Jerome P. PratherMember
Phone: (859) 254-9351
Phone: (800) 486-7083
Fax: (859) 233-9769
141 N Broadway
Lexington, Kentucky 40507
Jay Prather was inspired to become a lawyer by his grandfather, John G. Prather, Sr., of Somerset. “Pappy,” as he was affectionately known by his grandchildren, began studying law near the end of the Great Depression and, after his studies were interrupted by World War II, spent nearly 60 years working from his town-square office to ensure that his clients – who were also his neighbors and friends – had whatever legal representation they needed. The practice of law had changed markedly by the time Jay began his career 59 years (to the week) after his grandfather first opened his law office. But while computerized law libraries and increased specialization have altered the day-to-day practice of law, the core principles Jay learned from his grandfather – dedication to ones’ clients, the honest, ethical practice of law, and service to the community – are as important today as they were then.
Today, Jay loves trying cases. His philosophy is that the most effective way to reach a good pre-trial settlement is to be prepared to stand before the Court and announce, “The Plaintiff is ready for trial, your honor.” Jay is committed to the representation of clients who have been seriously injured, have been the victim of a workplace wrong, or who have other injuries our courts can address. His work encompasses representing individual clients and plaintiffs in complex class action litigation. Jay has been appointed class counsel in cases in state and federal courts across Kentucky and was the principal drafter of the briefs before the Kentucky Supreme Court in Hensley v. Haynes Trucking, LLC, which set the current standard for certification of class action lawsuits in Kentucky Courts.
In fact, Jay is one of a small number of lawyers who argued cases at both the Kentucky Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before the age of 40. As a result of his experience, Jay has been recognized by his peers. He is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He is rated AV-Preeminent® by the Martindale-Hubbell* peer review, the highest rating an attorney can receive for legal ability and ethical standards. Jay has been named a Super Lawyer since 2020, after being listed as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for the previous five years. Jay is also an adjunct professor of law at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches law students in the field of medical liability. He has been elected as a governor of the Kentucky Justice Association, and now serves as a District Vice President. He is also an alumnus of the American Inns of Court. Jay was recently called on to testify before the Kentucky Senate's Judiciary Committee about the effect of proposed legislation that would have limited the Attorney General's ability to contract with lawyers on a contingency fee basis. He has served the profession through leadership with the Young Lawyer's Division of the Kentucky Bar Association.
Jay earned his Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University with a double major in economics and political science in 2003. He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Kentucky David J. Rosenberg College of Law. At UK, he was named Outstanding Third-Year Staff Member of the Kentucky Law Journal and was a member of the Moot Court Board. He was also a member of the Environmental Law Society, Student Public Interest Law Foundation, and American Constitution Society.
Jay is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Kentucky. He has also been admitted to practice pro hac vice in Ohio, Tennessee, and Alabama. He is a member of the American, Kentucky, and Fayette County Bar Associations, the Federal Bar Association, the Kentucky Justice Association, the American Association for Justice and the American Constitution Society. He is a former member of the American Inn of Court – Central Kentucky chapter, and is a Life Fellow of the Kentucky Bar Foundation.
Jay is married and has a young son. A lifelong Kentuckian, he lives with family lives in Lexington. He is an elder and past moderator of the congregation at Crestwood Christian Church and is a volunteer for and former Trustee of the Lexington History Museum, and also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and the Vanderbilt Alumni Association. He is a former editor-in-chief of Vanderbilt University's Orbis, a former chairman of Habitat for Humanity’s Vanderbilt University Campus Chapter, and an Eagle Scout.
Watch Jay's successful 2019 argument before the Kentucky Supreme Court in Gonzalez v. Johnson. Following this argument the Court overturned nearly 70 years of law that gave police absolute immunity from responsibility in police chases where innocent bystanders were hurt or killed by fleeing suspects. Now, the officer's liability is to be determined by a jury, just like in any other negligence case. The Court's final decision can be found here. The case is one of several of Jay’s cases that generated statewide media attention.
J.D., University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky, 2006
Law Journal: Kentucky Law Journal, 2004 - 2006
B.A., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, 2003
cum laude | Major: Economics and Political Science
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 2006
U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 2006
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2012
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2009
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2011
American Bar Association
Kentucky Bar Association
Fayette County Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
(District Vice President)
Federal Bar Association
- Tax exemption of American churches and other non-profits: One election cycle after Branch Ministries v. Rossotti., 94 Ky. L. J. 139, (2005-2006)
- AV-Preeminent® by the Martindale-Hubbell* peer review
- Super Lawyers – 2020-present
- Super Lawyers Rising Star – 2014-2019
- Crestwood Christian Church (Elder)
- Habitat for Humanity
- Lexington History Museum (former trustee)
- Vanderbilt Alumni Association
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
*Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards. AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.