion. A plain reading of the mistrial statute did not permit the district judge to declare a mistrial, and Bowman's case did not fall under an exception in the Kansas double jeopardy statute.

    Justice Marla J. Luckert dissented from the result and reasoning of the majority. Her dissent was joined by Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss and Justice Caleb J. Stegall.

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today


  • 22 May 2019 12:21 PM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions May 10:

    Appeal No. 119,726: In the Matter of David E. Herron II

    Archived oral argument video 

    Herron II, of Overland Park, was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days for violating the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct on confidentiality, candor to the tribunal, professional misconduct involving dishonesty, and professional misconduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

    Appeal No. 115,869: Jeffrey D. Kudlacik v. Johnny's Shawnee, Inc. and Barley's Ltd.

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court refused to reconsider the state's longstanding Kansas caselaw that prevents a person injured by someone who is intoxicated from suing those who furnished the alcohol. The case arose when Kudlacik suffered serious injuries in a two-vehicle collision with a drunk driver. He sued two Johnson County restaurants alleging they continued to serve alcoholic beverages to the driver after it was obvious the driver was intoxicated.

    Michael Smith ran a red light at high speed through a Johnson County intersection and collided with Kudlacik's vehicle. Smith's blood alcohol content was 0.179. Kudlacik suffered extensive injuries. Before the collision, Smith consumed alcoholic beverages at Johnny's Shawnee and Barley's Bar.

    In declining to overrule caselaw that has been effective in Kansas since 1985, the court noted it was not clearly convinced the caselaw was wrong when first determined and also noted, "The Legislature remains free to chart the public policy course that abrogates the common-law rule. And for many years, it has elected not to do so."

    Appeal No. 115,657: State of Kansas v. Skyler Lee Brook

    Summary calendar; no oral argument 

    The Supreme Court affirmed correcting Brook's postrelease supervision term from two years to lifetime.

    Brook had pleaded no contest in Nemaha County District Court to sexual exploitation of a child. Imposition of his original prison sentence was initially suspended, and Brook was ordered to serve 36 months of probation. After he violated probation by committing another crime, the district judge revoked the probation and ordered Brook to serve the original underlying prison sentence and two years of postrelease supervision. The judge later learned that Brook should have originally received a lifetime postrelease supervision term because of his plea to a sexually violent crime. The judge then ordered the term corrected.

    On appeal, Brook raised two statutory challenges to the correction. The Supreme Court rejected both. The court also declined Brook's invitation to reconsider its previous holding that lifetime postrelease supervision for a first-time offender such as Brook―one older than 18 who is convicted of sexual exploitation of a child for crimes involving possession of pornographic images of children―is not categorically disproportionate and unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment

    Appeal No. 117,275: State of Kansas v. Dominic J. Moore

    Summary calendar; no oral argument 

    The Supreme Courtvacated in part and remanded for resentencing by the Wyandotte County District Court. Moore challenged the district court's modification of his two nonvacated sentences in length and sequence when it resentenced his previously vacated hard-50 life sentence to a hard-25 life sentence. The Supreme Court unanimously held the district court erred by resentencing Moore's two nonvacated, on-grid sentences in length and by changing them from concurrent to consecutive to each other and the hard-25. Accordingly, the Supreme Court vacated his sentences in part and remanded for the district court to reinstate the original sentences for the on-grid convictions and for those sentences to run concurrent with each other and the new hard-25 sentence.

    Appeal No. 116,648: State of Kansas v. Alejandro Arturo Garcia-Garcia

    Archived oral argument video 

    The Supreme Court upheld Garcia-Garcia's convictions in Montgomery County District Court for attempted capital murder, kidnapping, burglary, and interference with law enforcement. His Kansas crimes arose from a high-speed car chase that began in Oklahoma. In affirming his convictions, the court rejected claims that the district court erred by admitting the evidence regarding his criminal acts in Oklahoma, permitting prosecutorial error, and failing to provide a jury with a lesser-included-offense instruction. But the court did find the district court made an error in assessing an attorney fee reimbursement for the Board of Indigents' Defense Services and returned the case to reconsider that question.

