Honors & Awards
The Best Lawyers in America®, 2024 (Energy Regulatory Law)
U.S. Supreme Court, 1999
U.S. Tax Court, 1988
U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 1990
U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2005
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2004
U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1983
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1990
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1984
U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 2004
Judge Pierce Lively, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, 1982-1983
Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut, J.D., 1982
Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut, M. Phil in Economics, 1983
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, A.B., 1978
- Major: Economics (with distinction)
- Phi Beta Kappa
What Katie Yunker enjoys most about being part of the McBrayer team is the opportunity to work with so many talented, dedicated lawyers, adding her 30+ years of experience to theirs to get down to the core of an issue for our clients. Katie's job, in its simplest form, is to be a problem-solver, but the “how” is different each time. She unravels complexity and considers basic structures, or advocates for what the law should be, or uses her practice experience as a guide to whether a path-breaking legal theory or a new application of long-held principles is the better strategy.
Every case is a challenge, and Katie approaches each one as a chance to improve the client’s position or odds, by really digging into the facts and legal principles. Briefs are the central component of an appeal, and give her the opportunity to focus on substantive issues over a wide range of the law. Putting complicated ideas across in a simple way is often the most difficult part of briefing a matter, but application of the law to concrete situations is the essence of legal practice, and she always learns something from it.
The substantive briefing that Katie does takes place at both the trial and appellate level — but always represents a critical point in the development of the case. Because her focus is on appellate advocacy, Katie usually has primary responsibility for each stage of the appellate process, and relishes the opportunity to consider every possible advantage for the client in procedural, jurisdictional, and substantive aspects of an appeal. She builds on the efforts of the other McBrayer team members to either protect the verdict and nail down the victory a client already has or to petition for a different outcome if it is not a full vindication of the client's interests. Katie takes the time to prepare, to know the case thoroughly, and to fully understand what a client wants to accomplish. Katie wants to win, but knows that a win is defined by the client.
Katie joined McBrayer after practicing law for over 20 years in her own Lexington boutique litigation firm. Prior to starting that firm, she worked for Brown, Todd & Heyburn in its litigation section and as a visiting assistant professor for two years at Ohio Northern University (1991-1993), where she taught contracts, property, civil procedure, criminal law and antitrust. Katie also taught in the legal writing program at the University of Kentucky College of Law for several years in the 1980s and 1990s, and taught a course on business regulation for the University of Kentucky College of Business.
Much of Katie's community involvement is connected to the challenge and opportunities to put her faith in practice. She has been appointed to regional and diocesan Peace and Justice Commissions, active in the Franciscan Peace Center, and progressed in her commitment to B.U.I.L.D. (Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct action). She serves on the Parish Council at Holy Spirit Parish / the Newman Center at the University of Kentucky, and has received so much from the community life there for over 30 years, as a lector, altar server, music minister, liturgy committee member, RCIA sponsor, and parishioner.
Katie is a longtime member of Phyllis Jenness’s “Be a Better Singer” Saturday class, the BlueGrass Runners, and an eclectic book club.
News & Insights
- August 17, 2023
- Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement: a 2nd Share Distribution Has Been Made to Those Who Received the Initial Distribution – A Statement from Class Counsel on Distribution and DissolutionNovember 9, 2022
- Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement: An Initial and Partial Distribution Has Been Made to a 2nd Group – A Statement from Class Counsel on Distribution and DissolutionFebruary 28, 2022
- Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement: An Initial and Partial Distribution Has Been Made – A Statement from Class Counsel on Distribution and DissolutionDecember 20, 2021
- April 23, 2021
- Settlement Proposed in Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association Lawsuit Concerning Certain Tobacco Growers in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana or Missouri; Class Members Urged to Take ActionDecember 21, 2020
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Commerce Lexington, Inc., 330 E. Main Street, December 11, 2018
- American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, 2000
- “Addressing the Real Problems for Law and Economics of Factoring Interest Rates, Earnings Growth and Inflation into Awards for Lost Future Earnings,” 56 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 1 (1994).April 12, 1995
- Fayette County Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Education Law Section, Treasurer, 2006-2007
- American Bar Association
- Exemptions and Immunities Committee, Antitrust Section,
- Vice-Chair, 1998-2001