20 Apply for Supreme Court Vacancy

SIx judges and 14 attorneys have applied to fill a Kansas Supreme Court vacancy created by the September 8 retirement of Justice Lee Johnson. 

The applicants are:

  • Kristafer R. Ailslieger, lawyer, Topeka

  • Daniel Cahill, judge, Kansas City

  • Angela D. Coble, lawyer, Salina

  • Dennis D. Depew, lawyer, Neodesha

  • Randall L. Hodgkinson, lawyer, Topeka

  • Michael P. Joyce, judge, Leawood

  • Russell J. Keller, lawyer, Fairway

  • Thomas E. Malone, judge, Topeka

  • Rhonda K. Mason, judge, Olathe

  • Lumen N. Mulligan, lawyer, Lawrence

  • Steven J. Obermeier, lawyer, Olathe

  • David J. Rempel, lawyer, Overland Park

  • Melissa T. Standridge, judge, Leawood

  • Lyndon W. Vix, lawyer, Maize

  • Christina M. Wahl, lawyer, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Keynen J. Wall, lawyer, Lawrence

  • Brenda S. Watkins, lawyer, Olathe

  • Kristen D. Wheeler, lawyer, Wichita

  • Evelyn Z. Wilson, judge, Topeka

  • Marcia A. Wood, lawyer, Wichita

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission will be setting the date to interview applicants. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission will conduct its activity subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act and the Kansas Open Records Act (K.S.A. 20-123). Interviews by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission will be public pursuant to the Kansas Open Meetings Act.  

The full interview schedule and brief biographical information about each applicant will be posted to the Kansas judicial branch website at under the heading "What's New" as soon after the interview schedule is completed..

After interviewing applicants, the Supreme Court Nominating Commission will decide which three to recommend to the governor to fill the position. The governor will then choose which one to appoint to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. 

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission is an independent body created by the Kansas Constitution. Four of its members are appointed by the governor from each of the state’s four congressional districts. These appointees are not attorneys. Four other members are attorneys elected by attorneys in each of the state's congressional districts. The commission chair is an attorney elected by attorneys in a statewide vote.

Members of the commission are: Mikel L. Stout, Chair, Wichita; Gerald O. Schultz, Garden City; Linda B. Weis, Manhattan; Terrence J. Campbell, Lawrence; Frances Gorman Graves, Bartlett; Lenin V. Guerra, Olathe; Robert Hayworth, Stilwell; Gloria Farha Flentje, Wichita; and Dennis Hedke, Wichita.

Mary Shultz
Proposed Amendments to Supreme Court Rules 800-811: Rules Relating to Continuing Legal Education

The Kansas Supreme Court is accepting public comment on proposed amendments to Rules 800-811: Rules Relating to Continuing Legal Education.

The amendments are related to an administrative restructuring within the Kansas judicial branch to achieve operational and organizational efficiencies. The changes will not affect the excellent level of service members of the bar have come to expect from the CLE Commission and its staff.

The Supreme Court thanks the staff of the CLE Commission and all current and past Commission members for their effort and dedication to enable and support continuous improvement in the performance of Kansas lawyers.

Amendments to Rule 800-811 include:

  • changing the Continuing Legal Education Commission to the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Board, which will help the Supreme Court and the Office of Judicial Administration administer and regulate continuing legal education;

  • updating continuing legal education delivery methods; and

  • updating the rule format.

Proposed amended Rules 800-811 are on the judicial branch website at under the headingWhat's New.

Comment may be made by email to until noon Thursday, September 19, 2019. The subject line must read "Rules 800-811."

Mary Shultz
From Bradley Software - Kansas Child Support Calculator Tax Adjustments

Bradley Software recently updated their blog with information about the Tax Adjustments suggestions in the Kansas Child Support Calculator. Since that posting, they received numerous inquiries and as a result have issued a revision to the blog post. In addition they posted an update to the Tax Adjustments suggestions in the Kansas Child Support Calculator to help further reduce any confusion.

