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Archive for Sunday, December 1, 2002

Graves to choose from 3 nominees for high court

Vacancy is third of three this session

December 1, 2002

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— Gov. Bill Graves has three nominees to consider to fill the third of three vacancies on the Kansas Supreme Court.

The list includes Riley County District Judge David Stutzman, whom Graves appointed to the lower court in 1996. Stutzman, 51, was one of three nominees for the vacancy of Justice Fred Six filled earlier in November.

That position went to Shawnee County District Judge Marla Luckert - the second woman to sit on the Kansas Supreme Court.

The new vacancy comes from the retirement of Justice Tyler Lockett, who like Six is leaving when his term ends Jan. 13.

Joining Stutzman as nominees are Court of Appeals Judge Robert L. Gernon, 59, and Kansas City, Kan., attorney M. Warren McCamish, 55.

Nominees are chosen by a nine-member panel consisting of an attorney and nonattorney from each congressional district plus an attorney chairman selected at-large by the Kansas Bar Assn.

Graves has 60 days to pick from the date he is presented the nominees, or the decision will be made by Chief Justice Kay McFarland.

Graves is not expected to wait long to decide; his term expires Jan. 13.

Stutzman has been a district judge for nearly six years, after he left the Manhattan law firm of Arthur, Green, Arthur and Condeman. He was appointed district judge by Graves.

He recently presided over a lawsuit between Kansas State University and Morris Communications over the broadcasting rights to Wildcat football games.

Gernon has been a member of the Court of Appeals since 1988. He was a judge in the 22nd Judicial District from 1979 to 1988, including two terms as chief judge. He was in private practice in Brown County from 1970 to 1979, and also served as Brown County attorney and county counselor from 1971 to 1975.

Most recently, Gernon completed the University of Virginia Law School's graduate program for judges in 2001, earning a master's in the judicial process.

McCamish has been practicing law in Kansas City for 30 years, including 26 years as a member of the law firm of Williamson and Cubbison. He has served as a member of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys since 1998. He also has been a part-time municipal judge in the city of Edwardsville since 1975.

Justice Edward Larson retired from the court Sept. 4. Salina attorney Lawton R. Nuss was appointed to fill Larson's seat.

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