2024 Judges Conference

Wichita Marriott, April 29-30, 2024. 



Monday, April 29th. There will be a break after the conference adjourns for the day, then we’ll convene for a dinner with entertainment provided by First Draft Improv. This is a very talented improv troupe from Wichita, with actors who have performed in major cities across the country, including NYC and Chicago. They will be providing a special show for us after dinner.

Please join us for a fun evening, hanging out with other KMJA members! Spouses may also register to come, at no extra cost.

Evening Schedule:

4:00 Conference Adjourns

4:?? Hospitality Room Open (time TBA)

5:30 Dinner w/ Drink Bar: Two complimentary drink tickets, plus cash bar. Meal is buffet style with three entrée options:

  • Grilled Bourbon Pecan Chicken, Honey Bourbon Glaze
  • London Broil, Cabernet Demi
  • Seared Salmon, Herb Crusted Grilled Salmon with Roasted Corn Chutney

6:00-7:00 Show (time approx.). First Draft Improv to provide a fun, casual show. Be prepared for audience participation and a good time!

7:20ish: Hospitality Room Re-Opens (approx. 20 minutes after the show ends)


KMJA Officers & Committees:

Click here for a full listing of current officers and committee members.


Newsroom: Check our newsroom for news archive.


KMJA members can ask judge-related questions to other members by sending an email to For help, email Judge Greg Nickel at

KMJA Membership:

Greg Nickel
c/o Newton Municipal Court
201 E 6th PO Box 426
Newton, KS  67411-0426

Who We Are

The Kansas Municipal Judges Association is an organization open to all municipal court judges in the state of Kansas. The KMJA sponsors a conference each spring to provide members with information about new statutes and regulations pertinent to the judiciary and to provide judicial education on a wide variety of topics.

A Brief History of the KMJA

In 1961, the Traffic and Municipal Judges Association was formed in affiliation with the League of Kansas Municipalities. The name was changed in 1972 to the Kansas Municipal Judges Association. In 1989, the KMJA pushed for the adoption of K.S.A. 12-4114 which provides that all non-lawyer municipal judges in Kansas must be certified by the Kansas Supreme Court to hold office. A judge has 18 months from taking office to pass an examination given by the Supreme Court. In addition, non-lawyer judges must attend 10 hours of continuing legal education which is provided by the Supreme Court each calendar yearpart. The KMJA and the Supreme Court partner together each year to sponsor an annual conference during which judges can receive the 10 hours of continuing judicial education credit at no cost to them or to their cities. Likewise, lawyer judges are able to receive their 12 required hours of continuing legal education credit, including two hours of ethics.

KMJA Objectives

  • To encourage the adoption of uniform practices and procedures in the Municipal Courts of the State of Kansas.
  • To maintain the highest possible judicial standards in said courts.
  • To assist legislative bodies of Municipal and State governments by making available to them information obtained from the experiences and studies of the members of this Association.
  • To keep its membership informed on all subject matter of importance to traffic courts and municipal courts, including substantive and procedural law pertaining to said courts.

