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Ky. SC justice to retire due to medical condition

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Jan 18, 2013


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Legal Newsline) -- Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Wil Schroder said this week he is retiring due to a brain tumor.

The Court made the announcement Thursday in a news release.

Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. said in statement he was "very sorry" to hear of Schroder's retirement. Minton described him as a "dear friend."

"He brought a sharp intellect and meticulous approach to his work on the Supreme Court," Minton said.

"He felt obligated every day to work hard on behalf of the people in his district and the state. The Supreme Court will not be the same without him."

Schroder, who has more than 29 years of judicial service under his belt, was elected to the state's high court in November 2006 to serve the 6th Supreme Court District.

Prior to that, he served on the Kentucky Court of Appeals for more than 15 years, from 1991 to 2006. He also served as a trial judge on the Kenton District Court for almost eight years, from 1983 to 1991, including one year as a juvenile judge.

Schroder earned both his bachelor's degree and law degree from the University Of Kentucky. He also earned an advanced law degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

In the early 1970s, while completing his degree at Missouri, Schroder worked as an attorney for the Kansas City Legal Aid Society and as a corporate attorney for the St. Paul Insurance Company.

After returning to Kentucky, he became an assistant law professor at Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College Of Law, from 1972 to 1975, during the first three years the college operated as a Kentucky-based institution.

Schroder also worked in a private practice from 1975 to 1983 in Covington with his brother, Robert, where he represented the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission and served as a contract attorney for the Special Fund of the Division of Workers' Compensation and as a Kenton County public defender.

He also served as a hearing officer for the Kentucky Personnel Board and was appointed city attorney for Newport, Ky., during the onset of Newport's early riverfront development.

Schroder currently lives in Fort Mitchell with his wife, Susan Wahlbrink Schroder. He is the father to two daughters, Stephanie and Lydia, and a son, Wil.

Now, Gov. Steve Beshear will have the task of finding someone to replace Schroder on the bench to fulfill the remainder of his term, which runs through Jan. 1, 2015.

Schroder said in the news release Thursday that he is "honored to have served on the judiciary and feels the deepest gratitude to the citizens of Kentucky who, by electing him, have fostered his lifelong career in public service."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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University of Missouri - ColumbiaKentucky Supreme Court