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Douglas C. Ballantine

Member , Louisville KY


Douglas C. Ballantine

Member , Louisville KY

Doug serves as chair of the Business Torts practice and the Finance Committee at Stoll Keenon Ogden, and he has been a Member of the firm since 1990. He also represents clients through several other practice groups at the firm, concentrating on litigation involving intellectual property rights, complex business and construction disputes, insurance disputes, product liability, and personal injury claims.

Doug was the 2018-2019 president of the Kentucky Bar Association. He continues to serve on various KBA Committees. He serves as a Master in the Brandeis Inn of Court, is a member of the Sixth Circuit Life Member Committee, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Speed Museum. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America®, recognized by Chambers USA and is honored as a Kentucky Super Lawyer® Top 50 Kentucky, Business Litigation. In 2018, he was honored by Business First as one of 20 People to Know in Law.

Business Torts and Commercial Litigation: Doug oversees a team of attorneys who represent clients by defending and prosecuting business torts claims, including shareholder and derivative actions, and claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, bad faith, tortious interference with contractual relations, fraudulent misrepresentation and theft of trade secrets.

Intellectual Property: Doug represents clients in a broad range of intellectual property matters, including copyright and trademark infringement claims, theft of trade secrets, author’s and artist’s rights, trade dress, and unfair competition. Doug is part of a practice group that has a national reach in all facets of intellectual property cases, including patent, copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, and unfair competition.

Class Action: Doug represents both plaintiffs and defendants in class actions in state and federal courts. His class action experience includes the defense of class action claims by residents allegedly injured by the release of chemicals from derailed train cars, defense of claims by a purported class of homeowners regarding alleged defects in home construction, prosecution claims regarding the cemetery’s failure to bury the deceased in agreed-upon plots and vaults, and defense of claims by residents claiming nuisance from hog farming operations.

Securities Litigation: Doug has successfully represented clients on alleged insider trading cases, negotiating settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission to the satisfaction of our clients.

Tort, Trial & Insurance Services: Doug represents corporate clients on product liability claims and virtually all varieties of tort and insurance litigation. His experience includes litigation involving catastrophic injuries including wrongful death, brain damage, severe burns, amputation, and paralysis.

He has extensive experience in handling insurance coverage disputes, for insurers and for policyholders, including declaratory judgment actions in state and federal court, and related claims of bad faith, violation of the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, and consumer protection statutes.

Construction Law: Doug has represented clients in numerous construction disputes, including claims of defective construction involving a multi-million dollar construction project in Canada, involving multiple lawsuits in multiple Canadian venues; alleged defective design and installation of HVAC and other systems; representing supplier of products for use in the construction of multi-billion dollar federal nuclear fuel processing facility; defective roofing on commercial and residential properties; and defective site preparation involving plastic soils.


Admitted In

  • Kentucky

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky

  • U.S. District Court, U.S. Virgin Islands

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky

  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Bar Association

  • Kentucky Bar Association: President, 2018-2019; President-Elect, 2017-2018; Board of Governors and Executive Committee, 2008-2019; Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, 2014-present; Rules Committee, 2012-present; Ethics Committee member, 1996-2008; Continuing Education Commission chair, 2002-2007; Finance Committee member, 2003-2007; Professionalism Committee member, 1993-1995

  • Louisville Bar Association, 1990-present; Litigation Section chair, 1999; Intellectual Property Section, 2000-present

  • Kentucky Bar Foundation, Board of Directors

  • Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company of Kentucky, Board of Directors

  • Speed Art Museum, Board of Trustees

  • Friends of the Kentucky Legal Education Opportunity Program, Inc., Secretary

  • Sixth Circuit Life Member Planning Committee

  • Sixth Circuit Conference Planning Committee

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, chair, 2017-2018

  • Defense Research Institute

  • Kentucky Defense Counsel

  • American Intellectual Property Law Association

  • Blackacre Conservancy, former board member

  • Focus Louisville Alumni Group, former board member

  • Kentucky Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee, former member Legal Aid Society, former board member

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Advisory Committee on Local Rules, former member


    • President, Kentucky Bar Association, July 2018 – July 2019 Kentucky Bar Association
    • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
    • Top 10 Kentucky Super Lawyer®, Business Litigation, 2024
    • Top 50 Kentucky Super Lawyer®, Business Litigation, 2023
    • Kentucky Super Lawyer®, Business Litigation, 2007 – present
    • Best Lawyers® 2017, 2024 Litigation – Intellectual Property “Lawyer of the Year” in Louisville
    • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, 2006 – present
    • The Best Lawyers in America®, Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2011 – present
    • The Best Lawyers in America®, Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2022 – present
    • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, Environmental; General Commercial; Insurance; Intellectual Property, 2013 – 2018
    • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
    • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer for Business, Litigation: General Commercial, Litigation: Tort & Insurance Defense
    • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Copyright/Trademark Law; Personal Injury Law: Defense; Copyright/Trademark Law and General Litigation

Work Highlights

  • Intellectual Property disputes

    As lead counsel in a trade name and trade dress infringement action in federal court, Doug successfully established that his client’s unregistered trademarks were protected under the Lanham Act and, after a multi-witness injunction hearing, obtained a preliminary injunction against a competitor in the elder care industry requiring the Defendant to change its name, logo, and signage. See Trilogy Healthcare v. Camelot Leasing, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-00307-RGJ, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144653 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 22, 2019).

