SC: Justice Will Scott resigns. Rumored to be considering a run for Governor.

Justice Will Scott

Justice Will Scott

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott says he is resigning from the high court later this week.

Scott said in a statement Monday that serving on the Supreme Court has been a “great honor,” but says the job “restrains” the court’s members from helping find “solutions” to Kentucky’s problems.

Scott declined comment on his reasons for stepping down. The 67-year-old Republican has been considering a run for governor in 2015. He told the Lexington Herald-Leader last month that if he decided to run, he would immediately resign his seat on the court.

Scott’s statement says he will step down from the court effective midnight Friday.

Click here to read more from post.

From his Supreme Court bio:

Justice Scott was elected in November 2004 to represent the 7th Supreme Court District, which consists of 22 counties in Eastern Kentucky. Justice Scott served as Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 2006 to 2010.

He served as Circuit Judge from 1984 to 1988 and was elected second vice president of the Kentucky Circuit Judges Association in 1986. Before serving the judiciary, he practiced law as a trial attorney from 1975 to 1980 and as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Pike County from 1981 to 1982.

Justice Scott was born in Pike County in 1947 and attended Eastern Kentucky University for one year before volunteering for service in the U.S. Army. Enlisting as a private in 1966, he finished his tour of duty in 1969 in Vietnam as a first lieutenant. Among his military honors are his airborne wings, the Bronze Star, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

After completing his military service, Justice Scott graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Pikeville College. He earned a juris doctor in 1974 and a master’s degree in taxation in 1975 from the University Of Miami School Of Law in Coral Gables, Fla. He is licensed to practice law in both Kentucky and Florida and has practiced law in Kentucky courtrooms for nearly 30 years. Justice Scott is a member of the First Christian Church in Pikeville and is an avid hunter and fisherman.

Links to other stories:

JUDGES: Betty A. Springate sworn in as district judge for Anderson, Shelby and Spencer counties

Judge Betty Springate

Judge Betty Springate

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Betty A. Springate, an attorney from Lawrenceburg, has been sworn in to fill the vacant District Court judgeship for Anderson, Shelby and Spencer counties. The seat represents the 53rd Judicial District, Division 1. The vacancy was created when Judge Linda S. Armstrong resigned March 16, 2014.

District Judge Donna G. Dutton swore in Judge Springate on June 30. Judge Dutton serves in the 53rd Judicial District, Division 2.

Judge Springate’s legal career includes positions as general counsel for the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and administrative law judge for the Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet. She also served as assistant county attorney and county attorney for Anderson County. She retired nearly two years ago and currently serves on the Anderson County board of the United Way.

She earned a juris doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law after completing a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in education from the University of Louisville.

Judge Springate and her husband, Jerry L. Springate, who is also an attorney, have a son and a daughter, Jay and Scarlett.

Judge Springate will not be on the ballot in the November general election and will serve only until the new judge elected in November takes the bench in January 2015.

News: Bowling Green Attorneys James Richard Downey, David A. Lanphear and Rebecca Adams Simpson nominated to fill Warren Family Court Vacancy are


The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., today announced nominees to fill the vacant Warren County Family Court judgeship. Warren County is the 8th Judicial Circuit and the vacancy is in the circuit’s 3rd Division.

The three attorneys named as nominees to fill the vacancy are James Richard Downey, David A. Lanphear and Rebecca Adams Simpson, all of Bowling Green.

Downey served as an attorney with Kentucky Legal Aid from 2006 to 2012 and was previously an attorney in private practice. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Lanphear has been a partner in the law firm of Lanphear & Walton in Bowling Green for 14 years. He received his juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

Simpson has served as an attorney with Kentucky Legal Aid since 2008 and was previously an attorney in private practice. She received her juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

The Family Court vacancy was created by the passing of Warren County Family Court Judge Margaret R. Huddleston on Jan. 3, 2014.

Justice Lisabeth Abramson Reportedly Being Considered for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals


Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Abramson

Andrew Wolfson with the Courier Journal reported today that–

“Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson of Louisville is being vetted by the FBI for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals’ 6th Circuit.

Abramson, who has served on state high court since 2007, would be “a terrific appointment,” U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville said Monday in a statement.

Two high-level public officials confirmed that they had been interviewed as part of the screening process for the appeals court, which is one rung below the U.S. Supreme Court. They said they couldn’t be named because the FBI requested that they not comment.

Abramson, 58, did not respond to phone and email messages.”

Click here for rest of Courier Journal Story.

News: “Federal Judge Boyce Martin Jr.’s retirement ended investigation into travel reimbursements” from Andrew Wolfson, Courier Journal

The Courier-Journal posted a story today on retiring federal Judge Boyce Martin by reporter Andrew Wolfson:

Federal Judge Boyce Martin Jr.’s retirement ended investigation into travel reimbursements

ederal appeals court Judge Boyce F. Martin Jr.’s decision to retire in August ended an investigation into allegations that he made “questionable travel reimbursement requests,” according to an opinion issued by an arm of the federal courts charged with evaluating judicial misconduct complaints.

