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Bouker named to state judge's council





District Judge Ed Bouker is among seven judges from across the state named to a chief judges' council assembled by Chief Justice Lawton Nuss.

Based in Hays, Bouker serves as chief judge for the 23rd Judicial District, which includes Ellis, Rooks, Trego and Gove counties.

Also appointed was Chief Judge Patricia Macke Dick, based in Reno County. She is a native of Plainville.

In announcing the appointment, Nuss said the judges would provide first-hand experience on current and future issues facing Kansas courts.

"Council members represent the broad diversity of Kansas courts, and I look forward to hearing what's most important to them and why," Nuss said in a statement. "It will allow me to provide informed leadership on topics that affect our local courts in different ways based on caseloads, staffing and community needs."

The council will provide input for the 31 chief judges presiding over the state's judicial districts. As chief judges, Nuss said, their perspectives might differ from those of the Kansas District Judges' Association.

The newly named council soon will provide ideas on strategies offered by the Court Budget Advisory Council to reduce the number of days the state's courts will close if an estimated $8.25 million shortfall for fiscal year 2015 isn't resolved by the Kansas Legislature.

Dick, a district judge since 1989, was appointed to a one-year term on the council. She also serves as treasurer of the district judges' association.

A district judge since 1993, Bouker was appointed to a two-year term. In addition to his duties as a judge, he serves on the Kansas Judicial Council's pattern instructions committee and is chairman of the Kansas Supreme Court's Access to Justice Committee.

Also appointed were 13th District Judge David A. Ricke, Butler County; 12th District Judge Kim W. Cudney; 29th Distrit Judge R. Wayne Lampson; 19th District Judge Nicolas M. St. Peter; and 25th District judge Wendel W. Wurst.