For the 12th year in a row, Best Lawyers in America publication has named David Rebein of Dodge City one of the country's best.

Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence since it was first publicized in 1983.

"You are evaluated and reviewed by your peers in an area of expertise," Rebein said. "They name one lawyer per practice in a metropolitan area which was hard to think of Dodge City as a metropolitan area but that's what they said.

"I am honored by this, you know picking a lawyer is important and there are several ways people go about it nowadays.

"One way is they ask a friend and that friend gives them a name and they take that name to the Internet and research it.

"Then there is the opposite of that where someone finds a name on the Internet then asks a friend if they know anything about them.

"Best Lawyers of America helps with that."

Rebein grew up 13 miles north of Dodge City and has been practicing law in the area for 35 years with an office in Florida as well.

Best Lawyers of America recognized Rebein in three areas of law that are personal injury, commercial litigation and bet the company litigation.

"You've heard of bet the ranch," Rebein asked. "That's what bet the company litigation is essentially."

After starting as a criminal lawyer, Rebein since moved into a more specialty expertise of law, something he says is happening more and more.

"I am a country lawyer," he said. "I work here and across the state and I can see law is becoming more specialized.

"I try to stay more general but one thing I am seeing is that three-quarters of the state is going to change in 10 years or so because the long-time family farm and interests and heirs live all over the world now so the transfer of property is becoming more challenging.

"It's interesting but challenging."

Once being named to the Best Lawyers of America, Rebein added that they become peer-review members as well.

"Since I was first named 12 years ago I had since moved on to being the president of the Kansas Bar Association in 2007," he said, "so I became more equated by lawyers across the state so they could contact me and refer me as I could them.

"And to show you how much technology has changed, when I first was named I received a letter, this time I got an email."

Rebein said he is currently working on a class action in products with Farm Bureau Insurance in how they classify their agents.

"I'm still going to be here in Dodge City," he said. "I work very small cases, I work very large cases across the state and in Florida where my brother's firm is.

"The law has been very good to me."

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com