WICHITA – The August/September issue of the ABA Journal – flagship magazine of the American Bar Association and read by half of the nation’s 1 million lawyers – features a behind-the-scenes look at local criminal defense lawyer Dan Monnat, of Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered, and how his lifelong passion for music has inspired his 47-year law career. The multi-page feature retraces Dan’s early roots as a Kapaun high-school musician playing in a local band, The Lion’s Mane, to his college days as a drummer in San Francisco, including gigs at the infamous Condor Club (which introduced America to topless go-go dancing). Read the full article here: Rock of Ages: This septuagenarian lawyer can beat both his clients’ criminal charges and a drum set

“The road to a legal career is sometimes circuitous,” says Monnat, who founded Monnat & Spurrier with fellow Lion’s Mane band member Stan Spurrier in 1985. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In each issue, the ABA Journal seeks to explore members of the legal profession who not only nurture their passions for activities outside the practice of law, but also utilize those passions to better serve the law, or their clients, or their communities. There are a million lawyers in this country, all making tremendous contributions to this profession. I’m incredibly honored that the ABA Journal chose to feature me and my journey in this issue, and I hope that young lawyers find inspiration from that.”

In Monnat’s case, he says his passion for music inspired in him the confidence to take risks and the discipline to follow every possible legal avenue in defending his clients. Well known for his work in criminal defense, white collar criminal defense and bet-the-company litigation, Monnat’s high-profile clients have included the defense and acquittal of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, the defense of an innocent man wrongly accused of being the notorious BTK, and acquittals and exonerations of his clients in shaken baby murder and other murder, sex and white-collar prosecutions. More importantly, he says, his passion for music gave him “an invaluable education in how to relate to and persuade an audience – whether it was in a nightclub or a jury box.”

Today, when he’s not defending clients in courtrooms across the state, Dan and fellow Wichita musicians Doug Webb and Phil Snow of The House Band can be found playing gigs at the Wichita Riverfest, Wichita Blues Society and area restaurants and clubs including YaYa’s Eurobistro. The House Band performs live at YaYa’s Eurobistro this Saturday, Aug. 5, from 8 – 11 p.m.

Rock of Ages: This septuagenarian lawyer can beat both his clients’ criminal charges and a drum set. ©2023 by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.