Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments Nov. 5 in Bowling Green
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in civil cases on appeal from Crittenden and Union counties when it convenes Friday, Nov. 5, in Bowling Green. Proceedings will begin at 2:30 p.m. CDT in Courtroom C on the fourth floor of the Warren County Judicial Center, 1001 Center St. Proceedings will be open to the public.
A three-judge panel comprised of Court of Appeals Judges Sara Walter Combs and Donna L. Dixon and Senior Judge Sheila Isaac will hear the arguments.
A docket containing summaries of the cases is below.
BOWLING GREEN DOCKET
Friday, Nov. 5, 2010
2:30 PM 2009CA001673
CRITTENDEN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION v. FREDRICKA HARGIS
Summary: Civil. In this interlocutory appeal from the Crittenden County Board of Education, the board appeals the trial court’s denial of its motion for summary judgment. The appeal is based on the affirmative defenses of governmental and 11th Amendment immunity.
Judge who ruled in the case – Senior Judge Stephen A. Hayden
Appellant’s attorneys: Grant Chenoweth and Robert Chenoweth
Appellee’s attorney: Jennifer Sacharnoski
3:15 PM 2010CA000627
EVERETT H. CARDWELL JR. v. NICOLE G. CARDWELL
Summary: Civil. The appellant is appealing the trial court’s decision to award only the appellee gifts from her father in a dissolution of marriage case.
Union County judge who ruled in the case – Judge William E. Mitchell
Appellant’s attorney: William Norment Jr.
Appellee’s attorney: Rebecca Johnson
Judge Sara Walter Combs
Judge Combs was the first woman and the first judge from the Eastern Kentucky counties of the 7th Appellate District to serve as chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. She served in that role from June 2004 until May 2010.
Judge Combs also made history by being the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of Kentucky when then Gov. Brereton Jones appointed her to serve on the state’s highest court in l993. After she narrowly lost her election to retain that seat on the Supreme Court, Gov. Jones appointed her to fill a vacancy on the Court of Appeals in 1994. She was elected to the court in November 1994 and re-elected in 2000 and again in 2006.
The Kentucky Bar Association named Judge Combs as Outstanding Judge of the Year in June 2010.
Judge Combs ranked second in her class at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, which later honored her with a Distinguished Alumni Award. She was valedictorian at both Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville and U of L, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in French. She also earned her master’s degree in French from U of L, having been recognized as a Woodrow Wilson Designate.
Judge Combs has taught at the high school and university levels in addition to gaining broad experience in the practice of law. She began her career as an associate with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs in Louisville before serving as corporate counsel to an advertising company. She also practiced law with her late husband, former Kentucky Gov. Bert T. Combs; established a solo practice in Stanton; and became a regional associate with the Louisville law firm of Mapother & Mapother.
She is affiliated with numerous professional, educational and civic organizations. She is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Louisville Bar Association and the University Press of Kentucky. She also serves on the boards of Pikeville College and Lees College. She previously served for seven years on the Kentucky Appalachian Commission.
Judge Combs currently resides at Fern Hill in Stanton, the farm she shared with her late husband, Gov. Bert T. Combs.
Judge Donna L. Dixon
Judge Dixon was appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in July 2006 to represent the 1st Appellate District, Division 2. She was subsequently elected to the court in November 2007.
The 1st Appellate District is comprised of Allen, Ballard, Butler, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Edmonson, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Hopkins, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken, McLean, Muhlenberg, Simpson, Todd, Trigg and Webster counties.
Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Dixon served as a McCracken County district judge for more than 10 years. She began her legal career as a staff attorney for Judge J. William Howerton during his tenure as chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. She also was an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for McCracken County and spent several years in private practice.
Judge Dixon graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Murray State University and cum laude with a juris doctor degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Judge Dixon previously served as president of the Paducah-McCracken County United Way, the McCracken County Young Lawyers Association and the Leadership Paducah Alumni Association. She has also served on the boards of the Paducah Rotary Club, the Childwatch Children’s Advocacy Center, the Paducah Rape Crisis Center and the McCracken County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Council.
Judge Dixon is a native of Western Kentucky and resides in Paducah with her husband, Tom Osborne, and their three children, Keaton, Maya and Hope. She is a member of First Baptist Church of Paducah.
Judge Sheila Isaac
Judge Isaac is a senior judge assigned to the Court of Appeals. She has served as a senior judge since 2008.
Prior to joining the Senior Judges Program, Judge Isaac served on the Fayette County bench as a Circuit Court judge for 12 years and as a District Court judge for nine years. She was appointed by the chief justice of Kentucky to serve as chief judge of Fayette County Circuit Court from 2004 to 2008. She previously was an assistant county attorney for the Fayette County Attorney’s Office and a domestic relations commissioner for Fayette County Circuit Court. She also maintained a private law practice.
She earned her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law, graduating in 1977.
Judge Isaac previously served on the Domestic Violence Prevention Board, the Lexington Crime Commission and the Lexington Law Enforcement Advisory Board.
Judge Isaac is married to former judge Lewis Paisley. Their family includes his two children, Katherine and Franklin, and her daughter, Whitney.
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 approximately 3,400 court system employees and 403 elected 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.