Deputy Chief Justice Lisabeth T. Hughes serves Jefferson County, which is the 4th Supreme Court District. In February 2017, Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. named her deputy chief justice of the Supreme Court. The deputy chief justice fills in when the chief justice recuses in a case or an administrative matter.
Justice Hughes has served on the Supreme Court for 10 years and has been a judge for 20 years. She was appointed as a justice in 2007 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the late Justice William E. McAnulty Jr. In November 2008, the voters of Jefferson County elected her to serve as the justice from their district. She was re-elected in November 2014.
Prior to taking the Supreme Court bench, Justice Hughes served as a Kentucky Court of Appeals judge from 1997-1998 and a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge from 1999-2006. She was reappointed to the Court of Appeals in 2006 and later elected to the court, where she was serving when she was appointed to the Supreme Court.
After earning her bachelor’s degree with highest honors from the University of Louisville, Justice Hughes graduated magna cum laude from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, where she was named Outstanding Graduate of her law school class. Before serving as a judge, she practiced law for 15 years, concentrating on business and commercial litigation.
Justice Hughes is a past president of the Louis D. Brandeis Inn of Court. She is chairwoman of the Supreme Court’s Civil Rules Committee and is the Supreme Court representative on the board of the Kentucky IOLTA Fund, which has awarded more than $15 million in grants since 1988 to provide legal aid to those who cannot afford an attorney, local pro bono programs and other projects. She is past president of the alumni council for the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and served as a trustee for the Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement System Board from 2000-2012. She is a past Louisville Bar Association Judge of the Year and was the U of L Law Alumni Fellow in 2009. She is a frequent lecturer for the Kentucky Circuit Judges College and is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Louisville.
Justice Hughes is a native of Princeton, Ky., and has three sons.