Kentucky Court of Justice
Judge Glenn E. Acree elected chief judge of Kentucky Court of Appeals
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Judge Glenn E. Acree of Lexington has been elected by his fellow judges to serve as chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. His term as chief judge will begin July 1.
“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as chief judge,” Judge Acree said. “I will do my best to live up to the fine examples of the chief judges who have preceded me. I draw strength from the support of my fellow judges and, more significantly, I am inspired by our unsung support staff who remain dedicated to ensuring justice for all Kentuckians despite being asked to make personal sacrifices necessitated by the underfunding of the Judicial Branch.”
The Court of Appeals judges elected Judge Acree during their regular court meeting June 5. The chief judge provides administrative oversight to the Court of Appeals and serves in the position for a four-year term under the Kentucky Constitution.
“I commend the Court of Appeals judges on their selection of Judge Glenn Acree to lead them as their chief judge,” Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said. “His keen mind, leadership skills and hard work have gained him the respect of his peers. I look forward to working with Judge Acree.”
Judge Acree will succeed Court of Appeals Judge Jeff S. Taylor as chief judge. Judge Taylor has served as chief judge since July 1, 2010. He is stepping down after completing the term of Court of Appeals Judge Sara Walter Combs, who resigned as chief judge in May 2010. Judge Taylor will continue serving as a Court of Appeals judge.
Judge Acree was elected judge for the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve Division 2 of the 5th Appellate District. He was appointed to that position in August 2006 to fill a vacancy created when Judge Julia K. Tackett retired June 30, 2006.
The 5th Appellate District is comprised of Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Scott and Woodford counties.
Judge Acree resides in Lexington, where he had a solo practice from 1997 until his appointment to the Court of Appeals. He was a partner in the Lexington law firms of Stidham & Acree from 1996 to 1997, and Thomas, Stidham & Acree from 1994 to 1996. From 1985 to 1994, he was an associate in the Lexington office of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland.
Prior to joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Acree handled litigation and appeals in the areas of criminal law, administrative law, employment discrimination, contract dispute, civil procedure, insurance law, domestic relations, environmental law and construction law.
After taking the bench, Judge Acree founded the KBA Appellate Advocacy Section. He is one of only 214 state and federal judges nationwide designated as a Fellow of the Advanced Science & Technology Adjudication Resource Center.
Judge Acree has a bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from the University of Kentucky. He also earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland in American History.
He is married to the former Lisa T. Hahn of Versailles. He has two sons, Matt and Taylor.
Kentucky Court of Appeals
The Kentucky Court of Appeals, along with the Supreme Court of Kentucky, was formed after the 1975 enactment of the Judicial Article that created Kentucky’s unified court system. Fourteen judges, two elected from each of the seven appellate districts, serve on the Court of Appeals for terms of eight years.
Nearly all cases heard by the Court of Appeals come to it on appeal from a lower court. If a case is tried in Circuit Court or District Court and the losing parties involved are not satisfied with the outcome, they may ask for a higher court to review the correctness of the trial court’s decision. Some cases, such as criminal case acquittals and divorces, may not be appealed. In a divorce case, however, child custody and property rights decisions may be appealed. With a few exceptions, most cases appealed from Circuit Court go to the Court of Appeals. The case is not retried at the appeals level. Instead, the original trial record is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision.
Court of Appeals judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority deciding the outcome. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel throughout the state to hear appeals. When the Court of Appeals publishes its rulings on cases, those rulings become the governing case law for all such similar cases in the trial courts of Kentucky.