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John T. Ballantine

Counsel to the Firm, Louisville

Jack has been with the firm since 1958 and is recognized as a Senior Statesman by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He is a member of the Tort, Trial & insurance Services and the Arbitration & Mediation practices. Jack has defended a range of civil actions and is experienced in professional liability litigation and medical malpractice defense cases. He also is an experienced mediator and arbitrator.

Harvard University
1957, LL.B.
University of Kentucky
1952, A.B., High Distinction
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
United States Supreme Court


  • American Inns of Court's Civility and Professionalism Award for United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, 2012
  • Louisville Bar Association Judge Benjamin F. Shobe Civility & Professionalism Award, 2006
  • Kentucky Bar Association Outstanding Lawyer, 2003
  • Louisville Jaycee Outstanding Young man in Field of Law 1966
  • Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion, University of Kentucky, 1952
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®, Mediation, Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation-Deffendants, Professional Malpractice Law-Defendants
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Ethics & Professional Responsibility Law, 2012-2014; Mediation Arbitration-Non Family, 2013 and 2014
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer for Business, Litigation: General Commercial, 2014-2017
  • Chambers USA, Senior Statesmen for Business, Litigation: General Commercial, 2017
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Kentucky Super Lawyer, ADR
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  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 1977-present
  • Louisville Bar Association: member since 1958; president, 1970
  • Kentucky Bar Association, board of governors, 1996-2002
  • Kentucky Defense Counsel, president, 1981-1982
  • House of Delegates: 10+/- years, chairman, 1966
  • Clients' Security Fund, 1993-1996
  • Kentucky Evidence Rules Commission, 7 years
  • Kentucky Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee, 1988-1999
  • Kentucky Bar Association Ethics Committee, 1996-present
  • Nominating Commission for Kentucky Supreme Court and Court of Appeals vacancies, 2004-2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Life Member
  • Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court: member since 1995; president, 2007-2009
  • Kentucky Derby Festival, Honorary Lifetime board member
  • Legal Aid Society Campaign for Justice, committee member
  • Speed Art Museum, New Collectors, member
  • Family and Children's Agency: board of directors, 1965-1975; president, 1971-1974
  • Our Lady of Peace Hospital: Board of Directors, 1968-1973 and 1988-1993; chairman of board 1968-1969 and 1991-1993
  • Metro United Way, Board of Directors, 1975-1981
  • Louisville Historical Landmarks & Preservation Districts Commission, 1976-1988
  • Kentucky Derby Festival, board of directors and vice president, 1975
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Meet Jack

Legal Practice

My clients and colleagues rely on my experience in litigating complex cases, many involving fiduciary duty, complex shareholder disputes and multiple parties. I purposefully seek opportunities to resolve differences between parties through arbitration and mediation.

Looking Ahead

In an increasingly litigious society, it is important to seek common ground for agreement and also to treat those with opposing views with respect and civility.

Work Highlights

Defending Against a Threatened Change in Control

When a dissident group of shareholders threatened to alter the structure of the board and thereby take control of the corporation, SKO advised the incumbent board on how to structure an asset sale to a related company that preserved existing relationships.

News Seminars
Speaker or panelist at several CLE seminars on various phases of trial practice and ethics