Court Imposes Rule 11 Sanctions on Judicial Candidate

Wood told to pay opponents’ costs
By Jason Riley  Reprinted from The Courier-Journal
Jack Wood, a lawyer who’s running for Jefferson County family court judge, wanted a judge to disqualify his competition.
He sued his two opponents, claiming they didn’t file their papers correctly, in part because they wrote “10th” instead of “Tenth” to identify the court seat.
But in the end, all Wood got was a judicial scolding and an order to pay the legal fees of his opponents — incumbent Paula Sherlock and Rebecca Swope Atkins.
In a ruling released yesterday, Jefferson Circuit Judge Barry Willett called Wood’s lawsuit absurd and said it was “completely devoid of any factual or legal merit.”
In fact, Willett noted that the only filing petition that wasn’t clear was Wood’s, since it appeared Wood checked boxes saying he was running for both circuit court and family court.
Neither Sherlock nor Atkins plans to bring up that issue in court.
“This is a race that needs to be decided on qualifications, not some silly technicality,” Atkins said.
But Wood’s attorney, Gary Tabler, promised in a statement to take the issue to the state Court of Appeals and, if necessary, the Kentucky Supreme Court, “where we have always believed the issues in this case would ultimately be decided.”
The money, Willett ruled, Atkins and Sherlock will get back. Both have 10 days to file an affidavit with the court laying out their costs and attorney fees.
“No one likes being sued, especially in a situation where it is completely baseless,” said attorney Jennifer Moore, who represents Sherlock, who was appointed last year to fill a vacancy.
Wood, who has lost elections for state attorney general, family court judge and Louisville Metro Council, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.

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