Judicial Nominating Commission announces Three nominees for vacant No. Ky. Court of Appeals seat

FRANKFORT, Ky., July 9, 2013 – 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.

Court of Appeals

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 on the Court of Appeals for terms of eight years.

Nearly all cases heard by the 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. With a few exceptions, most cases appealed from Circuit Court go to the Court of Appeals. The case is not retried at the appeals level. Instead, the original trial record is reviewed, 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 travel throughout the state to hear appeals. When the Court of Appeals publishes its rulings on cases, those rulings become the governing case law for all such similar cases in the trial courts of Kentucky.

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