Leigh Jackson running for Daviess Circuit Court Judge

January 25, 2022 | 12:10 am

Updated January 25, 2022 | 9:23 am

Leigh A. Jackson, the directing attorney for the Owensboro Department of Public Advocacy, is running for Daviess County Circuit Court Judge for Division 1.

The position is currently held by Jay Wethington, who has filed for reelection.

Jackson has been in her current position, which manages 10 attorneys and 7 additional staff, for just more than 8 years, though she’s been at the DPA for 12 years. 

“That job requires not only organization and reasoned decision making but patience, empathy and a sense of fairness,” she said. “I would apply that experience to managing a busy courtroom. I have appeared in Circuit Court most days during my 20-plus years as a practitioner so I understand the demands the dockets place on Circuit Judges.”

Jackson said as a defender, it has been her job to argue the law as well as “present a picture of each client as a person, shaped by their experiences and not just what they are accused of,” to Circuit Judges. 

“Being Circuit Judge is an opportunity for me to apply my years of experience as a trial attorney, combined with my understanding of how issues of poverty, addiction, mental illness and intellectual disability contribute to individuals coming before the Court,” she said. “I would serve Daviess County as a judge who makes fair, compassionate and informed decisions that will positively impact the community, while protecting the rights of the individual parties in front of me, and providing effective access to courts through all means available.”

If elected, Jackson said she would continue to work with other personnel to provide parties meaningful access to have their cases heard. She said she knows from experience the hurdles virtual court presents to all involved, so striking a balance between virtual and in-person appearances” is crucial to keeping people safe and preserving their rights.”

She said she would also utilize tools such as mediation in felony criminal matters as a tool to help alleviate the backlog of cases, and provide a forum for victims and accused to come together to resolve cases. 

She also would look into making the Rocket Docket process more efficient, working with the parties “to get individuals before me on those cases through the court process quickly and into treatment.”

Jackson was on the original Ohio County Drug Court team, and has served on Daviess County Juvenile Drug Court. 

“I am a believer that specialty courts do give individuals in need of added support within the community the tools to overcome their addiction and avoid further contact with the court system,” she said. “I am prepared to step in and lead any specialty court as needed.”

Jackson was born in Owensboro to the late Louis Jackson and Corky King Jackson. She and her husband John Barr, IV, have a son, Fletcher.

Jackson graduated from Apollo High School in 1989. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Western Kentucky University in 1993 and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1997.  

Upon returning to Owensboro, Jackson worked at the Bennett, Bowman, Triplett & Vittitow law firm and was admitted to the Kentucky Bar Association in May 2000. She joined the Department of Public Advocacy in March 2001 but left to pursue private practice until 2009. In November 2013, Jackson was selected to become the directing attorney of the Owensboro DPA Trial Office.

Jackson has served as President of the Daviess County Bar Association; was a member of Junior League and Impact 100; and is on the Dance Theatre Executive Board.

“This election cycle will bring a lot of change to our court system in Daviess County,” Jackson said. “I want to be a positive part of that change and am truly hopeful to have the opportunity to serve my community, my fellow attorneys and the people of Daviess County.”

January 25, 2022 | 12:10 am

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