By Kelton Brooks

The Hutchinson News

The Kansas Supreme Court made a slight adjustment to its lineup in Topeka Wednesday.

Reno County District Judge Joseph McCarville was appointed to sit with the Supreme Court to hear arguments in a judicial conduct proceeding. Normally, McCarville deals with the rush of a multitude of cases as defendants are escorted in and out of the courtroom.

But the Kansas Supreme Court gave McCarville a different feel Wednesday.

"The tempo and atmosphere was completely different. It was more like a library. It's more like a bus station here sometimes," McCarville said.

But all jokes aside, the honorable judge pitched a humble tune, adding "it never occurred to me they wouldn't figure it out without my help."

"Everyone was very helpful to me, cordial, they respected my opinion, very professional and listened to my questions. It was an honor for me," McCarville said.

McCarville sat to the right of Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss and the other five Supreme Court Judges to determine the disciplinary actions for Timothy H. Henderson, District Judge of the 18th District.

The Notice of Formal Proceedings alleged that Judge Henderson engaged in harassment by repeatedly making inappropriate and offensive comments in the presence of female staff employed by the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office, which resulted in a hostile working environment and gender bias.

Henderson allegedly sent an email from his personal email account to employees of the Department for Children and Families that exhibited a negative stereotype and/or hostility or aversion toward an attorney and the attorney's beliefs that conveyed the appearance of bias and prejudice. The release further says Henderson engaged in "ex parte," or without both parties, communication when he approached a board member of the Wichita Board of Education and requested that she investigate the reason why his wife was not offered a teaching contract, if appropriate records had been kept, and if there was any foul play involved.

The hearing lasted about an hour and the seven judges came to a decision, a decision McCarville can't comment on, he said.

"It's an important case. I made sure I would take the time to read the material and make sure I was up to speed to be able to participate in a meaningful way," he said.

The Supreme Court had a choice of district court judges and Court of Appeal judges, but McCarville was selected. It was a first for McCarville, but unlike a Double A baseball player receiving the call from the major leagues, the judge didn't have any nerves his first time at bat.

"If you've been dealing with 'firsts' or new things for a while, you get used to adjusting and adapting," he said.

Although, McCarville said he never was much of a baseball player.

(c)2014 The Hutchinson News