Newman alumnus considered for state Supreme Court justice

Feb 27, 2020
thomas malone

Alumnus and former business professor Honorable Thomas E. Malone ‘76 has been chosen as one of three nominees to be a justice on the Kansas Supreme Court.

Malone, who graduated summa cum laude, was chosen by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission in January as one of the names to be sent to Gov. Laura Kelly to be considered for Supreme Court justice.

Malone said he was overwhelmed with gratitude for being nominated.

“It’s an honor just to be nominated for the Kansas Supreme Court and I’m humbled to be considered for the office.”

After graduating from Kansas Newman College, Malone attended Washburn University School of Law, where he was an associate editor of Washburn Law Journal. He graduated with honors in 1979.

Malone credits Newman for helping present him with well-rounded skills that have helped him throughout his life.

“My education at Newman provided me with a solid liberal arts background, which was necessary for me to do well in law school and in the legal profession,” he said.

Malone started his career in private practice with Redmond & Nazar, LLP  from 1979 to 1990.

From 1979 to 1987, Malone taught business law as an adjunct professor at Newman.

“I think that any student interested in a legal career should major in whatever field of study you find most interesting, keeping in mind that you should try to get a broad liberal arts education to prepare for law school,” he said. “Also, have a backup plan in mind in case you decide that a legal career is not what you want to pursue after graduating from college.”

After his time as a professor, he went on to be a district judge in the 18th Judicial District, Sedgwick County, until 2003.

Malone was appointed to the Kansas Court of Appeals by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2003. He continues to serve on the Kansas Court of Appeals, where he served as the chief judge from October 2012 to January 2017.

Malone said he values his connection with Newman. From 2007 to 2009, Malone sat on the Newman University Board of Trustees and in 2014, he received the Leon A. McNeill Distinguished Alumni Award, given to honor graduates who have achieved outstanding success in their personal lives and careers.

He is currently a part of the American Bar Association, the Kansas Bar Association, the Wichita Bar Association and the Kansas Association for Justice.

Malone said no matter what position he ends up in, he will try his best.

“Whether I continue to serve as a judge on the Court of Appeals or move to the Supreme Court,” he said, “I will keep working as hard as I can to help deliver justice in our Kansas courts.”

Kelly’s appointment for the new Supreme Court justice will be announced by mid-March.