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The Kansas Supreme Court
301 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka Kansas 66612-1507

Office of Judicial Administration
Telephone:
 785.296.2256
Fax:  785.296.7076
Email: info@kscourts.org

Appellate Clerk's Office
Telephone:
 785.296.3229
Fax:  785.296.1028
Email: appellateclerk@kscourts.org


Honorable Lawton R. Nuss
Chief Justice 2010 - Present
Justice, Kansas Supreme Court 2002 - 2010

Hon. Lawton R. NussChief Justice Lawton R. Nuss is a fourth-generation Kansan and was born in Salina, Kansas, in 1952. After graduating from Salina High School in 1970, he attended the University of Kansas on a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship. He graduated in January 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He then served as a combat engineering officer with the Fleet Marine Force Pacific. After his discharge in 1979, he entered law school at the University of Kansas and graduated in May 1982.

Chief Justice Nuss began his law practice with the Salina firm of Clark Mize & Linville, Chartered in August 1982. For the next 20 years, he was involved in a wide range of legal issues and proceedings. He represented corporations and individuals as plaintiffs as well as defendants in civil cases. He also represented the government as well as defendants in criminal cases. Based upon surveys of judges and fellow lawyers, during this time he was awarded an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, that national organization's highest rating for legal ability and professional ethics.

Chief Justice Nuss' professional activities while a lawyer included serving as Chairman of the Board of Editors for the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association; as President of the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel, where he also received the Distinguished Service Award and the Defense Research Institute Exceptional Performance Citation; as President of the Saline-Ottawa County Bar Association; and as a mediator for the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Chief Justice Nuss also served as Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of St. John's Military School, the Board of Directors of the Salina Child Care Association, the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Salina Public Library, the Board of Advisors of the Coronado Area Council of Boy Scouts, and the Site Council for Roosevelt-Lincoln Middle School.

Nuss was appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Bill Graves in August 2002, becoming the first Court member in more than 20 years to move directly from the practice of law to the bench. He became Chief Justice in August 2010.

As Chief Justice, Nuss presides over the Supreme Court during its exercise of general administrative authority over all courts in the state. In addition to those duties, he also serves as the Supreme Court liaison to the Kansas District Judges' Association. He previously served as Chairman of the Kansas Judicial Council, and as the Supreme Court liaison for the Kansas Board of Law Examiners, the Client Protection Fund Commission, and the Kansas Board of Examiners of Court Reporters.

On the national level, Chief Justice Nuss is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices where he serves as the Conference's vice-chair of the Court Management Committee and is a member of its Civil Justice Committee and its Access, Fairness and Public Trust Committee. He has previously served on the Conference's Board of Directors. The Conference of Chief Justices was founded in 1949 and is composed of the top judicial officers of each state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. This national court association promotes the interests and effectiveness of state judicial systems by developing policies and educational programs designed to improve court operations. It also acts as the primary representative of the state courts before Congress and federal executive agencies.

Chief Justice Nuss is a member of the Kansas and Topeka Bar Associations. He was appointed an honorary Marshal of Dodge City in 2010, and in 2011 was selected to participate in the Henry Toll Fellowship, a nationwide leadership development program for highly recognized state leaders.

Chief Justice Nuss is a graduate of the Appellate Judges School at New York University School of Law and the United States Naval Justice School of Newport, Rhode Island. He is also the author of several published legal and historical articles and is a frequent presenter for legal and lay audiences.

Chief Justice Nuss has five grown children and one grandchild. He and his wife live in Topeka.

Opinions (those available online) delivered by Justice Nuss:

