Featured business person: Bob Collins

10/17/2013 12:00 AM

10/17/2013 6:45 AM

Bob Collins, attorney

Collins’ long legal practice can be broken down into two periods. From the early 1960s to the mid-1980s, he was an oil and gas attorney.

When that “kind of went south” with the drop in oil prices, he said, he became a specialist in elder law, helping people benefit from Medicaid without exhausting their family’s assets. He also handled items such as wills and trusts.

Collins was born and raised in Wichita, where his father, George, was a leading oil and gas attorney. He attended college in Minnesota, then earned his law degree from the University of Kansas.

He practiced with his father until the latter’s death in 1978, after which he was a sole practitioner. He says he “couldn’t have done it” without his legal assistant of 37 years, Barbara Whitsitt.

Long active in the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission, Collins recently was honored with its 2013 Robert L. Gernon Award, named for a former Kansas Supreme Court Justice. Collins was cited for organizing and moderating CLE seminars.

“We don’t like going back to school, but you’ve got to have these mandatory programs so people will keep up,” he said.

Collins closed his practice on April 30 – well, almost.

“We have a bunch of probates and trusts we haven’t closed down,” he said. “But we’re not taking new clients.”

He plans to remain active in the CLE organization. Otherwise, he said, “I”m just kind of enjoying myself, reading and watching TV and sports.”

Joe Stumpe

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