Kentucky Court of Justice
Chief Justice Minton appoints Circuit Judges Burdette, Lay to Cumberland Region posts
FRANKFORT, Ky., June 20, 2011 – Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. has appointed two circuit judges to administrative positions for the Cumberland Region.
Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette has been named chief regional circuit judge and Judge Gregory A. Lay has been named vice chief regional judge. The appointments are effective June 9, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2012.
Chief regional judges are responsible for assigning special judges in cases of conflicts or vacancies and may serve in the absence of any judge within their region. These judges supervise the administrative business of the courts in their region and provide general direction and supervision to the nonjudicial personnel assigned to those courts.
The vice chief regional judge manages the administrative functions of the court when the chief judge is unavailable. Regional judges are appointed for two-year terms and may be reappointed.
Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette, Chief Regional Circuit Judge
Judge Burdette is chief judge for the 28th Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties. He fills a vacancy created by the death of Circuit Judge Paul E. Braden, who was chief regional circuit judge for the Cumberland Region when he died June 3, 2011, after a battle with cancer. Judge Burdette was vice chief regional judge for the Cumberland Region at the time of his appointment to chief regional circuit judge.
“I look forward to serving the 23 counties of the region and will strive to emulate my friend, Judge Braden, whose work ethic and manner are an inspiration to those who knew him,” Judge Burdette said. “I’m pleased Judge Lay has been appointed to serve alongside me, as he is a respected trial judge and administrator.”
Judge Burdette began practicing law in 1989 as an associate with the civil/insurance defense firm of Farmer, Keller & Kelley in London, Ky., before establishing his legal practice in Mt. Vernon, Ky., in 1991. He has also served as a federal public defender, plaintiff’s attorney and counsel for several media outlets, financial institutions and
He was elected Rockcastle County attorney for three terms prior to being appointed to the circuit bench in 2003. He has since been elected twice to a circuit judgeship. Judge Burdette and his wife, Twila, have two children, Thomas, 13, and Zoe, 10.
Judge Gregory A. Lay, Vice Chief Regional Circuit Judge
Judge Lay is chief judge for the 27th Judicial Circuit, which is comprised of Knox and Laurel counties. He was appointed as circuit judge in August 2004 and was elected to that position in November 2004 and again in 2006. Prior to assuming the circuit bench, he practiced law in the area of civil litigation with Hamm, Milby and Ridings for nearly 14 years.
He also spent several years as a prosecutor in Laurel County, first as an assistant county attorney from 1992 to 1998 and then as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney from 1998 to 2004. He is a past member of the Kentucky Bar Association Inquiry Commission, which considers ethics complaints made against lawyers. Judge Lay currently resides in London with his wife, Paige, and two children, Dillon and Abby.
“I’m honored Chief Justice Minton has asked me to serve in this position,” Judge Lay said. “I look forward to working with Judge Burdette, who will continue the great work Judge Braden performed during his tenure as chief regional circuit judge. I also look forward to working with our regional court administrator, Doris Callebs, who has done a wonderful job over the years.”
The Cumberland Region is comprised of 23 counties, which are Adair, Bell, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Lincoln, Marion, McCreary, Monroe, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Taylor, Washington, Wayne and Whitley.
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 in Frankfort is the operational arm for the state court system and supports the activities of nearly 3,300 Kentucky Court of Justice employees, including the elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. The AOC also executes the Judicial Branch budget.