Category Archives: Legal

You don’t say

“I did get all the files back after spending all that money.”

Jack DeBoer on why he dropped his lawsuit against two former Hotel at Old Town employees, who he said took files with them to the Ambassador Hotel

“My client denies any wrongdoing whatsoever. … The parties chose to enter into a confidential settlement agreement to resolve their differences. … So, under the circumstances, no further comment is really appropriate.”

Terry Malone, the attorney for Ambassador general manager Sheila Cole and director of sales Amy Grossman, who used to hold the same positions at the Hotel at Old Town

 

Orpheum Office Building owners association sues Randy Johnston and Hubris Communications

WICHITA — Chris Owen and Randy Johnston purchased the fourth floor of the Orpheum Office Building for a steal last summer, but it’s been anything but a bargain since then.

“We saw this and thought it might be a deal, and it turned out to be a really good deal, or so we thought,” Owen says.

“They think they did their homework, but they didn’t,” says Ram Mofsowitz, president of the building’s owners association.

At issue is the way utilities, janitorial services and other common expenses are calculated. The owners association has sued Johnston and Hubris Communications, where Owen is founder and president.

“Hubris is not involved in any way,” Owen says. “That’s a fishing expedition, and they know it.”

Owen and Johnston purchased the floor for $3,000 at a sheriff’s auction. Owen says they expected to have some fees associated with owning the floor.

“We obviously have no problem with that.”

He says the association divides costs of such things as electricity among owners of the building’s seven floors even though he and Johnston now have a separate meter for their floor.

“This makes no sense,” Owen says.

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Brad Pistotnik sues brother and former firm

WICHITA — Attorney Brad Pistotnik, who earlier this month left the Affiliated Attorneys of Pistotnik Law Offices to start Brad Pistotnik Law, has sued his former practice in Sedgwick County District Court. The suit also names his brother, Brian, who Brad Pistotnik previously said he’s practiced law with “forever.”

“It’s a pretty boring suit,” says Chuck Millsap, Brad Pistotnik’s attorney. “It’s simply a statutory method of dissolving a 50-50 corporation.”

Neither Pistotnik returned a call for comment.

“There’s nothing particularly exciting about it other than they’re two brothers,” Millsap says. “It’s a corporate maneuver to dissolve a corporation … when you’ve got two 50-50 shareholders who have differing ideas about how to manage the company.”

So were those differing philosophies what led to the split?

“I’m not going to talk about that, and I don’t think they are either,” Millsap says.

In the suit, Brad Pistotnik says he’s still a half owner of the firm where his brother remains and that he and his brother “are unable to agree upon the desirability of dissolving the Corporation and the disposition of the corporate assets.”

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Brad Pistotnik breaks from brother to start his own law firm

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.

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Case, Moses & Zimmerman partners go separate ways; Moses & Pate LLC forms

WICHITA — Last month, Medical Development Management announced it will be moving into the 6,500-square-foot space that Case, Moses & Zimmerman occupies at the Garvey Center, and the law firm’s partners said they were exploring alternatives.

“Sometimes firms split up because there’s animosity,” Moses says. “That’s not the case here.”

Here’s what they’ve decided: Attorneys David Moses and Chris Pate are forming Moses & Pate LLC. Attorney Linda Priest, who is currently with Case, Moses & Zimmerman, is joining them in the approximately 2,300 square feet MDM currently occupies next door.

Bankruptcy attorney Bill Zimmerman is moving to Eron Law, a firm that has an emphasis in bankruptcy.

“It’s a perfect fit for Bill,” Moses says. “He’ll be continuing to provide his bankruptcy specialty.”

Attorney Mike Case, who has had the firm’s Kansas City office, will be of counsel with Moses & Pate as he transitions to retirement.

“He’ll be working towards retirement,” Moses says.

Attorney Susan Saidian is retiring as of April 11.

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Jerseys Grill and Bar temporarily closes due to lapsed liquor license, construction

WICHITA — Jerseys Grill and Bar near K-96 and Webb Road has temporarily closed due to a lapsed liquor license that was “just a mistake.”

