Retired Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham, who stepped down from the bench at the end of January, will be the subject of the eighth installment of Kentucky Appellate Survey Monthly’s “Judicial Focus” series. An extensive interview with Justice Cunningham will be featured in the March 2019 issue of KAS Monthly.
“It was an honor to publish our extensive and exclusive interview with Justice Dan Venters in January, and we are pleased that Justice Bill Cunningham has likewise agreed to we are grateful to them for sharing their time and insights with us so soon after their retirement. We are particularly proud that Justice Cunningham’s interview will kick off our fifth year of publishing KAS Monthly.”
In participating in the Judicial Focus series, Justice Cunningham follows former Kentucky Supreme Court Justices Mary Noble and Bill Cunningham, Circuit Judge David A. Tapp of the 28th Judicial Circuit, Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Denise Clayton of Louisville, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith, Circuit Judge James T. Jameson (Calloway and Marshall counties), and Circuit Judge Gregory A. Lay of the 27th Judicial Circuit. Justice Noble was featured in the inaugural installment of the series upon her retirement in December 2016.
Justice Bill Cunningham was elected to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November 2006 to serve the 1st Supreme Court District. Previously, Justice Cunningham served as a circuit court judge for 15 years. He was elected to the Circuit Court Bench in November 1991 to serve the 56th Judicial Circuit, which consists of Caldwell, Livingston, Lyon and Trigg counties. He was re-elected in 1999 and served as circuit judge until January 2007.
Justice Cunningham served the court system in several capacities before entering his judicial career. He was the Eddyville City Attorney from 1974 to 1991 and the Public Defender for the Kentucky State Penitentiary from 1974 to 1976. He served as Commonwealth's Attorney for the 56th Judicial District from 1976 to 1988. During his tenure in that position, he was voted the Outstanding Commonwealth Attorney of Kentucky by his peers. Justice Cunningham also served as a hearing officer for the Kentucky Board of Claims from 1981 to 1985 and as a trial commissioner for Lyon County District Court from 1989 to 1992.
Justice Cunningham earned his bachelor’s degree from Murray State University in 1962 and his juris doctor in 1969 from the University Of Kentucky College Of Law. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in Vietnam, Korea and Germany.
(Photo and Biography (as modified) Credit: Administrative Office of the Courts)