Steve has been defending public and private employers, higher education institutions, and K-12 school districts and school boards for over four decades. Steve’s practiced counsel has been instrumental in helping employers, universities, colleges and schools navigate numerous high-profile legal challenges. He has served as a special investigator of employee misconduct when circumstances required the investigation be handled by an outside party. His successes in these areas of the law have not gone unnoticed—he is a four-time Best Lawyers in America® Lexington Employment “Lawyer of the Year” and serves as Kentucky’s representative in the Employment Law Alliance. Applying the wealth of litigation experience he’s acquired over the course of his legal career, Steve is a certified mediator and an experienced arbitrator. He was recently admitted into the prestigious National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and has completed Advanced Attorney-Mediator Training.
- Best Lawyers in America® Employment Law Lexington Lawyer of the Year (2016)
- Best Lawyers in America® Labor & Employment Litigation Lexington Lawyer of the Year (2014)
- Best Lawyers in America® Employment Law Lexington Lawyer of the Year (2013)
- Best Lawyers in America® Labor and Employment Law Lexington Lawyer of the Year (2011)
- Fayette County Bar Association Henry T. Duncan Award (2011)
- Greater Lexington Paralegal Association Most Supportive Attorney Award (2015 & 2016)
- Best Lawyers in America®: Employment Law – Management; Labor & Employment Litigation
- Kentucky Super Lawyers®: Schools & Education, Employment Litigation Defense
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow
- National Association of Distinguished Neutrals
- Advanced Attorney-Mediator Training, Association of Attorney-Mediators (2015)
- United Educators Distinguished Counsel
- Order of the Coif
- Kentucky Law Journal
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, presentation for the UK CLE Education Law Conference (2015).
Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment Law Matters, presentation for the University of Kentucky 14th Biannual Employment Law Institute (2014).
Addressing Complaints, presentation for the Education Law Association School Law Seminar: Legal Issues for Private, Religious, and Independent School Administrators (2015).
Mediation of Workplace Disputes: An Effective Approach for Municipalities, presentation for the 2014 Kentucky Municipal Clerks Institute.
Avoiding the Tenure Trap, United Educators Perspectives newsletter (2013).
CLE lecturer and author on litigation, employment law, education law and mediation topics.
- National Association of College and University Attorneys, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Co-Chair (1998-2000)
- Employment Law Alliance, Kentucky Representative
- Fayette County Bar Association, President (2003-2004)
- Kentucky Bar Association Inquiry Commission (2005-2011)
- Kentucky Bar Association House of Delegates (1986-1992)
- American Bar Association, Employment Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Sections
- Defense Research Institute
- Fayette County Legal Aid, Director (1984-2009)
- Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Ethics Commission, Member (1999-2003)
- Fayette County Law Library Trustee (2003-Present)
- University of Kentucky College of Law, Lafferty Society
- Thirteen attorneys honored by Super Lawyers
- Eleven Sturgill Turner attorneys listed in The Best Lawyers in America
- Barker admitted to the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
- Steve Barker named Lexington’s 2016 Employment Lawyer of the Year
- Stephen L. Barker named Best Lawyers’ 2014 Lexington Litigation – Labor & Employment “Lawyer of the Year”
- Stephen L. Barker named the Best Lawyers’ 2013 Lexington Employment Law – Individuals “Lawyer of the Year”
- Stephen L. Barker awarded Fayette County Bar Association’s highest honor
- Stephen L. Barker named the Best Lawyers’ 2011 Lexington Employment Law – Individuals “Lawyer of the Year”
- University of Kentucky, J.D. (1975)
- Kentucky Law Journal
- Order of the Coif
- University of Tennessee, B.S. (1972)
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