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Peers judge Powers as excellent

Staff writer

Marion County district judge Michael Powers was honored with a Judicial Excellence award from the Kansas District Judges Association.

Powers said he got the award two weeks ago, and while it was a surprise, it was not a complete surprise.

“I was aware I’d been nominated,” Powers said. “I am honored by this. It’s nice, and what makes it nice is it comes from your peers.”

Powers became a judge in 1991 and was appointed chief judge of the 8th Judicial District, including Marion, Dickinson, Geary, and Morris counties, in 1994. Before that, he was Morris County attorney and in private practice before becoming a judge.

“Kansas is fortunate to have a great judicial system with outstanding women and men serving as judges,” Powers said. “I am proud to be associated with this group and honored to receive this award from my colleagues.”

He was nominated for the award by chief judge Daniel Creitz of the 31st Judicial District.

The award is selected based on knowledge and appropriate application of the law; considerate and mindful treatment of attorneys, litigants, witnesses, and the general public in daily performance of judicial duties; and reputation and respect among peers, attorneys, litigants, and the public.

“Judge Powers has served the judiciary and all Kansans with integrity, humility, dignity, fairness, excellence, and honor. In his uniquely affable manner, he has conscientiously and actively performed his duties to promote and elevate confidence and trust in the judicial branch,” Creitz said.

Chief justice Marla Luckert said Powers was a good choice for the award.

“Judge Powers epitomizes and practices all the unique qualities of judicial excellence,” Luckert said. “He is well-deserving of this award.”

Powers is active on the Kansas Supreme Court’s eCourt Steering Committee, overseeing the implementation of a centralized case management system to complete the conversion from a local, paper-driven process to a statewide electronic one. All state courts will eventually operate on the eCourt system.

The 8th Judicial District was one of the first two districts to adopt the Kansas Smart Search system of online court record searches.

He also chairs the eCourt Steering Committee’s Workshare Subcommittee, which works to help judicial branch employees work more efficiently.

Powers was a member of the Juvenile Justice Subcommittee of the Supreme Court Intermediate Intervention program in 2017 and the Supreme Court Task Force on Permanancy Planning from 1995 to 2006. The task force advises the Supreme Court on ways to provide and improve care of children under court jurisdiction.

Powers is active in civic and community organizations including Kiwanis, Marion Advancement Campaign, Marion Economic Development, Inc., MCTV. He was a founder of Marion’s Chingawassa Days.

“Being involved with both professional organizations and local projects can be difficult for a judge,” Powers said. “However, I feel it’s important to be active in your community just as you are in your career. To me this award is a sign that to some extent I’ve successfully balanced both obligations.”

Last modified Nov. 11, 2020

 

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