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John W. Bilby

Member, Louisville

John is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden's Louisville office. He is a member of the Business Litigation practice and co-chairs the Trust & Estate Litigation practice. He litigates business, estate and trust, and fiduciary disputes. He represents fiduciaries in disputes with trust beneficiaries over how trust assets are managed. His business litigation practice includes contract disputes involving technology transfers.

As a result of his many career successes, John is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® and as a Kentucky Super Lawyer. Best Lawyers has recognized John as the Real Estate Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" for 2014 and the Securities Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" in 2014. He has also been named the Trust and Estate Attorney of the Year in Kentucky in 2015 by Global Law Experts and Corporate INTL and the "Best in Technology Transfer Disputes" in Kentucky for 2015 by Corporate America Awards.

John is a member of the Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, and American Bar associations. Dedicated to helping the Louisville community, he has been a member of Citizens for Better Judges for more than 20 years. He is married and has a son, two daughters, and three grandchildren. He enjoys history and golf.

University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
1975, J.D.
University of Kentucky
1972, M.B.A.
University of Kentucky
1971, B.B.A.
Indiana Supreme Court
Kentucky Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
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®
  • Trust & Estate Attorney of the Year in Kentucky, Global Law Experts, 2015
  • Best in Technology Transfer Disputes in Kentucky, Corporate America Awards, 2015
  • Trust & Estate Attorney of the Year in Kentucky, Corporate Intl Magazine Global Award, 2014 and 2015
  • Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year,” Louisville, Litigation-Real Estate and Litigation-Securities, 2017
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, Real Estate Litigation, Securities Litigation, Trusts & Estates Litigation
  • Kentucky Super Lawyer, Business Litigation
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Business/Commercial Law, 2012-2014; Business Litigation, 2013 and 2014
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  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Ethics Committee, 2005
  • Indiana Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Citizens for Better Judges, 1989
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Work Highlights

Estate Litigation

After a 2 ½ week trial in the Bourbon Circuit Court in 2013, obtained a favorable jury verdict setting aside an estate plan on the basis of undue influence and unsound mind and awarding damages exceeding $550,000 for misappropriation of Trust funds.

Related Practices: Trust & Estate Litigation

Abuse of Power of Attorney & Joint Account

SKO successfully represented a trust company appointed as conservator for an individual diagnosed with dementia who had millions of dollars taken from him by his attorney-in-fact (power of attorney) who also fraudulently created joint survivorship accounts. The individual also generated a will in his favor. SKO successfully voided the will and recovered more than $16 million in assets.

Suitability Claims 

SKO successfully represented a bank acting in a fiduciary capacity in pursuing suitability claims against a securities firm. The amount recovered for our client was approximately $10,000,000.