The allegations were referred to the Justice Department’s public-integrity section, which investigates possible crimes by public officials.

Martin, whose Louisville telephone number is unpublished, could not be reached Monday for comment but his Washington-based spokeswoman, Claire Parker, said in an email that he was a “distinguished judge with a lifetime commitment to public service and integrity” and looked forward to “working with the Department of Justice to resolve this matter expeditiously.”

Click here for a link to Courier-Journal’s story (if it is still available on line).

David Hale and Greg Stivers will be nominated to fill two federal district court judicial vacancies in Kentucky

U.S. Attorney David J. Hale and Bowling Green lawyer Greg Stivers, a close friend and supporter of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, will be nominated to fill vacant federal judgeships in Kentucky, according to attorneys and officials familiar with the selection process. Per story from Courier-Journal.

U.S. Attorney David Hale

U.S. Attorney David Hale

Following his nomination by President Obama and confirmation by the United States Senate, David J. Hale was sworn in as United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky on May 7, 2010. As the District’s chief federal law enforcement officer, Mr. Hale supervises the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of civil matters in which the federal government is a party, in a district encompassing 53 counties and over two million residents. He oversees the work of more than 80 attorneys and support staff in Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville, as well as office locations in Bowling Green, Owensboro and Paducah.

Before being appointed U.S. Attorney, Mr. Hale was a member of the Louisville law firm Reed Weitkamp Schell & Vice PLLC, where he concentrated his practice in commercial litigation, representing businesses and individuals from disparate industries in federal and state courts across Kentucky. Mr. Hale’s private practice received listings in Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and Benchmark Litigation. While in private practice, Mr. Hale was active in the community, serving on non-profit boards such as the Louisville Urban League and Kentucky Educational Television (KET). He is a graduate of Leadership Kentucky.

From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Hale served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the Western District of Kentucky. During his tenure as an AUSA, he prosecuted a broad array of criminal cases, including narcotics, gun crimes, homicide and other violent crime, child exploitation, and white collar crime. Mr. Hale also represented the government in civil matters, including affirmative civil enforcement cases, health care fraud, and financial litigation.

Mr. Hale is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (B.A., 1989) and the University of Kentucky College of Law (J.D., 1992). Prior to his appointment as U.S. Attorney, he also served on the University of Kentucky College of Law Visiting Committee. Mr. Hale is married and has two teenage children. He was born in the Army hospital at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.


Gregory Stivers

Gregory Stivers

Greg’s practice involves various aspects of business and employment law.  Greg works with clients in employment-related disputes, primarily representing employers in matters such as wrongful discharge and claims of religious, sexual, race, and disability discrimination.  His practice also includes representing municipalities in a wide range of litigation, including zoning, taxation, and code enforcement, as well as employment issues.  Greg also has extensive experience in the area of workers compensation claims, primarily from the employer’s perspective.

In the business area, he has represented both lenders and borrowers in a wide range of commercial transactions.  He has worked with buyers and sellers of business enterprises and counseled clients in the selection of corporate form and formation of partnerships, corporations and limited liability entities, including buy/sell agreements.  Greg also has experience in real estate matters, including sales, leases and tax-free exchanges.  In addition to working on transactions, Greg has also represented clients involved in litigating business disputes, from breach of contract actions to shareholder disputes seeking judicial dissolution.

Greg has served as a board member and past President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Kentucky; is a founding board member of the Western Kentucky University Research Foundation; serves on the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation Board; and has served as counsel to the St. Joseph’s Cemetery Foundation.  He is also a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Association of University Technology Managers.

Bar Admissions

  • 1985, Kentucky
  • 1986, U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
  • 1989, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky


  • Eastern Kentucky University (B.A., with distinction, 1982)
  • University of Kentucky (J.D., 1985)

Judge Boyce Martin, Jr. Retiring on August 16, 2013. Progressive, compassionate, and smart. His wit and wisdom will be sorely missed and most definitely irreplaceable.


Judge Boyce Martin, Jr. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Judge Boyce Martin, Jr.
6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Courier-Journal story by Andrew Wolfson reports Judge Boyce Martin, Jr. with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has announced his retirement, effective August 16, 2013.

In 34 years as a federal appeals court judge, Boyce F. Martin Jr. of Louisville wrote more than 1,500 opinions, including the nation’s first appellate decision affirming what is known as Obamacare and another landmark ruling allowing law schools to consider race in admissions.

He livened his opinions with quotations from Homer Simpson and footnotes citing singer John Prine. And he began a ruling to uphold Maker’s Mark’s rights to its traditional red wax seal with a six-page discourse on the history of bourbon.

“All bourbon is whiskey,” he wrote, “but not all whiskey is bourbon.”


* * *

New York lawyer Christopher D. Barnstable-Brown, one of 150 law clerks whom Martin mentored, said: “He always reminded us that the cases were not just about sterile briefs and legal questions but about the real reason the cases were there — the people involved.“The court of appeals is essentially a cloistered world … and it is easy to lose perspective, but Judge Martin never did,” Barnstable-Brown added. “He taught me that compassion is part of justice.”