  • Lead counsel representing Kentucky Derby winning jockey in dispute with his agent over breeding rights

    Lead counsel in defending claims in federal court against Kentucky Derby winning jockey regarding claims by agent for portion of yearly stud fee from the stallion, Unbridled’s Song. After briefing and argument, case was dismissed by District Court. On appeal by opposing party, after briefing and argument, U.S. Court of Appeals for 6th Circuit affirmed in all respects. Adika v. Smith, 466 F.3d 503 (6th Cir. 2006).

  • Shareholder Derivative Actions

    Lead counsel defending action by single, dissident shareholder who brought both derivative claims on behalf of the corporation and direct claims against certain directors. SKO successfully argued in litigation that the dissident shareholder had no standing to assert claims and lacked the ability to bring a derivative action for failure to satisfy the statutory requirements for doing so. The litigation continued to the enforcement of a stock buy-sell agreement, upon which our client was successful in both its enforcement and the valuation of the minority member’s shares. Conlon v. Haise, Case No. 2014-CA-001581-MR (Ky. Ct. App. 2016).

  • Non-Compete Cases

    Lead counsel for plaintiff in injunction action regarding violation of non-compete and theft of trade secrets. After hearing, federal court issued injunction barring former employee from continuing to violate non-compete and enjoining any dissemination of trade secrets.

  • Publishing Rights

    Successfully represented best-selling author of fiction works in multiple disputes, including arbitration concerning ownership, copyrights, publishing rights and royalty payments. Negotiated confidential settlement favorable to client.

  • Business Litigation Claims

    Lead counsel representing manufacturer-supplier of equipment supplied to multi-billion dollar nuclear waste processing facility regarding claims against client for alleged latent defects in products and in related claims against prime contractor for amounts due under contract. Case settled after multiday mediation. CB&I Areva Mox Services, LLC v. Flanders Corporation, Civil Action No. 1:18-00052-TLW (U.S. Dist. S.C.).

  • Insider Trading Cases

    Lead counsel in alleged insider trading cases brought by Securities and Exchange Commission. Claims involved alleged “tipper” and “tippee” liability relating to the purchase of stocks. Successfully negotiated settlement with SEC to satisfaction of clients. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Somers, et al., Case No. 3:11-cv-00165-JGH; In the Matter of Monster Beverage Company, LA-4500.

  • Defense of Environmental Contractor in train derailment resulting in catastrophic burns to two workers performing cleanup operations

    Co-lead counsel in case involving a train carrying flammable chemicals that derailed resulting in a breach of the tanker car and subsequent release of flammable chemical. During cleanup operations, two workers were seriously burned when a flash fire resulted when they were using a cutting torch to separate train cars near the leaked chemical. The injured workers filed an action against the railroads and the environmental contractor resulting in complex claims among several parties. Those claims necessitated a deep understanding and application of OSHA regulations, contract law, and common law. SKO represented the environmental contractor retained for air monitoring at the site. The case ultimately settled.

  • Defense of Van Conversion Company in Vehicle Rollover Accident, resulting in ejection of child through roof

    Lead counsel in case in which van conversion company installed raised roof in van. Driver of van fell asleep, resulting in rollover accident in which minor was ejected through the modified roof of the van. Minor was seriously injured resulting in brain damage and paralysis (paraplegic). SKO represented van conversion company. The case ultimately settled.

  • Defense of Chemical Manufacturer in claims resulting from fire on train containing boxcar full of containers of chemical

    Co-counsel on case in which containers loaded with reactive chemical caught fire inside train boxcar resulting in evacuation of town into which train was traveling when fire occurred. Multiple alleged personal injury claims from residents allegedly exposed to toxic fumes. Those claims were settled. After two jury trials relating to the claims between chemical manufacturer and railroad, those claims were ultimately settled after trial.

  • Class Action Claims Against Cemetery for Improper Practices

    Lead counsel representing a putative class of individuals with relatives buried in a cemetery, asserting claims against numerous former and current owners of the cemetery for improper burial practices. The case was pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, and was ultimately settled.

  • Nuisance Claims

    The firm represented several land owners being sued by neighboring property owners both individually and as a class for an alleged nuisance related to odors emanating from hog barns. The plaintiffs claimed that the odors unreasonably interfered with their enjoyment of property. The case was before the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky where it ultimately settled just before trial. Powell v. Tosh, No. 5:09-CV-00121-TBR-DW (W.D. Ky.).


    • Bad Lawyers in the Movies, panelist, Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention, 2002
    • Discovery of Trade Secrets, Employment Records, Financial Information, Electronic Media and Attorney-Client Communications in Kentucky, Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys, 2001
    • Measures for Secrecy – Discovering and Protecting Trade Secrets, Louisville Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, 2001
    • Protecting Against Medical Malpractice Claims, Jefferson County (KY) Medical Society, 2001
    • Discovery of Confidential Business Records in Kentucky, Lorman Education Services, 2000
    • Protecting Against Accounting Malpractice Claims, Indiana University Southeast, 2000
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