Thomas J. Knopf
Judge Tom Knopf was a judge for over 25 years. He served 12 years as a District Judge and 15 years as a Circuit court judge in Louisville Kentucky. He was Chief Judge of both the Jefferson District and Circuit Courts. He is currently a partner with Retired Judges & Associates Mediation & Arbitration Services. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America for 2008 in the field of alternative dispute resolution. He has currently been nominated to be included in the Kentucky Super Lawyers magazine.
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Ann O'Malley Shake
Judge Ann O'Malley Shake began her legal career in 1982. As a lawyer, her practice was primarily business and commercial real estate matters, in addition to an 18 month stint as a prosecutor in drunk driving cases. Elected to the bench in 1990, she presided in every division of district court (including 2 years exclusively in the probate division), she served for 12 years in Circuit Court (general jurisdiction) and concluded her judicial career for the last 18 months as a judge on the Kentucky Court of Appeals. She presided over multiple personal injury, wrongful death, business, real estate and decedent's estate disputes, among others. In years of mediating cases, she has mediated many, many personal injury, wrongful death, business, real estate and decedent's estate disputes and employment law cases which have resulted in settlements. What she enjoys most about mediating is spending (usually) 1 day with a case, and, at the end of the day, witnessing the relief of the parties and their lawyers when a difficult litigation matter is resolved. She has served as arbitrator for many cases, including nursing home claims, real estate matters and business and contract disputes. She will be honored to assist you and your client(s).
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Edmund "Pete" Karem graduated second in his class from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1968. He was in private practice in the firm of Karem & Karem attorneys until 1983 when he was elected to the Jefferson Circuit Court. Mr. Karem concentrated in civil litigation at Karem & Karem and was managing partner of the firm from 1971 until his election to the Circuit Court. He was President of the Louisville Bar Association in 1980. He served as Chair of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights from 1976 - 1993. During 1986 - 1987 Judge Karem was Chief Judge of the Jefferson Circuit Court. In 1991 and 1992, Judge Karem was President of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Judges. Judge Karem returned to private practice in 1993 as a partner in the firm of Sitlinger, McGincy, Theiler & Karem, a civil trial firm. He took a leave of absence during 1995 when he was appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals by the Governor to fill an unexpired term. In 2006, Mr. Karem left the Sitlinger firm to conduct a mediation and arbitration service called Karem Mediation. In April 2008 Judge Karem joined the Retired Judges & Associates Mediation & Arbitrations Services.
Judge Ryan has over thirty years of professional experience and twenty years of Judicial Experience. He has tried a variety of cases from fender benders to multi-million dollars products liability and numerous medical negligence cases. Judge Ryan is a graduate of the National Judicial College Mediation Program and significant experience in mediating cases.
Judge James M. Shake served as Jefferson Circuit Court Judge for 24 years beginning March 1993. He was elected to three terms as Chief Circuit Judge in Jefferson County and Chief Regional Judge for the Metro Region, named Judge of the Year in 2003 by the Louisville Bar Association, Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in 2007, and the Henry V. Pennington Outstanding Trial Judge by the Kentucky Justice Association in 2009. He is past President of the Kentucky Circuit Judges Association and a Life Fellow of the Kentucky Bar Foundation. Throughout his career, he has been actively involved in judicial education. Judge Shake looks forward to offering his services and experience, enabling litigants to resolve disputes that might otherwise go before the Court or a jury.