From WikiPedia:

Martin’s style both on the bench and in written opinions is characterized by “no-nonsense jurisprudence,” clear and concise writing, and a focus on common sense.[7] He has been cited as an example of how common sense helps “sustain the law, not destroy it.”[8] The purpose of an opinion is to provide justice to the parties and explain the law to the lawyers and the public. To this end, he quickly publishes opinions so that the disputing parties need not wait longer than necessary. He is also known to liven his opinions with the occasional quote about ostriches or Homer Simpson.[9]

On the death penalty:

“I have been a judge on this Court for more than twenty-five years. In that time I have seen many death penalty cases and I have applied the law as instructed by the Supreme Court and I will continue to do so for as long as I remain on this Court. This my oath requires. After all these years, however, only one conclusion is possible: the death penalty in this country is arbitrary, biased, and so fundamentally flawed at its very core that it is beyond repair.”

Moore v. Parker (dissent).

On bourbon:

“All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.”

Maker’s Mark Distiller v. Diageo N. Am., 5/9/2012

On Homer Simpson:

“Implicit in this understanding is that the offeree is aware of the significance of the act performed. Without a signal that she understands that a contract is being made, how is one to know if she has truly accepted? 1

FN. 1. Homer Simpson talking to God: “Here’s the deal: you freeze everything as it is, and I won’t ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. [no response] OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, please give me no sign. [no response] Thy will be done.” The Simpsons: And Maggie Makes Three (Fox television broadcast, Jan. 22, 1995).

Seawright v. Am. Gen. Fin.,Inc.

On Austin Powers:

1See also Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (New Line Cinema 1997).see Austin Powers in Goldmember (New Line Cinema 2002)), he will be one of the few, if any, criminal defendants, able to argue, consistent with this Circuit’s precedent, that all of his various crimes were “related” for purposes of the Guidelines.

DR. EVIL: Scott, I want you to meet Daddy’s nemesis, Austin Powers.

SCOTT EVIL: Why are you feeding him? Why don’t you just kill him?

DR. EVIL: In due time.

SCOTT EVIL: But what if he escapes? Why don’t you just shoot him? What are you waiting for?

DR. EVIL: I have a better idea. I’m going to put him in an easily-escapable situation involving an overly-elaborate and exotic death.

SCOTT EVIL: Why don’t you just shoot him now? Here, I’ll get a gun. We’ll just shoot him. Bang! Dead. Done.

DR. EVIL: One more peep out of you and you’re grounded. Let’s begin.

Prior to this exchange and then again following it, Dr. Evil describes in great detail the separate crimes necessary to achieve his plan for world domination. Thus, if our Government ever does find Dr. Evil (or chooses to prosecute him despite his recent decision to be “less evil,”

The Austin Powers footnote: Footnote one,of a concurring opinion that Sixth Circuit Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr. <> .

AOC News: Three names going up the Gov. Beshear to fill Court of Appeals Vacancy in 6th Appellate District, Division 1 – Jones, Molloy, Sanders

Court of Appeals        District Map

Court of Appeals
District Map

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., today announced nominees to fill the vacant Court of Appeals seat in the 6th Appellate District, Division 1. The district is composed of 21 counties in the Northern Kentucky area. The vacancy was created when Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Court of Appeals Judge Michelle M. Keller as a Supreme Court justice on April 3.

The three attorneys named as nominees to fill the vacancy are Allison Emerson Jones of Prospect, Mary Kathleen Molloy of Crescent Springs and Justin Aaron Sanders of Fort Wright.

Jones is an administrative law judge for the state Department of Workers’ Claims and previously served as an attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. She received her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Molloy is a partner in the law firm of Arnzen, Molloy & Storm and is associated with Amelia development as a limited partner in the development of residential real estate in Ohio. She received her juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

Sanders is a partner in The Sanders Law Firm. He received his juris doctor from the Pepperdine University School of Law in California.

The counties in the 6th Appellate District are Bath, Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Fleming, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble.

Justice Keller was appointed to the Supreme Court to fill the unexpired term of Justice Wil Schroder, who retired in January due to health issues.

AOC News: Judicial Nominating Commission announces nominees for vacant Harlan County judgeship

Harlan County Courthouse           Harlan, Kentucky

Harlan County Courthouse
Harlan, Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., today announced nominees to fill the vacant Circuit Court judgeship in Harlan County, which is the 26th Judicial Circuit.

The three attorneys named as nominees to fill the vacancy are Sidney Barnes Douglass II of Loyall, H. Kent Hendrickson of Harlan and Henry Stuart Johnson of Baxter.

Douglass has a law practice at Douglass Law Office in Harlan. He served as a Harlan County Circuit Court judge from 1977 to 1984 and was previously the Harlan city attorney. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Hendrickson is a domestic relations commissioner for Harlan County Circuit Court and a partner in the law firm of Rice & Hendrickson and in Hendrickson Properties. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Johnson is in private law practice in Harlan and served as the commonwealth’s attorney for Harlan from 1992 until earlier this year. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

The vacancy was created upon the removal of Russell D. Alred by the Judicial Conduct Commission as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Kentucky, effective Oct. 25, 2012.