I am a retired lawyer in Kansas City. I practiced corporate and commercial law for over 40 years in our city, both as litigator in federal and state courts in a wide range of cases, and as a transactional lawyer, especially in real estate, zoning, tax-incented real estate development and other land use projects.
My peer review ratings include the Best Lawyers in America and a 5.0/5.0 AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell.
Most corporate lawyers don’t get the opportunity to handle Constitutional law cases, but I lept at every opportunity to apply the Constitution when the issues presented themselves. I am not a Constitutional law scholar, but Constitutional law has always been an exciting learning source for me; it combines my interests in American history, politics and the law.
I have been active in Kansas City, Missouri civic affairs for over 35 years. I was elected to the Kansas City, Missouri City Council for two four-year terms, 1987 – 1995, where I chaired the City Council’s Finance Committee and developed a “hands on” interest in municipal budgeting and public finance.
I have served on a number of civic boards reflecting my interests over the years, notably chairing the Citizens Association, Kansas City’s oldest and largest non-partisan political organization; serving on the Historic Kansas City Foundation Board of Directors, handling particularly its legal needs; and working in a number of non-partisan political campaigns in Kansas City, Missouri (Kansas City, Missouri has a non-partisan form of city government).
Restoring Kansas City’s historic Union Station is one of my most satisfying public accomplishments. The 1914 magnificent beaux art train station handled over 200 trains a day in its hey day, but sat empty as rail travel declined in the United States. It eventually became a blight on our skyline and on our spirit as a community.
I have always been interested in historic preservation. In that regard, I developed and wrote the legislation forming a Missouri-Kansas bi-state district with taxing authority to restore Union Station to its original grandeur. Following legislative approval in both Missouri and Kansas, voters on both sides of the state lane approved the bi-state district, including a 1/8 cent sales tax to fund restoration.
The 1/8 sales tax raised over $100 million for the station’s restoration. Hundreds of citizens from many walks of life worked hard to overcome high mistrust on both sides of the state line to approve and fund the District. Each side gave in a little and we got it done.
Today Union Station is home to the Kansas City Science Museum, restaurants, shops, offices and is a source of tremendous civic pride. It’s where we go when we win the World Series and the Super Bowl.
Dan Cofran, J.D.