The Court of Appeals Nominating Commission today announced the three nominees chosen to fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Steve Leben. Governor Laura Kelly will appoint one nominee to fill the vacancy by the end of August. The appointment then is subject to Senate confirmation in January.

The three Court of Appeals nominees are as follows:

Carl A. Folsom, III – Folsom, Lawrence, is an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas and is a lecturer and adjunct professor at the University of Kansas School of Law. He is a member of the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Folsom earned both his bachelor’s degree in political science and his law degree from the University of Kansas.

Lesley A. Isherwood – Isherwood, Wichita, is a Senior Assistant District Attorney for the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office appellate division. She is member of the National District Attorney’s Association, the Kansas County and District Attorney’s Association, and the Wichita Bar Association. Isherwood earned both her bachelor’s degree in English and her law degree from Washburn University.

Russell J. Keller – Keller, Fairway, is a Judicial Clerk with Judge Mary Beck Briscoe of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has experience providing counsel on claims related to traditional and constitutional issues, antitrust and competition, securities and corporate governance, and class actions. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science, his master’s degree in communication studies, and his law degree all from Northwestern University.

Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 20-01 on Tuesday, January 28, establishing the Court of Appeals Nominating Commission. Under Kansas law, the Governor appoints judges to the Court of Appeals subject to confirmation by the Kansas Senate. The Commission will review each applicant’s background and qualifications, conduct interviews and then submit three nominees for the Governor to consider.   

Pursuant to Executive Order 20-47, in the event an appointee to the Court of Appeals does not receive Senate consent the Court of Appeals Nominating Commission will forward an additional nominee for the Governor’s consideration. That nominee will be selected from the applicants for the same vacancy and will be considered along with the two remaining nominees already submitted for that vacancy.