Interview with Jesse Parrish

Current association: Blackhawk Mining, LLC

Past associations: Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP (now Dentons Bingham Greenebaum)

Law School:
University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky, b.b.a. Finance and Economics

Anne Sydney Parrish Children: Winnie (age 6) and Eloise (age 2)

Current hometown:
Lexington, KY

Favorite bar or restaurant in current home city? Why?
Hard to go wrong with the bar at Jeff Ruby’s given the lively atmosphere and great food. I’m also partial to Dudley’s, a timeless classic and Lexington institution. Bourbon on Rye would be the current bar recommendation due to the strong bourbon list and even stronger pours.

Do you have a favorite anecdote or war story regarding your time as a lawyer?
My favorite involved working on the sale process during a client’s bankruptcy. I spent two straight weeks in the client’s office putting together disclosure schedules alone and was left to deal with rainwater coming through the ceiling onto my desk. The cherry on top was returning to the Hampton Inn that evening to find that I had been named guest of the week. My prize was a bottle of water, a postcard and a bag of Cheetos – I had made it to the big leagues!

Where did you grow up? Pikeville, Ky

What is your area of practice? I’m no longer practicing but stay immersed in transactional and financing matters and the occasional environmental or permitting issue

How did you get involved in that area of law? After college, I was fortunate to spend a summer working for a private equity firm. While there I realized that the business folks could work out a deal in a matter of days, but the documentation took weeks or months. I figured I better understand how all that came together.

You have spoken at a couple of EMLF events and have been involved in EMLF committees. Has that involvement benefited you? If so, how? My involvement with EMLF dates all the way back to law school. UK was sorely lacking in curriculum that related to practicing in the coal industry and EMLF helped fill the gap with its Coal Law Short Courses and other programming.  To this day I still refer to my notes from Tom Lane’s intro to mineral law presentation. After law school, I found the EMLF programming to be a great way to meet others in the industry. The relationships formed from EMLF always make things easier and more efficient when dealing with issues or transactions.

Now that the COVID-related restrictions on restaurants, gatherings, and travel are ending, is there anything that you have done or look forward to doing soon, that you weren’t able to do during the shutdowns? Right or wrong, our company’s approach to the pandemic was that if coal miners must go to work so too do lawyers and accountants. With that said, it’s been nice to resume regular conferences and get to spend time with colleagues outside of zoom calls.

Looking back, what two or three things have been most helpful to you in developing as a lawyer and as an attorney at your company? I was fortunate to have some great mentors at Greenebaum (Bruce Cryder, Marty Cunningham) and when I joined Blackhawk (Nick Glancy) that emphasized results over dogmatic process. A few memorable quotes that sum up that sentiment: “any lawyer can screw up a deal, it takes a good lawyer to get a deal done,” “time kills deals” and “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

Is there any advice you would give to new lawyers and law students who are about to become lawyers? My advice would be to find your passion and pursue it. Long hours at work are best spent working on something that triggers your desire to learn. Also, ask stupid questions. Too many times, we don’t ask enough questions out of fear of looking foolish and end up performing worse as a result.

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Membership in the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation is open to anyone who is concerned with issues pertaining to the energy industry.

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