Bench & Bar

JAN 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 2 PRESIDENT'S PAGE THE QUEST FOR PROPER JUDICIAL COMPENSATION Continues on page 4 " There can be no free society without law administered through an independent judiciary. If one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every man can. That means first chaos, then tyranny, " -U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING AMERICA'S ADHERENCE TO THE RULE OF LAW CANNOT BE OVERSTATED. Without a fully functioning and active Judiciary we cannot have a truly free society. ink of a world where it takes years to resolve a child custody suit, where it takes years to resolve an estate matter, where it takes years to get a person to trial in a criminal case. Each one of these matters and many more depend on how we fund our judicial system. How we fund our judicial system should not be a matter to be resolved by partisan political bickering. It is obvious that if we fail to properly fund our judicial system, the system will begin to fail. Here in Kentucky, it is abundantly clear that we are failing to fund our judicial system adequately. is failure of adequate funding has been going on for many years. e National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has compiled salaries of Judges throughout the United States. e NCSC lists these salaries from highest to lowest. A quick look at these numbers gives us a clear idea of where the Commonwealth of Kentucky ranks in how we compensate our Judges. e Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky is paid an annual salary of $140,508. Other Justices on the Supreme Court are paid an annual salary of $135,501. e Chief Judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals is paid an annual salary of $133,044. Other Judges on the Court of Appeals are paid annual salary of $130,047. e Chief Circuit Judge of each region of the Circuit Courts of the Commonwealth is paid an annual salary of $125,616. e other Judges in the Circuit Courts are paid an annual salary of $124,617. Finally, the Chief District Judge of each District Court is paid an annual salary of $113, 664. Other District Judges in each district are paid an annual salary of $112,667. How do those salaries compare to what judges are paid in other states? at's where the NCSC numbers come in, because the NCSC lists the compensation for state court judges in all 50 states. California ranks at the top of judicial compensation in the United States. e Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court is paid an annual salary of $250, 075 and the Associate Justices on that Court are paid an annual salary of $233, 887. at's almost twice as much as the Justices on Kentucky's Supreme Court receive as salary each year. BILL GARMER KBA PRESIDENT

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