John has extensive experience in real estate law, having learned the nuts and bolts of real property by examining titles to properties in more than 40 of Kentucky’s counties. His hands-on understanding of title issues arising from poor descriptions, boundary disputes, adverse possession, lost courthouse records, overlapping patents, conflicting ownership, etc., enables John to bring a unique perspective to his practice and taught him the importance of precision, clarity and thoroughness in negotiating and drafting real estate-related documents. To solve a problem, one has to fully understand the problem, and John’s “from the ground up” knowledge of real property has allowed him to successfully advise clients in the real estate arena for more than 40 years.
He has substantial experience consulting clients in the buying, selling and leasing of all types of real property interests, from thousands of acres of coal properties to urban commercial properties; from beautiful Bluegrass horse farms to single family residences; from a large shopping center in Eastern Kentucky to an abandoned higher education campus in South Central Kentucky. He has particular experience in mineral transactions, having assisted dozens of mineral companies with buying, selling and leasing mineral reserves and surface interests as well as the financing of those transactions. On numerous occasions, John has acted as counsel to out-of-state lenders or law firms who are seeking the special local knowledge of mineral and real estate law that he and Dinsmore can provide.
John also has significant experience in representing not-for-profit entities, including the owner of the largest sports arena in Kentucky, the largest Kentucky-based social services organization and a much-admired Lexington food bank which has served Central and Eastern Kentucky for more than 65 years.
John is a lifelong and loyal resident of Central Kentucky, having been born and raised in Frankfort, educated at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and the University of Kentucky and resided in Lexington for more than 45 years. He has blended his legal experience with his love and appreciation of Kentucky history with his service on the Board of the Bluegrass Trust For Historic Preservation (serving as president for a term) and as chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, an agency of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.
- University of Kentucky College of Law (J.D., 1981)
- Order of the Coif
- Centre College (B.A., with high distinction, 1978)
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
- Kentucky Coal Association
- Lexington Coal Exchange
- Fayette County Bar Association, past president
- Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, past trustee
- Centre College Alumni Association, past board member
- Gods Pantry Foodbank, Inc., past president
- Good Shepherd Day School, past president
- Leadership Kentucky, Class of 1994
- Leadership Lexington, Class of 1983
- Fayette County Pro Bono Program, past board member
- The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, past president
- Lexington-Fayette County Historic Preservation Commission, past chair
- Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers© (1999 - present)
- "Lawyer of the Year" in Lexington for Energy Law (2020)
- "Lawyer of the Year" in Lexington for Natural Resources Law (2021, 2024)
- Energy Law (2022-2024)
- Mining Law (2022-2024)
- Natural Resource Law (2022-2024)
- Real Estate Law (2022-2024)
- Kentucky Super Lawyers®
- For Energy & Resources (2021-2023)
- Chambers USA®: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Environment, Natural Resources & Utilities: Natural Resources
- Centre College Distinguished Alumnus (2015)