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News Releases Archive
Kansas Judicial Branch - News Releases for 2008

12/08/08: Chase County District Magistrate Judge Appointed |11/25/08: New 18th Judicial District Chief Judge |11/21/08: Five Apply for Chase County District Magistrate |11/14/08: Three nominated for Supreme Court Vacancy|11/13/08: Three nominated for 7th District Judicial Vacancy|11/10/08: 1st Judicial District Judicial Nominations |10/23/08: Sixteen apply for 7th Judicial District vacancy |10/17/08: Eight apply for Supreme Court vacancy |10/07/08: 1st Judicial District Judicial Nominations |10/06/08: 10th District Judicial Vacancy |10/01/08: 7th District Judicial Vacancy |09/25/08: 15 Apply for 1st Judicial District Vacancies |09/11/08: Supreme Court Nominating Commission Deadline Set |09/10/08: First District Judicial Vacancies |08/29/08: 1st District Judge Vacancy |08/25/08: Three nominated Johnson County Judgeship |07/25/08: Sixteen Apply for Johnson County Judgeship |07/25/08: Nominees for 3rd Judicial District Judgeship |07/11/08: Fifteen Apply for 3rd Judicial District Judgeship |06/27/08: No. 99,957: State v. Kansas Lottery |06/25/08: Court to file casino decision Friday (6/27/2008)|06/23/08: 3rd Judicial District Judge Vacancy |06/20/08: Seven Apply for 2nd Judicial District Judgeship |06/20/08: Juveniles have right to jury |06/11/08: Nine Apply for Shawnee County Judgeship | 05/23/08: New 2nd Judicial District Judge Vacancy |05/08/08: New 29th Judicial District Chief Judge |05/06/08: Shawnee County Judgeship Vacancy|05/02/08: Planned Parenthood Unseal Records |04/16/08: Lawyer Assistance Director Named |02/29/08: Supreme Court Special Session - Case Nos., 99,951, 99,972, and 100,042: George R. Tiller, M.D. and Womenís Health Care Services Inc. v. Hon. Michael Corrigan, Presiding Judge, and Hon. Paul Buchanan, assigned senior judge |02/29/08: Douglas County Judge Nominees|02/26/08: Swearing-In Ceremony for Melissa Taylor Standridge| 02/22/08: District Judicial Nominating Commission Election Results| 02/20/08:Sixteen Apply for Seventh Judicial District Judge Position |02/06/08: Sentencing Symposium - Johnson County | 01/28/08: Seventh Judicial District Nomination Procedures

See the Archives for new releases dating back to 1997.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : December 8, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

Cottonwood Falls Attorney Douglas P. Jones today was appointed District Magistrate Judge for Chase County.

Jones was among five persons who applied to fill a vacancy that is being created by the retirement Friday, December 12, of Hon. John R. Conklin.  The appointment was made by the 5th Judicial District Nominating Commission, following interviews that were conducted Monday morning. 

Jones is a 2002 graduate of the Washburn University School of Law and a 1997 graduate of Emporia State University.  He has been an attorney and managing member of the Cottonwood Falls firm of Rayl & Jones, LLC, since August 2002.  During his practice, he has been city attorney for both Strong city and Neosho Rapids.

The 5th Judicial District is a two-county district consisting of Chase and Lyon counties.  Members of the nominating commission include Supreme Court Justice Carol A. Beier, the non-voting chair; Theodore J. Hollembeak, Michael C. Helbert, W. Irivng Shaw, Kenneth D. Buchele, and Lloyd Stone, all of Emporia; Charles Rayl, and Leigh Ann Crofoot, both of Cottonwood falls, and Gary D. Sneed, Cedar Point.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : November 25, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

Sedgwick County District Judge James Fleetwood has been appointed chief judge of the 18th Judicial District to succeed Hon. Michael Corrigan, who is retiring at the end of his term January 12th.

As a chief judge, Judge Fleetwood will have general management responsibilities in the judicial district, including assigning judicial caseloads and directing all clerical and administrative personnel.  The appointment is for one year to complete the chief judge term currently held by Judge Corrigan.  He will be eligible for re-appointment for two-year terms thereafter.

Judge Fleetwood has been on the Sedgwick County bench since 1997.  Before that, he was employed at Koch Industries Inc. in the Environmental Law section following his graduation from the Washburn University School of Law in 1989.  He was in general private practice from 1995 until his election to Division 11 of District Court in 1997.

Judge Fleetwood has presided over the 18th District’s Family Law and Civil Departments and presently serves on the Kansas District Judge’s Association Executive Committee and the Wichita Bar Association Board of Governors where he is Editor of the Wichita Bar’s Bar-O-Meter, a local legal publication.  He also is a volunteer for Citizen Emergency Response Team.

He has been married for 33 years to Lisa Fleetwood and has one son and two granddaughters.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : November 21, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

Five persons have applied to fill a district magistrate judge vacancy in Chase County that will be created by the December 13, 2008, retirement of Magistrate Judge John R. Conklin.

They include Douglas P. Jones, a Cottonwood Falls attorney; Laura Lee Miser, a prosecuting attorney for the City of Emporia; Julie D. Whitney, a Fifth Judicial District Court Services Officer; Chase County Attorney William T. North; and Gerald L. Ingalls, Strong City, who is currently a probation enforcement officer with the Fifth Judicial District.

The Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission is scheduled to convene December 8, 2008, to conduct interviews and then appoint one of the five applicants for the vacancy.  The Fifth Judicial District is a two-county district consisting of Chase and Lyon counties.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : November 14, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

The names of three persons were submitted to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court that will be created by the January 12 retirement of Chief Justice Kay McFarland.

The nominees are Overland Park attorney Dan Biles, Douglas County Chief Judge Robert W. Fairchild and Court of Appeals Judge Tom Malone.  Governor Sebelius will have 60 days in which to fill the high court vacancy. 

Pursuant to Kansas law, Chief Justice McFarland is retiring at the end of her current six-year-term on the Court, where she has been a member since 1977.  The new member of the Court will serve as a justice, and Robert E. Davis will become chief justice as the next most senior member.  Chief Justice McFarland has been chief justice since September 1, 1995.

Biles, who has been admitted to practice for 28 years, has been a member of the Overland Park law firm of Gates, Biles, Shields & Ryan, P.A., since 1985.  His practice has included representing the State Board of Education since 1985, and as general counsel for the Kansas Turnpike Authority since 2005.

While in law school at Washburn University, Biles worked as a reporter for the Associated Press and covered the Kansas Legislature, Supreme Court, Governor’s Office and state agencies, as well as political campaigns.  He became an assistant attorney general in 1980, where he served in the litigation division until joining the Gates & Clyde Chartered law firm, the predecessor to the current firm, in 1985.

Chief Judge Fairchild has been a Douglas County district judge since 1996 and has been chief judge since 2002.  Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was in general practice for 23 years, beginning in 1973 when he was employed by Norwood, King & Fairchild in Lawrence, first as an associate attorney and then as a partner.  In 1978, the firm merged with another firm to form Riling, Burkhead, Fairchild & Nitcher, Chtd., in Lawrence.  He remained with that law firm until his appointment as district judge.

As a district judge, he has been appointed to serve as a Court of Appeals judge three times and has presided over numerous civil and criminal trials, including the five-week jury trial of Thomas E. Murray, a former university professor who was convicted in 2005 of bludgeoning his estranged wife to death.

Judge Malone has been a member of the Court of Appeals since 2003.  Before that, he served as a Sedgwick County District Court judge from 1991 until his Court of Appeals appointment.  He was in private practice in Wichita with the firm of Redmond & Nazar from 1979 to December 1990, when he was appointed to the district court bench.

