Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments in four cases Feb. 23 in Bardstown
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in four civil case appeals Monday, Feb. 23, at the Nelson County Justice Center in Bardstown. Proceedings are open to the public.
A three-judge panel consisting of Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sara Walter Combs and Court of Appeals Judges Michael Caperton and Denise G. Clayton will hear oral arguments starting at 10:30 a.m. in District Courtroom B of the justice center at 200 Nelson County Plaza. The cases are on appeal from courts in Jefferson and Shelby counties.
A docket containing summaries of the cases is below.
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009
10:30 AM 2007CA002545
WILLIAM PORTER ET AL. v. SHELBYVILLE CEMETERY COMPANY ET AL.
Summary: Civil. Appeal is from a lawsuit that was dismissed for lack of standing against a cemetery that was seeking to enforce compliance with its corporate charter and bylaws.
Shelby County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Charles R. Hickman
Appellants’ attorneys: Alan N. Linker, Donald T. Prather and Raymond R. Roelandt
Appellees’ attorneys: C. Gilmore Dutton III and Heather Marie Hardin
11:15 AM 2008CA000564
JOSEPH HARDESTY ET AL. v. SCOT-BILT HOMES, INC. ET AL.
Summary: Civil. Appeal regarding implied warranty of habitability.
Jefferson County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Judith E. McDonald Burkman
Appellants’ attorneys: George P. Parker, David B. Ratterman, Angela Richie Stephens and James C. Wade
Appellees’ attorneys: Gerald L. Stovall and Brian Andrew Veeneman
1:45 PM 2008CA000622
PINE TREE VILLA, LLC ET AL. v. CARLA OLSON
Summary: Civil. Appeal of trial court decision that denied appellant’s motion to enforce an alternative dispute resolution agreement. The agreement concerned a long-term care negligence claim.
Jefferson County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Martin F. McDonald
Appellants’ attorneys: Robert Y. Gwin and Marcia L. Pearson
Appellee’s attorney: Theodore L. Mussler Jr.
2:30 PM 2007CA002527
ANN PATMON ET AL. v. LANIER HOBBS
Summary: Civil. Appeal of trial court order regarding judgment against managing members of a limited liability corporation pursuant to KRS 275.170. Issue is one of first impression (no existing published opinions on the issue in Kentucky) concerning what constitutes a diverted opportunity for fiduciary duty purposes.
Jefferson County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Mitchell Perry
Appellant’s attorneys: Chadwick Aaron McTighe and Ian T. Ramsey
Appellee’s attorneys: F. Larkin Fore and Sarah Fore Whittle
Chief Judge Sara Walter Combs
Sara Walter Combs became 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 assumed the role in June 2004 after her colleagues on the court voted unanimously to elect her to the position as chief judge, which provides administrative oversight to the Court of Appeals. Judge Combs began her second four-year term as chief judge in May 2008 after being re-elected to the position by her fellow Court of Appeals judges.
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.
She represents Division 2 of the 7th Appellate District, which is comprised of Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rowan and Wolfe counties.
Judge Combs ranked second in her class at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, which later honored her with its Distinguished Alumni Award. She was valedictorian at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville and at 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, Lees College and the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival. She previously served for seven years on the Kentucky Appalachian Commission.
Judge Combs resides at Fern Hill in Stanton, the farm she shared with her late husband, Gov. Bert T. Combs.
Judge Michael Caperton
Judge Michael Caperton was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Nov. 6, 2007, and represents Division 1 of the 3rd Appellate District. The 3rd Appellate District is comprised of Adair, Bell, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Estill, Garrard, Green, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Lincoln, Marion, McCreary, Metcalfe, Monroe, Nelson, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Taylor, Washington, Wayne and Whitley counties.
Prior to his election to the Court of Appeals, Judge Caperton served 14 years as a District Court judge for the 27th Judicial District, which consists of Knox and Laurel counties. He was elected district judge in 1994 and served until he was sworn in as Court of Appeals judge in December 2007.
Judge Caperton is a native of Laurel County, where he has resided most of his life. After graduating from Transylvania University in 1977, Judge Caperton earned a teaching certificate from Cumberland College in biology and chemistry. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1987.
Judge Caperton has two teenage daughters.
Judge Denise G. Clayton
Judge Denise G. Clayton became the first black woman appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in October 2007. She represents Division 2 of the 4th Appellate District, which consists of Jefferson County.
Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Clayton was chief circuit judge for Jefferson County, where she had been a circuit judge for nearly seven years. She was the first black woman to be a Kentucky Circuit Court judge. She was also chief regional circuit judge for the Metro Region for several months before she was appointed to the Court of Appeals. Judge Clayton also previously served in Jefferson County as a judge for District Court, Family Court and Drug Court.
Judge Clayton began her legal career as an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service. She spent nine years in private practice and was the Legal Aid Society of Louisville’s associate director before becoming a Jefferson County District Court judge in 1996.
Judge Clayton graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. She earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.
She is the chairwoman for the Commission on Racial Fairness for Jefferson County’s courts and is a member of the Louisville Bar Association, Louisville Black Lawyers Association, Women Lawyers Association and Focus Louisville. She is also on the board of directors for the Coalition for the Homeless, Plymouth Community Renewal Center, Summerbridge, and Norton Hospital Foundation.
Among her awards, Judge Clayton has received the Public Advocate Award from the state’s Department of Public Advocacy, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Brandeis School of Law, the Alumni Achievement Award from Defiance College, the Community Service Award from the Optimist Club of Louisville, and the Champion for Children Award from Shawnee High School in Louisville.
Judge Clayton is married to Ronald Clayton and has two children.
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.
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort supports the activities of 4,000 Kentucky Court of Justice employees, including the elected offices of 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.