Judges' Info

Chief Judge Tracey N. Wise was appointed to the bench March 31, 2010. Judge Wise is a 1980 graduate of Indiana University (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude) and a 1983 graduate of the Indiana University School of Law (J.D., Order of the Coif).  Judge Wise, a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy (12th Class-2001), formerly practiced law in the areas of bankruptcy and debt restructuring since 1983. Prior to her appointment, Judge Wise served on numerous court-appointed Committees; chaired the Bankruptcy Sections of the Fayette County and Kentucky Bar Associations; was a Trustee of the Kentucky Bar Association Client’s Security Fund, and served on the Board of Directors of the Lexington Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation.


Judge Gregory R. Schaaf was appointed to the bench October 1, 2012.  He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1991, where he was Order of the Coif and a member of the National Moot Court Team, the Moot Court Board, and the Journal of Mineral Law and Policy.  Judge Schaaf also received a B.B. degree in Accounting and a B.S. degree in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University in 1984 with high honors.  Judge Schaaf is a CPA and worked as a Solicitor in London, England from 1997-1999, handling corporate matters and real estate transactions for English, Russian and American clients.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy (Class Twenty-One 2010) and is certified in Business Bankruptcy Law and Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification.  Prior to coming to the bench, Judge Schaaf practiced in the areas of commercial reorganizations, including bankruptcies and workouts, as well as commercial transactions, including energy-related matters.  He practiced as counsel for debtors, creditors’ committees, trustees and individual creditors. 


Judge Joe Lee was appointed to the bench in September 1961.  Prior to his appointment, he was Counsel to a Congressional Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge H. Church Ford, and Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court.  Judge Lee received his BA degree in Journalism in 1952 and his JD in 1955, both from the University of Kentucky.    He continues to serve the Court in Recall status.