Retired California Superior Court judge wins National Judicial College’s top faculty honor

Retired California Superior Court Judge Peggy Fulton Hora has received the 2017 V. Robert Payant Award for Teaching Excellence from The National Judicial College, the nation’s oldest and largest judicial educator.

A member of the College’s faculty since 1993, Hora becomes the 28th recipient of the annual award. Faculty are nominated for the award by the NJC’s Faculty Council and the winner is chosen based on students’ evaluations of instructors and a reputation for excellence in teaching among their peers. The overwhelming majority of NJC courses are taught by judges and retired judges who volunteer their time.

“Peggy has helped countless judges become better judges through her teachings and guidance here,” said NJC President Benes Z. Aldana. “Her contributions to the judiciary and to the NJC are vast and deserving of recognition.”

Hora first took the bench in 1984 after being elected to the former San Leandro Hayward Judicial District. The court merged with the Alameda County Superior Court in 1998, where she served until retirement in 2006. During that time, she served as the presiding judge of the Drug Treatment Court at the Hayward Hall of Justice.

She first attended the NJC in 1992 and joined the faculty the following year. She has since been an instructor in nearly 60 courses, specializing in special court jurisdiction, substance abuse and DUI.

Hora also has served as a senior judicial fellow for the National Drug Court Institute and the Global Centre for Drug Treatment Courts. She was dean of the B.E. Witkin Judicial College of California from 1997-99. She has published more than 20 articles individually or in collaboration, has spoken at conferences worldwide, and has provided hands-on training to drug courts in Israel, the United Kingdom, Japan and elsewhere.

Her many honors include the Bernard S. Jefferson Judicial Education Award from the California Judges Association and the Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

The Payant Award is named in honor of the NJC’s dean from 1990 to 1998. Judge Payant previously served more than 20 years as a Michigan trial judge. Recent recipients of the award include Kansas Court of Appeals Chief Judge Karen Arnold Burger (2016), retired Minnesota district judge Dennis A. Challeen (2015), and North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael R. Morgan (2014).

NJC News