Kacey’s practice as an employment litigator focuses on the defense of public and private employers against a multitude of allegations, including retaliation, harassment and discrimination. She counsels employers in all aspects of the employment relationship—from hiring and firing practices, to drafting employee contracts and personnel policies, to regulatory compliance. Kacey is an effective teacher who regularly provides in-house discrimination and harassment training for public and private employers and their employees.
Her knowledge of issues that affect higher education institutions, such as faculty tenure, hiring and dismissal, student discipline, and Title IX compliance, stems from her extensive work as counsel to colleges and universities, including her tenure as general counsel for Eastern Kentucky University. Kacey is proficient on the Clery Act and regularly conducts Title IX/Campus SaVE Act training for public and private universities. She recently completed Advanced Title IX Investigations Training put on by ATIXA (Association of Title IX Administrators).
Kacey also has the ability to serve as a special investigator of employee misconduct when circumstances require the investigation be handled by an independent investigator.
- Successful defense of state institutions of higher education on claims related to tenure denial and discrimination in employment and education.
- Successful defense of state institution of higher education on claims of Free Speech violations.
- Successful defense of state institutions of higher education and other state agencies in whistleblower actions.
- Successful defense of public and private employers on claims of contract and defamation.
- Overly v. Morehead State University, (2013-CA-002008-MR) The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the award of summary judgment by the Rowan Circuit Court which dismissed Plaintiff’s claims of race discrimination and retaliation, finding no evidence in support of Plaintiff’s claims and that Morehead State University established legitimate, non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory basis for its actions.
- Frieder v. Morehead State University, 770 F.3d 428 (2014) (Win for University that tenure denial not violation of free speech or constitutional rights or disability discrimination).
- Hadjiev v. Board of Trustees of University of Kentucky, 2014 WL 5369331 (2014) (Win for University on discrimination and retaliation claims and denial of extensive discovery of electronic data and deposition of University general counsel).
- Northern v. Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Educ., 2010 WL 3928494 (2010) (Win for Council that complaints regarding known problems with oversight or negligence in operations does not constitute complaints of mismanagement or fraud under Kentucky Whistleblower Act).
- Stathis v. University of Kentucky, 2005 WL 1125240 (2005) (Win for University on discrimination claims finding due process provided and discovery appropriately limited).
- Kentucky Com’n on Human Rights ex rel. Bogale v. Eastern Kentucky Univ., 988 S.W.2d 41 (1999) (Win for University that Commission failed to timely initiate civil action and two-year statute of limitations not applicable).
- Kentucky Div., Horsemen’s Benev. & Protective Ass’n, Inc. v. Turfway Park Racing Ass’n., 20 F.3d 1406 (1994) (Win for KHBPA upholding constitutionality of Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978).
- Buchholtz v. Dugan, 977 S.W.2d 24 (1998) (Win for University upholding termination of at-will employee and finding no defamation related to termination).
- Griffith v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 930 F.Supp. 1167 (1996) (Win for Wal-mart that representations made by employee in application for social security disability benefits precluded assertion otherwise qualified to perform essential functions of position).
- High success rate of dismissal prior to trial.
- Instructor, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Human Resources Certification and First Line Supervision Programs, Eastern Kentucky University.
- Regularly conducts Title IX/Campus SaVE Act training for public and private institutions.
- Regularly conducts discrimination and harassment training for public and private employers.
Current Issues Under Title IX, University of Kentucky 2nd Biennial Education Law Conference (2017)
Legal/Legislative Higher Ed Update, Kentucky/Tennessee CUPA-HR Conference (May 2016)
You Don’t Have to Go Home but You Can’t Stay Here, presentation for the University of Kentucky on the Americans with Disabilities Act (2016)
How to Conduct Effective Investigations, UK CLE Education Law Conference (2015)
Legal/Legislative Higher Ed Update, Kentucky/Tennessee CUPA-HR Conference (May 2015)
The ICE Man Cometh: Conducting an I-9 Audit, Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (KYSHRM) Annual Conference (2014)
Human Resources Legislative and Litigation Update, Kentucky College and University Professionals Association- Human Resources (2014)
Discrimination & Harassment in the Workplace, Greater Lexington Paralegal Association (2014)
Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) & Immigrant Status (H1-B), Kentucky Community and Technical College System Human Resources Conference (2014)
Legal/Legislative Higher Ed Update, Kentucky/Tennessee CUPA-HR Conference (May 2014)
Authored “ERISA” Kentucky Employment Law Handbook (June 1992)
Terror Takes to the Skies; The Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, Adelphia Law Journal (Spring 1992).
Prehearing Discovery in Arbitration: An Advance or a Retreat?, Adelphia Law Journal (Fall 1991).
- Association of Title IX Administrators, Advanced Title IX Investigations Training (2015)
- Eastern Kentucky University, General Counsel (1998-2003)
- University of Kentucky College of Law, Moot Court Outstanding Oral Advocate
- National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), Employment Law Section
- Mediation Center of Kentucky
- Fayette County Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys
- Coordinator, “A Knight in Vegas” Baseball Fundraiser, Lexington Catholic High School
- Vestry Member, Church of the Good Shepherd
- University of Kentucky, J.D. (1991)
- University of Kentucky, B.B.A (1985)
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