Suzanne Hale Robinson discussing Divorce on KCLive.

Going through a divorce can be a difficult time and it often can be hard to navigate the process. Suzanne Hale Robinson, attorney at Roth Davies Trial Lawyers, is here with what to expect during the domestic litigation phase. First, let’s talk about the standard temporary orders. Suzanne: When you file a divorce, the court issues four standard temporary orders in most cases. The four standard orders include no cancelling any policies of insurance, no bothering, molesting, harassing, or interfering with the other party’s right to privacy, no encumbering any property, no taking out mortgages, spending money that you wouldn’t spend aside from day to day expenses, the exceptions to that would be to pay attorney’s fee, or costs you are ordered to pay by the court, like child support, or by agreement of the parties. Then the fourth order is no hiding any documents, assets, and things like that. There are a lot of those things that I haven’t even heard of. People actually do those things, so they have to have those rules. Is there a possibility of other temporary orders that may occur? Suzanne: Yes, so those are the four standard temporary orders that you can get. You can file a Motion for Temporary Orders when you file your divorce as well and ask for orders regarding child support, child custody, possession of the marital home, things like that. You can ask the court for any of those things. Then it is up to the court to decide what would appropriate temporary orders in this case be. Can these orders be modified at all? When they are set in place is there anything that you can do to modify them? Suzanne: Yes, so the idea of these temporary orders is to give the parties some sense of structure while the divorce is pending before we get to the final divorce decree. That can take years in some cases. The court will modify those orders by request of the parties if that is appropriate. So, you would file a Motion to Modify Temporary Orders. Typically, the parties will work together to try to come up with some agreement. This is things that affect their lives, and their kids, and their finances. So, it is always better to have the parties figure out what the temporary orders are going to look like instead of having to have a judge decide for you. 

Jason Roth talks about a deadly semi-truck accident

We are hearing for the first time from the semi driver who shot this chilling video of Friday’s deadly 40 car pile up in Oak Grove. It began with a semi sliding off the road. KCTV5’s Betsey Webster looked into why the trucking industry is under scrutiny. Jameon Weaver’s girlfriend was driving when he heard the first crash from the sleeper berth. He hopped down to chronicle what happened next. The couple told Inside Edition the cars weren’t speeding, just sliding one after another. “It was the ice and no brakes will let you stop on ice. Period.” “They weren’t speeding at all. They were actually trying to go 15-20 miles per hour” Jason Roth is a lawyer who has worked with commercial trucking for almost two decades. Jason: “The number of people that it had effected was what was shocking to me.” You will hear truckers say the problem is not with them but with the drivers in passenger cars and that might very well be the case. But you could also argue that commercial drivers have a duty that is greater. Jason: “A tractor trailer weighs up to 80,000 pounds whereas a passenger vehicle is 2 or 3 thousand pounds. An out of control tractor trailer can cause a lot more harm.” That is why the industry is subject to these additional federal regulations which specify using “extreme caution in adverse weather” Roth knows we all have access to real time weather on phone apps, but truckers also have communication systems like this one to get info from home base without taking their eyes off the road. It is essential that carriers don’t let deadlines sway decisions. We don’t know if any pressure to keep the wheels moving played any role in this wreck. What Tamika Evans knows is that she will never forget. “I was really shaken. It is a scary feeling especially when you’re involved in it.” We spoke with OOIDA, a trucking industry group, and they say that the problem is not a shortage of drivers, but high turnover and that means more inexperienced drivers on the roads with you. Only weeks ago, Wal-Mart said it will give its truck drivers a $1,500 yearly raise and the company hopes that move will help them hold onto the drivers that they currently have.

Brandan Davies talks Medical Marijuana on Fox4.

