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UK Law Announces 2019 Hall of Fame and Alumni Awards Honorees

May 8, 2019
The University of Kentucky College of Law and the UK Law Alumni Association will induct three new members into its Hall of Fame and present five Alumni Awards at a celebration in Louisville on June 12 in conjunction with the Kentucky Bar Association Convention.  The College of Law and Law Alumni Association will also honor five Alumni Awards recipients.

Initiated in 1996, the UK Law Hall of Fame Award is the highest award presented jointly by the College and the UK Law Alumni Association.  This distinction is awarded with great care to acknowledge alumni and former faculty who have taught at UK law for at least 20 years, 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.


Hall of Fame: Justice Mary C. Noble ’82

During her nearly 25 years of judicial service to the Kentucky Court of Justice, Hon. Mary C. Noble was a constant force for court improvement. She pursued ways for judges to better serve the changing legal needs of the people appearing in court, and to apply with greater clarity the substantive law that guides resolution of their disputes.

Most notably, Justice Noble was instrumental in founding Kentucky Drug Court while serving as a Fayette Circuit Court Judge.  In 1995, Justice Noble single-handedly went before the Kentucky General Assembly to request Drug Court funding and convinced the legislature to include $300,000 for the Fayette County Drug Court program. That money ultimately was used by the Administrative Office of the Courts to create a statewide Drug Court department. Barely 10 years later, state and federal funding for Kentucky Drug Court reached nearly $15 million.


Hall of Fame: Don Sturgill ’55 (posthumous)

Don Sturgill served as a Kentucky's first Commissioner of Public Safety and as a successful attorney who built a law practice that has lasted 62 years. The firm he founded continues to flourish in many areas of litigation and transactional work. However, the area that put the firm on the map was equine law, thanks to Sturgill's brilliance and passion for horse breeding and racing.

Sturgill was a key figure in many prominent and significant racing law cases, thanks in part to his tenure as general counsel for the National and Kentucky chapters of the Horsemen's Benevolent & Protection Associative (HBPA), beginning in 1989. His practice then shifted to racing law more than breeding law, although several of his law partners at Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, including his wife Ann Sturgill, continued to actively practice breeding law.

He was a founder of, and regular presenter for, one of UK's most popular CLE programs - the National Equine Law Conference and its predecessor, the Keeneland Practical Equine Business & Law Conference.



Hall of Fame: Robert Yahng ‘67

Since 1997, Robert T. Yahng has been a social science teacher at the Salesian College Preparatory High School in Richmond, Ca. For more than 18 years, Robert has taught Honors/AP Economics, and Honors/AP U.S. Government to high school seniors. He is taught microeconomics during the 2019 spring semester at Berea College where he currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Yahng has co-authored five high school texts concerning U.S. History, and U.S. Government for the State of Florida. He was the Chairman of American Bridge (AB) from 1998-2013.

Prior to his involvement with AB, Yahng was a partner in the Law Firm of Baker & McKenzie, retiring in 1998. He joined the firm’s San Francisco office as an associate in 1976, founded the Taipei office of the firm, and assisted in the start-up of the Firm’s office in Shanghai. In the 1980s and 1990s, he served several terms as the Managing Partner of the San Francisco/Palo Alto offices of Baker & McKenzie. He also served several terms on the firm’s Policy Committee. In his law practice he personally represented multi-national firms, such as Applied Materials, Wm Wrigley, Jr. Company, AT&T, Hoechst AG, Grundig AG, Bank of America, and China National Non-ferrous Metals Corporation. During his legal career, Yahng wrote articles for various publications, and newspapers and has conducted seminars and given speeches for the AMA, AEA, Asia Society and other business organizations on legal aspects of doing business internationally.

In addition to the Hall of Fame Awards, the College of Law and UK Law Alumni Association has established five awards to honor graduates who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to the practice of law and service to their communities. The following alumni will be honored at the upcoming Hall of Fame and Alumni Awards Reception:

Community Service
William “Bill” Baird, III ‘69



Young Professional
Dana Daughetee Fohl ‘10

Professional Achievement
Patrick Madden ‘87

Distinguished Jurist
The Honorable Pamela R. Goodwine ‘94


Legacy Award
Whayne C. Priest, Jr. ‘62


The Hall of Fame and Alumni Awards will be presented at the Gault House in Louisville on June 12.  Visit to register for the event.