    Appeal No. 120,518: In the Matter of Kevin T. Cure 

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court imposed an 18-month suspension from the practice of law on Cure, of Galena, for violating the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the commission of a criminal act reflecting adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer; misconduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; misconduct that adversely reflects on the his fitness to practice law; and the failure to report a felony charge.

    Appeal No. 117,305: State of Kansas v. Steven Wade Edwards

    Archived oral argument video 

    The Supreme Court affirmed the Sedgwick County District Court's denial of Edwards' motion to withdraw his guilty pleas and vacated the district court's order of lifetime postrelease supervision. Edwards pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of aggravated robbery. As a result, he was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences for the killings and 141 additional months of incarceration for the lesser crimes. From the bench, the judge also ordered lifetime postrelease supervision and waived a Board of Indigents' Defense Services administrative fee.

    In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court held that a sentencing court has no authority to order a term of postrelease supervision in conjunction with an off-grid, indeterminate life sentence. Thus, the Supreme Court vacated Edwards' lifetime postrelease supervision portion of his sentence and remanded with instructions to impose lifetime parole. The court also instructed the district court to correct the journal entry to properly reflect the judge's waiver of the BIDS administrative fee. Because a judge's oral pronouncement is controlling, the journal entry imposing a BIDS administration fee was a clerical error that could be corrected at any time. Lastly, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's denial of Edwards' motion to withdraw his guilty pleas because the district court did not abuse its discretion. 

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released


  • 22 Apr 2019 4:44 PM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions on April 19:

    Appeal No. 112,834: State of Kansas v. Kenneth Boysaw

    Archived oral argument video

    A jury convicted Boysaw of one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction, and the Supreme Court granted review. Boysaw challenged the admission of evidence of prior sexual misconduct under K.S.A. 60-455 for the purpose of showing a propensity to commit the charged offense. Justice Eric Rosen, writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, held K.S.A. 60-455(d) satisfies federal constitutional due process requirements. The court declined to decide whether the statute violates the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights, noting the argument was insufficiently preserved and articulated for a determinative ruling. The court also considered whether the probative value of the evidence outweighed its prejudicial effect The court held Sedgwick County District Court had engaged in an exemplary examination of the factors relating to proof or prejudice and did not abuse its discretion in admitting the evidence. Finally, the court determined the evidence sufficed to support the conviction and there were no infirmities in the sentencing process. The decisions of the district court and the Court of Appeals were affirmed.

    Appeal No. 114,325: State of Kansas v. Murad Razzaq

    Archived oral argument video

    A jury convicted Razzaq of one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction, and the Supreme Court granted review. The appeal presented several issues in common with State v. Boysaw. Writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, Justice Eric Rosen held the introduction of K.S.A. 60-455(d) evidence of prior sexual misconduct was not unconstitutional under either the federal or Kansas constitutions. The court also found no violations of speedy trial requirements or constitutional sentencing mandates. The decisions of Sedgwick County District Court and the Court of Appeals were affirmed.

    Appeal No. 115,648: State of Kansas v. James A Qualls III

    Archived oral argument video

    Qualls shot and killed a man in the course of an angry confrontation in a bar. A jury found him guilty of premeditated first-degree murder. In a previous appeal, the conviction was reversed because Shawnee County District Court failed to give proper lesser included offense instructions. On retrial, a jury again found him guilty, and he again appealed. He raised several issues on appeal, but the court elected to address only one of those issues, finding it dispositive. Writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, Justice Eric Rosen held the district court committed reversible error when it refused to give the self-defense instruction Qualls requested. The court noted substantial evidence supported an instruction that Qualls could be found not guilty if he was defending himself against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent harm. The conviction was reversed, and the case was remanded to district court.

