Current association: Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP
Law School: University of Kentucky, 1985
Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, 1976
Spouse: Mary Ann Hatton
Children: Three cats and three dogs, including a 6-month-old Australian Shepherd puppy who is much more than I bargained for! NB: people with 6 indoor pets should not have light-colored rugs.
Home: 115 acres in Northern Madison County, Kentucky – no neighbors!
Favorite restaurant: Oh there are so many – the Mad Hatter on Sanibel Island; Astrid y Gaston in Lima, Peru; Rules in London, England; The Berghoff in Chicago to name a few!
EMLF Involvement: Presenter and Conference Chair
You have spent most or all of your career in the energy sector and have had a lot of success. How did you get involved in this area of law? In law school I was very interested in property law. That lead to working with Professor Carolyn Bratt on a mineral law article and then clerking at Wyatt working with the mineral law group. Having a career focused on the energy and mineral areas has allowed me to do both litigation and transactional work and to continually learn new things.
Over the years, you have been very active in various organizations. You have particularly committed a lot of time to EMLF, even though you had a busy career. Why? EMLF has been a place to learn and keep informed about new developments in the energy and mineral industries. But more importantly, it has been a place to make friends with whom I share common interests. My wonderful mentors at Wyatt, such as Dick Ward, Kilmer Combs, Jeff Woods and Joe Zaluski all believed in the importance of EMLF, and I have followed in their footsteps.
Has your involvement had a positive effect on your career? Of course! I have made many friends and industry contacts through EMLF – both clients and people I can turn to with questions and for advice. My participation with EMLF has kept my interest in energy law and industries fresh and has allowed me coordinate my career paths with industry changes.
Do you find time to travel for fun? Do you have a favorite place to visit? I work to travel! In 2021 I was able to complete the Wainwright Coast-to-Coast walk across England. Covid willing, in 2022 I will visit Patagonia, Southern France and will return to Antarctica. One of my very favorite trips was the trek through Nepal to Mt. Everest Base Camp – a trip I hope to do again.
You have been practicing law for a while and have had success. Is there any advice you would give to new lawyers and law students who are about to become lawyers? Stay interested in learning new things so you don’t get bored and go stale. Be flexible and roll with the changes in the mineral and energy industries, because there will be changes and your practice will have to evolve. Participate in EMLF!