Biography:

Donald Wakefield has been practicing law since 2002, and joined Gess Mattingly & Atchison in 2016. He is a graduate of Centre College and obtained his law degree and masters of business administration from the University of Kentucky. He practices law throughout the state and federal courts of Kentucky, as well as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and various state and federal agencies. His practice areas include administrative law; appellate law; business and commercial law; civil litigation; insurance law; estate planning, litigation and probate law; and state and local government law.

Mr. Wakefield routinely represents the interests of businesses and individuals alike, both in the commercial setting (business entity formation, compliance and transactions) and in the context of litigation and appeals, and the resolution of disputes. He is experienced in the representation of governmental entities and officers in a range of matters, including the defense of personal injury and civil rights claims, and the handling of contract, condemnation, and construction law matters. He has given numerous presentations on topics pertaining to state and local government law, including police liability issues, forms of immunity, and open records and meetings laws.

Bar Admissions:

  • Commonwealth of Kentucky, 2002
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, 2002
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2002

Education:

  • University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.)
    J.D., 2002
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.)
    M.B.A., 2002
    Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society
  • Centre College (Danville, Ky.)
    B.S., 1998, Economics
    Study Abroad: Regents College (United Kingdom), Fall 1997

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Fayette County Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Bluegrass Claims Association

Professional Highlights & Honors:

Representitive Cases:

  • Hardy Oil Co. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 587 Fed.Appx. 238 (6th Cir. 2014)
    (defense of negligent brokerage claim)
  • Short v. City of Olive Hill, 414 S.W.3d 433 (Ky.App. 2013)
    (defense of civil rights action challenging city code enforcement)
  • Laurel Mtn. Res. v. Com., Energy & Envir. Cab., 360 S.W.3d 791 (Ky.App. 2012)
    (filed amicus brief in successful action challenging State’s authority to deny a “lands unsuitable” petition yet still impose restrictions on future coal mining in the subject area)
  • Delong v. Arms, 369 Fed.Appx. 654 (6th Cir. 2010)
    (defense of civil rights and ADA action regarding shoplifting arrest)
  • Wireman v. Fletcher, 250 Fed.Appx. 661 (6th Cir. 2007)
    (defense of civil rights action challenging denial of promotion)
  • Duffy v. City of Stanton, 423 F.Supp.2d 683 (E.D.Ky. 2006)
    (defense of civil rights action challenging city code enforcement)

Selected Publications & Presentations::

  • Kentucky League of Cities Annual Convention & Expo.
    Seminar Presentation, annually, 2011-Present
  • “Advanced Police Liability Claims,” National Business Institute, June 2014
    Seminar presentations on law enforcement pursuits and off-duty activities
  • “Premises Liability Claims,” Bluegrass Claims Association, January 2013
    Meeting Presentation
  • “State and Local Government Law,” National Business Institute, April 2012
    Seminar presentations on the topics of open records laws and police liability
  • “Handling the Police Liability Claim,” National Business Institute, May 2011
    Seminary presentation overviews of both state law and federal law
  • “Insurance Bad Faith,” Bluegrass Claims Association, September 2009
    Meeting Presentation