TOPEKA — In between hearing a week's worth of appellate arguments in his Topeka courtroom, the chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court took time to lecture about ethics to military legal specialists stationed more than 7,000 miles away.
Chief Justice Lawton Nuss recently spoke to about 35 U.S. Army personnel in Kuwait by way of video link from the Supreme Court's conference room at the Kansas Judicial Center. The eight-hour time difference between Kansas and the Middle East meant Nuss had to arrive at his office before most employees at the judicial center.
Nuss agreed to lead the discussion on ethics — part of a continuing legal education conference for military law practitioners — following a request from Maj. Gen. Victor Braden of the 35th Infantry Division. The conference took place at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for personnel serving throughout the Middle East.
Nuss, a Marine Corps veteran, spoke about the need for military law practitioners — and all law practitioners – to observe and remain committed to the oaths they have taken. For the Army personnel taking part in the session, those include separate oaths as lawyers, and as military officers, in which they swear to support the constitution.
Adherence to those oaths, Nuss said, helps instill a sense of personal honor, exhibits leadership by example, and perpetuates these ideals throughout the legal community and society as a whole.