    Appeal No. 115,763: Timmy Glaze v. J.K. Williams LLC

    Archived oral argument video

    In a per curiam decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Glaze's workers compensation claim because Glaze did not file a motion for an extension within three years of filling an application for hearing. A majority of the court concluded K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 44-523(f) required this result. Justice Eric Rosen, in an opinion joined by Justices Lee Johnson and Dan Biles, dissented. Rosen concluded the statute permitted an administrative law judge to grant an extension whenever the claimant showed good cause, regardless of whether the claimant filed a motion for extension within the three-year time period. 

    Appeal No. 116,167: Helen Loree Knoll v. Olathe School District No 233

    Archived oral argument video

    In a In a per curiam decision, the Supreme Court concluded K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 44-523(f)(1) required the dismissal of Knoll's workers compensation claim because Knoll did not file her motion for extension within three years from filing her application for hearing. Knoll argued the 2009 version of K.S.A. 44-523, which gave a claimant five years to file a motion for extension, governed her claim. The Supreme Court rejected this argument because the 2011 version of the statute had taken effect by the time Knoll filed her application for hearing. Justice Eric Rosen dissented because he did not interpret K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 44-523(f)(1) to require dismissal when a claimant failed to file a motion for extension within three years of filing an application for hearing. Justices Lee Johnson and Dan Biles joined in this dissent.  

    Appeal No. 117,315: State of Kansas v. Jimmy Lee Murdock

    Archived oral argument video 

    For the second time, the Supreme Court reversed the Shawnee County District Court's calculation of Murdock's criminal history score and remanded for resentencing.

    In Murdock's first appeal, he argued the district court miscalculated his criminal history score when it classified his prior out-of-state crimes as person felonies, resulting in a criminal history score of A. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding Murdock's prior out-of-state convictions had to be scored as nonperson crimes. At resentencing, the district court followed this mandate and found Murdock had a criminal history score of C. But shortly after Murdock was resentenced, the Supreme Court decided State v. Keel, 302 Kan. 560, 357 P.3d 251 (2015), which overruled Murdock's case. The State promptly moved to correct Murdock's second sentence, claiming it was illegal based on Keel The district court granted the State's motion and sentenced Murdock a third time, finding he had a criminal history score of A. Murdock appealed again, arguing his second sentence was legally imposed and it did not become illegal after Keel changed the law. 

    In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court held the legality of a sentence under K.S.A. 22-3504 is controlled by the law in effect at the time the sentence was pronounced. Therefore, a sentence that was legal when pronounced does not become illegal if the law subsequently changes. The court concluded Murdock's second sentence was legal when pronounced, Keel subsequently changed the law, and that change did not make Murdock's sentence illegal. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded with directions to reinstate Murdock's lawful sentence.

    Appeal No. 117,344: Jaylene Lambert, et al. v. John E. Peterson M.D., et al.

    Archived oral argument video 

    The Supreme Court affirmed Wyandotte County District Court's dismissal of Lambert's petition alleging medical malpractice and negligence claims resulting in the death of her husband, Stan Novak. The district court clerk file-stamped the petition indicating it was received one day after the statute of limitations periods expired. Lambert's counsel argued the petition was timely because she filed the petition one day earlier, but it was rejected by the clerk. Lambert submitted some materials to support her argument. None of the materials established Lambert's counsel filed her medical malpractice petition before the limitations period expired. Because Lambert failed to present evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact regarding the date of the filing, the court held the district court properly dismissed her petition.

    Appeal No. 118,427: State of Kansas v. Joshua J. Robertson

    Summary calendar; no oral argument

    The Supreme Court affirmed Butler County District Court's summary dismissal of Robertson's motions to correct an illegal sentence and dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The court concluded a motion to correct an illegal sentence cannot be used to collaterally attack a conviction based on allegations a defective complaint meant the district court lacked jurisdiction to convict. The district court also lacked jurisdiction to consider Robertson's motion to dismiss.

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today


  • 12 Apr 2019 11:45 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decision today: 

    Appeal No. 113,412: Estate of Terrill L. Graber v. Dillon Companies

    Archived oral argument video 

    The Kansas Supreme Court defined the term "idiopathic causes" under the Kansas Workers Compensation Act and revived an injured worker's claim against Dillon Companies after the worker fell down a workplace stairway for reasons that remain a mystery.

