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Douglas C. Ballantine

Member, Louisville

Doug is the immediate past president of the Kentucky Bar Association and has been with the firm since 1990.

He is a member of the Business Litigation practice and serves as chair of the Business Torts practice. Doug also is a member of the Class Action, Intellectual Property, Securities Litigation, Tort, Trial & Insurance Services, Business Services and Construction Law practices. He represents clients in commercial and intellectual property litigation and defends product liability and personal injury cases.

Doug is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He also is a member of the Louisville Bar Association and American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, Kentucky Defense Counsel and American Intellectual Property Law Association. He is a member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference Planning Committee and a past member of the Sixth Circuit Advisory Committee on Rules.

Doug currently serves on the Speed Art Museum Board of Trustees, and previously served on the boards of directors for Blackacre Conservancy, Legal Aid Society and Focus Louisville Alumni Group.

He is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated™ by Martindale-Hubbell®, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, recognized by Chambers USA, is honored as a Top 50 Kentucky Super Lawyer and recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star.

Indiana University
1988, J.D.
American University
1984, B.A.
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth 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
United States Supreme Court


  • Immediate past president, July 2019 -present
  • President, July 2018- July 2019 Kentucky Bar Association
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Top 50 Kentucky Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2007-present
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, 2017
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2003-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, 2014-2018
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Copyright/Trademark Law; Personal Injury Law: Defense, 2012; Copyright/Trademark Law and General Litigation, 2013, 2014, and 2018
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  • American Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association: President, 2018-2019; President-Elect, 2017-2018; Board of Governors, 2008-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
  • 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
  • Speed Art Museum, Board of Trustees
  • Previous Service
  • 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
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Work Highlights

Defending a Shareholder Derivative Action

When a single, dissident shareholder 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.

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.).

Claims Against Cemetery for Improper Practices

SKO represents 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 is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

News Seminars
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