News

News

1st Judicial District Nominating Commission submits nominees for district judge vacancy in Leavenworth County

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission has sent the names of four nominees for district judge to Gov. Jeff Colyer, who has 60 days to decide who will fill the vacancy created by the June 16 retirement of Judge Gunnar Sundby. The 1st Judicial District is composed of Atchison and Leavenworth counties.

The nominees are: Terri L. Harris, Basehor, attorney and partner, Harris & Henderson. Michael G. Jones, Lansing, assistant county attorney, Leavenworth County. Gerald R. Kuckelman, Atchison, county attorney, Atchison County. Joan M. Lowdon, Bonner Springs, deputy county attorney, Leavenworth County.

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 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Eric Rosen of the Kansas Supreme Court as the nonvoting chair; Ronald Bates, Leavenworth; Julie Clem, Atchison; Lois Meadows, Tonganoxie; Rosemary Nies, Atchison; Mark Preisinger, Leavenworth; Kevin Reardon, Leavenworth; Todd Thompson, Basehor; and Douglas Waters Jr., Lansing.

Mary Shultz
CARE & TREATMENT ATTORNEY WANTED

Douglas County District Court is seeking an attorney to serve as counsel for Care and Treatment cases.

Requirements:  Represent and work in the interest of individuals in care and treatment cases.  Be available on assigned days Monday and Friday (first and third week of each month) for care and treatment cases.  Compensation is $80 per hour.

Send resume and letter of application by 5:00 PM, Friday, August 17, 2018, to Linda Koester-Vogelsang, Douglas County District Court, 111 E 11th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044,

 

 

Mary Shultz
Kansas Reports for Sale

Due to age and health conditions, Topeka attorney Robert Keeshan is closing his practice and selling Kansas reports and other books.

If interested,  you may contact him at 785-267-0040; or e-mail at bob@sqwblaw.com.

Further details available on Law Library bulletin board.

 

 

 

 

Mary Shultz
Kansas Supreme Court appoints three to Language Access Committee

The Kansas Supreme Court appointed Oscar Marino, Lawrence, and Maura Miller, Olathe, to the Language Access Committee. The court also reappointed District Judge Teresa Watson, who serves in Shawnee County of the 3rd Judicial District. Their terms began July 1 and end June 30, 2021.

Marino and Miller are Spanish-language interpreters. The committee makes recommendations to the Supreme Court to ensure that people with limited English skills can access services of the Kansas district courts. 

Mary Shultz
Four appointed to Judges Manual Committee

The Kansas Supreme Court appointed District Magistrate Judge Renee Henke to a two-year term on the Judges Manual Committee. Her term begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2020. Henke serves in Osborne County of the 17th Judicial District.

Reappointed to two-year terms were: District Magistrate Judge Kristin Hutchison, who serves in Elk County of the 13th Judicial District; Chief Judge Peggy Carr Kittel of the 7th Judicial District, composed of Douglas County; and District Judge Marilyn Wilder, who serves in Harvey County of the 9th Judicial District.

The committee composes and updates a manual for Kansas district judges and district magistrate judges.

Mary Shultz
Kansas Supreme Court reappoints eCourt Steering Committee members

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss of the Kansas Supreme Court reappointed members to the eCourt Steering Committee, which is overseeing implementation of a centralized case management system that will allow all district and appellate case data to reside on a single webbased platform, transforming the way state courts serve the people of Kansas. Supreme Court Justice

Dan Biles chairs the committee. Other members reappointed for one year terms were: Chief Judge Karen Arnold-Burger of the Kansas Court of Appeals. Christine Blake, clerk of the district court in Finney County of the 25th Judicial District. William Burns Jr., district court administrator of the 29th Judicial District, composed of Wyandotte County. Nancy Dixon, judicial administrator, Office of Judicial Administration. Kelly O'Brien, director of information systems, Office of Judicial Administration. Katherine Oliver, clerk of the district court in Riley County of the 21st Judicial District. Chief Judge Michael Powers of the 8th Judicial District, composed of Dickinson, Geary, Marion, and Morris counties. Chief Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan of the 10th Judicial District, composed of Johnson County. Doug Shima, clerk of the appellate courts. Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall. Senior Judge David Stutzman. District Magistrate Judge Debra Wright, serving in Mitchell County of the 12th Judicial District.

Installation of the centralized case management system is a key component in the Kansas Supreme Court's eCourt plan. It will complete the conversion from local, paper-driven processes to a statewide electronic one.

The Supreme Court's vision for Kansas eCourt:

-More efficient, effective court operations, and increased access to justice for the people of Kansas.

-Enabling web-based access to court information.

-Standardized statewide case processing that enables workshare and provides a consistent user experience.

The conversion to the centralized case management system is expected to take three to four years. Once the system is designed and completed, it will be launched in a phased roll-out beginning next year. The judicial branch entered into an $11.5 million contract with Tyler Technologies of Plano, Texas, to customize and use its Odyssey Case Manager™ system.

