Kentucky Court of Justice
Judge David A. Tapp selected to head Circuit Judges Education Committee
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Circuit Court Judge David A. Tapp, who serves Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties, has been appointed as chairman of the Circuit Judges Education Committee by the president of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Judges, Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Isaacs.
The committee plans educational programs for circuit judges and is responsible for ensuring that all 146 of the commonwealth’s circuit judges meet continuing judicial education requirements. Circuit judges are required to obtain at least 25 continuing judicial education hours per biennium.
“The Education Committee has a tremendous role and I believe Judge Tapp will be outstanding as its leader,” Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said. “In addition to being an experienced judge, he’s knowledgeable about the committee’s work after having served as a member for the past several years. He values continuing education and strives to stay up to date on issues involving the justice system. He’s an asset to his fellow circuit judges.”
Judge Tapp said he looks forward to the work that lies ahead.
“This is a wonderful opportunity,” he said. “Both of my parents were teachers and they would be especially happy that I have been afforded this chance to be involved in the education of Kentucky judges. I will ensure that we continue to provide the quality education that our circuit judges have been fortunate to receive in the past several years. It’s a big challenge, as most judges are overwhelmed with increasingly crowded dockets and judicial programs that they volunteer to oversee.
“It can be difficult to provide sufficient training given the many rapidly developing and novel legal issues that confront judges. In addition to analyzing and instructing on the various issues that are constantly developing around the nation, we provide continuing education in evidence and procedure, decorum and conduct, courtroom technology, substance abuse, family dynamics, security, sentencing theory, access to justice, translation services, legal writing and other topics. We’ve done a good job up to now and I expect us to only get better in the coming years.”
Judge Tapp succeeds Judge Julia Hylton Adams, who served 16 years as head of the Education Committee until her retirement in 2012.
“Judge Adams did an amazing job in this position,” Judge Tapp said. “In the 2010 to 2012 biennium, Kentucky judges obtained nearly 6,400 hours of continuing judicial education. That’s a tough act to follow. Kentucky is well known for the quality of its judicial education and Judge Adams deserves an enormous amount of credit for overseeing this area.”
Judge Tapp has been a frequent presenter at judicial education conferences and lectures on a variety of issues. He has authored articles, columns and training materials on civil and criminal justice topics.
In 2011, Judge Tapp received the All Rise Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals for his work on funding issues for substance abuse treatment courts. He was also recognized in a U.S. Senate resolution for his substance abuse treatment efforts. He volunteers his time to serve as a Drug Court judge in his three-county judicial circuit.
Judge Tapp helped the Judicial Branch implement House Bill 463, which took effect in 2012 and set out the most concentrated overhaul of Kentucky’s penal code in more than 30 years. The legislation is designed to curb the cost of incarceration without compromising public safety.
Judge Tap is active in community organizations in his district.
A Circuit Court judge since 2005, Judge Tapp previously worked as a prosecutor, private attorney, organized crime investigator, pretrial officer and deputy sheriff. He received his juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and his Master’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehead State University.
Circuit Court is the court of general jurisdiction that hears civil matters involving more than $5,000, capital offenses and felonies, divorces, adoptions, termination of parental rights, land dispute title cases and contested probate cases.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts provides administrative support for the nearly 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks in Kentucky. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC also executes the Judicial Branch budget.