Michael Denbow

Michael Denbow is a member (partner) in the Louisville office. Michael focuses his practice on White Collar Criminal Defense and other government and regulatory matters. He handles matters in federal and state courts throughout the southeast and represents clients when dealing with such government entities as the Department of Justice, the FBI, the SEC, and the CFPB, among others. Michael also routinely represents professional athletes and entertainers in contract negotiations, business advice, and litigation matters.

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

Entering the NIL Game

by Mark Green, The Lane Report, September 2021

Feds Oppose Prison For Fired NCAA Coach's Blackmail Threat

By Rachel Scharf,, August 11, 2021

Kentucky's Prisons, COVID, and No Compassionate Release

Responding to and Defending Government Investigations: What to do When the Government “Knocks” On Your Door

Kentucky Bar Association Corporate House Counsel, Webinar, February 10, 2021

Responding to and Defending Governmental Investigations: What to Do When the Government 'Knocks' On Your Door

Blueprint for the Future: Drafting a New Plan for Health Care, Kentucky Hospital Association 89th Annual Convention, Lexington, KY, May 2018

Practical Implications and Concerns of the Criminal Referral Process

2017 Farm Credit System (FCS) Attorney's Conference, New Orleans, LA, September 2017

Title Agencies Did Not Violate RESPA Affiliated Business Rule

The Title Insurance Law Newsletter, American Land Title Association, September 2017
Recent Assignments
Bar Admissions
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
Firm Leadership

Louisville Office Business Litigation Service Group, Leader

Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, Member (2021)

American Bar Association
Kentucky Bar Association
Louisville Bar Association
American Health Lawyers Association
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL)
Community Involvement

St. Agnes Catholic Church, Member

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Board Member

More Than Stites & Harbison

Prior to joining Stites & Harbison, Michael worked at GE for three years as a program manager in the Warranty Management Division. Michael also participated in the firm's summer associate program in the summer of 2007. Outside of the practice of law, Michael and his wife, Ali, have four kids: Gracie, Jack, Henry, and George. While the kids account for most of his spare time, he still finds time to live and die with University of Kentucky football and basketball as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers.


Kentucky Super Lawyers®, Rising Star (2013-21)

Louisville Magazine Top Lawyers (2016)

See more related to Michael Denbow

Revenue Cycle and Compliance Summit

Date: 6/23/22
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Online Event

The Revenue Cycle and Compliance Summit is an online half-day workshop to provide convenient education with CEUs and CLE for professionals. Stites attorneys Sarah Spurlock and Michael Denbow will be presenters at this Summit on June. 23, 2022.

Michael Denbow and Sarah Cronan Spurlock May 13, 2022
Client Alerts

NIL Compensation for High School Athletes: The Future is Now

Next month, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (“OHSAA”) member schools will vote on whether to allow high school athletes to be paid for the name, image, and likeness (“NIL”). If approved, Ohio will join Alaska, California, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Utah, which already allow high school athletes to profit from their NIL. Other states, like Tennessee and Mississippi, recently amended their NIL statutes in a manner that will likely allow for NIL in high school sports.

by Aaron R. Klein, Michael Denbow, and Rebecca M.W. Sherman April 27, 2022
Client Alerts

NIL Update – Should Student Athletes Seek Professional Advice?

On July 1, 2021, several state laws allowing student athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness (“NIL”) went into effect. The NCAA also adopted an interim NIL policy allowing student athletes in any State to receive monetary compensation for their NIL.

by Aaron R. Klein, Rebecca M.W. Sherman, and Michael Denbow August 27, 2021
Client Alerts

Kentucky Joins Growing Number of States Allowing Student-Athletes to Receive Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) Compensation

With Governor Andy Beshear’s June 24, 2021 Executive Order, Kentucky joins a growing minority of states allowing student-athletes to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). Effective July 1, the Order applies to student-athletes at all postsecondary institutions in Kentucky.

by Rebecca M.W. Sherman, Michael Denbow, and Wayne Jones, 2021 Summer Associate July 02, 2021

Kentucky's Prisons, COVID, and No Compassionate Release

The Kentucky Department of Corrections is not immune from the same pandemic issues faced by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. As of December 4, 2020, the Department of Corrections ("DOC") operated 14 correctional institutions with 10,000 inmates. At the time of this writing, 2,895 inmates and 456 employees have tested positive for the virus; 24 inmates and three employees have died. The numbers could have been worse.

by Joshua F. Barnette and Michael Denbow February 24, 2021

The Perfect Storm? A Look at the Federal Compassionate Release Program Following the First Step Act and a Worldwide Pandemic

Juan Alberto Fernandez pled guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in November 2014. Statutorily, Mr. Fernandez faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

by Michael Denbow and Joshua F. Barnette February 24, 2021
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers Honors 41 Stites & Harbison Attorneys for 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2021 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 42 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 21, 2020
Client Alerts

No Good Deed: Protecting Yourself and Your Business from a Governmental Investigation Concerning Your PPP Loan

In a time when more than $650 billion in stimulus funds are being pumped through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the potential for bad actors to create havoc for business owners reliant upon these mostly forgivable loans is almost guaranteed.

by Joshua F. Barnette and Michael Denbow May 13, 2020