Lawrence attorney and KU adjunct a finalist for vacant slot on Kansas Court of Appeals

photo by: Associated Press

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt makes his case during oral arguments in a court of appeals nomination disagreement Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Topeka, Kan. The case was brought by the State of Kansas to solve a dispute between Gov. Laura Kelly and the Kansas Senate over an appeals court nomination. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Carl Folsom III, a trial attorney with the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Topeka and an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas, is one of three finalists for an open seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals, Gov. Laura Kelly’s office announced Wednesday.

Folsom has been an adjunct faculty member at KU since 2018 in conjunction with serving in the Federal Public Defender’s Office. Before that, he worked as an assistant federal public defender for the Federal Public Defender for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma.

Folsom graduated from KU with a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in political science. He is a member of the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

The other two finalists, Kelly’s office announced, are Wichita attorneys Amy Fellows Cline and Diane Sorensen.

Kelly will appoint one nominee during the 2020 legislative session to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge G. Joseph Pierron Jr., which is then subject to Senate confirmation. Pierron’s retirement is effective April 3.

The vacant Court of Appeals slot is not the only one Kelly will have to fill in the coming months. Sitting Judge Steve Leben announced Feb. 12 that he would retire from the court in June and take a visiting professorship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.


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