As a Court of Appeals judge, he has heard more than 1,500 appeals and written over 500 decisions.  As a Sedgwick County district judge, he served in the civil, criminal, family law, juvenile and probate departments, presiding over more than 250 jury trials and hundreds of trials without a jury.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : November 13, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

Three area attorneys today were nominated to fill a district judge vacancy in the 7th Judicial District, a one-county district consisting of Douglas County, that will be created by the January 12, 2009, retirement of Hon. Jack Murphy.

The names of Barbara Kay Huff and Sally Davis Pokorny, both Lawrence attorneys engaged in private practice, and Kenneth M. (Mike) Warner, an assistant U.S. district attorney in the Western District of Missouri U.S. Attorney’s office, Kansas City, will be submitted to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius Friday morning. She will have 30 days to make an appointment.

The 7th Judicial District Nominating Commission conducted interviews Wednesday and Thursday of 16 applicants, who had applied for the vacancy.

Huff has been a solo practitioner in Lawrence since 1991 and before that worked  as an attorney for the appellate defender office in Olathe from 1988 to 1991, and as an appellate attorney for the Legal Aid Society Criminal Appeals Bureau in New York City from 1985 until 1988.  Her legal career includes a stint as a central staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and as an associate in a Seattle law firm.  She is a native of Clarinda, Iowa.

Pokorny has been in private practice in Lawrence since 2006.  Following her graduation from the Washburn University School of Law, Pokorny became an assistant district attorney in Shawnee County, where she worked until moving to Montgomery County to become an assistant county attorney there.  From 1985 to 1989, she served as the elected Montgomery County Attorney, and then served as Cherryvale City Attorney until 1992. She was in private practice in Coffeyville and Independence until she moved to Lawrence.

Warner, a 1976 graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a 1983 graduate of the Washburn law school, has been an assistant federal prosecutor since 1999.  Between 1995 and 1999, he was a senior assistant district attorney in Johnson County.  Warner also served briefly as general counsel for the Citizen’s Utility Ratepayer Board. He has served as counsel for the Kansas Sentencing Commission, and as an attorney in the Harvey County and Wyandotte County prosecutor’s offices.  He maintained a private practice in Salina from 1985-1987 and was a claims attorney for an Iowa insurance company from 1984-1985.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : November 10, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

The First Judicial District Nominating Commission today certified the names of three area attorneys to fill a judge vacancy that was created by the October retirement of Hon. Frederick N. Stewart.

Nominees include Gerald R. Kuckelman, Atchison County Attorney; Michael F. Willcott and Danny K. Wiley, who are in private practice in Leavenworth.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius will have 30 days in which to make the appointment.  The Nominating Commission interviewed 15 applicants last month for two vacancies in the First Judicial District; one created by the retirement of Hon. Philip C. Lacey, and the second by the retirement of Judge Stewart.  The Governor selected Michael D. Gibbens, Tonganoxie, to fill Judge Lacey’s position.

Kuckelman, who also was among nominees for the first vacancy, has been Atchison County Attorney since 2001 and has maintained a private practice since 1987.  Before that, he served as an assistant Harvey County Attorney and as an assistant attorney general.  He is a graduate of Washburn University and the WU law school.

Willcott, who resides in Tonganoxie, has a Leavenworth law office and has been in private practice since 1977.  He is a 1969 graduate of Washburn University and a 1976 graduate of the WU law school.

Wiley has been a member of the firm of Murray, Tillotson & Wiley since 1993.  He also has been Municipal Judge for the City of Leavenworth since 1997, and has served as a judge pro-tem of Leavenworth District Court since 2003.

The First Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Eric S. Rosen as the nonvoting chair; Robert D. Beal, Leavenworth; John R. Kurth, Atchison; J. David Farris, Atchison; E. Roger Horsky, Leavenworth; Rosemary Niles, Atchison; Mildred G. McMillon, Tonganoxie; Julie A. Clem, Atchison; and Dr. Roy A. Braum, Easton.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : October 23, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

Sixteen area attorneys applied to fill a district judge vacancy in the 7th Judicial District, a one-county district consisting of Douglas County, by the noon Thursday deadline.

They are applying to fill a vacancy that will be created by the January 12, 2009, retirement of Judge Jack Murphy.

The 7th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene at 9 a.m. November 12 in the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center to interview the applicants.  The names of at least two, but not more than three, nominees will then be submitted to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who will have 30 days to make the appointment.

Applicants include David J. Brown, Lawrence, private practice; Daniel A. Dunbar, Lawrence, a Shawnee County Assistant District Attorney; James T. George, a Lawrence attorney who recently was appointed Douglas County District Court judge pro tem; J.C. Gilroy, Lawrence, private practice; Chelsi Kay Hayden, Lawrence, permanent chambers counsel for U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia; Barbara Kay Huff, Lawrence, private practice; Kenneth P. Kula, Lawrence, private practice; Randall F. Larkin,  Lawrence, private practice; Martin L. Miller, Lawrence, private practice.

Sally Davis Pokorny, Lawrence, private practice; Timothy G. Riling, Lawrence, private practice; Ronald Schneider, Lawrence, private practice; Jeffrey S. Southard, Lawrence, private practice; Cheryl L. Trenholm, Lawrence, private practice; Suzanne Valdez, University of Kansas law school associate professor; and Kenneth M. Warner, Eudora, an assistant U.S. Attorney for Missouri.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : October 17, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

Eight Kansas attorneys applied by the noon deadline today to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court that will be created by the January 12, 2009, retirement of Chief Justice Kay McFarland.

They include Karen Arnold-Burger, Overland Park Municipal Court Judge; Christopher E. Biggs, State Securities Commissioner; W. Daniel Biles, a Shawnee attorney; Dennis D. Depew, a Neodesha attorney; Judge Robert W. Fairchild, Lawrence; Court of Appeals Judge Steve A. Leben, Ward E. Loyd, a Garden City attorney, and Court of Appeals Judge Thomas E. Malone.

Interviews to narrow the applicant list to three nominees are scheduled November 13.  The names of the nominees will be submitted to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for appointment.

Pursuant to Kansas law, Chief Justice McFarland is retiring at the end of her current six-year-term on the Court, where she has been a member since 1977.  The new member of the Court will serve as a justice, and Robert E. Davis will become chief justice as the next most senior member.  Chief Justice McFarland has been chief justice since September 1, 1995.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : October 7, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission today submitted the names of three area attorneys to fill a judge vacancy created by the October 1st retirement of Hon. Philip C. Lacey.

Nominees include Michael D. Gibbons, Tonganoxie; Gerald R. Kuckelman, Atchison County Attorney, and Cheryl A. Marquardt, an assistant Leavenworth County Attorney.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will have 30 days in which to make the appointment.  The Nominating Commission will then submit the names of three persons to fill a second vacancy in the district, this one created by the retirement of Hon. Frederick N. Stewart, who also retired effective October 1.

The Nominating Commission interviewed 15 applicants for the vacancy Monday and Tuesday at the Leavenworth County Justice Center.

Gibbons is in private practice in the Basehor firm of Gibbens & Sonntag.  He has been in private practice since 1980, and served as a staff attorney with Legal Services for Prisoners in late 1978 until 1980.  A native of Belleville, he is a graduate of Washburn University law school and of Baker University in Baldwin.

Kuckelman has been Atchison County Attorney since 2001 and has maintained a private practice since 1987.  Before that, he served as an assistant Harvey County Attorney and as an assistant attorney general. He is a graduate of Washburn University and the WU law school.