The 2014 Legislature established the Electronic Filing and Case Management Fund with deposits from docket fees dedicated to finalizing the efiling project and implementing centralized case management under the Supreme Court's eCourt plan. By statute, each year through fiscal year 2021, the first $3.1 million received in docket fee revenue will be deposited into that fund. In fiscal year 2022 and later years, the first $1.5 million in docket fee revenue is directed into the fund for eCourt maintenance.

Mary Shultz
Shawnee County judge receives honor from state judges association

The Kansas District Judges Association presented its Award for Judicial Excellence to District Judge Nancy Parrish of Topeka. Parrish received the award during KDJA's recent annual meeting in Overland Park. "I was totally surprised. It very much touched me, and I am humbled by it," she said. Her colleague, District Judge Cheryl Rios of the 3rd Judicial District, nominated her for the award. "She is very professional and a compassionate human being, not only in the way she approaches her work but with the people she is working with," Rios said. Rios has known Parrish for several years, first as a litigant appearing before her in court and the last 10 years as a judge. "Kansas is fortunate to have someone like her on the bench," Rios said, and deserves to be honored by her peers statewide. Parrish is in her 24th year as a district judge in the 3rd Judicial District, composed of Shawnee County. From 2005 to 2013, she was chief judge of the district.

Parrish's appointment as a district judge in 1994 made her résumé fairly unique: experience in all three branches of Kansas government. She served in the Kansas Senate for 12 years and was secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue for two years. Before her entry into government service, she taught in Topeka for 11 years and, after earning a law degree from Washburn University School of Law, was in private practice in Topeka for seven years. "It's been an interesting experience seeing government from three different perspectives," Parrish said.

The KDJA Award for Judicial Excellence is presented to a district judge who has served with integrity, dignity, and honor and has conscientiously promoted and elevated confidence and trust in the judicial branch. The award previously was called the Community Outreach and Education Award. Additionally, nominees for the award should be knowledgeable of the law and apply it appropriately; show considerate and mindful treatment of attorneys, litigants, witnesses, and the public; and have garnered respect from peers and those involved in the judicial process. Parrish "embodies the traits and qualities towards which all judges should strive," said Judge David Kaufman, co-chair of KDJA's Awards and Memorials Committee. Kaufman is a district judge in the 18th Judicial District, composed of Sedgwick County. Parrish said that in addition to her role as judge, she considers community involvement to be important. "Serving on various committees and boards gives you a perspective of issues in the community, so I think it's important to be involved," she said. "You hope to be an active member of a board. I want to be more than a name on a letterhead." She said she was particularly pleased to be involved in a current project spearheaded by the Topeka Bar Association: a simplified program to help people have their criminal convictions cleaned from their records. Those convictions often can be a barrier to employment.

Parrish said she spent the day at the event on April 20 offering assistance. "My judicial assignment is criminal cases, and you don't make a lot of people happy. Here, these people were very appreciative," she said.

She and other 3rd Judicial District judges will volunteer their time June 25 and 26 to determine whether people's expungement applications should be granted.

Parrish currently serves on the board of Valeo Community Residence Program in Topeka. The agency provides care for adults with mental illness. She also is a member of the advisory boards for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and Kansas Legal Services. She previously has served on boards for the Mental Health Association, Family Service and Guidance Center, American Red Cross, Boys' and Girls' Club of Topeka, and Kansas Action for Children. As a judge, she chaired the Kansas Supreme Court's Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee from 2001 to 2009. Judges and hearing officers follow the guidelines to decide how much child support each parent pays. She also is a member of the Kansas Judicial Council's Pattern Instruction Advisory Committee, which drafts and keeps current jury instructions for civil and criminal proceedings. Parrish also is a past president of KDJA. As a lawmaker, Parrish chaired the Senate's Advisory Commission on Juvenile Offender Programs for 10 years. She earned a bachelor's degree from Kansas State University in 1970 and a master's degree in special education from the University of Kansas in 1974. She graduated in 1984 from the Washburn University School of Law, where she has served as an adjunct professor. Parrish and her husband, Jim, live in Tecumseh. They have four sons, 14 grandchildren, and nine greatgrandchildren.

Mary Shultz
Supreme Court announces cases for September special session in Manhattan

The Kansas Supreme Court announced the two cases it will hear in a special session Monday, September 24, at Manhattan High School, the next destination in the court's ongoing outreach to familiarize Kansans with the high court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary. The court will be in session from 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m. in the auditorium at Manhattan High School, 2100 Poyntz Ave.

After the session concludes, the justices will greet the public in an informal reception outside the auditorium. “The Supreme Court extends a personal invitation to the people of Manhattan and surrounding communities to come see your state's highest court in action,” said Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. “It’s a much more personal experience than watching the online broadcasts we’ve provided of all our court sessions since 2012. Plus, we get the pleasure of visiting with you afterward.”

