Attorney Profile

Kurt P. Kerns

Kurt Kerns

Ariagno, Kerns, Mank & White, LLC
328 North Main
Wichita, KS 67202


Kansas (KS)



Selected To Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2014

Selected to Super Lawyers for 9 years

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense: White Collar



Kurt P. Kerns is the founding partner of Ariagno, Kerns, Mank & White, L.L.C., a criminal defense law firm based in Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Kerns’ practice encompasses all aspects of state and federal criminal defense, including criminal investigations, grand jury proceedings, trials and appeals. His successes in complex, high-profile cases are numerous and include10 consecutive federal jury trials in which his clients have avoided conviction. He has yet to lose a murder case. Mr. Kerns is one of only 26 American lawyers authorized to appear before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands, where he recently defended Commander Vinko Martinovic before the International War Crime Tribunal.

Mr. Kerns received his Juris Doctor in 1991 and has completed additional high-level training at both the National Criminal Defense College and Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, where he is currently on staff as an instructor. Mr. Kerns’ professional honors include the AV Preeminent* peer review rating he has held through Martindale-Hubbell for more than 10 years and his selection for inclusion in the American Trial Lawyers Association’s "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" listings for each of the last four years. He is also named to "Best Lawyers in America." Mr. Kerns was last year's recipient of the Kansas Bar Association's "Courageous Attorney" award for his work in defense of a man charged in America's first "Genocide" related prosecution. All charges against his client were dismissed after Mr. Kerns travelled to six different African nations in order to locate witnesses in defense of his client.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell peer review ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.Past case victories are no indication of success in any one particular case as every case is different.

Find Me Online

International Locations

Global Region(s): Africa, Canada (Region), Europe, Latin America

About Kurt Kerns

Law School: Washburn University School of Law

Admitted: 1991, Kansas

Professional Webpage:

Honors and Awards:

  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Recipient, 2010 Kansas Bar Association "Courageous Attorney Award."
  • Selected as "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" by American Trial Lawyers Association (2007-Present)
  • Highest Legal Ability Rating by Martindale-Hubbell (A.V.)
  • "One of the Best Lawyers in the State", CBS News 48 Hours

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Admitted to practice before the International Criminal Court, Hague, Holland.I.C.C.Admitted to practice before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. I.C.T.R.

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Kansas Bar Association
  • The International Criminal Court
  • The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
  • The Supreme Court of the United States
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • The United States District Court for Kansas
  • The Kansas Supreme Court
  • Life Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Board of Governors, Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Wichita Bar Association

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Aspatore Books, "Inside the Minds - Defense Strategies for Drug Crimes." September, 2010
  • Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Newsletter, "Life is Vague in the Hague.", April, 2006
  • Kansas Bar Association – Kansas Criminal Law Handbook, 4th Edition, Distributed by Lexis Nexis, 2006
  • International Bar Association
  • Association of Defense Counsel – International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (I.C.T.Y)
  • Life Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Board of Governors, Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1996 – 2002
  • Criminal Practice Committee, Wichita Bar Association
  • Speaker, Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Annual Meeting, April, 1996. “Ethics and the Criminal Defense Lawyer."
  • Speaker, Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Annual Meeting, April, 1998. “New Developments in Criminal Defense-Defending the Fringe."
  • Speaker, Ellis County Bar Association, December 17, 1999, “The Naramore Case."
  • Speaker, Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Fall C.L.E., October 13-14, 2000, “Theatre in the Courtroom."
  • Speaker, Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Spring C.L.E, April, 2006, “Winning The Impossible Case."
  • Speaker, Gerry Spence's Regional Seminar, Seattle , Washington, April 2007, “Psychodrama in the Courtroom."
  • Speaker, Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Fall C.L.E., October 2009, "Effective Communication."
  • Instructor, Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College (2002 – present)

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • Obtained dismissal of all charges in America's first case where the Federal Government was tasked with charging and proving the crime of "Genocide" in an American courtroom., 2011

Representative Clients:

  • United States v. Freeman, 479 F.3d 743, 2007
  • United States v. Cota-Meza, 367 F.3d 1218, 2004
  • United States v. Cota-Meza, 367 F.3d 1218, 2004
  • State v. Flynn, 274 Kan., 473, 2003
  • State of Kansas v. Flynn, 274 Kan. 473, 2002
  • State v. Snodgrass, 267 Kan. 185, 1999
  • State v. Naramore, 25 Kan.App.2nd 302, (D.Kan.), 1998
  • State v. Franklin, 264 Kan. 496, 1998
  • State of Kansas v. Naramore, 25 Kan. App 2nd 302, 1998
  • United States v. Reed, 113 F.3d 1067, (10th Cir.), 1997
  • United States v. Moore, 108 F.3d 270, (10th Cir.), 1997
  • United States v. Reed, 924 F.Supp.1052, (D.Kan.), 1996
  • United States v. Moore, 91 F.3d 96, (10th Cir.), 1996
  • United States v. Hardwell, 80 F.3d 1471, (10th Cir.), 1996
  • State v. DeLaCruz, 259 Kan. 129, 899 P.2d 1042, 1995
  • State v. Delacruz, 258 Kan. 129, 1995
  • State of Kansas v. Floyd (Murder charges dismissed after two hung juries- featured on CBS News “48 Hours”)
  • State of Kansas v. Wright (State Social worker acquitted of selling cocaine to clients)
  • United States v. Webber (Indian Tribe Fraud prosecution)
  • State of Kansas v. Robinson (Pastor of large church, acquitted of assault)
  • State of Kansas v. Robinson (Pastor of large church, acquitted of assault)
  • State of Kansas v. Raines (Acquitted of second degree murder)
  • State of Kansas v. Naramore (Kansas doctor accused and acquitted of murder)
  • State of Kansas v. McCullough (Acquitted of first degree murder)
  • The Prosecutor v. Martinovic (Croatian Commander accused of various war crimes at The Hague)
  • State of Kansas v. Marck (Multiple drug charges dismissed and elite police unit disciplined for police misconduct)
  • United States v. Kobagaya, (Nation’s first prosecution involving accusation of “genocide”)
  • United States v. Hopkins & Hardwell (Seven defendant cocaine conspiracy trial where two individual clients were acquitted over the course of two separate jury trials)
  • State of Kansas v. Harstick (Kansas "meat packer murder" acquitted of first degree murder)
  • United States v. Harris (Kansas’ First Racketeering ( R.I.C.O.) prosecution)
  • State of Kansas v. Green (Kansas physician-oncologist accused of murder and arson)
  • United States v. Greathouse (Accused Montana “Freeman” acquitted of federal fraud charges)
  • State of Kansas v. Finney (Democratic Party Representative acquitted of aggravated battery)
  • United States v. Enloe (Kansas Farmer acquitted of Marijuana growing Operation)
  • State of Kansas v. Downs (Acquitted of Second Degree Murder)
  • State of Kansas v. Collins (Sheriff of Cherokee County charged with eleven felonies and nine misdemeanors-acquitted on all charges)
  • Served as legal commentator for Court T.V. True T.V. and featured on CBS News 48

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Selected to serve on Staff at Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College. A rated by Martindale Hubbell. Listed in Best Lawyers in America

Educational Background:

  • Washburn University School of Law, 1991
  • University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, B.A., 1985-1988
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.  1984-1985
  • Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College - Dubois, Wyoming
  • National Criminal Defense College Graduate - Macon, Georgia
Call me at 316-265-5511

To: Kurt P. Kerns

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