Jeff King

Jeff King, a former legislator and Vice President of the Kansas Senate, specializes in appellate law, government relations, trust litigation, education law, and complex financial litigation.

As a former federal appellate clerk and Chair of the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee, Jeff has a vibrant appellate practice. He has handled nearly 50 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, specifically regarding school finance litigation.  In Montoy v. State, the landmark 2002-06 Kansas school finance case, Jeff served as one of three attorneys for the state, authoring numerous briefs defending state education spending before the Kansas Supreme Court.  Jeff continued his school finance work for the next decade in the Kansas Legislature, where he helped craft many proposed modifications to the education funding formula and served as a leading Senate expert on the subject.  After his legislative career, Jeff resumed his work in education law.  He served as counsel for the Kansas Legislature and the Kansas Senate on the Gannon v. State school-finance litigation.  His work included advising legislators on the legal aspects of various funding proposals, coordinating litigation efforts with the Kansas Attorney General, drafting legal briefs to the Kansas Supreme Court, and participating in oral argument with the Court.

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 unique insight on matters relating to Kansas local and state governments. He helps clients navigate bureaucratic challenges, avoiding costly litigation and creating 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 the federal district court and the Tenth Circuit in one of the largest water disputes in state history.

Jeff is a graduate of Yale Law School with master’s degrees in Agricultural Economics and European Studies from the University of Cambridge and degrees in Economics and International Relations from Brown University. Jeff first worked with the Office of the Kansas Attorney General, assisting then-Attorney General Stovall with antitrust matters. He subsequently served as a law clerk for the Honorable Deanell Reece Tacha, then-Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

In 2002, Jeff entered private practice with the prestigious Lathrop & Gage firm in Overland Park, Kansas. In 2007, he established King Law Offices LLC in his hometown of Independence, Kansas. Jeff has extensive experience in the government arena as well as the courthouse. A 10-year veteran of the Kansas Legislature, he served until January 2017 as Vice President of the Kansas Senate, chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Select Committee on KPERS.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Appellate
  • Government Affairs
  • Education Law
  • Complex Financial Litigation
  • 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 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 Court of Kansas
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • United States Supreme Court

AWARDS | HONORS | ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Harry S. Truman Scholar
  • Marshall Scholar
  • Rhodes Scholarship National Finalist
  • 2003 Leadership Kansas Graduate
  • Toll Fellow
  • Rodel Fellow

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

  • Collins & Jones
  • Kansas Senate
  • Kansas House of Representatives
  • King Law Office
  • Lathrop & Gage
  • 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.