Read the full article on their blog

Mary Shultz
State recognizes West Middle School for civic engagement opportunities

From the Lawrence Journal World: Along with math, science, history and other important topics, Lawrence’s West Middle School aims to educate students on how to be active members of their local community, said Principal Brad Kempf.

And now the school is being recognized for it.

The Kansas State Department of Education’s Civic Advocacy Network, or CAN, recently announced in a news release that West Middle School is one of 10 state schools to be awarded for offering programs that aim to increase civic engagement among students. The Lawrence school received the Promising Practices Award, which is given to schools that have a “particularly innovative, effective or unique program that shows potential for impacting student engagement,” according to the release.

Kempf told the Journal-World on Monday the school’s staff believes it is important to teach students different ways to be engaged in their communities.

One of the most prominent programs the school provides is its Growing Food Growing Health program, a community garden partnership with the Merc Co-op that allowed students to raise fresh produce and then sell to local consumers. However, Kempf said the program recently began donating its harvest to Just Food, a local food bank, aiming to provide fresh food to the local community in need.

Some other programs the school offers include Hawk Flock Leader Development Program, which aims to train students to be leaders by challenging them to engage with parents and other community members to develop positive school culture and serve as guides to incoming sixth grade students; and the Student Instructional Program, which is a course students may take during their advisory periods that teaches the students on monthly themes, including community, responsibility, integrity, respect and empathy, among other themes.

In its second year of administering the awards, the department said the ultimate goal of the awards is to promote civic engagement as part of the educational experience for all K-12 students in Kansas. Other state schools selected to be recognized include Seaman High School in Topeka, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, and Santa Fe Trail Middle School of Olathe, among others.

The state’s education department will honor West and the other schools on Sept. 17, which is the U.S. Constitution Day. The event begins at 1 p.m. and will be held at Memorial Building Auditorium, 120 S.W. 10th Ave. in Topeka.

Mary Shultz
Clerk of the District Court Office Temporarily Closed

There was flooding in the Clerk of District Court offices during the weekend due to a drainage issue that has since been fixed. Staff have re-located to other areas within the Law Enforcement Center while cleanup takes place. If you have questions, please call 832-5252. Payments can be made and PFA paperwork can be obtained through the Court Trustee’s Office on the 1st Floor.

Mary Shultz
Kansas Court of Appeals to mark Constitution Day with sessions on 3 campuses

The Kansas Court of Appeals will visit Bethany College, Fort Scott Community College, and Kansas State University September 17 as part of the court's observance of Constitution Day.

 It is the court's first visit to Bethany College in Lindsborg and Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott. The Court of Appeals is a traveling court and convenes at locations across Kansas.

 At Bethany, Judge Anthony Powell will be the presiding judge on the panel. He will be joined by Judge Stephen Hill and Judge Sarah Warner. Court will convene at 9 a.m. at Wallerstedt Learning Center, 235 E Swensson Ave. Three oral arguments are scheduled.

At Fort Scott, Judge Kim Schroeder will be the presiding judge. He will be joined by Judge G. Joseph Pierron Jr. and Judge Melissa Taylor Standridge. Court will convene at 9 a.m. in the Ellis Fine Arts Center, 2108 S Horton. Three oral arguments are scheduled.

At KSU in Manhattan, Arnold-Burger will be the presiding judge. She will be joined by Judge Henry Green Jr. and Judge Michael Buser. Court will convene at 9:30 a.m. in Forum Hall in the Student Union. Four oral arguments are scheduled.

In addition to the three panels meeting at college and university campuses, two more panels of judges will hear appeals:
At the U.S. Courthouse in Wichita, where three oral arguments are scheduled.

At the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka, which will review a summary calendar.

In all, five panels will convene in September to hear oral argument in 13 appeals and to consider 77 other appeals on summary calendars.

Congress directs federally funded educational institutions to host educational events about the U.S. Constitution on or about September 17 each year, and the Court of Appeals visits are among those events. The Constitution was signed September 17, 1787, by a majority of delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Mary Shultz