About Joe Dunman
Joe Dunman is an attorney in Louisville, Kentucky. His primary areas of legal practice include employment law, civil rights, and constitutional law. He regularly litigates cases of workplace discrimination, wage theft, wrongful termination, breach of contract, and civil rights violations including police excessive force, and he frequently represents claimants in Kentucky unemployment benefits appeals hearings.
Among Joe's notable clients were the plaintiffs/petitioners in the Kentucky marriage equality cases of Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear, which were consolidated under the banner of Obergefell v. Hodges, a landmark civil rights decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Joe also teaches as an adjunct professor at Bellarmine University and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. In addition to his teaching, Joe is a regular contributor to Insider Louisville, for which he won awards in 2015 and 2016 from the Society of Professional Journalists for political commentary. He is co-host (with colleague Dan Canon) of the legal podcast Parade of Horribles. Joe is a Kentucky Colonel, a member of the Kentucky Historical Society and the Filson Historical Society, and sits on the boards of Nerd Louisville and House of Ruth.
- Discrimination, Retaliation, and Whistleblower Claims
- Wage and Hour Claims
- Family Medical Leave Act Claims
- Wrongful Termination Claims
- Unemployment Benefits Appeals
- Worker's Compensation Claims
- Employment Contract Disputes
- Severance Agreements
- Business Contract Disputes
- Business Formation (LLC, PLC, Inc.)
- Statutory Challenges
- 42 U.S.C. 1983 claims
- Criminal Appeals and Habeas Corpus Petitions
Other Practice Areas
- General Civil Appeals
- Wrongful Death Claims
- Serious Personal Injury Claims
- Defamation and Privacy Claims
- Wills and Estate Planning
Notable Litigation Experience
- Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear (W.D.Ky., CA6, S.Ct.) - represented six couples in challenges to Kentucky's constitutional and statutory bans of same-sex marriage.
- Stevens v. Commonwealth (Ky.) - post-conviction challenge to effectiveness of trial and appellate representation under C.R. 1142.
- Boodram et al. v. Coomes et al. (W.D.Ky.) - represents former employee/partner with breach of contract, fraud, and conspiracy claims.
- Howard v. Cracker Barrel, Inc. (W.D.Ky.) - represented former employee with claims of pregnancy discrimination, FMLA retaliation, and retaliation under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, KRS 344.
- Doak v. Exit Solutions, Inc. (Ky.) - represented former employee with claims of medical discrimination under Kentucky Equal Opportunity Act, KRS 207, and violation of FMLA.
- Veith v. Louisville Baseball Club, Inc. (Ky.) - represented former employee with claim of age discrimination under Kentucky Civil Rights Act, KRS 344.
- Roberts v. North Central District Health Department (Ky.) - represented former employee with whistleblower and wage and hour claims under KRS 377.
- Johnson v. American Signature, Inc. (S.D.In.) - represented former employee with race discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII and Indiana Civil Rights Law, IC-22-9.
- Mellon v. Lowes Home Centers, LLC et al. (S.D.In.) - represented former employee with sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and retaliation claims under Title VII and Indiana Civil Rights Law, IC-22-9.
- Brief of the National Association for Public Defense and Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Sneed v. Burress et al., 16-8047 (S. Ct. 2017).
- Brief of National Employment Law Project, Kentucky Restaurant Association, et al. v. Louisville Metro Gov., 2015-SC-000371 (Ky. 2015).
- Blind Imitation: The Revolting Persistence of Bowers v. Hardwick, 33 Thomas Cooley L. Rev. 1 (2016) [SSRN]
- Navigating Kentucky Employment Retaliation Law In the Wake of Brooks V. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Housing Authority, 53 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 1 - 39 (2014) [direct link or SSRN]
- Fighting Allegations of Misconduct in Unemployment Benefits Appeals, The Advocate (Kentucky Justice Association), January/February 2015, (pdf)
- Staff Management Tips for the Small Law Firm, The Advocate (Kentucky Justice Association), January/February 2014, (pdf)
- For a complete list of Joe's pieces written for Insider Louisville, click here.
- Trial Attorney David Boies Talks Marriage Equality in Advance of Kentucky Author Forum Appearance, Insider Louisville, 23 March 2015
- Departure of Lead Attorney Raises More Questions About University of Louisville, Insider Louisville, 9 May 2014, (pdf)
- Veganism and Title VII Protection, The Nail That Sticks Up, 14 January 2013
Speeches and Presentations
- "Systemic Injustices and How Lawyers Can (Still) Fix Them," National Conference of Law Reviews 2015, (w/ Daniel Canon, March 13, 2015, Seelbach Hilton Hotel, Louisville Kentucky), link.
- "Kentucky Retaliation: Safe Harbors and New Developments," 31st Annual Warns-Render Labor and Employment Law Institute, (June 12, 2014, Seelbach Hilton Hotel, Louisville Kentucky), pdf.
- "Louis Brandeis: Louisville's Connection to the Right to Privacy," Restore the Fourth Rally, (July 4, 2013, Louisville Metro Hall), pdf.
- Kentucky, 2012
- Kentucky Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
- University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, J.D.
- Murray State University, B.A.
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