Bench & Bar

JUL 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| JULY/AUGUST 2018 6 You were born to the breed. Your uncle omas Ballantine, Jr., was a U.S. District Judge. Your grandfather on your father's side was a lawyer. Your father John T. "Jack" Ballantine still practices with your law firm, Stoll Keenon Ogden. When did you develop the notion to become a lawyer, and what was your father's influence on that decision? How has your father helped you along on your journey as a lawyer? I guess I come by it honestly. I was always interested in law as I grew up, but needed to get some wander- lust out of my system first. My father and uncle, and even my grandfather have had a great influence on my practice as a lawyer. My grandfather was hired away from the law firm where he began work as a young lawyer because the client said that all of the other lawyers the client had worked with had told the client why the client could not do what the client wanted to do. My grandfather, on the other hand, told the client how he could do what he wanted to do, and the client wanted someone like that to be his lawyer. I try to remember that lesson as I practice. My uncle Tom had a great wit, and was very eco- nomical with his words in his writings for the Court. Unfortunately, I don't believe that I have Tom's wit, but I do try to be as succinct as possible with sub- missions to courts. As for my father, I couldn't have found a better mentor or teacher to practice law. He has guided me when and as necessary, but has never been over- bearing in any way. He is not one to try to take the limelight or showboat his talents. Rather, he lets his results over the decades speak for themselves. He is a leader by example. He and other senior lawyers in and out of our firm have emphasized that it takes a long time to build a good reputation but a very short time to build a bad one, and I have tried to keep that in mind as I practice. He teaches me how little I know every day, but in a very nice way. Election as KBA president is always the culmination of a long his- tory of bar service. You also have been involved in practice-specific committee work at the state and federal levels. Can you describe your own history of service to the bar, and what it has meant to you, personally and professionally? I always tell people that it may sound cheesy, but my volunteer work for the Kentucky Bar Association and other legal entities, such as various committees for the Sixth Circuit, has been some of the most rewarding work I've done as a lawyer. When I first started prac- ticing, my dad suggested that I check out the KBA to see if there were any committees or groups that interested me. I think I may have started on the KBA Professionalism Committee many years ago. Since then, I have served on the KBA Board of Governors for six years (three 2-year terms), Ethics Committee, CLE Commission, including serving as chair, the KBA Rules Committee (chair), the Sixth Circuit Advisory Committee on Rules, Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference Planning Committee, Sixth Circuit Life Members Committee, and some others. What has made my service to the Bar so rewarding are the great, dedicated people I have met. Almost without exception, the KBA staff and the lawyers and non-lawyers who serve on the various Bar commit- tees, commissions and other volunteer Bar groups are true believers in the mission of the Bar and the Doug: Doug: Q A W I T H K B A P R E S I D E N T B Y : J A M E S P . D A D Y Doug Ballantine Q&A WITH KBA PRESIDENT

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