The Legal Advocate

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Here Comes the Judge! Amy Hanley Appointed to District Court in Kansas

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hanley_amyNITA faculty Amy Hanley will be sworn in as District Court Judge for the Seventh Judicial District of Kansas, in Lawrence, Douglas County. Amy was appointed by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and will preside over a civil and domestic docket when she takes the bench on December 1. She is currently the Prosecution Section Chief for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s Criminal Litigation Division, a position in which she has served for five of her seven years at the Kansas AG’s office.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to continue my career in public service in my home state,” Amy said. “As a judge, I will remember what it was like to be an advocate and use my position to further improve the legal profession.”

Amy is a member of NITA’s NextGen Class of 2014 and is a NITA faculty regular, teaching six to eight times a year at Trial Skills programs in San Diego, Seattle, Boulder, and the Kansas Public Service Program, among others. She is much beloved by attendees, fellow faculty, and NITA, and we wish Amy all the best as she opens this transformative new chapter in her life. Congratulations, Amy!

Excerpts from Amy’s biography:
Amy Hanley’s courtroom highlights including her role as lead prosecutor in State v. Kahler, a capital case in which the death penalty was imposed, and State v. Seacat, a premeditated first-degree murder trial, resulting in conviction, that was nationally televised and featured on Dateline NBC. She has earned honors and recognition for her leadership, teaching, and work in the courtroom. In 2011, she was awarded the KCDAA Associate Member Prosecutor of the Year. In 2014, she was named a member of NITA’s Next Generation Faculty. In 2014, students voted her Adjunct Faculty of the Year at Washburn Law School for making the most difference in their lives and educational experience.

Ms. Hanley serves in numerous leadership roles in the prosecution community. She is an Associate Director on the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) Board of Directors where she has served on the Executive Committee. She was a co-founder of the NDAA Women Prosecutors Section and currently holds the office of Section Vice Chair. In July 2015, she received the NDAA President’s Award for her leadership in establishing and moving the Section forward. She is a member of the Continuing Legal Education and Best Practices committees for the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association (KCDAA). She directs all training for the Kansas Attorney General’s Criminal Litigation Division, implementing statewide capital litigation training and supervising a series of AG Calls. She leads the annual Focus Forum of Kansas capital prosecutors. She also serves as a voting member of the Kansas Sentencing Commission.

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NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system. NITA's Goals are to:
  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
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