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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - May 30, 2003

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 23 opinions. The full text of these decisions may be found at www.kscourts.org.

Docket No. 86,767: Telegram Publishing Co. Inc. v. Kansas Department of Transportation

Saying KDOT's denial of access to public records was not in good faith and was without a reasonable basis in fact or law, the Court affirms the award of attorney fees incurred by the Garden City newspaper that were incurred prior to the filing of the paper's lawsuit over access to the records. (Unanimous, authored by Justice Lawton R. Nuss, affirming in part and reversing in part the Court of Appeals on Petition for Review from Shawnee County District Court.)

Docket No. 88,325: City of Wichita v. Robert L. Hackett

Cities may adopt ordinances prohibiting the operation of bicycles while under the influence of alcohol, but they do not qualify as a conviction under the state's DUI statute, a unanimous court ruled today. The court, in a decision authored by Justice Lawton R. Nuss, affirmed a Wichita man's conviction of riding his bicycle while intoxicated.

Docket No. 88,673: State v. Virgil S. Bradford

The court affirms Bradford's Dickinson County hard-40 sentence that was imposed after he was convicted of capital murder and several related charges. The convictions were affirmed in an earlier appeal, but the case was remanded for resentencing in view of the Apprendi v. New Jersey ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. On remand, the trial court again sentenced Bradford to the hard 40, and the Court today affirms.

Docket No. 86,035: State ex rel Paul J. Morrison, District Attorney, v. Oshman Sporting Goods Co.

The court, in a unanimous decision authored for the court by Justice Marla J. Luckert, reverses a Johnson County decision assessing a $50,000 fine against the sporting goods store, which was fined after a total of $142.64 in overcharges due to a defective price scanner were discovered in 25 price checks. (The case is remanded for "determination of an appropriate fine.")

Docket No. 89,136: Sabine M. Davidson v. State of Kansas

The court once again affirms the defendant's conviction of endangering one child and reckless second-degree murder of another, an 11-year-old boy who was killed by Davidson's Rottweiler dogs. The conviction was previously affirmed in a direct appeal. She then contended in a civil attack of the conviction that she had received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel in her direct appeal, something the court today rejected, affirming Geary County District Court.

Docket No. 86,968: State v. Rasheem A. Coleman

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla J. Luckert, reinstates Coleman's Sedgwick County convictions of attempted premeditated first-degree murder and aggravated robbery, reversing the Court of Appeals, which held that a new trial should be granted because a statement he gave police was improperly admitted into evidence.

Docket No. 89,994: In Re: Harold A. Benson II

The court disbars a Leawood attorney based on five violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct, which arose from his filing of 14 lawsuits in his own name.

Docket No. 89,829: In Re: Gary Conwell

The court imposes two years probation on a Topeka attorney based on his participation in a business he and a law partner formed that advertised on the Internet that financing for large projects could be obtained. The law partner, Thomas C. Kelley, ultimately pled guilty to mail fraud in connection with the business and was disbarred by the Supreme Court.

Docket No. 89,995: In Re: Kiehl Rathbun

The court imposes three years probation on a Wichita attorney based on numerous violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct arising from his representation of nine clients.

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 85,731: State v. Burden
Appeal No. 88,327: State v. Hobbs
Appeal No. 87,393: State v. Reliance Surety
Appeal No. 88,124: Maunz v. Perales
Appeal No. 86,429: Dieker v. Case Corp.
Appeal No. 87,975: State v. Vandervort
Appeal No. 88,286: Purvis v. Williams
Appeal No. 88,646: State v. Marion Co. Landfill
Appeal No. 88,930: Puckett v. Bruce
Appeal No. 89,179: In re Harris Trust
Appeal No. 86,829: State v. Kunellis
Appeal No. 86,895: State v. Bryant
Appeal No. 87,033: State v. Rogers
Appeal No. 88,991: ARY Jewelers v. Krigel
Appeal No. 89,075: Blue Cross-Blue Shield v. Sebelius
Appeal No. 89,268: State v. Sanchez-Cazares
Appeal No. 89,543: ARY Jewelers v. Krigel
Appeal No. 87,268: State v. Morris
Appeal No. 88,435: In re Crist
Appeal No. 89,023: Canaan v. Bartee
Appeal No. 87,904: State v. Kessler
Appeal No. 88,046: State v. Martinez
Appeal No. 88,366: Marshall v. KaMMCO
Appeal No. 88,827: Goodman v. Wesley Med. Center
Appeal No. 89,579: Smith v. Yell Bell Taxi