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Craig C. Dilger

Member, Louisville

Craig is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Louisville office and has been with the firm since 2001. He is a member of the Business Litigation practice and serves as Chair of both the Sports Law and Criminal Law practices. He is also a member of the Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits, Business Torts, Antitrust, Trade Regulation & Franchise, Healthcare and Environmental practices. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, education law, sports law, and complex white collar criminal defense law. Prior to joining the firm, Craig served as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney, prosecuting a number of high-profile cases.

Craig is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated™ by Martindale-Hubbell®, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® and is honored as a Kentucky Super Lawyer for his many career successes. The Leadership Louisville 2009 graduate has successfully defended a Top 10 NCAA Division 1 Football Coach and the Athletic Association against a student alleging improprieties in the granting of football scholarships. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Coach and the Athletic Association and awarded no damages. He was also the lead prosecutor in a high profile Workplace Violence case, which ended in convictions on two counts of Intentional Murder.

Craig is a member of the Louisville, Kentucky and American Bar associations, and also the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He was honored as a Business First Forty Under 40 Recipient in 2003 and named "Pick of the Judges" in 2006 by Louisville Magazine's Best Lawyers Under Age 40. Currently, he serves as the chairman of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and as the coordinator and director of Training for the Jefferson County Teen Court. He coaches the Mock Trial Team at Saint Xavier High School and is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force. In his spare time, Craig coaches soccer and enjoys hiking and restoring antique automobiles.

Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law
1994, J.D.
Bellarmine University
1991, B.S.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Kentucky
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
United States Supreme Court


  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2012 - present
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Criminal Defense Law - White Collar, 2012-2014
  • Kentucky Super Lawyer, Business Litigation
  • Louisville Magazine Best Lawyers Under Age 40 - Pick of the Judges, 2006
  • Business First Forty Under 40 Recipient, 2003
  • Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Badge Awarded for Outstanding Service in the Prosecution of Crimes Against Citizens of the Commonwealth, 2001
  • Jefferson County Police Service to Law Enforcement Award, 2001
  • Louisville Division of Police Special Service and Dedication Award, 2001
  • Louisville Division of Fire Special Recognition Award, 1999
  • Kentucky Commonwealth's Attorneys Association Outstanding Service Award, 1997
  • International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators Distinguished Service to Law Enforcement Award, 1997
  • Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney Excellence Award, 1995
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  • American Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Louisville Bar Association
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • Bingham Fellow, 2012
  • Bellarmine University, Rubel School of Business board of advisors
  • Leadership Louisville, graduate, 2009
  • Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, vice-chair 2005-2007, chairman 2007-Present
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Church Parish Council, member
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force, Selection Committee
  • Operation Sober Program, speaker and facilitator
  • Bellarmine University Mock Trial Program, Judge and Team Trial Consultant
  • St. Xavier High School Mock Trial Team, coach
  • Jefferson County Republican Party Executive Committee, past chairman Legal Advisory Committee
  • Jefferson County Teen Court, Prosecutorial Coordinator and Director of Training
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Work Highlights

Lead Trial Counsel Defending Top 10 NCAA Division One Football Coach and the University’s Athletic Association

The Coach and Athletic Association were sued by a former student-athlete who alleged improprieties in the granting of football scholarships. A decision against the Athletic Association and the Coach would have affected recruiting of college athletes at every level. Trial in this matter lasted two weeks with well-known experts from various college football programs testifying for each side. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on all counts and awarded no damages.

Ending a Derivative Action by a Merger and Dissenter Rights

When a small minority of the shareholders prevailed in derivative action, SKO was brought in to advise the majority owners. A merger transaction both ended the derivative action by depriving the minority of standing and provided a means of redeeming their shares so similar suits may not be brought in the future. The minority shareholders initiated a dissenter rights action, which was resolved on a valuation favorable to our client.

Neighborhood Nuisance & Trespass Claims

Defended claims for nuisance, trespass, negligence and strict liability by multiple property owners against the local electric utility. Successfully defeated class certification.

Motor Vehicle Accident: Alleged Negligent Maintenance of Street Light

Obtained a unanimous defense jury verdict on behalf of a public utility. The plaintiff claimed that the utility failed to properly maintain street light, which caused a motor vehicle accident. This is first and only case of its kind to be tried to a jury in Kentucky, subsequent to decision by Kentucky Supreme Court allowing such causes of action.

Wrongful Termination

SKO represented a university that terminated one of its police officers after two episodes of misconduct that were detected through intradepartmental procedures. The employee appealed the termination through an internal appeal process, which concluded in a four-day de novo hearing before a neutral Hearing Officer from the Kentucky Attorney General’s office. The internal appeal was unsuccessful, and the employee appealed to Jefferson Circuit Court, arguing that the Hearing Officer’s recommendations were arbitrary and capricious and that the employee had been deprived of the procedural protections found within KRS 15.520, aka the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights. In response, the university explained that the Hearing Officer’s recommendations were well supported, that KRS 15.520 was only applicable when officer discipline was premised on a citizen complaint (and thus not applicable in an intradepartmental matter), and that even if the procedural protections of KRS 15.520 applied, any prejudice was cured through the four-day de novo hearing that the employee had been afforded internally. After the Circuit Court agreed with the university’s points and upheld the Hearing Officer, the employee appealed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, where the same arguments were made. The Court of Appeals issued a 31-page opinion affirming the trial court on all points. The employee filed a motion for discretionary review which is currently pending. The case is a very meaningful one in the law enforcement community, particularly among non-unionized officers. Also, in reaching its decision, the Court of Appeals ruled as a matter of first impression that the university’s internal pre-hearing processes were constitutional.

Sexual Discrimination, Hostile Work Environment & Damage to Professional Reputation

SKO represented a university, a university dean and a department chair against allegations of sexual discrimination, hostile work environment and damage to professional reputation. During the long and strongly contested discovery process, SKO moved for summary judgment with respect to claims against the dean and the chair, and the motions were fully briefed and argued. At the conclusion of discovery, SKO moved for summary judgment on behalf of the university. The court granted summary judgment as to all defendants on all counts and dismissed the case.

News Publications Seminars
"Preparing for and Testifying In a Suppression Hearing," Law Enforcement Trial Training Program, instructor1999-2000
"Officer's Pre-trial Preparation - Finishing the Investigation," Law Enforcement Trial Training and Case Preparation Course, instructor1998-1999