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Fayette Circuit Judge Goodwin among three nominees for vacancy on state Court of Appeals

The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., Friday announced three nominees to fill the vacant Court of Appeals judgeship that serves the 5th Appellate District in Central Kentucky.

The vacancy is in the district’s Division 1. The commission met Thursday in Frankfort.

The three nominees for the judgeship are Pamela R. Goodwine of Lexington and Robert G. Johnson and Damon Loyd Preston, both of Georgetown.

Pamela R. Goodwine

Goodwine has served as a Fayette County Circuit Court judge since 2003. She became the chief regional circuit judge for the Fayette Region in January after serving as vice chief regional circuit judge from 2008 to 2016. She received her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Johnson has served as a Circuit Court judge for Bourbon, Scott and Woodford counties since 2005. He has been the chief regional circuit judge for the Bluegrass Region since 2008. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Preston is the state’s deputy public advocate and has served as a public defender in the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy for 23 years. He received his juris doctor from Harvard Law School.

There are two Court of Appeals judgeships that serve the 5th Appellate District. The counties in the 5th Appellate District are Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Scott and Woodford. The Court of Appeals seat for the district’s Division 1 became vacant after Justice Laurance B. VanMeter was elected to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November.

Nearly all cases heard by the Kentucky 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. Cases are not retried in the Court of Appeals. Only the record of the original court trial is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision.

Fourteen judges, two elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel throughout the state to hear cases.

From AOC Communications

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