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Walter L. Sales

Member, Louisville

Walter is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden's Louisville office, and has been with the firm since 1984. He is a member of the Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits practice and well as the Business Litigation practice with a focus on Business Torts, Appellate and Sports Law. He concentrates his practice on labor and employment law, as well as insurance receivership litigation. Walter has vast experience in handling cases against the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

Walter is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and is recognized by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, Kentucky Super Lawyers and Benchmark Litigation for his legal accomplishments. He has tried more than 20 cases to a jury verdict, primarily in the labor and employment fields. He has also argued more than 60 appeals to state and federal appellate courts. He has represented employers in more than 50 union organizing drives in 10 states.

Walter is a member of the Louisville, Kentucky and American Bar associations. A former member of the board of directors for The Temple, he currently serves on the board of directors for the Jewish Community Center. He is married with two daughters, two son-in-laws and one grandson. During his free time, Walter enjoys reading, politics and traveling.

Education
University of Kentucky College of Law
1973, J.D.
Washington and Lee University
1970, B.A.
Admissions
Kentucky Court of Appeals
Kentucky Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
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, Western District of Kentucky
United States Supreme Court

Recognition

  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, Appellate; General Commercial, 2014-2017
  • Benchmark Appellate, Local Litigation Star, Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits; Business Torts, 2013
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer for Business, Labor & Employment, 2014-2017
  • Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer, Appellate Law, 2012-2014
  • Kentucky Super Lawyer, Employment & Labor
  • Listed in Who's Who Legal: USA, Management Labor & Employment
  • Mr. Sales has tried over 20 cases to jury verdict in a variety of cases, mostly in the labor and employment field.
  • Mr. Sales has argued over 60 appeals to federal and state appellate courts.
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Affiliations

  • Louisville Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Jewish Community Center of Louisville, board of directors, 2004-2009
  • The Temple, director, 2000-2005
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Work Highlights

Civil Rights – Age Discrimination

SKO successfully defended a Fortune 500 company that was being sued in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky by a former employee alleging age discrimination.  The former employee claimed that the company violated the Kentucky Civil Rights Act when it selected him, and not a younger co-worker, for layoff during a company-wide reduction in force.  The plaintiff sought lost wages of more than $100,000, emotional distress damages of $1,300,000, and an award of attorney’s fees.  This case was noteworthy because it included so-called “direct evidence” of age discrimination: an audio recording that plaintiff had secretly made of his conversation with his supervisor, wherein the supervisor could be heard telling the plaintiff that he was being laid off because of his age.

After a four day trial in August 2014, a seven member jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the company, finding that the company had not engaged in unlawful discrimination.  SKO’s trial team won the case by proving to the jury that the company had a well conceived plan for the reduction in force that was properly implemented, and that the plaintiff’s termination was actually motivated by his job performance, which did not compare favorably with the younger co-worker.  The Company also showed that the supervisor’s recorded statements about age were intended to avoid hurting the plaintiff’s feelings by telling him with the true reason for his layoff.

Kentucky Civil Rights Act & Disability Discrimination

Successfully represented a company and one of its executives against claims by plaintiff for alleged disability discrimination, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. SKO represented the company during investigations by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After the EEOC found no wrongdoing, the plaintiff filed claims in the Pulaski Circuit Court. After three years of litigation, we obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims. SKO then successfully represented the company on appeal. The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the Pulaski Circuit Court's order dismissing all claims and denied the Plaintiff's petition for a rehearing.

Insurance Companies Company Rehabilitation: Contested Settlement Agreement

Successful bench trial, resulting in approval of contested $5 million settlement agreement regarding an insurance company rehabilitation.
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