Dan Baldwin 2014-03-15 00:40:03
RAJKOVICH, WILLIAMS, KILPATRICK & TRUE, PLLC “If we have a style, it’s just a teamwork thing. I know that’s a cliché, too, but we’re on the same team here and we all have the same goals,” says John M. Williams, Partner in Rajkovich, Williams, Kilpatrick & True, PLLC. The firm was founded in September 2005 by Marco Rajkovich, John Williams, Melanie Kilpatrick and Noelle Holladay True. Todd Myers joined the firm in January, 2012. The attorneys’ practice areas are concentrated in civil trial practice and business and commercial matters, including the mining industry. They serve a broad range of clients, from individuals and small businesses to publicly-traded corporations and regularly practice in state and federal courts in Kentucky, and before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission and the Kentucky Mine Safety Review Commission. The firm’s mining clients range from small operators to the largest coal companies in the world. Their mining practice covers a broad range of services. The firm handles civil litigation and counseling regarding issues affecting the mining industry. They also handle administrative law issues, typically involving mine safety, ranging from accident investigations to litigation of charges and penalties by state and federal regulators. Rajkovich, Williams, Kilpatrick and True also provides legal services to a broad spectrum of small, medium and large organizations in such diverse fields as insurance, commercial lending, architecture, engineering and other businesses. Friends As Co-Workers “Not having a single boss can be challenging, and we may debate things here and there, but we’ve always been able to reach a consensus as to what we want to do. I know these people, and they’re all my friends, I know that they are concerned about the wellbeing of this law firm. I know they’re all going to work hard,” Williams says. Before forming their own firm, the four original partners were co-workers in another firm. After having been approached by other organizations regarding merging their talents, they decided to form their own firm. Williams says, “It was just a timing thing. We’d been at the same place a long time and we’d plowed the same ground and it was time to try something different. As with all new things, it was scary, but it was exciting.” > John M. Williams, a native of Loyall in Harlan County, Kentucky, graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Business & Economics with a Bachelors of Business Administration (Finance) in 1984 and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1987. He has earned an AV Preeminent™ rating by Martindale Hubbell. John is a member of the Kentucky, Fayette County, American and Federal Bar Associations Although his practice is primarily in mineral and energy and commercial litigation, Williams has experience in personal injury, construction claims, architect and engineer defense and collection matters. He also provides general services for a number of small businesses in Kentucky. Williams is a volunteer counselor for the Kentucky Bar Association’s Lawyer’s Assistance Program and a long-time board member of Special Olympics Kentucky. He is a Kentucky Super Lawyer.™ > Marco M. Rajkovich, Jr., a native of Lynch, Kentucky, is a 1977 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering with the Mining Option and was a member of Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honorary. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law where he was a member of the Journal of Mineral Law & Policy. He has earned an AV Preeminent™ rating by Martindale Hubbell. He represents coal operators in all facets of mine safety, including litigation, consultation and regulatory compliance. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer – Mining, a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor and Certified Underground Mine Foreman in Kentucky. Prior to his law career, he was with U.S. Steel Mining Company, Inc. serving in various positions in engineering and production. Rajkovich is named in Best Lawyers, Kentucky Superlawyers, the 2008 Achievement in Mining Award recipient from the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers, six-time recipient of the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers President’s Award, member of the Kentucky Geological Survey Advisory Board, Former Chair of the Professional Engineers in Mining Practice Group of KSPE, and a Kentucky Bar Association Lifetime Fellow. >Melanie J. Kilpatrick received her B.A. degree with High Honors in 1992 from the University of Virginia and her J.D. degree (valedictorian) from the University of Kentucky in 1996. Her practice areas are mineral and energy, employment law, and commercial litigation. She has argued appellate cases before the United States Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. She is admitted to practice before the Kentucky Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth and D.C. Circuits. She is a member of the Fayette County, Kentucky, Federal and American Bar Associations. Kilpatrick is on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Coal Association and on the Scholarship Committee for the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, serves as a board member for The Thomas D. Clark Foundation, Inc. and is a board member of Central Kentucky Radio Eye, Inc. She served as law clerk to the Honorable Eugene E. Siler, Jr. on the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1996-97. Kilpatrick is also a Kentucky Super Lawyer.™ > Noelle Holladay True, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, received her B.S. degree with Honors in Finance from Indiana University in 1997, and graduated Order of the Coif in 2000 from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is licensed to practice in Kentucky, and is admitted before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Her practice areas are mine safety and health, employment law, and commercial litigation. She represents coal companies around the country in litigation matters before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, and locally before the Kentucky Mine Safety Review Commission. She represents and advises mine operators during special investigations conducted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration in cases involving accidents, fatalities, and claims of discrimination, and also advises operators on other compliance issues involving federal and state agencies. True serves as a board member and President-Elect of the University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Association. She also serves as a member and Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Southern Hills Early Childhood Program. > Todd C. Myers grew up in Morehead, Kentucky before moving to Lexington. He graduated from Transylvania University in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Finance). Myers then received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 2000. He is licensed to practice law in Kentucky and West Virginia. Myers represents clients in litigation matters in a wide array of areas including personal injury, employment, construction, professional negligence as well as commercial disputes. He has extensive experience handling cases on behalf of coal operators before the Federal Mine Safety & Health Review Commission and has successfully tried cases throughout Kentucky before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. Williams says, “The great thing we have going for us is that we’re all friends. After eight years we have had zero problems in this office of being unable to work together. No one is the boss. No one is ordering people around. Everyone knows what’s going on in the other partner’s lives. We are all concerned about each other’s personal lives. We want our clients to know that we work hard and we’re available to them, but when we cut the switch off here in this office, we understand that people have other things to do.” Keeping Balance Keeps Things Moving From the beginning Rajkovich, Williams, Kilpatrick and True set up shop to run a lean, responsive operation to provide the expertise found in a large firm at rates that were competitive with firms operating at a smaller scale. “I thought if we could be lean and keep our rates low we could be competitive and it’s worked out for us. It’s certainly worked out for us in the mining industry. There are not a lot of law firms in the country that do mine safety work and our rates are very competitive,” Williams says. A fast response to client needs is essential, says Williams. “If you need us, call us. Pick up the phone and call the office. Call me on my cell phone. Text me. E-mail me. That’s the first thing.” He says that the firm believes it is important for professionals to live reasonable lifestyles. The firm is not a sweatshop and all the partners know that everybody on the team has his or her own life outside the office. “We all work hard here, but we all know that sometimes the whistle does blow,” he says. Williams, and the other partners and staff of Rajkovich, Williams, Kilpatrick and True agree that work is “a teamwork thing here.” He says, “I don’t have the vocabulary to say how much we’ve enjoyed working with each other over the years. We all treat this law firm as our baby and we work together as well as a group of people can work.”
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