Pamela R. Goodwine

Judge Goodwine was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2018 and was re-elected unopposed in November 2022 to represent Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison, Scott, and Woodford counties.  Chief Judge Larry Thompson named her Chief Judge Pro Tem in January 2023. She will serve as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals in Chief Judge Thompson’s absence, or should he recuse or be unable to complete his duties as Chief Judge.  

Judge Goodwine earned an LLM in Judicial Studies from Duke University School of Law in May 2023. The intensive and challenging two-year program included original research, writing an original thesis, and a curriculum taught by top scholars and professionals, including federal judges and U.S. Supreme Court justices. Judge Goodwine’s thesis, Fighting Death: A Critique of Kentucky’s Death Penalty System, will be published in Kentucky’s Law Journal, Vol. 112, Book 3, in the spring of 2024. Judge Goodwine maintained full-time status and a full caseload during her coursework, research, and thesis writing.  

Before her election to the Court of Appeals, Judge Goodwine served as Chief Regional Circuit Judge for Fayette County. She served as a circuit court judge from November 2003 until November 2018 and as a district court judge from August 1999 until November 2003.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky, Carol Martin Gatton College of Business, in 1991. She graduated from the University of Kentucky, College of Law in 1994. Admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky in October 1994, she was in private practice with the law firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs from 1994 until her appointment to the district court bench in August 1999. She became the first African American woman to be appointed and subsequently elected to the bench in Fayette County.

Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Goodwine chaired the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and served as that agency's commissioner. Judge Goodwine was inducted into the Carol Martin Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame in February 2000. She was named the Fayette County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer in May 2001. On September 21, 2012, Judge Goodwine received the Henry V. Pennington Trial Judge of the Year Award from the Kentucky Justice Association. Judge Goodwine also presided over Fayette County Specialty Court from 2011 until her Kentucky Court of Appeals election. In March of 2018, Judge Goodwine received the 2018 “Women Making History” Award from the Kentucky Commission on Women, and in April 2018, she received the Carl Brashear “Walking by Faith” Award from the Carter G. Woodson Academy. In 2020, the Kentucky Gazette recognized her as one of 2020’s Notable Women in Kentucky Politics and Government.

Judge Goodwine is married to Lee A. Padgett, Jr. They have two children and six grandchildren. Judge Goodwine was certified as a Jazzercise fitness instructor in June 2012. She enjoys designing, watching sports, and exercising.

​5th Appellate District, Division 1

Kentucky Court of Appeals
Robert F. Stephens Circuit Courthouse 
120 N. Limestone St.
Lexington, KY 40507
Phone: 859-246-4111