Our firm was founded in 1900 by Edward T. Riling who graduated that year from the University of Kansas School of Law, became a member of the Kansas State Legislature, and opened a one-man office. Edward T. served Douglas County as it's County Attorney, and in that office was described by a citizen as a vigorous prosecutor who "has made some enemies." Apparently this was not intended as a criticism because the speaker said that he "wouldn't think much of a man who wasn't strong enough to make a few enemies, as well as to surround himself with a bunch of friends, as Ed has." Since 1900, the firm has continued to make some enemies from time to time, but we also have continuously been blessed with good working relationships with clients, fellow lawyers, and the Courts of the State of Kansas. In 1910, Edward T.'s younger brother, John J. Riling, joined him in the practice of law and came to be known as a tireless advocate, who enjoyed reading the law, and was completely devoted to the practice of law. Known as "Mr. John," he was highly regarded by both bench and bar in Douglas County and throughout the State.
The Riling brothers came off the farm, and almost certainly remembered this heritage because they developed a clientele made up of farmers, as well as laborers, shopkeepers, and other small business owners in the community. During the course of years, as the Rilings' professional stature grew, Mr. John had the opportunity to represent railroads, banks and insurance companies. He steadfastly refused to take on a more lucrative clientele because he recognized that the backbone of his practice, and his livelihood, rested with serving the working men and women of Douglas County, Kansas.