About Our Firm

Our firm was founded in 2005 by four attorneys, who left a larger firm with the goal of providing high-quality legal representation in a more client-focused and economical manner.

Today, our attorneys have a combined experience of over 60 years in the legal industry and have tried cases throughout Kentucky in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Our firm has achieved significant high marks from our peers, which include listings in U.S. News & World Report and Best Law Firms. Our attorneys are listed in Kentucky Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers and have received high ratings in Martindale-Hubbell for competency and ethics.

Our attorneys focus their practice primarily on civil and regulatory litigation matters affecting a wide range of industries, including the mining industry and healthcare. Whether you are dealing with litigation, employment matters, a workplace safety investigation, buying or selling a business or need assistance reviewing and drafting contracts, we can help.

Meet the Team

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John M. Williams

Attorney & Partner | Phone: (859) 245-1059 EXT. 26

Areas of Practice: Mineral & Energy | Commercial Litigation | Business Organizations and Transactions | Construction Claims | Occupational Safety (Defense)

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Melanie Kilpatrick

Attorney & Partner | Phone: (859) 245-1059 EXT. 23

Areas of Practice: 35% Mineral And Energy | 30% Employment Law | 25% Education | 10% Commercial Litigation | Litigation Percentage | 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

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Tricia Shackelford

Of-Counsel Attorney

Areas of Practice: Healthcare | Business Organizations

More about John...

Background

John M. Williams is a native of Loyall in Harlan County, Kentucky. John graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Business & Economics with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance) in 1984 and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1987. He has earned an "AV® PreeminentTM" rating by Martindale Hubbell. John is a member of the Kentucky, Fayette County, American and Federal Bar Associations. John is a volunteer counselor with the Kentucky Bar Association Lawyer's Assistance Program.

John has extensive litigation experience in federal and state courts throughout Kentucky. Although his practice is primarily in mineral and energy and commercial litigation, John has experience in personal injury, construction claims, architect and engineer defense and collection matters. His experience in mineral law includes drafting and reviewing lease agreements, contract mining agreements and other transactions plus litigation of contract disputes, boundary disputes and personal injury matters. In the commercial litigation area, John has represented parties in business torts, lender liability and a wide variety of contract disputes. John also advises small to medium-sized business on a broad range of corporate matters, including business organization, governance and transactions.

John represents numerous coal companies in mine safety matters before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. He regularly represents operators in special investigations conducted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration and as well as advising these clients on compliance matters. He is also a frequent speaker on mine safety matters at local and national seminars.

John serves on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Kentucky, Inc., and served as Board Chair for two years. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kentucky Bar Association Lawyers Assistance Program Foundation, Inc. and a past member of the Kentucky State Corrections Commission. John is also a member of the board of directors of Shepherd's House, Inc. John was also on the Board of the Lexington Children's Museum, Inc. for almost ten years, during which he served as Board Chair for five years. He also received the 2015 Community Service Alumni Award from the University of Kentucky College of Law and 2017 Fayette County Bar Association Citizen-Lawyer Award.

John has been with the firm since 2005.

 

Areas of Practice
  • Mineral & Energy
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Business Organizations and Transactions
  • Construction Claims
  • Occupational Safety (Defense)
 
 
 
Bar Admissions
  • Kentucky, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1988
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
 
