Email MeR. Kent Westberry
Kent Westberry is a Senior Partner at Landrum & Shouse LLP, with over 35 years of criminal and civil litigation experience in federal and state courts. From 2004 to 2005, Kent served as President of the Kentucky Bar Association. From 1981 to 1987, Kent served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
Kent is listed in the Best Lawyers in America under White Collar Criminal Defense, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Defense, Municipal Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation (SEC, Energy) sections. He is also listed in Kentucky Super Lawyers Business Edition for White Collar Criminal Defense. He has, for many years, maintained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Kent is a Fellow in the American Board of Criminal Attorneys.
Through the years, Kent has defended some of the most highly publicized criminal prosecutions in Kentucky. However, despite the nature of those cases handled by Kent and his firm the most successful criminal defenses should not be high profile. Attorneys are most effective in the investigative stage, before an indictment has been returned and in the headlines. Kent also practices extensively in the areas of commercial and business litigation, and the representation of attorneys in Bar discipline proceedings.
Recently, Kent served as lead counsel for the former Clay County Superintendent of Schools against allegations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d). Those charges stemmed from an alleged participation in a vote buying scheme that encompassed three election cycles. The trial lasted in excess of seven weeks. Recently, a unanimous panel of United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated the defendant’s convictions on all counts and remanded for a new trial (United States of America v. Douglas C. Adams, et al., File No. 13a-0179 p.06, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals). This successful appeal was handled by Kent and John D. Cline of San Francisco.
Kent served as lead counsel for former Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher in the Merit System investigation which resulted in a dismissal of all charges brought against this former Governor. Kent also served as counsel to a former Governor from the Northeast with regard to a Federal Grand Jury Investigation involving a now defunct business college in Kentucky. This investigation was closed without criminal charges being brought. Over the past several years, Kent has represented clients in criminal investigations and trials on behalf of the coal industry. In particular, Kent has been involved in the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster where an investigation was conducted by the Mining Safety and Health Administration ("MSHA") and the United States Attorney's Office in Utah. In the past, Kent was involved in representing executives in the Pyro Mine disaster where no charges were brought against his client. More recently, Kent obtained an acquittal for a coal mining executive in United States v. B&D Mining in federal court in Abington, Virginia. Kent has also obtained a significant judgment of acquittal for felony counts, post-verdict, in United States v. KenAmerican Resources, et al. for his client who was a mine superintendent. The court ultimately sentenced this client as well as others to probation after a month long jury trial. Kent works extensively in every area of white collar criminal defense including healthcare fraud, criminal tax evasion, bank and securities fraud, mail and wire fraud. He frequently represents witnesses, subjects and targets in Grand Jury investigations.
RECENT REPRESENTATIVE CASES
1. United States of America v. Maricle, et al., Criminal Action No. 6:09-CR-00016-DCR, Trial Date: February 2, 2010, United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky (London Division) (Judge Danny C. Reeves). The charges included allegations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) 18 U.S.C. §1962(d) and money laundering in violation of U.S.C. §1956(h). The trial lasted in excess of seven weeks and involved many complex questions of law.
United States of America v. Douglas C. Adams, et al., File No. 13a-0179p.06, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Decided and filed July 17, 2013 (recommended for full-text publication). A unanimous panel of United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated the defendant’s convictions on all RICO Conspiracy counts and remanded for a new trial. At an April 8, 2014 sentencing, the Court sentenced Mr. Adams to time served.
2. United States of America, ex rel. Stydinger, et al. v. Michael R. Barr, et al Civil Case No. 3:03-CV-00380-R, United States District Court, Western of Kentucky, (Louisville Division)(Judge Thomas B. Russell). Filed: June 25, 2003. Concluded: January 2014. This litigation involved allegations brought under the Fedral False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C §§ 3729 et. seq.
Kent represented the former Chief Executive Officer of a now defunct healthcare organization. This complex civil case involved allegations of improper billing (coding) as well as billing for unnecessary medical services and was a parallel proceeding to a criminal investigation where Kent successfully convinced the U.S. Attorney not to bring charges.
3. Griffin v. Jones, et al. Civil Case No 5:12cv-00163-TBR, United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky(Paducah Division)(Judge Thomas B. Russell). Field: November 2, 2012. Kent is currently serving as Lead Counsel in this civil RICO claim arising from allegations of fraudulent investments/misappropriations in a Western Kentucky based federal action.
