FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2012) — The Kentucky Court of Appeals will convene Tuesday in Frankfort to hear oral arguments in civil cases on appeal from Jefferson and Shelby counties and a criminal case on appeal from Lawrence County, including the case against a Frankfort urologist who removed a man’s penis instead of performing a circumcision as planned.
Proceedings are open to the public and will take place in the Court of Appeals Courtroom at 360 Democrat Drive.
A three-judge panel composed of Court of Appeals Judges Michael Caperton, Donna L. Dixon and Janet L. Stumbo will hear the appeals. Judge Stumbo will be the presiding judge in each case.
The first case is an appeal of a jury verdict in a medical battery case in which the surgeon (Dr. John M. Patterson) authorized to perform a circumcision instead performed a penectomy. In 2011, a jury ruled unanimously against a claim that Patterson had failed to exercise proper care. Issues include whether appellant Phillip Seaton should have been granted a directed verdict and whether the trial court erred in formulating the jury instructions.
At 10:45 a.m., the court will hear an appeal from a judgment following a bench trial on breach of contract. The case is Stelluti Kerr LLC versus Bastian Material Handling LLC.
At issue is whether the trial court erred in holding that the contract between the parties was a “contract in perpetuity” and, therefore, terminable. Other issues include whether the contract was terminated after a reasonable period of time, whether appellee Bastian Material Handling breached a covenant of good faith and fair dealing and whether the contract was erroneously interpreted by the court.
At 11:30 a.m., the court will hear the cases of Michael Young and Janie Young versus the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is an appeal from conditional guilty pleas to charges of theft by deception by accepting medical expenses from two sources seeking to adopt an unborn child. At issue is whether a directed verdict should have been entered and whether the charge should have been reduced in degree based on the amount of money received by appellants Michael Young and Janie Young.
Nearly all cases heard by the Kentucky Court of Appeals come to it on appeal from a lower court. If a case is tried in circuit court or district court and the losing parties involved are not satisfied with the outcome, they may ask for a higher court to review the correctness of the trial court’s decision. Some cases, such as criminal case acquittals and divorces, may not be appealed. In a divorce case, however, child custody and property rights decisions may be appealed. Cases are not retried in the Court of Appeals. Only the record of the original court trial is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a decision.
Fourteen judges, two elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel throughout the state to hear cases.