FRANKFORT, Ky. (5/15/13) – Justice Michelle M. Keller was formally sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky, on Tuesday, May 14, by Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. She was joined by her husband, Dr. James Keller, her daughters, Brenna and Olivia, and her father, Richard Meier, at the investiture service. The event took place in the Supreme Court Courtroom at the state Capitol in Frankfort.
Justice Keller’s fellow justices and Gov. Steve Beshear were among those who provided remarks during the service.
Gov. Beshear appointed Justice Keller in April to serve as the justice from the 6th Supreme Court District. She was a Court of Appeals judge for the six years prior to being selected for the Supreme Court. With her appointment, the seven-member Supreme Court now has three female justices for the first time ever.
Justice Keller was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Justice Wil Schroder, who retired in January 2013 due to health issues.
The 6th Supreme Court District is composed of Bath, Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Fleming, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties.
Justice Keller also serves as chair of the court system’s Technology Governance Committee.
Justice Keller was elected to the Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve as judge for Division 1 of the 6th Appellate District. From 2007 through February 2012, she served as the Court of Appeals representative on the Judicial Conduct Commission, a post to which her fellow Court of Appeals judges elected her.
Prior to her election as Court of Appeals judge, Justice Keller practiced law for 17 years. She has served both as an assistant county prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Justice Keller’s practice concentrated in the areas of family law, personal injury, and medical negligence defense. She is also experienced in administrative law, representing numerous clients before state regulatory and licensure boards. She is chairwoman emeritus of the Kentucky Personnel Board and has served as a hearing officer and member for the board. Justice Keller is licensed to practice law in Kentucky, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and the U.S. Supreme Court. She has served as a special justice to the Kentucky Supreme Court and has been commended twice by the Kentucky House of Representatives for her service to the commonwealth.
Justice Keller attended Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law while working as a licensed registered nurse in critical care. She earned her juris doctor from Chase in 1990. As a student at Chase, she was an IOLTA Scholar. She received the Chase Excellence Award in 2007 and was the recipient of the Chase Exceptional Service Award in 2011.
In 2012, Justice Keller was named a 2012 Outstanding Woman of Northern Kentucky.
She has served in various positions for the Northern Kentucky and Kentucky bar associations. In 2009, she received the KBA’s Donated Legal Services Award. She is a master in the Salmon P. Chase Inn of Court and was elected president of the Inn for 2012-13.
Justice Keller has served her community through various volunteer and board positions, including those with the Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home, the Northern Kentucky Children’s Advocacy Center, Villa Madonna Academy, Centre College, NKU Salmon P. Chase College of Law and the St. Thomas More Society.
She is a member of the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Judges Advisory Committee for the American Bar Association, a position to which ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III appointed her.
A lifelong Kentuckian, Justice Keller and her husband, Jim, a physician, are the proud parents of two daughters.
Information provided by Jamie Neal
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