Marquardt has served as an assistant county attorney in Leavenworth since June 2008.  Before that, she practiced law from 1994 to 2008 in the law office of Michael G. Jones and Cheryl A. Marquardt, P.A. in Leavenworth.  She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kansas.

The 1st Judicial District Nominating commission includes Justice Erice S. Rosen as the nonvoting chair and Robert D. Beal, Leavenworth; John R. Kurth, Atchison; J. David Farris, Atchison; E. Roger Horsky, Leavenworth; Rosemary Niles, Atchison; Mildred G. McMillon, Tonganoxie; Julie A. Clem, Atchison, and Dr. Roy A. Braum, Easton.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : October 6, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

The 10th Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission will convene December 8, 2008 to interview and select nominees for submission to the Governor to fill one district judge position with the Johnson County District Court.  The opening is due to the retirement of Judge John Anderson, III.

Interested persons may obtain nomination forms from the Clerk of the District Court or the Clerk of the Appellate Court or on-line at http://www.jocojnc.org.  An original and 15 copies of the nomination form and all supporting documents will be considered for the position if received by Commission Secretary, Hon. Karen Arnold-Burger, 12400 Foster, Overland Park, KS 66213, no later than noon, Friday, November 7, 2008.  Forms cannot be accepted by fax or on-line.

The 10th Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission is made up of 14 members.  Seven are attorneys elected by the Kansas licensed attorneys residing in the district, and 7 are non-lawyers appointed by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.  The Nominating Commission welcomes and encourages public input into this important process. Comments can be submitted in writing to the Commission Secretary, Hon. Karen Arnold-Burger, 12400 Foster, Overland Park, KS 66213, faxed to (913) 327-5701 or emailed to judge.kab@opkansas.org.  All comments will be forwarded to all members of the Commission.  In addition, all meetings of the Commission are open to the public, with an opportunity for public comment.

Future Meeting Dates
November 18, 2008  Meeting to Review Applications  9:00 a.m. at the Johnson County Administration Building, Room 201, 111 S. Cherry St., Olathe  Public comment will be accepted at 9:15 a.m.

December 8, 2008    Meeting to Interview Applicants    8:00 a.m. at the Johnson County Administration Building, Room 201, 111 S. Cherry St., Olathe  Public comment will be accepted at 8:05 a.m. and at 3:00 p.m.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : October 1, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

A nominating commission charged with naming candidates to fill a district judge vacancy in the 7th Judicial District has issued a request for assistance from the public.

The 7th Judicial District is a one-county district comprised of Douglas County.           
           
The seven-member commission is responsible for submitting the names of two or three nominees to the Governor for the vacancy which will be created by the retirement of Judge Jack Murphy.

 “The nominating commission is especially interested in receiving recommendations of suggested nominees to fill the vacancy from the general public.  All of the citizens of the 7th Judicial District are requested to consider this matter, and the names of suggested nominees submitted by the general public will be welcomed by the commission,” according to Supreme Court Justice Eric S. Rosen, departmental chair for the 7th District.

Kansas statutes require that a judge be a resident of the district in which selected, be at least 30 years of age, have been in the active practice of law for at least five years, and have been admitted to the practice of law within the State of Kansas.

Suggested nominees are requested to complete questionnaires for the position.  The completed forms should be returned to Justice Rosen, Kansas Supreme Court, 301 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, KS  66612 no later than noon, October 23, 2008.  The forms are available in the office of the clerk of the district court in Douglas County and are online at www.kscourts.org.

The nominating commission will convene at 9:00 a.m., November 12, in the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center to interview the suggested nominees.  The meeting will be open to the public; however, the commission has the authority to adjourn to executive session to discuss personal traits of the suggested nominees.

The law requires that the commission submit at least two names, but not more than three, to the Governor who may appoint any of the suggested nominees.

Notices of the vacancy have been mailed to every attorney in this judicial district by the chairman of the commission.

The 7th Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Rosen as the nonvoting chair and Edward G. Collister, Jr., John W. Nitcher, Janine A. Cox, Robert P. Maynard, and Charles R. Epp of Lawrence; and Kurt Von Achen from Eudora.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : September 25, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

Fifteen persons have applied for two judge vacancies in the 1st Judicial District, a two county district consisting of Atchison and Leavenworth counties, it was announced in Topeka today.

They submitted applications by the noon Thursday deadline to fill either vacancy created by the retirements of Judge Frederick Stewart, Leavenworth, and Judge Philip C. Lacey, Atchison.  The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene October 6-7 in the Leavenworth County Justice Center to conduct interviews and select nominees whose names will be submitted to the governor for appointment.

Applicants include:

  • Leonard L. Buddenbohm, Atchison County Counselor
  • Pamela Campbell Burton, private practice, Leavenworth
  • Robert D. Campbell, private practice, Atchison
  • John W. Fresh, Jr., private practice, Atchison
  • Michael D. Gibbens, private practice, Basehor
  • Jonathan H. Gregor, private practice, Kansas City
  • Carol G. Hall, private practice, Leavenworth
  • Terri L. Harris, private practice, Leavenworth
  • Michael E. Kelly, private practice, Tonganoxie
  • Gerald R. Kuckelman, Atchison County Attorney
  • Cheryl A. Marquardt, assistant Leavenworth County Attorney
  • Geoffrey C. Sonntag, assistant Leavenworth County Attorney
  • Douglas G. Waters, Jr., private practice, Leavenworth
  • Danny K. Wiley, Leavenworth Municipal Court Judge
  • Michael F. Willcott, private practice, Leavenworth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : September 11, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

The Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission has set October 17, 2008, as the deadline for applying for a vacancy on the Supreme Court that will be created  by the January 12, 2009, retirement of Chief Justice Kay McFarland, it was announced today.

Pursuant to Kansas law, Chief Justice McFarland is retiring at the end of her current six-year term on the Court, where she has been a member since 1977.  The new member of the Court will serve as a justice, and Hon. Robert E. Davis will become chief justice as the next most senior member. Chief Justice McFarland has been chief justice since September 1, 1995.

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission consists of a lawyer and a nonlawyer from each congressional district and a lawyer member who is elected statewide. The Commission is scheduled to conduct interviews November 13 and submit the names of three nominees shortly afterward to Governor Kathleen Sebelius for appointment.

Nominating forms are available in the office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts and are online.  An original and 10 copies of the nomination form should be sent to the Office of the Clerk of Appellate Courts, 301 W. 10th Street, Topeka, 66612, by noon October 17, 2008.

Chief Justice McFarland is retiring after an illustrious legal career that began with her graduation in 1964 from the Washburn University School of  Law.  Before that, she graduated magna cum laude from Washburn University with majors in English and history-political science in 1957.

Chief Justice McFarland was in the private practice of law until January 1971 when she became judge of the probate and juvenile courts of Shawnee County.  In January 1973, she became judge of the newly created Fifth Division of Shawnee County District Court, where she served until her appointment as a justice.

She was the first woman to be elected to a judgeship in Shawnee County and the first woman district judge in Kansas history.  The trend continued when she became the first woman Kansas justice and then chief justice.

During her tenure as chief justice, she led the Kansas courts from a budget crisis that resulted in an emergency surcharge on case filings to the restoration of an austere but adequate budget.  The surcharge was rescinded in 2006, as a result of legislative appropriations that were made that year.

Meanwhile, she has continued to manage an increasingly complex Supreme Court caseload in which numerous high profile issues have arisen, including among numerous others, school finance, a new death penalty law, funeral picketing, Indian gaming, abortion, and state-operated casinos.

