Photo of Palmer G. Vance II

Palmer G. Vance II

Member , Lexington KY


Palmer G. Vance II

Member , Lexington KY

Gene Vance, a Member of Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Lexington office, has been with the firm since 1995. He is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group, as well as the Tort, Trial and Insurance Services Practice Group, and the Intellectual Property Practice Group and also serves on the Board of Directors at Stoll Keenon Ogden, and as a member of the firm’s Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee. Gene maintains an active trial and dispute resolution practice focusing on business and commercial litigation, product liability litigation, toxic tort litigation, copyright and intellectual property litigation, trucking and transportation litigation, and insurance coverage litigation.

Gene maintains an AV Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating © and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and as a Kentucky Super Lawyer. He was recognized by his peers as the 2019 Products Liability-Defense Lawyer of the Year in Lexington by The Best Lawyers in America. He has also been listed in the International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators since 2013.

Gene represents several large consumer goods and industrial products manufacturers and has defended product liability matters throughout Kentucky and in other jurisdictions. He has defended toxic tort claims including asbestos, silica, benzene, and styrene exposure cases, as well as pharmaceutical claims.

His business litigation experience includes disputes in the automotive, banking, environmental, equine, mining, and construction industries. Gene previously represented a manufacturer of shipping containers in industry-wide product liability litigation and served as Kentucky counsel for several pharmaceutical companies involved in pricing litigation with the Kentucky Attorney General.

His intellectual property practice has included representation of an international trade association in copyright infringement litigation throughout the Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Gene’s trucking industry experience includes representation of national, regional, and local motor carriers, as well as representation of a number of trucking insurance companies including the largest underwriter of trucking insurance in Canada. His experience with insurance matters includes significant coverage litigation, as well as claims for extra-contractual damages, for both policyholders and domestic carriers as well as several underwriting syndicates at Lloyd’s, London. Gene’s national practice has included handling matters before courts in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas.

Gene currently serves as Chair of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, the second-ranking officer in the ABA.  He has served in the House of Delegates since 2001 in a variety of capacities, including as the Kentucky State Delegate. From 2010-12, he served as Chair of the House Committee on Rules & Calendar. He has chaired or co-chaired three ABA Presidential Appointments Committees. From 2012-15, he served as Chair of the Council of the ABA’s charitable arm, the Fund for Justice and Education. He also is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the American Bar Endowment.  He previously served on the Board of the American Bar Foundation. Gene is a member of the Defense Research Institute and the American Counsel Association.

Gene chaired the ABA Section of Litigation in 2018-19. He served in the Section’s leadership since 2003, previously serving as the Section’s Revenue Officer as a Managing Director of the Section and co-chairing the Section’s 2009 Annual Meeting.

Gene was President of the Fayette County Bar Association in 2013-14 and has also held a number of positions with the Kentucky Bar Association, including as a member of the Board of Governors and as Chair of its Young Lawyers Division.

Active within the community, Gene serves on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee at Transylvania University and as Treasurer of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass. He is a past president of the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation. From 2011-13, he was Vice-Chair of the Lexington Fayette Police and Fire Pension Task Force. He previously served as a trustee of the Delta Sigma Phi Foundation and on boards of various other non-profits in Kentucky. In 2013, Gene’s community service was recognized with the presentation of the Difference Makers Award from the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.

Recent representative engagements include:

