Judge Gene Smallwood Jr. was appointed as a Kentucky Court of Appeals judge on Jan. 23, 2018, by Gov. Matt Bevin. He was appointed to fill the vacancy resulting from the retirement of Judge Janet L. Stumbo.
Judge Smallwood serves as the judge for Division 2 of the 7th Appellate District, which is made up of the counties of Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rowan and Wolfe.
Prior to his appointment, Judge Smallwood had been serving as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney since February 2016 and was a partner in the Whitesburg law firm of Polly & Smallwood, where he practiced civil litigation for more than 40 years. He represented clients in cases involving real property, family law, corporate law, mining law, worker’s compensation, administrative law, Social Security disability, personal injury, health care and probate. He also handled some criminal cases, including those involving murder, sexual abuse and theft.
After receiving his bachelor’s degrees in political science and English from the University of Michigan, Judge Smallwood earned his juris doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Judge Smallwood serves on the board of directors for Homes Inc., a non-profit organization that builds and renovates homes for low-income families. He serves as an elder for Eolia Baptist Church.
He is a Letcher County native. He and his wife, Suzanne, have two adult children, Megan Kissel and Dr. Jordan Smallwood.