Members of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission include Richard C. Hite, Wichita, commission chair; Kerry E. McQueen, Liberal; Janet A. Juhnke, Salina; Patricia E. Riley and Dale E. Cushinberry, both of Topeka; Matthew D. Kennan, Leawood; Katherine DeBruce, Shawnee Mission; Lee H. Woodard and David N. Farnsworth, both of Wichita.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : September 10, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

Due to the impending retirements of Judge Frederick Stewart, Leavenworth, Philip C. Lacey, Atchison, the First Judicial District Nominating Commission has adjusted its schedule to interview candidates for the positions.

The First Judicial District includes Atchison and Leavenworth counties.

The commission now is scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. October 6, 2008, at the Leavenworth County Justice Center to conduct interviews and select nominees whose names will be submitted to the governor for appointment.

Those seeking to become a judge must file the nomination form and any letters of support with Justice Eric S. Rosen, Kansas Supreme Court, 301 W. 10th Street, Topeka, KS. 66612, no later than noon, September 25, 2008.  Nomination forms are available in the offices of the clerk of the district court in Atchison and Leavenworth counties and online at www.kscourts.org

Kansas statutes require that a judge be a resident of the district in which selected, be at least 30 years of age, have been in the active practice of law for at least five years, and have been admitted to the practice of law within the state of Kansas.

The law requires that the commission submit at least two names, but not more than three, to the governor who may appoint any of the suggested nominees.  Updated notices of the vacancies are being mailed to every attorney in the district by the chairman of the commission.

The 1st Judicial District Nominating commission includes Justice Rosen as the nonvoting chair and Robert D. Beal, Leavenworth; John R. Kurth, Atchison; J. David Farris, Atchison; E. Roger Horsky, Leavenworth; Rosemary Niles, Atchison; Mildred G. McMillon, Tonganoxie; Julie A. Clem, Atchison, and Dr. Roy A. Braum, Easton.

Link to Nomination form


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : August 29, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Office

A nominating commission charged with naming candidates to fill a district judge vacancy in the 1st Judicial District has issued a request for assistance from the public.

The 1st Judicial District includes Leavenworth and Atchison counties.  
           
The nine-member commission is responsible for submitting the names of two or three nominees to the Governor for the vacancy which will be created by the October 1, 2008, retirement of Judge Philip C. Lacey.

“The nominating commission is especially interested in receiving recommendations of suggested nominees to fill the vacancy from the general public.  All of the citizens of the 1st Judicial District are requested to consider this matter, and the names of suggested nominees submitted by the general public will be welcomed by the commission,” according to Justice Eric S. Rosen, departmental justice.

Kansas statutes require that a judge be a resident of the district in which selected, be at least 30 years of age, have been in the active practice of law for at least five years, and have been admitted to the practice of law within the State of Kansas.

Suggested nominees are requested to complete questionnaires for the position.  The completed forms should be returned to Justice Rosen, 301 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka KS  66612 no later than noon, September 18, 2008.  The forms are available in the office of the clerk of the district court in Atchison and Leavenworth counties, and online at www.kscourts.org.

The nominating commission will convene at 9:00 a.m., September 29, in the Leavenworth County Justice Center, Leavenworth, to interview the suggested nominees.  The meeting will be open to the public; however, the commission has the authority to adjourn to executive session to discuss personal traits of the suggested nominees.

The law requires that the commission submit at least two names, but not more than three, to the Governor who may appoint any of the suggested nominees.

Notices of the vacancy have been mailed to every attorney in this judicial district by the chairman of the commission.††††††††

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Rosen as the nonvoting chair and Robert D. Beal, Leavenworth; John R. Kurth, Atchison; J. David Farris, Atchison; E. Roger Horsky, Leavenworth; Rosemary Nies, Atchison; Mildred G McMillon, Tonganoxie; Julie A. Clem, Atchison; and Dr. Roy A. Braum, Easton.

Link to Nomination form


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : August 25, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Officer

The names of three local attorneys have been forwarded to Governor Sebelius for consideration for the current judicial opening in Johnson County.  The opening is due to the retirement of Judge William Isenhour.   The nominees are: 

Thomas Kelly Ryan, Shawnee.  Mr. Ryan is a partner in the firm of Gates, Giles, Shields & Ryan, Overland Park.

Neil Foth, Lake Quivera.  Mr. Foth is a partner in the firm of Foth & Orrick, Overland Park.

Hon. James Phelan, Overland Park.  Judge Phelan is currently a magistrate judge in the 10th Judicial District.

Interviews were held with the sixteen applicants on August 22, 2008 at the Johnson County Administration Building. Interviews were open to the public. The Governor will have 30 days to select from the three names submitted.

For more information about the merit selection process, including the background of Commission members and minutes of prior meetings go to the Commission’s website at www.jocojnc.org

Press Questions:  Call Hon. Karen Arnold-Burger, (913) 327-6852 or email at judge.kab@opkansas.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : July 25, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Officer

Sixteen attorneys residing in Johnson County have applied for the current judicial opening in Johnson County.  The opening is due to the retirement of Judge William Isenhour.   The applicants are: 

G.Gordon Atcheson, Overland Park, Jon Blongewicz, Overland Park; Paul Burmaster, Overland Park; Henry Cox, Shawnee; Veronica L. Dersch, Stillwell; Neil Foth, Lake Quivira; Ellen Suzanne Goldman, Overland Park; Michael Halloran, Leawood; Hon. James Phelan, Overland Park; Matthew Miller, Leawood; Ronald Nelson, Prairie Village; Thomas Kelly Ryan, Shawnee; Robert Scott, Lenexa; and Rekha Sharma-Crawford, Overland Park; Jean Ann Uvodich, Overland Park; and Hon. Daniel Vokins, Olathe. 

The 10th Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission is made up of 14 members.  Seven are attorneys elected by the Kansas licensed attorneys residing in the district, and 7 are non-lawyers appointed by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.  The Nominating Commission welcomes and encourages public input into this important process. Comments can be submitted in writing to the Commission Secretary, Hon. Karen Arnold-Burger, 12400 Foster, Overland Park, KS 66213, faxed to (913) 327-5701 or emailed to judge.kab@opkansas.org.  All comments will be forwarded to all members of the Commission.  Find out more information about the Commission by visiting its website at:  www.jocojnc.org     

Future Meeting Dates
(all meetings are open to the public, with an opportunity provided for public comment)

  • August 11, 2008  Meeting to Review Applications  9:00 a.m. at the Johnson County Administration Building, Room 201, 111 S. Cherry St., Olathe
  • August 22, 2008    Meeting to Interview Applicants    8:00 a.m. at the Johnson County Administration Building, Room 200, 111 S. Cherry St., Olathe

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : July 25, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Officer

The Shawnee County District Court Nominating Commission today submitted the names of three area attorneys to Governor Kathleen Sebelius to fill a vacancy on the court created by the September 1 retirement of Judge Matthew J. Dowd.  The three nominees are Cheryl Rios Kingfisher, Associate Municipal Court Presiding Judge; James E. “Jeb” Benfer, III, private attorney; and Larry G. Karns, private attorney.  The Governor will have 30 days in which to make an appointment from the list. 

The 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Luckert as the nonvoting chair and Alan F. Alderson, Terry E. Beck, Mary D. Feighny, Thomas W. Kirker, Mary M. Thomas, Topeka; and Ginger A. Barr, Auburn.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : July 11, 2008

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contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Officer

Fifteen area attorneys have applied for a Shawnee County District Court judge vacancy that will be created by the September 1 retirement of Judge Matthew Dowd.

