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FORMER FRANKLIN SAVINGS ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN JOINS BLACKWELL SANDERS LAW FIRM

 FORMER FRANKLIN SAVINGS ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN
 JOINS BLACKWELL SANDERS LAW FIRM
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Veteran tax attorney Ernest Fleischer has joined the law firm of Blackwell Sanders Matheny Weary & Lombardi, returning to the practice of law which he began more than 30 years ago.
 Blackwell Sanders, a 75-year-old, 106-attorney firm, is one of Kansas City's largest law firms.
 In 1985, attorney Fleischer resigned his partnership in his previous law firm to devote full attention to what began as a passive investment: Franklin Savings Association. On his retirement, he vowed he would return to the practice of law as soon as he had met his obligation to the savings institution. That obligation now gone, Fleischer has joined Blackwell Sanders as Of Counsel in the tax section of its Commercial Department. Fleischer, the former chairman of Franklin, began his career at Stinson, Mag & Fizzell.
 According to John R. Phillips, chairman of Blackwell Sanders' Labor and Employment Section, and a member of its executive committee, Fleischer will add another building block to a foundation already established by the firm to address the challenges of the next decade. "Ernie Fleischer has been a tremendously well-respected tax attorney for more than 30 years," he said. "His expertise and knowledge is admired by clients and fellow attorneys alike across the country. Ernie is also unique as a lawyer because he's been a client for several years, in need of advice and counsel, and has a better understanding of client needs, objectives, anxieties and expectations."
 (EDITORS' NOTE: Franklin Savings was seized by government regulators in February 1990. In September 1990, United States District Court Judge Dale Saffels held that the seizure was arbitrary and capricious based on the factual evidence. The Tenth Circuit Court held that Judge Saffels erred by considering such evidence and that he should only have looked at the regulators' administrative file. Franklin and the American Bankers' Association had asked the Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit decision. Last month, the Supreme Court decided not to review this decision, so that Franklin will remain under government management.)
 The firm recently hired Ralph Wrobley, a mergers & acquisitions specialist from the Bryan, Cave firm, who now heads up Blackwell Sanders' Commercial department. It has expanded its executive committee, as well, from three members to five, adding Wrobley and Phillips to existing members Bill Sanders, Sr., Dan Weary and Larry McMullen. "As senior leaders of the firm, Bill Sanders and Dan Weary have set the stage for growth opportunities. Under their stewardship, we are poised not only for our growth, but for the growth of our clients and realization of their business objectives," said Wrobley.
 Fleischer, 59, said he views himself as a "translator between client and lawyer with respect to financial concepts."
 "As a result of being a client, I can help a lawyer better understand what the client is trying to accomplish. In assisting in analyses of proposed financial transactions I can facilitate translating the understanding of those objectives into their realization," said Fleischer.
 Phillips said Blackwell Sanders' internal organization has been specifically designed to address the expectations and needs of clients. According to Phillips, over the past five years, the firm's gross billings have increased by 50 percent, the number of partners has increased 23 percent and the professional staff has increased 38 percent.
 "This is an extraordinarily efficient law firm," said Wrobley. "We target our commercial growth areas, such as health care, education and general commercial practice, and then work to build the expertise and resources our clients need deployed on their behalf. All of these areas are impacted by tax implications, regulations and laws. Ernie Fleischer's expertise will prove invaluable to all of our clients and our attorneys."
 Blackwell Sanders represents large and small commercial clients including Black & Veatch, Commerce Bancshares, Payless Cashways, UtiliCorp United Inc., Puritan-Bennett, St. Luke's Hospital and the University of Missouri.
 In addition to the General Corporate and Commercial practice, other practice areas include Corporate Finance and Securities; Tax; Real Estate; Commercial Litigation; Banking; Insurance Defense; Labor and Employment; Environmental; Professional Liability; and Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights.
 Fleischer joins the firm as of May 4.
 -0- 4/30/92
 /CONTACT: Beverly Haskins of Corporate Communications Group, 913-451-2990, for Blackwell Sanders/ CO: Blackwell Sanders Matheny Weary & Lombardi Law Firm ST: Missouri IN: SU: PER


BB -- DV005 -- 4971 04/30/92 13:06 EDT
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Date:Apr 30, 1992
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