  • 107981 -- State v. Johnson
  • 107351 -- State v. Briseno
  • 107011 -– State v. Looney
  • 106865 -- State v. Williams
  • 106184 -- State v. Jackson
  • 105991 -- State v. Moses
  • 105962 -- City of Lincoln Center v. Farmway Co-Op, Inc., et al.
  • 105932 -- Makthepharak v. State
  • 105854 -- State v. Holt
  • 105809 -- State v. Akins
  • 105623 -- In re K.E.
  • 104858 -- State v. Cheeks (dissenting)
  • 104761 -- Downtown Bar and Grill v. State
  • 104710 -- State v. Ochs
  • 104388 -- Sola-Morales v. State
  • 104198 -- State v. Hurd
  • 104116 -- State v. Heronemus
  • 103558 -- State v. Herbel
  • 103509 -- State v. Lawson (concurring in the result)
  • 103505 -- In re Care & Treatment of Girard
  • 103334 -- Sloop v. Kansas Dept. of Revenue
  • 103176 -- Shrader v. Kansas Dept. of Revenue
  • 102912 -- State v. Hyche
  • 102904 -– Vontress v. State
  • 102688 -- State v. McWilliams
  • 102471 -– State v. Sievers
  • 102210 -- State v. Kelly (dissenting)
  • 102140 -- State v. Garcia (dissenting)
  • 102071 -– State v. Reiss
  • 101806 -- State v. Friday
  • 101604 -- State v. Malmstrom
  • 101563 -- Holt v. State
  • 101512 -- State v. Jolly
  • 101222 -- State v. Bridges
  • 101201 -- State v. LeClair
  • 101153 -- Southwestern Bell Tele. Co. v. Beachner Constr.
  • 101146 -- Martin v. Naik (joins in the foregoing concurring opinion)
  • 101145 -- U.S.D. No. 446 v. Sandoval (dissenting)
  • 100865 -- Martinez v. Milburn Enterprises, Inc.
  • 100851 -- State v. Hopkins
  • 100792 -- State v. Freeman
  • 100768 -- State v. Tahah
  • 100733 -- Stroda, et al. v. Joice Holdings
  • 100704 -- State v. Stovall (joins the foregoing dissenting and concurring opinion)
  • 100666 -- Holmes v. State
  • 100464 -- State v. Nambo
  • 100366 -- State v. Neal
  • 100261 -- State v. Pennington
  • 100215 -- Bates v. Dodge City Healthcare Group
  • 100149 -- Harsch v. Miller, Sec. of Trans. of the State of Kansas
  • 100074 -- State v. Richmond
  • 100057 -- State v. Ballard
  • 99997 -- State v. Garcia
  • 99961 -- State v. Hollingsworth
  • 99937 -- State v. Berreth
  • 99813 -- State v. Wells
  • 99793 -- Cohen v. Battaglia
  • 99628 -- State v. McCaslin
  • 99536 -- Wolfe Electric, Inc. v. Duckworth
  • 99509 -- In re B.D.-Y.
  • 99491 -- Kansas Dept. of Revenue v. Powell
  • 99457 -- State v. Walker
  • 99394 -- State v. Bricker
  • 99217 -- State v. McGinnis
  • 98976 -- State v. Howard
  • 98770 -- State v. Simmons
  • 98740 -- In re Adoption of A.A.T. (Dissenting)
  • 98667 -- State v. Williams
  • 98553 -- Deal v. State
  • 98498 -- State v. Baker
  • 98487 -- Zimmerman v. Board of Wabaunsee County Comm'rs (Filed October 30, 2009)
  • 98487 -- Zimmerman v. Board of Wabaunsee County Comm'rs (Filed October 21, 2011)
  • 98403 -- State v. Leaper
  • 98389 -- State v. Sharp
  • 98373 -- State v. Houston
  • 98342 -- Davenport Pastures v. Board of Morris County Comm'rs
  • 98136 -- State v. LaBelle
  • 98123 -- State v. Thomas
  • 98077 -- State v. Case
  • 97847 -- Osterhaus v. Toth
  • 97581 -- U.S.D. No. 232 v. CWD Investments
  • 97486 -- Genesis Health Club, Inc. v. City of Wichita
  • 97447 -- State v. Morlock
  • 97420 -- State v. Anderson
  • 97401 -- State v. Skolaut
  • 97323 -- State v. Hendrix
  • 97088 -- In re Estate of Esther R. Broderick
  • 96838 -- Steffes v. City of Lawrence
  • 96744 -- State v. Holt
  • 96697 -- Foundation Property Investments v. CTP
  • 96608 -- State v. Breedlove
  • 96563 -- State v. Dukes
  • 96364 -- In re J.A.H.
  • 96250 -- Cooke v. Gillespie
  • 96175 -- State v. Angelo
  • 96173 -- Stempler v. Maryland Casualty Co.
  • 96091 -- State v. Stowell
  • 96011 -- Soto v. City of Bonner Springs
  • 96003 -- In re Adoption of X.J.A.
  • 95945 -- State v. Bryant
  • 95819 -- State v. Martin
  • 95818 -- State v. McCarley
