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William E. Johnson

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Practice Areas:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Administrative Law
  • Antitrust Law
  • Securities Law


  • University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1970
  • University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
    • LL.B. - 1957
  • Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky
    • 00/1952

Bar Admission

  • Kentucky, 1957
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1959
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1971
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands, pro hac vice
  • U.S. District Court District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio

Published Works

  • Gas Explosions, A Trial Lawyer's Involvement Trial and Tort Trends, July, 1969
  • Maximizing Products Verdicts Through Trial Techniques Trial Magazine Vol.18, November, 1982
  • Kentucky Appellate Handbook (Contributing Co-Author), 1985
  • Contributing Author: Kentucky Appellate Handbook, Banks-Baldwin, 1985
  • Impeachment of Witnesses, Shepard’s-McGraw Hill, 1990
  • Contributing author, Kentucky Civil Practice Before Trial, 1997

Representative Cases

  • McNally v. U.S., 107 S.Ct. 2875, 1987, U.S.Ky., 1987079051


  • Fellow, American Board of Criminal Lawyers
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Recipient, Kentucky Justice Association Peter Perlman Outstanding Trial Advocacy Award
  • Distinguished Lawyers Award
  • Recipient, Chief Justice’s Special Service Award
  • Kentucky State Senate and the Kentucky House of Representatives for professional accomplishments
  • Award of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Kentucky State University
  • Awarded Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award by Department of Public Advocacy
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Recipient, Eastern Kentucky University National Alumni Association Achievement Award
  • Pendleton County High School Wall of Fame Recipient
  • “War Horse” Award from the Southern Trial Lawyers Association
  • Super Lawyers in Kentucky
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers

Classes & Seminars

  • Lecturer, Midway College, lecturer at seminars sponsored by the Kentucky Bar Association, Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys, Indiana, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kansas and Tennessee Trial Lawyers Associations, Belli Seminar, Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Workshop leader, National College of Advocacy, 1979-1985; Co-Chairman of National College of Advocacy, 1981 to 1982

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Melvin Belli Society
  • Roscoe Pound Foundation
  • Frankfort Electric and Water Plant Board, Member, 1970 to 1974

Representative Clients

  • Kentucky State University
  • Ashland Oil, Incorporated
  • Farmers Bank & Capital Trust Company
  • Frankfort Scrap Metal Company, Incorporated


  • Farmers Bank & Capital Trust Company, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • State National Bank, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • First Security National Bank & Trust Company, Lexington, Kentucky

Past Positions

  • U.S. Army, Captain, Infantry, Veteran
  • Franklin County, Kentucky. Special Counsel to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Former Assistant County Attorney

Professional Associations

  • Kentucky Bar Association, President, 2014 to 2015
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Franklin County Bar Association, President, 1980
  • Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys, President, 1979
  • Kentucky Criminal Defense Lawyers, President, 1990
  • ATLA Exchange, Chairman, 1983
  • Kentucky Criminal Rules Committee, Former Member
  • Kentucky Civil Rules Committee, Former Member
  • ABA Litigation Trial Practice Committee, 1983 to 1984
  • Kentucky Bar Association Litigation Committee, 1998
  • Kentucky Bar Association Ethics Committee, 2000
  • Kentucky Bar Association, President-Elect, 2013 to 2014
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Vice-President, 2012 to 2013
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Member, Board of Governors, 1986 to 1989
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Chairman of the House of Delegates, 1979
  • Kentucky Justice Association

Current Employment Position

  • Partner

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.