Payne & Jones, Chartered
John H. "Topper" Johntz
John H. “Topper” Johntz, Jr. has been a member of the firm since 1965 and is a nationally-recognized expert in the field of family law, having at one point been selected by The National Law Journal as one of the thirty-eight leaders in family law in the United States. He has been continuously listed in each edition of the book The Best Lawyers in America since its inception in 1983.
Topper was the lead draftsman of both the modern domestic relations statutes of the State of Kansas and the Johnson County Guidelines used for divorce, child custody and financial dispositions. He has lectured extensively to legal, accounting, medical and lay audiences; has written a chapter in the book, Tax Aspects of Litigation; and has made seminar appearances for the Practicing Law Institute in New York City and San Francisco. As a member of the Kansas Board of Law Examiners, Topper was involved in writing and grading the Kansas Bar Exam from 1978 until 2005. He has been admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court and the Federal and State Courts of Kansas.
Topper has counseled literally thousands of clients through his four decades of practice. He has served as lead trial counsel in a number of complex domestic relations cases and is recognized by the bar and the judiciary as an expert in the proper methodology for evaluating and equitably distributing wealth contained in closely held corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and other investments that are part of marital estates.
Topper graduated valedictorian from Harvard University and then returned to the University of Kansas where he attained his Juris Doctorate degree with highest distinction and was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Kansas Law Review. Upon graduation, he was named the International Law School Graduate of the Year. In 1991, he was selected the Shawnee Mission North High School Distinguished Alumnus.
Topper has served as a member of the Family Law Advisory Committee to the Kansas Judicial Council, as a member of the Board of Editors for the Kansas Bar Journal, as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas University Law Society, as the General Chairman of the Annual Convention of the Kansas Bar Association, and as President of the Kansas University Law School Alumni Association of Greater Kansas City. lie is also one of several principals of Payne & Jones Chartered who have received an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Topper’s numerous community involvements include serving as President of the Kansas Arts Commission, President of the Harvard Club of Greater Kansas City, Treasurer of the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Greater Kansas City, Co-Chairman of the Bacchus Cultural and Educational Foundation of Kansas City, member of the Board of Directors for the Society of Fellows of the Nelson Gallery of Art, President of the Board of Directors of Kansas City Repertory Theatre and member of the Board of Directors of the Theater League of Kansas City.
Topper has been an officer, partner or member of the Board of Directors of various financial and other for-profit organizations.
Harvard – A.B. 1959 (valedictorian)
University of Kansas – J.D. 1965 (highest distinction; Order of the Coif; Editor in Chief Law Review)
Kansas – 1965
Kansas U.S. Supreme Court – 1971
Associations / Memberships
- AV rating from Martindale Hubbell
- 1965-1987 Kansas Bar Journal, Board of Editors
- 1978-1996 Kansas Judicial Council, Family Law Advisory Committee
- 1980-2005 Kansas Board of Law Examiners
- 1987-1990 Johnson County Bench/Bar Committee – Domestic Relations
- Johnson County Bar Association
- Kansas Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers