City of Lawrence names Chris Kopecky new municipal court judge

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Chris Kopecky has been named as the next Lawrence Municipal Court judge, the city announced Wednesday.

The city selected Kopecky following a competitive national search, according to a news release. He will begin his duties Monday, Oct. 24.

“Over the past 20 years, he has been an active Judge Pro-Tem, serving as a temporary judge in many of the municipal courts in the area, including Lawrence since 2019,” the release stated. “The last few years he has been a permanent part-time Pro-Tem Judge for the cities of Olathe and Overland Park.”

“I very much look forward to serving the citizens of Lawrence as the new Municipal Court Judge,” Kopecky said in the release. “Filling in here over the last few years has been a real honor and a fantastic experience. Everyone has been so kind and welcoming and I am confident we can do some great things in the court.”

Kopecky has more than 25 years of legal experience, including as a criminal defense attorney and as the founder and owner of a law firm focusing on municipal court and traffic cases, according to the release. He has also served as a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law and Rockhurst University.

“Our selection committee immediately recognized the passion Judge Kopecky brings to municipal court,” City Manager Craig Owens said in the release.

“His personal approach to each person who appears before him and his ideas for further improving and modernizing court operations for their benefit was important to the committee,” Owens continued. “With his experience and his passion for helping people and serving the community, we strongly believe we found a really great fit for today and tomorrow in Lawrence Municipal Court.”

Former municipal court judge Scott Miller served in the position for more than a decade. He retired on July 1.

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