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T. Morgan Ward, Jr.

T. Morgan Ward, Jr.

Morgan Ward is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Service Group. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, regulatory litigation (including the laws and regulations pertaining to real estate professionals and the banking industry), constitutional law, real estate litigation, commercial lease litigation, condemnation and eminent domain, trust and estates litigations, title insurance defense litigation, insurance coverage litigation for both insureds and insurers, bad faith litigation, trial practice, arbitration, mediation, and appellate practice.

Morgan has argued cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Kentucky Supreme Court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He has tried numerous cases to jury and bench verdicts.

Recent Assignments

  • Serves as lead litigation counsel to defend a law firm against RESPA claims filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in pending litigation before the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
  • Won rulings on behalf of commercial real estate brokers and investors in a series of constitutional challenges under the Commerce Clause, which resulted in federal court rulings to invalidate "turf state" laws that restricted interstate brokerage and impaired the national market for commercial real estate.  See Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Inv. Brokerage Co. v. Skeeters, 395 F. Supp. 2d 541 (W.D. Ky. 2005); River Oaks Mgmt. v. Brown, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65286 (W.D. Ky. 2007); GLOBE STREET, "Marcus & Millichap Wins 'Turf State' Lawsuit" (September 13, 2007)("The entire industry is expected to benefit from the victory in a federal lawsuit challenging Kentucky's law prohibiting cooperation with out-of-state brokers")
  • Successfully represented commercial real estate firms and brokers in a variety of contract and business tort litigation matters
  • Served as second chair (in third year of practice) before the U.S. Supreme Court in Intel Containers International Corp. v. Huddleston, 113 S.Ct. 1095 (1993) regarding the constitutionality of state taxes on cargo containers used in international commerce
  • Significant experience litigating a variety of cases connected to the Louisville Airport Improvement Program, the $780 million expansion of Louisville's International Airport for which Stites & Harbison served as lead counsel, and he currently represents the Louisville Regional Airport Authority in active litigation matters
  • Has handled several trust and estate litigation matters, including pending matter to preserve a substantial bequest to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

  • "Title Agencies Did Not Violate RESPA Affiliated Business Rule," with Michael DenbowDavid B. Owsley IIRichard A. VanceThe Title Insurance Law Newsletter, American Land Title Association, September 2017
  • "RESPA Developments: CFPB v. Borders and Borders," with Richard A. Vance,  Mortgage Bankers Association of America, Litigation Committee Conference, July 25, 2017
  • "Addressing Enforcement Actions," panel member, MBA's Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Conference 2016, Denver, Colorado, May 1-4, 2016
  • "CFPB Rulemaking, Enforcement, CIDs, Examinations, Administrative Actions and Penalties and How to Adapt Your Practice as a Result," co-presenter, American Conference Institute's 25th National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, Los Angeles, CA, April 7-8, 2016
  • "CFPB Enhanced Oversight and Heightened Scrutiny of the Industry: Evaluating Lessons Learned from Recent Enforcement Actions, Preparing for Investigations and Examinations and Looking Ahead to Rulemaking Updates," American Conference Institute's 20th National Forum on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, October 23-24, 2014
  • "Case Law and Legislative Update," with Brian M. Bennett,  Old Republic National Title Insurance Company 2012 Kentucky Agency Seminar, June 19, 2012
  • "Exclusion 3(a) & 3(b) - Recent Trends in Title Insurance Coverage Litigation," Co-Speaker, ABA Torts Trial & Insurance Practice Section Annual Spring CLE and Leadership Forum, May 21, 2011
  • "Condemnation and Eminent Domain in Kentucky," Kentucky Real Estate Law and Practice, College of Law of the University of Kentucky (1996)

More Than Stites & Harbison

Morgan serves the community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Society (where he previously served as Board Chair), and as a Trustee for the Olmsted Parks Conservancy in Louisville.  He is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Louisville Bar Association, and currently serves on an LBA committee to monitor the integrity of judicial elections.  Morgan coordinates much of the firm's pro-bono work in the Louisville office, and has been recognized as an Outstanding Volunteer Lawyer by the Legal Aid Society. He is also a past member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition.

Morgan is a graduate of Leadership Kentucky (2003) and the Bingham Fellows Program of Leadership Louisville (2015).

Besides Stites & Harbion

Morgan enjoys tennis, running, cycling, skiing, backpacking, rock climbing, and adventures with his two sons. In 1996, Morgan and his wife Shelly completed the Annapurna Circuit, a 200-mile trek in Nepal.

Professional Accolades

Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2013-19)

Kentucky Super Lawyers® (2007, 2012-18)

Community Involvement

  • Legal Aid Society, Board of Directors (previous board Chair)
  • Olmstead Parks Conservancy, Inc., Trustee
  • Leadership Kentucky, Class of 2003
  • Bingham Fellow Program of Leadership Louisville (2015)