Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Sept. 3 in London
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in one case Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the Laurel County Judicial Annex No. 2 in London. Proceedings will be open to the public.
A three-judge panel consisting of Court of Appeals Judges Michael Caperton, Michelle M. Keller and Christopher Shea Nickell will hear oral arguments in Home Quality Management Inc. Et Al. v. Brenda Stamper Et Al. starting at 11:45 a.m. in the Circuit Courtroom on the second floor of the judicial annex at 103 S. Broad St. The case is on appeal from Pike County Circuit Court.
A case docket containing a summary of the case is below.
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008
11:45 AM 2007CA001826
HOME QUALITY MANAGEMENT INC. ET AL. v. BRENDA STAMPER ET AL.
Summary: Civil. Nursing home is appealing court’s denial of motion to dismiss case filed against it and failure to enforce arbitration clause in wrongful death case. Issues include validity and enforceability of arbitration clause in admission forms.
Pike County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Eddy Coleman
Appellants’ attorneys: Philip Martin and Kimberly Sue May-Downey
Appellees’ attorneys: Richard E. Circeo, H. Michael Lucas and Deborah Kay Riordan
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 Michelle M. Keller
Judge Michelle M. Keller was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve as judge for Division 1 of the 6th Appellate District. She also serves as the Court of Appeals representative on the Judicial Conduct Commission.
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.
Prior to her election, Judge Keller practiced with Arnzen, Wentz, Molloy, Laber & Storm PSC in Covington. Her extensive legal experience includes representing clients in the area of criminal defense and serving as an assistant county prosecutor. Her work in litigation includes family law, personal injury and medical-negligence defense. She is experienced in administrative law and served the Kentucky Personnel Board as a hearing officer. She now serves as a board chairwoman emeritus. She is a member of the National Association of Administrative Law Judges and has represented numerous clients before state regulatory and licensure boards. She is also an adjunct professor at Xavier University, where she teaches medical/legal research, writing and forensics.
Judge Keller has been a licensed registered nurse in Kentucky since 1982. While working as an RN in critical care, Judge Keller earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985 from Northern Kentucky University, where she received the Charlotte Schmidlapp Scholarship. Judge Keller attended the evening division of Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law while working full time. She was an Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts scholar during law school and received her juris doctor in 1990.
Judge Keller has served the Northern Kentucky Bar Association as chairwoman of the Women Lawyers Section and as a member of numerous committees. She represented the 16th Judicial Circuit on the Kentucky Bar Association’s former House of Delegates.
In addition to her professional service, Judge Keller has a strong commitment to public service. She is a former chairwoman and board member for the Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home. She is a founding and current member of the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Council and has served the interests of children in court as a guardian ad litem. Judge Keller also volunteers with the Women’s Crisis Center and her local church and is an academic team coach at her daughters’ school.
Judge Keller is a lifelong Kentuckian and the oldest of five children. She and her husband, Dr. James Keller, have two daughters, Brenna and Olivia.
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.
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.