4. Community Ties of America, Inc. v. The Carla J. Barrowman Corp., et al. Civil Action No. 3:12-CV-00429-S, United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky (Louisville Division) (Senior Judge Charles R. Simpson III and Magistrate Judge James D. Moyer). Filed: July 20, 2012. This lawsuit involves allegations of tortuous interference with contractual relationships, among many other business torts, arising out of the closing of a residential treatment facility for disabled adults.
5. Cutshall, et al. v. American Powerboat Ass’n, et al. Civil Case No. 3:11-CV-00056-DCR, United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky (Frankfort Division) (Judge Danny C. Reeves). Filed: August 30, 2011.
Greenwell, et al. v. American Powerboat Ass’n, et al., Civil Case No. 06181, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jefferson Circuit Court (Division 2) (Judge James Shake) removed to federal court Civil Case No. 3:11-CV-00574-JBC, United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky (Louisville Division) (Judge Jennifer B. Coffman). Filed: September 21, 2011.
We represented a national association that sponsors powerboat races throughout the United States. In particular, our client sponsored the annual Madison (Indiana) Regatta which involves a large number of powerboats participating in a race on the Ohio River. In 2011, a catastrophic injury resulted in the two lawsuits referenced above. The lawsuits involved issues of negligence as well as interpretations of federal admiralty and maritime law. Both cases were successfully mediated.
6. State of Ohio v. United Wastewater, et al. Criminal Action No. CR2010-06-0953, Trial Date: April 25, 2011. Court of Common Pleas, Butler County, Ohio (Judge Andrew Nastoff). Kent served as lead counsel for an environmental compliance office of an Ohio based wastewater treatment company. The prosecution was based on allegations that hazardous substances were released and caused the death of a worker at the treatment plant. After a two week trial in the Butler County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court, an acquittal was obtained on all counts.
Kent is a Life Member of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Kent served in 2011 as Chairman of the United States District Court Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky – Louisville Division. He currently serves as Chairman of the Kentucky Bar Association Mentoring Committee. He is an active member of the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents and a member and past president of the Law Club of Louisville.
Areas of Practice
- 50% White Collar Criminal Defense, Federal and State Court
- 30% Business and Commercial Litigation
- 20% Ethics and Professional Responsibility
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Kentucky, 1981
- U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1982
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1992
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 1995
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1995
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1983
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1984
- Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky
- J.D. - 1980
- Centre College of Kentucky, Danville, Kentucky
- B.A. - 1977
- Major: Government
- VOTE-BUYING IN KENTUCKY, KBA Bench and Bar magazine, September/October, 2016
- The Criminal Trial: Voir Dire to Closing, National Business Institute, 2009 - 2011
- Election Laws in Kentucky, Louisville Bar Association, 1998 - Present
- White Collar Crime, Louisville Bar Association, 1997 - Present
- Preparing Witnesses to Testify in a Criminal Case, Louisville Bar Association, 1997 - Present
- Ethics in Kentucky, Ethics in Kentucky, 1997 - Present
- Litigation Ethics (Pretrial Investigation and Rule 11), Louisville Bar Association, 1990 - Present
- Criminal RICO Seminar, Louisville Bar Association, 1986 - Present
- Comprehensive Crime Control Act, Salmon P. Chase, College of Law, 1986 - Present
Honors and Awards
- Kentucky Super Lawyers, White Collar Criminal Defense, 2007 - 2017
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
- Recognized in Top Lawyers in Louisville Magazine, White Collar Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Litigation, 2006 - 2013
- Special Justice, Supreme Court of Kentucky, 1994
- Law Club of Louisville (Past President)
- AVVO 10.0 Rating (Superb)
- Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Litigation - Municipal, Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), and Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants in Louisville, 2017
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Kentucky Bar Association, President, 2004 - 2005
- Kentucky Bar Association, Member, Board of Governors, 1992 - 2002
- American Board of Criminal Lawyers, Fellow
- American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
- U.S. Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, Life Member
- Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission, Alternate Chair, 2015 - Present
- Kentucky Bar Association Rules Committee, Member, 2015 - Present
- National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Member
- Defense Research Institute
- Federal Defenders Corporation, Western District of Kentucky, Member, Board of Directors, 2001 - Present
- U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, WDKY, Chairman, 2011
Past Employment Positions
- Greenebaum, Doll & McDonald, Associate, 1987 - 1989
- United States Attorney's Office Western Dist of KY, Assistant United States Attorney, 1981 - 1987
Pro Bono Activities
- Member, Board of Directors, Federal Public Defender Board
- United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
- Sigma Chi