Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Announces Landmark Judicial Appointments

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, July 01, 2009  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton
Jill Midkiff

Stevens, Reynolds and Williams set diversity record for Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky.—Governor Steve Beshear announced today the appointment of three outstanding public servants, Olu Stevens, Sadiqua Reynolds and Erica Lee Williams, to fill judicial vacancies in Jefferson County.

Olu Stevens has been appointed Circuit Judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 6. The immediate past-president of the Louisville Bar Association, Stevens currently practices with the firm of Stoll Keenon Ogden. He has gained national recognition for his outstanding work, receiving the American Bar Association General Practice Link Bar Leader of the Year Award in 2001. He is the first and only Kentucky lawyer ever to receive the award. A well-known community leader, Stevens was named to the Business First Forty under 40 in 1999 and Louisville Magazine’s 24 future leaders to watch in 2003. He is a frequent lecturer on ethics, professionalism and various areas of legal practice. He received his B.A. from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. and his J.D. from George Washington Law School in Washington, D.C. His appointment replaces the Honorable Martin F. McDonald, who resigned.

Angela McCormick Bisig and Robert S. Silverthorn, Jr. were also nominated by the selection committee.

Sadiqa N. Reynolds has been appointed District Judge for the 30th Judicial District, Division 11. She currently serves as the Inspector General in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Prior to this appointment, Reynolds held multiple public service roles within Louisville Metro Government, including assistant director of the Division of Public Works and Assets and chief of staff of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.  A graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and the University of Louisville, Reynolds made history as the first African-American woman to clerk for the Kentucky Supreme Court. Her appointment replaces the Honorable Matthew K. Eckert, who resigned.

Wanda Mitchell Baker and Jennifer Bryant Wilcox were also nominated by the selection committee.

Erica Lee Williams has been appointed District Judge for the 30th Judicial District, Division 17. She currently is an associate with the firm of Dinsmore and Shohl, LLP. The recipient of the 2009 University of Kentucky College of Law Young Alumni Professional Award and as a part of Who’s Who in Black Louisville 2008 and the Louisville Bar Association’s Diversity Task Force, Williams is a noted leader in the legal profession with a commitment to community service. She received her B.A. from Western Kentucky University and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Her appoint replaces the Honorable Judith K. Bartholomew, who resigned.

Sheila Berman and William H. Mooney were also nominated by the selection committee.

These record-breaking appointments mark the greatest judicial diversity in Jefferson County history, as well as the greatest diversity ever seen by any Kentucky county. Prior to today’s appointments, since the inception of the unified court system in Kentucky in 1975, only a total of eight African-Americans have been elected as a judge of the circuit or district court statewide.

“It is imperative that our court system is reflective of our communities,” said Gov. Beshear. “For far too long, judicial benches across the Commonwealth have been lacking much-needed diversity. I am proud today to lead the way toward a more inclusive judiciary with the appointment of such talented, capable individuals to serve the people of Jefferson County.”