Governor Appoints Steve Stockard to fill District Court Vacancy in the 11th Judicial District


Today Governor Laura Kelly appointed Steve Stockard to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Jeffry L. Jack.

“Steven is a talented attorney and has extensive experience with a wide variety of legal issues,” Kelly said. “I was particularly struck by his ability to put himself in his client’s shoes and by his passion for foster care. I know he will serve citizens of the 11th Judicial District well.”

Stockard is a partner at Wilber & Towner, P.A., where he represents clients in a broad range of legal matters including personal injury, bankruptcy, family law and juvenile justice. He also is a part-time prosecutor of juvenile offender and child-in-need-of-care cases for Bourbon and Crawford counties.

His prior experience includes eight years as a Crawford County Assistant County Attorney and time as a staff attorney with the Kansas Department of Revenue. Stockard also is a member of the Kansas Bar Association and a youth volleyball coach at the YMCA. He graduated from Benedictine College in 1992 and earned his juris doctor from Washburn University School of Law in 1996.

“I’m grateful to the nominating commission and to Governor Kelly for the confidence they have placed in me with this appointment,” Stockard said. “I know this community. I know the judges, the lawyers and the people of our district, and I will dedicate myself to serving them fairly and impartially every day. Our district has been blessed with great judges over the years, and I will do my best to honor and be a part of that legacy.”

District court judges in the 11th Judicial District are appointed by the governor and selected from among nominees chosen by a district nominating commission. Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years. The two other nominees selected by the district nominating commission were Hon. Samuel Marsh, (Cherokee County district magistrate judge, Columbus), and Shane Adamson (private practice attorney, Parsons).

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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