Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Oct. 14 in Murray
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in two cases Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Calloway County Judicial Building in Murray. Proceedings will be open to the public.
A three-judge panel consisting of Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sara Walter Combs and Court of Appeals Judges Donna L. Dixon and Jeff S. Taylor will hear oral arguments starting at 11 a.m. CDT in the Family Courtroom at the judicial building, which is located at 312 N. 4th St.
The cases are on appeal from circuit courts in Graves and McCracken counties.
A case docket containing summaries of the cases is below.
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008
11 AM 2007CA000774
WESLEY MILLS ET AL. v. BRADLEY MILLS ET AL.
Summary: Civil. Issue is whether Circuit Court erred by entering summary judgment in favor of appellee, determining that the partnership was not subject to partition under KRS 381.135.
Graves County judge who ruled in the case – Judge Timothy C. Stark
Appellants’ attorney: J. Todd Elmore
Appellees’ attorney: David L. Hargrove
1:30 PM 2007CA002502
KY LICENSING BOARD FOR SPECIALISTS IN HEARING INSTRUMENTS
v. ARTHUR AZAR
Summary: Civil. Issue is whether Circuit Court erred by reversing the board’s order reprimanding the appellant.
McCracken County judge who ruled in the case – Judge R. Jeffrey Hines
Appellant’s attorney: Mark Brengelman
Appellee’s attorney: Glenn D. Denton
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 recently began her second four-year term as chief judge 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 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 Jeff S. Taylor
Jeff S. Taylor was first elected as a Court of Appeals judge in November 2003 to represent the 2nd Appellate District, which is comprised of Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Daviess, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, LaRue, Meade, Ohio, Union and Warren counties. He was re-elected in November 2006 to a full eight-year term.
Judge Taylor previously practiced law in Owensboro for more than 20 years and was a sole practitioner from 1990 until his election to the Court of Appeals.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Murray State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Memphis State University. He earned his law degree from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, graduating with honors in 1982. He is a 1971 graduate of Elizabethtown High School.
Judge Taylor serves on the Kentucky Bar Foundation Board of Directors. In September 2006, he accepted an appointment to serve a six-year term on the Murray State University Board of Regents. Judge Taylor also serves on the board of directors for the Daviess County Public Schools Foundation.
Judge Taylor is a past president of the Kentucky chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He is also past president of the Daviess County Bar Association, Daviess County Public Defender Corp. and the Daviess County Lawyer Referral Service. He is a member of the American, Kentucky and Daviess County bar associations. He is a Life Fellow in the Kentucky Bar Foundation and a member of the Brandeis Honor Society at the Brandeis School of Law.
Judge Taylor is a member of the Owensboro-Daviess County Chamber of Commerce, is past president of the Owensboro Kiwanis Club and serves on the Girls Inc. Board of Trustees. He is a former board member of the Owensboro-Daviess County Committee on Aging. He has been a frequent United Way volunteer and has been a volunteer for the Salvation Army and Boy Scouts Law Explorers.
Judge Taylor was born in Fort Knox and raised in Daviess County. He is married to the former Betty Keller. She has one son, and they have two grandchildren.
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.