Jerry R. Palmer
Jerry R. Palmer founded the predecessor to the current law firm of Palmer, Leatherman, White, & Girard, L.L.P., in the historic Columbian Building in 1980. Since founding the firm, Mr. Palmer has dedicated his practice to the representation of individuals in tort litigation across the State of Kansas in the areas of medical malpractice, product liability, automobile negligence, wrongful death, electrical injuries, federal tort claims, third-party claims against insurance companies, and all other areas of personal injury litigation.
Following his graduation from the University of Kansas Law School in 1966, Mr. Palmer was an associate and then partner in the firm of Fisher, Patterson, Sayler, & Smith, a premier defense firm where he was mentored by Don Patterson, one of the nation's outstanding product liability attorneys. This was followed by three years as an associate with the firm of Fisher & Benfer, where he divided his practice between plaintiff's personal injury litigation and defense of such claims. While at Fisher & Benfer, he participated as co-counsel in the case of Martin v. State Highway Commission, 213 Kan, 877 (1974), which was at the time the largest personal injury verdict rendered by a Kansas jury.
Jerry R. Palmer has been active in a variety of organizations associated with the legal profession and the trial bar, including:
- The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), of which he is a lifetime member, having served on its Board of Governors, Constitutional Challenge Committee (chair), and Home Office and Budget Committee. Mr. Palmer has received ATLA's Citation of Excellence on three separate occasions.
- The Kansas Trial Lawyers Association (KTLA), of which he has been a member of the Board of Governors for more than 20 years and served as President in 1977-78.
- Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ), of which he is a life member and served on the Board of Directors. Mr. Palmer has served as local counsel for this organization devoted to the advancement of public justice in its class action abuse project. He also serves on its Program Development Committee.
- The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an honorary organization of both plaintiff and defense attorneys, of which he has served as Chairman of the Kansas Chapter.
- The American College of Trial Lawyers, an honorary organization that recognizes the achievements in civil trial practice of all types of trial lawyers and whose membership is limited to no more than one percent of the State Bar. Mr. Palmer became a Fellow of the organization following his election in 1988.
- The International Academy of Trial Lawyers, by which he was elected to Fellowship in 1999. The United States membership of this organization of trial lawyers from many countries is limited to 500 in the US.
- The American Law Institute (ALI), to which he was elected in 1987 and where he has served on consultative groups for such projects as the Restatement of Torts 3d Products Liability, General Principles of Tort Liability, and Appointment. The American Law Institute is an organization of approximately 2,700 members, comprising practicing lawyers, judges, and legal academicians, who are responsible for writing the ten Restatements of the Law.
- National Board of Trial Advocates (NBTA), of which he has been a member of the Board of Directors for over 15 years, serving as President and Chairman from 1991 to 1993. He also spearheaded NBTA's effort in the case of Peel v. Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois, 110 S. Ct. 2281 (1992), which was decided affirmatively for NBTA.
- The American Bar Association and its product liability committees; the American Jury Trial Foundation, of which he was a Trustee; the Kansas Bar Association and special committees; the Topeka Bar Association and special committees; the Topeka Lawyers Club, of which he was President in 1989; the Honorable Sam Crow American Inns of Court, of which he was Master of the Bench; and Scribes, an organization of legal authors of which he is an elected member.
Jerry R. Palmer has been at the forefront of the move for specialty certification of attorneys in the United States. In 1980, he received the first certificate issued by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA), which certified him as a Civil Trial Advocate. He has been re-certified four times. Mr. Palmer was also certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA) in 1990 and was re-certified in 1998 in the subspecialty of medical malpractice. He is also certified as a Civil Mediator by the Kansas Supreme Court, Office of Judicial Administration.
The NBTA and ABPLA are the only organizations that certify attorneys in the fields of civil trial practice or in professional liability practice at the national level. Both organizations are accredited to certify attorneys by the American Bar Association. Both organizations require proof that the attorney is in good standing, is substantially involved in litigating and trying cases (including minimum trial day requirements), has met continuing legal education requirements, and has been subjected to peer review by persons against they've tried cases and judges before whom they've appeared. Both organizations require passing a written examination. NBTA, in addition, requires a trial court memorandum and an annual disclosure of misconduct to monitor quality, as well as a continuation of substantial involvement in civil trial practice.
In recognition of his service to the bar, Mr. Palmer has been acknowledged in 2000 by the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association with the Arthur C. Hodgson Award, which is the highest award given by the organization; in 1998 by the National Board of Trial Advocacy with the Theodore J. Koskoff Award of Outstanding Contribution to the Trial Specialty Certification; and in 1998 by the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association with the first presentation of the Consumer Advocate Award for the case of Long v. Turk, 265 Kan. 855 (1998).
Mr. Palmer has also been designated in the book Best Lawyers in America in the field of personal injury. He has held an AV rating from Martindale-Hubble for over 20 years. He was an elected member of the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission for two consecutive terms, having been elected by mail ballot of the lawyers in the Second Congressional District. He is also listed in Who's Who in American Law and
Who's Who in the World.
In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Palmer has taught Law and Medicine and Trial Techniques as an Adjunct Professor at Washburn University Law School and has given over 75 lectures on areas of substantive legal practice in the areas of product liability, medical malpractice, automobile liability, and third-party liability of insurers. Furthermore, he has given lectures on aspects of trial techniques involving discovery, the use of technology, computerized research, structured settlements, case evaluations, and mediation. His speeches have been presented in at least a dozen states and at national conferences.
Mr. Palmer has written numerous articles that have appeared in such publications asThe Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, The Kansas Bar Journal, Trial Diplomacy Journal, and
Mr. Palmer is admitted to practice in the State of Kansas; the United States District Court in the District of Kansas; the United States Claims Court, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals; and the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition, he has been certified by the State of Kansas as a mediator.
Please consult our FAQs page for examples of some of the most notable cases Mr. Palmer has tried in the appellate courts in the State of Kansas.