Judge Joy A. Kramer began serving as chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals on July 1, 2016, after being elected to that position by her fellow Court of Appeals judges. The chief judge provides administrative oversight to the Court of Appeals and serves for a four-year term. She had been chief judge pro tem since July 2012. Chief Judge Kramer was first elected to the Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve Division 2 of the 6th Appellate District. She was re-elected to that seat in 2014.
Prior to her election to the Court of Appeals, Judge Kramer served six years as chief law clerk for William O. Bertelsman, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. She has served as a staff attorney to Kentucky Court of Appeals Judges Daniel T. Guidugli and Robert W. Dyche III. As a practitioner, Judge Kramer worked primarily in civil rights defense work in the litigation department of Adams, Stepner, Woltermann & Dusing PLLC in Covington and practiced general litigation law with Hoffman, Hoffman & Grubbs in Elsmere.
Judge Kramer graduated magna cum laude from Morehead State University, where she also earned a master’s degree and a Rank I teaching certificate. After teaching special education for seven years in Grant and Pendleton county schools, Judge Kramer earned her juris doctor from the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law. She graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Northern Kentucky Law Review. She received numerous scholarships and awards for academic achievement, including the Chase Excellence Scholarship.
Judge Kramer has served as a special justice to the Kentucky Supreme Court. She is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Northern Kentucky Bar Association and the Salmon P. Chase Inn of Court, where she has served as president for two years and continues to serve on the Executive Committee. Judge Kramer is a graduate of Leadership Kentucky, Leadership Shelby County and Leadership Northern Kentucky, where she continues to serve on the Government Committee.
She has been active in her community and in the state through her service on numerous boards in the past, including Boone County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the St. Elizabeth Hospice Committee, the Executive Committee of Every Child Succeeds, the Kentucky Personnel Board and the Governor’s Postsecondary Education Nominating Commission. In 2010, Judge Kramer was named an Outstanding Woman of Northern Kentucky.
Judge Kramer grew up in Menifee County and now resides in Covington, Kentucky. She is an active member and volunteer at First Lutheran Church in Cincinnati.