Kentucky Court of Justice
Kentucky Court of Appeals names Sam Givens as clerk of the court
FRANKFORT, Ky., Oct. 14, 2005 ¾ The Kentucky Court of Appeals has chosen Sam Givens to serve as clerk of the court. Chief Judge Sara Combs appointed Givens to fill the vacancy created by George Geoghegan III, who retired Aug. 31. The full court voted Sept. 13 to name Givens as the fourth clerk of the Court of Appeals.
“Sam has the experience gained from serving under the administration of five chief judges,” said Chief Judge Combs. “By starting as a staff attorney for individual judges and then advancing to the court's central office, he has acquired a comprehensive knowledge of the operation of the court. He has also championed the use of technology to make the Court of Appeals more efficient."
Givens began his career with the Kentucky court system in 1988 as a law clerk for Circuit Judge Robert Jackson of the 13th Judicial Circuit. He joined the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1990 as a staff attorney for Judge Boyce Clayton, later working as a substitute staff attorney for Judge Michael O. McDonald. In 1992, Givens moved to the Court of Appeals central office in Frankfort as a staff attorney under chief staff attorneys George Fowler and Geoghegan. In 1999, Givens became chief deputy clerk to assist clerk of the court Geoghegan.
Givens is a native of Louisville, Ky. He earned a bachelor's degree from Centre College in 1984 and a juris doctor from the Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law in 1987. Givens lives in Lexington with his wife, Martha, and their two sons.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals, along with the Supreme Court of Kentucky, was formed after the 1975 enactment of the Judicial Article that created Kentucky’s unified court system. Fourteen judges, two elected from each of the seven appellate districts, serve for eight-year terms. With a few exceptions, most cases appealed from Circuit Court go to the Court of Appeals. The case is reviewed, not retried, at the appeals level, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision. Court of Appeals judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority deciding the outcome. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but move about the state to hear appeals. When the Court of Appeals publishes its rulings on cases, those rulings become the governing case law for all similar cases in the trial courts of Kentucky.