The Right to Privacy as it Applies to the Smartphone Era



This summer Americans learned that the National Security Agency over the past several years has collected data on citizen’s internet searches and telephone calls.  With the cooperation of numerous telecommunications companies, the NSA monitored millions of Americans and gathered information including call metadata and call logs.   Widespread debate ensued over privacy rights and the reasonableness of the NSA’s intrusion, if any, upon those rights. Though the NSA focused its information collection efforts on the …

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Paula Deen: Cooking up Contract Problems



Most people by now are familiar with the circumstances surrounding Paula Deen and her fall from public grace.  The circumstances surrounding Ms. Deen are a great reminder of the importance of well drafted agreements involving spokespersons and other contracts with key persons.  A good business attorney can help a business protect the value in its business relationships at the outset by preparing well written contracts. Many Wichita businesses are more likely to enter into agreements …

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FAA Policy Clarification for U.S. Non-Citizen Trusts



After more than two years of review, several public meetings and written public comments, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) is issuing a policy clarification in relation to situations where non-citizens are placing aircraft in trust for purposes of U.S. registration.  This policy clarification becomes effective on September 16, 2013. In order to register an aircraft on the United States of America Aircraft Registry, the registrant needs to meet the definition of “U.S. citizen.”  In summary, …

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Same-Sex Couples Have Enforceable Parenting and Property Rights In Kansas



It may not come as a surprise to most Kansas residents that the state banned same sex marriage in 2005.  But it may be surprising to know that a recent Supreme Court of Kansas decision gives Kansas Courts jurisdiction to enforce co-parenting agreements and to make an equitable division of property between same-sex couples. The landmark decision in Frazier v. Goudschaal, filed on February 22, 2013, grants same-sex couples certain assurances relating to property and …

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Non-Competes and Strengthening Business Relationships



Strong, well-written non-compete contracts can strengthen your business relationships. Small businesses especially can face challenges when a business partner is unwilling to sign a non-compete.  Reluctance to sign a non-compete can result from a failure to understand what the purpose of the provision is, overly-complex or overly broad language, or a belief that signing it will put them out of business if the relationship goes poorly.  These problems can be avoided if a good business …

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No Money “Mo” Problems in Mo-Town



On April 1, 2013, a federal bankruptcy judge approved the bankruptcy petition of Stockton, California, allowing the city to proceed under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Stockton made history by becoming the largest U.S. city by population to file for bankruptcy, but it may eventually cede this title to another city that is also grappling with its financial woes:  Detroit, Michigan. Detroit has been especially hard-hit by the recession and declining industry, losing approximately …

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The Dangers of Winter Driving in Wichita



As cooler temperatures settle in and the snow begins to fall, the dangers of winter driving in Wichita make their annual appearance.  The two major traffic ways that bisect Wichita, Kellogg Avenue running east to west, and Interstate 135 running north to south, allow drivers to quickly travel across the city, but also pose a potential hazard.  Large sections of Kellogg Avenue and I-135, as well as smaller sections of K-96 to the north, are …

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Chief Concern: Contracts and an Eye on the End



As most fans of the Kansas City Chiefs are now aware, the Chiefs have fired head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli after another disappointing season.  While many fans celebrated the transition to new leadership of the organization, most probably did not pay much attention to the steps that the Chiefs organization had to take to make that transition possible.   This provides a strong reminder of the importance of keeping an eye on …

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A DUI Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Your Own Personal “Fiscal Cliff”



The U.S. government has been in the midst of an ongoing conundrum commonly referred to as the “fiscal cliff”.  If images of the end of the popular film Thelma and Louise come to mind when you hear this phrase then you might not be far off.  While Congress and the President have reached an agreement, absent that, dramatic and potentially disastrous economic consequences could have resulted. Similarly, one who is charged with DUI faces his …

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Petraeus and Protecting Your Intellectual Property



Today’s small businesses can learn a lot from the Petraeus’ scandal when it comes to protecting their intellectual property assets.  Petraeus demonstrates the damage that can be done to an organization when valuable information is not adequately protected.  In entrepreneurial communities like Wichita, an ever increasing percentage of the value of businesses is tied up in intellectual property, or “IP”.  Unfortunately, many leave their IP without adequate protection, exposing themselves to potential damage from a …

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