A long-time Manhattan-based lawyer-turned-judge has been appointed to be the next chief judge of the judicial district serving Riley and Clay Counties.
Grant Bannister was appointed to head the 21st Judicial District, succeeding the retiring Judge Meryl Wilson. Bannister steps in June 16, the date of Wilson’s effective retirement date. Bannister will hold the position at least through the end of 2019.
Kansas has 31 judicial districts, each with a chief judge who handles case assignments and supervises the administrative functions of the court as well as presiding over cases themselves.
“We are glad that Judge Bannister has agreed to serve as chief judge, providing continuity in capable leadership in the 21st Judicial District,” says Lawton Nuss, chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.
Bannister has served as a district judge for the 21st district since his appointment in September 2016. Prior to that, the 1997 University of Kansas School of Law graduate worked as a private practice attorney in Manhattan for 19 years in addition to teaching ethics in the Kansas State University College of Business.
“I am grateful to be surrounded by hard-working staff, clerks, and judges who are dedicated to having fair, efficient, and accessible district courts in Riley and Clay counties,” Bannister says. “I look forward to the modernization and advancements being undertaken by the judicial system to better serve the people of Kansas.”
The advancements he refers to is the district’s pending upgrade to new statewide digital case management system, which the 21st district will be one of the first two to implement beginning this summer. The system will store all district and appellate case data in one online platform.
Bannister has a wife and three children and has only kind words to say about the outgoing Judge Wilson, who has been working as a judge in the 21st district since 1997.
“It has been a pleasure to work with retiring Chief Judge Meryl Wilson who has selflessly and admirably served the judiciary for over 22 years.”