5th Appellate District Division 2

After graduating from Metcalfe County High School in 1973, Judge Acree served in the United States Army Security Agency before attending the University of Kentucky.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, he attended the University of Maryland where he received a Master of Arts degree in the history of science and medicine.  He then returned to Kentucky and obtained his Juris Doctorate from the UK College of Law in 1985.  

He practiced law for nine (9) years at McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland in Lexington before becoming a partner at Thomas, Stidham & Acree.  In 1998, he went solo until August 2006 when he was appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, filling the unexpired term of retiring Judge Julia K. Tackett.  

The following November, he was elected to his first full term and was re-elected in 2014 and again in 2022 without opposition.  In 2007, Judge Acree founded the Appellate Advocacy Section of the KBA, and he was a Founding Fellow of the Fayette County Bar Foundation in 2008.  For seven years, beginning in 2012, he served on the Board of the Kentucky Bar Foundation and is a Partner for Justice in the Foundation's Justice John Marshall Harlan Circle.  The judge's colleagues elected him Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals in 2012 and he served in that capacity until 2016.  In 2013, Judge Acree was elected a Fellow of the Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center in Washington, DC.  That same year, he co-founded the Central Kentucky American Inn of Court and served as its first president until 2016.  

He participated in the American Inn of Court Amity Visit to the original Inns of Court in London, England, in October 2019.  A frequent CLE presenter, Judge Acree received the KBA's Thomas B. Spain Award for Outstanding Service to Continuing Legal Education in 2014 and, in 2018, the University of Kentucky College of Law named Judge Acree its Distinguished Jurist.  On the national level, Judge Acree served as President of the National Center for State Courts' Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal, 2022–2023.  

Since 2018, he has served on the Judicial Conduct Commission.  He authored an inspiring article for the KBA's Bench & Bar entitled, Pro Bono: Getting to the Heart of a Little Latin, (Bench & Bar Vol. 77, No. 5 p.24 (Sept. 2013)), and a more scholarly work, Non-Cooperation Provisions in Settlement Agreements After Kentucky Bar Association v. Unnamed Attorney (Bench & Bar Vol. 79, No. 1, p. 8 (Jan. 2015)).  

The judge and his wife, the former Lisa Hahn of Versailles, raised two sons: Taylor, a 2017 Centre College graduate who lives in Lexington; and Matthew, a 2017 University of Wisconsin graduate who lives in Baraboo, Wisconsin with his daughters, Aimee and Ruby. ​​

Kentucky Court of Appeals
Tate Building
125 Lisle Industrial Ave, Suite 140
Lexington, KY 40511-2058
Phone: 859-246-2734​​​​