R. Kent Westberry

Email Me R. Kent Westberry

Louisville, Kentucky
502-589-7616 (Local)
888-322-2505 (Toll-Free)

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. Kent also 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, at trial, 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 and resulted in convictions. A unanimous panel of United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit subsequently vacated all 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 a former Kentucky Governor in the Merit System investigation which resulted in a dismissal of all charges brought against that 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. 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 an executive 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.

Areas of Practice

  • 50% White Collar Criminal Defense- Government Investigations
  • 30% Business and Commercial Litigation
  • 20% Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • 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

Published Works

  • 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
  • American Board of Criminal Lawyers, Fellow
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
  • U.S. Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, Life Member
  • Uniform Law Commission, Commissioner, 2017 - Present
  • Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission, Alternate Chair, 2015 - 2018
  • Kentucky Bar Association Rules Committee, Member, 2015 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Member
  • Federal Defenders Corporation, Western District of Kentucky, Member, Board of Directors, 2001 - Present
  • U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Committee, 2018
  • 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
  • Member, St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church


  • English


  • Sigma Chi