WICHITA — There’s no question that Affiliated Attorneys of Pistotnik Law Offices is now one Pistotnik short, but why that is isn’t as clear.
Brothers Brad and Brian Pistotnik have been law partners “forever,” as Brad Pistotnik says, but he’s now left to start Brad Pistotnik Law.
“He just came in overnight on a Sunday and took all the client files and left,” Brian Pistotnik says. He says his brother “deleted our client database – the clients that had been working with him.”
“What’s going through his mind, I have no idea, but this was a surprise,” Brian Pistotnik says.
“Simply, I decided to get a new office location,” Brad Pistotnik says.
“I’ve always vigorously represented my clients, and I am trying to focus my practice in a more focused area of law.”
Pistotnik says he’s planning to continue focusing on a range of motor vehicle accidents.
“It’s a law practice that requires intensive litigation.”
He says his previous firm is a more general practice.
Brian Pistotnik says that’s not the case. He says he, too, focuses on accidents, although he says some of those are workers compensation cases.
Brad Pistotnik is still an owner in Pistotnik Law Offices with his brother.
“Well, for the present time I’m an owner there, but I’m slowly transitioning to the new firm,” he says.
The Pistotnik name – specifically Brad Pistotnik – is one of the most well known in Wichita law firms due to extensive advertising, which has been handled by Nashville-based Whitehardt. The agency specializes in advertising and consulting for law firms.
Which of the two Pistotnik firms has rights to use the agency is now at issue.
“We had the exclusive Wichita, Kansas, market, and I was very surprised to learn that even though we just sent them a check for $3,000 for our monthly commitment … Brad went out and made commercials (with Whitehardt) for his competing firm,” Brian Pistotnik says. “I’m trying to get a hold of that group, and they won’t return my calls.”
Brad Pistotnik says his brother terminated the Whitehardt contract.
Brian Pistotnik, though, says, “I would suspect that he canceled it without the firm’s authority.”
The brothers aren’t speaking, but why they’re not talking is also in dispute.
“I’ve been advised by my counsel not to speak with him at this point about anything,” Brad Pistotnik says.
“I’ve talked with his counsel, who was trying to arrange a meeting for me to meet with Brad personally, and Brad declined,” Brian Pistotnik says.
Brian Pistotnik says he does not have an attorney at this point.
“Let’s just say I’ve talked to an attorney,” he says. “I’m not sure where we’re going with that.”
Brad Pistotnik says he wanted new office space.
“I’m in my 50s, and I’m wanting to be in a nice location,” he says.
Pistotnik Law Offices is at 2831 E. Central.
“My dad owns that building down there, and (Brian) likes that building, and I don’t particularly care for it,” Brad Pistotnik says.
“It’s a very old building. It’s dilapidated. The roof fell in, and I’m tired of being in it.”
Brian Pistotnik says, “This building’s fine.”
Brad Pistotnik will be moving to a 2,882-square-foot space at the Offices at Cranbrook, an Occidental Management property on East 21st Street just east of 21st and Webb Road. Occidental president Chad Stafford handled the deal for the space, which will be ready later this summer.
“They’re very, very good offices with a nice location,” Pistotnik says. “I think we can probably serve our clients a little better there. … It’s going to be beautiful.”
Occidental’s Charlie King and Austin Kinzle of Healthcare Real Estate Group helped Pistotnik with temporary space at 1833 N. Rock Road Ct.
Brad Pistotnik says not much will change with his practice, at least not now.
“I’ve had a few attorneys who have wanted to come work … with me,” he says.
For now, he says he’s “trying to focus on existing cases.”
Attorney Brian Collignon remains at Pistotnik Law Offices.
There’s one thing on which the Pistotnik brothers do agree, and that’s that they’re not going to discuss their personal relationship.
“All I can say is I have nothing bad to say in the newspaper,” Brad Pistotnik says.
“I do not care to be someone who talks badly about someone. … I would rather hold myself to a higher standard than that.”
When asked about acrimony in their relationship, Brad Pistotnik says, “Well, we don’t have any acrimony at the present time. I don’t have anything I have to say about him. … Just started a new firm. I just wish my brother the best as he continues to work on his own.”
Though he won’t discuss their personal relationship, Brian Pistotnik says nothing had changed in his business relationship with his brother.
“I had no clue.”
Brad Pistotnik says, “He knew I was leaving because of some things that were said that I don’t need to go into.”
He adds, though, “Our family is still family. We’re just separating the business.”