Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments June 19 and 23 in Bowling Green
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in two civil case appeals Friday, June 19, and four civil case appeals Tuesday, June 23, at the Warren County Judicial Center in Bowling Green. The cases are on appeal from Christian, Floyd, Henderson, Lee and Warren counties. Proceedings are open to the public.
A three-judge panel consisting of Court of Appeals Judges Glenn E. Acree and Donna L. Dixon and Senior Judge John W. Graves will hear oral arguments starting at 10:45 a.m. CDT June 19. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sara W. Combs, Court of Appeals Judge Kelly Thompson and Senior Judge David C. Buckingham will hear oral arguments starting at 11 a.m. CDT June 23. Proceedings on both days will take place in Circuit Courtroom C on the fourth floor of the judicial center at 1001 Center St. in Bowling Green.
A docket containing summaries of the cases is below.
BOWLING GREEN DOCKET
Times are in Central Daylight Time
Friday, June 19, 2009
10:45 AM 2007CA002432
HIGHLANDS HOSPITAL CORPORATION v. LONNA CASTLE
Summary: Civil. Appeal regarding employment law. At issue is whether, in the wrongful termination case brought under KRS 216B.165, the trial court properly allowed the jury to award punitive damages and front pay, erred by denying a new trial and made erroneous evidentiary rulings.
Floyd County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Eddy Coleman
Appellant’s attorneys: Kimbley Kearney, Stacy Miller and Donald Wagner
Appellee’s attorneys: Earl McGuire and Robert Rowe Jr.
11:30 AM 2008CA000676
EAGLE CLIFF RESORT, LLC v. KHBBJB, LLC
Summary: Civil; foreclosure. At issue is whether the trial court failed to protect the appellant’s right of redemption, whether the property’s appraisal was defective and whether the judgment was sustained by substantial evidence.
Lee County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Thomas P. Jones
Appellant’s attorneys: David Cohen and Robert Maclin III
Appellee’s attorneys: Huston Combs and B. Graham
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
11 AM 2008CA000262
JOSEPH B. ROBERTS v. MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC.
Summary: Civil. Case appeal involves priority of liens.
Henderson County judge who ruled in the case – Senior Judge Stephen A. Hayden
Appellant’s attorney: Kenneth Kasacavage
Appellee’s attorneys: Trent Apple and Jeffrey Kibbey
11:45 AM 2008CA000531
COLLINS FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. v. SHEILA JOHNSON
Summary: Civil. Case appeal involves attorney fees.
Warren County judge who ruled in the case – Judge John R. Grise
Appellant’s attorneys: Lloyd McDaniel and William Stinnett
Appellee’s attorney: Nancy Roberts
1:30 PM 2008CA001089
CRAIG WEST v. LEVEE LIFT, INC., ET AL.
JAMES BUTLER v. LEVEE LIFT, INC., ET AL.
Summary: Civil. Appellants were injured by an intoxicated driver employed by the appellee. Appellants received verdicts against the driver but the jury did not find the driver’s employer liable. The appellants argue that the verdict was the result of the trial court refusing to give a proper jury instruction. Appellants also argue that the trial court made other errors.
Christian County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Andrew Self
Appellant Craig West’s attorney: Daniel Thomas
Appellant James Butler’s attorney: Sands M. Chewning
Appellee Levee Lift’s attorneys: Wendell Rorie and John Walters
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 Glenn E. Acree
Judge Glenn E. Acree was elected judge for the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve Division 2 of the 5th Appellate District. He was appointed to that position in August 2006 to fill a vacancy created when Judge Julia K. Tackett retired June 30, 2006.
The 5th Appellate District is comprised of Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Scott and Woodford counties.
Judge Acree resides in Lexington, where he has had a solo practice since 1997. Prior to 1997, he practiced law with Stidham & Acree from 1996 to 1997; with Thomas, Stidham & Acree from 1994 to 1996; and with McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland from 1985 to 1994.
Before his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Acree handled litigation and appeals in the areas of criminal law, administrative law, employment discrimination, civil procedure, insurance law, domestic relations, environmental law and construction law.
Judge Acree has a bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from the University of Kentucky. He also earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland.
He is married to the former Lisa T. Hahn of Versailles. He has two sons, Matt and Taylor.
Judge Donna L. Dixon
Judge Donna 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 Kelly Thompson
Judge Kelly Thompson was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006. He represents Division 2 of the 2nd Appellate District, which is comprised of Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Daviess, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, LaRue, Meade, Ohio, Union and Warren counties.
Judge Thompson practiced law in Bowling Green from 1974 until his election in 2006. He was the chief public advocate for the 8th Judicial District from 1976 to 1999, and he twice served on the board of directors for the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association. He was chief trial counsel for the Kentucky Department of Highways in Hardin County from 1972 to 1973 and served as law clerk for the Kentucky Court of Appeals from 1973 to 1974.
Judge Thompson graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1972.
Judge Thompson has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Board of Claims and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has successful appellate experience in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Kentucky and the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He is a recipient of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Donated Legal Services Recognition Award. He has been certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, which is accredited by the American Bar Association to certify lawyers in civil, criminal and family law trial advocacy. Judge Thompson has also served as a board member for numerous civic organizations in Warren County.
Judge Thompson was born in 1948 and is a Warren County native. He is married to the former Victoria Golden. He has one daughter, Elizabeth, and three grandchildren.
Senior Judge David C. Buckingham
Senior Judge David C. Buckingham has been a senior judge assigned to the Court of Appeals since 2006.
He was previously a Court of Appeals judge for nearly 10 years, serving from December 1996 to May 2006. From 1987 until he was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1996, Judge Buckingham served as a Circuit Court judge. He was a District Court judge from 1982 to 1986.
Prior to his judicial career, Judge Buckingham served as an assistant county attorney.
Judge Buckingham, who is a Murray native, graduated from Murray State University and earned his juris doctor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.
Judge Buckingham and his wife, Dianne Lee Buckingham, have one son, Tyler.
Senior Judge John W. Graves
John W. Graves of Paducah is a senior judge assigned to the Court of Appeals. He became a senior judge after retiring as a Supreme Court justice in December 2006.
Judge Graves was elected to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November 1995 and re-elected for a second term in 1998. He served as a circuit judge after being appointed in 1989 and as a district judge after he was appointed in 1984.
Prior to his judicial career, Judge Graves was an attorney in private practice for 20 years.
Judge Graves earned his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Judge Graves and his wife, Mary Ann, have two children, James Anthony and Kevin Andrew.
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 3,800 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.