Providing legal excellence for over 65 years in Kentucky

Bennett E. Bayer

Bennett E. Bayer

Recognized by Best Lawyers - 2023 | Landrum & Shouse LLP
Martindale - Hubbell | AV Preeminent | Peer Rated For Highest Level Of Professional Excellence | 2024
Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Peer Rated for High Professional Excellence 2023
Martindale Hubbell | AV | Preeminent | Peer Rated For Highest Level Of professional Excellence | 2022
Rated By Super Lawyers | Bennett E. Bayer |


In the Lexington, Kentucky office since 1999, his practice principally deals with commercial law and commercial litigation, with extensive experience in matters dealing with coal mining, regularly appearing before state and federal regulatory bodies.

The diversity of clients, with their need for a general counsel, drives much of his practice, with many of his clients being out of state and on occasion, he has had to manage matters on an international level.

Having practiced criminal cases in state and federal courts, along with military courts martial, gives him the ability to counsel companies regarding criminal repercussions that may arise from a particular business practice, or responding to warrants, subpoenas or grand jury investigations.

Litigation has been a major component of his practice, having tried many cases before a jury, appearing as defense counsel and other times representing the plaintiff.  With a very successful trial record, he obtained one of the highest judgments in punitive damages ever rendered against the Commonwealth of Kentucky, obtaining a verdict of more than Two Million Dollars ($2,000,000.00) which was upheld on appeal.

Over the years he has acted as counsel to elected government officials, on both a state and local level, and he regularly represent judges, other attorneys and law firms in a variety of matters.  In 1997 he was appointed as the Fayette County Teen Court Judge and currently holds that position.

A member of the Kentucky Bar and the American Bar Associations, he has been admitted to practice before the Kentucky Supreme Court, as well as all inferior courts in Kentucky; the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky; the Fourth and the Sixth Circuits for the United States Courts of Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court, and has appeared pro hac vice in a variety of federal district courts.

For over twenty years he has held an “AV” Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, their highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards and is listed as a Super Lawyer for general litigation.  He has also been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America since 2017.


  • University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1982
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    • B.G.S. - 1979

Bar Admission

  • Kentucky, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1995

Practice Areas

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Transaction/UCC Law
  • Energy Law
  • Litigation Construction
  • Litigation Real Estate
  • Mining Law


  • Best Lawyers in America, 2023 Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2024
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
  • Justice James Keller, Law Day Award
  • Super Lawyers, 2015 – 2024

Past Positions

  • Gilliam, Buster & Bayer, Partner, 1985 to 1990
  • Emerson & Bayer, Partner, 1990 to 1997

Professional Associations

  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Fayette County Bar Association
  • Fayette County Teen Court, Judge

Current Employment Position

  • Counsel