Peter Perlman

Peter Perlman

Lexington, Kentucky

Peter Perlman is admitted to the bar in Kentucky, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He attended Duke University, and received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kentucky. His areas of practice are personal injury, civil litigation and products liability.

Peter Perlman heads his own firm in Lexington, Kentucky, where he specializes in products liability and crash-worthiness litigation. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, a member of the International Society of Barristers, a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Judicial College and is a founding member and past President of the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. He is also past President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Civil Justice Foundation, and the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys.

He is in the University of Kentucky Law Alumni Hall of Fame. He is the author of numerous publications, including the book, Annotated Opening Statements. For 25 years he taught the subject of trial practice at the University of Kentucky College of Law and an Endowment Scholarship has been established in his name by the law school.

He has won more than 50 multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Pete has been told by judges and opposing lawyers that his greatest strength is his ability to simplify fairly complicated issues. Pete frequently uses analogies, country music, proverbs, and other similar methods to help tell the story to the jury.

The Peter Perlman Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award is given annually by the Kentucky Justice Association The award is bestowed upon an attorney who has demonstrated exceptional talent, fights for the rights of consumers, and gives back to the legal profession.

Peter received the "President's Award" at the annual AIEG (lawyers specializing in crashworthiness cases) meeting last November. The award was in recognition of successful efforts to force General Motors and Chrysler to assume liability for all vehicles involved in collisions after bankruptcy. The award states in part "you are true hero to the tens of millions for whom you fought for accountability from the auto manufacturers."


Married to the former Lana Day Coyle; three children: Pamela, Patrice and Penne; four grandchildren: Sarah, Jacob, Jack and Nick

Areas of Practice

  • Personal injury
  • Civil litigation
  • Products liability

Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky, 1962
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1962
  • Duke University College of Law - 1960
  • Kentucky University, Lexington, Kentucky
    • A.B. - 1959

Published Works

  • "Closing Arguments, Volume I and Volume II", 2006
  • "Opening Statement", 1994
  • Author, "Opening Statement, Annotated", 1994
  • "Fighting for Public Justice – Cases and Trial Lawyers that made a Difference", 2001


  • Adjunct Professor, UK College of Law, 1979 - 2004

Honors and Awards

  • Received "AV" Rating from Martindale Hubbell, Inc., 1979 - Present
  • Selected to University of Kentucky College of Law "Alumni Hall of Fame", 1988
  • Kentucky Justice Association has Honored the Outstanding Trial Lawyer, "Peter Perlman Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award"
  • An Endowment Scholarship was Established in Peter’s Name at the UK College of Law, 1999
  • Selected by Super Lawyers as one of Kentucky's Top 10 Attorneys in 2007 and 2008; Profiled in 2007 Edition
  • Former President Kentucky Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates; Limited to Outstanding Lawyers as Selected by their Peers
  • Selected to Give Commencement Address at Graduation Ceremonies of the University of Kentucky College of Law and Northern Kentucky College of Law
  • Selected as a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Selected as Member of the International Society of Barristers
  • Selected by the American Bar Association to serve on Board of Trustees of the National Judicial College
  • Southern Trial Lawyers' Association War Horse Award, 1995
  • Listed in Best Lawyers of America since its publication in 1986, 1986
  • Tommy Malone Great American Eagle Award
  • Selected as Outstanding Young Man of Lexington, and One of Five Outstanding Young Men of Kentucky
  • University of Kentucky Fellow, 1972 - Present
  • Henry Stites Barker Fellow, 2006
  • Henry T Duncan Award, 2010 - Present
  • Civil Justice Foundation's Award, "Champion of Justice"
  • "President's Award", AIEG

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Kentucky Justice Association, Former President
  • Kentucky Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates, Former President
  • American Association for Justice, President, 1985 - 1986
  • President, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 2000 - 2001
  • Civil Justice Foundation, President, 1989
  • Inner Circle of Advocates, Member, 1984 - Present
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Founding member and past President
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Past President
  • Civil Justice Foundation, Past President
  • Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys, Past President

Past Employment Positions

  • Fayette County, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, 1965 - 1968

Pro Bono Activities

  • Volunteer Childrens' Activities – Served as Big Brother
  • Served as President of Junior Achievement
  • Coach of Calvary Baptist Church
  • Chair, Development and Funding for Playground for Children at Cardinal Hill Hospital
  • Member, Lexington Rotary Club, 1972 - Present
  • President of Lexington Jaycees
  • Vice President of Kentucky Jaycees
  • University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Hall of Fame, Member