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James B. Martin Jr.

Member, Louisville

Jim is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden's Louisville office and has been with the firm since 1988. He is a member of the Tax practice as well as the Trusts, Estates & Family Law practice. He focuses on advising clients on a wide range of tax and business planning matters with particular emphasis on like kind exchanges, business sales and reorganizations, implementation of employee stock ownership plans, New Markets Tax Credit program, incentive planning, CDE certification, all aspects of business start-ups and the facilitation of business succession plans and business divorces. He defends clients in tax, audits, appeals, litigation and Department of Labor investigations.

Jim is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated™ by Martindale-Hubbell®, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® and honored as a Kentucky Super Lawyer for his many legal accomplishments. He and Sharon Mattingly have assembled a team of lawyers to advise clients in employee stock ownership transactions. To date, the team has closed in excess of 50 such transactions. He has also received the Outstanding Volunteer Attorney Award in 2003 and the Louisville Bar Association's Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

Jim is a member of the Louisville, Kentucky and American Bar Associations, as well as The Group Inc., Louisville Employee Benefits Council, the ESOP Association and the Small Business Council of America. To give back to the community, he volunteers with Greater Louisville Inc., is a board member for the Catholic Cemeteries, was a board member of the Lakeside Masters Swim Team and is the Louisville Bar Association's Tax Counsel. Jim is married with two adult children, and he enjoys Masters swimming, road biking and travel adventures with his spouse.

University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
1983, J.D., cum laude
University of Louisville
1980, B.S.C., High Honors in Accounting
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
United States Tax Court


  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, 2017, 2019
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2007 - present
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Tax Law, 2013, 2014
  • Kentucky Super Lawyer, Tax
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  • Louisville Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Louisville Employee Benefits Council
  • The ESOP Association
  • Volunteer Lawyer Program Legal Aid Society of Louisville
  • Small Business Council of America
  • The Group, Inc.
  • Louisville Bar Association, Tax Counsel
  • Catholic Cemeteries of Louisville, board of directors, 1988-Present
  • Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels
  • Tri-State ESOP Conference Planning Committee
  • University of Louisville School of Business, Former Member Louis A. Grief Tax Institute Planning Advisory Committee
  • Greater Louisville, Inc., former member Business at Breakfast Planning Committee
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Work Highlights

Reorganization of Equine Business, Insurance Trust and Gift Planning

Represented a husband and wife in planning and implementing the reorganization of a multi-million dollar equine business; in the preparation of multi-generation irrevocable trusts for each of the children and the gifting of interests in the equine business on a discounted basis to the trusts; in planning and implementing a multi-million dollar life insurance trust; and in preparing and implementing a beneficiary defective irrevocable dynasty trust.

Related Practices: Business Services, Tax

Local Hotel Taxes

Successfully defended online travel companies in litigation by three local governments seeking to collect local hotel taxes. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Govt., Lexington-Fayette Urban County Govt., et al. v., L.P., et al., 590 F.3d 381 (6th Cir., 2009).

Related Practices: Tax, Class Action


Advised client with respect to like-kind exchanges of multiple properties under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code involving exchange proceeds in excess of $17 million.

Related Practices: Tax
News Publications Seminars
"Assessing Whether and When to Change your ESOP Advisors," panelist, 2016 Employee Ownership ConferenceApr. 2016 
"Succession Planning and ESOP," Kentucky Society of CPA's, Louisville, KYJun. 2013
"ESOP Issues," Tri-State ESOP Conference, Louisville, KYAug. 2012
"Succession Planning and ESOP," Kentucky Society of CPA's, Louisville, KYJun. 2012
"Obama Care Tax Issues," RMS/Clarkson Insurance Tax ConferenceOct. 2012
"ESOP Planning," Retirement Management Services Seminars, PresenterNov. 2011
"Tax Policy Presentation," Knoxville Bar Association, Knoxville, TNSummer 2011
"LLC Tax Issues," SKO Spring Corporate Seminar, Lexington, KYSpring 2011
"Tax Consequences of Business Failure," Louis Grief Tax Institute, University of Louisville School of BusinessDec. 2009
"Legal Update," Tri-State ESOP Conference, Louisville, KYAug. 2009
"Real Estate Issues, Like Kind Exchanges," Cincinnati, OHFeb. 2009
"Succession Planning," Louisville Tax Institute, University of Louisville School of Business2008
"Like Kind Exchange Issues," Annual Real Estate Seminar, University of Kentucky CLE2008
"Capital Gain Planning," Louis Grief Tax Institute, University of Louisville School of Business2006
"ESOP Basics," Kentucky/Ohio ESOP Association2005
"Like Kind Exchanges," Lorman Education Services2005
"Taxation of Real Estate Transactions," Louis Grief Tax Institute, University of Louisville School of Business2005
"IRC õ 409(p) Issues," Kentucky/Ohio ESOP Association2004
"Like Kind Exchanges," Lorman Education Services2004
"Limited Liability Companies," Lorman Education Services2004
"The Elements of Estate Planning," Midwest/Midsouth Estate Planning Institute2003
"Equity Compensation in LLCs and Unincorporated Businesses," University of Kentucky, Business Associations Law Institute, LLC2003
Speaker, Louis Grief Tax Institute, University of Louisville, School of Business2002-2003
Speaker, ESOP Committees-Kentucky/Ohio ESOP Association Annual Meeting2003
"Sales & Use Tax in Kentucky," Lorman Education Services2003
"Like Kind Real Estate Exchanges," Lorman Education Services2003
"Income Tax Issues-Family Limited Partnerships," University of Kentucky, CLE2003
"Like-Kind Exchanges in Real Estate and IRC Section 1031, Deferred Exchanges and Reverse Exchanges," Real Estate Law and Practice Institute, University of Kentucky College of Law, CLE2002
"Sales & Use Tax in Kentucky," Lorman Education Services, 20022002
"Buying and Selling a Business," Lorman Education Services2002
"Closely Held Corporations: Tax Issues & Planning," Lorman Education Services2002
"Property Tax Law in Kentucky," National Business Institute2002
"Tax Issues in Real Estate Transactions," Lorman Education Services2002
"Like Kind Real Estate Exchanges," Lorman Education Services2002