Judge Godderz to hear case with Kansas Supreme Court, Sept. 10

District Judge Eric Godderz

TOPEKA, Kan. – District Judge Eric Godderz of the 4th Judicial District has been appointed to sit with the Kansas Supreme Court to hear one case on the court’s docket on Sept. 10, 2019.

After hearing oral arguments, Godderz will join Supreme Court justices in their deliberations and decision drafting.

“I am pleased that District Judge Godderz is taking time from his duties in the 4th Judicial District to sit with the Supreme Court,” said Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. “It’s a great help to our court, and we look forward to his contributions in deliberating and eventually deciding this case.”

Since 2007, Godderz has been a judge in the 4th Judicial District, which is composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties. He hears all civil matters in the 4th Judicial District and domestic, criminal, and probate cases in Anderson County.

“I consider sitting with the Supreme Court a great opportunity to learn about the appellate process from a judicial perspective,” Godderz said.

Godderz received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1986 and graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 1989. He was county attorney for Osage County for two terms and worked in private practice with his father, Frederick Godderz, in Burlingame. He also was in private practice in Salina, Wichita, and Johnson County.

Godderz will hear Case No. 120,875: In the Matter of Kevin P. Shepherd, Respondent.

Case summary:

Original Proceeding Related to Attorney Discipline: Two-year suspension. Shepherd was admitted to practice law in Kansas in September 2000. Shepherd’s practice is primarily criminal defense. In defense of a client’s DUI conviction, Shepherd failed to timely docket the appeal and then later failed to file an appellate brief. The case was dismissed for lack of prosecution by the Court of Appeals. Shepherd lied to his client and the disciplinary administrator’s office about the status of the appeal. Eventually the appeal was reinstated by new counsel. Additionally, for five separate clients, Shepherd submitted checks to the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office for diversion fees. The checks were returned for insufficient funds. An audit of Shepherd’s accounts revealed he deposited client checks into his operating account and also into his personal account. The hearing panel found Shepherd developed a workable, substantial, and detailed plan of probation and was sympathetic to the strides Shepherd had made. The hearing panel recommends Shepherd’s license to practice law be suspended for two years and that he be allowed to apply for reinstatement after one year. The hearing panel set forth seven conditions that Shepherd must follow while his license is suspended. The disciplinary administrator recommends Shepherd’s license to practice law be suspended for an indefinite period of time. Counsel for Shepherd recommends Shepherd be censured and placed on probation, subject to the terms and conditions of his proposed plan of probation.

Information thanks to Kansas Office of Judicial Administration.

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