2015 Alumni Awards Reception Honors Achievements

Photograph: Alumni Award RecipientsOn Friday, March 27, 2015, Washburn Law alumni and friends gathered to honor two men and two women for their professional and personal achievements. More than 100 people gathered at Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center for the 2015 Alumni Awards Reception and were welcomed by Sabrina Standifer, ’99, president of the Washburn Law Alumni Association.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon Kay Arvin,’51. She grew up in the 1920s on a Kansas working farm and was educated in one-room schoolhouse near Cullison, Kan. When her husband, Les, was attending Washburn Law, Kay was blinded by an accident. After inquiring whether she could accompany Les to his law classes and being granted permission, she quickly discovered her own fascination with the law. She enrolled and thrived at Washburn Law.

After graduation, Les and Kay became Wichita attorneys and raised their two sons near Rose Hill, Kan. In spite of the challenges of blindness, Kay embraced the dual roles of mother and working professional. Her practice specialized in adoption and divorce, and later, in mediation. Kay was an in-demand speaker on marriage and Christian faith, and considered her legal career an extension of her commitment to helping others.

Kay championed the cause of abused women, interviewed several incarcerated for killing abusive husbands, and advocated on their behalf with then-Governor Joan Finney.  She was the first woman to try a case in her state’s Supreme Court and win. In 1978, she was appointed to complete a four-month term as a judge in Sedgwick County. Although she made it clear she had no desire to run for election beyond the term, she became one of the first female judges in the state.

In 2001, Kay and Les Arvin moved to Nashville to be closer to family. She died June 1, 2014, in Nashville six days before her 92nd birthday.

Winton Hinkle, ’68, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was born in Hays, Kan., and grew up in Garden City, Kan. He earned his JD degree, magna cum laude, from Washburn Law in 1968. Winton was a member of Phi Alpha Delta and editor-in-chief of the Washburn Law Journal.

In December 2014, Winton retired from Hinkle Law Firm LLC, a company he founded in 1987. He was senior counsel, concentrating his practice in municipal finance and securities law. Winton served as chief legal counsel for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce from 2005 to 2013. He also served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.

He was named a Fellow of the American College of Bond Counsel (ACBC). Winton is the only Wichita attorney to achieve the prestigious status of Fellow, and is one of a handful of ACBC Fellows in Kansas. Membership in the ACBC is limited to those attorneys with at least 10 years of substantial experience in bond law.

Winton is a member of the American, Kansas, and Wichita Bar Associations; and the National Association of Bond Lawyers; and was a member of the New York Stock Exchange Arbitration Panel from 1988 to 2013.

Winton’s many contributions to Washburn Law include: Alumni Association Board of Governors member from 2002 to 2013 and president from 2010 to 2013; and member of the Business and Transactional Law Center’s Board of Advisors from 2004 to the present.

Winton and his wife, Pauletta, established an endowed unrestricted program fund in the Business and Transactional Law Center during the Centennial Celebration. The Hinkle Elkouri Law Firm, L.L.C., established a $50,000 scholarship at Washburn Law during the Centennial. The firm also makes cash awards to Washburn students in the National Negotiation Competition.

The Honorable Alex Hotchkiss, '27, was honored posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award. After graduation he moved to Lyndon, Kan., to practice law and run for county attorney. He returned to Topeka to accept a legal position with the former Oil Department of Kansas. Hotchkiss went back to Lyndon to practice general law, run for county attorney, and in 1943 was elected to the Kansas Senate. In 1960, Judge Hotchkiss became judge of the Fourth Judicial District.  

Judge Hotchkiss served as Washburn Law Alumni Association president from 1954 to 1955. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from Washburn Law in 1967. Judge Hotchkiss served as justice of the national fraternity of Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) in 1967, and later was appointed Supreme Justice of PAD Legal Fraternity, International. The year that his son Bruce graduated from Washburn Law, Judge Hotchkiss began offering a bar review course for Benson Chapter members at no cost. He began by driving from Lyndon, Kan., to teach in the library located in the attic of the PAD house at 1612 College. In later years, graduates drove to Lyndon, where he lectured for several hours each afternoon at the Osage County Courthouse. Both locations were without air conditioning, but the success rate on the bar exam for those attending these lectures was unsurpassed. The judge became known as the “Oracle of Lyndon,” and the Washburn Chapter of PAD renamed itself after Judge Hotchkiss in tribute.

The Honorable Nancy Moritz, '85, was presented with the Distinguished Service Award. She was born in Beloit, Kan., on March 3, 1960. She grew up in a big family in the small community of Tipton, Kan., and her family moved to Salina, Kan., when she was 15.

Judge Moritz received her BBA from Washburn University in 1982 and her JD from Washburn Law in 1985, where she served as the notes editor of the Washburn Law Journal.

Judge Moritz currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, based in Denver that reviews legal cases from Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. In 2004, Judge Moritz was appointed by Governor Kathleen Sebelius to the Kansas Court of Appeals and served on that court until 2010, when Governor Mark Parkinson appointed her to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Prior to her appointment on the Court of Appeals, Judge Moritz served as a research attorney from 1985 to 1987 for Justice Harold S. Herd of the Kansas Supreme Court. She then served as a law clerk for Judge Patrick F. Kelly with the United States District Court in Wichita, Kan. From 1989 to 1995, Judge Moritz was an associate with Spencer Fane Britt and Browne in Overland Park, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., where she handled defensive matters and specialized in employment litigation.

She returned to public service in 1995 when she became an assistant United States attorney in Kansas City, Kan. She worked in the Civil Division of that office in Kansas City, and then in Topeka, until 1999, when she became the appellate coordinator for the United States Attorney’s office, a position she held until her appointment to the Kansas Court of Appeals.

Judge Moritz served for nearly two decades on the Board of Editors of the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association and was the first woman to chair that organization. She also served on the Kansas CLE Commission, the Tenth Circuit Advisory Committee, and the Washburn University School of Law Board of Governors.

David Rebein was honored with the Honorary Life Membership award. He is founder and partner of Rebein Bangerter Rebein and received his BA, summa cum laude, in political science from Washburn University in 1977. While at Washburn, David was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. David earned his JD from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1980.

David is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is past president of the Kansas Bar Association and past president of the Legacy for Justice Foundation, and current treasurer of the Kansas Association for Justice. He is admitted to the Kansas Bar and Florida Bar. 

David received the 2009 Distinguished Service Award from the Kansas Bar Association for continuous longstanding service on behalf of the legal profession. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for his work as a trial lawyer. 

With more than 30 years of legal experience, David has tried hundreds of cases and represented Fortune 500 Companies as well as individuals in commercial and personal injury cases.