Karen K. Caldwell

Chief Judge, Eastern District of Kentucky, 2001-

Karen K. Caldwell is a judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Caldwell was born in 1956 in Stanford, Kentucky. She received her bachelor's degree from Transylvania University in 1977 and her law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1980. Following law school, Caldwell worked as a field claims representative for State Farm Fire and Casualty. In 1987, she returned to Kentucky to become an assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, eventually becoming the District's US attorney in 1991. After stepping down from the position two years later, Caldwell worked private practice and taught at Transylvania University. In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated her to serve as a judge for the Eastern District Court, to a seat vacated by Judge Henry R. Wilhoit Jr. The Senate confirmed her nomination on October 23, 2001 and Caldwell joined the bench the next day. In 2018, Caldwell was appointed as a member of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. She became chair of the Panel in 2019.

Oral Histories

Caldwell, Karen, interview by Anu Kasarabada. March 01, 2019, John G. Heyburn II Initiative for Excellence in the Federal Judiciary Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.