Missouri is now among the states where medical marijuana will soon be legal. But some hurdles still remain if you’re hoping to get a prescription for pot. For one, federal law still prohibits marijuana and your company could still technically fire you if you smoke pot for any reason. Supporters of Amendment 2 rejoiced on Tuesday after Missouri voters approved medical marijuana for people like Candice Beer whose son has epilepsy, it’s a life changer. For people that are in huge amounts of pain, people who have PTSD, all kinds of illnesses can benefit from this. While thousands with qualifying conditions will benefit from this eventually, if Missouri is like other states that legalize marijuana for medicinal reasons, some people can still be fired for using pot. Brandan: There is going to be a figuring out period. Attorney Brandan Davies is reminding people of a key provision in Amendment 2. Section 7D makes it clear that anyone in Missouri who tests positive for pot, even with a doctor’s permission, cannot “bring a claim against any employer, former employer, or prospective employer for wrongful discharge.” Brandan: I’m sure that was in there for a reason probably to protect employers. Now, again that is not going to stop some creative plaintiff’s lawyer from coming up with a way to try to get around that to sue an employer. But again, you don’t want to be that first guy figuring this all out. Davies believes employers in Missouri will respond much the same way companies in Colorado did after medical marijuana became legal there in 2012, leaving it up to the individual employers to decide who should and who should not be using marijuana even after work hours. Brandan: If you are a receptionist, you’re going to be held to a different standard as far as what you have in your system as if you’re a truck driver.

Brandan Davies discusses Kansas vs. Missouri Law on KQTV.

Missouri will soon join a number of other states where medical marijuana usage is legal. However, as KQ2’s Ron Johnson reports, people need to be aware of some of the new law’s legal limitations. After Tuesday’s vote, medical marijuana will soon be legal in the show me state and advocates of the drug say many already have questions. What happens now? When can I get a card? When can I start growing? How do I open a dispensary? Steven is the president of a group that advocates for marijuana reform. He says the perception of the drug as a gateway for teens is now out dated. It’s not for young people who want to rage. With so much interest in the new law, it’s important that Missourians understand it only extends as far as the state’s boundaries. Brandan: Regardless of Missouri law change, it is still illegal here in Kansas. Kansas isn’t going to give you a pass if you get pulled over in Kansas with marijuana because you have a prescription in Missouri. Brandan Davies is an attorney based in Overland Park. He says people who live in areas near the state’s border with Kansas should be extra careful. He says if you’re caught in the sunflower state with marijuana, you could be prosecuted. Brandan: They can potentially be facing some life altering consequences if they happen to interact with law enforcement and law enforcement finds that marijuana. For now, both advocates and attorneys say exactly how medical marijuana will play out remains to be seen. But the biggest takeaway is knowing the laws so that you don’t become a target. Brandan: “Anytime there is a change in the law, especially a dramatic shift in policy, you don’t want to be the first guy figuring it all out for everybody.” The new medical marijuana law will officially go into effect on December 6.

Brandan Davies discusses Marijuana law on Fox4.

Missouri is now the 32nd state that legalized medical marijuana. Voters approved it Tuesday giving power to doctors to prescribe marijuana for medicinal purposes. Under the law, you have to be a qualified patient or caregiver. You can grow up to 6 marijuana plants on your own. You can buy 4 ounces of cannabis per month. When the new law goes into effect, it is going to be perfectly legal for someone on the Missouri side to have marijuana. What happens when you cross the state line into Kansas though? This morning we have attorney Brandan Davies, a criminal defense attorney. Thanks for being with us. I guess you guys have been studying this for some time because there are all these scenarios that could come up now. I want to get to the crossing the state lines in just a bit. First on the technicality of the laws. You have to have a legitimate illness prescribed by a doctor to get this, right? Brandan: From what I read, it looks like the doctors have a pretty wide latitude of what they can prescribe it for. Some people have epilepsy and they need this to not have seizures. Others say they get headaches a lot. Could you get a prescription for that? Brandan: I think that is still up in the air. But from what I read, it looks like the doctors can have a wide latitude of what they can prescribe it for. If a doctor feels that is going to help you, then they can probably give you the prescription. When this happened about 7 years ago in California, my son was out there going to Pepperdine. We were going to Ventura beach and they had doctors set up in tents saying, “Hey you look sick. You need a prescription.” There are abuses in this system. That is what some of the voters were worried about. What happens when that happens? Will people be busted for that? Brandan: I think that is a developing area of the law. Obviously, there is going to be people that look to take advantage of the situation. If there is going to be “weed doctors” here in Missouri now, the law will adapt to figure out that as it goes along....

Brandan Davies discusses Kansas drug laws on KCTV5.

