John C. Roach

John Roach is an Attorney at Law at Ransdell Roach & Royse PLLC and a former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice who also served as General Counsel to Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. In addition to a vigorous trial practice, John has successfully argued cases before the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Kentucky Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. John is an avid horseracing fan with a genuine passion for the sport and Kentucky’s role as the epicenter of the Thoroughbred world.  He has represented a number of domestic and foreign clients in all aspects of Thoroughbred breeding and racing. John is the former Vice Chairman of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Among the many equine transactions and litigation matters in which Mr. Roach has participated, he is proud to have served as lead counsel in the stallion syndication of PIONEER OF THE NILE, sire of Triple Crown Winner and Breeders’ Cup Champion AMERICAN PHAROAH. 

After obtaining his undergraduate degree at Washington & Lee University, John graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was the recipient of The Faculty Cup for most outstanding student. John’s legal career began shortly after he graduated from law school. After first serving as a law clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Senior Judge Pierce Lively, John moved to Washington, D.C., to join Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. He focused on the area of Corporate and Securities Practice as an attorney with the firm. After his return to Kentucky, he became a partner at Ransdell, Roach & Wier, PLLC, based in Lexington. During his five years with the firm, John had a diverse legal practice, with an emphasis in civil rights and commercial litigation. He also appeared as counsel in 14 jury trials.

In 2003, John became General Counsel to Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher. He was later appointed by Governor Fletcher to the Kentucky Supreme Court, serving on the high court from June 2005 to November 2006. During his time on the Supreme Court, John authored more than 20 published majority opinions. After his tenure on the Kentucky Supreme Court, John returned to private practice at Ransdell & Roach, PLLC. He now practices law at Ransdell Roach & Royse PLLC. Currently, his practice primarily focuses on appellate advocacy, equine law, and corporate transactions for businesses and entrepreneurs.  Over the last several years, John has devoted more time to serving as a mediator and an arbitrator. John is an American Arbitration Association Panel Member and has been serving as an arbitrator through the AAA and privately by mutual agreement of the parties.          

John, a native of Frankfort, Kentucky, now lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife Maria. His daughter, Catherine, graduated from Washington & Lee University and is an accountant with Delta Airlines in Atlanta and his son, Bennett, graduated from Washington & Lee University and works with Mooring Financial Corporation in the Washington, D.C. area.