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UK Law Announces 2016-17 Judicial Conversation Series

October 5, 2016

The University of Kentucky College of Law will host Justice Michelle Keller of the Kentucky Supreme Court and Judge Curtis Lynn Collier of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, as part of the 2016-17 Judicial Conversation Series.

Justice Keller is scheduled to visit UK Law on October 26, followed by Judge Collier, who will visit in spring 2017. These distinguished jurists will participate in a noon forum with students in the UK Law Courtroom. In conjunction with their visits, Justice Keller and Judge Collier will also serve as a guest lecturers in a UK Law class.

Justice Keller was appointed to the Kentucky Supreme Court in April 2013 by Governor Steve Beshear. She was elected to a full eight-year term on the bench in November 2014. She is also the chairwoman of the court system’s Kentucky Access to Justice Commission.

Judge Collier is an Article III federal judge on senior status for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. After being nominated by President Bill Clinton, he joined the court in 1995. He was the chief judge of the court until October 2012, and assumed senior status in October 2014.

The Judicial Conversation Series began in spring 2013. The purpose of the series is to provide thoughtful and engaging interactions between distinguished members of the judiciary and law students. Previous speakers have included Kentucky Supreme Court Justices Minton (Chief), Abramson, Cunningham, Noble, Scott and Venters; U.S. Tax Court Judge Joseph Goeke; U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Eastern District of Kentucky Judge Tracey Wise (Chief), Judge Roger L. Gregory, 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and Senior District Judge Thomas B. Russell.

Judge Jennifer B. Coffman (Retired), Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, serves as the facilitator for the series. Judge Coffman earned a J.D. in 1978 from UK Law. She was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky by President Bill Clinton and became the first female federal judge in Kentucky at the time of her appointment in 1993. She went on to become the first female federal chief judge in 2007. In January 2013, Coffman retired after serving on the court for 19 years.