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Kan. gov. names KC-area attorney as chief counsel

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas City-area attorney who's also a horse breeder and partner in a family cattle ranch will be joining Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's staff next month as his chief counsel, the governor's office announced Wednesday.

Brownback appointed Brant Laue to replace Caleb Stegall, who was named by the governor to the state Court of Appeals and confirmed by the Kansas Senate last month.

Laue lives in Lenexa and is a partner in the Armstrong Teasdale firm's Kansas City, Mo., office. Laue is a native of Hanover, a small town about 90 miles northwest of Topeka, near the Nebraska border.

The governor's office said Laue will become chief counsel Nov. 4, but Stegall will remain on Brownback's staff for several weeks to help with the transition. Stegall will be sworn in as a Court of Appeals judge on Jan. 3.

Laue is a 1986 graduate of the Cornell Law School in Ithaca, N.Y. He is a former clerk for a federal judge in South Dakota and previously worked in the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Division in Washington.

"Brant brings extensive legal experience to this position and possesses a deep knowledge and understanding of the law," Brownback said in a statement.

Laue also is chairman of the Board of Governors for the American Royal horse and livestock show and rodeo in Kansas City, Mo., and is a thoroughbred owner and breeder. His family's cattle ranch is outside Hanover, the site of a former Pony Express station.