Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient
The Honorable J. Patrick Brazil grew up in Chanute, Kansas. and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Rockhurst College in 1957. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1962. Judge Brazil practiced law in Pratt and then Eureka, Kansas until 1972 when he was appointed as a judge of the Kansas District Court for the 13th Judicial District by Governor Robert Docking. He served as a district judge until 1985 when he was appointed to the Kansas Court of Appeals by Governor John Carlin. In 1995, Judge Brazil was appointed Chief Judge of the Court and served until his retirement in January 2001.
Judge Brazil continued to sit with the appellate court until July 2012. He is an associate with the firm of Associates in Dispute Resolution, LLC. in Topeka, specializing in mediations and arbitrations involving commercial transactions, employment law, insurance law, medical/legal malpractice, product liability, tort and personal injury law.Judge Brazil is a member and past secretary of the National Conference of Chief Judges as well as past president of the District Judges Association, and served on the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission from its creation in 1985 until 1991. He also served on the Advisory Committee of the Kansas Judicial Council for Civil and Criminal Pattern Instructions. In 1994, he received an Outstanding Service Award from the Kansas Bar Association, and is a fellow of the Kansas Bar Foundation. He is a charter member and past president of the Sam A. Crow Inn of Court. Judge Brazil has been a member of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications since 1984, serving as chair from 1991 to 1994.
In 1984, Judge Brazil and two other attorneys established a scholarship honoring the memory of one of their classmates, Arthur T. Ueoka, which provides for financial assistance towards tuition and books for a full-time incoming Washburn Law student. He is a member and Paul Harris Fellow of the Topeka South Rotary Club and served as a trustee of the Topeka and Shawnee County Library Foundation for six years. Judge Brazil also served on the Washburn Law Alumni Association Board of Governors and was a recipient of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award in 2012. This award is bestowed upon graduates whose careers have been highly distinguished, and whose achievements and contributions are widely recognized as significant and outstanding in their field of endeavor.
Judge Brazil and his wife, Char, live in Topeka. They have two children and five grandchildren.