Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments Nov. 19 in Highland Heights
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in three civil cases on appeal from Bell, Clay and Pulaski counties when it convenes Friday, Nov. 19, in Highland Heights. Proceedings will begin at 11 a.m. EST at Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law in the Moot Courtroom. The courtroom is located in Nunn Hall 420. Proceedings will be open to the public.
A three-judge panel comprised of Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jeff S. Taylor, Court of Appeals Judge Michelle M. Keller and Senior Judge Joseph E. Lambert will hear the arguments.
A docket containing summaries of the cases is below.
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS DOCKET
Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
11 AM 2009CA000847
GWENDOLYN GOLDEN v. JOHN HOWARD GOLDEN
Summary: Civil. In this case on appeal from Bell County, the appellant argues that the trial court erred in ordering that her maintenance end. She argues that the parties agreed that she was to receive maintenance in lieu of her claim to the appellee’s retirement benefits.
Judge who ruled in the case – Senior Judge Roderick Messer
Appellant’s attorney: Martha Copeland
Appellee’s attorney: Stephen Cessna
1:30 PM 2009CA001915
FLOYD COUCH JR. v. JOSEPH W. LAYTON
Summary: Civil. At issue is whether the Circuit Court erred by refusing to enforce a contract between the appellant, Floyd Couch Jr., and the appellee, Joseph W. Layton, and by awarding damages to Layton for timber removed.
Clay County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Oscar G. House
Appellant’s attorneys: Floyd Couch Jr., Amanda Hill and Helena Racin
Appellee’s attorney: John Aubrey
2:15 PM 2009CA001266
NORMA JEAN BALES v. CHARLES E. HUGHES
Summary: Civil. At issue is whether the Circuit Court erred by determining that the appellee, Charles E. Hughes, acquired a property title through adverse possession.
Pulaski County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette
Appellant’s attorney: D. Orwin
Appellee’s attorney: John Adams
Chief Judge Jeff S. Taylor
Judge Taylor serves as chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He assumed the role in July 2010 after his colleagues on the court elected him to the position. The chief judge provides administrative oversight to the Court of Appeals.
Judge Taylor was first elected as a Court of Appeals judge in November 2003 to represent the 2nd Appellate District, which is comprised of Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Daviess, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, LaRue, Meade, Ohio, Union and Warren counties. He was re-elected in November 2006 to a full eight-year term.
He previously practiced law in Owensboro for more than 20 years and was a sole practitioner from 1990 until his election to the Court of Appeals.
Judge Taylor has a Bachelor of Science degree from Murray State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Memphis State University. He earned his law degree from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, graduating with honors in 1982. He is a 1971 graduate of Elizabethtown High School.
He serves on the Kentucky Bar Foundation Board of Directors and on the board of directors for the Daviess County Public Schools Foundation. He served on the Murray State University Board of Regents from September 2006 to September 2009.
He is a past president of the Kentucky chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He is also past president of the Daviess County Bar Association, Daviess County Public Defender Corp. and the Daviess County Lawyer Referral Service. He is a member of the American, Kentucky and Daviess County bar associations.
Judge Taylor is a Life Fellow in the Kentucky Bar Foundation and a member of the Brandeis Honor Society at the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.
Judge Taylor is a member of the Owensboro-Daviess County Chamber of Commerce, is past president of the Owensboro Kiwanis Club and serves on the Girls Inc. Board of Trustees. He is a former board member of the Owensboro-Daviess County Committee on Aging. He has been a frequent United Way volunteer and has been a volunteer for the Salvation Army and Boy Scouts Law Explorers.
Judge Taylor was born in Fort Knox and raised in Daviess County.
Judge Michelle M. Keller
Judge Michelle M. Keller was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve as judge for Division 1 of the 6th Appellate District. She also serves as the Court of Appeals representative on the Judicial Conduct Commission.
The 6th Appellate District is comprised of Bath, Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Fleming, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties.
Prior to her election, Judge Keller practiced with Arnzen, Wentz, Molloy, Laber & Storm PSC in Covington. Her extensive legal experience includes representing clients in the area of criminal defense and serving as an assistant county prosecutor. Her work in litigation includes family law, personal injury and medical-negligence defense. She is experienced in administrative law and served the Kentucky Personnel Board as a hearing officer. She now serves as a board chairwoman emeritus. She is a member of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges and has represented numerous clients before state regulatory and licensure boards. She is also an adjunct professor at Xavier University, where she teaches medical/legal research, writing and forensics.
Judge Keller has been a licensed registered nurse in Kentucky since 1982. While working as an RN in critical care, Judge Keller earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985 from Northern Kentucky University, where she received the Charlotte Schmidlapp Scholarship. Judge Keller attended the evening division of Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law while working full time. She was an Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts scholar during law school and received her juris doctor in 1990.
Judge Keller has served the Northern Kentucky Bar Association as chairwoman of the Women Lawyers Section and as a member of numerous committees. She represented the 16th Judicial Circuit on the Kentucky Bar Association’s former House of Delegates.
In addition to her professional service, Judge Keller has a strong commitment to public service. She is a former chairwoman and board member for the Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home. She is a founding and current member of the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Council and has served the interests of children in court as a guardian ad litem. Judge Keller also volunteers with the Women’s Crisis Center and her local church.
Judge Keller is a lifelong Kentuckian and the oldest of five children.
Senior Judge Joseph E. Lambert
Judge Joseph E. Lambert is a senior judge assigned to the Court of Appeals and is chief judge of Kentucky’s Senior Judges Program. He became a senior judge after retiring June 27, 2008, as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky.
Judge Lambert served 22 years as a Supreme Court justice and 10 years as chief justice. He was first elected to the Supreme Court in 1986 from the 27 southeastern Kentucky counties of the 3rd Supreme Court District. He was subsequently re-elected in 1994 and 2002. He became Kentucky’s fourth chief justice in October 1998 by a vote of his fellow justices and was re-elected to two additional four-year terms as chief justice in 2002 and in 2006.
During Judge Lambert’s 10-year tenure as chief justice, the Kentucky Court of Justice made great strides in Family Court, judicial facilities, court technology, Drug Court, judicial education, pretrial services and diversity awareness. In the last decade, Kentucky has earned a national reputation for Family Court, court facilities improvement, Drug Court and many other cutting-edge initiatives.
As a justice of the Supreme Court, Judge Lambert authored more than 400 published opinions of the Court and scores of dissenting and concurring opinions. In addition, he authored more than 500 memorandum opinions. He has been a frequent lecturer at bar conferences and has authored articles for publication in scholarly journals and the Kentucky Bar Association’s Bench and Bar magazine. He has also participated in numerous national legal education events as an invited speaker or panelist. As chief justice, he was an active member of the national Conference of Chief Justices and was elected to serve on its board of directors.
In 2000, the Kentucky Bar Association named him Outstanding Judge of Kentucky. He is a former board member of the Conference of Chief Justices and a former regent of Eastern Kentucky University. He serves as board chair of the Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement Plan.
The Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy gave Judge Lambert its Public Service Award in 2006. In 2004, he received the Civil Rights Award from both the Northern Kentucky NAACP and the Lexington NAACP for his commitment to eliminating discrimination. In 2003, he was awarded the Kentucky Bar Association President’s Special Service Award. He was given the Kentucky Public Advocate Award in 2001. In 2000, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals gave him its Leadership Award.
In October 2007, U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. appointed Chief Justice Lambert to membership on the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown (Ky.) College and a juris doctor from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, which gave him its Distinguished Alumni Award. He has received honorary doctor of laws degrees from Georgetown College, Eastern Kentucky University and Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law.
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.