Medical marijuana will soon be legal in Missouri and though that may be a relief for some, it also opens up a can of worms legally. It could affect you if you plan to get a prescription. KCTV5’s Betsy Webster is live in Kansas City, Missouri tonight. Betsy, legal experts have a pretty big warning tonight. That’s right. You may be able to consume cannabis products here, but step across the state line and you could be in trouble for years to come. Say you decide to go shopping in Kansas and you have a cannabis product in your pocket. You forget it was there then you run into police. Now, you are in jail for the night. Even if you get just probation, you will have to find a replacement drug therapy for at least a year. Brandan: Virtually every probation contract here in Kansas is going to require that a person abstain from the use of illegal drugs and alcohol. Since it is illegal in Kansas, they are going to test the person routinely. Overland Park lawyer, Brandan Davies, handles a lot of pot cases. Brandan: We are going to start getting a lot more calls. He is prepared to have a lot more once the Missouri law goes into effect. Brandan: You have Colorado where it is completely legal. You have Missouri now that is medical marijuana. That is all going to develop. Then you have this area that is in between those two places that is super tough on people that have marijuana. There are other complications he can see cropping up that will likely be tested in court. Like, the growing part. You are allowed six plants if you have a prescription card. It is illegal to then share the weed with others, but it is not as easy to track as someone illegally sharing their Oxy prescription. Brandan: Oxy is regulated. You can’t grow Oxy out of the ground. Other issues include DWI’s. There is a number for alcohol, .08. What is the limit for THC? How do you test that? Then, there’s your job. How does medical marijuana fit in with a corporate policy for random drug testing? All of those are things he said still need to be ironed out but things that you may want to consider as this law gets underway.

Suzanne Hale Robinson discusses divorce on KSHB.

Going through a divorce is a difficult time for any family and one of the most common questions is, “what happens to the house?” Suzanne Hale Robinson, attorney at Roth Davies Trial Lawyers, joins us this morning with the answers. A common question is what are the advantages and implications of staying in the marital home during the divorce. Suzanne: People will come in and they will ask me if I stay home do I have some greater stake in the equity of the home or a better chance of getting the home upon the divorce and the answer to the question is, as usual, it depends. So, if I have someone who is wanting to maintain the marital home after the divorce then I will say it might be a better idea for you to stay in the home. Just because if you have kids then you keep your kids in the place where they have their common place where they know. You can keep things as normal as possible for them and then when we get further into the divorce and the judge is trying to decide what will happen with the marital home and the kids, perhaps one of those parents staying in the marital home will help them. But as far as the equity in the marital home goes and the way that the value of the house is split, it has no bearing on that whatsoever if the party stays in the home or not. Some clients also believe staying in the marital home will give them a greater ability to stake a claim in the equity of the home upon on the divorce or that moving out of the home will result in them relinquishing some rights to claim their portion of equity when the home is then sold. Is that true? Suzanne: No. That is not true. There are several things that go into valuing a home but who is living in the home during the pendency of the divorce is certainly not one of them. One thing we will look is if someone owned the home before the other spouse moved in or before the parties were married, so maybe there is some pre-marital equity. That will come off the top and be assigned to the spouse that has that equity. If someone is going to buy the other spouse out, then we provide them with a hypothetical closing cost that gets taken off of the top when we are looking at that equity. Then we figure out after any pre-marital value, after the mortgage, after those closing costs, what is the equity left? The spouses just typically split that 50/50 without any regard for who has lived in the home during the pendency of the divorce. So, take us through the process a little bit more dividing that equity...

Suzanne Hale Robinson on KCLive discussing divorce.

It is a challenging time in anyone’s life going through a divorce. Suzanne Hale Robinson, attorney at Roth Davies Trial Lawyers, is here to fill us in on what you need to know about the litigation process. In Kansas, you are required to have your divorce on file for 60 days before the court can divorce you. So that means the best-case scenario is you will be divorced two months after filing a Petition for Divorce. Can you describe that in more depth and the timeline? Suzanne: The best-case scenario for a divorce would be that it is done within 60 days. Kansas requires that the divorce be on file for at least 60 days before the court has authority to grant the divorce. Those divorces that take 60 days are usually simple divorces or divorces where the spouses have an idea of what the final settlement or agreement is. Obviously the more contested issues there are, the longer the divorce process takes. The cases that I have that are finalized in 60 days typically look like someone coming in and saying, “My spouse and I have already talked about this. We have decided we want to get a divorce. We know what we want to do as far custody, our home, our assets and our debts.” If that is the situation then my role is simply to type up their agreement, file it with the court, and on day 60 submit the Decree of Divorce to get their divorced finalized. So, 60 days is best-case scenario. Obviously, everyone is different so that doesn’t always happen. So, what is the worst-case scenario like? Suzanne: I tell my clients it’s up to you. It is always up to the parties on how long their divorce is going to take. The settlement agreements have to be agreed on by both parties. So, both parties are disagreeing about every issue then a possibility would be we would have to get a trial date. Trial would really be the worst-case scenario. With that, I have had files sitting on my shelf for two or three years of cases that are not finalized. Or cases where we have a divorce but there are still post decree issues that we are dealing with. It is really just a matter of what the issues are and are the parties going to be able to come to agreement on those issues. When it gets lengthy and more complex like that, I am assuming it becomes more expensive. What is the cost like? Suzanne: Divorces can be really expensive. I bill hourly so the more time that I spend on a client’s case, the more money they have to pay to get divorced. The cheapest divorces are those 60-day divorces. Sometimes I will even have couples come in together where one person will retain me and I will help both of them. Those are the cheapest divorces....

