Graphic: Masthead for Washburn Law Journal (WLJ) Online.

Mr. Sandman, Bring Me a Writ: Revisiting the Tenth Circuit’s Decision in Smith v. Aldridge, 904 F.3d 874 (10th Cir. 2018).

Dylan P. Wheeler | February 24, 2020 | Read this comment

Summary: The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a woman’s habeas petition from her criminal conviction in an Oklahoma state court.  The woman alleged several jurors slept throughout her trial, and produced affidavits from the jurors themselves saying as such, but the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied relief without holding any evidentiary hearing regarding this procedural defect.  The Tenth Circuit’s underlying rationale for upholding this process is built upon assumptions formed through the use of fallacious reasoning that violates the rules of formal logic.

Preferred Citation: Dylan P. Wheeler,Mr. Sandman, Bring Me a Writ: Revisiting the Tenth Circuit’s Decision in Smith v. Aldridge, 904 F.3d 874 (10th Cir. 2018), 59 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2020).

Just When We Thought We Understood the Rule Against Perpetuities [Jason Oil Co., LLC v. Littler, 446 P.3d 1058 (Kan. 2019).]

Christopher Grause | February 10, 2020 | Read this comment

Summary: The rule against perpetuities mandates that an interest in land must vest not later than twenty-one years after the death of some life in being at the creation of the interest.  If a grantor conveys real estate for a period of twenty years or as long thereafter as minerals are produced, does the grantee’s subsequent interest in the minerals violate the rule against perpetuities?  If so, is this sort of conveyance subject to the rule against perpetuities?

Preferred Citation: Christopher Grause, Just When We Thought We Understood the Rule Against Perpetuities, 59 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2020).

You’ll Pay for What You’ve Done: Holding Industries Accountable for Societal Harms via Public Nuisance Statutes [State v. Purdue Pharma LP, et al., No. CJ-2017-816, 2019 WL 4019929, (Okla. Dist. Ct., Cleveland Cty. Aug. 26, 2019)] by Kayla K. Dieker 59 Washburn Law Journal Online __ (2019).

Kaylal K. Dieker | January 27, 2020 | Read this comment

Summary: The pharmaceutical industry has played an important part in the severity of the opioid epidemic with false and misleading advertisements and marketing.  An Oklahoma district court held Johnson & Johnson liable for $572 million for their role in the opioid crisis.  The state did so by suing under Oklahoma’s public nuisance statute.  Using this statute to sue a pharmaceutical company may create an avenue to recovery against other industries who contribute to national crises by circumventing legislation that prevents suit.

Preferred Citation: Kayla K. Dieker, You’ll Pay for What You’ve Done: Holding Industries Accountable for Societal Harms via Public Nuisance Statutes, 59 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2019).

With Little Guidance Comes Great Responsibility and How Bad Facts Make Bad Law: Examining How the Kansas Court Appeals Applied Gant to DUI and the Nature of DUI Offenses [State v. Blanco, No. 119,558, 2018 Kan. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1004, at *1 (Kan. App. 2018)] by Jacob B. Cantwell 59 Washburn Law Journal Online 81

Jacob B. Cantwell | November 26, 2019 | Read this comment

Summary: In Arizona v. Gant, the United States Supreme Court created a new rule concerning the search incident to valid arrest exception. A panel of the Kansas Court of Appeals had the opportunity to examine this test in State v. Blanco concerning DUI cases. Unfortunately, the panel utilized the unusual facts of Blanco to shape DUI law for all cases. However, this Comment addresses that a DUI, by its nature, should allow officers to search a vehicle incident to a valid arrest of a recent occupant.

Preferred Citation: Jacob B. Cantwell, With Little Guidance Comes Great Responsibility and How Bad Facts Make Bad Law: Examining How the Kansas Court Appeals Applied Gant to DUI and the Nature of DUI Offenses, 59 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2019).