The deadline for applying for the judgeship was Thursday.  The Shawnee County District Court Nominating Commission will interview applicants next Tuesday, July 15, and subsequently submit the names of at least two, but not more than three, to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who will make the appointment.

Three of the 15 applicants previously were nominated to fill a vacancy on the Shawnee County District Court that was created by the July 4 retirement of Judge Thomas R. Conklin.  Justice Marla J. Luckert, departmental justice for Shawnee County, said the Nominating Commission will conduct the interviews for Judge Dowd’s successor Tuesday, but withhold making nominations until Gov. Sebelius has made her appointment of Judge Conklin’s successor.  The governor has until July 24th to make that appointment.

Following is a list of those applying for Judge Dowd’s position:

  • James E. “Jeb” Benfer, private practice
  • Kelley M. Connor-Wilson, private practice
  • Jan Haley Maxwell, SRS attorney
  • Jared S. Maag, deputy solicitor general, State of Kansas
  • Jill A. Michaux, private practice
  • T. Richard Harmon, private practice
  • Brian M. Vazquez, Kansas Health Policy Authority, deputy director
  • Kimberly L. Knoll, Shawnee County assistant district attorney
  • Larry G. Karns, private practice
  • Wm. Scott Hesse, assistant attorney general
  • Carl William Ossmann, SRS deputy general counsel
  • Ruth E. Graham, private practice*
  • Cheryl Rios Kingfisher, associate Topeka Municipal Court presiding judge*
  • David B. Debenham, Shawnee County deputy district attorney*
  • Pantaleon Florez Jr., private practice

 

*Nominated to succeed Judge Conklin


 
Hon. Eric S Rosen
Hon. Eric S. Rosen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : June 27, 2008

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Education-Information Officer

The state Supreme Court today upheld the constitutionality of the 2007 Kansas Expanded Lottery Act (KELA).

The Court, in a 22-page unanimous opinion authored by Justice Eric S. Rosen, said that “while the state is not the exclusive owner and operator of all aspects of the lottery enterprise under KELA, the state owns and operates the enterprise itself and owns and operates key elements of the lottery,” thus complying with 1986 constitutional amendments.

The Court ruled that several key provisions in KELA bring the act into compliance with the 1986 amendments, which also led to legislation allowing horse and dog racing and enabling a state-owned and operated lottery.

 “The payment of gaming revenues directly to the state, the ownership by the state of software licenses, the central monitoring of electronic games, and the authority to enter into management contracts and to supervise the managers constitute substantial indicia of ownership by the state and concomitant operation,” the Court ruled.

Justice Rosen noted in today’s decision that the framers of the Kansas Constitution “conscientiously determined that prohibiting lotteries forever was a method of promoting a sound basis for the welfare and growth of the state.”  He said similarly the 1986 amendments to the Constitution appear to be based on the voters intention to “allow closely regulated gambling and to raise money for the state.”

 “The intention underlying both Section 3 (the original constitutional provision) and Section 3c (the 1986 amendments) involves promoting economic welfare and growth of this state.  This unity of intention compels us to read [the amendment] to favor the constitutionality of legislation purporting to create a state-owned lottery, as we have read [the original constitutional provision] to foreclose gambling schemes in the past,” the decision states.

The Court rejected a secondary contention by the attorney general that the 2007 legislation constituted an improper delegation of power by the legislature to the casino managers.  The attorney general argued that the “state has surrendered so much operational discretion to private managers that those managers will exercise legislative functions, which are constitutionally reserved to the legislature.”  But, the Court said it is “impractical for the legislature to exercise power in detail.”

 “The extensive terms of KELA detailing the purpose, authority, and restrictions on the Racing and Gaming Commission belie any improper delegation of authority,” Justice Rosen wrote.

 “The statutory scheme, when read in its entirety, shows that these direct statements of ownership and operational control are not mere verbal camouflage.  KELA mandates that the Kansas lottery shall be the licensee and owner of all the software programs used at the lottery gaming facilities for all lottery games,” he said.

 “Ownership and operation are flexible concepts.  This Court will read a constitutional provision so as to carry out the intention of the citizens when they enacted the provision, and the Court will read a statute with a presumption of constitutionality,” the Court concluded.  “The legislature and citizens amended the Constitution in order to provide a mechanism for raising revenues for the state and for promoting economic growth, goals that KELA is structured to accomplish.  KELA, while not providing for total and unambiguous ownership and operation by the state, contains sufficient indices of ownership and control for it to comply with the constitutional mandate.”


MEDIA ADVISORY: June 25, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Officer

Case No. 99,957:  State ex rel Stephen Six, Attorney General, v. the Kansas Lottery and Ed Van Petten

The Supreme Court will file its decision in the above entitled case at 9:30 a.m. this Friday, June 27th.

The decision will be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts at that time and a copy will be posted on the court website, www.kscourts.org shortly thereafter.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2008

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Education-Information Officer

A nominating commission charged with naming candidates to fill a district judge vacancy in the 3rd Judicial District has issued a request for assistance from the public.

The 3rd Judicial District is a one-county district consisting of Shawnee County.          
           
The seven-member commission is responsible for submitting the names of two or three nominees to the Governor for the vacancy which will be created by the retirement of Hon. Matthew J. Dowd, which is effective September 1.

Judge Dowd has been a judge since 1977 following his election the year before.  He is a 1963 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law and a 1960 graduate of Rockhurst College, Kansas City.  In addition to completing six graduate courses at the National Judicial College, Judge Dowd has a Masters from the University of Nevada-Reno.  Judge Dowd has been active in numerous professional, military and civic organizations during his lengthy career in the law.

 “The nominating commission is especially interested in receiving recommendations of suggested nominees to fill the vacancy from the general public.  All of the citizens of the 3rd Judicial District are requested to consider this matter, and the names of suggested nominees submitted by the general public will be welcomed by the commission,” according to Supreme Court Justice Marla J. Luckert, departmental justice.

Kansas statutes require that a judge be a resident of the district in which selected, be at least 30 years of age, have been in the active practice of law for at least five years, and have been admitted to the practice of law within the State of Kansas.

Suggested nominees are requested to complete questionnaires for the position.  The completed forms should be returned to the office of Alan F. Alderson, Commission Secretary, 2101 SW 21st, Topeka, KS  66604 no later than noon, July 10, 2008.  The forms are available in the office of the clerk of the district court in Shawnee County and are available online.

The nominating commission will convene at 9:00 a.m., July 15, in the Shawnee County Courthouse to interview the suggested nominees.  The meeting will be open to the public; however, the commission has the authority to adjourn to executive session to discuss personal traits of the suggested nominees.

The law requires that the commission submit at least two names, but not more than three, to the Governor who may appoint any of the suggested nominees.

Questionnaires and applications will be mailed to every attorney in this judicial district by the chairman of the commission.

The 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Luckert as the nonvoting chair and Alan F. Alderson, Terry E. Beck, Mary D. Feighny, Thomas W. Kirker, Mary M. Thomas, Topeka; and Ginger A. Barr, Auburn.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2008

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Education-Information Officer

The names of seven area attorneys who have applied for the newly created district judge position in the Second Judicial District were released today.

The Second Judicial District includes the counties of Jackson, Jefferson, Pottawatomie, and Wabaunsee counties.

The Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Friday, June 27, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Pottawatomie County Courthouse, Westmoreland, to interview applicants and then submit the names of either two or three persons to the governor for appointment.  The position was created by the 2008 Legislature and certified by Chief Justice Kay McFarland be located in the Second Judicial District.

