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College of Law Inducts Three Members into 2014 Hall of Fame

Albert B. “Ben” Chandler III, W. David Denton, and William R. Garmer Accepting Awards

On June 18 in Covington, KY, the University of Kentucky College of Law and the Law Alumni Association inducted three new members into the 2014 Hall of Fame at an alumni reception held annually in conjunction with the Kentucky Bar Association Convention.

The Hall of Fame was established to acknowledge graduates who have achieved extraordinary professional success, have a high degree of character and integrity, and have a profound positive impact on the College of Law. The three Hall of Fame inductees are Albert B. “Ben” Chandler III, W. David Denton, and William R. Garmer.

Albert B. “Ben” Chandler III, is a graduate of the Class of 1986, and is a native of Versailles, Kentucky. He was named KBA “Young Lawyer of the Year” in 1993. Chandler served the Commonwealth as Auditor of Public Accounts. He transformed that Office beyond its traditional role to a “watchdog” with teeth that actively investigated public corruption resulting in the recovery of $33 million in misappropriated funds and over 30 referrals to law enforcement.

In 1995, Chandler became the nation’s youngest Attorney General. His achievements included: Foundation for A Healthy Kentucky created from a $45 million settlement with Anthem Insurance, a $2 billion fund for farmers as part of the $300 billion national settlement with the cigarette companies, making all Commonwealth’s Attorneys full-time prosecutors, reformation of DUI laws and the Criminal Code, and consumer protection initiatives like the “No Call List."

Chandler served the Commonwealth and the nation as Congressman for the Sixth District from 2004-2012. He served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He also served on the House Ethics and Science Committees, and Congressional liaison to the European Parliament. His most distinguished appointment was to the House Intelligence Committee which provides oversight of the Nation’s intelligence operations.

W. David “Dave” Denton is a 1969 graduate of the UK College of Law. A native of Somerset, Kentucky, he moved to Paducah upon graduating law school. In Paducah, he quickly made a name for himself not only as a premier attorney, but also as a business and civic leader. In 1979 he founded the law firm of Denton & Keuler which, through his leadership, has grown to be one of the largest and most diverse law firms in the western Kentucky region.

Denton’s business and civic accomplishments are noteworthy. He was the attorney and an organizing investor for the formation of Paducah Bank Shares, Inc., a holding company that owns and controls Paducah Bank & Trust Company. He has been involved as an investor, organizer and motivating force behind numerous real estate development projects and other highly successful business ventures during his career. He has served as the past chair of the Paducah-McCracken County Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council where he has been highly influential in economic development throughout the western Kentucky region. He is a former member of the Kentucky Council of Higher Education and is currently the Chair of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Executive Branch Ethics Commission.

Having a passion for education, he successfully chaired a fundraising campaign which raised more than $8.4 million—entirely through private donations in Paducah—for the construction of the University Of Kentucky College Of Engineering on the Paducah campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

William R. “Bill” Garmer, a 1975 graduate of the UK College of Law, has spent more than 35 years as a practicing trial attorney, becoming one of the most respected members of the Kentucky plaintiffs’ bar.

Before law school, Garmer served on Active Duty in the United States Air Force as a Staff Sergeant from 1969 to1973. After law school, he worked for two years as a Law Clerk to Hon. B.T. Moynahan, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Among Garmer’s accomplishments during his many years of courtroom and appellate practice, several of his cases have led to groundbreaking decisions establishing Kentucky law. In Hilen v. Hays, as the plaintiff’s attorney, Garmer earned a decision for his client before the Kentucky Supreme Court that led to the adoption of Comparative Fault in Kentucky. Additionally, as the plaintiff’s attorney in Williams v. St. Claire Medical Center, Garmer’s successful argument in the Kentucky Court of Appeals led to the decision recognizing both the doctrine of apparent agency of independent contractors in hospital cases and the independent liability of a hospital for violations of that hospital’s rules and regulations.

In addition to his professional honors and awards, Garner has donated thousands of hours of his time to the UK College of Law over the years as an alumni board member, an adjunct professor in litigation skills and healthcare law, a Visiting Committee member, and a guest lecturer.

Other honorees included Kenneth R. Taylor, 1979 (Professional Achievement), Angela Logan Edwards, 1994 and Thomas Ruden Post, 1970 (Community Service), Jennifer Lee Ann Brinkley, 2005 (Young Professional), Karl Spillman Forester, 1966 (Distinguished Jurist, honored posthumously), Wil Schroder, 1970 (Distinguished Jurist, honored posthumously), and Albert Jones, 1957 (Legacy).