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John O. Sheller

Member, Louisville

John is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Louisville office and has been with the firm since 2007. He has a track record of success in Labor and Employment Law that spans nearly 35 years.

He is responsible for creating binding legal precedent entitling employers to secure indemnity from other parties in harassment or retaliation cases. He has also established legal precedent holding that the claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress is preempted by statute. In a class discrimination case, he prevailed in challenging a claim brought by the federal government that women were categorically excluded from coal mining jobs.

For his many accomplishments, John has been distinguished with multiple local, state and national recognitions, including more than eight consecutive years of being listed in the Best Lawyers in America® peer-review publication.

Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits: John’s extensive experience encompasses the full breadth of employment law, including traditional labor law, claims of harassment and retaliation, breach of contract disputes and enforcement of trade secrets.

Appellate: Once a trial court decision has been made, John is fully prepared to take cases to court at the state or federal level as necessary to obtain a satisfactory resolution. He has obtained favorable verdicts for both appellants and appellees.


Indiana University
1984, J.D., cum laude
Ball State University
1981, B.A., summa cum laude
Pro Hac Vice: Approximately 25 courts in 12 states
U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
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®, 2010-present
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2013-present
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Labor & Employment Law, 2012; Labor & Employment Law - Defense, 2013 and 2014
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer for Business, Labor & Employment, 2014-2016
  • Responsible for creating binding legal precedent entitling employers to secure indemnity from other parties in discrimination, harassment, or retaliation cases.
  • Successful in preserving constitutional and statutory right of private membership clubs to select their own members without adverse tax consequences.
  • Established legal precedent holding that claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress or outrage is preempted by statute.
  • Prevailed in class discrimination case brought by federal government seeking to establish that women were categorically excluded from coal mining jobs.
  • Succeeded in preventing ACLU and similar organizations from using courts to create judicial amendment expanding Civil Rights Acts beyond their terms.
  • Established legal precedent recognizing civil rights act exemption for national veterans organization.
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  • Louisville Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Indiana Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association
  • Federalist Society
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society, board member
  • Louisville Metro Animal Services Spot Board, board member
  • Disabled American Veterans, supporter
  • Sunrise Children's Services, contributor
  • Federalist Society, member
  • Christian Legal Society, contributor/supporter
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Work Highlights

Breach of Contract

SKO represented an insurance company that was being sued in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky by a paper products manufacturer for breach of an insurance contract. The manufacturer alleged that it had proven a covered loss under an employee theft policy and the insurer...

Workers’ Compensation Retaliation

SKO represented a manufacturer and distributor of auto supplies that was sued for workers’ compensation retaliation under the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act, KRS Chapter 342. The United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky entered summary judgment in favor of the...

Breach of Contract, Fiduciary Duty & Trade Secrets Law

SKO represented four employees of an asset management firm employees who sought new employment at a bank and were sued by the asset firm to enjoin them from working for the bank. These employees were also sued for alleged breaches of contract, fiduciary duty, trade secrets law and for other...

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News Publications Seminars
     Arbitration Update and a #METOO World, Association of Corporate Counsel, Speaker, 2019
Advanced Employment Law: Confidently Tackle Advanced Employment Disputes, National Business Institute, 2016
Human Resource Management: How a Successful Workplace Can Lead to a Successful Business, Nonprofit Conference sponsored by the Kentucky Society of CPAs and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, 2011
Dealing with the Sexual Harassment Claim in Kentucky, National Education Network 
Legal Issues Arising from Workforce Reductions, Lorman Education Services 
Covenants Not To Compete, Lorman Education Services 
Update on Employment Law and Litigation Strategies, Louisville Bar Association 
Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, University of Louisville 
Litigating a Sexual Harassment Case, Louisville Bar Association 
Employee Discharge and Documentation, Lorman Business Center