Applying for the vacancy by Friday’s noon deadline were Jeffrey R. Elder, an attorney in private practice, Wamego; Michael C. Hayes, with offices in Oskaloosa and Lawrence; Norbert C. Marek Jr., Wabaunsee County Attorney; Mary D. Prewitt, Kansas State Director of the U.S. Humane Society, Lawrence; District Magistrate Judge Steven M. Roth, Westmoreland; Kenneth R. Smith, Hoyt attorney and self-employed rancher; and John D. Watts, assistant Pottawatomie County counselor and private practice, Wamego.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2008

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Saying the Kansas Juvenile Justice Code has become “more akin to an adult prosecution,” the state Supreme Court today ruled 6-1 that juveniles have a constitutional right to a jury trial. (No. 96,197:In the Matter of L.M.)

The decision applies to all juvenile cases pending on appeal or not yet final as of today’s filing.  The ruling came in an appeal brought in a Finney County case in which a 16-year-old was found guilty as a juvenile offender on one count of aggravated sexual battery and one count of being a minor in possession of alcohol.  The defendant, who is identified in the court briefs only as L.M., filed a motion asking for a jury trial, but was denied by the district court.

The charges arose from the defendant’s making a sexually suggestive comment and forcing a kiss on a woman who was walking home on a street in his neighborhood.  He was found guilty as charged and subsequently placed on probation until he was 20 years old.  In addition, the district court ordered him to complete sex offender treatment and register as a sex offender.

Chief Justice Kay McFarland was the lone dissenter in the case; however, Justice Marla J. Luckert, in a concurring opinion said she would find the constitutional right arose from Section 5 of the Kansas Constitution, which provides that the “right to a jury trial shall be inviolate.”  Her analysis would have afforded a jury trial only to juveniles 14 years of age or older.  The majority opinion, which was authored by Justice Eric S. Rosen, said the right to a jury trial applies to all juveniles and arises from the 6th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Section 10 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights.
Quoting Section 10 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights, Justice Rosen wrote:  “In all prosecutions, the accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person, or by counsel…[and have] a speedy public trial by an impartial jury” in the county where the offense is alleged to have been committed.

The majority held that changes to the Kansas Juvenile Justice Code (KJJC) since 1984, the last time the Kansas Supreme Court addressed the issue, “have eroded the benevolent, child-cognizant, and rehabilitative” and paternalistic nature of the code that distinguished it from the adult criminal system.

 “Because the Kansas Juvenile Justice Code has become more akin to an adult criminal prosecution, it is held that juveniles henceforth have a constitutional right to a jury trial under the 6th and 14th Amendments,” the Court ruled.

The majority cited numerous changes to the code over the past 24 years, saying the changes have made juvenile court prosecutions more like adult prosecutions, including changes from “non-punitive terminology” to “criminal terminology” similar to that in the adult criminal code, the alignment of the KJJC sentencing provisions with the adult sentencing guidelines and the removal of other paternalistic protections, such as some confidentiality restrictions that were afforded juvenile defendants.

 “While there is wide variability in the juvenile offender laws throughout the country, it nevertheless seems apparent to us that the KJJC, in its tilt towards applying adult standards of criminal procedure and sentencing, removed the paternalistic protections previously accorded juveniles while continuing to deny those juveniles the constitutional right to a jury trial,” the majority held.  “Although we do not find total support from the courts in some of our sister states, we are undaunted in our belief that juveniles are entitled to the right to a jury trial guaranteed to all citizens under the 6th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the Court concluded.

Chief Justice McFarland said she respectfully dissents from the majority conclusion that juvenile offenders are now constitutionally entitled to a jury trial. “I disagree.  Although it cannot be disputed that in the 20-plus years since [the Court’s last decision on it] the juvenile system has become more punitive and has incorporated some of the terminology and mechanisms of the adult criminal system, the majority overstates and overemphasizes the changes while ignoring the many features of the current system that remain consistent with the benevolent, protective, rehabilitative, child-cognizant characteristics that distinguish the juvenile system from the criminal system,” she wrote in her dissent.

She said the new system of juvenile justice in Kansas “continues to further the goals that have always characterized the modern juvenile system: protection of the public and rehabilitation,” which she said are not incompatible.  “Given the fact that the juvenile system must deal with serious, violent, and habitual offenders, it is entirely appropriate the juvenile system balance rehabilitation with protection of the public.”

The chief justice said the majority opinion provided no “persuasive authority” from other jurisdictions and contained “less than comprehensive analysis of the current system” in making its conclusion that the “Kansas juvenile justice system is the essential equivalent of the adult criminal justice system and, thus, the right to a jury must be afforded.”

The case will now be returned to Finney County where the defendant will have a right to a jury trial, and the state statute making jury trials for juveniles discretionary has been ruled unconstitutional, under today’s decision.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2008

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Nine persons have applied for a vacancy on the Shawnee County District Court that will be created when Judge Thomas R. Conklin retires July 4.

Members of the Third Judicial District Nominating Commission will conduct interviews June 23 in Room 409 of the Shawnee County Courthouse and submit the names of two or three nominees to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who will make the appointment.

Submitting applications by the deadline established by the Nominating Commission are: Cheryl Rios Kingfisher, Associate Municipal Court Presiding Judge; Carl William Ossmann, Deputy General Counsel with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services; David Debenham, Shawnee County Deputy District Attorney; Justice B. King, managing partner in the Topeka firm of Fisher, Patterson, Sayler & Smith; Larry G. Karns, a Municipal Court Judge Pro Tem and private practitioner; Richard Harmon, a Topeka solo practitioner and member of the Topeka City Council; Ruth E. Graham and Panteleon Florez Jr., both Topeka solo practitioners; and Kelly Michelle Connor-Wilson, a private practitioner with the firm of Connor and Rivers, LLC, with offices in Overland Park and Kansas City, MO.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2008

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Education-Information Officer

A nominating commission charged with naming candidates to fill a district judge vacancy in the 2nd Judicial District has issued a request for assistance from the public.     

The 2nd Judicial District includes the counties of Jackson, Jefferson, Pottawatomie, and Wabaunsee Counties.

The nine-member commission is responsible for submitting the names of two or three nominees to the Governor for the vacancy which was created by the 2008 Legislature and certification by Chief Justice Kay McFarland that the position be located in the 2nd Judicial District.

“The nominating commission is especially interested in receiving recommendations of suggested nominees to fill the vacancy from the general public.  All of the citizens of the 2nd Judicial District are requested to consider this matter, and the names of suggested nominees submitted by the general public will be welcomed by the commission,” according to Justice Marla J. Luckert, departmental justice for the judicial district.           

Kansas statutes require that a judge be a resident of the district in which selected, be at least 30 years of age, have been in the active practice of law for at least five years, and have been admitted to the practice of law within the State of Kansas.

Suggested nominees are requested to complete questionnaires for the position.  The completed forms should be returned to Justice Marla Luckert, Suite 315, Kansas Judicial Center, 301 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS  66612 no later than noon, June 20.  The forms are available in the office of the clerk of the district court in Jackson, Jefferson, Pottawatomie, and Wabaunsee Counties.  The form also is online at www.kscourts.org.

The nominating commission will convene at 9:00 a.m., June 27, in the Pottawatomie County Courthouse, Westmoreland, to interview the suggested nominees.  The meeting will be open to the public; however, the commission has the authority to adjourn to executive session to discuss personal traits of the suggested nominees.

The law requires that the commission submit at least two names, but not more than three, to the Governor who may appoint any of the suggested nominees.