 
Education

University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky

  • Juris Doctor - 1987

University of Kentucky College of Business & Economics, Lexington, Kentucky

  • Business Administration - 1984
 
 
Publications & Presentations

Publications

Presentations

  • ENERGY & MINERAL FOUNDATION | 2006 Amendments to Kentucky’s Mine Safety Regulations Energy & Mineral Law Foundation | 2006 Annual Institute | May 2006
  • Serving Two Masters: Ethical Considerations for Employee Representatives in Regulatory Investigations | ENERGY & MINERAL LAW FOUNDATION | 2007 Kentucky Mineral Law Conference | October 18, 2007
  • Energy and Mineral Law Foundation | 29th Annual Institute | MINER Act: Keeping Out of Trouble | May 20, 2008
  • ENERGY & MINERAL LAW FOUNDATION | 2009 Kentucky Mineral Law Conference | Pay Now or Pay Later | New Approaches to Delinquent Penalties Under the Mine Act | October 2009
  • ENERGY & MINERAL LAW FOUNDATION | 2010 Kentucky Mineral Law Conference | MINE SAFETY LAW AND REGULATION CHANGES | The Robert C. Byrd | Miner Safety and Health Act of 2010 | October 2010
  • ENERGY & MINERAL LAW FOUNDATION | 2014 Kentucky Mineral Law Conference | Beyond Secretary v. Nacco Mining Company: Operator Liability for Flagrant Conduct of Its Agents Under the Mine Act | October 2014
  • ENERGY & MINERAL LAW FOUNDATION | 2016 KENTUCKY MINERAL LAW CONFERENCE | Alcohol and Drug Addiction: Ethical Issues with the Impaired Attorney | October 19, 2016
  • Kentucky Bar Association | 2015 Annual Convention | Law Practice Management for Solo Practices and Small Firms | June 17, 2015
  • KENTUCKY JUSTICE ASSOCIATION | ETHICS ON THE LINKS | The Impaired Attorney: Ethical Considerations | May 16, 2016
  • KENTUCKY JUSTICE ASSOCIATION | ETHICS AT KEENELAND | Lawyer Impairment: Help Before It’s Too Late | April 23, 2015
  • 2014 SOUTHEAST MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH CONFERENCE | CURRENT LEGAL ISSUES IN COAL MINING | November 2014
  • 2016 SOUTHEAST MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH CONFERENCE | SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ADDICTION IN THE WORKPLACE: LEGAL AND PRACTICAL ISSUES | November 2016
  • 2017 SOUTHEAST MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH CONFERENCE | MSHA LIABILITY—Understanding and Minimizing Your Risk | November 2017
  • 2018 Industrial Minerals Association-North America Technical Workshop | SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ADDICTION IN THE WORKPLACE: LEGAL AND PRACTICAL ISSUES | March 20, 2018
  • 42nd Annual Kentucky Blasting Conference | MSHA LIABILITY—Understanding and Minimizing Your Risk | December 2015
  • LEXINGTON COAL EXCHANGE | March 12, 2010 | Current Issues In Mine Safety
  • Indiana Coal Council, Inc.Annual Meeting | Current MSHA Issues | December 3, 2009
  • Kentucky Professional Engineers in Mining | 20th Annual Seminar | Underground Mine Mapping | Kentucky Mining Law Changes | Mine Rescue Teams | August 2007
  • KENTUCKY SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS | 2016 Annual Convention | Design-Build Contracts | April 14, 2016
  • ACEC-KY RETREAT | Design-Build: Meet the New Boss—Same as the Old Boss? | January 2007
  • KSPE Annual Convention | Design-Build: Who’s the Boss? | April 13, 2007
  • KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION | 2016 Kentucky Law Update | The Aging Attorney and Cognitive Impairment: Ethical Issues & When it’s Time to Start Winding Down
  • AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION SECTION OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT | OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH COMMITTEE | MSHA Roundtable on Hot Topics: 103(f) Walk Around Rights, Remedies in 105(c) Outside the Act, Flagrant Citations and Status of Pattern of Violations | February 27, 2018
 
Classes/Seminars
  • Organized the Federal Bar Association’s Introduction to Federal Practice Seminar
  • Mine Safety Matters At Local and National Seminars, Frequent Speaker
  • Frequent speaker on addiction in the legal profession and workplace
 
 
Honors & Awards

Honors and Awards

  • “AV® Preeminent™” rating by Martindale Hubbell
  • Listed in Best Lawyers (Energy Law)
  • Kentucky Super Lawyer (Thomsen Reuters)
  • Lawyer of the year 2015
  • 2015 Community Service Alumni Award, University of Kentucky College of Law
  • 2017 Fayette County Bar Association Citizen-Lawyer Award
  • University of Kentucky Society of Fellows
 
 
Associations & Memberships
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Member
  • Fayette County Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Kentucky Chapter, 2000, President
  • Kentucky Coal Association, Health & Safety Committee, 2006 - Present
 
 
Past Employment
  • Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Associate, 1987 - 1994
  • Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Partner, 1994 - 2005
 
Pro Bono Activities

More about Melanie...

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Background
Melanie J. Kilpatrick practices in the areas of mineral and energy, employment law, and commercial litigation. She has authored articles and given presentations on topics of interest in the mineral and energy, employment and education law fields. She is experienced in arguing appellate cases before the United States Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. Ms. Kilpatrick has been admitted to practice before the Kentucky Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth and D.C. Circuits.

