Kentucky Court of Justice
Judicial Nominating Commission announces names of nominees for Supreme Court vacancy in 3rd District
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr., announced on Aug. 5 the three nominees to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat for the 3rd District, which is comprised of 27 counties in southcentral Kentucky. The Supreme Court seat was left vacant by former Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert, who retired June 27.
The two attorneys and one judge named as nominees to fill this vacancy are Robert W. Dyche III of London, Eddie C. Lovelace of Albany and Daniel J. Venters of Somerset.
The 3rd Supreme Court 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.
Robert W. Dyche III is a former Kentucky Court of Appeals judge who practices law in London. He was a Court of Appeals judge from 1986 to 2006 and a District Court judge for the 27th Judicial District, which consists of Laurel and Knox counties, from 1978 to 1986. As an attorney, his areas of practice include insurance defense, personal injury, Social Security for plaintiffs, real estate and criminal defense. He is a frequent speaker at continuing education seminars for judges and attorneys and is a former member of the Judicial Conduct Commission (2002-2006), the Kentucky Continuing Judicial Education Commission (1992-2006) and the Ethics Committee of the Kentucky Judiciary (1997-2002). He was admitted to practice law by the Kentucky Bar and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District, in 1975. He earned his juris doctor at the University of Kentucky College of Law, graduating in 1975. He has a bachelor’s degree from Centre College in Danville.
Eddie C. Lovelace has been a Circuit Court judge for the 40th Judicial Circuit since 1992. He was previously the commonwealth’s attorney for Clinton, Russell and Wayne counties from 1969 to 1992, county attorney for Clinton County from 1965 to 1969 and attorney for the city of Albany from 1961 to 1965. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1961 after graduating from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law with his juris doctor in 1959. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky.
Daniel J. Venters is a former Circuit Court and District Court judge who practices law as an attorney in Somerset, focusing on civil litigation. His areas of practice include real estate, contracts, insurance and probate. He has also represented clients in criminal and family law cases. He was a judge for the 28th Judicial Circuit, which consists of Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties, from 1984 to 2003. From 1979 to 1984, he served as a judge for the 28th Judicial District, which consists of Pulaski and Rockcastle counties. He served as assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties from 1975 to 1979. He was admitted to practice by the Kentucky Bar in 1975, the U.S. District Court – Eastern District – in 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 and the U.S. District Court – Western District – in 2004. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law, graduating in 1975. He has a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University.
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 the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Minton 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. Steve Beshear for review. The governor has 60 days to appoint a replacement, and his office makes the announcement.
The justice appointed by Gov. Beshear will serve until after a justice is elected to the 3rd Supreme Court District seat in November. The seat will be on the ballot for the November 2008 general election. Once the State Board of Elections certifies the election results, the elected justice will immediately be sworn into office. This justice will serve for the remainder of the term for the 3rd District seat, which ends in 2010. The seat will be on the ballot again in 2010.
The filing deadline for the November general election is Aug. 12.
Supreme Court of Kentucky
The Supreme Court is the state’s highest court and the final interpreter of state law. It consists of seven justices who are elected from the seven appellate districts and serve eight-year terms.