Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trial lawyer makes bid to be county attorney

July 10, 2008

Debra "Deb" Snider, a criminal defense attorney from Lansing, says she is "the right choice" for Leavenworth county attorney as an Aug. 5 Republican primary election for the office nears.

Asked in a recent candidate questionnaire why she is running for county attorney, Snider, who works with Leavenworth-based Snider Law Office, said, "I believe that good, old-fashioned hard work, combined with leadership and integrity, can make the county attorney's office more effective in prosecuting criminals and protecting our families and businesses."

She called the current crime rate in Leavenworth County "unacceptable." "As a citizen, I am greatly concerned about this. As a trial lawyer, I am aware of deficiencies in the county attorney's office. I believe that with the proper leadership and a structured plan of action, these problems can be reduced and hopefully eliminated."

Snider noted plea agreements with repeat offenders as one such "deficiency" under the county's current county attorney, Frank Kohl.

Snider acknowledged that plea negotiations are a necessary part of criminal justice - without which the courts would become "gridlocked" and "backlogged" - but she said, "The important aspect to plea agreements is to carefully regulate their use and scope. That is where the experience and sensibility of the county attorney are so vitally important."

Snider, a 1999 graduate of Kansas University's School of Law, began trying cases in 2000 and, she said, has roughly 100 jury and bench trials under her belt.

She stressed that through serving as an office manager for several different professional firms, the most recent being an international trade law firm in Washington D.C., and operating her own law office, she has the requisite courtroom, life and professional experience to be considered for Leavenworth County's next lead prosecutor.

"As a trial lawyer, I can quickly assess a case to know both its strengths and weaknesses and to structure my courtroom arguments accordingly. I am not afraid of going to trial, and I do it frequently," Snider said. "As a manager, I can work with all types of people to accomplish a goal, and I know how to positively motivate workers to function as an effective team.

Snider will square off with former assistant county attorney and the only other Republican candidate to file for the county attorney post, Todd Thompson, in the Aug. 5 primary. The winner will meet Kohl, a Democrat, in the Nov. 4 general election.

For Snider's full responses to a candidate questionnaire, go online to


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