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TOPEKA—The 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 19, to review 18 nominations to fill a district judge vacancy in Johnson County created by the June 28 retirement of Judge Kevin Moriarty.

The commission will meet at the Johnson County Administration Building, Rooms 202/204, 111 S Cherry St., Olathe. The meeting is open to the public.

At the meeting, members will determine which nominees they will interview on Monday, May 13. Those interviews will be conducted in the same location, with the times to be announced.

The 10th Judicial District is composed of Johnson County.

The nominees are:

  • Joshua K. Allen, Overland Park, private practice

  • Judge Jenifer Ashford, Prairie Village, district magistrate judge

  • Paul W. Burmaster, Overland Park, private practice

  • John E. Cowles, Olathe, private practice

  • Michael J. Fleming, Leawood, private practice

  • Daniel B. Hodes, Overland Park, attorney at Hallmark Cards

  • Krishnan Christopher Jayaram, Overland Park, private practice

  • Steven M. Johnson, Olathe, private practice

  • Christopher E. Kopecky, Leawood, private practice

  • Michael F. McCulloch, Olathe, Johnson County chief public defender

  • Michael Richard-Tel Parrett, Shawnee, private practice

  • Vanessa M. Riebli, Olathe, Johnson County District Attorney's office section chief

  • Kristen Shelley-Chapin, Shawnee, private practice

  • Constance L. Shidler, Overland Park, private practice

  • Sarah E. Stewart, Spring Hill, private practice

  • John E. Taylor, Overland Park, private practice

  • Karen L. Torline, Shawnee, City of Shawnee municipal court judge

  • Gary J. Willnauer, Stilwell, private practice

After the interviews, the commission will select from three to five nominees whose names will be submitted to the governor to fill the position according to statutory qualification and residency requirements. If there are not three nominees who reside in the judicial district who are deemed qualified by the commission, the commission may consider nominees who reside outside the district. The governor has 60 days after receiving the names to decide whom to appoint.

After serving one year in office, the new judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the incumbent will serve a four-year term.

Nominees for district judge must be:

  • at least 30 years old;

  • a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas and engaged in the practice of law for at least five years, whether as a lawyer, judge, or full-time teacher at an accredited law school; and

  • a resident of the judicial district at the time of taking office and while holding office.

The 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Supreme Court Justice Lee Johnson as the nonvoting chair; lawyer members Thomas Bath Jr. and John Parisi, Leawood; Laura McConwell, Mission; Stephen Tatum, Olathe; and Rick Guinn, Judge Kevin Moriarty, and Greg Musil, Overland Park; and nonlawyer members Vivien Jennings, Fairway; Samuel Turner Sr., Leawood; Joe Beveridge and Annabeth Surbaugh, Lenexa; Doug Brownlee and James Griffith, Olathe; and Gregory Doring, Prairie Village.

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