Governor Laura Kelly Makes Four Appointments in the 1st and 7th Judicial Districts
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today made four appointments: Clinton Lee, of Olathe, and Geoffrey Sonntag, of Tonganoxie, to the two judgeship positions in the 1st Judicial District; and Carl A. Folsom, III and Catherine Theisen, both of Lawrence, to the two judgeship positions in the 7th Judicial District. In each district, one position was created by a retirement as of July 8, 2022 – Judge Martin Asher’s in the 1st Judicial District and Judge Kay Huff’s in the 7th Judicial District — and the other was created through bipartisan 2022 House Substitute for Substitute for Senate Bill 267 and Kansas Supreme Court Administrative Order 2022-JA-020.
Regarding appointments in the 1st Judicial District, Governor Kelly said, “Clinton and Geoffrey have a wide range of experience, and I know they will bring their passion for the law to the bench and continue to serve the people of Leavenworth and Atchison counties well.”
Regarding appointments in the 7th Judicial District, Governor Kelly said, “Carl and Catherine bring vast legal knowledge and a broad range of expertise, and I am confident they will serve with fairness, integrity, and dedication.”
Clinton Lee is a sole practitioner at Clinton W. Lee, Attorney at Law in Lansing, Kansas. Lee is active in the legal community with membership in the Kansas Bar Association and Leavenworth Bar Association. Lee earned his juris doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law.
“I want to thank Governor Kelly for this tremendous opportunity,” Lee said. “I look forward to serving the Atchison and Leavenworth communities with honor and integrity.”
Geoffrey Sonntag is a sole practitioner at Sonntag Law Office in Tonganoxie, Kansas. Sonntag is active in the legal community with membership in the Leavenworth Bar Association. Sonntag earned his juris doctor from Washburn University School of Law.
“Serving the First Judicial District as a judge is the highest honor I can imagine,” Sonntag said. “I will aspire to provide honest, fair and competent attention to each and every matter that comes before me.”
Carl Folsom, III is an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas. He is active in the community as President of the Judge Hugh Means American Inn of Court and on the Board of Directors for Just Food. Folsom earned his juris doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law.
“I am honored and thankful for the opportunity to serve my community as a district judge,” Folsom said. “In this position, I will strive for a commitment to procedural fairness, to ensure a transparent process where all participants are treated fairly, evenly, and with dignity and respect.”
Catherine Theisen is a Member at Barber Emerson, L.C. She is active in the community as Vice President of the Judge Hugh Means American Inn of Court, member of the Douglas County Bench-Bar Committee, and Board Member for the Heart of America Professional Network, Inc. Theisen earned her juris doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law.
“It is an honor to be selected to serve Douglas County in this important role,” Theisen said. “I am committed to applying the law fairly and impartially, and to treating everyone who comes before the court with respect.”
District court judges in the 1st and 7th Judicial Districts are appointed by the governor and selected from nominees chosen by a district nominating commission. Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years.
The other nominees selected by the 1st district nominating commission were John Kurth and Rhonda Levinson; and the other nominees selected by the 7th district nominating commission were Jessica Glendening, Blake Glover, and Paul Klepper.