Ms. Kilpatrick serves on the Board of Directors for the Thomas D. Clark Foundation and Radio Eye, Inc. She is a member of the Fayette County, Kentucky, Federal and American Bar Associations. Ms. Kilpatrick serves on the Scholarship Committee of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation. She has been recognized in the listing of Kentucky Super Lawyers from 2012-2018.

Ms. Kilpatrick was Articles Editor (1995-96) and a Staff Member (1994-95) for the Kentucky Law Journal. She served as law clerk to the Honorable Eugene E. Siler, Jr. on the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1996-97. Ms. Kilpatrick received her B.A. degree with High Honors in 1992 from the University of Virginia and her J.D. degree (valedictorian) from the University of Kentucky in 1996.

Areas of Practice
  • 35% Mineral And Energy
  • 30% Employment Law
  • 25% Education
  • 10% Commercial Litigation

Litigation Percentage

  • 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
 
 
Bar Admissions
  • Supreme Court of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1996
  • Kentucky, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 2003
 
 
 
Education

University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky

  • J.D. summa cum laude – 1996
  • Honors: Valedictorian
  • Honors: Order of the Coif
  • Law Journal: Kentucky Law Journal, Articles Editor, 1995 – 1996
  • Law Journal: Kentucky Law Journal, Staff Member, 1994 - 1995

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

  • B.A. magna cum laude - 1992
  • Honors: With High Honors
  • Major: French
  • Major: Foreign Affairs

Fraternities/Sororities

  • Kappa Delta
Published Works
Representative Cases
  • Hopkins County Coal v. Secretary of Labor, 875 F.3d 279 (6th Cir. 2017)
  • Pendley v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, 601 F.3d 417 (6th Cir. 2010)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Ohio Valley Coal Company, 359 F.3d 531 (D.C. Cir. 2004)
  • Brandon Enterprises, LLC v. United States, 358 F.Supp.2d 506 (W.D. Va. 2005)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co., 36 FMSHRC 1282 (2014)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Leeco, Inc., 36 FMSHRC 130 (2014)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co., 35 FMSHRC 1585 (2013)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Premier Elkhorn Coal Co., 35 FMSHRC 150 (2013)
  • Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co. v. Secretary of Labor, 32 FMSHRC 1880 (2010)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Musser Engineering, 32 FMSHRC 1257 (2010)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Blue Diamond Coal Co., 32 FMSHRC 581 (2010)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Martin County Coal Corp., 29 FMSHRC 1017 (2007)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Bell County Coal Corp., 29 FMSHRC 506 (June 2007)
  • Secretary of Labor v. Lone Mountain Processing, Inc., 20 FMSHRC 1233 (1998)
 
 
Classes/Seminars
  • Presenter, Mineral, Energy and Employment Law Fields
  • Mine Safety & Health Review, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation & University of Kentucky Mineral Law Center
  • Coal Mine Mapping, U.S. Department of Labor & Energy & Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF)
  • MSHA's Right to Information, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation & EMLF
  • Legislation by Mine Plan, Energy & Mineral Law Institute
  • MSHA Enforcement over Engineers and Engineering Consultants, Society of Mining Engineers
  • Temporary Reinstatement Under The Mine Act, Special Institute on Mine Safety & Health
  • Challenges to MSHA Enforcement of its POV Rule, EMLF
  • Mining Regulation, University of Kentucky
  • Recent Decisions and Trends in Labor and Employment Law, Society for Human Resource Management
 
 
Honors & Awards
  • Super Lawyers, 2012-2018
  • Lexington Chamber of Commerce's Class of Leadership Lexington, Member, 2005 - 2006
 
 
Past Employment Positions
  • Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Attorney, 1997 - 2005
  • Hon. Eugene E. Siler, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for 6th Circuit, Law Clerk, 1996 - 1997
 
Pro Bono Activities

More about Tricia...

