Lobbying Affiliate: MML&K Government Solutions
Photo of Stephen G. Amato

From Our Video Series

Video of Stephen G. Amato Click to Play

Honors & Awards

Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2007 - 2011, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 (Civil Litigation Defense)

The Best Lawyers in America®, 2013-2023 (Commercial Litigation, Employment Law - Management, Litigation - Trusts and Estates) 

The Best Lawyers in America®, "Lawyer of the Year", 2018 (Litigation - Trusts and Estates)
The Best Lawyers in America®, "Lawyer of the Year", 2019 (Employment Law - Management)
The Best Lawyers in America®, "Lawyer of the Year", 2021 (Litigation - Trusts and Estates)

  • A. M. Best Client Recommended, 2018 

Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Transylvania University, 2017

AV Rating by Martindale Hubbell

Holder of the Writ, Order of the Writ, inducted 2019


Kentucky, 1990

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1990

U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1990

U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1993


University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky, J.D., 1990

  • Law Journal: Kentucky Law Journal, Associate Editor, 1989 - 1990

Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, B.A., 1987

  • Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society
  • Major: History

Lexington Catholic High School, 1983


My practice focuses on effectively and efficiently assisting my clients’ relationships with their employees, regulators and competitors.  

Though the practice has a specific emphasis and experience representing businesses engaged in the hospitality and alcoholic beverage industries, I work with businesses in many other industries and economies as well, addressing their regulatory, contractual, employment and litigation needs.

I have the privilege of representing the interests of a variety of well-respected and innovative alcoholic beverage producers, as well as wine and spirits wholesalers, malt beverage distributors, and a multitude of on and off-premise retailers, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, stadiums, live entertainment venues, non-profit civic and charitable organizations, liquor stores, grocery stores, drug stores, caterers, and event facilities. We assist these businesses in connection with federal permitting, state and local licensing, enforcement, and policy issues. As such, we take pride in maintaining strong and effective relationships with regulators in the various local jurisdictions around our state, with the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and at the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. I also serve as outside counsel for the Kentucky Distillers' Association, assisting in the formulation of the policies as set forth by its prestigious Board of Directors.

In addition to consulting and regulatory work for these businesses, I am also able to effectively assist clients when problems arise based on my nearly 30 years of experience in litigation with a specific focus in employment law; I represent employers in state and federal courts and the various administrative agencies that address employment-related claims. Employment-related issues with which I have particular experience include the enforcement of non-compete agreements, the investigation and defense of discrimination claims, and the negotiation and enforcement of severance agreements.

I also have meaningful experience defending governmental entities, including specific involvement defending local governments, governmental agencies and government officials for claims brought against those entities under both state and federal law including § 1983 claims, negligence claims, and state constitutional claims for alleged deliberate indifference to medical needs, excessive force, and employment.

Professional Activities

Community/Civic Leadership

Fayette County Bar Foundation, President, Board of Directors

The Club at Spindletop Hall, Member, Board of Directors

The Lexington Club, Member, Board of Governors

Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, Lexington, Kentucky, Former Board President

Lexington History Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, Former Chair, Board of Trustees

Professional Activities

Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants (AAIAC), Member

National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals (NALCP), Member

Fayette County Bar Association, Member

Kentucky Bar Association, Member

Kentucky Guild of Brewers, Affiliate Member

Mediation Center of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, Former Board Chair

Inaugural Class, Order of the Writ - a fraternal and charitable organization that embraces the spirit of Kentucky Bourbon education, responsibility, environmental stewardship, history, scholarship and an unwavering commitment to the furtherance of America’s only native spirit. 

News & Insights


Seminars & Speaking Engagements





  • Stephen G. Amato - Attorney Biography
    Stephen G. Amato - Attorney Biography
  • Our Clients - Tony's
    Our Clients - Tony's
  • Our Clients - Kentucky Eagle, Inc.
    Our Clients - Kentucky Eagle, Inc.
  • Our Clients - Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge
    Our Clients - Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge
Lexington, KYLouisville, KYFrankfort, KY: MML&K Government SolutionsWashington, D.C.