The 2nd Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Luckert as the nonvoting chair and Ronald L. Hodgson, Junction City; Edward W. Pugh, Wamego; Charles W. Waugh, Eskridge; Gary F. Conklin, Westmoreland; D. Max Fuller, Maple Hill; Frankie B. Sumner, Westmoreland; David G. Allen, Circleville; and Norma J. Dunnaway, Perry.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8,2008

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The Supreme Court today announced the appointment of Wyandotte County District Judge R. Wayne Lampson as the new chief judge of that districtís 16-member bench.

He is succeeding Hon. Philip R. Sieve, who is retiring effective May 30, 2008. The successor to fill Judge Sieveís district court judge position has not yet been named, and will be filled by appointment of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius later this summer.

Hon. R. Wayne LampsonJudge Lampson was appointed district judge in 1995 following the death of Judge David Lamar. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Lampson served as the Wyandotte County Counselor, with responsibility for legal representation of the then-Wyandotte County Commission and county government agencies. He also served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Kansas City, Kansas, was in private practice in Kansas City, Kansas, and served as an Assistant District Attorney.

During his career, Judge Lampson has served as an adjunct professor at Kansas City, KS, Community College and Friends University. Before his appointment to the bench he served as a pro tem judge for Municipal Court and for Wyandotte County District Court. A Winfield native, Judge Lampson earned his law degree at the University of Tulsa law school. His undergraduate degree is from Emporia State University. Judge Lampson is married to Donna Lampson, who works for Deluxe Corporation. He has five adult children, all who live in the metro area.

As chief judge, he will have general management responsibilities in the judicial district, including assigning judicial caseloads and directing all clerical and administrative personnel.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6,2008

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A nominating commission charged with naming candidates to fill a district judge vacancy in Shawnee County District Court has issued a request for assistance from the public.       
           
The seven-member commission is responsible for submitting the names of two or three nominees to the Governor for the vacancy which will be created when Judge Thomas R. Conklin retires effective July 4.

Judge Conklin has been a judge of Shawnee County District Court since 1987.  Before that, he was general attorney with the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Co. since 1971.  Judge Conklin began his legal career with the office of Kansas Revisor of Statutes upon his graduation from the Washburn University School of Law in 1968.  He is a 1964 graduate of Washburn University with a major in history.

“The nominating commission is especially interested in receiving recommendations of suggested nominees to fill the vacancy from the general public.  All of the citizens of the 3rd Judicial District are requested to consider this matter, and the names of suggested nominees submitted by the general public will be welcomed by the commission,” according to Supreme Court Justice Marla Luckert, departmental chair for the judicial district.   

Kansas statutes require that a judge be a resident of the district in which selected, be at least 30 years of age, have been in the active practice of law for at least five years, and have been admitted to the practice of law within the State of Kansas.

Suggested nominees are requested to complete questionnaires for the position.  The completed forms should be returned to Alan F. Alderson, Commission Secretary, 2101 SW 21st, Topeka, no later than noon, June 6.  The forms are available in the office of the clerk of the district court in Shawnee County and online at www.shawneecourt.org and www.kscourts.org.

The nominating commission will convene at 9:00 a.m., June 23, in the Shawnee County Courthouse to interview the suggested nominees.  The meeting will be open to the public; however, the commission has the authority to adjourn to executive session to discuss personal traits of the suggested nominees.

The law requires that the commission submit at least two names, but not more than three, to the Governor who may appoint any of the suggested nominees.

Notices of the vacancy have been mailed to every attorney in this judicial district by the chair of the commission.

The 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Luckert as the nonvoting chair and Alan F. Alderson, Topeka; Terry E. Beck, Topeka; Mary D. Feighny, Topeka; Thomas W. Kirker, Topeka; Ginger A. Barr, Auburn; and Mary M. Thomas, Topeka.

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2,2008

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The Supreme Court today entered orders in each of the above cases to unseal the documents that have been filed with the Court. Both cases concern the handling of patient medical records from two clinics that perform abortions in Kansas.

The Court made minimal redactions in the unsealed documents to protect both the privacy rights of the patients and the prosecution of ongoing criminal cases in Sedgwick and Johnson counties

In today’s order involving the case brought by the Johnson County clinic, No. 98,747, the Supreme Court scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. on June 12 for oral argument on the merits of the clinic’s petition, including its request for an order to show cause why former AG Phill Kline should not be found in civil contempt. The clinic alleges Kline violated the Court’s rulings in an earlier case over abortion records. The Court will also hear arguments that morning on Kline’s motion to dismiss the case.

In the order involving the case filed by the Attorney General to obtain patient records now in the possession of Shawnee County’s Judge Richard Anderson, No. 99,050, the Court ordered the parties to submit written arguments by May 22 on why the case should not be dismissed.

Today’s orders, which were signed on behalf the Court by Chief Justice Kay McFarland, also set forth procedures to be followed in the filing of additional documents in the two cases to avoid negative impact on patient privacy and pending prosecutions.

Attached are the two orders that were entered today. In addition, I have a copy of the voluminous unsealed records in my office for inspection by members of the news media.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16,2008

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Education-Information Officer

Wichita attorney Wallace W. Underhill has been appointed executive director of the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program (KALAP), a rehabilitation program for attorneys and law students struggling with mental illness, substance abuse or emotional distress, it was announced in Topeka today.

Underhill was appointed to the position by the Kansas Supreme Court, which established the lawyer assistance program in 2001. He succeeds Wayne Hundley, Topeka, who served as interim director upon the death of Donald Zemites, KALAP’s first director.

The program is governed by the Kansas Lawyers' Assistance Commission, a volunteer board made up of 11 lawyers from around the state appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court.

Underhill has been in private practice since 1973 and a court-appointed mediator and case manager serving Butler, Reno, Sedgwick, and Sumner counties since 2005. He was an assistant Sedgwick County district attorney from 1970 to 1973.

He is a 1967 graduate of Kansas Wesleyan University and a 1970 graduate of the University Kansas School of Law.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 29,2008

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The Supreme Court today announced it will meet in special session April 8th to hear oral arguments in three cases challenging subpoenas of abortion patient medical records by a Wichita grand jury.

The court scheduled the rare special session to expedite resolution of three challenges of  the subpoenas that were filed by Kansas Attorney Gen. Stephen Six, a Wichita abortion clinic operated by Dr. George R. Tiller, and clinic patients whose records were subpoenaed.

The Court also consolidated all three cases for decision and kept its earlier order blocking enforcement of the subpoenas in place until further order of the Court.  The Wichita judges handling the grand jury proceedings—Chief Judge Michael Corrigan and Senior Judge Paul Buchanan—were directed to refrain from issuing additional patient  records subpoenas generated by the clinic.

Attorneys have been given until 5 p.m. March 17th to file written briefs in the case. The Court limited the briefs to not more than 25 pages in length.  Each side of the consolidated case will be allotted a total of one hour to present their arguments to the Court.  The special session is to begin at 9 a.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom in the Judicial Center.

Supreme Court Order: Case 99,951 - Stay Enforcement of Subpoena

Supreme Court Order: Case Nos., 99,951, 99,972, and 100,042 - Consolidation


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 29,2008

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Education-Information Officer

Three area attorneys have been nominated to fill the district court vacancy in Douglas County that was created by the appointment of Judge Stephen N. Six as attorney general.

The nominees are Peggy Carr Kittel, a Douglas County judge pro tem; Trevor C. Wohlford, executive director and chief legal counsel for the State Board of Tax Appeals; and Justice B. King, managing partner of the Topeka law firm of Fisher, Patterson, Sayler & Smith.

The governor will have 30 days from Monday in which to make the appointment.

