KTLA Awards

KTLA takes pride in recognizing those who have made positive impacts in their communities, the legal profession, KTLA and the lives of their clients. KTLA recognizes both members and non-members who have made significant contributions to the cause of justice. In brief, KTLA's Award system includes the following honors, which are awarded only as qualified candidates are presented for recognition (click here for a listing of the 2016 recipients; click the link on each award to view past recipients of individual awards):

  • The Lynn R. Johnson JUSTICE Award — Ongoing criteria for this prestigious award have not yet been finalized. For now, nominations for the Johnson JUSTICE Award can be made only at the discretion of KTLA's Executive Committee.
  • The Arthur C. Hodgson Award — The Arthur C. Hodgson Award recognizes consistent, exemplary and sustained participation in leadership for the association and/or the Foundation. 
  • The Thomas E. Sullivan Award — The Thomas E. Sullivan Award recognizes significant promise and commitment as a developing leader for the association and/or Foundation.
  • The Distinguished Service Award — The Distinguished Service Award recognizes deeds and service which significantly advance justice, the goals of the legal profession or the mission of the association. 
  • The Humanitarian Award The Humanitarian Award recognizes selfless devotion or commitment of time, energies and/or resources to the service or welfare of the community. 
  • The Consumer Champion Award The Consumer Champion Award recognizes noteworthy contributions to the preservation, enhancement or advancement of the legal rights or interest of Kansans with ramifications beyond an individual case. 
  • The Paul E. Wilson Advocacy Award and The Raymond Spring Award (student scholarship, KU Law and WU Law) recognize young professionals and are presented with a scholarship supported personally by Pedro Irigonegaray and (as of 2012) a certificate entitling them to five years of complimentary membership in KTLA once they enter the bar. Students are nominated by the Office of the Dean at KU Law and Washburn Law.

2016 KTLA Award Recipients

Arthur C. Hodgson Award

Katherine L. Kirk, Lawrence

For consistent, exemplary and sustained participation in leadership of the Association over 10 or more years


Distinguished Service Awards

The Honorable John W. Carlin, Former Governor of the State of Kansas

The Honorable Bill Graves, Former Governor of the State of Kansas

The Honorable Mike Hayden, Former Governor of the State of Kansas

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Former Governor of the State of Kansas

For advancing the cause of justice by educating the public through their leadership and a historic bipartisan collaboration, and working to protect the independence of the judiciary, the nonpartisan selection of judges, and fair and impartial courts


Thomas E. Sullivan Award

Cody G. Claassen, Wichita

For showing significant promise and commitment as a developing leader of the Association and living the values of trial attorneys


Consumer Champion Award

Bruce Tunnell, Kansas AFL-CIO, Topeka

For leadership and commitment to working Kansans, especially those injured on the job, and for efforts to improve the Workers Compensation Act


Consumer Champion Award

Debra Erenberg, Kansans for Fair Courts, Lawrence

For commitment to protecting the judiciary and merit selection and work to maintain fair and impartial courts in Kansas


2016 Award Committee: Chairman, David J. Rebein, Dodge City; Steve Dickerson, Overland Park; Joseph P. Huerter, Topeka; N. Russell Hazlewood, Wichita; Karen W. Renwick, Kansas City; Edward L. Robinson, Wichita; and Thomas M. Warner, Wichita.


Award Nominees

The Kansas Trial Lawyers Association requests nominations of worthy individuals to be considered for prestigious KTLA Awards. Awards are presented each December at a celebration and recognition dinner in conjunction with the Annual Meeting & CLE Seminar. KTLA seeks:

  • To celebrate the efforts and achievements of our members, colleagues and community partners which advance the values that KTLA champions.
  • Through such recognition, to help our members, colleagues and community partners understand that their efforts and achievements are highly valued.
  • Through publicizing such efforts and their recognition, to help our various audiences and the public at large understand the values which our organization champions, so that they might better understand our mission, our profession and our members.
To make a nomination, complete the Awards Nomination Form and send it along with your Letter of Nomination describing the effort or achievements to be recognized. The Awards Committee, comprised of KTLA Members, makes the final selection and recommendation of an Award to the KTLA Board of Governors.


KTLA Awards Criteria and Nomination Form


News & Events

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KTLA's Letter to shawnee county dA Chad Taylor

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Protecting Fair Courts from Political Criticism and Budget Cuts
By F. James Robinson, Jr.
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