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Chief Judge of 11th Judicial District Oliver Kent Lynch announces retirement

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Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 4:17 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Chief Judge Oliver Kent Lynch of the 11th Judicial District will retire at the end of July.

Kansas Courts says Chief Judge of the 11th Judicial District Oliver Kent Lynch will retire on July 30, after serving 16 years as a judge, including four as chief.

According to the Court, Lynch was appointed in 2005 and served as chief judge from 2017 until May 31, 2021, when he stepped back from the role as he prepared to retire.

The Court said the 11th Judicial District is made up of Cherokee, Crawford and Labette counties.

Lynch said he was inspired to become a judge after three decades in private practice. He said the prospect of the career change was exciting to him.

“Hearing and deciding cases made the position attractive to me,” Lynch said. “Being a judge is very satisfying work and a great change of pace for a practicing lawyer.”

Lynch also said serving as a judge gave him a new appreciation for the public’s understanding of courts.

“I wish people knew that court cases can only be decided based on the evidence heard in court and the law that applies,” he said.

Lynch said he also wishes people understood that the judicial branch is a coequal branch of the government, along with the legislative and executive branches.

According to the Court, Lynch graduated from Baxter High School, the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law. After law school, it said he had a private practice in Baxter Springs. It said he also worked as a county attorney and assistant county attorney with the Cherokee Co. Attorney’s Office.

The Court said Lynch plans to remain in the Baxter Springs-Riverton area in the old farmhouse he has lived in for over four decades. It said he and his wife plan to travel after he retires. He also plans to catch up on his list of honey-do jobs he has postponed and to continue his involvement in community theatre with the Cherokee Co. Arts Association, where he performs and builds sets.

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