Kentucky Court of Justice
Judicial Nominating Commission announces names of nominees for vacant circuit and district judgeships in Fayette County
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr., announced on Aug. 6 the three nominees to fill the vacant circuit judgeship for the 22nd Judicial Circuit, Division 7, and the three nominees to fill the vacant district judgeship for the 22nd Judicial District, Division 4, both of which serve Fayette County.
The three attorneys named as nominees to fill the circuit vacancy are Michael Preston Farmer, Thomas Harold Glover and Ernesto Mario Scorsone, all of Lexington.
The Circuit Court judgeship was left vacant when Judge Sheila R. Isaac retired as of June 3.
The three attorneys named as nominees to fill the district vacancy are Kimberly Henderson Baird, Elizabeth (Julie) Muth Goodman and Sarah (Sally) Louisa Manning, all of Lexington.
The District Court judgeship was left vacant when Judge David F. Hayse retired as of June 2.
Nominees for the Circuit judgeship
Michael Preston Farmer practices law as a solo practitioner in Lexington, focusing on civil litigation. He specializes in insurance defense, personal injury, banking law and employment law. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1990 and has been a practicing attorney for 18 years. He earned his juris doctor at Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich., graduating in 1990. He has a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky.
Thomas Harold Glover has been an attorney for 28 years and practices with the law firm of Webb, Hoskins, Glover & Thompson PSC in Lexington. He specializes in construction law and arbitration, contract/commercial lease disputes and mediation, plaintiff’s personal injury litigation, fidelity and surety law, franchise law and administrative law. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1975 after obtaining his juris doctor from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law that year. He has a bachelor’s degree from Peabody College in Nashville. Tenn.
Ernesto Mario Scorsone is a Kentucky senator who has been a practicing attorney for 32 years. Since 1996, his focus has been criminal law. He has been a Kentucky legislator for approximately 24 years, with the years evenly split between the Kentucky Senate and the House of Representatives. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1976 after obtaining his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law that year. He also has been admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court and the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UK.
Nominees for the District judgeship
Kimberly Henderson Baird is an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Fayette County, a position she has held since 1996. She is a member of the National Bar Association. She was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1996 after obtaining her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law that year. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UK.
Elizabeth (Julie) Muth Goodman is a solo practitioner in private practice in Lexington and has been an attorney for 28 years. She was previously an attorney for the United States Equestrian Federation Inc. (2004-2007), several private firms and was an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Fayette County (1993-1994). She is also a former Kentucky assistant attorney general. She was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1980 after obtaining her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law that year. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and New York Bar Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University.
Sarah (Sally) Louisa Manning has been a prosecutor for 25 years. She recently left the Fayette County Attorney's Office, where she had worked since 1994. She previously was an attorney with the Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office (1985-1993) and the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office in Marietta, Ga. (1983-1984). She was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1984 after obtaining her juris doctor from Cumberland School of Law of Samford University in Alabama. She is also a member of the Georgia Bar Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in Alabama.
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.
Makeup of the Judicial Nominating Commission
The Judicial Nominating Commission is established in the Kentucky Constitution. Ky. Const. § 118; SCR 6.000, et. Seq. The commission has seven members. The membership is comprised of the chief justice of Kentucky (who also serves as chair), two lawyers elected by all the lawyers in their circuit/district and four Kentucky citizens who are appointed by the governor. The four citizens appointed by the governor must equally represent the two major political parties, so two must be Democrats and two must be Republicans. It is the responsibility of the commission to submit a list of three names to the governor and the governor must appoint a judge from this list of three.
The Circuit Court judge and District Court judge appointed by Gov. Beshear will serve until after judges are elected to those seats in November. The circuit and district judgeships for the 22nd Circuit, Division 7, and the 22nd District, Division 4, will be on the ballot for the November 2008 general election. Once the State Board of Elections certifies the election results, the elected judges will immediately be sworn into office. The elected judges will serve for the remainder of the terms for the circuit and district judgeships. The seats will be on the ballot again at the conclusion of the terms, which is 2014 for the circuit judgeship and 2010 for the district judgeship.
The filing deadline for the November general election is Aug. 12. Candidate filing procedures and the election calendar are available on the Office of Secretary of State Web site at www.sos.ky.gov/elections/procedures.htm.
Circuit Court is the court of general jurisdiction that 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.
District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction which hears civil cases involving $4,000 or less, juvenile matters, city and county ordinances, misdemeanors and cases relating to domestic violence and abuse, guardianships for disabled people, traffic offenses, small claims, probate of wills and felony preliminary hearings.
Administrative Office of the Courts
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.