Douglas County Judge Paula Martin retiring; nominees sought for successor

photo by: Mike Yoder

Douglas County District Court Judge Paula Martin confers with attorneys during the murder trial of Ramona Morgan, in this 2008 Journal-World file photo.

Douglas County District Court Judge Paula Martin will retire this summer, and the state is now taking nominations for her successor.

Martin’s retirement date is June 15, according to a Tuesday news release from the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration.

Martin was appointed to the bench by Gov. Joan Finney in 1994. She has presided over some of Lawrence’s most notorious trials, including those of former carpenter and Christian school leader Martin Miller, who killed his wife, Mary Miller, in 2004; and local pizza restaurant employee Sarah B. Gonzales McLinn, who killed her boss and roommate, Harold Sasko, in 2014.

The 7th Judicial District Nominating Commission will interview nominees for the vacancy at 9 a.m. May 23 at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St. The interviews are open to the public.

The commission anticipates selecting from three to five nominees to submit to the governor, who then has 60 days to decide whom to appoint.

Members of the nominating commission are Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen, the nonvoting chairman, and Lawrence residents Stephanie Davis, Lisa Harris, Michael McGrew, Wesley Smith, Daniel Watkins and Elizabeth Cateforis.

Applicants for the judgeship must be at least 30 years old, be admitted to practice law in Kansas, have at least five years of experience practicing law and live in the district while holding office. More information is online at

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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