Derrick T. Wright


dwright@sturgillturner.com | 859.255.8581


Derrick Wright’s practice concentrates on employment and personnel issues, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. On the topic of the FLSA, Derrick has written articles and given CLE and training presentations to public and private employers, chambers of commerce, and other organizations. He has managed a large scale institution-wide FLSA audit for a local public university that included review of approximately 50 different job descriptions to make FLSA classifications. Derrick regularly assists clients with updating specific policies and reassessing FLSA classifications for specific positions. Recent policy review and updating projects by Derrick have included same-day and overnight travel, meal periods and rest breaks, and off-the-clock work, which has been an emerging issue due to the advent of mobile and remote technologies.  


Derrick’s practice also includes defending local governments and officials from Section 1983 claims involving constitutional law.


Derrick is a former law clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier, which offered an invaluable perspective from within the judiciary as well as the opportunity to learn from a talented jurist. With his unique blend of skills and experience, Derrick has successfully represented clients in all sorts of forums, ranging from administrative agencies to state and federal appellate courts. 

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Areas of Practice

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Representative Experience

Defending discrimination and harassment claims based on race, gender, disability, and age before state and federal courts, the EEOC, and human rights commissions. Court decisions include:

  • Bailey v. Kentucky Community, 2016 WL 205504 (W.D. Ky. Jan. 15, 2016)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing Title VII race discrimination and hostile work environment claims)

  • Turner v. City of Paris, 534 F. App’x 299 (6th Cir. 2013)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing ADA claim that was appealed and affirmed)

  • Burnett v. Transit Authority of Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, 981 F.Supp.2d 630 (E.D. Ky. 2013)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing Title VII and other race discrimination claims that was appealed and affirmed)

  • Washington v. City of Georgetown, 2010 WL 3891188 (E.D. Ky. Sept. 29, 2010)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing race, gender, disability, and age discrimination claims)

Defending retaliation, whistleblowing, and wrongful termination claims both in court and administratively, including OSHA retaliation. Court decisions include:

  • Pearce v. Whitenack, 440 S.W.3d 392 (Ky. App. 2014)(successful motion to dismiss wrongful termination claim that was appealed and affirmed)

  • Reeves v. City of Georgetown, 539 F. App’x 662 (6th Cir. 2013)(successful appeal affirming dismissed wrongful termination claim)

  • Cummins v. City of Augusta, 2013 WL 5436657 (Ky. App. Sept. 27, 2013)(successful motion to dismiss wrongful termination and whistleblowing claims that was appealed and affirmed).

  • Baker v. McDaniel, 2009 WL 2710099 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 24, 2009)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing First Amendment free speech retaliation claim)

Defending local governments and their officials against Section 1983 claims involving due process, search and seizure, excessive force, false arrest, and malicious prosecution. Court decisions include:

  • Biesty v. Knuckles, Case No. 5:15-23-KKC (E.D. Ky. 2016)(successful jury verdict as lead counsel in trial involving alleged use of excessive force)

  • Naselroad v. Mabry, 184 F. Supp. 3d 534 (E.D. Ky. 2016)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing excessive force claim by a suspect who was shot by state police)

  • Ohneums v. Thompson, 594 F. App’x 864 (6th Cir. 2014)(successful appeal affirming dismissed malicious prosecution claim)

  • Durmov v. Duncan, 2014 WL 2548111 (E.D. Ky. June 4, 2014)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing excessive force claim)

  • Seger v. City of Lancaster, 930 F.Supp.2d. 821 (E.D. Ky. 2013)(successful motion to dismiss federal due process claim)

  • Anderson v. Lingenfelter, 2013 WL 3864600 (W.D. Ky. July 24, 2014)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing federal search and seizure claim);

  • Woosley v. City of Paris, 591 F.Supp.2d 913 (E.D. Ky. 2008)(successful summary judgment motion dismissing excessive force claim)

Representing local governments as well as private individuals, associations, and businesses during investigations, audits, or other legal actions involving state and federal regulatory agencies. Court decisions include:

  • Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control v. Tapp, 2014 WL 5410325 (Ky. Oct. 23, 2014)(successful appeal upholding the city’s right to contest state licensing process)

  • PNGI Charles Town Gaming, LLC v. Reynolds, 727 S.E.2d 799 (2011)(successful appeal of ejection of permit-holder by racetrack)

Advising private and public employers on personnel policies and procedures, including institution-wide FLSA classification audit for local university.

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Professional Affiliations

Kentucky Bar Association

KBA Local Government Law Section: Chair (2013-2014); Chair-Elect (2012-2013); Vice Chair (2011-2012)

Defense Research Institute: Trial Tactics Committee

Fayette County Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

Friend of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

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Municipal Attorneys Association of Kentucky (MAAK) Code Enforcement Panel Discussion, Kentucky League of Cities Annual Convention (2017)

Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act, presentation for the Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council and the Kentucky Attorney General (2017)

Former Employees as Witnesses, a CLE presentation for the Municipal Attorneys Association of Kentucky Municipal Law Seminar (May 2017)

The FLSA: Preparing for what is and what else may be coming, presentation to the Paris Chamber of Commerce (August 2016)

Senate Bill 206: Employment of Retired Police Officers by Cities, presentation to Master Municipal Clerk’s Academy (August 2016)

Understanding the FLSA, presentation to Master Municipal Clerk’s Academy (August 2016)

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Former Employees: Common Problems When They Are Witnesses, DRI’s For the Defense (March 2017).

Navigating Kentucky Law on Regulating Firearms in the Workplace, Kentucky Constructor: A Publication of the Association of General Contractors of Kentucky (May 2014).

Balance of Power, Blood-Horse (December 2011).


University of Kentucky, B.A. (2003)

  • Summa cum laude

University of Kentucky, J.D. (2006)

  • Order of the Coif

  • Kentucky Law Journal

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