Lobbying Affiliate: MML&K Government Solutions
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Honors & Awards

Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2007 - 2011, 2017, 2018 (Civil Litigation Defense)

The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2019 (Commercial Litigation, Employment Law - Management, Litigation - Trusts and Estates) 

The Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year", 2018 (Litigation - Trusts and Estates) The Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year", 2019 (Employment Law - Management)

  • A. M. Best Client Recommended, 2018 

Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Transylvania University, 2017

AV Rating by Martindale Hubbell


Kentucky, 1990

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1990

U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1990

U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1993


University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky, J.D., 1990

  • Law Journal: Kentucky Law Journal, Associate Editor, 1989 - 1990

Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, B.A., 1987

  • Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society
  • Major: History


From the time I started practicing law, I have enjoyed being able to work in a practice that afforded me the privilege of being able to offer a diverse array of services, in contrast to many of my colleagues who restricted their practice to very narrow channels. This has allowed me to develop a broader perspective than some others that has been proven useful, and it is something that I feel enhances the advice and counsel that I give. I continue to represent the interests of individuals and small businesses in a variety of different contexts, primarily in the general areas of litigation and administrative law.

Our firm’s lawyers understand keenly that, in order to deliver the quality of services our clients deserve, we have to make it a top priority to really know our clients and their businesses. We establish long lasting relationships with our clients and are proud to say that our clients continue to come back to us year after year, not only because of the swift response and personal attention from our experienced attorneys, but because we deliver quality counsel and results for reasonable fees across a wide range of legal matters.

We do not give counsel that is considered “one size fits all.” We are devoted to taking the time necessary to learn the operation of your business, the culture of your business, and the future plans for growth in your business. We understand that no two businesses are alike, and this is one of things that the McBrayer firm offers that separates us from the competitors. Our advice is customized, more relevant and more effective than any other firm in the Commonwealth. 


Professional Activities

  • Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants (AAIAC), Member
  • National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals (NALCP), Member
  • Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, Lexington, Kentucky, Former Board President
  • Defense Research Institute, Governmental Liability Section, Member
  • Fayette County Bar Admission, Civil Litigation Section
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Civil Litigation and Mediation Sections
  • Kentucky Guild of Brewers, Affiliate Member
  • Lexington History Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Mediation Center of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, Former Board Chair
  • Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

News & Insights


Seminars & Speaking Engagements





  • Stephen G. Amato - Attorney Biography
  • Our Clients - Tony's
  • Our Clients - Kentucky Eagle, Inc.
  • Our Clients - Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge


Over the last several years, my administrative law practice has evolved to the point where we have the privilege to represent many participants in the alcoholic beverage industry across the state of Kentucky. We primarily represent the interests of alcoholic beverage suppliers, retailers, and distributors in connection with licensing, enforcement, and policy issues at  the state, local, and national levels. This representation takes place in front of the various local ABC agencies, the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in Washington, D.C. I also serve as outside counsel for the Kentucky Distillers' Association. The team at McBrayer and I have developed extensive experience and knowledge into the law and public policy regarding alcoholic beverages, hotels, arenas and convention facilities, restaurants, food trucks, and more.

The types of clients we represent span the spectrum of the beverage alcohol industry, including manufacturers, importers, brokers, wholesalers, shippers, warehouses, suppliers, and common carriers. We also represent on- and off-premises retail alcohol licenses such as hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, stadiums, live entertainment venues, non-profit civic and charitable organizations, liquor stores, grocery stores, drug stores, caterers, and event facilities.

If you are contemplating opening a business in the hospitality industry, specifically selling or producing alcoholic beverages, you will need legal assistance from the onset. The manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages is a highly regulated activity.


My litigation practice remains diverse, with some specific focus and expertise in employment law, representing employers in state and federal courts and before state and local administrative agencies.. Employment-related issues with which I have particular experience include the enforcement of non-compete agreements, the investigation and defense of discrimination claims, and the negotiation and enforcement of severance agreements.

In addition, I have meaningful litigation experience in governmental entity defense, including specific experience in defending local governments, governmental agencies and government officials. Claims brought against those entities under both state and federal law include § 1983 claims, negligence claims, and state constitutional claims for alleged deliberate indifference to medical needs, excessive force, and employment.

Finally, I maintain a small and highly selective personal injury practice where I have been able to deliver significant value by being able to deliver hands-on focused attention to a limited number of claimants in difficult cases.

Lexington, KYLouisville, KYFrankfort, KY: MML&KFrankfort, KY LawGreenup, KYAshland, KYWashington, D.C.