Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher announces Jim Deckard as General Counsel
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today the appointment of Jim Deckard as his new general counsel.
“With his years of legal and management experience, Jim will provide strong leadership as my general counsel,” Governor Fletcher said. “His knowledge of state government and relationships with members of both political parties also will be valuable assets.”
Deckard, who has been chief of staff and counsel to Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert since 1998, will start on Monday.
“I am excited to join Governor Fletcher as he leads this commonwealth,” Deckard said. “I look forward to giving him my best efforts and advice, and to working with him toward creating a better future for all Kentuckians.”
In his role with the chief justice, Deckard oversaw the day-to-day policy, management and operations of the judicial branch of Kentucky state government, with more than 3,400 employees, 263 elected judges and 120 circuit clerks.
“Jim has been with me during my entire tenure as chief justice,” Chief Justice Lambert said. “His advice, counsel and calm leadership will be sorely missed by the judicial branch of state government, but the smooth operation of the Kentucky Court of Justice will continue. Jim has such a breadth of knowledge of not only Kentucky’s government, but our commonwealth and its people, and we will all be well served by his work with Governor Fletcher.”
Deckard, a native of Tompkinsville, Ky., graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1991 with a degree in finance and received his law degree from the University of Memphis in 1994. He passed the Tennessee bar in 1994 and the Kentucky bar in 1995.
After graduating from law school, Deckard, 35, served as a law clerk with the Supreme Court of Kentucky from 1994 to 1996. He then went on to practice law in Nashville, first with the firm of Leitner, Williams, Dooley and Napolitan and later with Manier and Herod. His practice focused on construction and surety litigation, with additional work in entertainment, criminal and commercial litigation.
He lives in Frankfort with his wife, Mandy, and their two sons, Levy, age 2, and Henry, who is 6 months old.
Other reaction from the Capitol:
“I have worked with Jim on several important projects, including expansion of the drug court system throughout the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence. “His experience in the judicial system and knowledge of the law will be invaluable to the administration. I look forward to working with Jim, now in this new capacity, as he shares the administration's vision of making Kentucky a better place.”
"He is an excellent choice, and his experience as counsel for another branch of government will serve him well in that position," said Senate President David L. Williams.
“The Court of Justice has benefited from the services of Jim Deckard, and now the Governor and the Commonwealth will have the benefit of his experience,” said retired Supreme Court Justice James E. Keller. “I applaud this move and wish Jim all the best.”
“This is a great move on the part of the Governor,” said Sen. Ed Worley, Democrat Minority Floor Leader. “John Roach is a fine young man, and he is being replaced by an outstanding individual. Jim brings a lot of wisdom to the Governor’s Office and to the process of government.”