Archive for Thursday, March 26, 1998

CITY COURT JUDGE TO TURN IN ROBE

March 26, 1998

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Lawrence's Municipal Court judge plans to retire this fall after 26 years.

Help wanted: Part-time position with the city of Lawrence, must have a knowledge of Kansas law and be able to sit for long periods of time; robe supplied.

Lawrence's sole Municipal Court judge, George Catt, will be retiring at the end of September after more than 25 years of serving on the bench. And the city is looking for his replacement.

Applicants must have at least five years of legal and trial experience in Kansas, be a member of the state bar association, and have a knowledge of local and state criminal, constitutional and personnel law.

Catt presides over nonfelony cases ranging from drunken driving violations, thefts under $500 and unpaid parking tickets. Municipal Court cases are heard weekday mornings at the Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th.

Applications must be submitted to the city by May 1, and City Manager Mike Wildgen said he hopes a replacement is named within three to four months.

``We think it might be good to have someone on board before George retires, so there might be some overlapping,'' said Wildgen, who will make the final decision on Catt's replacement.

David Corliss, director of the city's Legal Services Department, said Catt will help the new judge during the transition, and awarding the position before Catt's retirement would allow the replacement to prepare.

``If we select someone who has a private practice, they might need some time to get some business in order, and that could take some time,'' Corliss said.

Catt, who has an attorney's office at 3300 Mesa Way, declined to talk about his decision while he is still municipal judge.

Catt, who was the city hall reporter for the Lawrence Journal-World for two years in the mid-1960s, attended the Kansas University law school and has been municipal judge since May 1972.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is koger@ljworld.com.

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