The docket for the September 24 special session includes two cases:

Appeal No. 116,690: State of Kansas v. Lee Edward Williams Wyandotte County: (Criminal Appeal) Williams was charged and convicted of first-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm in the 2013 killing of his child's mother. Witnesses testified he shot the victim multiple times, then fled. In 2016, the district court sentenced Williams to life imprisonment with a minimum of 25 years served before parole eligibility for the first-degree murder conviction and a consecutive term of 20 months for criminal possession of a firearm. Issues on appeal include whether: 1) the State committed prosecutorial error in closing argument by stating Williams had lied; 2) the trial court erred in denying Williams' Batson challenge; 3) the trial court erred in admitting autopsy photographs of the victim; and 4) the cumulative error denied Williams a fair trial.

Appeal No. 113,933: Carl B. Davis, Bankruptcy Trustee, in the Matter of Cheryl A. Harrell v. Mark A. Judd, O.D., and Mark A. Judd, O.D., P.A. Barton County: (Petition for Review) Harrell, as administrator of her late husband's estate, sold his optometry practice to Judd in 2006. The agreement obligated Judd to pay Harrell a percentage of the practice's yearly gross revenues through 2015, provided those revenues exceeded a certain amount. Later, Judd decided the payments violated Kansas optometry law and stopped payment. Harrell sued Judd for breach of contract; she later declared bankruptcy. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the bankruptcy trustee in 2015, one month after Harrell's death. In 2016, the Court of Appeals held the purchase agreement was enforceable but reversed the district court's denial of the bankruptcy trustee's request for prejudgment interest and remanded with directions to award prejudgment interest. Issues on review are whether: 1) the payments made to Harrell were legal under Kansas optometry law; and 2) prejudgment interest should be awarded.

Summaries of the cases and briefs filed by the attorneys involved are available online by following the Manhattan Special Session link under What’s New on the Kansas judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org. Anyone who wants to attend the special session should plan to arrive early to allow time to get through security screening. Doors open at 6 p.m. Court security offers these guidelines to ease the process: Do not bring food or drink. Do not bring large bags, large purses, backpacks, computer cases, or briefcases. Do not bring knives, pepper spray, firearms, or weapons. Do not bring electronic devices like laptop computers, handheld games, personal digital assistants, or tablets. If you must carry a cell phone, turn it off and store it out of sight while court is in session. Audience members are prohibited from talking during oral arguments because it interferes with the attorneys’ remarks and questions asked by the justices. If someone arrives after proceedings start, or must leave the auditorium before it ends, he or she should be as quiet as possible entering and exiting the auditorium. Talking immediately outside the auditorium is also discouraged.

The special session will also be broadcast live over the Internet. The livestream may be accessed selecting the Watch Supreme Court Live! link on the judicial branch home page at www.kscourts.org. Manhattan High School is the court’s 15th destination since 2011, when it first convened outside of the Kansas Judicial Center to mark the state's 150th anniversary.

Stops in 2011 included the historic Supreme Court courtroom in the Capitol, and locations in Salina, Greensburg, and Wichita. The court visited Overland Park in 2012; Pittsburg in 2013; Kansas City, Kan., in 2014; Hays and Garden City in 2015; Topeka, Hiawatha, and Hutchinson in 2016; Winfield and Emporia in 2017; and Colby in 2018. The court started conducting evening sessions when it visited Fort Hays State University in April 2015. That event drew a crowd of nearly 700 people. Subsequent evening sessions have also drawn crowds numbering in the hundreds. 

Mary Shultz
1st Judicial District Nominating Commission to interview nominees for district judge vacancy

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene at 9 a.m. August 8 to interview nominees to fill a district judge vacancy in Leavenworth County created by the June 16 retirement of Judge Gunnar Sundby. Interviews are open to the public. They will take place at Leavenworth County Justice Center, 601 S. Third St., Leavenworth. The 1st Judicial District is composed of Atchison and Leavenworth counties. 

The nominees are: Pamela Campbell Burton, Leavenworth, attorney and owner, Murray, Tillotson & Burton. Amy C. Coppola, Abilene, assistant county attorney, Dickinson County. Terri L. Harris, Basehor, attorney and partner, Harris & Henderson. Michael G. Jones, Lansing, county attorney, Leavenworth County. Christopher J. Kellogg, Leavenworth, administrative law judge, Kansas Department of Administration. Keyta D. Kelly, Leavenworth, attorney and partner, Kelly Law Office. Gerald R. Kuckelman, Atchison, county attorney, Atchison County. Joan M. Lowdon, Bonner Springs, deputy county attorney, Leavenworth County. Geoffrey C. Sonntag, Tonganoxie, attorney and owner, Sonntag Law Office. 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 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Eric Rosen of the Kansas Supreme Court as the nonvoting chair; G. Ronald Bates, Leavenworth; Julie Clem, Atchison; Lois Meadows, Tonganoxie; Rosemary Nies, Atchison; Mark Preisinger, Leavenworth; Kevin Reardon, Leavenworth; Todd Thompson, Basehor; and Douglas Waters Jr., Lansing.

Mary Shultz