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Background

Tricia’s practice focuses on all aspects of health law, including corporate issues, employment issues, bankruptcy issues, Medicare Fraud and Abuse, billing and coding, EMTALA, HIPAA, Accountable Care Organizations, Managed Care Organizations, Independent Physician Organizations, mergers and acquisitions, Certificate of Need, licensure defense, and peer review and credentialing.  Her clients include hospitals, hospital systems, federally qualified health centers, hospice providers, rural health clinics, practice management companies, primary care centers, ambulatory surgery centers, community health centers, public health departments, home health agencies, nursing homes, durable medical equipment companies, pharmaceutical marketing companies, and individual providers (physicians, advanced practice nurse practitioners (APRNs), physician assistants, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), physical therapists, and dentists).

Tricia graduated, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law in 1999 and started her legal career at Steel Hector & Davis, one of South Florida’s leading business and international law firms.  After returning to Lexington in 2001, Tricia spent several years practicing with McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, in one of the Commonwealth’s premier health law practices. She also practiced with the healthcare team at Woodward, Hobson & Fulton and served as in-house counsel for Crown Medical Management – a full service medical practice management company.  Tricia works hard to provide clients with superlative, cost-effective legal advice and exemplary personal service. 

Tricia currently serves as the Treasurer for the Health Law Section of the Kentucky Bar Association and is a member of the Advancement Committee at Lexington Catholic High School (her alma mater).  She is a past Chair of the Health Law Section of the Fayette County Bar Association and served as the Vice President of the Board for the Lexington Medical Society Alliance. She also previously served on the Friends of the Arts Board (Secretary and Vice President), the Board of Spindletop Hall, the University of Kentucky Faculty and Alumni Club (Secretary and Vice President), and Habitat for Humanity Board.  She has published numerous legal articles – including co-authoring a Chapter of the Kentucky Health Law Handbook and publications for the American Health Lawyers Association – and has been a frequent lecturer on a wide range of health law topics.

Prior to joining Williams Kilpatrick, Tricia was the Managing Member of Shackelford Law Office, a solo practice she founds in 2005. 

Areas of Practice
  • Health Care
    • Coding and Reimbursemen
    • Medicare-Medicaid Compliance
    • Patient Rights
      • EMTALA
      • HIPAA and HITECH
      • End of Life Issues
      • Access to Medical Records
      • Guardianship Issues
      • Informed Consent
    • Fraud and Abuse - Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, Civil Money Penalties
    • Credentialing and Peer Review
    • Provider Licensure Defense - Physician, Nurse, APRN, CRNA, Dentist, Pharmacist
    • Government Audits 
    • Corporate Compliance
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Business Organizations and Transactions
  • General Commercial and Civil Litigation
Bar Admissions
  • Florida 1999
  • District of Columbia 2001
  • Kentucky 2001
  • Eastern District of Kentucky 2004
 
 
 
Education
University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, FL

Juris Doctor, cum laude, May 1999

  • Honors: University of Miami Law Review, Staff Editor & Activities: Phi Delta Phi – President 1997-1998; Executive Board Advisor 1998-1999 Dean’s List, Dean’s List Merit Scholarship Cali Excellence for the Future Award, Legal Research and Writing Mock Trial Competition, Semi-Finalist, Fall 1998 Bioethics and Health Law Working Group, 1997-2001 Miami Law Women, 1996-1998
Georgia Southern University (Formerly Armstrong Atlantic University), Savannah, GA

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, June 1992

  • Honors & Activities: Dean’s List; Secretary, Pre-Law Society, 1991-1992

University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Journalism major, September 1988 – June 1990

  • Activities: Pi Beta Phi Women’s Fraternity, initiated Winter 1989
Published Works
  • Corporate Practice of Medicine: A Fifty State Survey (2019 Edition), American Health Lawyers Association (July 2019)

    • Employment Law Issues, Kentucky Health Law 5th Edition, University of Kentucky (Fall 2008)
    • PHOs, A U.S. Trend and Overview, The Health Lawyer, Vol. 12, No. 6 (August 2000)
Representative Cases
Classes/Seminars

Human Resources Issues and the Value-Based Practice, Kentucky Primary Care Association Annual Meeting (October 18, 2019)