Past KMJA Presidents

1962-63 Clyde A. Raleigh, Hutchinson
1963-64 James H. Taggart, Wellington
1964-65 James H. Taggart, Wellington
1965-66 William Cunningham, Arkansas City
1966-67 William Cunningham, Arkansas City
1967-68 William Cunningham, Arkansas City
1968-69 Charles E. Hellmin, El Dorado
1969-70 A.L. Talbert, Neodesha
1970-71 Joseph A. Levin, Lindsborg
1971-72 Richard E. Ashley, Chanute
1972-73 Tom Post, Topeka
1973-74 Joe Cole, Junction City
1974-75 Joe Cole/Robert Jones, Overland Park
1975-76 Robert Jones, Overland Park
1976-77 George Catt, Lawrence
1977-78 Joe Cox, Tonganoxie
1978-79 Cal Purdin, Augusta
1979-80 Tim Turner, Prairie Village
1980-81 Cordell Meek /Richard Shaw, Kansas City/Coffeyville
1981-82 Grover L. Bryan, Liberal
1982-83 E. Edgar Johnson, Junction City
1983-84 Robert A. Thiessen, Wichita
1984-85 George Groneman, Kansas City
1985-86 Jay Scott Emler, Lindsborg
1986-87 Jay Scott Emler, Lindsborg
1987-88 Virginia Schroeder, Jetmore
1988-89 James Wells, Topeka
1989-90 Jim Wilson, Mulvane
1990-91 Pat Caffey, Manhattan
1991-92 William Coombs, Chanute
1992-93 Larry Hollis, Eastborough
1993-94 Rick Ress, Colby
1994-95 Tom Buffington, Marquette
1995-96 Hal Flaigle, Wichita
1996-97 Karen Arnold-Burger, Overland Park
1997-98 Lee Parker, Andale
1998-99 Robert Serra, Kansas City
1999-00 Kay Ross, Plainville
2000-01 Connie Sams, Wellsville
2001-02 Vicki Wacker, Kanapolis
2002-03 Maurice Ryan, Kansas City
2003-04 Jim Wilson, Benton
2004-05 Jill Michaux,Rossville
2005-06 Phil Durr, Sterling
2006-07 Randy McGrath,Lawrence
2007-08 Ken Lamoreaux, Waterville
2008-09 John McLoughlin, Cimmaron
2009-10 Brenda Stoss, Salina
2010-11 Steve Ebberts, Topeka
2011-12 James Campbell, Ottawa
2012-13 Greg Keith, Haysville
2013-14 William Kehr, Wichita
2014-15 Robin Lewis, Gardner
2015-16 Fred W. Johnson, Oswego
2016-17 Katie McElhinney, Olathe
2017-18 Amie Bauer, Moundridge/Canton
2018-19 Bradley D Jantz, Newton
2019-20 Karen Torline (Shawnee/Prairie Village/Roeland
2020-21 Jason Maxwell (Liberal)
2021-22 Scott Wright (Beloit)
2022-23 Jennifer Jones (Wichita)
2023-2024 Andrea Bekemeyer (Argonia/South Haven)

Michael Barbara Award

The Michael Barbara Award was established in 1995 to honor Judge Barbara for his commitment to the KMJA, especially in the area of continuing judicial education. Recipients of this honor are:

2024 Jennifer Jones
2023 Jason Maxwell
2022 Karen Torline
2021 Ted Griffith 
2020 Katie McElhinney  
2019 Maurice Ryan, Kansas City 
2018 –None–
2017 Marshall Christmann, Ellsworth
2016 –None–
2015 –None–
2014 Justice Carol Beier, Kansas Supreme Court
2013 Brenda Stoss, Salina
2012 Steve Ebberts, Topeka
2011 Ken Lamoreaux, Waterville
2010 Marcy Ralston, Division of Vehicles, Topeka
2009 Judge Hal Flaigle, Wichita District Court Judge
2008 Betty Lammerding, Marysville
2007 Beverly Batt, Wichita
2006 Pat Caffey, Manhattan
2005 Lee Parker, Andale
2004 James Wells, Topeka
2003 Tom Buffington, Marquette
2002 Joe Cox, Topeka
2001 Larry Hollis, Eastborough
2000 Karen Arnold-Burger, Overland Park
1999 George Catt, Lawrence
1998 Fred Benson
1997 Denise Kilwein, Office of Judicial Administration
1996 Sen. Jay Emler, Lindsborg
1995* Michael Barbara

*Year established

Fred Benson Service Award

In 2016, KMJA announced the Fred Benson Service Award, to honor those serving for 35 or more years. Many of you remember the numerous contributions Judge Benson made to KMJA. Those honored with the service award receive a certificate and wooden gavel with a plate engraved “KMJA Fred Benson Service Award”

Judges Receiving the Fred Benson Service Award:

  • Steve Baccus (1979)
  • Larry Bolton (1974)
  • Marian Burns (1978)
  • Kenneth Cailteux (1973)
  • Ermal Davis (1974)
  • Russell Grant (1977)
  • Thomas Herlocker (1971)
  • Blake Hudson (1975)
  • William Kelly (1979)
  • Paul Lueschen (1976)
  • Dennis Reiling (1975)
  • Dorothy Reinert (1976)
  • Timothy Turner (1972)
  • LeRoy Zielke (1965)

2017 – None Awarded


  • Gene White, Jr
  • Frank Korte
  • Timothy Fielder
  • Philip Bernhart
  • Patrick Caffey
  • Richard Ress
  • Larry Hollis

2019 – None Awarded

2020 – None Awarded

2021 – None Awarded

2022 – None Awarded


  • Don Alvord
  • Barker, John
  • Lucas, Cathy
  • Mikulka, Tom
  • Pankratz, Randall J.
  • Ross, Kay
  • Wilson, Jerry
  • Tucker, Richard G.


  • Levi Goossen
  • Gene Gaede