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Jeff King

Jeff King specializes in appellate law, trust litigation, and complex financial litigation.  Jeff also uses his background as a former Kansas legislator and Vice President of the Kansas Senate to help clients with education law, government relations, and public policy consulting.

As a former federal appellate clerk and Chair of the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee, Jeff has a vibrant appellate practice. He has handled over 40 appeals in four federal circuits, multiple state supreme courts and courts of appeal. He has also drafted petitions for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Jeff received national attention for his victory before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Sentis v. Shell, when the Court reversed a $29 million dismissal sanction and reassigned the case to a new federal judge on remand.

Jeff also has extensive experience in education law with a focus on school finance litigation.  In Montoy v. State, the landmark 2002-06 Kansas school finance case, Jeff served as one of three counsel for the state and wrote numerous briefs defending state education spending to the Kansas Supreme Court.  Jeff continued his school-finance work for the next decade in the Kansas Legislature, where he helped craft education funding proposals and served as a leading Senate expert on the subject.  After his legislative career, Jeff resumed his legal work in education.  In 2017 and 2018, he served as counsel for the Kansas Legislature and the Kansas Senate on the Gannon v. State school-finance case.  He advised legislators on various funding proposals, coordinated litigation efforts with the Kansas Attorney General, drafted briefs to the Kansas Supreme Court, and handled one of the longest oral arguments in Kansas Supreme Court history.

Jeff advises clients on issues at the intersection of public policy and law.  As the last lawyer who served in the Kansas Senate, and a leader of committees on pension reform, tax policy, the judiciary, education reform, and appointments, Jeff has a special insight on matters relating to Kansas local and state governments. He helps clients navigate bureaucratic challenges, avoid costly litigation, and create lasting relationships in Topeka and across Kansas.

Jeff has won trials in federal and state courts across the country. He helped obtained a jury verdict in excess of $4 million against Shell Oil Company in California federal court and successfully defended this result before the Ninth Circuit. He has tried multi-million-dollar trust cases in both Kansas and Missouri, including one of the largest trustee removal disputes in Missouri history. Jeff also successfully helped defend a Kansas town before federal district court and the Tenth Circuit in one of Kansas’ largest ever water disputes.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Appellate
  • Business Litigation
  • Complex Financial Litigation
  • Education Law
  • Government Affairs
  • Trust Litigation

EDUCATION

  • B.A., International Relations and Economics, magna cum laude, Brown University
  • M.A., Agricultural Economics, Cambridge University
  • J.D., Yale University School of Law

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Kansas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri

AWARDS | HONORS | ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Harry S. Truman Scholar
  • Marshall Scholar
  • Rhodes Scholarship National Finalist
  • Leadership Kansas Graduate
  • Toll Fellow
  • Rodel Fellow
  • Mother’s Against Drunk Driving Distinguished Achievement Award
  • Kansas County & District Attorneys’ Association Outstanding Legislator

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Agricultural Law Section of the Kansas Bar, Former Director
  • Appellate Section of the Kansas Bar, Founding Member & Past President
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Kansas Blue Ribbon Commission on Judicial Reform, Co-Chair
  • Kansas Judicial Council, Former Member
  • Kansas Senate, Former Vice-President
  • Uniform Law Commission, Former Commissioner

PAST EMPLOYMENT POSITIONS

  • King Law Offices
  • Lathrop & Gage
  • Kansas Senate
  • Law Clerk for Chief Judge Deanell Reece Tacha of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Office of the Kansas Attorney General, Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

PUBLISHED WORKS

  • Boeing-McDonnell Douglas Revisited: Recommendations for a Unitary Merger Defense, Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 11(2), 23-37.
  • Trade Reform and the Corn Market: Prospects for the World Trade Organization Negotiations on Agriculture, Review of Agricultural Economics, 23(1), 47-67.