    Graber worked as a forklift operator at Jackson's Dairy, a Dillon Companies subsidiary. Jackson's required Graber to attend a paid safety meeting at the nearby Dillon headquarters. When the meeting ended, Graber walked to a restroom near the stairs. He ended up face down on a landing at about the midpoint on the stairway, shattering or breaking three vertebra in his neck. The accident's cause remains a mystery.

    Dillon argued the fall's cause was unknown, which meant Graber's injuries arose from an idiopathic cause and were not compensable. In 2011 the Legislature amended the workers' compensation law to exclude any accident or injury that "arose either directly or indirectly fromidiopathic causes," but did not define the term.

    In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Dan Biles, the court decided the term means medical conditions or medical events of unknown origin that are peculiar to the injured individual. The court's decision reversed the interpretation given by the Workers Compensation Appeals Board, which denied Graber compensation. The court returned the claim to the board for reconsideration based on the court's definition.

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today


  • 01 Apr 2019 6:10 PM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:

    Appeal No. 117,933: In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Thomas Easterberg

    Archived oral argument video

    In Easterberg's original proceeding in habeas corpus to the Supreme Court, he argued that he was ineligible for involuntary commitment under the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act (KSVPA) because in his criminal case, the sentencing court found his criminal convictions for kidnapping and aggravated battery were not sexually motivated. The Supreme Court held that if a crime's sexual motivation is litigated in a person's criminal case and the crime is determined not to be sexually motivated, the State is estopped from re-litigating that point in a KSVPA proceeding to prove that a crime is a sexually motivated offense for purposes of involuntary commitment under the KSVPA. The Supreme Court remanded Easterberg's case to the Riley County District Court to determine the factual question of whether sexual motivation was actually litigated during Easterberg's criminal case.

    Appeal No. 115,431: State of Kansas v. Michael E. Phillips

    Summary calendar; no oral argument

    The Supreme Court affirmed the Sedgwick County District Court's denial of Phillips' motion for new trial as untimely. Phillips previously challenged his conviction on felony murder, two counts of attempted aggravated robbery, and one count of criminal possession of a firearm. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction on all four counts while vacating lifetime postrelease supervision in a mandate issued February 11, 2013. Phillips subsequently filed a motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence. The district court correctly determined the original judgment was final when the Supreme Court's mandate was issued and denied the new trial motion because it was filed more than two years later.

    Appeal No. 116,406: State of Kansas v. Mark T. Salary

    Summary calendar; no oral argument

    The Supreme Court affirmed the Wyandotte County District Court. Salary's life sentence was previously vacated and remanded for resentencing. In this second direct appeal, Salary challenged the district court's decision to deny his motions to dismiss and for exculpatory evidence. He also raised ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsels for the first time on appeal and argued that the district court engaged in misconduct to deny him his right to allocution at resentencing. The Supreme Court unanimously held that the district court did not err by denying Salary's motions, the allegations of ineffective assistance were not properly before the court, and the district court did not engage in misconduct to deny him his right to allocution.  Accordingly, the Supreme Court affirmed his convictions and sentence.

    Appeal No. 113,563: Douglas R. Peters v. Deseret Cattle Feeders, Inc. 

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court reversed the Haskell County District Court's order granting summary judgment and remanding for further proceedings. In this employment case arising out of the sale of a cattle feedlot, Douglas Peters, who moved his employment from the old owner to the new, challenged his termination claiming breach of an implied-in-fact employment contract and promissory estoppel. The district court granted summary judgment to the employer, Deseret Cattle Feeders, concluding Peters' employment was at will. The Court of Appeals reversed and held that whether Peters' employment was at will or protected by an implied-in-fact contract was a disputed question of fact. The Supreme Court unanimously held that whether a meeting of minds existed between Peters and Deseret was a genuine issue of material fact preventing summary judgment under the circumstances of this particular case where Peters' implied-in-fact employment contract claim was supported by more than his own subjective understanding or expectation. Accordingly, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals' decision reversing summary judgment and remanded to the district court for further proceedings.

