The Hon. Mike Keeley, chief judge of the 20th Judicial District, will sit with the state Supreme Court Friday, Oct. 29, to hear appeals in three matters on the Court’s docket.
The Supreme Court appointed Judge Keeley to join them in place of Chief Justice Robert E. Davis, who died Aug. 4. Keeley has been a district judge since 1993. He has been chief judge of the 20th Judicial District, which includes Barton, Ellsworth, Rice, Russell and Stafford counties, since 2004.
"I think it’s an honor that I was asked to sit with the Supreme Court," Keeley said. "It’s the highest court in Kansas." When a case reaches this level in the court system, the justices ordinarily aren’t retrying the case. They research and review the law involved, such as the interpretation of a statute. When he sits with the Supreme Court this month, Judge Keeley will hear oral arguments in two criminal appeals and a medical license revocation appeal. He then will participate in the high court deliberations and opinion drafting.
Judge Keeley is a 1979 graduate of Washburn University and of its law school in 1982. He entered private practice in Great Bend following law school with the firm of Ward and Berscheidt. He became a partner in the firm of Berscheidt and Keeley in 1990, where he practiced law until his election to the bench.
According to Ron Keefover at the Kansas Judicial Center, Keeley is one of a handful of chief justices who sit with the Supreme Court next week, filling in for Davis. The governor has 60 days to appoint a new Supreme Court justice, based on recommendations from a nominating committee.