Bar Association presents Whayne C. Priest Jr. with 2021 William H. Natcher Award during annual Law Day event

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – ELPO Law co-founding partner Whayne C. Priest, Jr. was presented Wednesday with the 2021 William H. Natcher Award by the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association during its annual Law Day Ceremony. The award is presented in recognition of  Priest’s career as a member of the Bar, during which he continuously demonstrated a commitment to high ethical standards and a strong devotion to professional and civic responsibility.

The William H. Natcher Award was established during the 1994 Law Day Ceremony for the purpose of annually memorializing the life and ideals of William H. Natcher and has been awarded each subsequent year since during Law Day Ceremonies. The award is presented annually to a retired or deceased member of the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association whose life exemplified Representative Natcher’s characteristics of humility and high ethical standards, his belief that the public interest be served over personal interests, and his desire to be adjudged by those he served simply as, “He did it right.”

Each recipient of the award is selected by the William H. Natcher Award Committee. The first recipient of the award in 1995 was made in memory of Judge John Barrett Rodes.

Priest is a founding partner at English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law (1962), where he was a member of the Order of the Coif honor society and served on the Board of Editors for the Kentucky Law Journal in 1960-62 and as Associate Editor in 1962. Priest earned his B.A. degree from the University of Kentucky in 1960, graduating with High Distinction and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Priest began his legal career in the U.S. Air Force where he served as a Judge Advocate General at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas from 1962-65. After his military career, Priest returned to Kentucky and served as the City Solicitor for Bowling Green for eight years. In 1973 Priest became a founding partner of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP.

During his more than 40 years of practice in Bowling Green and Warren County, Priest tried cases throughout the area’s state and federal courts, argued cases to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Kentucky Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He also worked extensively with local government, private corporations and families in planning, developing and working within county and city zoning ordinances and assisting in the
development and growth of Warren County and Bowling Green. Priest is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, past President of the Bowling Green – Warren County Bar Association, and has served as the Chairman of the Editorial Board for the Kentucky Bench and Bar.

During Wednesday’s Law Day ceremony, Thomas N. Kerrick received the Gwyneth Davis Outstanding Public Service Award. This award is presented to a member of the Bar who is dedicated to the principles of community spirit, including a commitment to causes which enhance justice and civil rights and has contributed outstanding service to the Bowling Green/Warren County area.

Ashlea Shepherd Porter was given the the Pro-Bono Publico Award which is given annually to a member of the Warren County Lawyer’s Care Program who has made an outstanding commitment to pro-bono work in our community.

Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon and Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott delivered the joint Law Day Proclamation declaring Wednesday as Law Day 2021.