“It was my fault,” says general manager Tim Hadsell. “I didn’t realize it’s a two-year license and just missed the renewal date.”

Hadsell is the third general manager for the 2-year-old Jerseys.

He says while waiting for the new license, which should come next week, he took the opportunity to do some remodeling that he’s been planning.

“We’ve been trying to get it done I’d say for the past month,” Hadsell says. “It never seemed like the right time.”

He says the business still had “a Johnny Carino’s feel” from when it was that restaurant, and he wanted to change that.

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Complete Landscaping files Chapter 11, is hopeful for large new contract

WICHITA — A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is the latest twist in what’s been an ongoing financial and legal struggle for Complete Landscaping Systems.

“I’ve taken a look at the gross revenues of the company, which are pretty substantial,” attorney David Eron says. “I think we’ve got plenty to work with to turn this thing around.”

In early September, it looked like Complete Landscaping had sold most of its assets to Wichita attorney Rick Hodge, who said he wanted to expand his Yard Concerns landscaping business.

Eron says what happened with Hodge is “a sensitive question.”

“Bottom line is there never was a final agreement with Rick Hodge,” Eron says.

“It was just immediately apparent that this deal with Rick was absolutely not going to come anywhere close to taking care of the financial issues the company had,” he says. “I personally told him the deal was done, and it was not going to go forward.”

The first hearing in the bankruptcy case is Wednesday.

“There’s certain things we have to do in order to continue operating the business,” Eron says. The point is to “try to get some time where we don’t have to worry about all the lawsuits.”

There are about 35 lawsuits again Complete Landscaping, mostly from local and some out-of-state vendors.

“Really, most of the debt problems generally are fallout from the Bank of America contract,” Eron says.

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Despite verbiage in legal filing, Community Bank of Wichita is not selling

WICHITA — Steve Carr knew before he even looked at the paper this morning that he’d have some questions to answer.

There’s a legal notice in today’s paper that makes it appear that theater owner Bill Warren and lawyers Mark and Andrew Hutton are buying Community State Bancshares, parent company of Community Bank of Wichita, but that’s not the case.

“Nothing’s really changing,” says Carr, chairman and president. “The bank isn’t being sold.”

The bank is buying back stock from some stockholders, one of whom died and one of whom got divorced, and was forced to do a public notice about it.

“It’s a totally regulatory deal,” Carr says.

It’s one that he didn’t expect, either.

“We said, ‘Really? Seriously?’” upon learning there would have to be a notice.

The legal filing says Luxury Development Partners intends to apply for permission to get control of the bank, “and, thus, to become a bank holding company.”

Warren and the Huttons are owners of Luxury Development.

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LewJene Schneider files appeal on theft and criminal damages conviction

WICHITA — Watercress developer and lawyer LewJene Schneider has filed an appeal of her conviction last month in Maize Municipal Court on theft and criminal damage charges.

The charges stemmed from a long-running dispute that Schneider has with Fiddler’s Cove developer Bob Scott over real estate signs.

“She has requested a jury trial,” says lawyer Jess Hoeme, who is representing Schneider along with Steve Joseph.

A trial is scheduled for Oct. 9.

Property owners file lawsuit against Casey Bachrodt claiming mismanagement and breach of fiduciary responsibility

WICHITA — Various entities, all partially owned by Summit Holdings LLC, have filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County District Court against developer Casey Bachrodt.

Summit’s five shareholders also own Key Construction.

The suit claims Bachrodt mismanaged six properties in which he also was an owner.

“We feel like he didn’t fulfill his fiduciary responsibility,” says John Walker, Summit administrator and member.

Bachrodt didn’t return calls for comment.

The relationship between Bachrodt and Summit goes back at least a decade.

Starting in October, Summit began removing Bachrodt from managing its properties, including two strip centers in Andover, one in Emporia, one in Texas and two office buildings on and near Rock Road in Wichita.

Walker says Bachrodt didn’t market the properties properly or do a good job keeping tenants or being responsive to them.

“It’s been an ongoing problem, and we weren’t able to control it and get all the details we needed until we took (the properties) over,” Walker says.

Builders Inc. now manages the properties, which Walker says “has been a very good move for us.”