For the 25th consecutive year, Dan Monnat, of Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, is being included in The Best Lawyers in America®.  For this 2013 edition, Monnat is listed in the fields of criminal defense; white-collar criminal defense; and appellate defense.  Selection is based on a confidential, nationwide peer survey that rates attorneys on professional competency, legal scholarship, pro bono service, and achievement.

“For a quarter of a century, it has been my great privilege to be included among this esteemed group of lawyers,” Monnat said.  “Their unwavering dedication to the profession upholds the Constitution and ensures that American justice stands strong,” Monnat said.

Monnat has practiced in Wichita for more than 36 years.  A graduate of California State University, Monnat received his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law and is a graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College.

A frequent national lecturer and editorial contributor on criminal defense topics, Monnat is the author of “Sentencing, Probation, and Collateral Consequences,” a chapter of the Kansas Bar Association’s Kansas Criminal Law Handbook, 4th edition.  Appointed by then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Monnat served on the Kansas Sentencing Commission from 2007 – 2012.

Chosen in 2002 as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Monnat currently sits on the Kansas Association of Justice’ Board of Editors and is the Criminal Law Chair.  He has also been designated a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Litigation Counsel of America and the Kansas Bar Foundation.

Monnat served as a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Board of Directors from 1996 – 2004, and is a two-term past president of the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has overturned the capital murder conviction and ordered a new trial for the man sentenced to death for killing a Greenwood County sheriff in 2005. The unanimous ruling on Friday sends back the case of Scott D. Cheever, who was convicted in October 2007 for the shooting death of Sheriff Matt Samuels when the officer was serving a warrant at a rural home where meth was made.

“I think about my dad every day,” says Heath Samuels, Matt’s son. “I’ll never forget him. And basically, going through another court trial just brings back the memories of that day.”

Heath says his dad was also his hero. And the death of his father is something he’d just as soon forget. But the justices of the Supreme Court in Kansas ruled this week that Cheever’s constitutional rights were violated when a psychiatrist disclosed Cheever’s psychological records during the trial without his consent. The testimony was based on Cheever’s evaluations when the case was in federal court before it was remanded to state court.

Cheever’s conviction for manufacturing of methamphetamines and criminal possession of a firearm were upheld. So there will be another trial. Lawyers following the Supreme Court ruling say they are not surprised to see the Kansas high court taking a second look at the conviction.

“So far the Kansas courts have reviewed seven capital convictions, and reversed seven capital convictions,” says Legal Analyst and Wichita attorney Dan Monnat. “Mr. Cheever was originally asked by the court to talk when it was thought he would be going after a mental defense. But he never made a mental defense. That clearly violated Mr. Cheever’s 5th amendment right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself….”

Cheever said after his arrest, he was too high on Meth to know what he was doing. That’s a claim that was taken seriously by federal prosecutors who first handled the case. And the Feds asked for a mental evaluation. But the case was turned over to the state for prosecution where Cheever was tried and convicted of capital Murder. That’s where the state Supreme Court comes into play.

A mental evaluation done at the request of federal authorities was handed off to the Kansas prosecutors for the trial. And attorneys now arguing Cheever’s case say that mental evaluation was offered at trial, against Cheever’s will. Thus, the 5th amendment violation ruling from the state Supreme Court. Heath Samuels says he still has faith in the justice system. He just wants to remember his dad while he was alive, not the day he died.

“Basically, I’d like to be able to forget about the day that he was killed and just forget about the guy that killed him and just remember the good times that I spent with him.”

See video at KSN

KSN TV – By Craig Andres

The man who was once in line to become the potentate of the Wichita Midian Shrine Temple could face a trial on rape and child sex charges.  Jodie Mosier was in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.  He’s charged with rape and aggravated indecent liberties with a child against his own step daughter and step granddaughter.

The Sedgwick County District Attorney charged Mosier with the crimes after his family told police of the allegations in March of this year.  However, Mosier’s defense attorney, Dan Monnat, claims the allegations are patently false. “These allegations dating back months or years were manufactured as a result of the anger that arose as a response to the disintegration of the marriage between Jodie Mosier and Tammy Mosier,” Monnat said.

Monnat added that the allegations didn’t surface until the next day after Jodie Mosier filed for divorce earlier this year. “The 13 year-old granddaughter was privy to information about the disintegration of her grandpa and grandma’s marriage,” Monnat said, “and privy to her grandmother and mother’s bitterness about the disintegration of that marriage and the divorce that was filed.”

Judge Jeff Syrios heard from both the young girl and her mother.  The defense also alleges that both of the victims were — and still are — angry, and wanted to attack Mosier and seek vengeance for his infidelity by taking a mistress to Las Vegas. “The acts were never mentioned until they were angrily brought up the day after the divorce was filed on March 21st, 2012,” said Monnat.

Mosier was in line to become the potentate of the Wichita Midian Shrine Temple in 2013, but an office manager confirms he will not take that post. The defense said it plans to call its own witnesses to the stand, which is fairly unusual for a preliminary hearing.  The judge will hear from those witnesses at a later date.  Meanwhile, Mosier remains free on bond.  The judge will eventually determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

See video at KAKE

KAKE TV – By Jared Cerullo