Kentucky Court of Justice
Court of Appeals to hear Lawson open records case and cases from Campbell, Fayette and Lincoln counties Dec. 12 in Lexington
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear arguments Monday, Dec. 12, in Lexington as road contractor Leonard Lawson challenges a court decision that gave news media access to a 1983 statement he made during a civil investigation of his former company Mountain Enterprises. The court will also hear civil cases on appeal from Campbell, Fayette and Lincoln counties. Proceedings are open to the public and will begin at 10 a.m. EST in Courtroom I on the fourth floor of the Robert F. Stephens Circuit Courthouse at 120 N. Limestone St.
Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ruled in January that the media was entitled to the statement Lawson provided to the Kentucky Attorney General’s office after he pleaded guilty to antitrust violations in 1983. Judge Wingate said in his ruling that Lawson had no expectation that the proffer would remain private since he had agreed to cooperate with law enforcement as part of the antitrust investigation.
A three-judge panel comprised of Court of Appeals Judges Glenn E. Acree, Michael Caperton and Laurance B. VanMeter will hear oral arguments in the Lawson appeal and the cases from Campbell and Lincoln counties. Judges Acree, Caperton and Senior Judge Joseph E. Lambert will hear arguments in the Fayette County case.
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.
To see more information on a case, such as the Court of Appeals step sheet for the case, input the case number on the Court of Appeals cases page – Court of Appeals cases.
MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2011
GGNSC STANFORD, LLC (D/B/A GOLDEN LIVING CENTER – STANFORD) ET AL. v ROBERT ROWE (AS CO ADMIN OF THE ESTATE OF DEBORAH ROWE) ET AL.
Summary: Civil. Arbitration/Guardianship. At issue is whether the Circuit Court erred in denying the appellant’s motion to dismiss the case in favor of arbitration. The court denied the motion on the ground that the decedent’s putative guardian lacked the authority to enter into the arbitration agreement on the decedent’s behalf. Judge Acree will preside.
Lincoln County judge who presided in the case – Judge David A. Tapp
Appellants’ attorney: Marcia Pearson
Appellees’ attorneys: Lisa Circeo and Robert Salyer
10:45 AM 2011-CA-000210
LEONARD LAWSON v OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ET AL.
Summary: Civil. Open Records. At issue is whether the 1983 proffer of evidence in the Office of Attorney General was subject to disclosure. Judge VanMeter will preside.
Franklin County judge who presided in the case – Judge Thomas D. Wingate
Appellant’s attorney: J. True
Appellees’ attorneys: Nicole Pang for the Office of the Attorney General and for Jack Conway in his capacity as Kentucky attorney general; Jon Fleischaker and Jeremy Rogers for the Courier-Journal.
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY (TRANSPORTATION CABINET, DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS) v THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (OF THE BELLEVUE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT)
THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (OF THE BELLEVUE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT) v COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY(TRANSPORTATION CABINET, DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS)
Summary: Civil. The commonwealth is appealing a judgment that prohibits it from enforcing the Billboard Act against one of its own political subdivisions. Also at issue is the judge’s ruling that a commercial lease constitutes a “government function” by a local school district. The school district is cross-appealing. The Kentucky Chapter of the American Planning Association and Scenic Kentucky have filed friend of the court briefs in the case. A friend of the court is a person or organization that is not a party to a case but volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it. Judge Caperton will preside.
Campbell County judge who presided in the case – Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward
Appellant’s attorney: Richard Deters
Appellee’s attorneys: Philip Taliaferro III, Robert Winter Jr. and Stephen Wolnitzek for the Board of Education
Attorneys for the Kentucky Chapter of The American Planning Association and Scenic Kentucky: Timothy Butler and Paul Whitty
THOMAS NORTON ET AL. v KENTUCKY HERITAGE COUNCIL ET AL.
MARTY PERRY, NATIONAL REGISTER COORD. FOR THE KY HERITAGE (COUNCIL AND THE STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE) ET AL. v THOMAS NORTON ET AL.
Summary: Civil. This appeal concerns attempts by Norton and others to protect property in Clark and Fayette counties from the efforts of the Kentucky Heritage Council and others to have the properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To see more information on a case, including all of the parties involved, input the case numbers on the Court of Appeals cases page – Court of Appeals cases. Judge Capterton will preside.
Fayette County judge who presided in the case – Judge James D. Ishmael
Attorney representing Thomas Norton: Carroll Redford III
Attorneys representing the Kentucky Heritage Council: Peggy Guier and Melany Taylor
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.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm for the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.