Jim H. Lucas
Jim H. Lucas
Jim Lucas was known to friends and family alike as a problem solver. He became a sounding board for attorneys across Kentucky who had sticky work-related and law-related problems. “He was a man whose advice and counsel was valued in many places,” recalled John D. Minton Jr., who gave Jim’s eulogy at his funeral in 2004.
He was a community leader and a sought-after expert in the areas of employment and labor law, health care law, workers’ compensation defense and insurance law. He received both a Bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky, and began practicing law in 1959.
Negotiations were his strong suit, says Mary Lucas, his wife of 44 years. His funeral was held on their 44th wedding anniversary. “He had a lot of common sense and he had an outgoing personality,” Mrs. Lucas recalls. “He could listen to both sides and talk them into seeing things his way. He was persuasive and really enjoyed being in the midst of mediating a dispute between two parties. It was challenging work for him.”
Law was a great fit for him, she says, because he enjoyed being with attorneys, and also enjoyed associating with business owners. In forming his own law firm, Jim merged both interests. He formed ELPO in 1973 with partners Charles English, Whayne C. Priest and Michael Owsley.
During his career at ELPO, Jim served as general counsel to the Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation and Commonwealth Health Corporation. He also worked extensively with Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity chapters at the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University and was a proud member of SAE.
Jim also had the opportunity to see the law from the other side of the bench. He served on the Kentucky Court of Appeals in a pro tem position, writing an opinion on a case involving visitation rights for grandparents, in the 1970s. He served in the place of another judge, who recused himself from the case due to a conflict of interest.
As younger attorneys came into ELPO, he served as an advisor to many of them, helping them understand the finer points of law and the background of particular legal situations. The mentoring role was enjoyable work for him, Mrs. Lucas recalls.
Jim served on the board of directors of the Buckhorn Children’s Foundation and was a past president of the Citizens First Bank of Bowling Green. He was a deacon and elder at The Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green.
Jim had two children, James H. “X” Lucas Jr. of Nashville and Ann Lucas Marshall of Signal Mountain, Tenn.