James T. Gilbert

James “JT” Gilbert is a board certified Civil Trial Attorney (National Board of Trial Advocacy) and Fellow of the American College of Trial Attorneys. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 1969, received his Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1974 (after a hitch in the United States Army), and a master of laws (LL.M) degree from the University of Illinois in 1975.

He was licensed to practice law in Kentucky in 1974 and has been admitted to practice in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Kentucky, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

JT has been in private practice in Madison County, Kentucky from 1975 to the present. He served as the Corporation Counsel for the City of Berea, Kentucky from 1976 through 2013, was a part time assistant prosecutor from 1978 to 1980, and has twice been a Special Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, once from 1989 to 1990 then in 1995. JT also received the prestigious Peter Perlman Outstanding Kentucky Trial Lawyer in September 2012.

He is active in his community, having served on:

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents (1988-2006; Chair 1989-2001)

The Board of Directors, Berea Hospital (1982-1994)

Board of Directors, Boy Scouts of America, Bluegrass Council (1990-1993)

The Board of Directors, United Way of Madison County (1988-2001)

JT and his family are long time members of the First Christian Church in Berea, Kentucky where he served as an elder and member of the board. His other civic organizations include the Berea Chamber of Commerce, American Legion Post No. 50, The Kingston Masonic Lodge No. 315, Madison County and Kentucky Historical Societies, The Society of Boonesborough, and The Madison County Civil War Round Table.

He is currently a director of Peoples Bank and Trust Company of Madison County, serving as chair of the audit committee.

He has written extensively on legal topics and is a frequent teacher of other attorneys on personal injury and trial related issues. JT takes advantage of many seminars and learning opportunities every year. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney and is recognized by the National College of Advocacy at the Advocate level and is currently working on his recognition as a Fellow by the college, which requires 200 credit hours of approved continuing legal education at the national level.

JT is more than ready to use his vast experience and knowledge to fight to get you the outcome you deserve.

Areas of Practice

Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, Wrongful Death, Insurance Claims, Unsafe Premises, Defective Products, Commercial Litigation, General Civil Litigation (approximately 85% of his practice is devoted to litigation).


Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney (National Board of Trial Advocacy).

Bar Admissions

Commonwealth of Kentucky, U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court.


University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois 1975 LL.M. University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky, 1974 J.D. Eastern Kentucky University, 1969 BA.

Professional Associations

Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers; American Association for Justice Member, Sections on Motor Vehicle & Premises Liability and Insurance; Kentucky Association for Justice member, Board of Governors for many years, President 2011; Kentucky and Madison County Bar Associations; Kentucky Municipal Lawyers Association, Kentucky Bank Counsel Association.

Coy, Gilbert, Shepherd & Wilson. Legal experience you can trust!