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Kansas Supreme Court establishes Chief Judges’ Council to fill advisory role

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION - KANSAS JUDICIAL CENTER

Kansas Supreme Court establishes Chief Judges’ Council to fill advisory role

TOPEKA—Chief Justice Lawton Nuss signed an order this month creating a seven-member Chief Judges Council to provide additional first-hand expertise and ground-level perspective on current and future issues facing Kansas courts.

“Council members represent the broad diversity of Kansas courts and I look forward to hearing what’s most important to them and why,” Nuss said. “It will allow me to provide informed leadership on topics that affect our local courts in different ways based on caseloads, staffing and community needs.”

Nuss noted the council will give input for the 31 chief judges who preside over the state’s judicial districts. As chief judges, their perspectives may occasionally differ from those of the Kansas District Judges’ Association and the Supreme Court values ideas from both groups.

The council’s first order of business was to select Chief Judge David A. Ricke of the 13th Judicial District as its chairperson. It will next provide feedback on strategies offered by the Court Budget Advisory Council to reduce the number of days courts will close if an $8.25 million shortfall in Judicial Branch funding for fiscal year 2015 is not resolved by the Legislature.

Although Nuss says he will ask the council for input when he needs it, he also expects the council to decide on its own issues it wants to bring to the Supreme Court.

“Chief judges manage their courts with general oversight from Supreme Court justices, so I expect this to be, for the most part, a self-directed group,” Nuss said. “What the council provides is an established venue to discuss what’s important and a structure for continuous

information sharing with the Supreme Court that will help us work more effectively toward our common goals.”

Appointed to one-year terms that expire Dec. 31, 2014, are:

Chief Judge Patricia Macke Dick of the 27th Judicial District, who has served since January 1989 as district judge in Division Four of the Reno County District Court. Dick is a native of Plainville and a graduate of Kansas State University and the University of Kansas School of Law. She currently serves as treasurer of the Kansas District Judges’ Association.

Chief Judge David A. Ricke of the 13th Judicial District, who has served since November 2004 as district judge presiding over cases in Butler, Greenwood, and Elk Counties. Ricke is a resident of Rose Hill and a graduate of Wichita State University and the University of Kansas School of Law.

Appointed to two-year terms that expire Dec. 31, 2015, are:

Chief Judge Edward E. Bouker of the 23rd Judicial District, who has served since 1993 as district judge presiding over cases in Ellis, Gove, Rooks, and Trego Counties. Bouker is a resident of Hays and a graduate of Fort Hays State University and the Kansas University School of Law. He currently serves on the Kansas Judicial Council’s Pattern Instructions for Kansas Committee and is chair of the Kansas Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Committee.

Chief Judge Kim W. Cudney of the 12th Judicial District, who has served since November 2006 as district judge presiding over cases in Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Republic, and Washington Counties. Cudney is resident of Greenleaf and a graduate of Kansas State University and Washburn Law School. She served on the Blue Ribbon Commission and the Kansas Supreme Court Judicial Needs Assessment Committee. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Kansas District Judges’ Association.

Chief Judge R. Wayne Lampson of the 29th Judicial District, who has served since 2008 as district judge presiding over cases in Wyandotte County. Lampson is a native Kansan and a graduate of Emporia State University and the University of Tulsa School of Law.

Chief Judge Nicholas M. St. Peter of the 19th Judicial District, who has served since October 2004 as district judge presiding over cases in Cowley County. St. Peter is a native of Winfield and a graduate of Fort Hays State University and Washburn Law School. He serves on the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications and the Access to Justice Committee.

Chief Judge Wendel W. Wurst of the 25th Judicial District, who has served since October 2009 as district judge presiding over cases in Finney, Kearny, Hamilton, Greeley, Wichita, and Scott Counties. Wurst is a native of Sterling and a graduate of Kansas State University and Kansas University Law School. He is the current chairperson of the Supreme Court Videoconferencing Standards Committee.

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