Guide to Finding Kansas Attorneys

Guide to Finding Kansas Attorneys

Guide to Finding Kansas Attorneys
A Kansas Attorney is important when facing a legal issue in Kansas.  Kansas laws will vary from other states so the most knowledgeable legal professional for your needs will at least need to be licensed to practice law in Kansas.  State laws that vary include bankruptcy exemptions, gun laws and DUI laws.  Only through the use of a legal professional that is experienced in Kansas law can you expect a favorable outcome in court.  Recent tort reform movements and legislation have changed laws related to personal injury around the country and Kansas is no exception.  The Kansas Attorney will be able to explain how tort reform laws will affect your ability to collect damages from your case.
How do laws vary from state-to-state?
Bankruptcy exemptions are one example of how laws vary from state to state.  Like many states, Kansas residents filing for bankruptcy may opt to use federal exemptions or opt for their state’s exemptions, depending on which arrangement they feel is more favorable to their needs.  The Kansas homestead exemption, which protects the home you live in from bankruptcy judgments up to an unlimited value as long as it is a farm that does not exceed 160 acres or a town/city property that does not exceed an acre.  Other states would limit the homestead exemption up to a certain value of the home, but Kansas is not one of those states.  There are additional exemptions to insurance, pensions, public benefits and wages.  Personal property exemptions include burial plots, one years’ worth of clothing, food and fuel, jewelry up to $1,000 and motor vehicles up to $20,000 in value for able bodied persons.  Tools of trade may be kept up to a value of $7,500.  A Kansas bankruptcy lawyer will be best able to explain the distinctions in Kansas bankruptcy laws when filing for bankruptcy in Kansas.
What are organizations of Kansas Attorneys?
The Kansas Bar Association is a non-mandatory organization of legal professionals in Topeka, Kansas, founded in 1882.  The goals of this voluntary organization include law and legal practice related advocacy and the effective administration of justice in the state of Kansas.  Member benefits include discounts on insurance and office supplies, networking opportunities, access to KBA publications and professional assistance for personal and substance abuse problems.
There is a fee dispute resolution service for Kansas Attorneys and their clients.  Clients retaining the services of a Kansas Attorney and member of the KBA can be assured that they are working with a legal professional and that they will have some recourse if they feel that have been billed unfairly.  Additionally, the KBA maintains a public listing explaining the “hallmarks of professionalism” that Kansas Attorneys must abide by.  This includes attorney-client confidentiality, respect for the court and timely communication with clients.  The young lawyers section introduces new Kansas Attorneys to the profession and provides professional counseling.
Among the publications of the KBA is the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association and Oyez, Oyez, the legislative newsletter of the KBA.  Member lawyers are allowed free advertising in the classified section of the Journal.
Kansas Attorneys will have access to the online legal service “Casemaker” that assists them with legal research with information on federal and state law.  Those new to the service will have FAQs and other guides to help them make the most of the service.
How do I know my Kansas Attorney is legitimate?
Since membership in the KBA is not mandatory, you will not have the benefit of a directory to determine if your lawyer is allowed to practice law within the state.  When this is the case, you should be able to examine the lawyer’s credentials, including degree and proof of Bar Association membership, if applicable.  If the lawyer does not produce these things, then this is likely not an individual that should be dispensing legal advice.  Remember that although Kansas courts will be able to prevent unlicensed individuals from practicing law, unlicensed lawyers may still attempt to provide legal services done outside of courts.  Whenever you accept a legal service, ensure that your Kansas Attorney is legitimate and can prove that they have been admitted to the Bar in Kansas.
Remember that even though not all Kansas Attorneys need to be a part of the KBA, the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator will review and enforce punishments on all Kansas Attorneys found in violation of the law.
Professionalism is important when determining if you should retain the services of a Kansas Attorney.  This is a subjective measure of how comfortable you feel working with the lawyer in addition to the expected behavior of a legal professional.  Subjective factors in professionalism include ease of communication, objective evaluation and courtroom demeanor.  
You may use the Kansas Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service to find a Kansas Attorney.  Through this service, you will be connected to a lawyer that will handle your case with flat, contingency or hourly fee arrangements.  
You may use this website to find an attorney using the Find Attorney function at the top of the page.
What are the typical rates of a Kansas Attorney?
Typical rules apply, such as working on contingency for accident cases, variable fees for complicated cases and flat fees for providing legal services, such as composing legal documents.  All Kansas attorney fees are subject to review and approval by the court.
Your Kansas Attorney should explain how you would be able to communicate about the details of the case.  Some lawyers will charge fees for phone and email communication and you should be made aware of this during or immediately after the initial consultation.
A retainer arrangement is an agreement between the attorney and client to set up a billable trust account.  This account may be refilled at any time at the discretion of the attorney and the client should be aware of this possibility.
Flat fees are typical of legal services that do not go to court.  Unlike personal injury and other litigation, legal service fees are usually advertised, allowing the client to pick the best deal.  There must be considerations for the quality of the lawyer and the document produced, of course.  Initial consultations will also be flat fee arrangements.
Hourly billing is the preferred means by which lawyers are paid for non-contingency cases.  You will be informed of the hourly rate before retaining the service of the Kansas Attorney.
Depending on your needs, you may be able to secure an alternate payment plan.  Indicate your need for low cost legal services when speaking with either the Kansas Attorney or the lawyer referral service.  Those that demonstrate sufficient need will be able to defer or discount their payments.
What are questions to ask Kansas Attorneys?
How does my case relate to Kansas laws?
Are local laws in effect for this case?
What is the statute of limitations for a case such as mine?
What are your fees and do you have alternate payment plans?
Are you a member, in good standing, of the Kansas State Bar Association?
What roles do you play as a member?
Are you a member of a local Bar Association?
Can I please have all fees in writing?
What are my chances of winning a settlement or at trial?




Related Articles

Read previous post:
Pro Bono Attorney