Larry A. WithersMember
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Law School: Washburn University of Topeka, J.D.
Personal Background: Larry was born in Versailles, Missouri on August 22, 1942. He died July 26, 2004, after a courageous battle with cancer, at the height of his legal career. In 1968, Larry started his career with the Kahrs Nelson firm in Wichita, Kansas. He was a partner in that firm from 1971 through 1999, and was instrumental in seeing that firm grow from a small firm of eight lawyers to a firm of over thirty lawyers, becoming at one time the third largest firm in Kansas. The firm of Withers, Gough, Pike & Pfaff, LLC was formed by five attorneys who were formerly partners at the Kahrs Nelson firm. We all worked closely with Larry over the years and are indebted to him for the excellent training that we received as young lawyers. His spirit remains a guiding force in how we approach, prepare and try complex product liability, insurance and commercial cases.
Education: Larry received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Washburn University of Topeka (B.B.A, 1965; J.D., 1968). He was Comments Editor of the Washburn Law Journal (1967-1968).
Professional Experience: He was admitted to practice in Kansas in 1968, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in 1972, and in the United States Supreme Court in 2004. He was a member of the Bench Bar Committee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas (1992-1998). He was a member of the Wichita, Kansas, and American Bar Associations; International Association of Defense Counsel; Defense Research Institute; Kansas Trial Lawyers Association; Kansas Association of Defense Counsel and American Board of Trial Advocates.
Practice Areas: Larry specialized in product liability cases. He developed a keen interest and hands-on knowledge about machines and cars at an early age by working in his father’s machine shop and building hot rods in high school. He had no difficulty in communicating with engineers or in understanding how and why products were designed and intended to function. He enjoyed representing such companies as General Motors, Chrysler, and John Deere in serious product liability cases. He also handled complex commercial litigation, insurance defense and insurance coverage cases.