Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Aug. 18 in Hopkinsville
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in four cases Monday, Aug. 18, at the Christian County Justice Center in Hopkinsville. Proceedings will be open to the public.
A three-judge panel consisting of Court of Appeals Judges Joy A. Moore, Christopher Shea Nickell and Janet L. Stumbo will hear oral arguments in the cases starting at 10 a.m. CDT in District Courtroom 3 at the justice center, which is located at 100 Justice Way.
The panel will hear oral arguments in two civil cases, one criminal case and a workers’ compensation case. The cases are on appeal from courts in Simpson, Hardin and Union counties.
A case docket containing summaries of the cases the panel will hear is below.
Monday, Aug. 18, 2008
10 AM 2006CA002042
CHRISTOPHER HUFF v. RALPH KEPLEY ET AL.
Summary: Civil. Appeal from dismissal per CR 41.02. At issue is whether the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing a personal injury case for lack of prosecution.
Simpson County judge who ruled in the case – Judge William R. Harris
Appellant’s attorneys: Trent Cotton Apple and Jeffrey W. Kibbey
Appellees’ attorneys: Amanda L. Blakeman, Melanie Kennedy Cook and Barton D. Darrell
10:45 AM 2007CA002289
DAVID BEST v. WEST AMERICAN INSURANCE CO.
Summary: Civil. Appeal regarding trial court’s entry of summary judgment for defendant. Case involves an insurance claim on an auto insurance policy and whether repossession of a vehicle for an alleged breach of sales contract is covered as theft.
Hardin County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Kelly Mark Easton
Appellant’s attorney: Robert C. Bishop
Appellee’s attorney: Marvin L. Coan
11:30 AM 2008CA000709
R.O. GILES ENTERPRISES INC. v. ROGER L. MILLS (DECEASED)/LINDA S.
MILLS (WIDOW) ET AL.
Summary: Workers’ compensation. Case regarding whether a landowner can be subjected to workers’ compensation liability under KRS 342.610(2)(a) when the landowner has an agreement for a party to remove and purchase timber from the landowner’s property and an employee of the party is killed while removing timber.
Judge who ruled in the case – Judge John A. Gardner
Appellant’s attorney: James R. Golden
Appellees’ attorneys: John E. Anderson, Dwight T. Lovan, Howard Oliver Mann, Patrick M. Roth, Donna H. Terry
2 PM 2007CA002033
LESLIE PRIDE v. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
Summary: Criminal. Matter-of-right direct appeal from conditional guilty plea. Issues are failure to suppress evidence obtained pursuant to search warrant. Did affidavit contain false or misleading information?
Union County judge who ruled in the case – Judge C. René Williams
Appellant’s attorney: Herbert R. Redding
Appellee’s attorneys: David W. Barr and Jack Conway
Judge Joy A. Moore
Judge Joy A. Moore was elected judge for the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve Division 2 of the 6th Appellate District. The 6th Appellate District is comprised of Bath, Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Fleming, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties.
Judge Moore served six years as chief law clerk for William O. Bertelsman, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. She also served as staff attorney to Kentucky Court of Appeals Judges Daniel T. Guidugli and Robert W. Dyche III. As a practitioner, Judge Moore specialized in civil rights defense work in the litigation department of Adams, Stepner, Woltermann & Dusing PLLC in Covington and practiced general litigation law with Hoffman, Hoffman & Grubbs in Elsmere.
Judge Moore graduated magna cum laude from Morehead State University, where she also earned a master’s degree and a Rank I teaching certificate. After teaching special education for seven years in Grant and Pendleton county schools, Judge Moore earned her juris doctor from the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law. She ranked No. 1 in her law school class, graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Northern Kentucky Law Review. She received numerous scholarships and awards for academic achievement, including the Chase Excellence Scholarship.
Judge Moore is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Northern Kentucky Bar Association and the Salmon P. Chase Inn of Court. She serves on the St. Elizabeth Hospice Committee and the Executive Committee of Every Child Succeeds. She is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Northern Kentucky and serves on its Government Committee. She is a former member of Vision 2015, a 10-year strategic plan developed by Northern Kentucky citizens for economic growth, as well as the Kentucky Personnel Board, the Governor’s Postsecondary Education Nominating Commission and the board of the Boone County Court Appointed Special Advocates. She is a member of Florence Baptist Church, where she previously served on the Women’s Council.
Judge Moore grew up in Menifee County and resides in Boone County with her husband, Gary W. Moore. They have two children, Brandi Moore List and Scott Moore.
