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UK Law Inducts Three Into Hall of Fame

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On June 17 in Lexington, KY, the University of Kentucky College of Law and the Law Alumni Association inducted three new members into the 2015 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 and/or former faculty members 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 Carolyn S. Bratt, John M. Famularo, and the late John G. Heyburn II.

CAROLYN S. BRATT

1975 – 2008

Professor Bratt is a magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, graduate of Syracuse University College of Law. She earned her undergraduate degree at the State University of New York at Albany.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Kentucky in 1975, she clerked for the Presiding Justice of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division.

During her 33 years on faculty, Professor Bratt devoted her time to teaching, research, and writing in the areas of property, constitutional and anti-discrimination law. On two occasions, the law students recognized her with their Outstanding Teacher Award. She received the law school’s Duncan Award for her outstanding contribution to legal education. Professor Bratt was also the recipient of the University of Kentucky’s Great Teacher Award and the Cassis Award given by the law school for “excellence in legal research and scholarship.”

Professor Bratt served as a Special Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court and as an administrative law judge with the Kentucky Cabinet for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. She was also appointed to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and the Lexington Fayette Urban County Planning Commission.

Professor Bratt was appointed by Governor Martha Layne Collins to serve as chair of the Kentucky Governor’s Commission on Women. She co-chaired the American Bar Association’s Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender-Identity Discrimination and was a driving force behind the adoption of the Lexington-Fayette County’s Fairness Ordinance.

She was chosen to chair the Faculty Senate and to represent faculty as their trustee on the UK Board of Trustees.  Professor Bratt served as the inaugural chair of the University of Kentucky President’s Commission on Women. The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights honored Professor Bratt as a “Tireless fighter for civil rights in general and women’s rights in particular” when she was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

Professor Bratt was the recipient of numerous civic and professional awards including the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, Midway College’s Women’s History Month Award, Central Kentucky Civil Liberties Union Distinguished Service Award, and the University of Kentucky’s William Lyons Public Service Award. Most recently, she was honored by the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union by inclusion in its “Faces of Liberty” project celebrating their sixty years of defending liberty and pursuing justice in the Commonwealth.

JOHN M. FAMULARO

1971

John M. Famularo of Stites & Harbison is one of the most respected lawyers in the state of Kentucky and the United States, having maintained an active practice for more than 40 years. Throughout his career, John has handled numerous high-profile and renowned cases throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. In addition to successfully securing verdicts in hundreds of cases, John successfully argued the boundary dispute case of Ohio v. Kentucky before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 – a mere two years after graduating from law school. A nationally recognized Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, John focuses his practice on the defense of pharmaceutical companies, product liability matters, class action defense and complex litigation. He has served as General Counsel for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington, Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, first assistant prosecutor for the 22nd Judicial Circuit and Chief Judge of the 22nd Judicial District sitting in Lexington, Kentucky. John is an outstanding mentor and has trained many lawyers who have become proficient trial lawyers under his tutelage.

Civic and community involvement has included participation on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors, the Board of Governors of the Kentucky Bar Association, and President of the School Boards for Christ the King Parochial School and Lexington Catholic High School. In addition to John’s distinguished recognition as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, John maintains AV-Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell®, the publication’s highest honor; is recognized by Best Lawyers in America® – even being honored as the Defendants’ Lawyer of the Year in 2012 for the state of Kentucky; and is recognized as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation. A graduate of Loyola University and the University of Kentucky College of Law, when not practicing law, John enjoys Kentucky basketball, horse racing, fishing, hunting, golf and travel. John and his wife Karen have been married for 44 years, and have three children and three grandchildren.

JOHN G. HEYBURN II*

1976

In 1992, the Honorable John G. Heyburn II was nominated to the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky by President George H. W. Bush on the recommendation of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.

Judge Heyburn graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1976 after graduating from Milton Academy (1966) and Harvard University (1970). In law school, he was a runner-up in the Sixth Circuit Moot Court Competition and a member of the Order of Barristers. He later served as President of the Law School Alumni Association and established the Henry R. Heyburn Alumni and Public Service award to honor his father, a founder of Brown, Todd and Heyburn, political and civic leader, state senator, and World War II Veteran who earned both a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. Judge Heyburn began his legal career at Brown, Todd and Heyburn where he specialized in commercial litigation and was a partner.

Judge Heyburn has been described as a master of the courtroom, a delightful colleague, an artful chief judge, a leader in the nation’s judiciary budget process and a force of nature in the development of procedures to manage the nation’s most complex and intractable lawsuits. He presided over thousands of cases including some of the most controversial issues facing the courts today dealing with recognition of same sex marriages, restrictions on access to abortion and infringements on the First Amendment’s guarantees. No matter the topic, his opinions reflected his unshakeable sense of fairness, respect for litigants, and commitment to clear logical and thoughtful rulings. His unfailing passion for the rule of law and dedication to improving all entities with which he was associated caused him to rise to national leadership in the federal judiciary, serving as Chairs of the Budget Committee (1997-2005) and Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (2007-2014).

For nearly four years, he continued to advance his full case load while undergoing treatments of cancer. He approached his illness with the qualities that had so consistently governed his life: intelligence, courage, realism, gratitude, and sometimes against all odds his trademark sense of humor. On April 29, 2015, he succumbed to complications of his treatment, leaving behind a living legacy of his loving wife, two sons, extended family, law clerks, and the institutions he served and worked to make better.

*Honored Posthumously

Other honorees included Roger L. Nicholson, 1986 (Professional Achievement), Robert F. Houlihan, Jr., 1974 (Professional Achievement), John Michael Williams, 1987 (Community Service), Deanna Wise Henschel 2005 (Young Professional), and Deputy Chief Justice Mary C. Noble 1981 (Distinguished Jurist).