Kyle Napp transitions from prosecutor to judge

By Ann Knef | Aug 24, 2007

Kyle Napp sworn in as Madison County Associate Judge

Napp addresses an audience assembled during her swearing-in ceremony.

Madison County's newest associate judge is home grown. Kyle Napp, sworn into office Aug. 10, graduated from Roxana High School in 1985.

Napp attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated in 1989 with degrees in finance and banking and real estate. She then attended law school at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, graduating in 1992.

Napp worked at Chicago Title and Trust for one year before working at the Madison County State's Attorney's Office. While there she taught advanced and basic trial advocacy classes for the Appellate Prosecutor's Office and worked with former State's Attorney and current State Senator Bill Haine in establishing the Madison County Child Advocacy Center.

She lives in Godfrey with her husband, Allan Napp. They have three children, Ian, age 10; Aiden, age 8 and Grace age 5.

Record: What types of cases did you handle as an assistant state's attorney?

Napp: Through the years I was assigned all types of criminal cases. My first jury trial was a forgery case. In the last five years, the majority of my cases involved victims of violent crimes such as murder, home invasion, kidnapping, sexual assault (rape) and physical and sexual abuse to children.

Record:How will your experience at the State's Attorney Office help you as an associate judge?

Napp: While working as an assistant state's attorney I gained extensive trial experience, became well versed in the rules of evidence and procedure and acquired a working knowledge of the court and the court system.

I understand that every court proceeding no matter how big or small is very important to the participants of those proceedings and will give each matter that comes before me the attention and respect it deserves.

Record: What types of matters will you preside over as judge and how are you preparing to handle these assignments?

Napp: I will handle all matters as assigned by the chief judge. Currently I am assigned criminal and family law matters. I will prepare for my assignments by building on the knowledge and experience that I already have. I will be well versed in the law regardless of the assignment.

Record: Tell us how you became interested in becoming a judge.

Napp: Within the first year of becoming a lawyer I decided I wanted to dedicate my career to public service.

Working as a prosecutor gave me the opportunity to help those that needed help the most. A few years ago, I felt I had achieved the experience and knowledge necessary to become a judge and to continue to serve the public in a different capacity. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Record: What is your overall impression of the legal reform changes in Madison County?

Napp: It is not fair to label an entire system. From my perspective, we have always had dedicated and fair judges.

As a prosecutor, I was always impressed by the wisdom, work ethic and professionalism displayed by the judges I practiced in front of. I know that Madison County was facing serious problems, but the judiciary acknowledged that and elected a chief judge that is insightful, hardworking and desirous of change.

The programs she, along with the other circuit judges, have instituted have been very successful and are helping to restore public confidence in our court system.

Record: How would you describe your temperament?

Napp: Temperament should not influence the application of the law. Unlike on TV, real judges should follow the law and not let his or her personal feelings or opinions interfere.

Record: Is there a motto you live by?

Napp: Treat everyone as you would wish to be treated.

Record: Did you have a professional mentor?

Napp: My grandfather was an attorney for the Veteran's Administration. I always looked up to him and the work that he did. He inspired me to become a lawyer.

Record: What kinds of books/authors do you like to read?

Napp: With three young children in school and all of their extracurricular activities, I have little time to read outside of work. However, my children are big fans of the Harry Potter series and we enjoyed reading the latest novel this summer.

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