  • 95733 -- State v. Thomas
  • 95672 -- State v. Drayton
  • 95621 -- State v. White
  • 95592 -- State v. Storey
  • 95548 -- National Bank of Andover v. Kansas Bankers Surety Co.
  • 95537 -- Coma Corporation v. Kansas Dept. of Labor
  • 95495 -- State v. Denney
  • 95249 -- State v. Aguilar (Dissenting)
  • 95202 -- Thomas v. Benchmark Ins. Co
  • 95162 -- Dillon Real Estate Co. v. City of Topeka
  • 94897 -- City of Roeland Park v. Jasan Trust
  • 94766 -- Warner v. Stover
  • 94707 -- Perry v. Board of Franklin County Comm'rs
  • 94698 -- Finley v. Estate of DeGrazio
  • 94416 -- State v. Sappington
  • 94415 -- State v. Sappington
  • 94187 -- State v. Stevens
  • 94128 -- State v. Kirtdoll
  • 94123 -- Vorhees v. Baltazar
  • 94113 -- State v. Moses
  • 93964 -- State v. Garcia
  • 93868 -- Rinke v. Bank of America
  • 93690 -- Hawley v. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture
  • 93646 -- State v. Leonard C. Reid
  • 93470 -- In re the Estate of Hjersted
  • 93465 -- State v. Kirkpatrick (Dissenting)
  • 93386 -- State v. Moore
  • 93286 -- Board of Johnson County Comm'rs v. Smith
  • 92814 -- State v. Rogers
  • 92700 -- Johnson v. Westhoff Sand Co.
  • 92592 -- State v. Walters
  • 92488 -- State v. Cooperwood
  • 92380 -- Botkin v. Security State Bank
  • 92251 -- State v. Henderson
  • 92230 -- McGinley v. Bank of America
  • 92112 -- Bomhoff v. Nelnet Loan Services, Inc.
  • 92030 -- State v. Voyles
  • 91999 -- State v. Beauclair
  • 91965 -- State v. Guzman
  • 91867 -- State v. Johnson
  • 91810 -- State v. Jones
  • 91748 -- City of Wichita v. Sealpak Co.
  • 91693 -- Hallam v. Mercy Health Center of Manhattan, Inc.
  • 91654 -- Schmidtlien Electric, Inc. v. Greathouse
  • 91350 -- State v. Nguyen
  • 91324 -- In re Care & Treatment of Foster
  • 91311 -- Evenson Trucking Co. v. Arandan
  • 91284 -- Ingram v. State
  • 91275 -- Brown v. State
  • 91179 -- State v. Bischoff
  • 91069 -- Mid-Continent Specialists, Inc. v. Capital Homes
  • 90982 -- State v. Davis
  • 90975 -- Titterington v. Brooke Insurance
  • 90944 -- Lee Builder's, Inc. v. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co.
  • 90848 -- State v. Pham
  • 90701 -- Back-Wenzel v. Williams
  • 90661 -- State v. White
  • 90613 -- State v. Torres
  • 90454 -- State v. Denney
  • 90441 -- State v. Burhans
  • 90368 -- Kesterson v. State
  • 90066 -- State v. Horn
  • 89793 -- State v. Gleason
  • 89775 -- Godley v. Valley View State Bank
  • 89759 -- Rice v. State
  • 89674 -- Cummings v. City of Lakin
  • 89658 -- State v. Jones
  • 89592 -- Krueger v. Board of Woodson County Comm'rs
  • 89547 -- State v. Mattox
  • 89543 -- Ary Jewelers, L.L.C. v. Krigel
  • 89518 -- Investcorp, L.P. v. Simpson Invest. Co., L.C.
  • 89466 -- Griffin v. Suzuki Motor Corp.
  • 89300 -- State v. Fisher
  • 89268 -- State v. Sanchez-Cazares
  • 89239 -- Foos v. Terminix (Dissenting)
  • 89204 -- State v. Meeks
  • 89091 -- Mudd v. Neosho Memorial Reg. Med. Center
  • 89010 -- State v. Groves
  • 89003 -- State v. Elnicki
  • 88991 -- ARY Jewelers, LLC v. Krigel
  • 88977 -- State v. Shelby (Concurring)
  • 88845 -- State v. Lowe
  • 88761 -- Miller v. Kansas Dept. of S.R.S.
  • 88736 -- State ex rel. Stoval v. Alivio
  • 88720 -- State v. Jones
  • 88623 -- Crumbaker v. Hunt Midwest Mining, Inc.
  • 88347 -- State v. Swanigan
  • 88325 -- City of Wichita v. Hackett
  • 88250 -- State v. Crawford
  • 88204 -- Johnson County Auto Credit, Inc. v. Green
  • 88124 -- Maunz v. Perales
  • 87974 -- State v. James
  • 87898 -- U.S.D. No. 233 v. Kansas Ass'n of American Educators
  • 87373 -- State v. Anthony
  • 87033 -- State v. Rogers
  • 86895 -- State v. Bryant
  • 86829 -- State v. Kunellis
  • 86767 -- Telegram Publishing Co. v. Kansas Dept. of Transportation
  • 81135 -- State v. Marsh (Dissenting)