Gov. Kelly makes appointment to Kansas Court of Appeals

Published: May. 27, 2020 at 3:32 PM CDT
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Governor Laura Kelly announced the appointment of Carl A. Folsom III to the Kansas Court of Appeals.

Folsom will be filling the position left by the retirement of Judge G. Joseph Pierron Jr.

Folsom is a Lawrence resident and is an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Topeka.

“During the interview process, it became clear that Carl was not only an extremely bright lawyer, but that he also has a passion for the practice of law and a real understanding of how it affects Kansans’ daily lives,” says Kelly. “Carl knows the struggles of Kansans who face economic insecurity, and he knows the challenges in our criminal justice system. In particular, he will immediately be able to contribute expertise in criminal cases, which account for the vast majority of cases on the Court of Appeals.”

Folsom is a fifth-generation Kansan who grew up in Tonganoxie. He received his bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Kansas and graduated with honors. Later, he studied law at the KU School of Law and graduated in 2005.

After graduation, Folsom worked for the Kansas Appellate Defender’s Office where he represented underserved defendants. Later, he spent two years in private practice where he handled civil and criminal cases. After this, Folsom became the Assistant Federal Public Defender in Muskogee, Oklahoma and then in Topeka.

“I am honored and humbled that Governor Kelly has confidence in my ability to contribute alongside the stellar judges and staff of the Court of Appeals,” says Folsom. “I am committed to the law and to applying the law as the Legislature writes it without prejudice or bias. But my passion for the law goes beyond legal reasoning or words on a page – the law is a real thing that has the capacity to change lives, for better or worse. As a Court of Appeals judge, I will always apply the law fairly and uniformly, never forgetting that the law is ultimately about people and our obligations to our fellow citizens.”

The appointment is still subject to Senate confirmation and materials are being sent today, May 27. His appointment will be available for consideration by the Senate in the special session Governor Kelly called earlier this week.

“I look forward to working with the Senate, including Judiciary Chair Wilborn, Majority Leader Denning and President Wagle to earn quick confirmation of Carl’s appointment during this special session,” says the Governor.

Folsom is the Governor’s choice from the three candidates sent to her from the Court of Appeals Nominating Commission. The other two candidates were Amy Cline, Wichita, and Diane Sorensen, Wichita.

“Amy Cline and Diane Sorensen and are both incredibly talented attorneys,” says Kelly. “I appreciate their commitment to Kansas and their time and patience during this selection process.”

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