Judge Christopher Shea Nickell
Judge Christopher Shea Nickell was elected to serve on the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 and represents Division 1 of the 1st Appellate District. 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 his election, Judge Nickell practiced law for 22 years, serving as a trial attorney, prosecutor, public defender and college instructor. From 2002 until his election to the Court of Appeals, he served as assistant McCracken County attorney.
Judge Nickell served as assistant public advocate in Graves County from 1999 to 2000 through the Department of Public Advocacy’s Paducah trial office. In 1997, he established Nickell Law Firm in Paducah. He was previously associated with the law office of Truman L. Dehner in Morehead and two Paducah law firms, Boehl, Stopher & Graves LLP and the Saladino Law Firm. From 1985 to 1986, Judge Nickell served as assistant commonwealth’s attorney for the 21st Judicial District, which is comprised of Bath, Menifee, Montgomery and Rowan counties. In addition, he has taught courses on insurance and risk management at Murray State University and on jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In 1995, the Kentucky Bar Association named Judge Nickell an Outstanding Kentucky Young Lawyer.
A native and resident of McCracken County, Judge Nickell graduated from Paducah Tilghman High School in 1977. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University in 1981, majoring in both political science and communications. At DePauw, he served as student body president and was the recipient of the Walker Cup, which faculty present annually to the graduating senior who has contributed most to the campus community. He subsequently served on the DePauw Board of Trustees. Judge Nickell earned his juris doctor degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1984, where he served as president of the student bar association.
Judge Nickell served as district governor for District 43K of the International Association of Lions Clubs and as president of the Paducah Lions Club. He is a recipient of the organization’s Finis Davis and Melvin Jones awards and is a trustee on the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation. He is an Eagle Scout and a board member for the Shawnee Trails Boy Scout Council. He has been involved in numerous other civic organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, Elks Club, Masons, Habitat for Humanity, Ducks Unlimited, and National Wild Turkey Federation.
Judge Nickell is a deacon and adult Sunday school teacher at the Heartland Worship Center (Southern Baptist) in Paducah. He previously served as music director at Concord United Methodist Church in Paducah and is a member of Gideons International.
Judge Nickell was married to the late Lana Jean “Jeanne” (King) Nickell, a schoolteacher, administrator and counselor who died in 2001. He is the son of Carl Duane “Red” Nickell and Anna June (Starrett) Nickell, who are retired educators.
Judge Janet L. Stumbo
In 1989, Janet L. Stumbo became the first woman from the 7th Judicial District to be elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. At that time, she was only the second woman to serve on the Court of Appeals and the first woman to be elected without having first been appointed.
Judge Stumbo served four years with the Court of Appeals before being the first woman elected (again without having first been appointed) to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November 1993. She was re-elected to a full eight-year term on the Supreme Court in 1996. While a Supreme Court justice she served as chair of both the Civil Rules Committee and the Family Court Consortium, a statewide committee appointed by then-Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens to implement a pilot project for Family Court. The consortium’s work resulted in the enactment of an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution and legislation establishing Family Court in jurisdictions across the commonwealth.
In November 2006, two years after completing her Supreme Court tenure, Judge Stumbo was elected to the Court of Appeals for a second time to represent the 7th Appellate District. The 7th Appellate District 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 Stumbo earned her bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She began her legal career as a staff attorney to the late Judge Harris S. Howard of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. She entered private practice in 1982 with Turner, Hall & Stumbo PSC, where she focused on cases involving workers’ compensation, federal black lung claims, dissolution of marriage and personal injury.
She also served as assistant Floyd County attorney for three years and sat on the board of directors of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky from 1983 to 1989, serving as board chair from 1984 to 1989. Judge Stumbo became a partner in Stumbo, DeRossett & Pillersdorf in 1989, just before being elected to the Court of Appeals for the first time.
During her break from the bench from 2004 to 2006, she taught at the Appalachian School of Law and the University of Kentucky College of Law. She also taught a mock trial course for high schools students at Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth, a summer camp hosted by Western Kentucky University.
Judge Stumbo was inducted into the UK College of Law Alumni Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the Morehead State University Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1996 the Kentucky Bar Association for Women gave her its first Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, which recognizes professional excellence in the practice of law and efforts to open the field for other women. In 1995 the Women in State Government Network presented her with its Bull’s Eye Award. The Kentucky Women Advocates gave her its 1995 Outstanding Justice Award for her support of adopting gender fairness into state judicial language. In 1991 the Kentucky Women Advocates gave her its Justice Award for her use of spousal abuse evidence as grounds for setting aside a settlement in dissolution of marriage cases and for her support in creating a shelter for abused women in Floyd County.
Judge Stumbo is a native of Floyd County. She and her husband, attorney Ned Pillersdorf, have three daughters, Sarah, Nancee and Samantha.
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.