Brian primarily serves the trial and litigation needs of clients in the financial services, insurance, and bourbon industries. Representing both individuals and businesses, Brian handles commercial litigation matters such as contract claims, trademark disputes, retail banking and UCC claims, and employment cases, including the defense of professionals under errors and omissions, directors and officers, and employment practices liability policies. Brian also represents insurers in coverage, fraud, and arson matters throughout Kentucky.
As part of his practice, Brian regularly litigates non-compete, unfair competition, trade secret, and breach of fiduciary duty cases, including injunction hearings, in state and federal courts in both Kentucky and Indiana. Brian also has been consulted in restrictive covenant matters in numerous other states.
Brian’s practice also includes land-use planning litigation, receiverships, and other real property disputes, including as a Mediator approved by the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors for residential sales disputes.
AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell®
Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2011-2018
The Best Lawyers in America®, 2013-2019
Best Lawyers® 2016 Louisville Litigation – Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year”
Brian received his undergraduate degree from Alma College (BA, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1993) and his law school degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law (JD, 1996).
- Court Admissions+
Brian is admitted to the Kentucky (1996) and Indiana (1997) bars, and is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, the US District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky and the Southern and Northern Districts of Indiana.
- Work Highlights+
Some of Brian’s recent career highlights as lead trial counsel include:
- Prevailing on summary judgment and on appeal to the Sixth Circuit on behalf of a startup distillery client defending against bourbon trademark claims asserted by a large distillery, and establishing rights under the fair use defense;
- Winning a substantial jury verdict against an international franchisor for wrongful termination of a client’s franchise agreement;
- Obtaining summary judgment in favor of an insurance agency and individually-named agent clients, and establishing protection against overzealous inclusion of individual agents in insurance E&O claims;
- Securing summary judgment and affirmance by the Sixth Circuit in favor of an insurance agency client and establishing important limits on duties of agencies;
- Successfully arguing to extend an arbitration provision to protect a non-party insurer in the Kentucky Court of Appeals;
- Securing numerous injunctions against employees who use confidential information or trade secrets, or who otherwise violate their restrictive covenants or who unfairly compete with their former employers;
- Obtaining a favorable arbitration award in favor of a banking client that invests in the development of affordable housing, against a breaching General Partner.
- Community & Personal Activities+
In February 2013, Brian was appointed by the Chief Judges of the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky as the Chair of the Joint Local Rules Commission. The Commission is comprised of District Court Judges and at-large members appointed by the Kentucky Bar Association. The Commission strives to provide standardized procedures for the convenience of the bench and bar, and ensures continuing continuity, clarity and modernity of the Joint Local Rules.
Brian currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Kentucky Humane Society and serves on the St. Patrick School Foundation. Brian recently concluded eleven years of service on the Board of Directors of Zoom Group (formerly known as Louisville Diversified Services), a United Way agency that is Kentucky’s largest provider of vocational services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seven years of service on the Finance Council of his church, and previously coached basketball for elementary students.
Brian and his wife have two children. The documentary,Straight Up: Kentucky Bourbon, featured Brian on Bourbon history and law, and his first book, Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America, was published by Potomac Books in November 2018.