FRANKFORT, Ky., Jan. 7, 2005 - The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert, met today at the Jefferson County Judicial Center in Louisville to choose nominees to replace Family Court Judge Kathleen Voor Montano, who was elected in November to a Circuit Court seat in Jefferson County. The Family Court judgeship serves the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 18. Three attorneys were named as nominees to fill this judicial vacancy: Paula Sherlock, Olu Stevens and Bill Tingley.
Paula Sherlock resides in Prospect and is currently practicing law with Fernandez Friedman Grossman Kohn & Son PLLC in Louisville where she focuses on family law. Sherlock earned a juris doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law, a master's in education from Campbell University and a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Northern Colorado.
Olu Stevens, a Louisville resident, holds a juris doctor from George Washington University Law School and a bachelor's degree from Morehouse College. He currently has a general civil practice with a concentration in family and personal injury law.
Bill Tingley earned a juris doctor from Capital University Law School and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Asbury College. He resides in Louisville and practices in the Division of Child Support in the Jefferson County Attorney's Office.
Judicial Nominating Process
When a judicial vacancy occurs, the executive secretary of the Judicial Nominating Commission publishes a notice of vacancy in the judicial circuit or the judicial district affected.Attorneys can recommend someone or nominate themselves. The names of the applicants are not released. Once nominations occur, the individuals interested in the position return a questionnaire to the Office of Chief Justice. Chief Justice Lambert then meets with the Judicial Nominating Commission to choose three nominees. A letter naming the three nominees is sent to Gov. Ernie Fletcher for review. When the governor appoints a replacement, his office makes the announcement.
Family Court provides one judge to hear all of a family’s issues relating to divorce, child custody, adoption, termination of parental rights, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect. Because Family Court is devoted exclusively to cases involving families and children, they do not compete for court time with criminal and other civil cases. Family Court is a division of Circuit Court, Kentucky's highest trial court level, and employs full-time judges with the same qualifications as those who serve other divisions of Circuit Court. With passage of an amendment in the 2002 general election, Family Court is a permanent part of the Kentucky Constitution and serves more than 2 million Kentuckians in 43 counties.