Local Attorneys Receive Statewide Recognition

by Mandy Hicks

The Kentucky Bar Association held its Annual Convention this week at the Galt House in Louisville, KY. During the convention, two local attorneys from the Bowling Green law firm English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP received statewide recognition with highly notable awards for the legal profession.

On the evening of June 12, the University of Kentucky College of Law presented ELPO Attorney Whayne C. Priest, Jr. with the Legacy Award at its Annual Hall of Fame and Alumni Awards Reception. The Legacy Award is bestowed annually upon an individual who graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law 50 or more years ago, who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in his or her profession and/or community, and made a positive impact on the well-being of the UK College of Law, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, or elsewhere in the nation.

Awards were also presented at the event for the Distinguished Jurist Award to The Honorable Pamela R. Goodwine for the Kentucky Court of Justice Court of Appeals; the Hall of Fame Award to Mary Noble from Lexington, Robert Yahng from San Francisco, and Don Sturgill (posthumously) from Lexington; the Community Service Award to William J Baird III from Pikeville; the Professional Achievement Award to Patrick Madden from Lexington; and the Young Professional Award to Dana Daughetee Fohl who serves as University Counsel for EKU.

Founded in 1908 from a law program initiated at Transylvania University in 1799, the University of Kentucky College of Law was one of the nation’s first state law schools. In 1913 the College established the nation’s first law school trial practice program, and its Kentucky Law Journal is the tenth-oldest student-run law review in the nation. The College of Law has been approved by the American Bar Association since 1925 and was elected to Order of the Coif, the most prestigious national legal honorary society, in 1931. The Law Alumni Association is distinct from the University of Kentucky Alumni Association and serves as the primary alumni group of the College of Law.

On the following evening of the KBA Annual Convention on June 13, the Kentucky Bar Association awarded ELPO Attorney Charles E. “Buzz” English, Jr. with the Distinguished Lawyer Award during its Annual Banquet. The Distinguished Lawyer Award is given to a lawyer who has distinguished himself or herself through a contribution of outstanding service to the legal profession. The selection process places special emphasis upon community, civic and/or charitable service, which brings honor to the profession. Charles E. English, father of Charles E. “Buzz” English, Jr., was previously honored with this same award in 1999.

Also presented that evening were the President’s Special Service Award to Daniel T. Goyette who serves as Defender Emeritus for the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender, the Distinguished Judge Award to Chief Deputy Justice Lisabeth T. Hughes of the Kentucky Supreme Court in Louisville, as well as the Chief Justice’s Special Service Award to Judge William Engle III who is retired from Hazard.

The Kentucky Bar Association is an independent agency of the Supreme Court of Kentucky. Its authority to regulate the legal profession in Kentucky, delegated by the Kentucky Supreme Court through rules, is derived from the Kentucky Constitution. Currently, the KBA serves approximately 18,720 active and inactive Kentucky licensed attorneys.


About Whayne C. Priest, Jr.

Whayne Priest web

Whayne C. Priest, Jr. is a founding partner at English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law (1962), where he was a member of the Order of the Coif honor society and served on the Board of Editors for the Kentucky Law Journal in 1960-62 and as Associate Editor in 1962.  Whayne earned his B.A. degree from the University of Kentucky in 1960, graduating with High Distinction and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Whayne began his legal career in the U.S. Air Force where he served as a Judge Advocate General at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas from 1962-65.  After his military career, Whayne returned to Kentucky and served as the City Solicitor for Bowling Green for eight years. In 1973 Whayne became a founding partner of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP.  During his more than 40 years of practice in Bowling Green and Warren County, Whayne tried cases throughout the area’s state and federal courts, argued cases to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Kentucky Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  He also worked extensively with local government, private corporations and families in planning, developing and working within county and city zoning ordinances and assisting in the development and growth of Warren County and Bowling Green.

Whayne is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, past President of the Bowling Green – Warren County Bar Association, rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, and has served as the Chairman of the Editorial Board for the Kentucky Bench and Bar.


About Charles E. “Buzz” English

Buzz English web

Charles E. English, Jr. (Buzz) is a partner in the Bowling Green based law firm of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP.  He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Buzz’s practice areas include civil litigation, business litigation, condemnation law, product liability law, appellate practice, professional negligence, and lawyer discipline. Buzz’s extensive legal career has centered mainly on business litigation. He has successfully defended large corporations from class-action lawsuits brought on by shareholders or by consumers. He has extensive experience in federal court and has successfully argued before the Kentucky Supreme Court in precedent-setting cases.

Buzz has represented both international and domestic manufacturers in products liability litigation involving farm machinery, automobiles, industrial equipment and household products. He has represented both contractors and owners in court and in arbitration proceedings involving construction disputes, and has represented businesses, individuals and insurance companies in coverage and bad faith litigation. He has also handled appeals in both federal and state court and is a life member of the Judicial Conference for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Buzz has served as President of the Kentucky Bar Association and on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary as the Sixth Circuit Representative. He has also served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee for Bar Activities, is currently serving in the ABA House of Delegates, and also with a three year term on the ABA Board of Governors. He is a Fellow with the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Kentucky Public Advocacy Commission appointed by Governor Steve Beshear, President of the American Counsel Association, and a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.

Buzz has been recognized as the Outstanding Young Lawyer in Kentucky, with the Public Advocate Award by the Kentucky Public Advocacy Commission, with the Special Service Award from the Kentucky Bar Association, with the Gwyneth B. Davis Outstanding Public Service Award by the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association, and has achieved a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating.