Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments Sept. 10 in Mount Sterling
FRANKFORT, Ky., Sept. 2, 2009 - The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in two civil case appeals Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Mount Sterling. The cases are on appeal from Montgomery and Pulaski counties. Proceedings are open to the public. The courthouse is located at One Court St.
A three-judge panel consisting of Court of Appeals Judges Denise G. Clayton and Janet L. Stumbo and Senior Judge Michael L. Henry will hear oral arguments in Jerry Calhoun v. Vivian Keith Sellers at 1 p.m. EDT. A three-judge panel consisting of Court of Appeals Judges Stumbo and James H. Lambert and Senior Judge Henry will hear oral arguments in Tanya A. Childers v. Sandra F. Geile at 1:45 p.m. EDT. The panels will hear oral arguments in the Circuit Courtroom in the courthouse.
A docket containing summaries of the cases is below.
MOUNT STERLING DOCKET
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009
1 PM 2008CA001311
JERRY CALHOUN v. VIVIAN KEITH SELLERS
Summary: Civil. The Court of Appeals granted discretionary review to hear the appeal in this case that originated in District Court. The Circuit Court affirmed the District Court ruling. The District Court found that a father of deceased children had no right to recover from children’s estates upon application of KRS 391.033 and 411.137 (Mandy Jo’s Law). Issue is whether the court properly applied Kimbler v. Arms, 102 S.W. 3dd 517 (2003).
Pulaski County Circuit Court judge who ruled in the case – Judge David A. Tapp
Appellant’s attorney: Robert Norfleet
Appellee’s attorney: Bruce Bentley
1:45 PM 2008CA002114
TANYA A. CHILDERS v. SANDRA F. GEILE
Summary: Civil. Matter-of-right appeal. The trial court granted summary judgment in the case on a claim of outrageous conduct. Appeal involves whether outrage is available as a remedy when other tort recoveries are possible as a matter of law and whether an issue of material fact is presented.
Montgomery County judge who ruled in the case – Judge William B. Mains
Appellant’s attorneys: Heidi Engel, Charles Johnson and Anne McMillin
Appellee’s attorneys: Johann Herklotz and Kenneth Smith
Judge Denise G. Clayton
Judge Denise G. Clayton became the first black woman appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in October 2007. She represents Division 2 of the 4th Appellate District, which consists of Jefferson County.
Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Clayton was chief circuit judge for Jefferson County, where she had been a circuit judge for nearly seven years. She was the first black woman to be a Kentucky Circuit Court judge. She was also chief regional circuit judge for the Metro Region for several months before she was appointed to the Court of Appeals. Judge Clayton also previously served in Jefferson County as a judge for District Court, Family Court and Drug Court.
Judge Clayton began her legal career as an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service. She spent nine years in private practice and was the Legal Aid Society of Louisville’s associate director before becoming a Jefferson County District Court judge in 1996.
Judge Clayton graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. She earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.
She is the chairwoman for the Commission on Racial Fairness for Jefferson County’s courts and is a member of the Louisville Bar Association, Louisville Black Lawyers Association, Women Lawyers Association and Focus Louisville. She is also on the board of directors for the Coalition for the Homeless, Plymouth Community Renewal Center, Summerbridge, and Norton Hospital Foundation.
Among her awards, Judge Clayton has received the Public Advocate Award from the state’s Department of Public Advocacy, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Brandeis School of Law, the Alumni Achievement Award from Defiance College, the Community Service Award from the Optimist Club of Louisville, and the Champion for Children Award from Shawnee High School in Louisville.
Judge Clayton is married to Ronald Clayton and has two children.
Judge James H. Lambert
James H. Lambert was elected as judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve Division 2 of the 3rd Appellate District.
Judge Lambert holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. After admission to the Kentucky Bar in 1976, he entered private practice with Lambert & Lambert of Mount Vernon. He was elected Rockcastle County attorney in November 1981 and served in that capacity for three terms. He returned to full-time private practice in 1994.
