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NKY’s Joy Kramer sworn in as chief judge of KY Court of Appeals; elected by fellow judges


Judge Joy Kramer sworn in as chief judge by current Chief Judge Glenn Acree

Judge Joy Kramer sworn in as chief judge by current Chief Judge Glenn Acree

Judge Joy A. Kramer of Northern Kentucky was sworn as chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals for a term beginning July 1. Judge Kramer was sworn in by current Chief Judge Glenn E. Acree in the courtroom of the Court of Appeals building in Frankfort.
 
Judge Kramer was elected by her fellow Court of Appeals judges to serve as chief judge. The chief judge provides administrative oversight to the Court of Appeals and serves in the position for a four-year term under the Kentucky Constitution.
 
“Being elected by my colleagues to serve as chief judge is a tremendous honor,” Judge Kramer said. “While the honor is high, I will be influenced daily by the work ethic and principles ingrained in this farm girl from Menifee County whose parents sacrificed so very much to put the youngest of four children through college, a privilege that neither had. I have the freedom and opportunity of working with my brain and intellect because my parents worked with their backs and fortitude to put me through college, and that is a sacrifice that keeps me anchored in gratitude in all I do.
 
“It is with a sincere dedication and desire to work hard to serve and bring honor to the commonwealth, my family, my colleagues and our dedicated staff that will motivate and inspire me during this new journey.
 
“Chief Judge Acree has set the benchmark high and he leaves a well-worn and well-lit path of success and public service to guide the court over the coming years, as did former Chief Judges Jeff Taylor and Sara Combs,” she said. “Those of us honored to serve on this court know that the Court of Appeals is a team comprised of devoted public servants wearing black robes supported by an unparalleled staff who work diligently behind the scenes, all of whom work cooperatively and are dedicated to preserving the rule of law and due process principles, which weave through all of our interconnected lives in a free democracy.”

Judge Acree

Judge Acree

Chief Judge Acree said no one is better suited to lead the Court of Appeals than Judge Kramer. “She has a talent for administration and penchant for hard work,” he said. “Most importantly, she brings out the best in everyone around her.”
 
Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said he looks forward to working with Judge Kramer in her new role as chief judge.

“She has served the Court of Appeals well for 10 years and is a sound choice to lead her fellow judges in the essential work of our intermediate appellate court,” he said. “Judge Kramer will bring enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and a love for the law to this important position.”
 
Judge Kramer will be sworn in again in a public ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at the U.S. District Courthouse in Covington by her longtime mentor William O. Bertelsman, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
 
About Judge Kramer

Kramer was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 2006 to serve Division 2 of the 6th Appellate District. She was appointed to the position of chief judge pro tem of the Court of Appeals in 2012.
 
The 6th Appellate District is comprised of 21 Northern Kentucky counties: Bath, Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Fleming, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble. 
 
Prior to her election to the Court of Appeals, Kramer served six years as chief law clerk for William O. Bertelsman, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. She also served as a staff attorney to Court of Appeals Judges Daniel T. Guidugli and Robert W. Dyche III. As a practitioner, Judge Kramer worked in the litigation department of Adams, Stepner, Woltermann & Dusing PLLC in Covington and practiced general litigation law with Hoffman, Hoffman & Grubbs in Elsmere.

Judge Bertelsman

Judge Bertelsman

Kramer graduated magna cum laude from Morehead State University, where she also earned a master’s degree and a Rank I teaching certificate. After teaching special education for seven years in Grant and Pendleton county schools, Kramer earned her juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law. She graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Northern Kentucky Law Review. She received numerous scholarships and awards for academic achievement, including the Chase Excellence Scholarship.
 
Kramer has served as a special justice to the Supreme Court of Kentucky. She is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Northern Kentucky Bar Association and the Salmon P. Chase Inn of Court, where she served as president for two years and continues to serve on the Executive Committee. Judge Kramer is a graduate of Leadership Kentucky, Leadership Shelby County and Leadership Northern Kentucky.
 
She has been active in her community and in the state through her service on numerous boards in the past, including Boone County Court Appointed Special Advocates, the St. Elizabeth Hospice Committee, the Executive Committee of Every Child Succeeds, the Kentucky Personnel Board and the Governor’s Postsecondary Education Nominating Commission. In 2010, Kramer was named an Outstanding Woman of Northern Kentucky.
 
Kramer grew up in Menifee County and is the daughter of Denzel and Wanda Brewer of Denniston. Kramer and her husband, Brian Kramer, have four children and six grandchildren. She is an active member of First Lutheran Church in Cincinnati.
 
Kentucky 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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