I Can See Clearly Now “the” … Wait What You Need to be More Clear [State v. Gensler, 423 P.3d 488, 490 (Kan. 2018)] by Jacob B. Cantwell 59 Washburn Law Journal Online 81

Jacob B. Cantwell | November 16, 2019 | Read this comment

Summary: When a court interprets a statute, its goal should always be to ascertain the legislature’s intended meaning behind the language. In order to achieve this goal, courts throughout the country give unambiguous terms their unambiguous meaning and will only use tools of statutory construction if the language is found to be ambiguous. The Kansas Supreme Court recently attempted to employ these principles in State v. Gensler, when interpreting the Kansas DUI statute, section 8-1567(i)(1) of the Kansas Statutes. The court erroneously found the word “the” to be ambiguous and used tools of statutory construction to interpret the word. If the court would have correctly analyzed the clear meaning of section 8-1567(i)(1), the court most likely would not have found the word “the” ambiguous. The Kansas Supreme Court has “substituted its idea of a proper statute in place of the one the Legislature passed,” and read in extra language not present in section 8-1567(i)(1).

Preferred Citation: Jacob B. Cantwell, I Can See Clearly Now “the” … Wait What You Need to be More Clear, 59 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2019).

The Disconnect of Student Loan Dischargeability in Bankruptcy [In re Engen, 561 B.R. 523 (Bankr. D. Kan. 2016)] by Colin T. Halpin 59 Washburn Law Journal Online 81

Colin T. Halpin | November 8, 2019 | Read this comment

Summary: Student loan debt represents an area of significant disconnect between nondischargeability and priority status. Many debts that are nondischargeable based on public policy reasons are also given priority status to promote preferred payment. However, student loan debts are not generally discharged through bankruptcy, nor are they normally given preferential treatment to assist in repayment. This disconnect will only continue to grow as the overall level of student loan debt increases. Immediate action is required to address this disconnect and create a solution to better help future student loan debtors.

Preferred Citation: Colin T. Halpin, The Disconnect of Student Loan Dischargeability in Bankruptcy, 59 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2019).

Prevailing v. Reasonable: Missouri’s Medical Coverage Following a Compensable Injury [Tillotson v. St. Joseph Medical Center, 347 S.W.3d 511 (Mo. Ct. App. 2011)] by Aaron J. Greenbaum 59 Washburn Law Journal Online 81

Aaron Greenbaum| November 1, 2019 | Read this comment

Summary: The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District held a work accident was the prevailing factor causing a torn lateral meniscus. The court also held that such compensable injury required medical treatment, amounting to a total knee replacement. The Court of Appeals reversed Missouri’s Labor and Industrial Relations Commission [“the Commission”] which held that the claimant’s work accident was not the prevailing factor requiring the need for a total knee replacement. The Commission affirmed the administrative law judge [“ALJ”] who found that the claimant’s arthritis was the main reason for the total knee replacement and that the claimant failed to prove the torn lateral meniscus was the main cause for her disability. According to the Court of Appeals, the torn lateral meniscus satisfied the definition of a “medical condition” in the prevailing factor statute, despite the tear not being the main cause of total knee replacement. The statute itself does not explicitly include the need for medical treatment. If Court of Appeals had interpreted the term “medical condition” to encompass medical treatment, it would have used the prevailing factor and affirmed the Commission. Additionally, to reach its finding, the court did not address the ALJ’s finding that the work accident was not the prevailing factor causing the disability. The court reversed the Commission’s holding and declared a compensable accident awarding treatment for a condition that was not primarily caused by the work accident. In doing so, court departed from a previous decision in the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District and the purpose of the prevailing factor. In the alternative, Kansas interprets medical treatment to be part of the arising out of standard helping distinguish personal injuries from work injuries.

Preferred Citation: Aaron J. Greenbaum, Prevailing v. Reasonable: Missouri’s Medical Coverage Following a Compensable Injury, 59 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2019).

Pragmatic Groundwater: Texas Judges Should Pragmatically Incorporate Hydrocarbon Doctrines into Groundwater Law [Edwards Aquifer Auth. v. Day, 369 S.W.3d 814, 825 (Tex. 2012)]

Jesse T. Nation | October 14, 2019 | Read this comment

Summary: Texas hydrocarbon law and groundwater law are similar but should not be the same. Courts and scholars should pragmatically think about incorporating Texas hydrocarbon law into Texas groundwater law because the very way of Texan life is at stake.

Preferred Citation: Jesse Nation, Pragmatic Groundwater: Texas Judges Should Pragmatically Incorporate Hydrocarbon Doctrines into Groundwater Law, 59 Washburn L.J. Online __ (2019).

Volume 59 Cases Reviewed