Kittel has been a judge pro tem for Douglas County District Court since 1998. As such, she presides over juvenile offender hearings and child support and parenting time enforcement hearings.  Prior to that, she served as an assistant district attorney, municipal court prosecutor and was in private practice.  She was graduated from University of Kansas in 1980 and from its law school in 1982.

King has been with the Fisher Patterson law firm since 1976.  He became a partner of the firm in 1979 and became managing partner in 1988.  He is a 1976 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from KU in 1973.

Wohlford has been with the State Board of Tax Appeals since 2004.  Before that he was an associate attorney in the law firm of Hinkle Elkouri, LLC from 2002-2004 and in the firm of Foulston, Siefkin LLP from 1999 to 2002.  He holds a law degree from the University of Denver, and a BA and MA degree from the University of Kansas.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26,2008

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Education-Information Officer

The newest member of the Kansas Court of Appeals will be sworn into office in a ceremony Friday at 2 p.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom.

Melissa Taylor Standridge, Overland Park, was appointed to fill the newly created 13th position on the Court of Appeals.

She has practiced law for 13 years, including four years with the Overland Park firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.  Standridge has served as chambers counsel for U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Waxse in Kansas City, KS, since 1999.

A 1993 graduate of the University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Law, she served as editor-in-chief of the school’s law review.  She is a 1984 graduate of the University of Kansas, Lawrence.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22,2008

District Judicial Nominating Commission Elections

The purpose of each commission is to nominate persons for appointment to the office of district judge and to appoint persons to the office of district magistrate judge in judicial districts that have adopted the nonpartisan method for the selection of judges. There are currently seventeen nonpartisan judicial districts: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 21st, 25th, 28th, 30th, and 31st.

The Clerk of the Supreme Court has recently conducted elections for lawyer members whose terms are expiring on March 3, 2008. There were vacancies in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 21st, 25th, 28th, 30th, and 31st judicial districts. Below are the election results with terms ending March 5, 2012.

JUDICIAL DISTRICT ELECTED LAWYER MEMBER
First (3 positions), J. David Farris, E. Roger Horsky & John R. Kurth
Second (1 position), Gary F. Conklin
Third (2 positions), Terry E. Beck & Mary D. Feighny
Fourth (1 position), Steven B. Doering
Fifth (2 positions), William T. North & w. Irving Shaw
Sixth ( 2 positions), Richard M. Fisher, Jr. & Blake Hudson
Seventh (1 position), Janine A. Cox
Eighth (2 positions), Darrel W. Bryant & Douglas G. Thompson
Ninth (2 positions), Thomas A. Adrian & Robert W. Wise
Tenth (2 positions), Victor A. Bergman, Charles W. German, Kevin P. Moriarty, & Lee M. Smithyman
Eleventh (2 positions), Sara S. Beezley & Larry A. Prauser
Twelfth (2 positions), Daniel D. Metz & Darrell E. Miller
Twenty-First (1 position), James W. Morrison
Twenty-Fifth (2 positions), Gene H. Gaede & John M. Linder
Twenty-Eighth (3 positions), Lance H. Cochran, Catherine J. Craft & Norman R. Kelly
Thirtieth (1 position), Alan C. Goering
Thirty-First (2 positions), James M. Immell & R. Kent Pringle


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2008

For more information,
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Officer

The names of 16 area attorneys who have applied for the district judge position in Douglas County District Court that was created by the appointment of Judge Stephen Six as Kansas attorney general were released today.

The 7th Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Thursday and Friday, February 28-29th to nominate either two or three persons to the governor for appointment.  

Following is a list of those applying for the judgeship:
David J. Brown, private practice
Darian P. Dernovish, Legal Counsel, Kansas Highway Patrol
Margaret Ann Farley, private practice
James T. George, private practice
John C. Gilroy, private practice
Justice B. King, private practice
Peggy Carr Kittel, Judge pro tem, Douglas County
Kenneth P. Kula, private practice
Terence E. Leibold, private practice
Kirk W. Lowry, Legal Director, Disability Rights Center of Kansas Inc.
Suzanne (Valdez) McAllister, Clinical Associate Professor, KU School of Law
Martin L. Miller, private practice
Shon D. Qualseth, private practice
Jeffrey S. Southard, private practice
Michael Warner, Assistant U.S. Attorney

Trevor C. Wohlford, Chief Counsel/Executive Director, State Board of Tax Appeals


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Officer

Ever wonder what judges are thinking when they sentence an offender to probation?  To prison?  Why aren’t all offenders just put away until some magic day when they see the light and decide to not commit crimes again?  After all, if they do the crime, shouldn’t they do the time?

To help area news media and other community leaders make sense of the state’s complex sentencing guidelines, Johnson County Chief Judge Stephen Tatum has scheduled a sentencing symposium for Monday, February 11,  from 9—11 a.m. in the Judges Conference Room on the sixth floor of the Johnson County Courthouse in downtown Olathe.

Featured speaker will be Helen J. Pedigo, executive director of the Kansas Sentencing Commission, who will speak on the subject “Unraveling the Mysteries of Sentencing Guidelines.”

“Perhaps no other duty of a district judge gets closer scrutiny by the media than sentencing someone to a penal or community correction facility or placing an offender on probation,” Chief Judge Tatum said in announcing Monday’s program.

“Just as we judges want to understand the needs of the media in explaining sentencing decisions, we want the media and our community to understand the sentencing guidelines and the process that judges must go through when imposing sentences,” Judge Tatum commented.

“Why do some offenders receive probation, yet others are sent to prison?  When may judges depart from the sentencing guidelines?  We hope these and any other questions on the mind of members of the media will be answered at this symposium,” he said.

Cameras and recording devices are permitted at this session, and questions from the media to Judge Tatum will be welcome.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2008

For more information
contact Ron Keefover,
Education-Information Officer

A nominating commission charged with naming candidates to fill a district judge vacancy in the 7th Judicial District that was created by the appointment of Judge Stephen Six to serve as Kansas attorney general, has issued a request for assistance from the public.    

The 7th Judicial District is a one-county district comprised of Douglas County.

The seven-member commission is responsible for submitting the names of two or three nominees to the Governor for the vacancy which was created when Judge Six resigned effective January 18.  He takes office as attorney general on Friday.

“The nominating commission is especially interested in receiving recommendations of suggested nominees to fill the vacancy from the general public.  All of the citizens of the 7th Judicial District are requested to consider this matter, and the names of suggested nominees submitted by the general public will be welcomed by the commission,” according to Justice Eric S. Rosen, departmental justice.          

Kansas statutes require that a judge be a resident of the district in which selected, be at least 30 years of age, have been in the active practice of law for at least five years, and have been admitted to the practice of law within the State of Kansas.

Suggested nominees are requested to complete questionnaires for the position.  The completed forms should be returned to Justice Rosen at the Kansas Judicial Center, 301 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS  66612 no later than noon, February 20th.  The forms are available in the office of the clerk of the district court in Douglas County and online (Fillable PDF Nomination form)at www.kscourts.org.

The nominating commission will convene at 9:00 a.m., February 28-29th, in the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th, Lawrence, to interview the suggested nominees.  The meeting will be open to the public; however, the commission has the authority to adjourn to executive session to discuss personal traits of the suggested nominees.

The law requires that the commission submit at least two names, but not more than three, to the Governor who may appoint any of the suggested nominees.

Notices of the vacancy are being mailed to every attorney in this judicial district by the chair of the commission.

The 7th Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Rosen as the nonvoting chair and Edward G. Collister, Jr., Lawrence; John W. Nitcher, Lawrence; Janine A. Cox, Lawrence; Kurt Von Achen, Eudora; John Frick, Lawrence; and Multon Scott, Lawrence.