Salute Our Heroes: Shawnee Co. District Court Judge recognized with Judicial Excellence Award

A Shawnee Co. District Court Judge was recognized with the Judicial Excellence Award.
A Shawnee Co. District Court Judge was recognized with the Judicial Excellence Award.(WIBW)
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Shawnee Co. District Court Judge was recognized with the Judicial Excellence Award.

Shawnee Co. District Court Judge Richard Anderson has served on the bench for 23 years - he was appointed by Governor Graves in 1999.

“It’s been a good career and I’m satisfied with where I am right now,” Judge Richard Anderson emphasized. “I don’t know whether he just got the wrong phone number and didn’t want to take it back but I was very pleased to be selected.”

Before becoming a judge, he was a trial attorney in private practice with an emphasis in labor, employment, and construction. Now, he is the Chief Judge for the state’s 3rd Judicial District.

”I came out of civil litigation background. When I came here I expected the assignment to be civil but it became a family law assignment, so I was dealing with divorce, child support type cases. A totally different experience which is really good to get acquainted with a different area of law and different biorhythms.

After 23 years, he says it’s time for a change. Judge Anderson plans to retire next month.

”The last two years been a very difficult challenge with the pandemic and how we process our cases.“ we had to shut down. we couldn’t get people face-to-face,” Judge Anderson said.

“We had to shut down our courtroom March until about June of last 2020 and the cases pile up. You can’t process criminal cases, civil cases. It was just a tremendously upsetting period of time plus you know with health challenges around the world,” Judger Anderson explained.

Judge Anderson says the pandemic wasn’t the only challenge over his career.

”I think there have been certain people in cases that I’ve had benefited by just having me involved in their case and in decision-making,” he added.

For his efforts, the Kansas District Judges Association presented Anderson with its Judicial Excellence Award.

”It’s an award that’s presented to a district court judge usually for exemplary service. It says on the dedication, of course, it was a shock to get it,” Judge Anderson said.

Anderson says he simply tried to do his best, ”my job is not been routine or boring it’s been challenging every minute and dealing with conflict trying to resolve conflict, it’s really an interesting position to be in a gained from it.”

Judge Anderson retires on December 11th. He says he rejoined a gym and plans to start traveling again.

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