Judge Lambert also served as trial commissioner for the Rockcastle County District Court from 2002 to 2005 and as an administrative law judge for the Kentucky State Department of Corrections.
Judge Lambert resides near Mount Vernon with his wife, Brenda. His daughter, Lora Lambert Boyd, also lives in Rockcastle County.
Judge Janet L. Stumbo
In 1989, Janet L. Stumbo became the first woman from the 7th Judicial District to be elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. At that time, she was only the second woman to serve on the Court of Appeals and the first woman to be elected without having first been appointed.
Judge Stumbo served four years with the Court of Appeals before being the first woman elected (again without having first been appointed) to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November 1993. She was re-elected to a full eight-year term on the Supreme Court in 1996. While a Supreme Court justice she served as chair of both the Civil Rules Committee and the Family Court Consortium, a statewide committee appointed by then-Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens to implement a pilot project for Family Court. The consortium’s work resulted in the enactment of an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution and legislation establishing Family Court in jurisdictions across the commonwealth.
In November 2006, two years after completing her Supreme Court tenure, Judge Stumbo was elected to the Court of Appeals for a second time to represent the 7th Appellate District. The 7th Appellate District is comprised of Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rowan and Wolfe counties.
Judge Stumbo earned her bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She began her legal career as a staff attorney to the late Judge Harris S. Howard of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. She entered private practice in 1982 with Turner, Hall & Stumbo PSC, where she focused on cases involving workers’ compensation, federal black lung claims, dissolution of marriage and personal injury.
She also served as assistant Floyd County attorney for three years and sat on the board of directors of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky from 1983 to 1989, serving as board chair from 1984 to 1989. Judge Stumbo became a partner in Stumbo, DeRossett & Pillersdorf in 1989, just before being elected to the Court of Appeals for the first time.
During her break from the bench from 2004 to 2006, she taught at the Appalachian School of Law and the University of Kentucky College of Law. She also taught a mock trial course for high schools students at Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth, a summer camp hosted by Western Kentucky University.
Judge Stumbo was inducted into the UK College of Law Alumni Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the Morehead State University Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1996 the Kentucky Bar Association for Women gave her its first Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, which recognizes professional excellence in the practice of law and efforts to open the field for other women. In 1995 the Women in State Government Network presented her with its Bull’s Eye Award. The Kentucky Women Advocates gave her its 1995 Outstanding Justice Award for her support of adopting gender fairness into state judicial language. In 1991 the Kentucky Women Advocates gave her its Justice Award for her use of spousal abuse evidence as grounds for setting aside a settlement in dissolution of marriage cases and for her support in creating a shelter for abused women in Floyd County.
Judge Stumbo is a native of Floyd County. She and her husband, attorney Ned Pillersdorf, have three daughters, Sarah, Nancee and Samantha.
Senior Judge Michael L. Henry
Judge Michael L. Henry is a senior judge assigned to the Court of Appeals. He has served as a senior judge since January 2007.
Judge Henry previously served as a Court of Appeals judge after being elected in 2004. He was a District Court judge for Pulaski and Rockcastle counties for 12 years. Judge Henry was an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Pulaski and Rockcastle counties from 1981 to 1984 and from 1989 until his appointment as district judge in 1992. He was a partner in the Somerset law firm of Ham and Henry from 1989 to 1992 and was an associate in a private law firm from 1981 to 1984. He served as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Kentucky after graduating from law school and was a staff attorney for the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1985.
Judge Henry is a member of the Kentucky and Pulaski County bar associations.
Judge Henry serves as a member of the Troop Committee for Troop 170 of the Boy Scouts of America in Somerset and as a member of the parish council for St. Mildred Church.
Judge Henry and his wife, Julie, have a daughter, Lauren, and a son, Christopher.
Kentucky Court of Appeals
Nearly all cases heard by the Kentucky 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. Cases are not retried in the Court of Appeals. Only the record of the original court trial is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision.
Fourteen judges, two elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel throughout the state to hear cases.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort supports the activities of 3,800 Kentucky Court of Justice employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC prepares a biennial budget draft and executes the Judicial Branch budget.