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Accomplishments

Settlements and Verdicts

  • $2,000,000.00 – Plaintiff was catastrophically injured in an accident.
  • $500,000.00 – Plaintiff was permanently injured after a head on collision with a dump truck.
  • $500,000.00 – Plaintiff, a student, was permanently blinded in one eye.
  • $200,000.00 – Two vehicle collision.
  • $200,000.00 – Settlement after plaintiff was injured when a car pulled out in front of plaintiff causing a collision.

Notable Cases

  • Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Fresenius Medical Corporation – Obtained favorable settlement for Fresenius, a multinational medical device manufacturer, in Kentucky and Louisiana against a billion-dollar demand.
  • Successful defense of two Kentucky State Policemen charged in separate malicious prosecution actions.
  • Obtained a not guilty verdict at trial of former Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police.
  • Successful defense of Kentucky State Senator at trial in United States District Court.
  • Representation of Gerry Adams, former leader of the Sinn Féin political party in Ireland and abstentionist member of British Parliament.
  • Obtained not guilty verdict on 108 counts for business owners charged in United States District Court. 
  • Commonwealth v. Bridgewater, 04-CR-00162 – Successfully litigated post-conviction relief on grounds of prior ineffective assistance of counsel, resulting in a significant reduction of a previously imposed twenty-year prison sentence.
  • Trial counsel in defense of Comair in the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky.
  • Defense of Shane Ragland a UK student charged with the sniper style slaying of a UK football player in Lexington. Obtained reversal of guilty verdict on appeal. Case was profiled on Dateline and the Investigation Discovery show City Confidential.
  • Successful defense of numerous murder cases at trial.

Published Opinions

  • Sandoz Inc. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky ex rel. Conway – Reversal of a $16,000,000.00 judgment against Sandoz Inc. in average wholesale price and Medicare fraud litigation.
  • McNally v. United States – Lead trial counsel in case which was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Successfully obtained reversal of criminal conviction during this appeal. Case was instrumental in changing the mail fraud law of the United States.
  • Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm, Inc. – Trial counsel in security fraud case. Favorable verdict was ultimately upheld by the United States Supreme Court.
  • Kentucky Retirement Systems v. Grant – Successfully obtained reversal of an unfavorable lower court decision attempting to apply equitable estoppel against a government agency.
  • Winkler v. Com, 2008-CA-000554 – Represented criminal defendant in post-conviction request for relief with successful remand to the trial court.
  • Carson v. Kentucky Retirement Systems, 2015-CA-000094 – Successfully petitioned the Kentucky Supreme Court to grant discretionary review of a lower court decision applying res judicata to a government agency.
  • B.L. v. J.S., et al, 434 S.W.3d 61 (Ky. App. 2014): Successful defense of judgment to grant adoption of two children by Appellees.  Holdings – biological father was not entitled to have an attorney appointed to represent him in underlying neglect case against biological mother, and trial court was not required to consider a less drastic measure than adoption prior to granting the adoption petition.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Bill Johnson
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 1984 to present.
    • Kentucky Bar Association Distinguished Lawyer Award – 2016.
    • Kentucky Chief Justice Special Service Award – 2014.
    • UK College of Law Hall of Fame – 2012.
    • Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Special Recognition Award – 2008.
    • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Kentucky State University – 2004.
    • Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award – 2001.
    • War Horse Award – Southern Trial Lawyers Association – 1991.
    • Recognized by Kentucky Legislature for an 11 year stretch of not losing a jury trial.
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Nicole Bearse 
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Offices Held

  • Bill Johnson
    • Past President – Kentucky Bar Association – 2014
    • Past President – Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys, now Kentucky Justice Association.
    • Past President – Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
    • Past President – Franklin County Bar Association.
    • Past-Chairman – House of Delegates – Kentucky Bar Association.
    • Board of Bar Governors.
    • Fellow – American College of Trial Lawyers.
    • Fellow – International Association of Trial Attorneys.
    • Fellow – American Board of Criminal Lawyers.
    • Fellow – Roscoe Pound Foundation.
    • Member – Kentucky Criminal and Civil Rules Committees
  • Nicole Bearse 
    • Fellow – American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
    • Past President – Franklin County Bar Association.
  • Steven Middleton
    • Member – Rules and Legislative Committees – Kentucky Justice Association.
  • Joseph Bowman
    • Past Secretary – Franklin County Bar Association
    • Past Treasurer – Franklin County Bar Association

Contributions to Community

  • Nicole Bearse 
    • Member – Legal Aid of the Bluegrass Board.
    • Past President – Lesley University Alumni Council
  • Steven Middleton
    • Author – Auto-Owners v. Spaulding: A Lesson in Ethics and Coots Letters. – Published in the July 2019 issue of the Kentucky Justice Association magazine
  • Eric Branco
    • Member – United Way of Franklin County Board.
  • Joseph Bowman
    • Update author for Kentucky Civil Trial Practice
    • Former adjunct writing instructor for University of Kentucky College of Law.
Our Attorneys
Reviews and Ratings
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Steven Middleton is an absolutely amazing attorney. He saved me during a very nasty and complicated divorce that started like a bomb going off in my life, and with his help ended up being a blessing. I am so thankful for his expertise, knowledge, tho...

    Read more

    Michael Wolff

  • martindale
    5.0/5.0

    Steven Middleton is an absolutely amazing attorney. He saved me during a very nasty and complicated divorce that started like a bomb going off in my life, and with his help ended up being a blessing. I am so thankful for his expertise, knowledge, tho...

    Read more

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Steven Middleton is an absolutely amazing attorney. He saved me during a very nasty and complicated divorce that started like a bomb going off in my life, and with his help ended up being a blessing. I am so thankful for his expertise, knowledge, tho...

    Read more

    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Eric Bronco has stuck by me through think and thin. I'm a father who won sole custody of my son from one ex. Also won custody of my daughter's from my first ex. We all know as a father that's a hard thing to get done. I highly recommend Eric B...

    Read more

    Michael Sloan

  • martindale
    5.0/5.0

    Eric Bronco has stuck by me through think and thin. I'm a father who won sole custody of my son from one ex. Also won custody of my daughter's from my first ex. We all know as a father that's a hard thing to get done. I highly recommend Eric Bronco a...

    Read more

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