Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

Kansas Court of Appeals To Hear Oral Arguments At Washburn Law, September 18, 2012

Washburn University School of Law and the Center for Excellence in Advocacy host the Kansas Court of Appeals on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 in observance of Constitution Day. Constitution Day is a federally proclaimed day commemorating the adoption of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Cases will be heard at Washburn Law in the Robinson Courtroom and Bianchino Technology Center.


9:00 a.m. docket:

  • 106,083 -- State v. James
    Summary: James appeals his convictions for various crimes, including the possession of marijuana with the intent to sell. Following his arrest, a law enforcement officer searched James' cell phone without a warrant and found two incriminating text messages. James contends the search was unreasonable and violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. As well, James argues that comments the prosecutor made during closing arguments were improper, prejudicial, and denied him of his right to a fair trial. He raises other evidentiary issues on appeal and also claims insufficient evidence supported his drug-related convictions.
  • 106,352 -- State v. Dimmick
    Summary: Dimmick stole a van, led the police on a high-speed car chase, and then took shelter in the home of a couple in Dover. The couple was able to escape when Dimmick fell asleep. A jury convicted Dimmick of two counts of kidnapping, one count of theft, and one count of fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer. Dimmick challenges the trial court's failure to inquire into the accuracy of the verdict, the sufficiency of the evidence of kidnapping, and the jury instruction on fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.
  • 106,963 -- State v. Stuart
    Summary: Stuart was convicted of driving under the influence and refusal to take a breath test. On appeal, he makes four arguments. First, Stuart argues that the district court erred by allowing a blood test performed at Lawrence Memorial Hospital to be admitted into evidence at trial. Second, Stuart argues there was insufficient evidence to convict him of DUI. Third, Stuart suggests that his constitutional rights were violated when the judgment was issued outside of his presence. Fourth, Stuart contends that the district court erred in refusing to apply K.S.A. 8-1567(j)(3) retroactively, which would change his DUI classification from a felony to a misdemeanor.
  • 107,785 -- State v. Ulrich
    Summary: Ulrich was convicted of driving under the influence. He contends that the legislature's enactment of K.S.A. 8-1567(j)(3), which became law on July 1, 2011, should apply retroactively. As such, Ulrich argues that he should only be convicted of a first time DUI because his three prior DUI convictions occurred prior to July 1, 2001. Ulrich also argues that his statutory and constitutional rights to a speedy trial were violated.

1:30 p.m. docket:

  • 107,701 -- Yan Zhou, Qi Zhang v. Walter Bickley DBA Lawrence Motorcycle Shop
    Summary: Zhou, Zhang, and Bickley opened a motorcycle repair shop. The parties agreed that Zhou and Zhang would contribute cash and that Bickley would contribute his repair skills and tools. Shortly after the business opened, Zhou and Zhang stopped providing money to the business. About a year later, Zhou and Zhang sued Bickley for a return of the funds they had initially contributed. Bickley filed a counterclaim, alleging that the parties had formed a partnership. He argued that Zhou and Zhang were responsible for their share of the shop's liabilities. The district court found that there was at most an unenforceable agreement to open the repair shop and that no partnership was ever formed by the parties. Accordingly, the district court ordered Bickley to return Zhou and Zhang's funds. On appeal, Bickley argues that the district court erred in finding there was not a partnership.
  • 105,838 -- State v. Blanks
    Summary: Blanks appeals his conviction and sentence after he was convicted by a jury of one count of rape in the Atchison County. Blanks argues that the district court violated his right to a fair trial by denying his motion to change venue. Additionally, Blanks argues that there was insufficient evidence to sustain his rape conviction, that the prosecutor committed misconduct during closing argument, and that the district court improperly included several prior felonies committed in Florida in calculating Blanks' criminal history score.
  • 106,989 -- Wolfert Landscaping Company, L.L.C. v. LRM Industries, Inc. and Federal Insurance Company
    Summary: Wolfert entered into a subcontract with LRM to do landscaping and irrigation work on a parking facility at the University of Kansas. Because Wolfert allegedly failed to properly finish the work, LRM replaced it with another landscaping company. Wolfert sued LRM to recover damages. In response, LRM filed a counterclaim for damages incurred for Wolfert's alleged failure to perform its contractual obligations. The district court determined that Wolfert was entitled to recover from LRM for extra work that was approved outside of the contract. Moreover, the district court granted Wolfert an award under a quantum meruit theory for the value of the work it had performed on the project, and it denied LRM's counterclaim. On appeal, LRM claims--among other things--that it was erroneous for the district court to apply the equitable theory of quantum meruit in this case, and that the district court erred in denying LRM's breach of contract counterclaim.