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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 serves as Chair of the Sports and Criminal Law practices, Vice Chair of the Healthcare Law practice and also focuses on complex commercial litigation. Having served as lead Trial Counsel on more than 60 Jury Trials and dozens of Bench Trials and Administrative Proceedings, Craig brings unique and critical experience to the representation of his clients.

Among the highlights of Craig’s distinguished career is his successful defense at trial of a Division I college football coach and athletic association against a student alleging improprieties in the granting of football scholarships. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the university and awarded no damages.

In the public realm, Craig serves as Chairman of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Prior to joining SKO, Craig worked as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney and was the lead Prosecutor in a number of high-profile cases, including a workplace violence trial that ended in convictions on two counts of intentional murder. Craig also served as one of two Prosecutors imbedded with the Gang Violence Task Force.

Sports Law: Craig provides counsel to several of the nation’s leading collegiate athletic programs. He is a trusted advisor on matters spanning from employment and labor to NCAA compliance.

Criminal Law: As a former prosecutor, Craig brings a range of skill and experience to this practice. He has worked with business professionals charged with white-collar crimes like tax evasion, insider trading, fraud and embezzlement.

Business Litigation: For businesses and individual professionals faced with disputes, Craig draws upon his considerable expertise to achieve a satisfactory resolution, either in the courtroom or at the negotiating table.

Antitrust, Trade Regulation & Franchise: Craig provides a wide scope of services that include the representation of large and small corporations, dealers and franchises, and private and government entities.

Business Torts: Craig represents clients in defending and prosecuting torts such as abuse of power, bad faith and misappropriation of trade secrets. He provides thoughtful counsel at every phase of litigation, including pre-hearing processes.

Environmental Litigation: In matters involving air, water and waste, Craig consults with businesses on compliance with laws and regulations, and he negotiates with state and federal agencies regarding agreed-upon orders and corrective measures.

Health Care: Craig stays abreast of the industry landscape to offer assistance to healthcare companies, physician groups, assisted-living facilities, hospitals, physical therapy companies and other service providers on civil, criminal, internal security and administrative concerns.

Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits: Leveraging his depth of knowledge in this evolving area, Craig helps employers solve problems through proactive counseling, employee training and, where possible, cost-effective litigation.

 

Education
Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law
1994, J.D.
Bellarmine University
1991, B.A.
Admissions
Kentucky
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

Recognition

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2012-present
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2012-present
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Criminal Defense Law - White Collar, 2012-2014
  • 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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Affiliations

  • 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
  • Bellarmine University Board of Overseers, Executive Committee
  • Saint Joseph’s Orphanage Group, Board Member
  • Leadership Louisville, Graduate, 2009
  • Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, Vice-Chair 2005-2007, Chairman 2007-Present
  • Holy Spirit Parish Council, Immediate Past President
  • 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.

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News Publications Seminars
Preparing for and Testifying In a Suppression Hearing, Law Enforcement Trial Training Program, instructor, 1999-2000
Officer's Pre-trial Preparation - Finishing the Investigation, Law Enforcement Trial Training and Case Preparation Course, instructor, 1998-1999