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Robert M. Watt III

Of Counsel, Lexington

Bob is Of Counsel in Stoll Keenon Ogden's Lexington office. He is a member of the Utility & Energy practice as well as the Business Litigation practice with a focus on Equine Litigation.

Bob concentrates his practice in utility regulation and business and complex commercial litigation. His areas of particular substantive experience include utility rate and other regulation, contract disputes, intentional torts, corporate law disputes, securities laws claims and lender liability claims. His practice also involves various aspects of the equine business, including litigation and administrative and regulatory matters. Bob is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, honored as a Kentucky Super Lawyer, recognized by Chambers USA and is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®.

Bob's experience includes the following: Major state utility rate proceedings for both gas and electric utilities, including serving as counsel in a combination rate case that resulted in a $100 million annual increase in revenues for the utilities involved; serving as counsel for the largest private water organization in the United States in merger and divestiture proceedings before state utility regulatory authorities; serving as counsel successfully opposing an injunction to prevent the implementation of cutting edge horse racing medication regulations in Kentucky; serving as counsel for a state racing regulatory agency in the enforcement of regulations relating to prohibited substances against racing licensees; serving as counsel for minority shareholders exercising dissenters' rights in several bank mergers; serving as counsel and obtaining a defense verdict in a $35 million lawsuit by an automobile dealer against an automobile distributor.

University of Kentucky College of Law
1973, J.D., Distinction
Duke University
1969, B.A.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Kentucky
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
United States Supreme Court


  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer for Business, Utilities, 2014-2017
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®, Energy Law, Oil and Gas Law
  • Kentucky Super Lawyer, Utilities
View More


  • Fayette County Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
View More

Work Highlights

Constitutional Law

Jerry Jamgotchian v. Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, et al., Civil Action No. 11-CI-01047 (Franklin Circuit Court)

SKO represented the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in a dormant commerce clause challenge filed against it by a thoroughbred owner regarding an industry-standard regulation pertaining to the purchase of horses in claiming races. SKO obtained summary judgment upholding the constitutionality of the regulation, which was affirmed on appeal by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.  The Kentucky Supreme Court accepted discretionary review.  Following briefing, Steven argued the case before the Kentucky Supreme Court.  In May 2016, the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed the Kentucky Court of Appeals in the Commission’s favor in a unanimous published opinion.

Enforcement of Prohibited Substance Regulations

SKO represented a horse racing commission in connection with proceedings imposing penalties against a Thoroughbred horse trainer and a veterinarian for the possession of prohibited substances, including cobra venom and Carbidopa/Levodopa, on the premises of a race track. The trainer was suspended one year for the cobra venom violation and served his suspension. The veterinarian was suspended for five years for the cobra venom and Carbidopa/Levodopa violations and appealed the suspension to the Franklin Circuit Court. The Franklin Circuit Court affirmed the four-year cobra venom suspension and reversed the one-year Carbidopa/Levodopa suspension. Both the veterinarian and the commission appealed the order to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the appeals are currently pending.

Constitutional Challenge to Racing Regulation

SKO represents a horse racing commission defending a lawsuit in which the plaintiff is challenging the validity of a racing regulation that places conditions on the racing of horses claimed at Kentucky race tracks. The plaintiff argues that the regulation violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. After both parties filed motions for summary judgment, the Franklin Circuit Court granted the motion of the commission, denied the motion of the Plaintiff and upheld the validity of the commission’s regulation. The time to appeal has not expired.

Reversal of Jury Verdict

SKO was retained after an estate suffered a jury verdict of $3.5 million based on alleged testamentary promises. SKO successfully obtained a complete reversal of the verdict in approximately six months.

Private Notes Offering

Counsel to a public utility issuer in issuance of $58,000,000 in senior, unsecured notes as part of $75,000,000 private shelf facility. Redemption of existing debentures with proceeds from offering.