Judge Darryl Lavery’s Biography
Darryl Lavery is the presiding Circuit Judge in Division Two of the Jefferson Circuit Court, which serves all of Jefferson County, KY. As a Circuit Judge, Judge Lavery hears civil cases involving more than $5,000.00, capital offenses and felonies, land dispute title cases, contested probate cases and appeals from District Court and administrative agencies.
Judge Lavery’s Road to the Bench
Judge Lavery was nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission on May 22, 2017 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of longtime Circuit Judge Jim Shake. Judge Jim Shake endorses Judge Darryl Lavery. The Judicial Nominating Commission is comprised of the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court (who also serves as the Chair), two attorneys who are elected by all of the attorneys in Jefferson County and four non-attorney Kentucky citizens who equally represent the two major political parties (two Democrats and two Republicans). Lavery and the names of two additional nominees were then forwarded to the Governor’s Office for potential appointment.
On July 18, 2017, Governor Bevin appointed Lavery to serve as the Circuit Judge for the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division Two. Judge Lavery was officially sworn in on July 26, 2017 and since that time, he has presided over hundreds of cases, including numerous criminal and civil jury trials.
Judge Lavery’s Legal Experience and Former Private Practice
Judge Lavery is an experienced civil litigator, coming to the bench after a successful career in private practice, where he worked tirelessly as a zealous advocate on behalf of his clients. Lavery has tried numerous cases to verdict in both state and federal courts in Kentucky. He has also argued cases before the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Lavery’s legal competence and experience at all levels of civil litigation is reflected in the AV-Preeminent Peer Review Rating he received from his peers and members of the Judiciary and his Rising Star Designation. Lavery was also named Boss of the Year (Nomination Letter) by the Legal Secretaries of Louisville, further reflecting the positive way he is viewed by his peers.
Prior to his appointment to Circuit Court, Judge Lavery spent 16 years in private practice at the 50+ attorney law firm of Boehl Stopher & Graves, LLP in Louisville, KY, serving as an equity partner since 2008. Lavery represented both plaintiffs and defendants, from small and family-owned businesses to large corporations (including CSX Transportation, Inc. and Bayer Corporation), and numerous individuals and non-profit organizations (including the YMCA of Greater Louisville, Inc. and the Archdiocese of Louisville). His practice focused primarily in the areas of personal injury defense in a wide variety of cases. Lavery also litigated insurance coverage disputes, property damage claims and business disputes, including breach of contract actions involving real estate sales, residential construction, sales of commercial equipment, commercial leases and service contracts.
Judge Lavery’s diverse background and experience serve him well as he manages the Court’s large, complex and diverse caseload, approximately 75% of which is comprised of civil cases.
Judge Lavery’s Education and Legal Training
Judge Lavery is a proud graduate of the public school system—graduating from Silver Creek High School in Sellersburg, IN in 1994. Following graduation, Lavery attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and American history in 1998, graduating Magna Cum Laude. While in college, Lavery worked as an intern for United States Senator Richard Lugar and Eli Lilly & Co., Inc.’s government affairs office. Immediately following graduation, Lavery attended Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, IN, obtaining a Juris Doctorate in 2001. While in law school, Lavery worked as a law clerk at Conseco, Inc. and Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis, IN, and at the New Albany office of Kightlinger & Gray, LLP.
Judge Lavery has always loved Louisville and knew he would make it his home. For that reason, he turned down offers to work at Indiana law firms upon graduating from law school and exclusively set his sights on Louisville, where he ultimately accepted a position at Boehl Stopher & Graves, LLP in 2001.
Judge Lavery’s Community Involvement
Judge Lavery’s dedication to our community extends far beyond his legal practice. He has been a longstanding member of the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana, Inc. (“JA”), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship to elementary, middle and high school students. Lavery also serves as a volunteer instructor in local high schools for various JA programs.
Further demonstrating a commitment to community service, Judge Lavery has served as a volunteer for the Legal Aid Society’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Program, which provides legal services to victims of domestic violence seeking Domestic Violence Orders (DVOs). In addition, Lavery served as a Member and Vice Chair of the Kentucky Citizen’s Foster Care Review Board, which works to ensure that children are appropriately cared for while in the custody of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Lavery also served as his law firm’s coordinator for the Louisville Bar Association’s annual Santa’s Court Toy Drive.
Judge Lavery is a graduate of Leadership Louisville’s Ignite Louisville Program, a seven-month leadership program. Lavery also completed his term as a Barrister with the Louis D. Brandeis Inn of Court, a professional organization comprised of members of the bar and judiciary dedicated to professionalism, ethics, civility and excellence.
Judge Lavery resides in St. Matthews, where he is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and the Jewish Community Center. He is a proud supporter of the arts, including Actor’s Theater and the Kentucky Center for the Arts.
Judge Darryl Lavery’s CV
Judge, Jefferson Circuit Court, Division 2
- Nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission on May 22, 2017.
- Appointed by Governor Matthew G. Bevin on July 18, 2017.
- Sworn-in on July 26, 2017.
- Presides over capital offenses and felonies, civil cases involving more than $5,000.00, land dispute title cases, contested probate cases and appeals from District Court and administrative agencies.
Boehl Stopher & Graves, LLP
- Equity Partner (2008-2017); Associate (2001-2008).
- Represented individuals, small and family-owned businesses and major corporations in a diverse civil practice.
- Argued cases before the Kentucky Supreme Court and Kentucky Court of Appeals.
- Trial counsel in numerous state and federal cases.
- AV-Preeminent Peer Review Rating by his peers and members of the judiciary.
- Rising Star Designation by Thompson Reuters’ Kentucky Super Lawyers
- Boss of the Year, (Nomination Letter) Legal Secretaries of Louisville.
Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, IN
- Juris Doctorate (2001)
- Clerkships: Kightlinger & Gray, LLP, Wishard Memorial Hospital and Conseco, Inc.
The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and American History (1998)
- Internships: Office of United States Senator Richard Lugar and Eli Lilly & Co., Inc.
- Member, Board of Directors, and Classroom Volunteer, Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana, Inc.
- Pro Bono Counsel, Legal Aid Society’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Program
- Vice Chair, Kentucky Citizens Foster Care Review Board
- Graduate, Leadership Louisville’s Ignite Louisville Program
- Barrister, Louis D. Brandeis Inn of Court
- Member, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
- Member, Jewish Community Center
- Supporter, Actors Theater and Kentucky Center for the Arts
- Member, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels