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OLATHE, Kan. — For the first time in more than a decade, the Johnson County District Court will be adding new judges. 

In April, Gov. Laura Kelly signed the state’s budget for Fiscal Year 2022 and Fiscal Year 2023 allocating funding for 23 new district court and magistrate judges throughout the state, including three new judge positions for the 10th district court.

Starting next week the 10th Judicial Nominating Committee will meet to interview nominees for the district judge positions. The commission will meet at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, and 8 a.m. Aug. 30, to interview more than two dozen nominees.

Any nominees who live outside of Johnson County will only be considered if the commission deems there is an insufficient number of qualified nominees from Johnson County.

All interviews are open to the public and will take place at the Johnson County Courthouse, at 150 W. Santa Fe St. in Olathe. 

The commission will select three to five nominees whose name will be submitted to the governor for final approval. The governor will have up to 60 days after receiving the names to decide whom to appoint.

Here is the tentative schedule for nominee interviews: 

Monday, Aug. 29 

  • 8:30 a.m. Jenifer Ashford, Prairie Village, district magistrate judge, 10th Judicial District 
  • 9 a.m. Ashlyn Yarnell, Shawnee, senior associate attorney, Ronald W. Nelson, PA 
  • 9:30 a.m. Trevin Wray, Lenexa, shareholder, Simpson, Logback, Lynch, Norris 
  • 10:15 a.m. Joann Woltman, Overland Park, case smart counsel, Littler Mendelson 
  • 10:45 a.m. Gary Willnauer, Stillwell, partner, Morrow Willnauer Church, LLC 
  • 11:15 a.m. Jerry “Wally” Wallentine, Olathe, Martin and Wallentine 
  • 11:45 a.m. Catherine Triplett, Desoto, Triplett Law Firm, LLC 
  • 1:30 p.m. Curtis Tideman, Leawood, Lathrop GPM, LLC 
  • 2 p.m. Catherine Singer, Overland Park, shareholder, GM Law PC 
  • 2:30 p.m. Katherine Sinatra, Mission Hills, general counsel, eMoney USA Holdings, LLC 
  • 3:15 p.m. Curtis Sample, Olathe, The Law Office of Curtis M. Sample, LLC 
  • 3:45 p.m. Tel Parrett, Shawnee, Law Offices of Tel Parrett 
  • 4:15 p.m. William Meyer, Overland Park, senior attorney, South Law, P.C. 
  • 4:45 p.m. Elizabeth Mellor, Overland Park, Law Office of Elizabeth Mellor 

Tuesday, Aug. 30 

  • 8:30 a.m. John McEntee Jr., Leawood, senior trial attorney, Nationwide Insurance 
  • 9 a.m. Michael McCulloch, Olathe, chief public defender, 10th Judicial District Public Defender Office 
  • 9:30 a.m. Benjamin Long, Olathe, member attorney, Schlagel Long Rivera, LLC 
  • 10:15 a.m. Christopher Kopecky, Leawood, Kopecky Law, P.A.
  • 10:45 a.m. Jadh Kerr, Lenexa, partner, Speer and Holiday, LLP 
  • 11:15 a.m. Brian Jenkins, Shawnee, Jenkins Law, LLC 
  • 11:45 a.m. Stephanie Goodenow, Lenexa, Goodenow Law 
  • 1:30 p.m. Cynthia Cornwell, Overland Park, municipal judge, City of Overland Park 
  • 2 p.m. Michelle Carter-Gouge, Shawnee, senior counsel, CVS Health Corp. 
  • 2:30 p.m. Kevin Breer, Westwood, Breer Law Firm, LLC 
  • 3:15 p.m. Stefanie Benson-Hebberd, Overland Park, attorney, Jerold A. Bressel, Chartered 
  • 3:45 p.m. Phillip Ashley, Overland Park, special counsel, Bates Carey, LLP 
  • 4:15 p.m. Jason Billam, Olathe, Billam & Henderson LLC 

After serving an initial one-year term, a new judge will be up for a retention vote in the next general election. If voters approve that incumbent candidate, they will serve a four-year term.

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