  • Medical Ethics: A Primer, Kentucky Academy of Audiology 2019 Conference (July 11, 2019)
  • Privacy, Technology, Security: The Internet of Things in a Smart Device World, KBA Annual Convention (June  12, 2019); Kentucky Bar of State Attorneys (July 30, 2019)
  • Workplace Violence Panel, the Georgia Primary Care Association Annual Meeting (October 2018)
  • Confidentiality of Medical Records Seminar (August 2008, May 2013)
  • Preparing for Government Audits Webinar (February 2013)
  • Peer Review and Risk Management: A Primer, the Kentucky Primary Care Association Annual Meeting (October 2010)
  • EHR Selection and Implementation (September 4, 2010)
  • Physician Compensation Models, UK College of Law Health Care Update (November 2009)
  • The Business of Health Care, UK College of Medicine (March 2009)
  • Starting a New Business, Bluegrass Small Business Development Center (June 24, 2008)
  • Corporate Entity Selection, Fayette County Bar Association Annual CLE (June 24, 2008)
  • Unincorporated Business Entities, Kentucky Bar Association Annual CLE (June 19, 2008)
  • Starting a New Business, Bluegrass Small Business Development Center (February 14, 2008)
  • E-Discovery & EHR, Fayette County Bar Association, Health and Insurance Law Section (September 26, 2007)
  • Developing New Business Enterprises in a Global Economy, Choosing the Right Business for your Client, Kentucky Law Update (September 7, 2007)
  • HR: 101, Bluegrass Small Business Development Center (August 16, 2007)
  • Confidentiality of Medical Records, Lorman Seminar (September 2006)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Kentucky, College of Allied Health, Health Law (Fall 2006)
  • HIPPA Flash Session, Fayette County Bar Association (Summer 2006)
  • Choosing the Right Corporate Entity for Your Business and Other Corporate Issues, NAWBO, Women Partnering for Success (April 2006)
  • Limiting Liability for Small Business, National Association of Women Business Owners (March 2006)
  • Kentucky Law Update, Update 2002, Health Law Hit Parade (November 2002)
  • HIPAA: A Primer, Kentucky Optometric Association (September 13, 2002)
  • Computer Assisted Legal Research for Kentucky Paralegals (June 7, 2002)
  • Navigating the HIPAA Minefield:  The New Patient Privacy Requirements (November 14, 2001)
  • Preventive Medicine for the Physician, Floyd County Medical Society (August 21, 2001)
Honors & Awards
  • National Association of Women Business Owners Public Policy Advocate Award  (2006)
  • Kentucky Colonel, inducted May 1993
Professional Associations & Memberships

Lexington Catholic High School Board of Trustees Committee Member, 2018-present

  • Kentucky Primary Care Association, Member, 2018-present
  • Lexington Singers Board of Directors, 2018-present
  • American Medical Association Alliance Member, 2017-2019
  • Kentucky Medical Association Alliance Member, 2017-2019
  • Lexington Medical Society Alliance Member, 2017-present; Vice President – 2018-2019
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Healthcare Law Section, Treasurer 2019-present
  • American Bar Association, Healthcare Law Section Member , 2016-present
  • Fayette County Bar Association, Healthcare Law Section Chair (2007-2008, 2017-2018), CLE Planning Committee (2008)
  • Friends of the Arts School, Inc., Secretary, 2015-2017, LHS Liaison, 2017-present
  • St. Joseph Hospital Foundation Board, 2008-2013; Chair of the Nominating Committee (2013)
  • National Association of Women Business Owners, 2005-2012; Corporate Partner and Economic Development Chair, (2010-2012); Lexington Chapter, Public Policy Chair (2006-2007) 
  • Habitat for Humanity, Board of Directors, 2008-2010
  • American Health Lawyers Association, Member, 2005-present
  • Board of Directors, Spindletop Hall, 2005-2010, Secretary (2005-2006); Vice President (2006-2007)
Past Employment Positions
  • Shackelford Law Office, Lexington, KY | January 2005-July 2006; May 2010 – August 2019
  • Crown Medical Management Group, Lexington KY | May 2010-February 2011 
  • Dinsmore & Shohl, L.L.P., Lexington, KY | July 2006-April 2010 
  • University of Kentucky, College of Allied Health, Lexington, KY - Adjunct Professor Role - Fall 2006
  • McBrayer Law Firm, Lexington, KY | April 2001-October 2004
  • Steel, Hector & Davis, LLP, Miami, FL | May - July 1998; September 1999-February 2001

Learn More At A Consultation

Contact us to meet with our attorneys and learn more about how they can help you and your business. You can contact us online or call our office in Lexington from anywhere in the country at 859-245-1059 to schedule a consultation.