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UK Law Alumni Association Recognizes 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees and Alumni Awards Recipients

June 29, 2018 - Alumni, family and friends gathered at the Lexington Hyatt Regency in June to honor the 2018 UK Law Alumni Association Hall of Fame Inductees, Alumni Awards winners and the Dean’s Circle Champion.

“We had a great turnout for the event and continue to be amazed at the strong alumni connections that have been made here at UK Law,” said Stephen Milner, UK Law Alumni Association President.

The UK Law Alumni Association Hall of Fame was established to acknowledge graduates of the College whose extraordinary professional success and contributions, profound positive influence on the College of Law, and high degree of character and integrity are recognized by their peers.  Inclusion in the Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the Association. The 2018 Hall of Fame inductees are Barbara B. Edelman, Hon. Thomas B. Russell and Sheryl G. Snyder.

Barbara B. Edelman is a partner in the Lexington office of Dinsmore & Shohl.  She serves on the firm’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, and also heads the Litigation Department in the Lexington office.  She is a 1977 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and in 1974 earned her B.B.A. degree with Honors from the College of Business. 

She began her legal career in the Special Prosecutions Division of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.  She also served as Director of Litigation for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Barbara was appointed to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the E.D. of KY where she prosecuted federal court cases and handled many high-profile cases involving white collar crime, murder for hire and public corruption. 

In 1987, she entered private practice and established herself as one of the premiere commercial litigators in Kentucky.  Barbara is listed in Best Lawyers Appellate Law, Bet the Company, and Commercial Litigation. She is listed in Kentucky’s Super Lawyers; Kentucky’s Super Lawyers Top 25 Women; Kentucky’s Super Lawyers Top 50 Lawyers in the State; Benchmark Litigation as a “Local Litigation Star”; and Top 250 Women in Litigation in the Nation.

She is the 2012 recipient of the Fayette County Bar Association’s highest honor, the Henry T. Duncan Award. She is also a past President of the Fayette County Women Lawyers Association and the University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Association.

Edelman has tried more than 50 cases in state and federal courts and has argued more than 35 cases to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Kentucky Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District.

The Honorable Thomas B. Russell, Senior Judge, United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky, began his career in private practice at Whitlow, Roberts, Houston & Russell.  After 24 years in private practice, Judge Russell was appointed to his current seat on the court.  He served as Chief Judge from 2008-2011.

His judicial appointments include Advisory Committee on Civil Rules for the U.S. Judicial Conference, where he served as co-chair of the Committee to Restyle the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (2003-2007). He served on the Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System – Judicial Conference of the U. S. from 2008-2014, and currently serves as the Sixth Circuit District Judges Representative to the Judicial Conference of the United States, where he served as president from 2015-2017. He was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2014 for a seven-year term, as well as to the U.S. Alien Terrorist Removal Court in 2015 for a five-year term.

Judge Russell’s honors include Judge of the Year (2005) in the Louisville Bar Association, Distinguished Jurist (2011) in the University of Kentucky Law Alumni Association, and Distinguished Judge of the Year (2017) in the Kentucky Bar Association.

Sheryl G. Snyder is a managing associate with Frost Brown Todd LLC, where he has practiced for 24 years, and has served on the Executive Committee, and as Chair of the Litigation Department and Appellate Practice Group. Prior to joining Frost Brown Todd LLC, he was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of ICH Corporation, an insurance holding company.  He is a 1971 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, graduating first in his class, and serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Kentucky Law Journal.

He began his career clerking for the Hon. M.C. Matthes, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Additionally, he has practiced at Wyatt, Grafton & Sloss and Brown Todd & Heyburn PLLC, and served on the Executive Committee of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP. 

Snyder is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and is “the state’s premier appellate lawyer” according to Chambers USA®.  He co-authors Appellate Practice, Volume 19, in the Kentucky Practice series published by Thomson West. 

Snyder has represented several governors of Kentucky, of both political parties, in significant litigation. He is co-author of The Separation of Governmental Powers Under the Constitution of Kentucky: A Legal and Historical Analysis of LRC v. Brown, 73 KY. L.J. 165 (1984).

Snyder served as Treasurer of the committee that secured passage of the Gubernatorial Succession Amendment.  He was a member of the six-person Strategy Committee that secured passage of the Louisville-Jefferson County merger.  He also received the Louisville Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1982 as a founder of the Judicial Evaluation program. 

Snyder is a Past President of both the Kentucky and Louisville Bar Associations. He has served on the boards of the Louisville Zoo Foundation, Actors Theatre, the Louisville Orchestra, Leadership Kentucky and Metro United Way.  He graduated first in the class of 1971, was Editor-in-Chief of the Kentucky Law Journal and clerked for Chief Judge of the Eighth Circuit.

The three Hall of Fame honorees join the esteemed group of 71 other inductees honored since the Hall of Fame was established in 1996.  The inductees expressed gratitude for the honor bestowed upon them the foundation provided by UK College of Law, and for the people who have supported them during law school and throughout their careers. 

The UK Law Alumni Association Board of Directors also established five awards to honor graduates who have distinguished themselves by contributions to the practice of law and service to communities. Five Alumni Awards were presented:

Lou Anna Red Corn (’84), Professional Achievement
J. Tanner Watkins (’08), Young Professional
Hugh B. Hall, Jr. (’67), Community Service
The Honorable Glenn Earl Acree (’85), Distinguished Jurist
Norma Boster Adams (’53), Legacy Award

The Professional Achievement Award recognizes a particularly noteworthy accomplishment in a given year but may be given to one who has achieved and sustained an extraordinary level of excellence in a particular area of the law or one’s chosen field.  The Young Professional Award recognizes individuals who graduated within the past 10 years and have distinguished themselves professionally in the community, or in some other fashion.  The Community Service Award is given to a graduate who has provided outstanding leadership in his or her local community, state or nation, to aid and benefit causes not necessarily related to the legal profession. The Distinguished Jurist Award is given to an individual who has distinguished himself or herself through a contribution of outstanding service to the legal profession.  The Legacy Award is bestowed upon an individual who graduated 50 or more years ago and has demonstrated exceptional leadership in his or her profession and/or community and has made a positive impact on the wellbeing of the UK College of Law, the Commonwealth of Kentucky or elsewhere in the nation.

Each year, through the Dean’s Circle Program, UK Law recognizes those firms whose UK College of Law graduates have generously given back to their alma mater.  English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP in Bowling Green was recognized as the Dean’s Circle Champion for being the firm with the highest percentage of giving among its UK Law alumni.  Additional Dean’s Circle Firms include: Fowler Bell, PLLC, Lexington, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Nashville, Henry Watz Raine & Marino, PLLC, Lexington, Landrum & Shouse LLP, Lexington, McMurry & Livingston, PLLP, Paducah, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Cincinnati, Lexington & Louisville, Frost Brown Todd LLP, Louisville, Kerrick Bachert PSC, Bowling Green, and Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Lexington & Louisville.

The UK Law Alumni Association provides programs and events to recognize the outstanding achievements of College of Law alumni, support initiatives at the College of Law, and foster engagement between alumni, faculty and students.