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Chief Justice Minton announces three nominees for Court of Appeal vacancy from Western Kentucky


The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., announced nominees to fill the judicial vacancy on the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

The vacancy is in the 1st Appellate District, Division 1, which is composed of the Commonwealth’s 24 westernmost counties.

The three nominees for the judgeship are attorneys James Richard “Jason” Coltharp Jr. of Paducah, Joe Christopher “Chris” McNeill of Paducah and C. Rene’ Williams of Dixon.

Coltharp has served as a defense attorney for civil cases for nearly 16 years and practices with the law firm of Whitlow, Roberts, Houston & Straub. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

McNeill has served with the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy for 19 years and has been a directing attorney since 2003, managing the department’s trial office. He received his juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

Williams has served as a Circuit Court judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit of Crittenden, Union and Webster counties for 15 years and is the chief regional circuit judge for the Purchase Region. She received her juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

The judicial seat became vacant when Christopher Shea Nickell was elected as a justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November.

These three names will be submitted to the governor who will make the appointment within 60 days.


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