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News

Leavenworth County judge to retire, accepts senior judge status

TOPEKA—District Judge Gunnar Sundby will retire June 16 after 20 years of service in the 1st Judicial District but will begin serving as a senior judge for the judicial branch. The Kansas Supreme Court appointed Sundby as a senior judge effective June 17. Sundby is a graduate of Washburn University and a 1977 graduate of the Washburn University School of Law. He first practiced with Stillings and Caplinger, Atchison, then was elected county attorney for Atchison County, serving from 1980 to 1992. He was a partner in a law firm with J. David Farris for seven years until his 1998 appointment as a district judge for Leavenworth County in the 1st Judicial District. The 1st Judicial District is composed of Atchison and Leavenworth counties. Sundby said his first nine years on the bench focused on domestic and probate cases. In recent years he has been assigned to the criminal and prisoner dockets, where he has dealt with thousands of criminal cases, seen prisoners from all over the state, and presided over about 200 jury trials. Sundby said he has tried "to allow all parties the opportunity to be heard" and added he appreciates the support of the residents of Leavenworth County. Sundby said his new role as senior judge will allow him to remain close to his colleagues, travel the state as needed, and still serve as a judge. As a senior judge, he can be assigned to cases being heard in any district court, as well as the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Sundby said the part-time work as a senior judge will allow him and his wife, Debbie, to travel and spend more time with family, which includes four grandchildren. 

Mary Shultz