The Kansas Municipal Judges Association is open to all municipal court judges in the state of Kansas, and each spring the KMJA sponsors a conference to provide its members with critical information about new Kansas statutes and regulations on topics pertinent to the judiciary, and to provide valuable judicial education on a broad range of relevant topics of interest.
The Traffic and Municipal Judges Association was originally formed in 1961; however, the name was changed to the Kansas Municipal Judges Association in 1972. By 1989 the KMJA pressed for the adoption of K.S.A. 12-4114 which would require that non-lawyer municipal judges in Kansas be certified by the Kansas Supreme Court in order to hold office. It also mandated that all non-lawyer judges attend 10 hours of continuing legal education which was to be provided to them by the Supreme Court on a specified basis.
The KMJA and the Supreme Court partner together each year to sponsor an annual conference where judges can receive their 10 hour continuing education credit free of cost to them and their cities. Additionally, lawyer judges are also able to receive their 12 required hours of continuing education credit, which includes two hours of ethics.
The objectives of the KMJA is to encourage the adoption of uniform practices and procedures all throughout the Municipal Courts of Kansas, to maintain the highest judicial standards in these courts, to assist the legislative bodies of the municipal and state governments by providing them with information derived from the experience and members of the association, and to keep members informed on all relevant subject matter for the traffic and municipal courts, including information on substantive and procedural law that applies to the aforementioned courts.
At the 2012 conference, attorney John Harvell attended two days of presentations where at least three of the sessions were presented by justices from the Kansas Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals. Attorney Harvell says that the most interesting topic presented had to do with car stops and vehicle searches. The Justices at the conference added that they were very close to ruling that a certain length of stop without evidence of a crime will be illegal. It was noted that the Department of Revenue did not appear due to the transfer to the new record system.
John E. Harvell has practiced criminal defense in Olathe and Johnson County, Kansas for over 20 years. Prior to going into private practice, attorney Harvell served as a prosecutor and a judge, both of which give him priceless insight into how the judge and the prosecution handles criminal cases. He strongly believes that his experience from three points of view, as a prosecutor, judge and now criminal defense attorney enables him to be a better and more articulate criminal defense lawyer. Through his experience, he is in an advantageous position to build better defense strategies and more effectively present his clients’ side of the story before prosecutors and judges. Attorney Harvell is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell®