From Our Video Series
U.S. Supreme Court, 1999
U.S. Tax Court, 1988
U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 1990
U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2005
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2004
U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1983
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1990
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1984
U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 2004
Judge Pierce Lively, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, 1982-1983
Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut, J.D., 1982
Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut, M. Phil in Economics, 1983
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, A.B., 1978
- Major: Economics (with distinction)
- Phi Beta Kappa
What I enjoy most about being part of the McBrayer team is the opportunity to work with so many talented, dedicated lawyers, adding my 30+ years of experience to theirs to get down to the core of an issue for our clients. My job, in its simplest form, is to be a problem-solver, but the “how” is different each time. I unravel complexity and consider basic structures, or advocate for what the law should be, or use my practice experience as a guide to whether a path-breaking legal theory or a new application of long-held principles is the better strategy.
Every case is a challenge, and I approach each one as a chance to improve the client’s position or odds, by really digging into the facts and legal principles. Briefs are the central component of an appeal, and give me the opportunity to focus on substantive issues over a wide range of the law. Putting complicated ideas across in a simple way is often the most difficult part of briefing a matter, but application of the law to concrete situations is the essence of legal practice, and I always learn something from it.
The substantive briefing that I do takes place at both the trial and appellate level — but always represents a critical point in the development of the case. Because my focus is on appellate advocacy, I usually have primary responsibility for each stage of the appellate process, and I relish the opportunity to consider every possible advantage for the client in procedural, jurisdictional, and substantive aspects of an appeal. I build on the efforts of the other McBrayer team members to either protect the verdict and nail down the victory you already have or to petition for a different outcome if it is not a full vindication of your interests. I take the time to prepare, to know the case thoroughly, and to fully understand what a client wants to accomplish. I want to win, but know that a win is defined by the client.
I joined McBrayer after practicing law for over 20 years in my own Lexington boutique litigation firm. Prior to starting that firm, I worked for Brown, Todd & Heyburn in its litigation section and as a visiting assistant professor for two years at Ohio Northern University (1991-1993), where I taught contracts, property, civil procedure, criminal law and antitrust. I also taught in the legal writing program at the University of Kentucky College of Law for several years in the 1980s and 1990s, and taught a course on business regulation for the University of Kentucky College of Business.
Much of my community involvement is connected to the challenge and opportunities to put my faith in practice. I have been appointed to regional and diocesan Peace and Justice Commissions, active in the Franciscan Peace Center, and progressed in my commitment to B.U.I.L.D. (Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct action). I serve on the Parish Council at Holy Spirit Parish / the Newman Center at the University of Kentucky, and have received so much from the community life there for over 30 years, as a lector, altar server, music minister, liturgy committee member, RCIA sponsor, and parishioner.
I am currently Secretary and a member of the board of Newman Foundation, Inc., which supports the Newman apostolate throughout the Diocese of Lexington and Kentucky, giving grants, providing physical facilities, and initiating programs (like the Distinguished Speakers Program, for which I am a co-chair).
I am a longtime member of Phyllis Jenness’s “Be a Better Singer” Saturday class, the BlueGrass Runners, and an eclectic book club.
- Fayette County Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Education Law Section, Treasurer, 2006-2007
- American Bar Association
- Exemptions and Immunities Committee, Antitrust Section,
- Vice-Chair, 1998-2001
News & Insights
- American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, 2000
- “Addressing the Real Problems for Law and Economics of Factoring Interest Rates, Earnings Growth and Inflation into Awards for Lost Future Earnings,” 56 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 1 (1994).April 12, 1995
- Katherine K. Yunker - Attorney Biography