Devine, Rosenberg, Yahr nominated for Fayette judgeship

Judicial Nominating Commission announces nominees for Fayette Family Court judge

FRANKFORT, Ky., (WTVQ) – The Judicial Nominating Commission, led by Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr., today announced nominees to fill the judicial vacancy on Fayette County Family Court. Fayette makes up the 22nd Judicial Circuit and the vacancy is in Family Division 6.

The three nominees for the judgeship are attorneys Carl D. Devine, Martha A. Rosenberg and Tiffany Lorraine Yahr, all of Lexington.

Devine has practiced law for 24 years and has his own law practice. He received his juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law, now the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law.

Rosenberg has had her own law practice for more than 40 years. She received her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law, now the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law.

Yahr supervises attorneys and handles cases for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She was previously in private practice and has been practicing law for 14 years. She received her juris doctor from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

The judicial seat became vacant when Judge Kathy W. Stein’s resignation became effective Wednesday.

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.

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.

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.

The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm for the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 406 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.

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