In front of a courtroom full of family, colleagues and friends, John Klenda was sworn in Monday as a judge for the Ninth Judicial District.
He will serve McPherson County.
“I hope people will see me as fair,” Klenda said. “I hope the people who present a case before me will feel they have had a chance to fully litigate it.”
Klenda served as the city prosecutor since 1984 and served as McPherson county attorney from 1983 to 1985.
He graduated from Emporia State University and has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. He graduated from the Washburn University School of Law in 1980.
Klenda first came to McPherson in 1979 to work under Tim Karstetter in the county attorney’s office as part of a program for young attorneys. Klenda and Karstetter later became partners in a law firm in McPherson.
Prior to Klenda’s swearing, Karstetter said Klenda had been involved in many cutting-edge and high-profile cases.
Karstetter relayed anecdotes about Klenda’s life in and out of the courtroom. The two partners enjoyed hunting and fishing together.
“He was a great partner,” Karstetter said. “He knew how to have fun — maybe too much fun — but he knew when to be serious too.”
Karstetter said Klenda will be a excellent judge who treats all litigants fairly.
Klenda replaces Judge Carl B Anderson who retired in January and died in February. Klenda said he learned much from Anderson as he presented cases in front of the former judge. Klenda said he expected his parties to prompt, prepared and to the point.
“I knew if I could practice in front of Judge Anderson,” he said, “I could practice anywhere.”
Klenda was one of three names sent to the governor by a nominating committee. Brownback chose Klenda from those nominations.
Attorney Brian Bina, who is now a partner with Karstetter in his law firm, was named to replace Klenda as the city prosecutor.
Ninth Judicial District Judge Richard Walker swore in Klenda. Others members of the judiciary present included Ninth Judicial District Judge Joe Dickinson, Senior Judge Buck Lyle, District Magistrate Judge Steve Hilgers and retired Judge Ron Innes.