Mayfield attorney Kevin D. Bishop has been appointed as the 52nd Judicial Circuit Court judge and will finish the term of his predecessor, Judge Tim Stark, who retired from the bench in December of 2020.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear made the appointment last week. Bishop was one of three nominees, which included former District Court judge Royce W. Buck and Carlos Moran.
“I’m humbled and truly honored by the appointment,” Bishop said. “I’ve enjoyed representing the citizens of Mayfield and Graves County and western Kentucky for over the past 33 years and I look forward to serving in this new position.”
He also credited Judge Stark with setting a tone in and out of the courtroom that he hopes to emulate.
“I have the utmost respect for Judge Stark. He is a true gentleman. He was an excellent jurist. His demeanor is something I think all judges should aspire to achieve. Just a kind person on the bench even when making difficult decisions,” Bishop added. “He treated everyone with respect and I plan to continue that tradition.”
A southern Illinois native, Bishop attended Murray State University and graduated in 1984. He then graduated from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 1987 and began work with the Department of Public Advocacy in 1988 through 1991.
In 1991, he joined the law firm of Dennis Null and eventually Bishop opened his own practice in 1995.
For the past 12-plus years, Bishop has volunteered legal training for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), advocated for children’s rights, and also volunteered the past six years as defense representative for Drug Court.
He is very active in other community circles, having served on the local Habitat for Humanity board and Mayfield-Graves County Library Board of Directors, which included the last two years as the library board president.
Bishop is a member of the Mayfield Lions Club with a lengthy resume. He has served as the local chapter’s president for two terms and board of directors for more than 10 years, also having served as orientation chair and chair of constitution of bylaws. Among the organization’s District 43K, which encompasses half of Kentucky, Bishop had served as cabinet secretary and district governor.
In 2020, he received the Lions Club International President’s Medal, which was awarded to 750 individuals out of 1.4 million. He has also received the Lions Club International certificate of appreciation, is a Melvin Jones Fellow, has served on the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation Board of Trustees, and is a Finis Davis Fellow with the Eye Foundation.
Bishop said service has been a key point in his professional career and personal life committed to Mayfield and Graves County.
“I view the position of circuit judge as a continuation of that service to our community. Although I’m not a native here, I tell people my roots may not be as deep as yours but they’re planted and I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “This is my home. I love the people here, love the community, and want it to continue to thrive and improve.”
Stark’s term runs through 2022. Bishop said he intends to eventually file and run for a full term as circuit court judge.