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today


  • 15 Mar 2019 12:19 PM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:

    Appeal Nos. 112,897 and 119,709: In the Matter of Sam S. Kepfield

    Archived oral argument video

    Kepfield, of Hutchinson, was suspended from the practice of law for violating the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct governing diligence, safekeeping property, termination of representation, false statement in connection with disciplinary matter, and misconduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

    Appeal No. 112,925: Charles Dawson v. BNSF Railway Co.

    Archived oral argument video

    Dawson filed a claim in Wyandotte County District Court under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act against his employer, BNSF Railway Company, alleging that BNSF’s negligence caused his back injuries. The jury returned a verdict in Dawson’s favor. The Kansas Court of Appeals vacated that verdict, holding that Dawson’s claim was untimely as a matter of law because he should have known of his injury and its cause more than three years before he filed his claim. In a unanimous decision written by Justice Eric Rosen, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals. It held that Dawson presented enough evidence to support the jury finding that he should not have known of the injury and its cause more than three years before he filed his claim. The court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration of BNSF’s remaining issues.


  • 08 Mar 2019 10:37 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:

    Appeal No. 117,450: State of Kansas v. Leslie H. Roberts Jr.

    Summary calendar; no oral argument

    The Supreme Court affirmed the Anderson County District Court's summary denial of a motion to correct illegal sentence filed by Roberts. Roberts had been sentenced to a hard-25 life sentence after previously pleading no contest to rape of a child under the age of 14. In his appeal, Roberts conceded that summary denial was appropriate, but he raised a new issue for the first time in his appeal. Roberts argued that the handling of his pre-plea competency issue deprived the district court of jurisdiction to sentence him. The Supreme Court rejected Roberts' argument. Any defect in Roberts' competency proceeding was merely procedural, and a procedural defect in a competency hearing does not deprive a district court of jurisdiction to sentence a criminal defendant.

    Appeal No. 115,110: State of Kansas v. Brian A. Murrin

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals judgment affirming Murrin's convictions in Clay County District Court for felony possession of marijuana, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal trespass, and interference with law enforcement. On appeal, Murrin argued that the district court judge should have instructed the jury that voluntary intoxication was a defense to the criminal trespass and interference with law enforcement charges. 

    The Supreme Court agreed with Murrin that the instruction should have been given. The jury had been instructed that it needed to find that Murrin "knew" that he was not allowed on the property he trespassed on and that he "knew" that the arresting officer was a law enforcement officer. Thus, each crime contained an element that could have been overridden by voluntary intoxication. But, on the facts of the case, including that Murrin's jury rejected a voluntary intoxication defense with respect to the other two charges, the court held that the error was not reversible.

    Appeal No. 115,634: State of Kansas v. Lindsey Nicole Blansett

    Archived oral argument video

    In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court affirmed Blansett's convictions for the premeditated murder and aggravated assault of her young son, Caleb Blansett, in Sumner County. The evidence at trial revealed that Blansett stabbed her son to death while she was suffering from a psychotic episode. On appeal, Blansett argued the jury instructions about her mental disease or defect defense were clearly erroneous because they did not list premeditation as a culpable mental state. In the alternative, she argued the instructions told the jury not to consider how her mental illness impacted her ability to premeditate the crime. Based on its recent decision in State v. McLinn, 307 Kan. 307, 323, 409 P.3d 1 (2018), the court held premeditation is not a culpable mental state that can be negated by the mental disease or defect defense. In addition, the court held the instructions did not prevent the jury from considering how Blansett's mental illness might have affected her ability to premeditate.


  • 04 Mar 2019 9:51 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:

    Appeal No. 117,347: State of Kansas v. Andrew Martin Woodring

    Archived oral argument video

    Woodring pleaded no contest to a count of felony murder. Before sentencing, he moved to withdraw his plea, asserting that the State brought undue pressure on him to enter his plea when he was actually innocent of the crime. The Saline County District Court denied the motion, finding that Woodring had entered his plea freely, knowingly, and voluntarily. Justice Eric Rosen, writing for a unanimous Supreme Court, affirmed the district court, noting that the facts supported guilt under an aiding and abetting theory and the mere existence of time pressure for deciding whether to go to trial is not necessarily so coercive as to compel a court to allow a defendant to withdraw a plea.

