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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - December 8, 2000

Summaries and press releases are prepared by Ron Keefover, Office of Judicial Administration, Kansas Judicial Center, 301 West 10th, Topeka, KS 66612-1507 (785-296-2256), e-mail: keefoverr@kscourts.org.

The Supreme Court today filed 35 opinions. The full text of these decisions may be found at www.kscourts.org. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 82,110: State v. Tony Brandon Hunt

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms the defendant's Saline County convictions of second-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, which arose from the June 1997 shooting death of Lamar Williams and near fatal wounding of Jannette Gardenhire, rejecting three contentions of alleged trial court error.

Appeal No. 82,610: State v. Jon L. Whitesell

Saying the Kansas stalking statute provides a means of intervention in potentially dangerous situations before actual violence occurs and that it enables citizens to protect themselves from recurring intimidation, fear-provoking conduct, and physical violence, a unanimous court upholds the statute's constitutionality. Writing for the court, Justice Bob Abbott affirms Whitesell's Sedgwick County stalking conviction, but remands the case for re-sentencing with directions for the trial judge to state his reasons on the record for imposing an upward departure sentence of 60 months imprisonment.

Appeal No. 81,955: State v. Mark A. Jacques

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of possession of cocaine and felony murder, the latter of which arose from the March 1998 stabbing of his close friend and cousin, Ronald Everitt, which occurred as Everitt was attempting to make a cocain purchase from a third person. In affirming the defendant's convictions and sentence of life plus 26 months, the court rejected his six points of alleged error.

Appeal No. 82,526: State v. Domingo Santiago Calderon

Holding that providing an interpreter for a Spanish-only speaking defendant during closing arguments is fundamental to his right to a fair trial, the court in a 5-2 decision grants an Emporia defendant a new trial on his second-degree murder charge. Writing for the majority is Justice Tyler C. Lockett. Concurring in the majority's result is Justice Robert E. Davis. A dissent by Justice Bob Abbott would affirm the conviction, finding that not having an interpreter present was error, but harmless error. His dissent is joined by Chief Justice Kay McFarland.

Appeal No. 81,366: Ignacio Lujan

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, remands Lujan's civil motion attacking his convictions of two counts of aggravated kidnaping and aggravated rape to the Seward County District Court for a hearing in which the defendant is present.

Docket No. 84,995: In Re: Gregory M. Coggs

The court indefinitely suspends the law license of a Kansas City, KS, attorney based upon five separate disciplinary complaints alleging lack of competence, diligence, communication, and unreasonable fees, and conflicts of interest.

Docket No. 85,486: In Re: Michael M. Moran

The court disbars an Olathe attorney based upon four separate disciplinary cases involving a multitude of violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct, including among others failing to provide competent representation, not acting with reasonable diligence and promptness, not keeping a client informed, failing to notify his clients that he had been suspended (for failure to meet CLE requirements) and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary administrator.

Docket No. 85,531: In Re: Janee D. Joslin

The court imposes a five-year suspension of the law license of an attorney who now lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, based upon her agreement in the state of Virginia to a five-year suspension in that state where she was found to have engaged in a sexual relationship with a victim in a criminal case Joslin was prosecuting. (The victim said she complied only because she believed that Ms. Joslin was her only hope of having the criminal case prosecuted.)

Docket No. 85,488: In Re: Gary J. Barnes

The court censures a Kansas City, KS, attorney based upon his handling of a domestic relations and a criminal case in which the respondent was found to have not acted with reasonable diligence and promptness and in keeping his client reasonably informed about the status of a matter.

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 82,590: State v. Carter
Appeal No. 83,972: Reifschneider v. Kansas Lottery
Appeal No. 84,621: State v. Martin
Appeal No. 84,545: Kansas Bar Assn. v. Judges of Third Judicial District
Appeal No. 85,012: Houser v. Tetreault
Appeal No. 85,189: In Re: Writ of Habeas Corpus, Kathy Horst et al.
Appeal No. 82,950: SRS v. Pailett
Appeal No. 82,641: State v. Gould
Appeal No. 79,948: State v. Garcia
Appeal No. 82,678: State v. Robbins
Appeal No. 83,714: Prager v. Department of Revenue
Appeal No. 83,543: In Re: Arabia
Appeal No. 84,624: Dougan v. Rossville Drainage District
Appeal No. 83,161: Boyles v. City of Topeka
Appeal No. 83,226: Kuhn v. Sandoz Pharm.
Appeal No. 81,319: Heiland v. Dunnick