Salina Woman Appointed as Judge

A Salina woman has been appointed as a court of appeals judge by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.

According to the Governor’s Office, Angela Coble has been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael Buser.

“Ms. Coble will be an exceptional addition to the Court of Appeals,” Governor Kelly said. “She has the Kansas grit, dedication, and experience, in addition to a strong reputation in her local and legal communities, that will make her an excellent Court of Appeals judge.”

In 2009, Coble began her legal career at Kennedy, Berkley, Yarnevich, and Williamson, a Salina law firm, representing clients in employment law, personal injury law, family law, and general civil litigation. Upon promotion to Junior Partner, she advocated in all aspects of federal and state civil litigation. In 2013, Coble left private practice to become chambers counsel to two federal judges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. She worked with U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Humphreys until the judge’s retirement in 2015.

Since then, Coble has worked as legal counsel to U.S. Magistrate Judge Gwynne Birzer. To date, she has advised judges on courses of action in both civil and criminal matters and has drafted more than 300 judicial opinions.

“As a lifelong Kansan, it will be the honor of my life to serve my fellow Kansans as a Court of Appeals Judge,” Coble said. “From my career prior to law school as a legal assistant, to my time in private practice, and now sitting beside the judicial bench as chambers counsel, I have had considerable opportunities to view a judge’s duties from my diverse roles in the legal community which have uniquely prepared me to serve on the appellate court. I am now ready to synthesize and utilize my experiences to fairly apply the laws of Kansas from a respectful and empathetic manner as a judge.”

Coble is active in the Salina community through her many volunteer efforts, including more than a decade serving on the Board of Directors for the Salina Family Healthcare Center and formerly serving on the Salina Airport Authority. She has also acted in other community leadership positions including the Salina Emergency Aid Food Bank, Leadership Salina, the Four Rivers Support Committee, and other school and parent-teacher organizations. She also serves the Kansas legal community through her activities in the Kansas Bar Association, as a member and past President of the Saline-Ottawa County Bar Association, as District Representative in the Kansas Women Attorneys’ Association, and as a member of the Wichita Women Attorneys Association.

Coble graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 2009 with honors. She was a member of the Washburn Law Journal editorial board and received the Sangster American Board of Trial Advocates Award. She earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice from Kansas Wesleyan University in 1994 as a Presidential Scholar and was named to the University’s Student Hall of Fame for her academic and public service achievements.

Coble’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation and her materials are being forwarded to the Senate. Before 2013, Court of Appeals judges were not subject to Senate confirmation and were selected by the governor from a group of finalists named by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission. Because Governor Kelly favors that merit-based selection process, she created the Court of Appeals Nominating Commission, a committee of knowledgeable lawyers and non-lawyers tasked with recommending finalists for the Court of Appeals vacancy.

The nominating commission initially forwarded three candidates for Governor Kelly’s consideration: Coble, Judge Rachel Pickering, and Randall Hodgkinson.