    Appeal No. 113,751: State of Kansas v. Wyatt G. Brown

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court vacated Brown's aggravated sodomy sentence and remanded his case to Brown County District Court for a second resentencing.

    Brown was originally sentenced to 360 months' imprisonment after pleading guilty to the Jessica's Law crime. On appeal, a Court of Appeals panel vacated Brown's sentence because the district judge had not followed the proper procedure in imposing the sentence. At resentencing, the judge sentenced Brown to 372 months.

    Brown appealed, arguing that the longer sentence violated the U.S. Constitution and caselaw. The Kansas Supreme Court agreed with Brown. The record of the resentencing demonstrated that Brown was punished for his successful exercise of his legal right to appeal.


  • 22 Feb 2019 11:59 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today: 

    Appeal No. 116,801: In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Matthew C. Cone

    Archived oral argument video 

    The Supreme Court affirmed Cone's involuntary commitment under the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act. The court held that the Clay County District Court did not abuse its discretion in allowing experts to testify about Cone's results on actuarial tests used to estimate a sex offender's risk of reoffending. The court further held that sufficient evidence supported the jury's verdict that Cone is a sexually violent predator under the Sexually Violent Predator Act.

    Appeal No. 119,198: In the Matter of Linda S. Dickens

    Archived oral argument video

    Dickens, of Overland Park, was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law for violating the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct governing competence, diligence, communication, fees, conflict of interest, termination of representation, expediting litigation, responsibilities of supervisory lawyers, reporting professional misconduct, misconduct, engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and conduct that adversely reflects on fitness to practice.

  • 15 Feb 2019 7:19 PM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:

    Appeal No. 105,183: State of Kansas v. Steve Kelly Moyer

    Summary calendar; no oral argument

    This is the second time this Sherman County case was brought before the Supreme Court.         

    Moyer was convicted by jury of five sex crimes against his minor daughter. Previously, the Supreme Court remanded Moyer's case to the district court to determine whether Moyer was denied his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel at his trial. At that time, this court reserved ruling on whether the cumulative effect of other errors at Moyer's trial denied Moyer a fair trial. Following remand, the Supreme Court affirmed Moyer's convictions, holding Moyer was not denied his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel and rejecting Moyer's claim that cumulative trial errors denied him a fair trial.

    Appeal No. 113,580: State of Kansas v. Jack R. LaPointe

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court today denied a request for new trial from LaPointe, who claimed recent DNA test results would have changed the outcome of his trial for the armed robbery of a Roeland Park Payless store in 2000 In its decision, a divided court narrowed the scope of convictions eligible for postconviction DNA testing under state law. A jury convicted LaPointe of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. Years later, he requested DNA testing under a state law authorizing postconviction DNA testing in certain first-degree murder and rape cases. LaPointe argued his prison sentence was similar to those imposed for the statutorily designated crimes so he was entitled to the same testing. A Johnson County district court judge agreed, ordered the testing, but ultimately concluded the results would not have changed the jury's verdict

    Writing for the majority, Justice Dan Biles said the court agreed with the decision to deny LaPointe a new trial. It also concluded a 2013 decision judicially expanding the crimes eligible for postconviction DNA testing based on the term of imprisonment should be overruled.

    "The Legislature has authority to grant a limited right to access postconviction DNA testing procedures without violating equal protection principles," Biles wrote. He was joined in this view by Chief Justice Lawton Nuss and Justices Eric Rosen and Caleb Stegall.

    Disagreeing, Justice Carol Beier argued the case did not require overruling the 2013 decision, noting LaPointe's long prison sentence was "largely attributable to his extensive criminal history, not to the severity level and long sentences assigned to his crimes in this case." She was joined in dissent by Justices Marla Luckert and Lee Johnson.



Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software