Partner, since 1996
Stephen E. Neal
Areas of Practice
The Kentucky General Assembly recently amended Kentucky's custody law. Courts are now required to presume that joint and equal custody with joint and equal timesharing is the best custody arrangement for children. The presumption can be overcome, but only if necessary to protect the child's welfare. Steve has the family law experience to help you gain joint and equal custody or to fight against it in order to protect your child's welfare.
Steve has extensive experience in all areas of civil litigation, including crop insurance claims, nursery insurance claims, personal injury claims, car accident claims, real estate disputes and litigation, business disputes and litigation, debt collection claims and defense, divorce, custody, child support, visitation, time sharing and juvenile abuse and neglect cases, wills, trusts, probate, will contests and probate litigation, and business formation, sales, LLCs and corporations and also has experience representing clients in arbitrations.
With regard to crop insurance claims and nursery insurance claims, Steve is one of only a handful of attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee to successfully litigate federal crop insurance policy claims for farmers and nursery owners. He is licensed in state and federal courts in both Kentucky and Tennessee and has successfully litigated and resolved crop claims in those courts for both large farm and nursery owners and small farmers. He has accomplished the goals and wishes of his clients not only by reaching a resolution through arbitration and/or mediation, but also by taking crop insurance companies to trial and winning large jury verdicts. Steve has become so respected in the field of crop insurance litigation that crop insurance companies have begun to hire him to def end them in cases as well.
With regard to personal injury claims and motor vehicle accident claims, Steve has used his litigation and trial experience to help his clients recover their medical expenses, lost wages and income, pain and suffering damages, and other types of damages that they have suffered and has helped them to recover from the destruction that can be caused by being injured as a result of someone else's negligence.
In the area of real estate disputes and litigation, Steve has helped property owners both resolve and litigate the emotional issues that arise when there is a dispute about their homes and land and has fought for his clients to protect their homes and land from wrongful claims. He has extensive experience handling property line disputes, adverse possession claims, easement, right of way, passway and road use issues, claims involving damages to homes and property, contractual problems pertaining to real estate purchase and sale agreements, claims involving disclosures of property conditions, warranties and issues that arise regarding home inspections.
Steve has helped business owners during his years of practice as well. Steve has helped them with the formation of business organizations, such as corporations, limited liability companies, general partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. He has also helped them with corporate governance issues and disputes, buy-sell agreements, noncompete agreements and disputes, employment agreements and disputes, asset purchase and sale agreements and stock purchase and sale agreements. When disagreements and disputes have arisen, business owners have come to Steve to represent them in such matters and to strongly represent their interests in litigation when necessary, whether the matter involves a problem with another business or company, a current or former employee, or past or current customers. He has also successfully assisted businesses and business owners with debt collection issues, contract disputes and disputes with state agencies.
Steve also has helped his clients with the preparation of wills, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and living wills. Steve has helped executors to probate wills, has helped executors and administrators to be appointed by probate courts and has guided executors and administrators through the probate and estate settlement process. He has also represented executors, administrators, beneficiaries and heirs at law when disputes arise with regard to an estate or a decedent's will, both by helping them to negotiate reasonable settlements or, when necessary, by vigorously representing them in litigation regarding the matter.
Steve has also represented numerous clients throughout central, eastern and southeastern Kentucky in divorce cases, custody cases, cases involving child support, visitation and timesharing, and in juvenile abuse and neglect cases. Over the years, Steve has developed a knack for both getting cases involving divorce and family law issues resolved in a quick, amicable manner by agreement when possible and for fiercely representing his clients in contested matters when that is necessary in order to protect their rights with regard to their children and/or their property and financial interests. Steve has also used his expertise in divorce cases that involve complicated marital and non-marital property claims and the protection of or division of family and closely held businesses. Whether the case involves an uncontested divorce or the hottest, most emotional custody battle involving allegations of abuse and neglect, Steve has the experience necessary to guide his clients to the resolution they want and need.
1994 University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky | J.D., Juris Doctorate
Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, Staff Editor and Writer
Student Bar Association, Vice President
Shelby Scholarship Award Winner
Law School Honor Council Judiciary Chairman
Dean Search Committee, Member
Dean's Student Recruitment Committee, Member
Student Bar Association Meritorious Service Award Winner
1991 University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia | B.A., American Government
University Honor Council, Investigator
Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program
Inter Fraternity Council Judiciary Committee, Hearing Judge
Professional Associations & Memberships
- American Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Tennessee Bar Association
- Montgomery County Bar Association
- 2008 - Present Trial Commissioner for Kentucky Bar Association - Appointed by Supreme Court of Kentucky
- 1997 - Present Community Development Inc. - Board of Directors, Member - Chairman of Personnel Committe
- 1997 - Present Presbyterian Post Clinic - Member of Board of Directors and General Counsel
- 1994 - Present Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce - Member
- 2001 - 2008 Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce - Member of Board of Directors
- 2005 Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce - Chairman of Board of Directors
- 1997 - 2001 Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Commission - Member of Board of Directors
- 2005 - 2010 Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Commission - Member of Board of Directors
- 1998 - 2000 Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Commission - Chairman of Board of Directors
- 1999 - 2001 Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Tourism Commision - Member of Board of Directors and Vice President of Board of Directors
- 1996 Leadership Montgomery County Program Graduate
1996 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
2006 U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
2009 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
Skymont Farms Nursery, McMinnville, Tennessee
City Cartage Trucking Company, Mt. Sterling, Kentucky
Sterling Family Dental Care, Mt. Sterling, Kentucky
Montgomery Community Development, Inc., Mt. Sterling, Kentucky
Gary Williamson, Mayor, Mt. Sterling, Kentucky
Jack Adams, County Commissioner - District 1, Montgomery County, Kentucky
Fraternities & Sororities