About Stan

Stan Whetzel came to Louisville in 1978 from the Durham-Chapel Hill (NC) area and entered law school at the University of Louisville. He received his law degree and was admitted to practice in 1981. He and his wife Sally soon decided to make Louisville their home. Their three children, Ann, Catherine and Caroline, were born here.


Stan’s father was a career Air Force pilot, so Stan grew up on military bases in Alabama, the Philippines, Georgia, North Carolina, and Hawaii. He attended eleven different schools in twelve years, and changed schools fifteen times. After his father retired from the service, the family settled in Durham, NC. Stan spent his final year of high school there and entered Duke University. Stan studied English literature and creative writing at Duke, and graduated with an AB degree in 1971. Before entering law school, Stan spent six years at the Durham County Department of Social Services, working with elderly and disabled adults.


Upon his admission to practice in Kentucky in 1981, Stan accepted an associate lawyer position at Taustine, Post, Berman, Fineman & Kohn, a small firm with a substantial trial practice. He became a partner in 1987, and practiced until the firm dissolved in 1998. Stan handled a wide range of cases, most of which involved civil litigation and appellate practice. In addition to garden-variety matters involving torts, contracts, property, decedent’s estates, and administrative law matters, Stan expanded his range into broker-dealer securities and blue sky fraud litigation, defended banks in lender liability cases, and represented the state in eminent domain cases. Stan practiced independently from 1998 to 2003, when he was invited to join Pedley Zielke Gordinier & Pence, PLLC. After Pedley Zielke ended in 2007, Stan moved to Pedley & Gordinier, PLLC and practiced there until 2013. Stan now is happily practicing with old friends at Pence & Ogburn, PLLC. He is peer review rated “AV” for legal ability (“preeminent”) and ethics (‘very high”).


Stan chaired the Louisville Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section from 1990-92 and 2000-01. He served on its Member Services Committee, the Kentucky Lawyer Referral Service, and participated in various volunteer lawyer efforts. For the LBA, Stan organized a number of appellate practice programs and has spoken in others. In some well-received appellate practice programs, registrants interacted with sitting appellate judges. In another, registrants composed appellate-writing specimens that were then critiqued by University of Louisville English professors. In 1992, Stan accepted for the Appellate Practice Section the LBA’s Section of the Year award.


As part of his service to the LBA, Stan wrote an article titled “CR 77.04: The Harshest Rule,” which was published by the LBA in its Bar Briefs newsletter. The Rule amounts to a pitfall for the unwary practitioner. The article can be seen here.* In 2013, Stan prepared and presented for NBI a discussion of the law relative to landowner challenges to governmental eminent domain takings. His presentation addressed the overarching “right to take” issue, questions of necessity, bad faith, and abuse of discretion, “public purpose” versus “public use” takings, including “blight” analysis, inverse condemnation, and regulatory takings under state and federal law.  You can read the article here.


Community involvement

In the middle 1980s, as the general public became increasingly aware of and fearful of AIDS and the HIV virus, Stan realized that the disease threatened everyone. He began to read developing medical research articles and inform himself about the varying legal responses to infected persons. Public understanding of the virus and how it was transmitted was minimal. As a result, those who were even remotely suspected of having the virus found themselves ostracized by their colleagues and co-workers, some by their own families. Those already sick lost or left their jobs, and often became homeless. Stan decided to work with the newly-formed AIDS Task Force of the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union. He became a resource on the developing law of AIDS/HIV and its interplay with individual rights and responsibilities, public health policy, and equal justice. Over the years, Stan also volunteered his services to the Legal Panel, and served as a Cooperating Attorney in First Amendment matters.

Stan joined with a committee of St. Martin of Tours Church and its pastor, The Rev. Vernon Robertson, to organize The St. Jude Guild, Inc., a charitable entity. Stan’s pro bono legal work secured for it Section 501 (C) (3) federal tax-exempt status. From its inception, the Guild devoted itself exclusively to gathering resources and raising funds to support destitute persons living with AIDS/HIV. The Guild raised and channeled funds, goods, and necessaries for the benefit of residents of Glade House, a respite facility for people living with AIDS/HIV. When the Guild ceased its existence, its assets transferred to Glade House’s parent, the Community Health Trust, Inc.


In addition to law-related community activities, Stan has been active in a number of other community organizations. He served as a Trustee of The de Paul School from 2003-13, and was the chair or a member of its Academic Affairs, Resource Management, Marketing, Strategic Planning, and Executive committees.


Stan has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Louisville, Inc. (the Downtown club) since 2001. He has chaired two committees, SPARKS and Rotaract/Interact, and currently serves on the Communications/SPARKS and Member Retention committees.


For many years, Stan has served on the board of his neighborhood association, the Bonnycastle Homestead Association, including multiple terms as its President. Stan is currently Vice-President of the BHA. He also served on its Neighborhood Plan Committee and Developer Negotiations Task Force.


Stan has served multiple terms as Senior Warden and a vestry member of the Church of the Advent. He has chaired pastoral search committees, served on task forces, and chaired its Roof Restoration Committee. In 1989, Stan accepted for the Church of the Advent a Preservation Award from the Preservation Alliance for the church’s successful restoration of its 110-year old slate roof. At present, Stan sings in the Advent choir and serves as a lay Eucharistic minister and chalicist.


Stan has chaired the Duke University Alumni Advisory Admissions Committee for the Louisville and southern Indiana areas since 1998. He has helped represent Duke at local college fairs and interviewed applicants for admission since 1986.


Stan and Sally live in the Highlands and enjoy spending time with their friends and neighbors, and their children and grandchildren.