Jacqueline M. Caldwell, 3rd District Court of Appeals. Justice for children. Justice for families. Justice for all.

What is the Court of Appeals?

The Kentucky Court of Appeals is just as titled: the Court to which cases are appealed if a party is not satisfied with the outcome. The appealing party may ask the higher court to review the correctness of the trial court’s decision. Cases are not retried in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals judges do not simply decide, “Well this is what I would if I were the judge on that case.” If there has been an error made, such as an abuse of the trial court’s discretion or a clearly erroneous finding of facts, then the case may be sent back to the trial court to rehear portions of the case or there may a new trial.

There are 14 judges on Kentucky’s Court of Appeals. The state is divided into 7 districts, based on population, for purposes of electing 2 Court of Appeals judges from each district. Cases are generally argued by attorneys, through written legal briefs[1], to a three judge panel, composed of randomly selected judges from the entire 14 judge panel. Cases from all over the state are randomly assigned to these 3 judge panels. Case and judge assignment do not have anything to do with district from which they are elected.

Judge for the 3rd Judicial District, 1st Division of the Court of Appeals is a non-partisan judicial race. Candidates are not political party candidates and are not affiliated with a party for purposes of this race. Be sure to check the back of your ballot if you don’t see this race on the front if you live in one of the 27 counties that makes up the 3rd judicial district.

[1] Lawyers: are persons who write a 10,000 word document and call it a brief." --Franz Kafka

Counties include:

Adair, Bell, Casey, Clinton, Clay, Cumberland, Estill, Garrard, Green, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Lincoln, Marion, McCreary, Metcalfe, Monroe, Nelson, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Taylor, Washington, Wayne, and Whitley

To our constituents:

Judges in Kentucky are elected to serve the people; they are paid from the public accounts to do a necessary job. There is an ongoing issue in Kentucky with the Court of Appeals simply taking too long to render opinions in some cases. This becomes an even more injurious problem in actions involving children: custody decisions, termination of parental rights decisions, etc. There is an old saying, “justice delayed is justice denied.” There is nowhere that is truer than in the life of a child. Childhood is short and you can’t get it back.

The Court of Appeals panel is well represented with judges who have years of experience in district and circuit court matters; it has a significant deficit of judges with in depth family law knowledge and experience. Family law cases make up the largest single category of cases being appealed to the Court of Appeals and that number continues to grow. The opioid epidemic affects every area of law, not just criminal cases. In fact, the damaging effects of this crisis are felt most severely by those least able to affect change; namely children.

Jacqueline has represented many hundreds of children in neglect and abuse actions in Kentucky.  Jacqueline has in depth knowledge and real litigation experience in every aspect of family law and can have an immediate impact on the Court of Appeals panel.

Jacqueline has real world experience in general civil law as well. She is an experienced attorney in areas of the law that affect most people: probate, wills and estates, personal injury, and small business matters.

Jacqueline is an experienced appellate attorney who understands that the role of the Court of  Appeals is to insure that the law is applied equally to all and not written from the bench.

Jacqueline is a former prosecutor with actual court experience prosecuting a multitude of offenses.  Jacqueline will bring a work horse ethic and horse sense practicality to the Court of Appeals.

Jacqueline has always worked with honesty and integrity. A fair and unbiased legal system requires judges and judicial candidates who are ethical. Lawyers who not only do not act in self-interest or the interest of their family, but judges and judicial candidates who act without even the appearance of self-dealing. Jacqueline will uphold the most stringent standards of ethics to the legal profession and the bench.

Vote Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Click here for more information.

Who is Jacqueline M. Caldwell?

Jackie is proud to be from the 3rd judicial district. Jackie was born and raised in Calvary, a small community in Marion County. Jackie is the youngest of the fifteen children of Bluebo and Odele Caldwell. Jackie comes from a long line of central Kentucky farmers. Kentucky farmers exemplify hard work and honesty and these are the ethics Jackie would bring with her to the Court of Appeals.

Jackie is a proud wife and mother. Jackie has been married to Aaron Thomas for fourteen years and they have a seven year old daughter, Leona Mae. Jackie also has a daughter from her teen pregnancy, Heather, who is now thirty-three. Even though Aaron and Jackie did not start dating until Heather was in high school, she still thinks of him as her Dad.

Education Jackie is a proud graduate of Campbellsville University, class of 1996, where she graduated with honors. Jackie also earned a full tuition scholarship to the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1999.

Work Experience Jackie’s first job was at Druther’s Restaurant in Greensburg, KY. Jackie then worked at Fruit of the Loom in Campbellsville, KY from 1987 through 1996, first as a sewing machine operator then as a forklift driver and batcher. Jackie is grateful for her blue collar roots where she learned that every job is important and should be completed with efficiency, thoroughness and pride. During law school Jackie clerked for the Jefferson County Attorney’s office. Upon graduation from law school Jackie went to work as an Assistant County Attorney prosecuting numerous criminal actions.

Legal Experience Jackie has been practicing law for twenty years. Her first job was as a prosecutor. While working as a prosecutor, Jackie learned to handle a heavy case load with efficiency and effectiveness. She learned that her skills and efforts put into the job could make the difference in justice being served or in justice being denied.

After working for a medium sized law firm for a couple years with great mentors, Jackie pursued her dream of opening her own law practice and advocating for children and families needing a voice in the legal system. Jackie has put in the hard work and made the sacrifices to be able to advocate for families and children in abusive domestic situations like she found herself in as a young wife and mother.

Why she is running

In addition to her experience in family law, criminal law and general civil law, Jacki is an experienced appellate court attorney. Jackie knows that her love of the law and pleasure in the in depth research and writing that goes into appellate work can be used to the benefit of all Kentuckians as a Judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

Why she is asking for your vote

Jackie has dedicated her legal career to bettering the lives of her fellow Kentuckians. She knows how to work hard and to do so ethically and with integrity and honesty. Jackie has no agenda for personal wealth or gain. Her agenda is for a better society for her children and all the children and families of Kentucky.



Support Jackie by volunteering for campaign activities, i.e., address mailings, secure signage, or fundraisers. Thank you for your support!

Jacqueline M. Caldwell
P.O. Box 266
Cox's Creek, KY  40013

Share on FaceBook or Instagram

Scroll to top