"A well-qualified district judge is a person of integrity, a student of the law, compassionate and intimately aware of the profound impact the judge's decisions will have on people's lives. I understand that justice is not easily defined, but that it will be my solemn duty to administer it to the best of my ability."
16th Judicial District Judge
The district court is the court of general jurisdiction in Kansas. Therefore, the district judge presides over all manner of legal proceedings. In any given week, a district judge will adjudicate domestic disputes, preside over criminal prosecutions, review decisions of government agencies or supervise administration of an estate.
Andy is well-equipped to assume and discharge the duties of the district judge because he has maintained a general practice of law during his career. He prosecutes traffic citations and ordinance violations on behalf of his municipal clients, represents executors of estates and litigates civil disputes and limited actions. Andy regularly defends clients in criminal prosecutions and has advocated for clients in administrative proceedings before various government agencies. As the Dodge City Municipal Court Judge, Andy has direct experience serving as an arbiter of legal actions. Andy's wide-ranging experience in many roles and areas of law makes him particularly well-suited to the position of district judge.
A district judge is a student of the law. Every matter that comes before the judge is governed by rules of procedure and substantive law. Rules of procedure protect litigants' due process rights and ensure fairness. The Kansas Legislature promulgates rules of procedure through adoption of statutes and the Kansas Supreme Court expands upon those rules as the administrative head of the judiciary. Substantive law is derived from numerous sources. As with procedure, the Kansas Legislature passes legislation to create substantive law. Under the common law tradition, a vast body of case opinions establish precedent that binds the district court.
Throughout his life, Andy has always been curious with a love to learn. As a practicing attorney, Andy has applied these characteristics to develop strong legal research skills. Andy understands that all his decisions as a judge must be made in accordance with substantive law and entered only after following proper procedure. By utilizing his research abilities, Andy will determine what the law says and apply it to the cases before him.
Every person who comes before the district judge deserves the judge's full attention and focus. The issues that require the court's involvement are typically complex and without an immediately clear resolution. As such, the judge must have the energy and the drive to hear evidence, process its meaning and enter a decision that is clear and fair in each and every matter.
Andy has managed many obligations throughout his legal career and has proven his ability to focus his best efforts toward each endeavor as it comes before him. Andy will employ this same focus when he takes the bench on July 1 and if elected, will continue to do so during his term as district judge.
A district judge must make decisions without bias toward or prejudice against any person. Our judicial system works because the people believe in its integrity. As the face of the courts, a judge must be a person of integrity both in the courtroom and outside it.
Through his upbringing and professional development in southwest Kansas, Andy holds and understands the values of the community. Andy applies those values in his professional interactions and always strives to do right by his clients, the court and opposing parties. As a district judge, Andy will continue to employ those values, together with strict adherence to professional ethics, to provide all people appearing before him with equal treatment under the law.