Governor Sam Brownback appointed Judge Kevin M. Smith to the 12th Division of the 18th Judicial District. He was sworn in as judge on January 21, 2016. He was elected following his appointment in 2016, and is running for reelection in 2020. Please see the “About” page or other posts on the campaign site for information on how you can support Kevin’s bid for retaining the seat.
Judge Smith practiced law in Kansas for almost 17 years. He graduated, cum laude, from Regent University School of law in 1999. While at Regent he served on Law Review and clerked for the American Center for Law and Justice. He moved back to Wichita in 1999 and began his career as a lawyer with Martin Churchill, Chartered, doing mostly employment law. After that he served as an Assistant DA for Sedgwick County.
For the fourteen years preceding taking the bench, Judge Smith represented clients in a variety of areas including criminal defense, family law, business law, estate planning, non-profit law, and he’s done pro bono work as an allied attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom. Thus, this diversity of experience made him an effective, fair, and impartial judge.
Kevin is a member of Central Christian Church. He lives in Goddard, Kansas, with his wife of more than twenty years, Mona, and three precious teenaged daughters, Emily, Lindsay, and Kelsey. He also has a big white Labrador named Judge, and a cat named Belle.
Judge Smith presides over juvenile offender and child in need of care cases. In 2017 he saw a desperate need for more local foster families and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers. He responded by presenting the Kansas foster care system and service opportunities through fostering children and CASA advocacy to civic and church groups. This resulted in greater support for organizations that provide these services. He also served as Ambassador for Junior League Wichita’s Trash Bag Handbag foster care awareness campaign in 2019. He presented legal education programs to attorneys, social work students, and college students to help them develop the skills needed to advocate for children and parents in courts throughout Kansas, and wrote several law journal and op-ed pieces on juvenile justice, foster care, and other important legal issues.
Judge Smith researched how other states handle foster care cases. As a result, he adopted protocols to expedite case closure which resulted in children achieving permanency more quickly when compared to other regions of the state. Moreover, he implemented policies to hold DCF accountable for its inaction, including making it a party in cases so he can hold DCF in contempt for failing to do its job to help foster kids achieve timely permanency. Sedgwick County District Court has the highest case load of the five urban Kansas counties, but its out-of-home placement lengths is the lowest by far for all case plans, which decreases the long-term psychological damage such placements inflict on foster children. Judge Smith will provide continuing leadership for even better outcomes for children in need.
If you believe in consistent rulings from a fair and impartial judge, please consider how you can help Kevin in the upcoming election.