Archive for the ‘Kansas’ Category

Former Kansas AG Phill Kline is suspended from law practice for at least 3 years

October 22, 2013

Rejecting an attorney discipline administrator’s call for disbarment of a former Kansas attorney general, the state’s supreme court on Friday indefinitely suspended attorney Phill Kline.

Now working as a visiting law professor at Liberty University in Virginia, Kline is expected to be able to continue in his job there even if he does not have a law license, the Kansas City Star reports. He can reapply for bar admission in three years.

Kilne’s lawyer, Thomas Condit, called the 154-page ruling by the state’s top court “not an acceptable result” and said he and his client are exploring their options for further action. Condit said “there was never any deliberate dishonesty” on Kline’s part and said the disciplinary action resulted from “cherry picking” comments that Kline made over a period of more than five years and taking them out of context.

At issue in the case was Kline’s conduct both as AG and Johnson County district attorney concerning investigations of abortion clinics operated by the late George Tiller in Wichita and by Planned Parenthood in Overland Park. Kline accused the two clinics of violating state law concerning abortions and shielding pedophiles by not reporting when underage girls sought abortions. Kline sought medical records.

He brought a criminal case against Planned Parenthood in 2007, which a subsequent AG opted not to pursue. It charged the clinic with falsifying records and providing illegal abortions, reports the Associated Press. Tiller was acquitted by a jury in 2009 on all 19 counts in a misdemeanor case alleging that he illegally performed late-term abortions. The physician was murdered later in 2009 while he was attending church in Wichita with his wife.

Tiller’s lawyer and the forewoman of a Johnson County grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood accused Kline of misleading the court and mishandling evidence, resulting in the legal ethics case against him. Kline has complained that the case was politically motivated, fueled by those who object to his views on abortion.

Although the supreme court did not agree with all of the conclusions of a three-member disciplinary panel, it found that Kline had violated 11 legal ethics rules and what it called a pattern of misconduct with a selfish motive. The supreme court also expressed concern that Kline has not acknowledged his wrongful actions.

Among other misconduct, Kline failed to properly advise a grand jury about applicable law, gave false and misleading information to courts about the handling of patient medical records from abortion clinics and instructed his staff to attach sealed documents to a public filing, in violation of a court order, the supreme court found.

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Former Kansas AG Phill Kline is suspended from law practice for at least 3 years

Prosecutors Give Opening Statements in Federal Case of Company Accused of Bilking Investors of More Than $7M

April 21, 2013

Federal prosecutors say a Kansas City, Kan., man and four other people continued to sell stock in a Kansas City, Mo., company for two years after Missouri regulators ordered them to stop.

Prosecutors said in their opening statements that many of the investors were poor, elderly churchgoers who were persuaded by their pastors to buy the company’s stock.

Company founder Isreal Hawkins and four others are on trial in federal court, accused of bilking 14,000 investors out of more than $7 million by selling worthless stocks in Petro America, an oil and mining company.

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Prosecutors Give Opening Statements in Federal Case of KC Company Accused of Bilking Investors

KS Former AG Phill Kline Discipline Case Goes Before Kansas Supreme Court

November 13, 2012

Lawyers for former Attorney General Phill Kline and for the disciplinary administrator’s office will have one hour on Thursday to persuade a Kansas Supreme Court panel what disciplinary path to take with Kline.

Attorneys are getting more time during the hearing. Normally, each side gets 15 minutes, a total of 30 minutes to hear the case. In the Kline case, each side will get double that — 30 minutes per side.

It is unknown when the Supreme Court panel will rule on the Kline case, Kansas Supreme Court spokesman Ron Keefover said Friday.

“It’s up to them,” Keefover said. It could be longer because there are five judges who routinely aren’t on the court, he said.

Keefover referred to Kansas Court of Appeals Judges Henry W. Green and Karen M. Arnold-Burger and Chief Judge Edward E. Bouker of the 23rd judicial district, Chief Judge Bruce T. Gatterman of the 24th judicial district, and Douglas County District Court Judge Michael J. Malone.

The five replaced Supreme Court justices who recused themselves from hearing the Kline disciplinary case.

It isn’t uncommon for disciplinary cases to be heard in the Kansas Supreme Court, Keefover said. There usually are two disciplinary cases on every court docket.

The unusual part of the Kline case are the recusal requests by Kline and the hearing has its own special setting on Thursday rather than being included in the regular docket.

“Attorney discipline cases become public once a formal complaint is filed,” Keefover said. “The hearing before the board of discipline is open. Then if there is a finding of a violation, the case then comes before the court. Attorneys file briefs, and they have oral argument.”

Kline opposes findings that he violated ethics rules governing the conduct of lawyers.

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Kline Disciplinary Case Goes Before Kansas Supreme Court

Kansas Nursing Facilities Guilty of Multiple Violations

January 9, 2012

Four Nursing homes in Kansas are among 81 that are being targeted for better care after they were cited with ten or more deficiencies for each of the home’s three most recent inspections. The four homes have over 10 deficiencies each, one even having 30. Some of the violations included cases that can cause actual harm and immediate jeopardy and/or deficiencies that can be classified as mistreatment of residents.

