Photograph: Thomas Marten.

The Honorable J. Thomas Marten

Distinuguished Lecturer in Law
B.A., Washburn University, 1973
J.D., Washburn University, 1976
Contact Information:
785.670.1857
Room 210

The Honorable J. Thomas Marten, a native Kansan, was born in Topeka, graduated high school in Onaga, Kansas, and returned to Topeka to attend Washburn University. He received his bachelor of arts and his juris doctor from Washburn University School of Law. He worked his way through college and law school by working at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

After graduating from Washburn Law, Judge Marten served as law clerk to retired Associate Justice Tom C. Clark of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. He then spent 19 years practicing law, with an emphasis in litigation, in Nebraska, Minnesota, and Kansas, including 14 years as a member of Bremyer & Wise, P.A. in McPherson, Kansas.

Judge Marten was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Kansas by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the judgeship was once held by his great uncle the late Judge Delmas Hill. Marten hung his uncle's photo, along with those who held that post after him, on the wall next to where his black robe hung to remind him of those who came before him. He served as Chief Judge of the District of Kansas from April 2014 until May 2017. Judge Marten took senior status May 2017.

Judge Marten has been involved in a wide range of civil and criminal litigation. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Sedona Conference, and has completed terms on the Information Technology Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States and the Board of Directors of the Federal Judges Association. He has taught trial advocacy at various programs and workshops throughout the United States for more than 30 years and at Harvard Law for more than 25 years. Marten taught at Wichita State University and the Department of Justice Trial Advocacy center, has lectured at National University of Ireland, Galway, and has been a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars throughout the country, including the American Law Institute-American Bar Association Antitrust and Employment Law Litigation and Antitrust. He served on the Judicial Conference of the United States Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Evidence for six years during the last few years of his judgeship.

Judge Marten, also a musician, has composed numerous songs and his three-piece string band, The Shoes, performed at the 2007 inauguration of then Governor Kathleen Sebelius. He is a founding member of the Wesley E. Brown American Inn of Court in Wichita. He served on the School of Law Board of Governors, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washburn University School of Law Alumni Association in 2016, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law by Washburn University in 2018.

Teaching Responsibilities
  • Evidence
  • Federal Courts
  • Civil Procedure I
Support Staff
Shirley Jacobson
785.670.1106
Room 302