  • PennyMac Loan Servs. v. Lyles, 648 S.W.3d 699 (Ky. App. 2022)
  • Murrah v. TDY Indus., LLC, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112295 (W.D. Ky. 2021)
  • Bramblett v. Penske Truck Leasing Co., LP, 598 S.W.2d 567 (Ky. App. 2019)
  • Miller v. Caudill, 936 F.3d 442 (6th Cir. 2019)
  • BPM Lumber, LLC v. Begley Lumber Co., Inc., No. 2018-CA-01184 (Ky. App. 2018)
  • Landreth v. Brake Supply Company No. 2015-CA-0006 (Ky. App. 2017)
  • Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Youth Alive, Inc., 732 F.3d 645 (6th Cir. 2013)
  • Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Youth Alive, Inc., 857 F.Supp.2d 647 (W.D. Ky. 2012)
  • Cumberland Valley Contractors, Inc. v. Bell County Coal Corp., 238 S.W.3d 644 (Ky. 2007)
  • Hiscox Dedicated Corporate Member v. Wilson, 246 F.Supp.2d 684 (E.D. Ky. 2003)
  • Morton v. Bank of the Bluegrass & Trust Co., 18 S.W.3d 353 (Ky. App. 1999)
  • Horner v. Kentucky High School Athletic Ass’n, 43 F.3d 265 (6th Cir. 1994)
  • Converge, Inc. v. Topy America, Inc. 2009 U.S.App. LEXIS 4917 (6 Cir. 2009)
  • Fritz v. Campbell Hausfeld/Scott Fetzer Co., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38887 (E.D. Ky. 2007)
  • Gatewood v. Universal Underwriters Ins. Co., 2007 U.S. Dist.


University of Kentucky College of Law, 1990, J.D.

Transylvania University, 1987, B.A., cum laude


Admitted In

  • Kentucky

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

  • Pro Hac Vice: Florida, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin

Professional & Community Activites

  • Fayette County Bar Association – President, 2013-14

  • Louisville Bar Association

  • Kentucky Bar Association – 2008 Annual Convention, co-chair

  • Kentucky Bar Association – Member Services Committee

  • Kentucky Bar Association – Client Assistance Program Committee, chair, 1999-2006

  • Kentucky Bar Association – Young Lawyers Section, chair, 1996-1997

  • Kentucky Bar Association – Board of Governors, 1996-1997

  • American Bar Association – House of Delegates, 2001–present

  • American Bar Association – Chair, House of Delegates, 2022-2024

  • American Bar Association – House of Delegates Committee on Issues of Concern to the Profession, chair, 2014 – 2015

  • American Bar Association – House Select Committee, chair, 2012-2014

  • American Bar Association – House Committee on Drafting, chair, 2008-2010

  • American Bar Association – Committee on Credentials & Admissions, chair, 2006-2008

  • American Bar Association – House Committee on Rules & Calendar, member, 2002-2006

  • American Bar Association – Rule of Law Initiative Board, member, 2020 – present

  • American Bar Association – Standing Committee on Meetings & Travel, chair, 2017-2020

  • American Bar Association – Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, member, 2015-2017

  • American Bar Association – Council of the ABA Fund for Justice and Education, chair, 2012-2015

  • American Bar Association – ABA Magna Carta 800 Committee, vice-chair, 2013-2015

  • American Bar Association – ABA Governance Commission, co-chair, 2015-2016, member, 2013-2015

  • American Bar Association – AEFC Pension Plan Committee, member, 2012-2017

  • American Bar Association – Standing Committee on Membership, member, 2010-2012

  • American Bar Association – Standing Committee on Meetings & Travel, member, 2007–2010

  • American Bar Association – Council of Fund for Justice & Education, member, 2006-2009, 2011-present

  • American Bar Association – Standing Committee on Constitution & Bylaws, member, 2004-2007

  • American Bar Endowment, Board of Directors, 2012–present; Executive Committee, 2020-present, Finance Committee 2012-present (Chair 2020-present), Treasurer 2020-present; Insurance Committee, 2012-2022

  • American Bar Foundation, board of directors 2012–2015

  • Defense Research Institute

  • American Counsel Association, board of directors, 2009-2012

  • Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation – President 2010-2014

  • Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation – Vice-President 2006-2010

  • Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation – Trustee 2004-2016

  • Omicron Delta Kappa, National Counsel, 1994-2004

  • Legal Aid of the Bluegrass – Treasurer, 2011-present

  • Legal Aid of the Bluegrass – Board of Directors, 2009-present

  • Lexington Fayette Police and Fire Pension Task Force, vice-chair, 2011-2013

  • Delta Sigma Phi Foundation – Trustee, 2005-2011

  • Delta Sigma Phi Foundation – Grant Review Committee, chair, 2005-2011

  • Grand Council (board of directors) of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, 1991-1999, member

  • Transylvania University Board of Regents, 2013-17, Board of Trustees, 2017-present; Academic Affairs Committee Chair, 2019-present, Member 2017 – present; Strategic Planning Committee, 2017-2021; Infrastructure Committee, 2021 – present

  • Transylvania University Bluegrass Alumni Club, past president

  • Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky local chapter alumni boards

  • National Moot Court Team at the University of Kentucky College of Law, former member, volunteer

  • Fayette Education Foundation, former member of board of directors

  • Bluegrass Tomorrow, former member of board of directors

  • International Book Project, Inc., former member of board of directors, 2000-2006 and former member of the Executive Committee, 2004, advisory board member 2011-2017


  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

  • Best Lawyers® 2019 Product Liability Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” in Lexington

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, 2012 – present

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Product Liability Litigation — Defendants, 2013 – present

  • Kentucky Super Lawyer®, Business Litigation, 2012 – present

  • International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators

  • American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s Difference Makers Award for “Making a Difference through Community Service,” 2013

  • Life Member, Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference

  • American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Chair 2018 – 2019

  • Kentucky Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

  • Leadership Kentucky, Class of 2008

  • Leadership Kentucky, Class of 2008

  • National Counsel for Omicron Delta Kappa, the national collegiate leadership honor society, 1994 – 2004

  • Distinguished Service Key from Omicron Delta Kappa, Recipient, 2006

  • Meritorious Service Award from Omicron Delta Kappa, Recipient, 2000

  • Delta Sigma Phi Foundation, trustee, 2005 – 2011

  • Harvey H. Hebert Memorial Award for Distinguished Service, 2001

  • Mr. Delta Sig Award (Fraternity’s Highest Award), Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, 2011

Work Highlights

  • Warranty and Products Liability

    John F. Ruggles, Jr., Inc. v. Ventex Tech., Inc., No. 09-141, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79816 (E.D. Ky. Jul. 21, 2011)

    Obtained complete defense summary judgment for client in case involving breach of warranty claims against manufacturer of electronic transformers used in commercial signage.

  • Premises and Promoter Liability

    Brotherton v. Victory Sports, Inc., 24 F. Supp. 3d 617 (E.D. Ky. 2014)

    Successfully defended motocross race promoter and venue owner against negligence claims relating to injury sustained during motocross racing event. The case resulted in complete summary judgment in favor of SKO’s clients.

  • Unfair Competition, Negligent & Intentional Misrepresentation

    Successfully represented client in claims for unfair competition and intentional and negligent misrepresentation against competitor companies. The claims involved complex issues relating to a patented air pollution control technology and governmental regulations relating to the same. A favorable settlement was reached with each of the defendants resulting in a multi-million dollar recovery for our client.


    • Disruptors in Insurance Coverage Litigation: 2020 and Beyond, Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Seminar, Speaker, 2020
    • Results of National Bar Organizations’ and Exterro/EDRM Judicial Surveys, Evaluating 2015 Rule 26 Discovery-Proportionality Amendments and Bolch-Duke Guidelines and Best Practices, Panelist, 2019
    • Rock Star Litigators: Tips from Top Trial Lawyers, ABA Section of Litigation Professional Success Summit, 2018
    • Artificial Intelligence and Professional Responsibility: Time for New Rules?, Union Internationale des Avocats Congress, Section of Litigation, Porto, Portugal, 2018
    • General Counsel Forum, Kentucky Bar Association Convention, 2008
    • The Legal Community Working Together Nationally panel member, Kentucky Bar Association Convention, 2005
    • Responding to Aggressive Litigation Tactics, ALFA International Client Seminar, 2004
Contact Gene Today

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