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Sara A. Johnston

Associate, Louisville

Sara joined Stoll Keenon Ogden as an Associate in 2018 and specializes in Bankruptcy Litigation & Financial Restructuring, as well as Trust & Estate Litigation. She builds on a successful track record that she first established while working at two other regional law firms.

For clients at SKO, Sara’s multifaceted bankruptcy experience enables her to navigate through a variety of complex debtor, creditor and corporate matters, which include preserving judgment liens, restructuring multimillion-dollar Kentucky corporations to avoid liquidation, obtaining favorable decisions in preference defense actions, and establishing precedent before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, on contractual authority and control issues.

In the area of Trusts & Estates, Sara works with families and individuals to protect and preserve their assets so that they may be passed on to the next generation. Her prudent and future-looking approach to planning has helped her earn the appreciation of clients, health care organizations and financial institutions, and has contributed to her 2019 Rising Star recognition by Kentucky Super Lawyers.

Sara has particular expertise in the growing realm of Elder Law. She is the chair of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Elder Law Section, Legislative Sub-Committee, and serves as Legislative & Policy Review Chair for Kentucky’s Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS). Sara is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and is an accredited attorney by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring: Sara represents the interests of both creditors and debtors, employing a combination of workouts, liquidations, exempt utilization and other means as required. She counsels lenders on reducing risk, particularly as the Federal Reserve increases interest rates, working to ensure lenders are sufficiently cross-collateralized, secured, and have proper priority and equity.

Banking Litigation: For financial institutions and business clients, Sara provides counsel at every stage of a lending dispute, whether the matter involves commercial foreclosures, liability claims or other collection or restricting conflicts.

Business Litigation: Along with banking-related issues, Sara handles litigation matters on broad scale, ranging from breach of contract claims to complex cases of securities fraud.

Trusts & Estates: Sara has helped Kentuckians preserve farms and businesses worth millions of dollars through her succession planning services. She is a frequent public speaker on long-term financial strategies.

Trust & Estate Litigation: When challenges are made to wills or estates, by the beneficiaries or other interested parties, Sara provides a vigorous defense in court to preserve the principal or settlor’s intent.

Elder Law: Sara provides tailored legal guidance to aging individuals and their families to preserve their legacy. Sara creates strategies for asset preservation, long-term care, Medicaid planning, and ensures her clients enact a clear end-of-life plan to safeguard their wishes. As testament to her strengths in this area, Sara assisted in updating, restructuring, and enacting the Kentucky Power of Attorney Laws during the 2018 General Session.

University of Kentucky College of Law
2015, J.D.
Auburn University
2011, B.A. Political Science and Psychology, summa cum laude
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky


  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®, Rising Star, 2019-present


  • Fayette County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, 2015-present
  • Fayette County Bar Association, Womens Lawyers Association, 2015-present
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Chair of the Legislative Sub-Committee for the Elder Law Section, 2016-present
  • Pet Therapy Hospice Volunteer, Bluegrass Care Navigators, 2017-present
  • Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders, Chair of Legislation & Policy Review, 2018-present
  • Legal Aid of the Bluegrass Volunteer, 2016-present
  • Accredited with the United State Department of Veterans Affairs, 2016-present
  • Lexington Rescue Mission Volunteer, 2017-present
  • Central Kentucky American Inn of Court, co-chair Community Outreach, 2016-2017
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Young Professional Association of Louisville
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News Publications Seminars

     Kentucky Power of Attorney Law; Elder Financial Abuse & Diminished Capacity of Banking Customers,
     Financial Institutions Conference, 2019

     Maximizing Your Legacy While Minimizing the Unknown, Hindu Temple of Kentucky, 2019

     Fiscal Exploitation of the Elderly & Legislative Update on POAs and Guardianship,
     Kentucky Law Update, Lexington and Covington, Kentucky, 2018

     Discussion of House Bill 11: An Act Relating to Power of Attorney, House Judiciary
     Committee, Frankfort, Kentucky, 2018

     Embracing Opportunities in Aging, 35th Annual Opportunities in Aging Conference,
     Northeast Christian Church, 2018

     Legacy Preservation with Chris Reames, Wealth Advisor, Hilliard Lyons and Jeff Dopp,
     Advance Care Specialist,
Clark Legacy Center in Brannon Crossing, 2018

     How to Avoid Pitfalls with Preparing the Nondischargeability Case, Northern Kentucky
     Bar Association, 2018

     The Kentucky Law Update 2018, Lexington, 2018

     How to Preserve Your Legacy with Northwestern Mutual, Lexington Chamber of
     Commerce, 2016-2018

     Wealth Built to Last: Retire without Regret, Beaumont YMCA, Lexington, Kentucky, 2017

     Empower Hour, Hilary J. Boone Center, Lexington, Kentucky, 2017

     Asset Protection Workshop, Lexington Central Public Library, 2016