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Samuel D. Hinkle IV

Member, Louisville

Sam is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Louisville office and practices in Lexington as well. He is also a member of the firm’s board of directors.  He serves as chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and Business Litigation practices, and is a member of the Banking Litigation; Environmental Litigation; Antitrust, Trade Regulation & Franchise; Class Action; Construction; Bankruptcy; Mineral & Environmental Law; Equine and Real Estate practice groups. He focuses on complex commercial litigation, contract and fraud claims, environmental law, equine law, bankruptcy litigation and land use disputes.

Sam is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, recognized by Chambers USA, honored as a Kentucky Super Lawyer and recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a "Local Litigation Star" for his legal accomplishments. He was also honored by Louisville Magazine as a Top Lawyer. He has successfully defended clients against claims of lender liability and breach of fiduciary duty, actions alleging fraud and other violations of securities law.  His clients include major chemical companies, financial institutions, energy companies, equine interests, trade organizations and creditors involved in bankruptcy proceedings. He also has extensive experience in land use, planning, zoning and subdivision regulation matters. He is experienced with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, RCRA, the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act in addition to state regulatory matters.

Sam is a member of the Louisville, Kentucky, and American Bar associations. He served a four-year term on the Kentucky Board of Education, and for more than a decade on the Shelby County School Board as both a member and chairman. Sam is a past participant of Leadership Shelby County and Leadership Louisville Bingham Fellows. He is also a member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Yale University
1972, J.D.
Washington and Lee University
1969, B.A., summa cum laude
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Kentucky
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan


  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, Bankruptcy; Energy & Natural Resources; Environmental; Equine; General Commercial, 2013-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2006-present
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2007-present
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Environmental Law, 2013; Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2012-2014, 2016
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer for Business, Litigation: General Commercial, 2014-2017
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  • American Bar Association
  • Louisville Bar Association
  • Kentucky Board of Education, member
  • Shelby Co., Ky. School Board, past member and Chair
  • Leadership Shelby County
  • Bingham Fellow, Leadership Louisville Foundation
  • Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
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Work Highlights

Complex Litigation of Superfund Cleanup Site

Louisville Industrial Park, LLC v. ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, et al., Case No. 3:14-CV-278-CRS (W.D. Ky., 2017). See also, FCBKy Holding, LLC v. Louisville Industrial Park, LLC, et al., Case No. 13-CI-402829 (Jefferson Circuit Court, 2013).

Originally presented with a foreclosure case by our bank client, the matter became further complicated when the location in question was declared a Superfund Site by the U.S. EPA. SKO negotiated a resolution that involved an acquisition under Kentucky’s brownfields regulations, protecting the bank against liability for historic contamination. The firm’s attorneys also successfully acquired the property for a subsidiary while dealing with substantial tax liens and negotiated a plan for cleanup, which proved satisfactory to state and federal regulators. Subsequently, SKO also successfully resolved lender liability claims that threatened to delay the transfer of the property and the commencement of cleanup activities. The case was settled favorably in March 2018.

Securities Fraud

SKO’s client was one of several defendants sued by a group of disappointed investors alleging securities law violations. SKO mounted an aggressive defense, and while the plaintiffs settled with other defendants, they agreed to simply dismiss their claims against SKO’s client.

Rights of Nonprofit Members to Inspect Corporate Records

SKO represented certain members of a Kentucky nonprofit equine corporation in litigation against the nonprofit. When “significant deficiencies” were identified in the nonprofit’s $2 million annual budget, the organization refused to produce accounting records to the members who requested them. SKO obtained a summary judgment on behalf of its clients and defeated nonprofit’s motion for a stay of the judgment pending appeal. SKO also established that the nonprofit destroyed records, computer hard drives and backup servers during the pendency of the litigation. The Fayette Circuit Court held the nonprofit in contempt and ordered it to pay SKO’s fees. The nonprofit sought relief in the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Following the conclusion of the briefing by both parties, the nonprofit agreed to dismiss its appeals and to comply with the judgments entered in the Fayette Circuit Court action. This was a case of first impression in Kentucky. The Court held that, under Kentucky law, all Kentucky nonprofit corporations must allow their members to inspect and copy all of the corporation’s books and records.

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News Publications Seminars
Antitrust: Cloning Issues in the Equine World: Life After the AQHA Decision for Breed Registries, 29th Annual National Conference on Equine Law, University of Kentucky College of Law, 2014
Legal Issues for New Owners, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, presenter, 2009