Brandan Davies talks “Stand your Ground law” on 41News.

Attorney Brandan Davies talks with the local news station about stand your ground laws and how they impact your ability to protect yourself through self defense.

Brandan Davies talks about a local shooting case on Channel 9

Brandan Davies talks about the "Stand Your Ground" law and how it applies to a local shooting case. 

Suzanne Hale Robinson on KCLive talking about Divorce.

One of the hardest parts of a divorce is the unknown and for many people it is the fear of just beginning a process they know nothing about. But when you understand what divorce looks it can ease the anxiety typically associated with it. That is where Roth Davies Trial Lawyers come in. I’m happy to welcome attorney Suzanne Hale Robinson to the show. Obviously, this is not an easy thing that a lot of couples and families go through. There is a lot of stress and anxiety associated with it. But you don’t have to be alone through the process. That is where you guys can really come in and help. You say there are five parts to a divorce. What are they? Suzanne: Typically, in a divorce with children there will be child custody that we have to think about, child support, if applicable spousal support, a division of assets and a division of debts. There is five topic that you have to touch on in most cases. Obviously, there would only be three if you don’t have children involved. I can imagine everyone’s situation looks a bit different. What is the first step if someone wants a divorce, does it start with filing for a divorce? Suzanne: It would typically start with them coming in and talking to me. I do a sit-down consultation with all of my clients before we file a divorce. Like you said, everything is unique in each case. So, it is important for me to have an understanding of what are the issues in the case and what is my client trying to accomplish. So, I will sit down with them, talk to them and then we formulate what I call a game plan. I let them know what the procedures are going to be and yes filing for the divorce is that first step. Making the decision, getting that petition for divorce drafted, and getting that filed in the county where the client lives or where the spouse lives. I mentioned in the intro the scariest part can be the unknown which I think a lot of things in life is just the unknown that really scares us. You try to really provide that comfort and having dealt with different cases and different family situations. You are able to provide that expertise and maybe take a little bit off their plate. It is already a time where they are probably looking for a little less stress so that is kind of where you can help ease some of that as well. Suzanne: Right. So, I will tell my clients that you have this box of legal problems that you open once you start the process of the divorce. Just like I wouldn’t know how to build a house, most of my clients don’t know how to do a divorce. They get to take that box of legal unknowns and problems and set them on my desk and I deal with the legal side of things. But letting them have the opportunity to heal or do whatever they need to do during what is in most cases a very difficult part of people’s lives. What are some of the most common questions you get? Suzanne: So, people will come in and ask, “how can I protect myself?” One common aspect of that is in the abusive arena. I have had clients that are certainly fearful of retaliation after they file for the divorce, fearful of what their spouse will do. Perhaps they have been in an abusive situation and they are trying to get out of that and that can be very difficult for people. There are protections and that is why I want to sit down and talk with my client. I would certainly handle a divorce involving abuse different than a divorce that doesn’t involve or there is no fear of abuse. There are temporary orders that we can file with the court. Those are orders that stay in place during the divorce pending before everything is final. We can ask the court for restraining orders preventing one spouse from being around the other spouse. We can ask the court for immediate exclusive possession of the marital home. Having the spouse have to be out of the home within 24 hours or immediately upon being serviced. We can arrange for a civil standby for the other spouse to get the belongings from the house to protect the spouse that may be at risk for abuse. It may be hard times and certainly not an ideal situation. But if you find yourself going through this you do not have to do it alone. Roth Davies Trial Lawyers is there to help.