7th Appellate District Division 1

​Judge Combs was born in Louisville, Kentucky. Since 1984, she has resided in Stanton, Kentucky, Powell County, at her farm, Fern Hill, the beloved home she shared with her late husband, former Gov. Bert T. Combs. Her academic achievements include: valedictorian at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville and valedictorian at the University of Louisville where she obtained B.A. and a M.A. in French. She was a Woodrow Wilson Designate in Graduate School. She achieved the rank of second in her class at U of L Law School. The University of Louisville Law School honored Judge Combs by naming her among its Distinguished Alumni.

Judge Combs's professional experience includes teaching at the high school, university and law school levels – as well as the practice of law. She began her legal career as an associate with the firm of Wyatt, Tarrant, and Combs in Louisville. Three years later, she became corporate counsel to an advertising company, practiced closely with her late husband, and became the sole proprietor of her own small law office in Stanton after his death.

In July of 1993, Governor Brereton Jones appointed her as the Commonwealth's first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. In January 1994, she was appointed to her current seat on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, then was elected to keep that seat, and served as its Chief Judge for six years: from 2004-2010. The Kentucky Bar Association honored her as “Outstanding Judge of the Year" in 2010.

In addition to teacher, lawyer, and judge, Judge Combs has recently added the title of “author" to her résumé. Fulfilling a promise made many years ago to her late husband, she wrote and published a memoir of the last chapter of his life, his return to the mountains of his beloved Eastern Kentucky. Bert Combs: The Fern Hill Years made its debut at the Kentucky Book Festival in Lexington in November of 2021.

Judge Combs serves the Mountain Region of Eastern Kentucky, the First Division of the Seventh Appellate District. ​

Kentucky Court of Appeals
323 E. College Avenue
P.O. Box 709
Stanton, KY 40380-0709
Phone: 606-663-0651​​