The Honorable Lori Dougherty-Bichsel was appointed in 2020. Born in Arizona, she graduated from the University of Arizona in 2002 and from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2006. She has a wide range of legal experience, having served as an assistant district attorney for the 18th and 3rd Judicial Districts, and as litigation counsel for the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, City of Topeka, and Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services. She was in private practice for several years with the law firm of Simpson, Logback, Lynch, Norris, P.A., focusing her practice on civil litigation and employment matters. Judge Dougherty-Bichsel represented clients in both state and federal courts. Prior to being appointed to the District Court, Judge Dougherty-Bichsel was the Administrative Judge and Department Director for the City of Topeka Municipal Court.
Judge Dougherty-Bichsel is a member of the Topeka Bar Association, Kansas Bar Association, Sam A. Crow American Inn of Courts, Kansas Women Attorneys Association, and Women Attorneys Association of Topeka. Judge Dougherty-Bichsel has given presentations to several professional and community groups on mental health courts, municipal court practice and procedures, and general case law updates. She enjoys reading, travelling, and spending time with her family and pets. Judge Dougherty-Bichsel and her husband have two children and multiple rescue animals.