Ben J. Talbott
Ben J. Talbott, Jr. has been a member of the Kentucky Bar Association since 1965. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Xavier University and a 1964 graduate of Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, Ben wrote his thesis on the legal complications and conflicts of sales and use taxes in various states, which was submitted by Harvard to the U.S. Congress where it was used in connection with drafting of federal legislation. Upon graduation from law school, Ben clerked for U.S. District Judge Henry L. Brooks, Western District of Kentucky at Louisville. In 1965, he joined Middleton, Seelbach, Wolford, Willis, & Cochran where he made partner in 1968. After leaving that firm in 1980, Ben founded Westfall, Talbott, & Woods. Following Mr. Westfall’s retirement from that firm on December 31, 1999, Ben re-established the firm as Talbott & Talbott, PLLC, which later merged into Bardenwerper and Talbott, & Roberts, PLLC. In his “of-counsel” capacity, Ben principally practices commercial litigation, contract cases and general corporate work.
Ben has served on a number of corporate boards, including Stitzel-Weller Distillery, Alumina Ceramics, Inc., (former Chairman) and Strategia Corporation. In 1970, along with Randoph Reynolds, Ben founded Alumina Ceramic, Inc. and built a factory in Benton, Arkansas to make high tech seal rings for drilling oil. In 1979, Ben and Reynolds sold the company to Coors Technology, Inc.
In addition, Ben has been active in civic affairs and has served as a board member and officer of many civic organizations. He was a board member for eight years and Vice-Chairman of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, having been appointed to the Board first by Governor Louie Nunn and later by Governor Wendell Ford. For a few years Ben served as Chairman of the University’s finance Committee, as well as serving on other University Committees. He was also a board member of the University of Louisville Foundation and of the University of Louisville Medical School Fund Corporation.
In support of the arts Ben was a board member and officer of the Louisville Theatrical Association (past President), the Louisville Orchestra (past President), Macauley Theatre, Inc. (past Secretary), and the Kentucky Center for the Arts (on which he served as a Board member for 26 years), and the Advisory Board of WKPC Channel 15 (past President). In addition, Ben has served as a board member of the Historic Homes Foundation (past Vice-President), Locust Grove, the historic home of George Rogers Clark (past Treasurer), and Whitehall (past Chairman).
Ben has served local government as a board member and/or advisor of the Transportation Authority of River City (TARC) Advisory Committee, the Jefferson County Capital Construction Finance Committee, and the Institute of Industrial Development. During the years in which Todd Hollenbach served as Jefferson County Judge-Executive, Ben was a key advisor to County government, and in 1975 Ben chaired Hollenbach’s unsuccessful state-wide primary race for Governor.
In 1994, Ben was appointed under President Clinton as an original member to the Board of the Defense Enterprise Fund. The DEF, which was the brain child of Secretary of Defense William Perry, was funded by Congress pursuant to the Nunn-Lugar program and the Defense Security Act of 1994 for the purpose of assisting in the elimination and/or conversion of those facilities located in the former Soviet Union which were used by the Soviet Union for the building of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. As an example, the very first project of the DEF was to convert a facility for manufacturing nuclear submarines into a company manufacturing heavy construction equipment. Ben served on the DEF Board until the expiration of its mission term in 2006.
Ben presently serves on the Board and is Treasurer of the Kentucky Society of Mayflower Descendants (former Acting Assistant Governor General and Second Deputy Governor), and was formerly the Assistant Treasurer General of the National Society of Mayflower Descendants, and is on the boards of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (University of Louisville) of which he is a member, board member and Treasurer, and was formerly on the Board of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association of Kentucky, which he served first as Secretary in 1985, and later as President from 1989 to 2005.
Ben practices before both state and federal courts. He is a member of the American, Kentucky, and Louisville Bar Associations (former board member), and the Supreme Court Historical Society. In addition, he was previously a member of the Defense Research Institute and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. He has been named as one of the best lawyers in America in Who’s Who in American Law, America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals, and the recent Editions of Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.