Lawrence court reporter named honorary bailiff for special session of Kansas Supreme Court

photo by: Contributed photo

Mary Kay Howe

A longtime Lawrence court reporter has been named the honorary bailiff for the Kansas Supreme Court’s upcoming special session in Lawrence, the state Office of Judicial Administration announced.

Mary Kay Howe records and transcribes proceedings in the courtroom of Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny, home to multiple recent high-profile local proceedings including the Massachusetts Street triple murder case.

Pokorny praised Howe’s speed, accuracy, dependability and kindness.

“Her steadiness, her work ethic, and her wisdom symbolize what we all hope our court system stands for,” Pokorny said in a news release.

The special Supreme Court session is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m. Monday, April 1, at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive on the University of Kansas campus.

As honorary bailiff, Howe will call to order the audience at the event. The court will then hear oral arguments in two appeals cases — a Wyandotte County murder conviction and a Shawnee County civil case involving Topeka’s tobacco sales ordinance.

The session is open to the public, and afterward justices will greet attendees at an informal reception in the Lied Center lobby. More information and a live video stream of the session can be found online at

Howe has been a court reporter since 1975, starting in Douglas County after working one year in Wyandotte County District Court. She said in the release that she’s proud of the court system and loves her job.

“I’ve enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the courts, listening to the stories,” she said. “I think I’ve heard everything after 43 years, but it seems there’s something new every week.”


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