Again, thank you to all the candidates for responding to our questions!
I’m running for District Court Judge because I have a desire to serve all of Wyandotte County. For the first four years of my career I served as a prosecuting attorney, representing the State of Kansas. For the past six years, I’ve served hundreds of Wyandotte County, Kansas citizens as a private practice attorney. I’ve enjoyed representing both, but as a prosecutor or private practice attorney, I’ve been restrained by law to representing one or the other.
However, as a District Court Judge, I’ll be able to serve both, the State of Kansas, Wyandotte County and individual Wyandotte County citizens.
2. What are your qualifications for being a judge?
In 1994 I graduated from Wyandotte High School. I graduated from Kansas City, Kansas Community College in 1999. In 2001 I graduated from the University of Kansas, Lawrence KS with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies. I furthered my education at Washburn University School of Law, Topeka KS earning a Juris Doctor degree with a certificate in Family Law in 2003.
While attending Washburn School of Law, I served as President of the Black Law Student Association and as Student Ambassador for the Department of Law School Admissions. I also received training and was certified as an Approved Mediator.
In 2004, I was licensed to practice law in the State of Kansas and the Kansas U.S. District Court. That same year, I accepted a position with the Lyon County Attorney’s Office (Emporia), as an Assistant County Attorney.
As a prosecutor, I represented the State of Kansas in a variety of cases, including: felony narcotics crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes, DUI cases, Child In Need of Care cases, and other misdemeanor and lower level crimes. I have filed, briefed, and argued cases before both the Kansas Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court.
In 2008, after gaining hands on trial and legal experience as an Assistant County Attorney, I returned to Wyandotte County, Kansas and founded the Law Office of Timothy L. Dupree, P.A. where I serve as a General Practice Attorney.
I have extensive trial experience as both a prosecutor and private practice attorney. As a private attorney, I have represented defendants in both criminal and civil cases. I have represented plaintiffs in civil cases and have represented parents and juveniles in juvenile court. I have also conducted jury trials ranging from First Degree Premeditated Murder to Driving Under the Influence.
For the past four years, I have served our community as a Wyandotte County District Court Judge Pro-Tempore. While serving in that capacity, I have presided over dozens of felony criminal cases, civil cases and juvenile cases.
Outside the courtroom, I have accepted invitations to speak before audiences at The University of Kansas, Emporia State University, Kansas City, Kansas Community College, Emporia State University, Washburn University School of Law and several local schools, churches and community groups.
3. To follow-up, whether it's a particular case you tried or career achievement, what are you most proud of about your legal career so far?
I was the fifth of six children. Neither of my parents, grandparents or siblings ever earned a college degree, so throughout my college career I didn’t have a close relative or friend to consult for guidance or instruction. I relied heavily on helpful college staff members and other students.
As an attorney, I’ve had many achievements and proud moments, like arguing cases before both, the Kansas Court of Appeals and the Kansas Supreme Court, but the single thing I’m most proud of about my legal career, is being able to serve as a mentor and role model to my younger brother and other relatives. Now my brother is also an attorney, and two of my other siblings have also received college degrees.
4. What is your philosophy in rendering justice?
My philosophy in rendering justice is simple. The judge is a servant of the people not a sovereign of the people. The law, applied legally, fairly, and diligently to the facts of a case should determine the judge’s decision and outcome of the case.
5. With it being "budget season" in Wyandotte County: Do you feel that there's room for improvement when it comes to efficiency of the Court? If so, do you have ideas that would help make the court more efficient?
If the Court holds all parties equally accountable for their timeliness in arriving to court, and their preparation prior to coming to court, then I believe the court would be more efficient. Nevertheless, I believe no one’s due process rights or their day in court should be compromised for the sake of “court efficiency” or budget.
6. What sets you apart from your opponents in this race?
I believe my personal and professional experience is what sets me apart from my opponents.
I have the personal experience of being married for nearly 15 years with 6 children. I am also a Christian Minister who teaches a weekly bible class to men who reside in homeless shelters.
My personal experience provides me with a unique perspective in rendering decisions. I’ve learned that I can’t respond as a father to all my children in the same way, nor can I expect all the men in our bible class to learn at the same pace. As a judge, I will have the ability to make rulings on a case by case basis, not a one size fits all approach.
As far as my professional experience is concerned;
- I am the only candidate who has served in the capacity of District Court Judge Pro Tem. I have been serving in that capacity for the last 4 years. As Judge Pro Tem, I’ve presided and made rulings over felony criminal, civil, and juvenile proceedings.
- I am the only candidate with Upper level jury trial experience. I’ve tried numerous jury trials, ranging from 1st Degree premeditated murder to DUI.
- I am the only candidate that has filed, briefed and argued cases before the Kansas Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court.
- I am the only candidate that has Felony level prosecutorial experience. I served as an Assistant County Attorney for nearly four years.
- I am the only candidate that has been endorsed by the Union that works most closely with the Courts. I’ve been endorsed by the KCKPD- F.O.P. Lodge-4.
7. If you are elected, what are your top three priorities?
- I pledge to serve Wyandotte County by conducting fair, legal and unbiased proceedings.
- I pledge to serve Wyandotte County by upholding the law, regardless of my own or others’ personal views concerning the law.
- Finally, I pledge to serve Wyandotte County by treating everyone that enters the court with dignity, respect, and courtesy, regardless of age, race, gender, socio-economic status, religion or any other diverse status.