Judge Arold-Burger to Receive 2016 Payant Award

RENO, Nev. – Hon. Karen Arnold-Burger of the Kansas Court of Appeals has received the 2016 V. Robert Payant Award for Teaching Excellence, the National Judicial College (NJC) announced on Tuesday. Judge Arnold-Burger will be presented with the award on Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Kansas Supreme Court in Topeka, Kan.

Arnold-Burger is the 27th recipient of the Payant Award, which has been given annually since 1988 and is presented at the conclusion of the NJC academic year. The award is named in honor of Judge Payant, who served as the NJC’s dean and president from 1990 to 1998 after serving 20 years as a Michigan trial judge.

“Judge Arnold-Burger has helped hundreds of judges become better judges,” said NJC President Chad Schmucker, who will be on-hand to present the award to Arnold-Burger in Kansas. “The NJC is proud to have her on our faculty and to have such a deserving recipient of this award.”

Arnold-Burger is an alumnus and faculty member of the NJC. She first attended courses at the College in 1991 before starting teaching in 2000. Judge Arnold-Burger also serves on the NJC Faculty Council representing Special Court Jurisdiction.

Arnold-Burger currently sits on the Kansas Court of Appeals. Prior to her appointment in 2011, she served for 20 years as presiding judge at the Overland Park Municipal Court in Overland, Kan. She also previously practiced law for 10 years, specializing in criminal prosecution and federal litigation, and served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas. Arnold-Burger received the Barbara Award for Excellence in Judicial Education from the Kansas Municipal Judges Association in 2000.

A leader in her profession, Judge Arnold-Burger has also served as: president of the Johnson County Bar Association; the Kansas Municipal Judges Association; the Earl E. O’Connor Inn of Court; and served on the Executive Board of the National Conference of Specialized Court Judges. She received her bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.


The National Judicial College has been the nation’s leading provider of judicial education since 1963, drawing participants from every state and from over 150 countries. The NJC offers more than 100 judicial education programs annually onsite, online, and across the nation in support of its mission: education – innovation – advancing justice. For more information, visit judges.org.

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