FRANKFORT, Ky., Nov. 28, 2017 – The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., today announced nominees to fill an upcoming vacancy in Jefferson Family Court.
The three nominees for the Family Court judgeship are attorneys Brendan Russell Daugherty of Louisville, Bryan Daniel Gatewood of Fisherville and Lauren Adams Ogden of Louisville.
Daugherty has his own law practice in which he handles civil and criminal cases. He has also handled family law cases involving dependency, neglect and abuse in Jefferson Family Court. He previously served as an associate attorney at Boehl Stopher & Graves and as a staff attorney in the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Gatewood is a solo practitioner who handles civil cases, including family law cases. He has served as a guardian ad litem in Jefferson Family Court for approximately 17 years. He received his juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.
Ogden is a partner in the law firm of Ogden & Ogden, where she primarily handles family law cases. She is a licensed family law mediator and has served as a guardian ad litem. She received her juris doctor from Vanderbilt University Law School.
The Family Court judicial seat will become vacant when Judge Dolly W. Berry retires Jan. 2, 2018. Jefferson County is the 30th Judicial Circuit and the vacancy will be in the circuit’s 4th Division.
Judicial Nominating Commission
Family Court is a division of Circuit Court and has primary jurisdiction in cases involving family issues, including divorces, adoption, child support, domestic violence and juvenile status offenses.
The Judicial Nominating Commission helps fill judicial vacancies by appointment when a vacancy occurs outside of the election cycle. The Kentucky Constitution established the JNC. Ky. Const. § 118; SCR 6.000, et seq.
Judicial Nominating Process
When a judicial vacancy occurs, the executive secretary of the JNC publishes a notice of vacancy in the judicial circuit or the judicial district affected. Attorneys may recommend someone or nominate themselves. The names of the applicants are not released. Once nominations occur, the individuals interested in the position return a questionnaire to the Office of the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Minton then meets with the Judicial Nominating Commission to choose three nominees. Because the Kentucky Constitution requires that three names be submitted to the governor, in some cases the commission submits an attorney’s name even though the attorney did not apply. A letter naming the three nominees is sent to the governor for review. The governor has 60 days to appoint a replacement and his office makes the announcement.
Makeup of the Judicial Nominating Commission
The commission has seven members. The membership is comprised of the chief justice of Kentucky (who also serves as chair), two lawyers elected by all the lawyers in their circuit/district and four Kentucky citizens who are appointed by the governor. The four citizens appointed by the governor must equally represent the two major political parties, so two must be Democrats and two must be Republicans. It is the responsibility of the commission to submit a list of three names to the governor and the governor must appoint a judge from this list of three.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm for the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,400 court system employees and 404 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.