Kentucky Court of Justice
Judicial Nominating Commission releases names of nominees to fill 2 vacant Circuit Court judgeships in Franklin County
The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert, met today in the Supreme Court Conference Room at the State Capitol to choose nominees to replace Circuit Judge Roger L. Crittenden and Circuit Judge William L. Graham.
Judge Crittenden, who serves the 48th Judicial Circuit (Franklin County), Division 1, has announced that he will retire effective June 15, 2006. Judge Graham, who serves Division 2 of the 48th Judicial Circuit, has announced his retirement effective June 30, 2006.
The Judicial Nominating Commission nominated three individuals to fill the two vacancies: Attorney James E. Boyd, attorney Wendy A. Craig and Franklin County District Judge Thomas D. Wingate.
Attorney James E. Boyd
Boyd is an attorney who has practiced law for 32 years. His legal career focused on personal injury cases, auto accidents, family law, real estate, criminal defense, probate and environmental law. He served as Franklin County attorney from 1982 to 2005. Boyd earned a juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law and a bachelor's degree from Morehead State University. He resides in Frankfort.
Attorney Wendy A. Craig
Craig resides in Frankfort and practices law in London, Ky., where she serves the Trial Division of the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. She previously worked with the Kentucky Parole Board, the Kentucky Department of Insurance and the Arnold & Cowan law firm of Lexington, Ky. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and a juris doctor from the University of Louisville School of Law.
Judge Thomas D. Wingate
Judge Wingate resides and works in Franklin County where he has served as a district judge since 1999. Prior to assuming the bench, he focused on environmental law as legal counsel to the Department of Surface Mining of the National Resources and Protection Cabinet. He graduated from Kentucky State University with a bachelor's degree and from the University of Kentucky College of Law with a juris doctor.
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. Because the Kentucky Constitution requires that three names be submitted to the governor, in some cases the commission submits an attorney's name even though the attorney did not apply. 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.
Circuit Court is the court of general jurisdiction which hears civil matters involving more than $4,000, capital offenses and felonies, divorces, adoptions, termination of parental rights, land dispute title cases and contested probate cases. Family Court is a division of Circuit Court. The Administrative Office of the Courts is the operational arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice and supports the activities of more than 3,500 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks. The AOC provides training and education to the state’s judges.