There has been a slow upward climb in the number of deficiencies that the nursing homes are experiencing. The amount of time between surveys at each nursing home has grown from 12 to 15 months over the past three years. After a federal mandate inspection surveys occur every 15 months in Kansas nursing homes to ensure that these elderly residents are provided with the care they deserve and that the nursing homes are upholding the standards set by the state and federal regulations. The inspection teams are made up of nurses who are employed by the Kansas Department of Aging.

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Nursing Homes in Kansas Guilty of Multiple Violations

Power of Attorney Process Under Scrutiny in KS

December 8, 2011

Jim Snyder, speaker pro tem of the Silver Haired Legislature, acted as the power of attorney for his parents.

Despite calling it a positive personal experience, Snyder said he believes the current system leaves vulnerable adults open to abuse.

That is a view shared by some in the Kansas House of Representatives.

Rep. Bob Bethell, R-Alden, spends a great deal of time on senior issues. He sits on an oversight committee for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services with Adult Protective Services and has been involved with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office with its abuse and neglect exploitation efforts.

“One of the biggest problems we see with abuse of the elderly is people who have been given power of attorney,” Bethell said. “That person, often one of the elder’s children, has a totally different attitude as to the elder’s estate and what it’s for.”

He said some look at it as an entitlement for themselves rather than something the elder put together for their own purpose.

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Power of Attorney Process Under Scrutiny

Kansas: Lawyer Disbarred for Charging $3,500 an Hour

October 16, 2010

The Supreme Court of Kansas has disbarred a Kansas City attorney for charging $3,500 an hour to handle a soldier’s case and for making offensive remarks to a judge and court staff.

Carlos Romious lost his license on Monday after the Kansas high court found that he charged the inflated fee while representing a soldier facing drug possession charges in a military court. The court also found that during a three-year period Romious shouted profanity at court clerks, got into a brawl with a court security officer and accused a judge of being a pedophile.

In adopting a recommendation from a disciplinary administrator, the court in a per curiam decision concluded that the pattern of misconduct warranted disbarment.

“In summary, the respondent’s conduct resulted in two criminal convictions, a contempt adjudication that led to 120 days in jail, minor injuries to a U.S. deputy marshal, and an adverse impact on a military career,” the court said.

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Kansas Attorney Disbarred Over High Fee, Disrespect to Judge and Court Staff

Federal Lawsuit Challenges How Kansas Selects Its Supreme Court Justices

September 4, 2010

A federal lawsuit has been filed that challenges the process Kansas uses to select its state Supreme Court justices.

The lawsuit asks for a restraining order to prevent the state from filling a vacancy on the court left by the retirement and death of Chief Justice Robert Davis. It also seeks to change the way the Kansas Constitution allows appointment of justices.

James Bopp Jr., a Terre Haute, Ind., lawyer, filed the lawsuit on behalf of four Kansans.

A nominating commission made up of five lawyers and four lay people recommends three candidates for the court, with the governor making the final selection.

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Federal Suit Challenges How Kansas Picks Justices

Kansas: SB372

April 8, 2010

SB 372 requires that orders establishing and governing a guardianship or conservatorship issued by a court of competent jurisdiction of any other state, regardless of the specific terminology used in that state’s laws, be given full faith and credit within Kansas, except when doing so would be in specific violation of any Kansas law. The bill takes effect upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Kansas governor Takes Action on Legislation: Concerning Guardianship and Conservatorship

Kansas State Hospital Targeted for Closure

October 31, 2009

A Kansas commission is recommending that the state close its hospital for the mentally disabled in Topeka and move more patients into group homes.

The closure would leave the state with just the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center. Officials estimate the proposals for the Kansas Neurological Institute in Topeka and the Parsons hospital would save the state at least $5.7 million a year.

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Kansas Panel Backs Closing State Hospital in Topeka

Guilty Plea

October 24, 2009

An Arma woman pleaded guilty this week to charges of financially exploiting an elderly woman in her care.

Attorney General Steve Six announced Wednesday that Ernestine Anselmi, 73, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of mistreatment of a dependent adult, a level six person felony. Anselmi, and her late husband Ernest Anselmi, were charged in September 2008 with making unauthorized payments to herself from the checking account of 97-year-old Lena Zanichelli totaling nearly $1 million. Anselmi intentionally used undue influence, coercion, deception or false representation to take unfair advantage of Zanichelli, according to Six’s office. Ernest Anselmi died earlier this year.

Sentencing is set for February 2010. The possible sentence for a level 6 person felony is between 17 and 46 month depending on the defendant’s criminal history. In this case, it is likely presumptive probation because Anselmi has “little to no” criminal history, according to Six’s office.

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Anselmi Pleads Guilty to Exploitation (With Plea Documents)