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Fisher Patterson Sayler & Smith
Donald Patterson

Topeka Office
3550 SW 5th Street
P.O. Box 949
Topeka, KS 66601

Telephone: (785) 232-7761
Fax: (785) 232-6604

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Donald Patterson

Patterson has trial experience ranging from real estate, antitrust, trade practices, vehicular accidents, medical malpractice, fair employment practices, products liability, civil rights and governmental defense. He is active in professional and volunteer activities. He was a charter member of and assisted in the organization of the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel. He served on the permanent Judicial Commission, the Synod of Mid-America Presbyterian Church (USA) 1990-1992, and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of the Rockies since 1971. He is a frequent lecturer at legal institutes in the State of Kansas and nationally on the subject of Products Liability. He has served as adjunct professor at Washburn University Law School (1951-52, 2011-12) and has been a guest lecturer at the law schools of Washburn University and the University of Kansas, and the schools of engineering at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas.

Patterson is a founding member of the firm and a true pioneer in the law of expert testimony and products liability. Patterson has argued twice in front of the United States Supreme Court. He was one of the early members of the Defense Research Institute (DRI) and one of the founders of the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel (KADC). He was recognized for more than 25 years on the list of Best Lawyers in America in the area of personal injury litigation. He has more than five decades of trial experience. He is a frequent lecturer at professional seminars and has served as an adjunct and lecturer at local law schools. He is the recipient of multiple professional and community accolades.

AV® - Preeminent Rated. (AV® - Preeminent™ is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.)

  • University of Nebraska, A.B. (Political Science) (1947)
  • University of Michigan, J.D. (1950)
  • Scholastic Honors - Phi Beta Kappa, University of Nebraska (1947)
  • Nebraska (1950)
  • Kansas (1950)
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska (1950)
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas (1950)
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (1963)
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (2004)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (1980)
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Litigators' Master Roundtable (Member 1990)
  • Kansas College of Trial Advocacy (Faculty)
  • NITA Advocacy Program (Faculty)
  • American Bar Association
  • Topeka Bar Association
    • President (1974-75)
  • Kansas Association of Defense Counsel (Charter Member)
    • Secretary (1966-73)
    • President (1973-74)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy, Boulder, Colorado (Faculty, 1984)
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Subcommittee Chairman - Current Trends in Judicial Decisions
    • Product Liability Committee
  • American Judicature Society
  • U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society (Member and State Chairman, 1989-91)
  • American Arbitration Association
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow, 1975- )
  • Listed in "Best Lawyers in America" (1983-2011)
    • Personal Injury Litigation
  • Kansas Bench Book Committee (1975-84)
  • Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission (1979-1989)
  • Kansas Board of Discipline of Attorneys (1980-1983)
  • Listed in Princeton Global Network, Inc. - national and world leaders
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • American Journal of Trial Advocacy, "The When, If and How of Challenging Expert Testimony," 2005
  • Challenges to Expert Testimony Pre- and Post- Daubert Chapter, International Association of Defense Counsel, Challenging Expert Witness Testimony, 2000
  • Kansas Law and Federal Rules Chapter, Defense Research Institute Compendium on Expert Testimony Defense Research Monograph "Expert Testimony" and The Defense of Litigation (Primary Author)
  • Defense Counsel Journal April 1996: "The Citadel Reburied: Restatement of the Law Third Torts: Products Liability"
  • Kansas Chapter, DRI, Products Liability Compendium, 1992
  • Discovery of Trial Expert Opinions Chapter, Defense Research Institute, Products Liability Pretrial Notebook, 1989 (Co-author)
  • Am. Jur. I Proof of Facts 3d 363, "Defense of Product Liability Action: Infeasiblity of Alternative Design Proposed by Plaintiff" (1988)
  • “For the Defense” (Defense Research Institute):
    • Expert Witnesses and State of the Art - Sept. 1980
    • The Rule-Making Power of Expert Witnesses Part I - Oct. 1981
    • The Rule-Making Power of Expert Witnesses Part II - Nov. 1981
    • Design Defect Cases: The True Cost of Settling - May 1985
    • Defense Against Ambush - March 1986
    • Current Trends in Judicial Decision - periodically since 1986
  • Kansas Bench Book (1978) (Co-author)
  • Kansas Appellate Practice (1978) (Co-author)
  • Winner 1996 Yancey Memorial Award, International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Winner First Annual DRI Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Profession, Defense Research Institute (1997)
  • Winner KADC William Kahrs Distinguished Service Award (2003)
  • Topeka Bar Association—Warren W. Shaw Distinguished Service Award 2009
  • University of Nebraska Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award 2009
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